In keeping with my many experiments with cracker style pizzas over the past year, I decided to try member John Fazzari’s cracker-style crust recipe as set forth in Reply 4 in this thread. To do this, I used the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
to come up with a dough formulation to make a single 14” pizza. The dough formulation I used was as follows:
|Harvest King Bread Flour (100%):|
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (4%):
|351.97 g | 12.42 oz | 0.78 lbs|
130.23 g | 4.59 oz | 0.29 lbs
2.64 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.88 tsp | 0.29 tbsp
4.4 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.79 tsp | 0.26 tbsp
14.08 g | 0.5 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.1 tsp | 1.03 tbsp
503.31 g | 17.75 oz | 1.11 lbs | TF = 0.1004647
Note: Nominal thickness factor = 0.09947; pizza size entered into the tool = 15”; bowl residue compensation = 1%
As noted from the above table, I used a nominal thickness factor of 0.09947 in the tool. This is the value that I calculated from information provided by John and noted in Reply 5. To be sure that I could get a nice, round 14” skin to make the pizza, I entered a value of 15” for the pizza size in the tool. That way, I could make a roughly 15” skin and use a template (in my case, a 14” pizza screen) to cut out a clean 14” skin. Finally, I used a bowl residue compensation of 1% to compensate for minor dough losses in the bowl. In my case, the bowl was the bowl of a food processor (Cuisinart 14-cup) that I used to make the dough. Because a food processor can add a fair amount of heat to a dough, the water I used to make the dough came directly out of the refrigerator and, by the time I used it, had a temperature of about 50 degrees F.
To prepare the dough, I put the flour (Harvest King bread flour), the IDY and the salt in the bowl of the food processor. These ingredients were pulsed for about 10 seconds to thoroughly combine. I then added the water to the processor bowl and pulsed that in for about 30 seconds. Finally, I added the oil to the bowl and pulsed that in, for about another 30 seconds. By this point, the dough was very scrappy and had a consistency of very coarse cornmeal, with some clumping. I emptied the contents of the processor bowl on my work surface and pressed the dough ingredients into a single, fairly cohesive ball. This was accomplished with ease. The finished dough weight was 17.55 ounces. The finished dough temperature was around 82 degrees F.
The dough was then lightly oiled and placed in a plastic Rubbermaid container. To monitor its progress during the period of its room temperature fermentation, I placed two poppy seeds spaced 1” apart at the top, center part of the dough ball. This was done to see how much and how fast the dough would rise, all in accordance with the method described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html
. I then loosely covered the Rubbermaid bowl with a plastic lid.
My expectation was that the dough would at least double in volume. However, the maximum expansion was about 67%. That peak occurred after about two hours at a room temperature of around 82 degrees F. After peaking, the dough stabilized but didn’t contract. However, to get better crust flavors and texture, I let the dough rest at room temperature for another hour and a half, for a total of around 3 ˝ hours.
Rather than placing the dough ball directly into the refrigerator at this stage, I decided to form a skin out of the dough ball, just as John does, and put that into the refrigerator. To do this, I flattened the dough ball and rolled it out to roughly 15”, using a combination of a heavy marble rolling pin and a French tapered wooden rolling pin. I found that the heavy marble rolling pin worked best in the middle part of the skin and that the French rolling pin worked best at the edges. Overall, it took only 5-6 minutes to roll the dough skin out to about 15”. I then used a 14” pizza screen as a template to cut out a nice round 14” skin from the roughly 15” skin. The 14” skin weighed 14.50 ounces. That translated into a thickness factor of 0.0942, or slightly less than the nominal thickness factor used in the expanded dough calculating tool. The finished skin is shown in the first photo below, together with the two rolling pins I used.
To conveniently store the 14” skin in the refrigerator from a space standpoint, I folded the skin in quarters and encased it in plastic wrap. To be sure that the dough wouldn’t stick to itself, I made sure that there was plastic wrap between all mating surfaces. The second photo below shows the folded skin encased in plastic wrap. The dough then went in the refrigerator where it remained for 48 hours.
To make a pizza out of the dough, I removed it from the refrigerator and let it warm up, at room temperature, for about one hour. Before doing this, I had noted that the dough skin had shrunk an inch while in the refrigerator. To get the skin back to its original 14” size, I simply rolled the skin back out to 14” using my French rolling pin. This was done with ease.
The skin was dressed in the “Clarkston” style as shown at John’s website, at http://www.fazzaris.com/pizzamenuclarkston.htm
. As noted there, the “Clarkston” includes sauce (I used a basic seasoned 6-in-1 sauce), mozzarella cheese (I used shredded Best Choice low-moisture part-skim mozzarella), pepperoni slices (I used Hormel), Italian sausage, and slices of green bell pepper (plus hot sauce if desired). In my case, the Italian sausage was a combination of a Texas wild boar Italian sausage and a regular hot Italian sausage (1 link each). I had pre-cooked the sausage until it was at the pink stage and then placed on the pizza. I tried to place the sauce, cheese and toppings as far out to the edge as possible. Surprisingly, the cheese and toppings remained in place when I loaded the pizza into the oven.
The pizza was baked for six minutes on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 525 degrees F. To help cook the green peppers a bit more, I moved the pizza off of the stone to the uppermost oven rack position for about a minute. The photos in the following post show the finished pizza.
Overall, I thought that the pizza turned out exceptionally well. The crust at the rim was on the crispy side, but the rest of the crust was surprisingly tender while still having a cracker texture. The crust color and flavor were very good. I thoroughly enjoyed the pizza.
After preparing the dough for the latest pizza, I was reminded that John had improved his dough formulation and preparation methods, as he describes at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6604.0.html
. In due course, I will give the new dough formulation and his improved dough preparation methods a try.