Author Topic: Pictures of Grilled Margherita  (Read 2026 times)

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Offline pftaylor

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Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« on: February 25, 2005, 03:54:59 PM »
I'm back to my traditional 30 minute preheat with about a 3 minute bake. Ran out of fresh basil so I resorted to dry. I also need feedback on the nasty little blister problem I'm running into. Any ideas?
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2005, 03:55:59 PM »
More:
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2005, 06:54:15 PM »
I am really puzzled by the presence of blisters on the bottom. They appeared on my last batch for the first time. I surmised they were the result of strectching a 12.5oz ball too far. This time I used a 14.1oz ball which wasn't stretched anywhere near as much and the crust still blistered badly.

By process of elimination the only change I can think of is the introduction of a biga. Pre-biga, I had no blistering problems.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2005, 07:05:36 PM »
pft,

The fastest way to find out whether the blistering is because of the biga is to try out your recipe without it.

When you use your biga in your recipe are you also using dry yeast along with it (as I believe your original recipe required)? And was the dough going into your grill at the usual temperature?

Peter

Offline bortz

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2005, 08:10:24 PM »
Great job PF.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2005, 07:24:38 AM »
Pete-zza,
I have been using a customized version of your modifed Lehmann as the base recipe for my grilling efforts. Therefore I have been using one teaspoon IDY, not fresh yeast, to boost the biga. I'm not sure I even need to add that much - if any at all as the dough rose approximately three times it's original size in the fridge. One of the pictures above is shot at an angle to show how huge the rim is relative to the rest of the pie. Judging from the disproportionately large rim, perhaps I can or should cut back dramtically with the booster yeast.

The dough ball used last night was frozen for one day and overall it was three days old. It was defrosted in the fridge for half a day and allowed to come to room temperature for two hours - as is my normal procedure.

In trying to apply a root cause analysis to my blistering problem I think I may have been looking at only half the problem. While its true that the blistering problem presented itself only after incorporating biga into my recipe, not all the biga aided dough balls have blistered. It only felt like that. So the true problem rests somewhere else.

Both occurances of blistering coincided with a three and a four day old ball of dough. So the answer lies somewhere in the dough management procedure. Further, I've noticed the blistering problem comes only when two things are present -  a three day or older dough and a biga enhanced dough. Perhaps the more learned on the forum can venture a guess. Mind you, the taste of a blistered pie versus my normal pie is indistinguishable. So it's not that big of a deal. I am just trying to fully understand what's going on.

Bortz, thanks for the encouraging words. Believe me if I can do it anyone can.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2005, 08:10:37 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2005, 09:26:57 AM »
pft,

I have a few questions.

Do you usually freeze dough for your pizzas that have turned out well? When did you freeze the dough, right after making or after rising? How long was the thawing time? Did you temperature adjust the water? Since you have said that you only use the Carnation mix, I assume that you did not add any sugar in any other form to your recipe.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2005, 09:52:47 AM »
Pete-zza,
Do I usually freeze the dough? No. The yield from a batch of dough is enough for 3 dough balls. My family usually can eat two the first day and sometimes we eat the last one the following day. If not, I may keep it in the fridge for an extra day or so or elect to freeze it if I think we are "pizza'd out." In the future, I will need to adjust my recipe to make enough for two dough balls as three is beginning to be one too many.

When did you freeze the dough? After one day in the fridge. I thought we were going to have guests over the house so I prepared three balls as if they were going to be consumed after a 24 hour fermentation period in the fridge. When the guests had to cancel at the last minute, I placed one dough ball from the fridge into the freezer. I placed the other two on the counter for a two hour rise.

How long was the thaw time? It was about 10 hours in the fridge, after which I reshaped the ball and placed on the counter for a two hour rise before using.

Did you temperature adjust the water? I'm not sure I totally understand your question but all three balls were at 81 degrees after mixing.

I did not use any sugar whatsoever.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2005, 09:54:43 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2005, 11:09:31 AM »
pft,

It's always difficult to diagnose these types of problems, but I think your problem was a combination of 1) too much yeast, 2) the effects of freezing on the dough when you chose to freeze it, and 3) too little sugar to sustain the dough over a 3-day period. None of this was by plan, but I believe the combination of the above factors may have led to the problems you experienced. Let me see if I can walk you through this.

Usually the amount of yeast you used shouldn't have been a problem. However, when you decided to freeze the third dough ball, it had already risen enormously--because of the large amount of yeast. Freezing at that time would not have been the optimum time to do so. Usually the best time to freeze a dough and do the least amount of damage to it is shortly after making it. In your case, by the time you decided to freeze the dough ball, it had expanded significantly. It, in effect, became like a hugh insulator filled with gas pockets. Freezing the dough at that time can cause significant damage to the yeast in the dough as the moisture in the dough expands through freezing and ruptures the cell walls. Also, the damage to the yeast can cause fluids, such as glutathione, to leach from the cell walls and result in softening of the dough once it has thawed. In fact, some professionals often intentionally add glutathione (dead yeast cells) to their doughs to combat elasticity problems.

The high amount of yeast you used also most likely caused the dough to expand too quickly and foreshorten the optimum fermentation time (by consuming all of the available sugar too fast) and, consequently, the useful life of the dough. The reason I asked you whether you temperarature adjusted the water is because if the water was too warm the dough would have risen even faster and also foreshortened the optimum fermentation time. I don't think water temperature was a causative factor in your case because the finished dough temperature was about where you would have wanted it for a Lehmann style dough.

As for thawing the dough, the advice usually given is to thaw the dough in the cooler/refrigerator for about 12-16 hours and to use the dough the next day. This is the advice given for a dough that has been properly frozen to begin with. In your case, I don't know that that would have really mattered since I suspect that your dough was already long in the tooth fermentation-wise. If you had used more sugar in the recipe to start with, the dough might have had more life left in it. You didn't indicate in your posts, but was the dough softer than usual or different in any other material respects from what you usually experience as you shape your doughs? A really soft or slack dough is often a symptom of overfermentation or damage to a frozen dough (because of the leaching of glutathione as mentioned above). Also, did you detect any change in the degree of coloration of the crust from what you usually experience? Usually, the crust will be much lighter for a slack, overfermented dough. In your case it might not have been noticeable since your very high grill temperatures may have masked that effect.

I would be very surprised if your problems were due to the biga. Have you ever tried using the biga alone without additional commercial yeast? That would tell us how potent your biga is. If it's weak, then it most likely wouldn't have been a causative factor in the problems you experienced and, more than likely, it was overwhelmed by the commercial yeast, especially in the quantity you used.

Peter

« Last Edit: February 26, 2005, 02:08:21 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2005, 12:53:48 PM »
Pete-zza,
Your understanding of the pizza making process is truly impressive. You are a "pizza detective."

Your assumptions has proven correct. Thinking back to last night, the dough was slack and unusually soft for a KASL based ball. I was afraid to pick it up and toss it for fear of tearing. It was however, full of bubbles.  Also the dough was not as orange in color after baking as it usually is from the TEC heat. While I haven't tried yet the mixing of my standard NY style dough without commercial yeast, I am certainly going to consider it next time.

Now that you've gotten my mental gears turning full bore, I'd bet that the huge rim problem will go away once I delete the IDY. Two heads are better than one. Thanks for clearing up a most difficult case.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pictures of Grilled Margherita
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2005, 02:16:59 PM »
pft,

I didn't mean to suggest that the IDY is the cause of the huge rim and that it should be eliminated entirely from your next experiment. It may or may not be the cause. If you can get the dough to rise solely form your biga, that would be a big step forward and might, at the same time, result in a smaller rim.

Peter