I recently conducted some more experiments using the new dough making method described in this thread. I also did a comparative dough experiment using the dough method that I had been using before switching to the new method. The previous method is described in the middle of Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19563.html#msg19563
In all, I did three dough experiments. All three of the doughs were made using only flour, water (room temperature), salt and yeast (IDY). No oil and no sugar. This is basically the set of ingredients recommended by Evelyne Slomon to make the classic NY style pizza. Two of the doughs used all-purpose flour (General Mills Gold Medal), and the third used high-gluten flour (King Arthur Sir Lancelot). All doughs weighed about 16 ounces and were subjected to the same dough management. Specifically, once the doughs were made, they were left at room temperature (around 69 degrees F) for about 3 hours, degassed and re-rounded, and then put into covered containers and into the refrigerator for 24 hours. Upon removal from the refrigerator, the dough balls were allowed to warm up at room temperature (around 69 degrees F) for two hours before shaping and stretching out to size (15” and beyond).
The two dough formulations I used were the following:
|279.66 g | 9.86 oz | 0.62 lbs|
181.78 g | 6.41 oz | 0.4 lbs
0.7 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.23 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
2.8 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
464.94 g | 16.4 oz | 1.02 lbs | TF = N/A
(GM A-P flour version)
|273.09 g | 9.63 oz | 0.6 lbs|
188.43 g | 6.65 oz | 0.42 lbs
0.68 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.23 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
2.73 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.49 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
464.94 g | 16.4 oz | 1.02 lbs | TF = N/A
A few comments about the above dough formulations are in order. First, for the two all-purpose doughs, using the two different dough making methods, I used a hydration of 65%. That is high for an all-purpose flour, but I was able to make the doughs without any difficulty using either method. Normally, an all-purpose flour has an absorption rate of around 61% +/- 2%. However, the “operational absorption” used by bakers can be 2-4% more, and, allowing for the possibility of the flour having a reduced moisture content and the effects of room humidity, the flour can frequently tolerate a higher than rated absorption. On this basis, I used 65%. Following the same analysis, I decided to use 69% hydration for the KASL.
Procedurally, I made the doughs by dissolving the salt in the water, then stirring in the IDY (as Evelyne has recommended for a home setting), and then gradually adding the flour, which had been sifted. For the first GM all-purpose dough (GMAP1) and for the KASL dough, I used the combination of whisk, flat beater and the C-hook. For the second GMAP2 dough, I used the former method as referenced in the link above. The finished dough temperatures out of the bowl were 69 degrees F for the two GM doughs, and around 67 degrees F for the KASL dough. To compensate for minor dough losses in the bowl, I increased the ingredient quantities by 2.5%. Doing that produced the final 16-ounce dough ball weights.
In terms of the overall quality of the two all-purpose doughs made using the two different dough making methods, the GMAP1 dough was markedly better than the GMAP2 dough. The GMAP1 dough had exceptional extensibility with a uniform thickness throughout. I was able to stretch out the dough—which weighed only 16 ounces—to 15” with ease. To see how far I could then stretch out the dough, I continued to stretch it out to about 24” inches. At that point, the dough was as diaphanous as the dough shown at Jeff V.’s website. Beyond 24”, the dough started to tear. The best I could do with the GMAP2 dough before it started to tear was around 20”, and the dough thickness was uneven. The first photo below shows the GMAP1 dough at the 18” point. If one looks carefully, the grid pattern of the 18” screen on which the dough was placed can be seen in several places.
Because the GMAP1 and GMAP2 doughs were experimental and solely for comparing the two dough making methods, I did not use them to make finished pizzas. The doughs were simply discarded. The importance of the two tests to me was that the new dough making method has significant merit. The results also suggest that the way a dough is made has a pronounced effect on how it will perform at a later stage. I also now believe that the machine used to make the dough may be the most significant factor in final dough quality, whether it is a DLX or a Santos, or a higher-end KitchenAid with a spiral hook, or my simple KitchenAid mixer with a C-hook using the modified processes. The GMAP1 dough was as good as any I have ever made from the standpoint of handling qualities.
The KASL dough was used to make an actual pizza. That dough also handled well although it was quite extensible, a condition that I attributed to the very high hydration. Even though I had no problems stretching the dough out to 15”, the desired final size, I think it may be better to use a somewhat lower hydration next time, possibly 67%. The second and third photos show the finished pizza using the KASL dough. The toppings were a combination of portobello mushrooms, red and green peppers, and pepperoni. Because the dressed pizza was larger than my pizza stone, I baked the pizza on a dark, anodized pizzatools.com perforated disk (16”) which I placed on a pizza stone that had been preheated on the lowest oven rack position for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. Once the crust set up, I removed the disk and allowed the pizza to finish baking on the stone. The total bake time was around 8 minutes. I am sure that using a pizza screen in the normal method I use will also work well.