This New York style crust is worth a 2nd try in an effort to test the consistency for my own sake and others as well.
The following ingredients, realizations and processes were key to the end result:
- I used a palm oil (non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening) instead of my usual olive or canola oil. Similar to what your experiences with how butter can impose on the dough if not applied properly, I had similar experiences with oils mixed in with the dough. I remembered one of my favorite pro doughs using non-hydrogenated no trans fat vegetable shortening, so I pulled out my ol' calculator and decided that less than a TBL should do the job. And it did.
- As I studied sugar more and more, I learned a few things. First, it was naturally feeding the very source that I was trying to keep in check (yeast), and I was unable to maintain that relatively flat texture in the refrigerator, without giving up the soft bubbly texture-- regardless of salt usage. Second, it's hydroscopic nature was keeping the moisture in; but at the same time, I learned that it was shielding the moisture as well. Last, by reverse engineering a favorite tasting pro dough, checking with another favorite pro and putting one and one together on a 3rd, I realized neither was using sugar.
Since I was using a higher gluten flour in this recipe (Giusto's 13.5% high protein flour), I decided that I may actually get a better taste without sugar. So I ditched it, and I got a really naturally good tasting dough.
- I've always worried about color of the outer crust. But I noticed that a crust at one of my favorite small pizzerias was light sometimes. I left this in the refrigeration for more than 14 hours, probably a couple of hours longer than I should have in this case. It was a bit lighter on top than I'm used to at 530 F, but the taste, bottom, crispiness and ability to fold it was very satisfying.
- I have messed with salt proportions more than I've touched a frigin calculator. When I reverse engineered a pro dough, I was amazed to find that it contained an amount that I've used in the past. So without the sugar, I decided to stick with just a touch over 3/4 tsp of salt for the 11 oz (just under 2 1/2 cups) of flour that I employed.
- As far as the one ingredient I'm forever trying to tame, I decided to use maybe a pinch over 1/2 tsp of Active Yeast. I proofed it this time, because it was a disaster the one time I tried not to proof it. I also added it after my first rehydration (rest) period.
1st Rehydration rest period, after dough starts to come together, and before yeast was added:
After active yeast and proofed water is added, and a couple of more minutes of mixing:
- I like to include all fluids as part of the 60% calculation of flour, and I like to include the active yeast water & oils in this percentage. I also like to avoid adding flour unexpectantly, since so many ingredients rely on it. Knowing that I needed to include a TBL of water for the 1/2 tsp Active Yeast, and just under this for non-hydro palm oil, I went with 6 oz of room temp water (giving a total of about 6 1/2 oz of fluids).
Outside of ingredients, I worried about oxidization. I know many pros use a lower level on their hobarts, so I decided to replicate mixing by hand. I kept my kitchenaid at Level 1, mixed under 10 minutes total time (often stirring for a minute at a time which certainly mimics what I can do manually), and with room temp water, I ended with 78 F dough. Well, I hope I didn't take you through all this unnecessarily, and I can get it to work a 2nd time; it will be worth posting as a summary recipe then.
I got a bit frustrated when I saw how extensible the dough was after an initial whirl in the air shortly after taking it out of the refrigerator. Some people prefer this, since they extend it on the table. I like elastic dough, where I have more control over where the dough is thin and thick.
So I decided to flip it from top to bottom, and side over side, squash it gently to keep the bubbles in place, and wait another 15 minutes. It made for a strong elastic dough and the final crust was well worth it.