Author Topic: Pizza Tip #101  (Read 3398 times)

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Offline pizzaluvr

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Pizza Tip #101
« on: September 30, 2003, 07:52:39 PM »
Okay, I just picked #101.  Pick a number.  I did find the follwoing post on the PMQ (Pizza Marketing Quarterly) website.  It concerns why your pizza may not be getting crispy consistently.  Long post, but interesting: :o


: We are using a receipe for thin NY style crust.
: After cooking sometimes the bottom comes out
: nice and crispy, but sometimes it is too
: soft and limp. What causes this? Is it the
: different cooks doing something different?
: One of our cooks is pretty consistant and
: his comes out the way we like, but the other
: cook is the one that seems to be having this
: problem. They both seem to be doing the same
: thing, but I was wondering if one is
: possibly using too much flour when
: preparing.

Sue;
This is a common issue. Are you WEIGHING all of your ingredients, or are you using volumetric measures to portion them out? If you are still using volumetric portioning, you might want to seriously consider changing over to weight measures. Why? Because a pound of flour is always a pound of flour. It don't make no matter who weighs it, it's always the same. Consistency is the name of the game. There is another thing that can trip you up too. If you put the water in the mixing bowl first, then add the salt, sugat and the yeast, and I bet the oil too. This can be a real problem that you probably never see, but experience the effects of. First, salt, sugar, and yeast should never go into the water together. Salt and sugar are OK, add the yeast to the flour. If you use fresh/compressed/cake yeast just crumple it up and add it to the flour, no need to suspend it in water. If you use active dry yeast, hydrate it in a small quantity of warm water (100 to 105F) let it set for 10 minutes and add it to the flour. If you're using instant dry yeast, just add it directly to the flour, no need to hydrate. Why? Both the salt and sugar can/will affect the fermentative properties of the yeast (in a negative way) when you bring them into direct contact with each other. This can affect thecrisping characteristics of your dough. Next, when you put the oil into the water, it floats to the top of the water where it comes into direct contact with the flour. It soaks into the flour. When oil soaks into the flour, it cannot absorb water, hence your dough will look to be either too soft or too tight, now you add more water or flour to correct the problem. Wrong thing to do, now your entire formula is out of balance. Have you ever heard it said that the daily weather (humidity) has a lot to do with the amount of water you can add to the dough? Hog wash! It ain't got nothin' to do with it. That's your oil soaking into the flour hard at work to fool you.
I've concentrated on potential dough issues here as I think if the problem were oven related you would be seeing the problem at all times, or at least more frequently with both of your pizza bakers. This is not to say that it couldn't be an oven problem, or even a people problem, but I just don't think that's the problem in this case.
I hope I've been able to shed a little light onto the reason why your dough is giving inconsistent baking performance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


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Offline Steve

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Re:Pizza Tip #101
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2003, 07:24:24 AM »
Verrrrry interesting indeed!  8)
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Offline buzz

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Re:Pizza Tip #101
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2003, 11:05:22 AM »
Weighing is only important if you're making huge batches of dough for a commercial pizzeria. With the small amount you make at home, it's best to go by feel and experience. Flour which sits around your house (which it doesn't do in pizzerias) or in the refrigerator can dry out, and so will need more liquid. Altitude and humidity can affect your wetness requirements, too.

Offline Randy

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Re:Pizza Tip #101
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2003, 12:53:25 PM »
Sorry but I disagree with you Buzz.  At home even a small change in quantity will have a large effect on the percentages because of the small amount of weights involved.  Larger baker quantities have more measurable room for error due to the larger weights.  

Measuring at least the flour will make your home product much more consistent.  I have taken as long as a year to use a single 100# bag of flour and the dough remained the same as long as I measured the flour.  Add to that the fact that the flour protein level changes the liquid requirements the most, not daily humidity like the television cooks promote.

The people I know that cook by feel have inconsistent products but always blame it on the weather or ingredients.

I measure the liquid now also.

Get a scale and you will never go back to feel again.

Randy

Offline Steve

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Re:Pizza Tip #101
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2003, 01:32:35 PM »
Next, when you put the oil into the water, it floats to the top of the water where it comes into direct contact with the flour. It soaks into the flour. When oil soaks into the flour, it cannot absorb water, hence your dough will look to be either too soft or too tight, now you add more water or flour to correct the problem. Wrong thing to do, now your entire formula is out of balance.

I had Tom Lehmann elaborate on how to properly add oil to the dough. Here's his response:

When you add oil to the water, it floats to the top of the water, now, the flour can come into direct contact with the oil. The oil can/will soak into the flour. Flour that has absorbed oil cannot further absorb water, nor can it develop any gluten when it is mixed. This creates an inconsistent level of variability in your dough. By NOT adding the oil to the water this cannot happen. All you need to do is to withhold the oil from the dough and allow it to mix for a couple of minutes, just until you don't see any white (unhydrated) flour in the mixing bowl. Then slowly pour in the oil and continue mixing at low speed for a minute or so. Now you can change up to medium speed, or continue mixing in the normal manner. Just about everybody who uses this procedure reports an improvement in their dough consistency.

Note: if you are using shortening rather than oil, you can just toss it into the flour and not worry about it soaking into the flour.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
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Offline DKM

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Re:Pizza Tip #101
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2003, 10:15:26 PM »
Sorry but I disagree with you Buzz.  At home even a small change in quantity will have a large effect on the percentages because of the small amount of weights involved.  Larger baker quantities have more measurable room for error due to the larger weights.  

Measuring at least the flour will make your home product much more consistent.  I have taken as long as a year to use a single 100# bag of flour and the dough remained the same as long as I measured the flour.  Add to that the fact that the flour protein level changes the liquid requirements the most, not daily humidity like the television cooks promote.

The people I know that cook by feel have inconsistent products but always blame it on the weather or ingredients.

I measure the liquid now also.

Get a scale and you will never go back to feel again.

Sorry, but I disagree with you Randy.

I've used weight (in grams even) and it can still turn out an inconsistent product.

Once I know what I like, look and feel has worked great for me.

I've used it for bread for years.  My last three deep dish pizzas were made using that method and they were all the same.  A person can't blame weather or ingredients on look and feel, because that is what look and feel deals with, the change in environmental factors.  If it inconsistent then they don't have the look and feel down.

DKM
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