Author Topic: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment  (Read 2500 times)

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Offline pizzablogger

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Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« on: September 10, 2009, 07:31:10 PM »
To begin, this is just one take on “Sicilian” and I'm not even sure how historically accurate it is. Hopefully this recipe can be improved upon and some additional insights gained from comments, critique on technique, etc. I ain't no pizza making expert by any stretch of the imagination, so here goes.

Since starting off experimenting with "Sicilian" style, which started in this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8942.msg77457.html#msg77457) about 7 weeks ago or so, I have made some version of Sicilian at least once a week, often doing double batches each time to test variances of flour combinations, hydration ratios, amount of starter, mixing/kneading times, cooking times, etc., I have found the right recipe and ingredients for my tastes. This recipe definitely still needs some fine tuning, but I have now been able to get consistently good results and some framework for what I feel is an excellent Sicilian has been laid out.

What I was personally looking for was a Sicilian that was of a medium thickness, not the pillowy height witnessed in some retail Sicilian. There’s nothing wrong with thick crusted Sicilian, but as with all of us, I am trying to make something which reflects my personal tastes. I was also looking for a crust texture which was not overly soft, had some outer crispness and a chewy, yet airy texture inside. In addition, I was interested in toppings which would result in hearty flavors while not being overly heavy. Again, I am not 100% of the way there (and do not think such a thing is consistently possible), but I am getting closer which each try.

In an attempt to make the mixing of this dough somewhat "repeatable" by both myself and other people, I have played with several different timed mixes and have come up with a mixing regime that may not be technically perfect, but has resulted in a crumb with nice webbing and hole structure. It is heavily influenced by the multiple autolyse technique mentioned by Jeff Varasano.

As always, keep in mind this recipe has been tinkered with to suit being used in a regular kitchen range that tops out at °550F, seems to work well with my Ischia Starter and reflects the flavors and textures preferred by one individual.

I hope one of you is able to at least find a base for further experimentation with Sicilian style and take this to another level from where I am at right now. I have included as much information as I can, even if a lot of it turns out to be actually meaningless, to help anyone give advice, comments, etc.

Recipe:

PAN SIZE: 13”x18”

Total Formula:
Flour (100%):
Water (70%):
Salt (2.25%):
Total (172.25%):

Preferment:
Flour:
Water:
Total:

Final Dough:
Flour:
Water:
Salt:
Preferment:
Total:

469.09 g  |  16.55 oz | 1.03 lbs
328.36 g  |  11.58 oz | 0.72 lbs
10.55 g | 0.37 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.2 tsp | 0.73 tbsp
808.01 g | 28.5 oz | 1.78 lbs | TF = 0.1218
 
 
46.91 g | 1.65 oz | 0.1 lbs
46.91 g | 1.65 oz | 0.1 lbs
93.82 g | 3.31 oz | 0.21 lbs

 
422.18 g | 14.89 oz | 0.93 lbs
281.45 g | 9.93 oz | 0.62 lbs
10.55 g | 0.37 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.2 tsp | 0.73 tbsp
93.82 g | 3.31 oz | 0.21 lbs
808.01 g | 28.5 oz | 1.78 lbs  | TF = 0.1218

Notes: Flour used in pre-ferment is 100% King Arthur Bread Flour (KABF)

Notes: Remaining non-starter related flour is a mix of 70% KABF and 30% Molino Caputo 00 (MC00)

Notes: Salt used is Ittica d'Or Sicilian sea salt. (http://www.salttraders.com/Detail.bok?no=6)
   
Mixing/Kneading
Device Used: Kitchen Aid Mixer
   
Step 1: Mix 70% of the formula flour with all of the formula water and all of the pre-ferment. Keep in mind this recipe uses a mix of 70% KABF and 30% MC00, so the initial amount of flour added is 207g KABF and 89g MC00. Formula water added at ambient temperature, which consistently measures between 70°F to 73°F in my house.

With the paddle attachment, mix at speed 1 (low) for 1-2 minutes until incorporated
 
Cover mixing bowl with dishtowel and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes
 
Step 2: Final mixing/kneading for a total of 8 minutes (Note: after adding a small amount of flour, I usually use a plastic edged pastry spatula to push any dry dough sticking to the bowl towards the bottom so it is incorporated by the dough hook):

Add all of the salt, attach the dough hook attachment and mix at speed 1 (low) for 3 minutes
 
Then slowly start adding remaining flour (126g), which is a mix of 88g KABF and 38g MC00.
 
At 6 minutes into the mix, turn mixer to speed 2. The remaining formula flour should have been added by this time.
 
At 8 minutes, stop mixing.
 
Cover the mixing bowl with a dishtowel and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes
 
After this second autolyse, take the dough out of the mixing bowl, form into a dough ball and place into a container. I use a paper towel to wipe a small amount of olive oil, about 3-4 drops, around the bottom and sides of the container to help avert this wet dough from sticking too much to the sides.
 
Let rest at room/ambient for 40 minutes. This is typically at 68°F to 72°F in my house. I may use a proofing box to keep a consistent temperature, which may impact the time I leave the dough out during this step in the future).
 
After the 40 minute rest, place container in refrigerator (typical dough temp before fridge has ranged from 71.4°F to 76.3°F)
 
Cold ferment in refrigerator for 40-46 hours (never the same based on my work schedule!). My refrigerator is always within 41.6° to 44.8°F after multiple readings at different times of the day and night).
   
Take out of refrigerator and let proof at room temp for about 90 minutes (or until dough ball brought up closer to room temp, or about 65° to 70°F). Again, sometimes time constraints cause this to vary slightly.
 
After the 90 minute rest, place 2 teaspoons of EVOO in the pan (13x18pan, you may need to adjust for your pan) and use a brush to coat the entire bottom and sides of the pan.
 
Gently shape out dough and place in pan, making sure to keep your fingers spread and be gentle so as to keep as much of the gas in the dough as possible. This is the last time I stretch, touch the dough. As mentioned in this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9224.0.html), I am not perfect with this and need to work on this aspect.
 
Let the stretched out dough rest in the pan for approximately 1-3 hours (until it looks “right”. I know that is not too scientific)

My oven takes about 35 to 40 minutes to pre-heat to its maximum of 550°F. Pre-heat oven with stone on the floor of the oven (where the heat typically comes into the oven) in it for one hour, or if you have an infrared gun, until the stone reads 550°F or as close as your oven can get the stone to that temp (typically about 535° to 541°F in my oven). My broiler element is on the top of my oven and I also make sure to place a rack as close to the broiler element as possible, as I also use the broiler. Again, depending on where your dough is, you may need to start your pre-heat at various times. If your dough seems to be taking too long to rise, put it on top of the oven while it pre-heats to speed the final proofing along.
 
Once your stone is preheated, place the pan, with only the dough and no toppings, on the stone for 4 minutes/
 
Take out of oven and top
   
Place pan with the now topped pizza back on the stone and cook for 3 minutes 30 seconds
 
Turn broiler element on high (in my oven the heating element shuts off in order to turn the broiler on) and place pan directly below the broiler for about one minute, at which point the cheese typically *just* starts to get brown flecks to it (typically no longer than one minute). Finishing under the broiler helps brown the exposed top crust nicely and finishes melting down the cheese.
 
Remove from oven and finish topping per instructions below. I find the pizza hits a flavor sweet spot after cooling slightly.
   
Ingredient Order: Some pictures of the toppings being added can be seen at Reply #18 here (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8942.msg78760.html#msg78760). I am now cutting the first layer of mozzarella (smoked) a little thinner than I was in these pics.

Bottom Layer (Directly on crust after the pan and crust are initially cooked for 4 minutes)
   
Thinly sliced red onions to cover the dough.
Finely chopped sundried tomatoes (I buy mine in a jar with olive oil mixed in with sundried tomatoes)
Finely chopped fresh garlic
Freshly grated (from block) Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese (a good bit to cover the crust with a fine layer)
Quite thinly sliced Maplebrook Farms Vermont Cherrywood Smoked Mozzarella (http://www.mountainmozzarella.com/products-smoked-mozzarella.htm) This smoked mootz is not too strong and done very well. It is divine mixed with red onions and fior-di-latte
 
Then spoon on the sauce on top of the bottom layer of ingredients. My personal preference is to leave some bare, exposed crust all around the pizza.
 
Sauce- For one 13x18 size pan Sicilian I use one big 28oz can of Italian D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes, Cento Organic or similar quality canned tomatoes. As mentioned many places on this site, I pour away/strain out all of the loose liquid in the can and do not use it. I then split the tomatoes lengthwise and use a spoon to delicately remove the seeds, put the seeded and strained tomatoes into a food processor. I then loosely pack a 1/3 cup measure with fresh basil leaves, julienne the basil leaves and add them to the tomatoes in the food processor. Pulse/blend the mixture and, if desired, add sea salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste. I typically add these spices to my sauce for this Sicilian   
   
Top Layer (On top of sauce)
   
Cubed (about 3/4 inch thick or so squares) fresh fior-di-latte either homemade in your house, freshly made  from a local Italian store/deli, fresh Crave Brothers (loose, non wrapped logs or balls in liquid typically found at Whole Foods) or similar high quality mootz found at Trader Joe’s, etc. Cubed mozzarella di bufala also works well here.
 
Drizzled Extra Virgin Olive Oil (D.O.P Italian or similar high quality Italian, Spanish, Greek, etc if available)
   
Post Bake (Added immediately after taking Sicilian from the oven)
 
Freshly grated (from block) 24 month old Parmigiano-Reggiano or, if available, 48 month old Parmigiano-Reggiano. The added nutty note from 48 month old Parmegiano-Reggiano puts the flavor “over the top” so to speak.
 
Fresh basil leaves pulled from backyard

I hope any of this is of a help to any of you and I hope some of you can give me some insight to some of the wrong, stupid things I am doing which could make this better.

Pictures of this Sicilian can be seen here (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9224.msg79747.html#msg79747)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 07:58:55 PM »
pizzablogger,

You did a terrific job with the writeup. Your dough formulation and implementation reflect a lot of thought and organization and your writeup shows great attention to detail. You are on a trajectory to become an expert pizza making in short order.

Have you made or thought of making a version using commercial yeast?

I didn't check your numbers in the preferment dough calculating tool but did you include a bowl residue compensation?

Peter
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 08:03:41 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Matthew

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 08:12:43 PM »
Thanks very much for posting your recipe & regimen.  As I mentioned in your previous post, I made up a batch this morning after speaking with my grandmother who is the queen of Sicilian Pizza.  The only problem is she doesn't measure anything, it's all about the look & feel.  I put together my recipe based on my conversation with her.  She did stress that oil is a very important part of the recipe. The major difference is that I'm using a sourdough starter & she uses the old dough method.  My batch is presently bulk fermenting for use on Saturday in the WFO.

Matt

Offline jeff v

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 08:13:06 PM »
PB,

Great job! The crumb structure on that pizza is just beautiful.
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 10:40:45 PM »
In retrospect I think for the interior crust, texturally, I would like the Caputo to be somewhere between 35% and 40% of the non-starter related flour mix, but even at 35% there is a slightly noticeable loss of browning to the crust. I can get it brown, but the extra cook time is too long, which adds too much of a darker, marinara note to the sauce. I've used as much as 50% MC00, but it just doesn't work for me at 550°F. Such are the limitations of a home oven I guess.

@Peter: That means alot coming from you mon capitan  :)  It was largely your influence that got me to the point where I realized I needed to start taking very detailed notes, measurements and temperatures (water, dough, refrigerator, everything!) to become not only consistent, but be able to adapt. I've just gotten a hygrometer to take humidity readings as well.

As the weather changes a lot can happen. A dough made on a day when the temp in my house was 80°F reacted very differently. Because I took notes, I now have a much better reference point to use next time that happens. Ultimately you get familiar enough to adapt automatically and react largely on touch and feel like Matthew mentioned, but in a home setting where a person may make many different styles, be tied up with work, etc and may be away from making a particular recipe for months, having written records of everything is critical. Thank you.

BTW, your initial "guess" of starter added in 20% of the formula flour was spot in. I've tried every 5% increment from 5% to 30% starter and 20% is always the sweet spot with regards to amount of sourdough flavor and somewhat predictable rest/proofing schedule.

@Matthew: Having your grandmother is an invaluable resource. Does she live close enough to make it convenient to taste? She can taste your initial guess at a recipe and help dial it in after tasting the pizza. Wonderful! I'm very anxious to see how your Sicilian does in your wood burning oven-- of which I'm envious BTW :-\  :)

@Jeff V: Thank you very much. Some of them have not been so good looking along the way.

"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 10:42:21 PM »
Woops.....Peter, I used a bowl compensation factor of 1.50%, which seems to be about right with a dough in the 70% hydration range for me.

EDIT: And yes, I need to adapt this to an IDY recipe. I am going to the beach on vacation soon and do not feel like hauling down the mason jar with the battery poolish of Ischia in it, so I will give my Sicilian a whirl with IDY as a starting point....I will make a IDY poolish however.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 10:55:45 PM by pizzablogger »
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Matthew

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 06:55:33 AM »



@Matthew: Having your grandmother is an invaluable resource. Does she live close enough to make it convenient to taste? She can taste your initial guess at a recipe and help dial it in after tasting the pizza. Wonderful! I'm very anxious to see how your Sicilian does in your wood burning oven-- of which I'm envious BTW :-\  :)


She doesn't live too far. about 20 miles.  The problem is she looks after my grandfather who's going to be 94 next week & she doesn't like to leave him alone.  In that regard, it's easier to call her.  I'm going to bake some pizza for my granfather's birthday next week so I don't have much time.

Matt

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Sicilian Style Using Ischia/Natural Yeast Pre-Ferment
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 06:36:35 PM »
I have since only made one attempt with using IDY to formulate my own take on a "Sicilian" recipe and it needs more improvement. I will post more about this as I work out the kinks I feel need improving with the IDY formulation.

Unfortunately, I have not had a lot of time for pizza making lately  >:(  and I am starting to miss the Neapolitan influenced and New-York Style pizzas that are where my heart lies when it comes to favorite pizza styles.

That being said, I have just innoculated flour and water with my Ischia preferment to build up the activity/viability of the starter for use in making pizza. I plan on making my usual Sicilian as mentioned above, but this time I plan on saving a piece of the finished dough and using it as a chef in an attempt to make another Sicilian inspired by the Una Pizza Napoletana "old dough" method Peter mentioned in excellent detail (as usual) at Reply #55 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9547.html#msg9547) and also as discussed/hypothesized about in the Anthony Mangieri Video thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9339.msg81055.html#msg81055).

This second Sicilian to be leavened with the chef/old dough will be fermented entirely at ambient temperature in an attempt to better understand the leavening power and flavor characteristics imparted by using such a method. I have not previously seen this method used here for a Sicilian style, so I figured why not.

Finally, in an effort to be more authentic, I have also tried another Sicilian using some Semolina flour in the mix as well. This shows promise, but needs much more work and experiementation before I feel comfortable posting any recipes here.

Somehow when I dream of my own pizza shop, I dream of a main sit-down area where Neapolitan influenced pizzas are served to diners, but there is also a sliding "Slice Window" like that at Di Fara Pizza where passers-by can obtain my "Sicilian" by the square when they do not have time to sit down for pizza or for those who do not want Neapolitan inspired pizzas. Ridiculous thinking, I know, but as Paulie Gee has told me many times, "Without a dream you can't have a dream come true"  :D

Pictures from the "old dough"/chef Sicilian will be posted here, regardless of the success of the initial experiment. Hope all is well everyone. --PB
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell