Okay, first off I apologize for the delay in reporting back on last weekend’s experiment but work was crazy before the holidays and besides a few quick posts here and there, I wasn’t able to write a longer one, detailing everything. And frankly, a couple of Hockey games (Go Sharks!) distracted me.
But it was nice to kick back and have cold one, though.
With that said, on to the report.
As you can see from the pics below I had Peter’s recommendations/instructions with me at all times!
I started the preferment a little after 6:00 pm on Saturday and tried to match Peter’s recommendation of a water temp 60° F but ended up at 62°F. Since I started later than 6:00 pm, I gave it an additional 30mins to do its job and checked back at 9:45 pm.
I started by adding the water to the mixing bowl, then sifted in the flour and added the yeast on top before incorporating everything with the back of a wooden spoon. Once everything was stirred together, I used the paddle attachment to mix it well and gave it 3.5 hrs of rest. The pics below show the progress.
I sifted in the rest of the flour, added the rest of the water, the oil, sugar and sea salt and used the dough hook to incorporate everything (Pic below). I followed the same mixing regimen I used before which you can read here (2nd paragraph) http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg83757.html#msg83757
Unfortunately, I ran out of batteries for my cam and was unable to take any pics between the steps of the first rest period and the finished dough balls. I made a run to my local pharmacy store and got some new batteries, though. Anyway, the dough came out at 82°F and I decided against an individual rise and did an overnight bulk-rise instead.
The next morning around 10:00am, after having coffee, a bowl of cereal, feeding the cat, and checking out which footballs games are on TV (Niners lost, btw
), I divided the dough into four balls at 375gr each and placed them in my dough box (Pic below) and left them out on the counter since I wanted to see how this formula holds up against an extended day use.
I contacted a neighbor of mine, who’s a self-proclaimed pizza fanatic, a guy in his mid-fifties who grew up in Chicago on deep-dish and thin Chicago crusts but has also lived in New York for 20 years. I figured he knows his pies, right? I’ll post his assessment in a separate post. But he was my first taste tester, or guinea pig if you will.
Anyway, the first pizza went to him – a simple cheese & pepperoni. The dough handled and stretched very easily, had a wonderful smell to it, not sour but more of a nicely fermented, yeasty dough. Hard to accurately describe and pinpoint, but it was wonderful. I didn’t get to take pics of the first dough but when watching it bake, the oven spring and rise was incredible. Never seen anything like it so far.
The crust puffed up in matter of a minute and it didn’t come out dry or too crunchy. It had a nice balance of firmness, crispness and softness to it when it came out of the oven.
In regards to the cheese, it was a combo of low-moist., part-skim and low-moist., whole-milk from TJ’s with a pinch of salt added and a tad of Grana Padano from TJ’s grated in. The pepperoni was the Bridgford Pepperoni brand, which I find superior to any other brand I have tried so far. It has no excessive “oiling off”, the taste is great, and no oily/orange coloring of the cheese, for the lack of better terms to describe it.
The second one was a mushroom/salami pie, with Crimini ‘shrooms from TJ’s and Columbus Dry Salame. However, there are no pictures of pies 3 & 4. I dropped the camera and I had to put it together…works fine, but the “zoom” control isn’t as smooth as it was, doesn’t snap back any longer. Anyone know of a good repair shop in the BA?
When you look at the crust pics of the Salami/Mushrooms pie, you’ll see the crust is very fluffy, airy and light but was a bit too chewy for my taste although the aftertaste of the crust was impressive…it had a slight hint of “breadiness”, had a nice aroma, a subtle hint of sweetness…in other words, the crust has “Rockstar” material.
However, I couldn’t make all four pizzas that day so I kept two dough balls and put them back in the fridge. The next day, after letting them come up to room temp for about an hour, I noticed that they were actually overfermenting and were hard to work with. Too many bubbles that created thin spots and almost no oven spring. I didn’t even bother to take any pictures.Preliminary conclusion:
I think the dough formula is excellent if used the same day, all day long and used consecutively. The preferment added nice texture and structure to the crust as well as flavor, which were lacking in same-day formulas I’ve made previously without the preferment. In regards to the ‘commercial’ use, I think it could be done if some modifications would be made in terms of preventing the dough balls of fermenting too fast because I could imagine that a in a commercial setting the room temp would be quite higher than in a home setting. Overall, the crust was great with room for improvement.