Hello everyone! Long time lurker here, third time posting!
I have a couple of questions, I hope this is the right place to ask it...
I made about 4 or 5 pizzas before finding this site early January, the pizza that made me grunt the loudest was when I tried to make a Mellow Mushroom pie with whole wheat flour (I was still learning the difference in flours) and it was absolutely patooey. If it were not for the toppings and my girlfriend saying she liked it, I would have fed it to the ducks. Thanks to this site, I have been improving my skills mainly with the helpful resources of all of you amazing contributors, Pete-zza, TXCraig1, pftaylor, and fazzari.
I have been using Pete-zza's recipe post #65 here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5635.html#msg5635
This pizza made me flip a hoot and that there is some luck for an apprentice home cook. I made many pizzas using his recipe, I use KABF and the Hodgson VWG, with ADY (I will start to use IDY when my container is empty) I really like the VWG and how it adds nice cornice's. I really couldnt believe how much difference a simple kitchen scale improved my pizza skills. I recently tried Peter Reinhart's American Style recipe, I added some VWG, and it also came out delicious, very close to Pete-zzas #65 recipe, except it was noticeably wetter.
With all of that being said, the pizza 'tastes' I really enjoyed were Papa Johns, Dominoes, Mellow Mushroom, and NY street slices. As far as 'looks' go. I think the best pies (in my eyes) I have seen here are TXCraig1's Neapolitan pies. Oh, my, goodness his pies look AMAZING... Now.. I have never ate (or atleast I don't recall) a Neapolitan pie baked at 800 for a short period of time. I used oil and honey because I didn't know any better, and seemed to like the taste. I used to add molasses to Pete-zzas #65 recipe, and then I switched to Honey and found the taste was lighter and better. I keep using honey because I read it helps with browning. I do notice a strange after taste when I eat the pizza, my girlfriend gobbles them down and loves them, maybe I am just being the picky one. I am not sure if it's from using the VWG, the honey, or too much bench flour / cornmeal when preparing my dough and placing it on the peel.
I normally follow pftaylor's hand knead technique here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg14375.html#msg14375
and Diana Coutu's hand slap method
My apartment oven set up, I use a 14x16" Old Stone baking stone on the lowest rack at 550 degrees F, and normally my pies 12-14" finish in about 8 minutes, I turn half way through.
The main point of this post is: I am having a surprise party for my girlfriend next Friday and inviting 5 of her girlfriends. I am planning on making 4, 14" pizza pies, but would like to try something a little different. (I understand that for parties it's best to go with what you know/have tried, but I am willing to try something new)
I am aiming for a Neapolitan, maybe neo-nea, similar to Craig's pies, which I can make in my home oven at 550 on the stone. I am still learning the difference between hydration %'s, salt %'s, sugar/honey %'s, and yeast %'s. I recently found fazzari's recipe which he uses KABF and similar temp and stone for baking. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12442.0.html
In his recipe, he uses a 75% hydration content, and I do not want to risk experimenting with something that high yet. I would like to stick to 65%, but I am interested in trying his poolish and reballing technique, using KABF, VWG, Honey, interested in trying little to no oil, and I am not sure how much ADY I need.
In the Expanded Pizza Dough Calculator, I have entered: Thickness factor of .095, 4 dough balls, 14" size. 2% salt, 4.5% honey, and a bowl residue of 2%. I also put 2.5% VWG to add to the protein content of 12.7% KABF to try to get a content of 14.2% of KASL.
I am not sure how much ADY to use (I put 1% in the calculator). fazzari uses .25oz IDY for a similar dough mass, using the yeast conversion tool http://www.theartisan.net/convert_yeast_two.htm
I think I may need to use .33 ADY?
So, right now the dough ingredients look like this:
Flour (100%): 966.6 g | 34.1 oz | 2.13 lbs
Water (65%): 628.29 g | 22.16 oz | 1.39 lbs
ADY (1%): 9.67 g | 0.34 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.56 tsp | 0.85 tbsp
Salt (2%): 19.33 g | 0.68 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.03 tsp | 1.34 tbsp
Honey (4.5%): 43.5 g | 1.53 oz | 0.1 lbs | 6.22 tsp | 2.07 tbsp
Vital Wheat Gluten (2.5%): 24.16 g | 0.85 oz | 0.05 lbs | 8.73 tsp | 2.91 tbsp
Total (175%): 1691.54 g | 59.67 oz | 3.73 lbs | TF = 0.0969
Single Ball: 422.89 g | 14.92 oz | 0.93 lbs
May I have a hand in figuring out the final recipe? Does someone suggest that I add oil? Do any of you experienced guru's have any thoughts of this recipe, what is good/ needs help? I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to read this, I know most posts on this forum are long, I think we are all just very detail oriented people lol! My reason for making this experiment is to come up with a recipe to cater to my guests of 5, total there are 7 people. I have never made a large amount of dough like this. I decided on thickness factor of .095 because its not too thin nor too thick
OH, and BTW
When I normally make the pies, I stir with wooden spoon, use Reinhart's stretch and fold method about 3-4 times with 5 min intervals using OIL on my hands and surface, not flour. I cover in fridge and let ferment for 24 hours. I bring them out of fridge 30-45 min before I shape them. I pre heat stone for about an hour at 550 on bake. I dust dough with KABF, and according to Diana's video how-to, when I shape the dough, the top of the fermented ball becomes the bottom of the pie, I then dust corn meal under pie, and on top of peel, top with toppings, and slide on stone.
Thank you !
and an image of one of TXCraig1's creations!http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=14249.0;attach=90575;image