Author Topic: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!  (Read 1882 times)

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Offline nylonguitar

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Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« on: January 02, 2010, 01:47:08 PM »
Hi-

I need some help in figuring out how to get a consistently thin & crispy crust.  Sometimes it comes out chewy, sometimes crispy.  I like it both ways (pizza, that is!)- but I'd like to know how to get it crispy when I want it crispy.  Here's my recipe:

3 1/4 cups all purpose
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp Saf instant
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup water

Rise time: few hours, room temp.  Rolled out very thin, and docked (I don't have a sheeter).
Bake at 500 directly on Fibrament stone (I've also tried in a pan, still with chewy results).  I've also tried the same, but with a 24 hour rise in the refirgerator, and more often than not, it comes out chewy.  Should I pre-bake the crust before adding toppings to give it extra time?  What's the secret I'm missing?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 02:15:36 PM »
nylonguitar,

If you are using one cup of water and 1/4 cup of oil for 3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, you will have a very high hydration dough for a cracker style pizza. You would have to roll out the dough superthin just to have a chance at getting a crispy crust. Just using volume measurements can also affect the degree of crispiness of the finished crusts because of variations in the volume measurements, especially the flour and water. Can you tell us how many pizzas you have been able to make with your recipe and what size the pizzas are? Also, since there are many species of cracker-style pizzas, can you tell us with greater specificity what type of cracker style pizza you are trying to emulate? For example, there is a Chicago cracker style pizza and there are operators such as Round Table, DeLorenzo's, Donatos, Shakey's and others who make pizzas that have a crispy character to one degree or another.

I usually refer members to this thread for tips on making crispy cracker-style pizzas: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html. However, if you look under the general Cracker style index at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/board,28.0.html, you will find many other posts and threads that also contain useful tips on the cracker style pizza. As a convenient starting point for your research, I would look at the threads with the most page reads.

Peter

Offline nylonguitar

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Re: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 06:20:09 PM »
Thanks- it sounds like the major issue is hydration.  However, when I've tried DKM's recipie, the dough was too dry to form into any sort of a ball, and even after the rise, I couldn't roll it out.  I noticed you commented on this in the thread you sent me to- how do I work around this?  Add slightly more water/oil (1 cup instead of 3/4)? 

I usually use the recipie to make a single 14 or 16 inch pizza (I discard the excess).

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 07:34:58 PM »
nylonguitar,

I think there are a couple of things that will improve your results when using the DKM recipe, or any other recipe for a cracker-style dough that has a low hydration. The first is to use a digital scale for weighing out the flour and water. That takes away just about all of the uncertainty of using volume measurements for those ingredients. The ingredients other than the flour and water can be measured out volumetrically. The second improvement, which helps overcome the problem of rolling out the dough, is the application of heat. I describe how I have done this at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138. Other forms of applying heat to the dough, a few of which are described in the same thread, will also work.

As for mixing equipment, I think that a food processor does the best job with DKM's recipe. However, as discussed in the aforementioned thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg48991.html#msg48991, I have also used a basic KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-hook. I even showed how to make the dough entirely by hand. I had never seen or heard of anyone doing that before, and I had some real reservations when I decided to try it, but I found that it wasn't all that difficult to do.

You might also consider using a higher protein flour than your all-purpose flour. That flour will work but I found that I much preferred using a bread flour. In my case, I used mostly the Harvest King flour, which has since been renamed Better for Bread flour, from General Mills. Other members have expressed a preference for high-gluten flour.

Even after incorporating some of the above ideas, you may need to cut back on the amount of oil. I think you are using too much for a cracker-style dough.

Peter



Offline BTB

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Re: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 10:32:30 AM »
. . . Should I pre-bake the crust before adding toppings to give it extra time?  What's the secret I'm missing?
Yes, par bake the crust, after docking, from 4 to 8 minutes (wide range) at 450 to 475 degrees F on low rack (depending on your oven) and then dress with toppings and bake until golden brown -- is one technique to better assure a crispy pizza crust.  That's the case with almost all recipes.  Experiment with some smaller versions and see what I mean.  While commercial ovens don't need the par baking technique, home oven use is better served with par baking the crust IMO if one's objective is a crispier thin crust.

Also, lower the dough hydration and otherwise follow Peter's suggestions.

Offline nylonguitar

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Re: Thin and crispy or thin and chewy? Help!
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 11:12:03 AM »
Thank you both very much for your suggestions... I will continue to experiment.  By the way, I did make the pizza last night with the original recipie- I rolled it out as thin as possible, baked it until well-done at 500 degrees on the stone, and I did get a fairly crispy result, though it was not entirely consistent (chewier toward the middle, very crisp at the edges).  But like I said, your advice will keep me busy for a while, especially since I make NY style & Chicago style stuffed more often than thin anyway. 

Thanks again!


 

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