For kicks, I have been studying the Mangieri video at some length to see if I can decipher how he made his pizza dough at UPN.
As part of my analysis, the first order of business was to determine how much flour Anthony removed from the 55-lb. bag of Caputo flour using the white plastic scoop and the Edlund balance scale shown in the video. The answer to that question might yield some information on his dough batch weight. It has been a very long time since I last used a balance scale and when I couldn’t figure out from the video how much flour Anthony was weighing, I went to the Edlund website in search of further information. I found a pdf document at http://www.edlundco.com/pdf/doughscale.pdf
, which showed all the parts, but there were no user instructions. So, I called Edlund and asked to speak to someone who could tell me how to use the Edlund balance scale. I also wanted to know the values, in pounds, of the free weights used with the scale. A very nice lady at Edlund told me that the free weights are 8 lb., 4 lb., 2 lb., and 1 lb., and was kind enough to email me another pdf document with instructions on how to use the scale.
As best I can tell from the Edlund document and the video, Anthony is using the 4 lb. and 2 lb. free weights, along with the poise set at the 16-ounce (1-lb.) notch of the ounce beam. It’s also possible that he is using the 1 lb. free weight but it is hard to say on my monitor (see the 36-second mark of the video). If only the 4 lb. and 2 lb. free weights are being used, that would suggest that Anthony removed 7 pounds of flour from the bag. Otherwise, with the 1 lb. free weight also on the scale, the amount of flour removed from the bag would be 8 lbs. I have set forth below the instructions from the second pdf document in case my analysis is incorrect and someone more familiar with balance scales can come up with a correct value:The Edlund Company, Inc. of Burlington, Vermont USA, manufactures bakers DoughScales, models BDSS and BDS. Each scale comes complete with measuring weights, an oversize white plastic scoop and scoop counterweight. The scoop counterweight is designed to offset the empty weight of the scoop. For accurate results, they must always be used together.
The counterweight must be calibrated prior to using the scoop. To do this:
1. Place the scoop on the left hand platform.
2. Remove the cover of the scoop counterweight and place the cover and the container on the right hand platform.
3. Be sure that the poise is at the zero position of the ounce beam.
4. Fill the plastic container with salt until the platforms float and are in balance.
5. Secure the top to the counterweight container.
The scale can be operated using the scoop as follows:
1. Place the scoop on the left hand platform and the adjusted counterweight on the right hand platform.
2. To weigh product in pound increments, place the appropriate measuring weights on the right platform and add the product to the scoop until the platforms float freely.
3. The scale beam measures in ¼ oz./5g Increments up to 1 pound/500g. For measuring product of 1 lb or less, slide the poise to appropriate notch, (i.e. 8 oz.), and add product to the scoop until the platforms float.
4. Weight is measured by adding together the pounds of free weight placed on the right platform and number of ounces selected on the scale beam.
Ex. If you wish to weigh 4 lbs. 8 oz./2250g of flour in the scoop, add the four-pound weight to the right hand platform, move the poise to the 8-ounce/250g position and pour flour in the scoop until the platforms float evenly.
Assuming my calculation was correct, that led me to the second question. Why
was the flour removed from the flour bag? Was it because of 1) capacity constraints of the mixer (the mixer looks large enough to handle a lot of dough but I have not been able to identify the model used), 2) to achieve a desired finished dough batch size or specified number of dough balls after the addition of old, or prefermented dough, or 3) to be used for bench flour purposes or for some other application, including using it to feed the culture or to make a new batch of prefermented dough. If the latter, why would Anthony casually toss the small amount of flour in such a large container under the counter? I am not sure of the answers, and one can only speculate from the video.
After looking at the video several times, I believe that Anthony was using a prefermented form of “old dough” along the lines discussed by Didier Rosada (at http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm
) but using a small amount of natural starter (regularly fed) in lieu of commercial yeast. Such a prefermented dough should be able to endure a long period of room temperature fermentation (e.g., 24 hours). It might or might not include salt but I would guess no salt. Anthony’s own house literature states that the salt (Sicilian sea salt) is mixed in with the flour, presumably at the time of the final mix.
The use of a prefermented form of old dough would not appear to do injustice to the statement in Anthony’s house literature that pizzablogger posted in Reply 37 that says that “a piece of dough from the day before” is used. The statement does not say that the piece of dough is from the prior day’s actual dough production (that is, from the final mix). So, in my opinion, prefermented dough made the day before should qualify. Also, I did not get the impression from the video that some of the dough from the final mix is set aside for the next day’s dough. If such were the case, one would want to very carefully weigh either the dough taken from the bowl or the dough left in the bowl in order to get uniformity and consistency of results from day to day. I suppose that some license may have been taken with the video in this respect, but if simple steps like weighing flour are shown why would you omit the step of setting aside some of the dough for the next day’s use if it is considered an integral and important part of the Mangieri dough making method?
It is also important to keep in mind that the material that pizzablogger posted in Reply 37 appears to go back several years. So, what Anthony was doing in more recent times could well have changed from time to time from the original description of his dough making methods.
If I am correct that no dough from a given day’s production is used for the next day’s production, and that a prefermented form of old dough is used, then any unused dough left at the end of the evening could be thrown away, as Anthony’s house literature states. If one thinks about it, it would be impractical to try to salvage and reuse a few leftover unused dough balls at the end of the evening. The proper way to use old dough in such a case would be to take a significant portion of the dough from the day's production and set it aside for incorporation into the next day's dough.
On the matter of hydration of the prefermented dough, looking at the video it seems to me that the glob of dough in the rectangular tub could be similar to the hydration of the finished dough, although the tub dough may seem more highly hydrated because of the weakening of the gluten structure and the release of water from its bond due to the action of enzymes in the dough, as I believe Toby (Infoodel) earlier noted. I might add that a hydration of 64% would be typical of a prefermented dough (Didier Rosada states a range of 64-66%). It is also possible that Anthony’s starter has a higher hydration than the prefermented dough or final dough. I recently saw a video at http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/04/videos-pure-and-simple-anthony-mangieri-una-pizza-napoletana-nyc.html
that shows a tub of a highly-hydrated dough but it is not clear if that is the starter or prefermented dough.
Getting back to the numbers, if 7 pounds of flour is removed from the 55-pound bag of flour, that leaves 48 pounds. Assuming a hydration of 64% (as scott r noted), the water would add 30.72 pounds. That is equivalent to about 3.68 gallons. I suspect the video was truncated as to this aspect so as not to have to show the addition of all of that water. We don’t know how much prefermented dough Anthony would use, or his total dough formulation, but if we assume that the prefermented dough is about 15 pounds, which wouldn’t appear to be out of line from the size of the tub shown in the video (which looks to be quite full), and perhaps also adequate to produce dough balls usable after several hours of additional room temperature fermentation, then the total dough weight would come to around 94 pounds, or maybe around 95-96 pounds when the weight of the salt is added (I assumed 2% salt).
On the assumption that a typical dough ball weight is 10 ounces, as Anthony once told me, 95 pounds of dough would make 152 dough balls (assuming no dough losses or use of a lot of bench flour). In the video, I estimate that Anthony has about a couple dozen dough boxes (to the left and below the oven and also behind Anthony in the video), with each holding six dough balls. That number of dough boxes would be about right for about 150 dough balls. When I spoke with Anthony on typical daily dough ball volumes for his place, the figure he gave me (a few years ago) was 120 dough balls. I have no idea as to what volume Anthony was doing at the time of his decision to move on or at the time the video was made although it appears that he may have been experiencing more competition toward the end of his tenure in the business. Of course, the above numbers for the dough batch would change a bit if 8 pounds of dough is removed from the bag of flour and if he used more or less old dough than what I used in the above example.
With respect to what some members believe to be a small bowl of water on the counter, it is possible that that water is held aside to be used to fine tune the hydration of the dough and compensate for humidity, the weather, flour condition and variations, time of year, and other such factors. These are factors that Anthony has mentioned and discussed before as part of his challenge of making quality dough on a consistent basis. Apparently something was done with the bowl of water, since the bowl ended up under the counter (at the 52-second mark).