Author Topic: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe  (Read 6219 times)

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Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2009, 03:20:11 PM »
I hope we didn't scare Ryan away.

I hope not too, and I'll apologize for being my usual wise guy self. I'm sure he makes a great pizza, anyone who understands the magical mysteries of cultures is ok by me.
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1


Offline codeninedesign

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2009, 02:32:29 AM »
I'm here! I'm here! Sorry, I didn't check back here for a few days and look what happened! The conversation bloomed like a ... well like a sourdough starter!  :pizza:

I have in fact tried this exact recipe with dried insta-yeast and I have to say the flavor is definitely different. In the same way that my different strains of sourdoughs taste different, so does the end product made with the insta-yeast. Bottom line: It's not bad, per se, it just isn't as tasty as the sourdough starter.

As far as whether or not the long rests, sourdough starter, or any of the other bits of the recipe are necessary, maybe simplifying like this will help explain my point of view (which is truly just my opinion, so take it for what ever it's worth):

  • Which dough, regardless of baking method/temp would you rather eat: One that has gone through a proper and thorough autolyse period, or not? If you have the time and the patience to do these steps, then do them - it only stands to improve your end product and it makes good chemical/logical sense why long autolyse periods are good :)
  • Which dough do you feel you'd prefer to offer to guests - a dough made with the same yeast available to everyone in the grocery store, or a dough made truly unique by the subtle flavors brought to it by your local wild yeast culture you've been raising for years now? If different flours affect the flavor of your pie, so too do the salt, water, and type of yeast you choose. I know what you're thinking - but YOU add commercial yeast in this recipe. Yep. It's true. I give each of the yeasts a job to perform. The sourdough is there for flavor, and because I want some extra bubbles, I add some commercial yeast as well. I know it makes the purists cringe and the beginners scratch their heads, but in the end, your guests don't care what kind of rigid rules you stuck to - they only know what your pizza feels like and tastes like in their mouths and I like what the addition of the added commercial yeast does for the texture of my pies.
  • Finally, if you rent, and are not willing to chop up your landlords appliances, I think a great method to get good oven spring is to toss the water on the bottom of the oven. The steam created keeps the surface of the crust moist (and thus elastic and expandable) during the critical first few minutes where you get most, if not all, or your rise.

    Now if you are committed to the steam theory (which my experience and my taste buds certainly seem to support), you can't very well go heating stones up in your oven then splashing cold water in there. Not unless you like your pie chunky style - who knows, gravel may come into style one day as a popular topping but I don't think we're quite there yet :)

So to recap, I like the sourdough because it's more flavorful, and it's unique to my kitchen only. I like the long autolyse period because dammit, that is just how bread is baked! Proper autolyse is just plain old important. And finally, I like baking with lots of steam and I feel like this limits my ability to use stone.

In the end, all of these little twists and turns make a difference, and that's the whole reason why we are all on here chattering away, right? We're all looking for a new little twist to make our pies, no matter how incrementally small, a little better :) So don't think of this stuff as porches in geos, think about it as taking your project car you've been working on during the weekends and popping a different brand of headers in to see if you can get a few more horsepower out the the old thing.

I'll try to check back sooner this time. Hope some of this makes sense and happy baking to you all  :chef:
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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2009, 04:02:22 AM »
Ryan,

I am glad to see you back!  Glad we didn't scare you off!
Your comments and theories are interesting.... and I agree that in the end, it's all about what each of us thinks is the best technique to achieve what we like to feed ourselves and our guests.  It's all about personal choice and taste.
As you read, I am a sourdough purist, not only for the reasons Peter mentioned, but also because I'm just plain stubborn.   :-D   ::)  My starter doesn't get training wheels... it has to learn to ride the bike unaided.  If it can't, then I guess it stays on a tricycle (or gets dumped down the drain!) and never gets to graduate to even a Geo, let alone a Porsche! 

As for the steam, I'm a firm believer, but I must add that I bake bread on a stone all the time and have always squirted water into the oven (opposite side from the light) in the first few minutes of baking without breaking a stone even once.  (Good thing my computer desk is wood.... knock, knock, knock!)

It's all a journey and there are many roads, both on the map and off, to explore.

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline codeninedesign

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2009, 04:10:08 AM »
Totally SD!

I like keeping it simple, but I try not to let my tradition limit my experimentation. We're pretty much all baking from the same recipes, so I think breaking tradition sometimes is a good way to discover new flavors  :)

As for the stones, maybe I've just had bad luck with them?? I've broken stones even OUT of the oven! Must just be cheap rock I've been buying. I like my pans for now - but who knows, I'm not one to let my tradition... oh, I already said that. Ha!

Love the dialog!
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Offline codeninedesign

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2009, 04:10:54 AM »
Oh, and as an aside, anyone know when I become a full fledged member and not a branded newbie?

Thanks!
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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2009, 04:24:30 AM »
Oh, and as an aside, anyone know when I become a full fledged member and not a branded newbie?

Thanks!

You are now a registered user.... you crossed that threshold with your 5th post.  The biggest reward is that you can now post hyperlinks in your text.

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline codeninedesign

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2009, 12:49:00 PM »
Woohoo! Thanks sd  :chef:
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2009, 01:14:24 PM »
Ryan,

I, too, am a purist, and that carries over to using the proper terminology as much and as best I can. You indicated in your recent posts about using "proper" autolyse. But, with all due respect, you are not using an autolyse (autolysis), at least not in the classical sense as intended by Professor Raymond Calvel who devised the autolyse method in the 1970s. Jeff's recipe also does not use autolyse. What you both are using is rest periods during which fermentation occurs, or at least incipient fermentation using small amounts of simple sugars in the flour until the alpha- and beta-amylase activities kick in to convert damaged starch to the bulk of the simple sugars needed by the yeast during fermentation. All rest periods are arguably good, but they aren't all autolyse rest periods. For a good discussion of autolyse, and the logic behind the sequencing of the ingredients in making the dough, you might read Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2632.msg22856.html#msg22856.

Peter

Offline s00da

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2009, 04:53:59 PM »
I agree with Peter on this. I used Jeff's recipe for a while and I attempted omitting the autolyse period many times and haven't noticed a difference in the end. What's worth mentioning is that the rest period after kneading is really important and will affect the dough.

Ryan, have you tried room-temp fermentation? I'm sure you will learn something about your starter if you do  :D

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2009, 05:18:11 PM »
I agree with Peter on this. I used Jeff's recipe for a while and I attempted omitting the autolyse period many times and haven't noticed a difference in the end. What's worth mentioning is that the rest period after kneading is really important and will affect the dough.



I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I don't get that Peter was saying that autolyse periods make no difference in the crust, if that's what you're agreeing with. What I believe he's saying is these are not autolyse periods, in pure meaning, so they should just be called rest periods by Jeff and or Ryan. Classic autolyse is a resting of water and flour only before any yeast is added, as I've come to learn. (And if I'm wrong I'll soon be corrected)

Here's an example, Steve's 3 hour dough for a 'quick & easy NY pie'. It has a classic autolyse period by actual definition...and it's not that bad for a 3 hour dough.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2790.msg24104.html#msg24104


« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 05:22:31 PM by NY pizzastriver »
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1


Offline s00da

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2009, 05:29:25 PM »
I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I don't get that Peter was saying that autolyse periods make no difference in the crust, if that's what you're agreeing with. What I believe he's saying is these are not autolyse periods, in pure meaning, so they should just be called rest periods by Jeff and or Ryan. Classic autolyse is a resting of water and flour only before any yeast is added, as I've come to learn.

Here's an example, Steve's 3 hour dough for a 'quick & easy NY pie'. It has a classic autolyse period by actual definition...and it's not that bad for a 3 hour dough.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2790.msg24104.html#msg24104





I was referring to the first rest period used in Jeff's recipe where he used the term autolyse for it. Regardless if it is a real autolyse period or not, I wasn't really able to see any difference when I omitted it from the process. I believe that I've read some posts by Pete pointing out the same conclusion.

That of course does not mean that autolyse makes no difference in other recipes, specially when it's a true autolyse period.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2009, 06:05:06 PM »
I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I don't get that Peter was saying that autolyse periods make no difference in the crust, if that's what you're agreeing with. What I believe he's saying is these are not autolyse periods, in pure meaning, so they should just be called rest periods by Jeff and or Ryan. Classic autolyse is a resting of water and flour only before any yeast is added, as I've come to learn. (And if I'm wrong I'll soon be corrected)

Here's an example, Steve's 3 hour dough for a 'quick & easy NY pie'. It has a classic autolyse period by actual definition...and it's not that bad for a 3 hour dough.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2790.msg24104.html#msg24104


J,

You got it exactly right. I believe that all rest periods during the preparation of a dough, whether autolyse rest periods or other rest periods, have an effect on the dough. Whether you like the results is another question. As I have noted many times before, I am not as big a fan as others of autolyse for pizza dough. I like it for bread dough and I have found it useful when using natural starters, but not nearly as well as for regular commercially-leavened pizza dough. It may be my imagination, but I find the finished crust and crumb to be too bread-like. When a member asked me a while back what I meant by "bread-like", at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7225.msg62715/topicseen.html#msg62715, I responded as follows:

By "bread-like" I mean soft, quite airy (fluffy), and not particularly chewy (i.e., offering little resistance to the tooth), much like a basic non-artisan supermarket bread. I was hoping to find a photo to show you, but the best I could come up with (where I used autolyse and commented on the breadiness of the crumb) is at Replies 31 and 32 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5443.html#msg5443. I might add that when I used a natural preferment in the context of autolyse, the finished crumb was more artisan-like in the sense that it was springy and had pull and stretch to it and was chewy rather than soft. I found the long, room-temperature fermented doughs such as discussed in this thread to produce similar crumb characteristics as ones based on using natural preferments.

To s00da's point, I have tried using the classic Calvel autolyse and variations of it but can't say that the differences jumped out at me. For one thing, I made the doughs at different times and no doubt the formulations were different. For another thing, it would be very difficult to conduct autolyse and autolyse-like experiments in a home kitchen setting. For example, to do a scientifically-meaningful comparison of an autolysed dough and a non-autolysed dough, you would have to, in effect, make the two different doughs almost simultaneously, using the same dough formulation, manage them identically, and bake them together. Otherwise, there would be too many variables to explain.

My view is that people should use whatever methods they feel produce the best results in their particular circumstances, however that is achieved.

Peter


Offline codeninedesign

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Re: My Sourdough NY Pizza Recipe
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2009, 09:38:44 PM »
Hi guys,
  Just wanted to let you know: I've put this recipe in the freezer and let it chill for a couple weeks before bringing it back out, letting it thaw out to room temperature, and popping it in the oven. It sometimes felt like it was harder to spread post-freezer, but what I found is that I just wasn't letting it completely reach room temp.

Anyhow, just thought it would be nice to know for those of you who maybe don't want to always have to be thinking three to four days ahead. Enjoy!
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