Author Topic: Pete's DiFara's Pizza  (Read 8352 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2005, 01:14:36 PM »
Friz,

Congratulations on a job well done. I especially liked the looks of pizza #2.

The problem you experienced with the thin dough spots is a common one. When it does occur in the professional ranks, the most common expanation is inexperience--where a novitiate dough handler concentrates too much on the center of the dough rather than the edges. Unfortunately, when a thin spot develops, there is little that you can do about it. You can't scrunch up the dough around the thin spot and you can't easily use a "patch".  I, too, have experienced thin spots and what I have found useful is not to press the dough outwardly from the center when I start to expand the dough ball outwardly with my fingers. I leave the center pretty much alone and press the dough outwardly away from the center. And when I stretch the dough, I stay around the edges as much as I can. Doing this is not always a walk in the park. If a dough is highly extensible, it can get away from you before you can prevent a thin spot from developing. It really takes a lot of experience to master dough spinning.

You might be interested in knowing that Tom Lehmann says that there is a functional purpose to tossing and spinning a dough. He says that during tossing, the air dries the dough as it swirls across the dough, forming a thin skin on the surface of the dough. He adds that the drying action helps achieve a crispier crust when the dough is baked. (So, dough tossing goes beyond mere showmanship.)

I have found tossing a dough to be most useful for a NY style and similar doughs with a lot of gluten. A dough made with only 00 flour cannot really be tossed. It can be stretched and shaped a bit using the fingers and knuckles, but not tossed into the air. A 00 dough is best shaped on a flat work surface by pressing the dough outwardly from the center using the fingers. Your combination of 00 and high-gluten flours puts you somewhere between the two extremes. I found that I was able to shape and stretch the Di Fara dough clone fairly easily, but I was very careful when I did it.

Another approach for shaping a dough is to do as you say you plan to do, that is, shape the dough without using your fingers and knuckles. I showed an approach like that to my daughter-in-law, who was not particularly thrilled about tossing dough in the air. The approach I showed her was to start pushing the dough outwardly from the center to the edge using the fingers and, when the dough was pushed and pressed out to near the desired size, to hold the dough down with the left hand about a few inches from the perimeter of the dough round, and then tug and pull the dough outwardly with the right hand to the final desired size.  I saw her use this technique recently and it worked like a charm, with no noticeable negative effects on the finished product. Of course, this procedure should be done on a flat surface, such as a countertop or wood peel, not a screen. Doing this on a screen could force the dough into the small openings in the screen and make a real mess of things.

As for the matter of crust thickness based on using the 00 flour, I have heard and read of many descriptions of the thickness of such crusts--from "thick" to "thin", to crackery, etc. But, since the terms "thick" and "thin" are relative, I have come to rely on the recipes I use for such doughs and the thickness that comes from making the doughs in the recommended sizes (diameter). I have found the 00 crusts to be thicker than the NY styles, and softer and chewier. It's purely a matter of personal taste whether you prefer those crust characteristics over a NY style crust. I personally put the two styles in separate and distinct categories and don't try to compare them in terms of overall preference. I like both equally well.

I was amused to see the looks of your pizza #3 using the KA 00 flour. It looked like the ones I made using that flour--and found wanting. Some time you will have to try other 00 flours and draw your own conclusions.

I assume you noted your formulation for the Di Fara dough clone. Can you post the formulation some time? I'd like to give your version a try.

Peter


Offline DKM

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2005, 01:44:02 PM »
Nice pictures.  I been pizza free for over a week  :'(

I'm hoping to make some dough tonight.

Maybe two different kinds.

DKM
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2005, 01:54:38 PM »
Friz,
Great looking pies. One question: Is that your first effort at recreating a Di Fara pie? If so, I am humbled by your accomplishment.
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Offline friz78

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2005, 04:05:24 PM »
Great feedback guys and thanks for the kind words about the pictures.  Everyone liked the pizzas at home, but I just know they can be so much better.  That's what makes this all so much fun (and frustrating).

Pete, you are right about the KA 00 flour.  My sense is that this flour is better suited for a cracker crust than a neapolitan crust.  I actually liked the crispiness of the middle of this pizza, but as you worked closer to the edge the dough/crust was exposed.  The edge on this pizza was the worst of the three pizzas that I made last night - no flavor, and a bit like cardboard.  Too bad I'm not a big fan of cracker-like crusts because this would be good for it and you could all but eliminate a large edge, which is where I found this flour to be exposed and wanting.  I must say, however, that the KA 00 flour worked fine when mixed with the SL flour for the DiFara pizza.  The dough was flavorful and had great texture and crisp (except in the extreme middle where the dough was spread too thin).

The other point made about the tossing being more of a problem because of the mixture of 00 flour with high gluten is a good one.  Working with the DiFara dough was much different than a standard NY Pizza dough that has only high gluten flour. 

Pete, per your request I will post the exact recipe that I used for the DiFara pizza #2  later tonight when I get home.
Friz
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 04:13:51 PM by friz78 »

Offline friz78

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2005, 09:34:29 PM »
As promised, here is the exact recipe I used for pizza #2 (Difara knockoff):

I used a 60/40 ratio between KA Sir Lancelot and KA 00 flour and a 58% hydration...

5.85 oz.  King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour
3.9 oz.  King Arther 00 Flour
5.65 oz.  Water
3/4 t.  Active Dry Yeast
1/2 t.  Salt
1/2 t.  Sugar
1/2 t.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pete's formula for calculating measurements was flawless when figuring how much flour to use of each type and how much water.  Per Pete, the formula was .6x + .4x + .58x = W (desired weight of dough)

I mixed all the dry ingredients in a Kitchen Aid mixer, proofed the ADY with 1 Tablespoon of water and gradually added the yeast and remaining water to the dry mixture (water was about 78 degrees).  I mixed on #2 speed for about 10 minutes and added the olive oil to the mixture about 2 minutes into the mixing process.  After removing the dough from the mixer I kneaded it by hand for about another minute and then placed it into a lightly oiled bowl to let it rise.  The bowl was covered with plastic wrap and temperature of the dough was exactly 80 degrees.  The dough was allowed to rise at room temperature for about 6 hours.  After five hours, I uncovered the bowl and punched down the dough and then let it rise for the last hour.  The dough ball didn't quite double in size during the fermentation process (it actually rose slightly less than pizza #1 which didn't have sugar or olive oil added).

The dough was very extensible and somewhat "sticky" when I began to stretch it.  I added a bit of bench flour to offset the stickiness issue and after that the dough was very easy to work with.  I stretched the dough to about 16 inches, which proved to be about one inch too much.  In hindsight, this pizza would have achieved perfect thickness if it had been stretched to a 15 inch pizza instead of 16 inches.

After stretching, the dough was place in a 525 degree oven (my oven runs much hotter than most) on a pizza screen for 5 minutes and then transferred to a pre-heated pizza stone for 3 additional minutes to enhance crisp/browning on the bottom of the dough.  This method was very effective, as the top and bottom of the pizza were fully cooked at exactly the same time.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 09:46:13 PM by friz78 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2005, 10:29:36 PM »
Friz,

Thanks for posting the recipe. You indicated in a prior post that you thought that the pizzas could be "so much better". Is there anything particular that you had in mind that might improve on what you did?

Peter

Offline friz78

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2005, 10:01:28 AM »
Pete,
In terms of any changes/adjustments I would make to the recipe, here are a few thoughts:

1.)  I would definitely take more time and care in spreading the dough and make sure it did not exceed 15 inches in diameter.  The combination of the flours, it seems to me, makes the stretching of this dough particularly important and challenging.

2.)  It would be interesting to see what the effect of increasing the amount of yeast would do to this dough, say from 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.  I have a sense that this adjustment might produce a bit more of an "airy" dough, thereby making it a bit more like a Neapolitan crust instead of a NY style.  Of course, that's just an educated guess on my part.

3.)  Lastly, it would be interesting to increase the knead time to 15 minutes instead of 10.  I think this might enhance the chew and slightly reduce the extensibility of the dough.

Make no mistake, these are just minor adjustments and none of them is imperative in my mind.  In the spirit of experimentation though, it would be interesting to see if any of the above recommendations positively or negatively affect the finished product.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2005, 11:03:05 AM »
Friz,

It occurred to me that if you want to go beyond 15 inches to 16 inches, you could adjust your formulation to produce a slightly larger dough ball weight. Using your present formulation, I calculated that the dough ball you made was around 15.75 oz. (it may have varied a bit depending on any slight changes you may have made during formation.) That calculation includes the weights of the ADY, salt, sugar and olive oil (which, cumulatively, are minor--less than a half ounce--in comparison with the weights of the flours and water).  Based on the 15.75 oz. figure and assuming a 15-inch dough round, I calculated the thickness factor (TF) for your crust to be 0.089, which is considered "thin". If you decide you want to go to 16 inches and maintain the same crust thickness, then the dough ball weight would be 3.14 x 8 x 8 x 0.089 = 17.9 oz. To calculate the weights of the individual ingredients for that size, you would have to settle on all the baker's percents. You might decide, for example, to change the ratios of flours, change the hydration percent, increase the amount of yeast, etc.  It becomes fairly straightforward to calculate the quantities once you have decided on what formulation you want to use.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 07:28:15 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2005, 11:19:54 AM »
I would be interested in more feedback on how the Di Fara pie(s) tasted. I have experiemented with combining KASL with Caputo 00 flour and the results were not good taste wise. Comments from my family were centered around the pies tasting "funny." I noted a certain non-pleasing flavor bordering on anchovy saltiness as well.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2005, 07:08:03 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2005, 03:56:36 PM »
Peter,
You are right - the finished dough ball weighed 15.8 ounces after mixing.
Pft,
As far as how it tasted, I was somewhat surprised at the flavor that it possessed - much  better than I expected.  The 2nd pizza dough was more flavorful and I think this had to do with the addition of the sugar and the olive oil.  I know it goes against conventional wisdom to use extra virgin olive oil in a dough recipe, but I thought I'd give it a shot to encourage browning.  It seemed to accomplish that goal quite well and, at the same time, provide a little additional flavor as well.  I did notice a bit of a "salty" taste in pizza #1, although not extremely so.  Again, perhaps the small amount of sugar in pizza #2 offset the "salty" taste from pizza #1.  One concern I had with the sugar addition was that the dough would taste sweet and I don't particularly care for sweet tasting doughs. Fortunately, there was no "sugary" taste to the dough whatsoever.  I would say that the sugar was totally undetectable in the flavor of the dough even though it may have offset the "salty" taste that comes with combining flours.
Friz


Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2005, 04:18:04 PM »
Friz,
So I'm not the only one, eh? I wonder what causes the salty taste? I can't stand it. Thanks for the tip on using sugar as a way to defeat the salty flavor. I have intentionally stayed away from using sugar so I think you have "cracked the case" for me on using 00 flour.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete's DiFara's Pizza
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2005, 05:44:25 PM »
Friz,

The reason you couldn't detect the sugar is because there was so little of it used. At 1/2 t., or about 0.07 oz., that comes to about 0.45% in baker's percentage terms. To be detectable in the finished crust, the usual threshold is around 4-5% (according to tests performed by Tom Lehmann). I am particularly sensitive to sugar in everything, so I suspect my threshold is quite a bit below 4-5%. At those levels, you would be talking about 2 T. 

Peter