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Author Topic: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?  (Read 6389 times)

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2019, 06:58:00 PM »
I'm still seeing the same thing. Typical to what we get when using hard fat flakes. Where the fat flakes melt out a void is developed which forms the oval shaped void called a "fish mouth" where there are no fat flakes to melt out the crumb structure consists of smaller round shaped cells. I think we're looking at the same thing just calling them by different names.
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Offline nick57

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2019, 09:45:05 PM »
 Tom,

 I have read on the forum about fat flakes in the past. It caught my attention. Would like to give it a try. It seems that it is only available to commercial customers.Do you know of supplier that ships smaller quantities? Pretty sure of the answer, but I had to ask anyway. :-D Always looking to try something new.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2019, 12:44:31 AM »
Your intuition is correct as there just isn't any significant call for it outside of the commercial market. With that said, you can make a fair to middlin' version of it very easily. Just use and U.S. household butter, freeze it and shave it into strands/ribbons like you would a hard cheese or chocolate. Immediately put the shaved butter back into the freezer for at least an hour, remove from freezer and place between two pieces of waxed paper, tap with the handle of a table knife to break the frozen butter into pieces 3/16 to 1/4-inch in size. Immediately place back into the freezer until ready to use. Use a dough absorption of about 56 to 58%, mix until the dough just begins to smooth out, then add the frozen butter chips and mix JUST until they are fairly well incorporated (better to error on under mixing than over mixing. Remove dough from mixing bowl, roll out to about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thickness, give a 3-fold and place into the fridge to rest about an hour, or until the dough can be sheeted again the same way. Rest the dough in the fridge after the second 3-fold  for 4-hours, then scale into desired weight pieces (I an inverted coffee can to cut circles), pin out the cut circles of dough to full diameter, the skins can be rested for holding in the fridge or used immediately if the temperature of the dough is at 50 to 55F which it usually is after pinning it out to full diameter. If you store the full size skins in the fridge you will need to allow them to warm to 50 to 55F before use, it won't take very long.
By the way, if you want to read up on how the bakers did this before the advent of hard fat flakes study up on the "Blitz" method of making laminated pastry.
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Offline nick57

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2019, 09:16:46 AM »
Tom,

Thanks very much for the detailed response.

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2019, 02:13:45 PM »
This is a very, very interesting thread. I’m trying to make a “thin crispy” type pizza. That is, I don’t want crumbs in my lap, but I do want a rigid, no flop, water thin slice. I’m thinking hydration (water) probably plays the biggest part in that (thinking 48% to 50%) but still out on the fat amount. I’ve seen elsewhere thin-crispy defines as a dough without fat, but maybe I’m wrong. I did a version with both 8% and 10% oil. The 8 was good and stayed crisp. The 10% bordered on pie crust - it was almost “crumbly” when eating. I think my personal tastes gravitate toward less oil, or maybe even no oil.

But if I liked a 48% + 8% dough and want to bring the oil down, does it make sense to cut oil once half and add it to water? (Ie, 52 +4?) maybe even less? I feel like even a 54% + 2 oil dough feels a bit stickier than my 48 +8 did.

The cracker/thin-crispy discussion really has my interest piqued. I can say for certain, taking the hydration down really helped produce a pizza that was more rigid, thin, and crispy. Just trying to figure out the oil situation now.

Edit; also, which variation maintains crispness and rigidity best? I saw Tom mention it in a PMQ article a while ago, but can’t find it now.

I'm at 45% water + 6% fat right now with pretty good luck, taking about 10 minutes on stone at 500F. This was a laminated crust.
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2019, 03:34:15 PM »
I'm not looking for the laminated texture - but maybe something like the bar style pies in Stamford. They look to be not quite a cracker, but also not a NY dough either. Maybe not a lot of fat in them? I love the look of this pie no flop

I'm liking that! That pizza right there reminds me of Craig's bar pie thread.

If I was gonna try something like that I think I would start at 50% water and 3% oil. Not so much oil that it goes limp, but enough to keep it tender and not toughen up as it cools. I think a lower protein flour might help too and would probably facilitate easier mixing.

the proof is in the pizza

Offline HansB

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2019, 03:36:08 PM »
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2019, 05:18:13 PM »

But is this a cracker crust? Or "thin crispy?"

I'd wager it's in the thin n crispy vein, but I'm honestly still not sure what the key difference is between a cracker crust and a thin n' crispy - from Tom's post it sounded like the mixing process is one of the differences.
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Offline HansB

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2019, 05:44:57 PM »
Baked using Ryan's formula. Baked on stone @500°. Although it was really good it was not quite cracker or crispy. The edges were nice and crispy but maybe a bit lower temp to get the bottom more crisp?

**Edit, baked at 500°
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 08:21:41 PM by HansB »
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2019, 06:06:53 PM »
Baked using Ryan's formula. Baked on stone @550°. Although it was really good it was not quite cracker or crispy. The edges were nice and crispy but maybe a bit lower temp to get the bottom more crisp?

Looks tasty Hans!  :drool:

I've been baking at 450-500 for these crispers!

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Offline HansB

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2019, 08:23:38 PM »
Looks tasty Hans!  :drool:

I've been baking at 450-500 for these crispers!

Whoops, I baked it at 500°.  I'll try 450° if that doesn't get more crisp I'll try 525° in the pan like I do the DS as I get a crisp crust on those.
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2019, 10:36:14 AM »
I'm not looking for the laminated texture - but maybe something like the bar style pies in Stamford. They look to be not quite a cracker, but also not a NY dough either. Maybe not a lot of fat in them? I love the look of this pie no flop

I made two test pies yesterday using this formulation below, I thought it looked pretty darn close to the pie in the video.
Wish I would have grabbed a picture of the finished result but these bar pies got demolished.
The .5% sugar in the formula is 60L LDMP which should make it equivalent to 1.5% of 20L LDMP.
I just did a simple same day straight dough with a ~5 hour rise.  Rolled the skins and docked with a fork. Was pretty impressed considering how simple it was to throw together, the laminated ones are a lot more involved.

I think the biggest difference is I launched straight on stone, I believe Riko's / Colony Grill start in a pan to get that frico on the edge. I used 3 oz of cheese on an 11.5" pie which still may have been a bit too much comparing visuals.

I was really intrigued with how "light" these pizzas felt after eating, I did not feel any "pizza burden" in my stomach, asked my tasters and they commented the same thing. Filled me up without weighing me down, for that reason I'll be giving this one some more runs for sure!


« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 10:39:37 AM by invertedisdead »
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2019, 12:30:42 PM »
Pictures on the next round, please! I’ve never had a true cracker crust, but I think the thin and crispy like Riko’s is really meant to be very rigid, very crisp, and very light.  No flop, no sag, but not dry or dense. Almost like a wafer. I think the lower hydration helps with that. The tricky part is getting it wafer thin and eager crisp under the weight of those toppings.

I’m at 12” and using a fair bit more cheese. No LDMP or sugar for me. Also, the bar pie spots definitely use pans (a lot of them bake in the pan for the whole bake)

What was your bake time and temp? I always do 550 for everything.

Are you getting that mottled melt with more cheese? I remember Craig mentioned his surprise at how little cheese it was taking in his bar pie thread, which I'm pretty sure is inspired by Colony Grill. IMO you have to be extra light with toppings to get that crisp factor, even less toppings than NY style.

My pizzas almost never turn out crispy in a pan so our oven dynamics play a role I'm sure, or I just need to find some better pans! I get much crispier pizza from a screen than a pan. Interesting to me is there's a Colony Grill video on youtube and the pans aren't even seasoned? ???

There's also a few pictures of the Colony Grill food truck online showing two double deck Blodgett's.
I baked for ~8 minutes at 550F. What's your TF looking like? Similar? I know Craig was at a .06

I don't know if Scott R reads the Cracker section but I bet he knows all about this style.
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2019, 04:09:06 PM »
I know Tom mentioned a while ago that diced cheese could help with that mottled look. But I think both spots use shredded - so I’m not sure how they get that appearance. I was trying some grande shred and I weighed out 3oz and it just seemed like too little for me.

That was my thread on mottled cheese, I'm thinking long-ish bake times are in the mix considering the melt and unseasoned pans. The unseasoned pan is really throwing me for a loop, even my seasoned pans struggle to get crispness, I'm not baking in a real deck oven though, either.

My pie was a little smaller than 12", but I wouldn't think it's much over 4 oz of cheese on their pies based on the melt. My thought is these don't look that saucy, not like a Midwest thin, so for the sauce to ring through on such a thin crust and not flop make me think the cheese has to be pretty sparse.

I actually think sliced cheese would work well, at least for the pan-less version I whipped up last night.
the proof is in the pizza

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2019, 09:17:24 PM »
Is that Riko's?

Here's Colony.
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2019, 11:20:45 PM »
I could definitely be wrong on the cheese estimate, but I would expect it to have more of that orange cheese-sauce melded look with higher amounts, it always seemed like I got that mottled cheese from using small amounts but maybe the amount of sauce is affecting that look?


Here's one of my 12" Midwest thins with 5 oz.
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: What Hydration Makes it "Cracker"?
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2021, 10:38:16 PM »
Dan,

What do you think of John Fazzari's older posts, who said that those "page layers" weren't really the goal, rather tiny air pockets which he claimed were responsible for the tenderness of a laminated dough.

John if you're still reading I'd love for you to chime in too. I consider both of you some of this forums most credible resources regarding laminated dough, so I'm just curious if there is a different consensus these days. I've jumped back into laminated pizza at home recently but still not quite sure of the best approach to the process.

I know it's been a while, but I'll give you my .02 if you ever stumble back on this thread. I agree with John that it's about trapped air, but I also think it involves trapped moisture. The sheeting process is really a special thing that uniquely compartmentalizes the dough on a micro scale. Some call it encapsulation of moisture/air.  I have seen the thinnest of thin sheets produce wonderful bubbly crusts. In fact, look at an egg roll wrapper. Those are machined at very high pressures and when you fry them you get a super bubbly surface from the expansion of moisture in the sheet. I feel it's that moisture trying to escape the dough that has nowhere to go because it's been pressed so tightly in the gluten matrix. What you get is a very quick expansion of the encapsulated space, leading to bubbles in the crust.

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