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Author Topic: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.  (Read 3494 times)

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #100 on: May 26, 2021, 10:32:06 PM »
Regarding my discussion with RHawthorne, I believe our discussion was more of a disagreement on what the end-goal should be rather than disagreement about definition.
Sorry in advance if I'm sounding in any way long winded or obnoxious. I just take this stuff very seriously.
 I don't know that we're disagreeing all that much, if we are at all.
  My issue with the use of the term 'efficiency' in as much as it relates to the making of pizza is not so much that it's used in a condescending way, but rather that I think that sometimes it's used in the wrong way . I understand that it has it's place when we're talking about the long view of large scale production goals, and repeatability and such, but from where I'm standing (and I understand that this might not necessarily make sense to some), I'm more concerned with what I would call design efficiency. By that, I mean the efficiency (for lack of better term) of the process of translating a desired product, with all of it's pertinent characteristics, from an idea to a finished product. And this, to my line of thinking in this case, often entails leaving behind what might be considered 'money on the table' from a more 'by the numbers' approach. I could ramble endlessly about this and other things pizza related, but I don't want to bore you to death.
 But if you're still reading this- and thanks if you are- I will say that we aren't necessarily on the same page when it comes to this particular pizza style's desired characteristics. The main point of the conversation has been that of crispiness in the finished product, which is absolutely a valid pursuit on it's own, but I don't really think that that's what NY pizza is all about. I think it's more about the overall balance of chewiness to crispiness,with the chewiness as it's more defining characteristic. It can be a bit crispy around the edges, and that can be a big part of the package, but overall, it's chewier than it is crispy. It can crack a bit on the fold on the cornicione, but it shouldn't be like a cracker.
 Now, to circle back around to the topic of hydration, it's absolutely critical in hitting your target, but I'm not at all sold on the idea that going for maximum hydration will delivered the best results, if that's what you're saying. I think the key to this body style is really in attenuating the release of the moisture in the dough, either by baking at a lower temp for a longer time, or by using some percentage of oil in the mix to prevent the moisture from evaporating too quickly and leaving behind a dried out and burnt crust, or a combination of both of techniques...and probably still others I'm not fully educated on.
 Anyway, hopefully I haven't come across as obnoxious in any way, and thanks for reading this if you did. Respond or don't. I'll take no offense at all if you tune me out.
 
 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 10:35:09 PM by RHawthorne »
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2021, 12:11:19 PM »
To me the dough looks very delicate, it probably isn't suited to a knuckle stretch.

One trick is to leave a bulge of dough in the middle, once you start stretching the edges the surface inside the rim will expand, and the dough to fill it has to come from somewhere, and it won't come from the rim.

I think I'd concur with some of the others and say drop the hydration a bit, at least for now while you're learning..
Jack

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Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2021, 06:37:45 PM »
I went to NY for four days and tried some of the famous NY pizza spots talked about here - I understand what NY pizza should taste like and will strive more towards that goal. I also made the following observations:

1. IMO - Scarrs and Paulie Gee's is overrated. I know Paulie Gee himself is beloved on the forum but I was not impressed.

2. Prince St. was really good - the slice and the squares.

3. John's of Bleecker Street was good but not the best pizza I've ever had ( I blame Portnoy for setting my expectations too high).

4. I regret not going to Mama's Too.

4. The best pizza place I've ever been to remains Black Sheep in Minnesota.

Offline psedillo

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #103 on: June 16, 2021, 07:32:12 PM »
I went to NY for four days and tried some of the famous NY pizza spots talked about here - I understand what NY pizza should taste like and will strive more towards that goal. I also made the following observations:

3. John's of Bleecker Street was good but not the best pizza I've ever had ( I blame Portnoy for setting my expectations too high).

Using Portnoy as a frame of reference is like picking any random star in the universe to guide your way. His "reviews" if you could call them that are pointless click-baty content that offer zero perspective on pizza.
Paul

Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #104 on: June 16, 2021, 07:55:13 PM »
Using Portnoy as a frame of reference is like picking any random star in the universe to guide your way. His "reviews" if you could call them that are pointless click-baty content that offer zero perspective on pizza.

lol, i take your point.

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Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #105 on: June 21, 2021, 10:09:08 PM »
My dough ferments too quickly and is over fermented by day two. I have no idea how to solve this - I suspect its due to the hot climate and dough temperature - should I just use really cold water, lower hydration to 60% and lower the amount of yeast from 0.4 to 0.2?

The dough by day two has several popped bubbles on the top and can slide from side to side in the container and is sticky and feels extremely soft when touched.

https://pizzadoughcalculator.vercel.app/calculator?a=doughWeight&tf=0&dw=412&b=1&shp=round&s=0&w=0&l=0&h=63&yt=idy&y=0.4&st=kosherMorton&slt=1.8&br=0&p=none&pa=0&pwa=0&pya=0&pfa=0&pst=0&dh=0&ph=0&stf=0&dd=0&ss=0&sa=0&pwt=0&plt=0&c_g=1&c_kg=0&c_ml=0&c_o=0&c_p=0&c_t=0&c_tb=0&c_c=1&c_d=1&c_pr=2&um=1&t=null&n=null&o25=2&o32=2

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2021, 07:11:47 AM »
My dough ferments too quickly and is over fermented by day two. I have no idea how to solve this - I suspect its due to the hot climate and dough temperature - should I just use really cold water, lower hydration to 60% and lower the amount of yeast from 0.4 to 0.2?

The dough by day two has several popped bubbles on the top and can slide from side to side in the container and is sticky and feels extremely soft when touched.

https://pizzadoughcalculator.vercel.app/calculator?a=doughWeight&tf=0&dw=412&b=1&shp=round&s=0&w=0&l=0&h=63&yt=idy&y=0.4&st=kosherMorton&slt=1.8&br=0&p=none&pa=0&pwa=0&pya=0&pfa=0&pst=0&dh=0&ph=0&stf=0&dd=0&ss=0&sa=0&pwt=0&plt=0&c_g=1&c_kg=0&c_ml=0&c_o=0&c_p=0&c_t=0&c_tb=0&c_c=1&c_d=1&c_pr=2&um=1&t=null&n=null&o25=2&o32=2

I suppose somebody has probably already said this, but if you're having concerns about overly fast fermentation and high temps, I strongly suggest you try cold fermentation. I know there are some on the forum who aren't big proponents of it, and they're entitled to their opinions, but I can think of no more expedient a remedy than that for the problem you're describing. Give it two or three days in the fridge, and I'm willing to bet you'll get a good batch that works well for you. One more thing, though: I do think your sugar content is rather high at 2%. Decreasing that to more like 1% or even less might also do the trick.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 07:13:49 AM by RHawthorne »
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Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #107 on: June 22, 2021, 12:05:12 PM »

I suppose somebody has probably already said this, but if you're having concerns about overly fast fermentation and high temps, I strongly suggest you try cold fermentation. I know there are some on the forum who aren't big proponents of it, and they're entitled to their opinions, but I can think of no more expedient a remedy than that for the problem you're describing. Give it two or three days in the fridge, and I'm willing to bet you'll get a good batch that works well for you. One more thing, though: I do think your sugar content is rather high at 2%. Decreasing that to more like 1% or even less might also do the trick.

RHawthorne,

1. I cold fermented for three days on my latest effort and the dough was still over fermented. Now that you are aware of this, what do you suggest?

2. How does a reduction in sugar help reduce the chance of overfermentation?


Offline RHawthorne

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #108 on: June 23, 2021, 11:38:50 AM »
RHawthorne,

1. I cold fermented for three days on my latest effort and the dough was still over fermented. Now that you are aware of this, what do you suggest?

2. How does a reduction in sugar help reduce the chance of overfermentation?

1) As to the question of overfermentation, I guess I would need more specific information on the symptoms that lead you to believe that this is the case. I think sometimes a recipe will just produce a dough that looks a certain way that makes somebody think that it looks or handles like it's overfermented, but isn't necessarily. And to be honest, I think it's premature at anything less than at least 5 days to really make that pronouncement, at least when we're talking about cold fermentation. I looked at your recipe, and I think you're more or less within the target range for NY style, but aside from the (IMO) unnecessarily high sugar content, I think the oil content might be a bit high as well. Between 63% water and 2% oil, that's a fairly wet dough- maybe more than ideal...but that also depends on the flour you're using, and other factors. I never noticed anywhere in your posts where you mentioned what kind of flour you're using, or what kind of kneading regimen you're using.

I would assume you're probably using a flour with a protein content at least in the mid-12% range or higher, which is common for NY style dough. If this is the case, your dough recipe can probably accommodate that much hydration without an issue, but even then, the oil content might need to be reduced a bit, or even eliminated altogether. It depends on the protein content in your flour, and other ingredients in the flour (like dough conditioners) that make it amenable to a highish hydration content, or not. Some flours can do well with a hydration content over around 62%, and others (like AP flour) are more likely to produce a good dough with less. Oil can be useful in dough, but it isn't always necessary- and some would even argue that it's never necessary at all. This can be a contentious issue, and I think a fair argument could be made that oil is often used automatically in dough when it's purpose is not even well-understood by the person using it- not that I'm implying that this is necessarily the case with you.
 
I think it goes without saying that you should always understand the purpose of anything you're using in any kind of recipe, but it's even more important when you're talking about something that affects the very physical body of the food being produced. The idea behind the use of oil by most is that it's purpose is to make dough more easily stretchable, and/or to help attenuate the evaporation of water in dough during the bake so that it doesn't dry out too fast. These are both understandable goals- and they might also both be non-issues in a given fermentation/handling/baking environment. Making a dough with oil automatically just because that seems to be the 'standard' thing to do might happen to yield good results,or it might not. My suggestion would be to make two batches of dough, one with 2% oil, and one with none at all, and see what kind of results you get. If nothing else, it should give you an idea of just how exactly the oil is affecting your dough. My main point here is not that you shouldn't use oil at all, but just that it's best to test the ingredient out at different levels to see whether you think you need it at all, and at what evels if you do.

I used to use oil at 2% pretty often, but then I started experimenting one batch at a time, and I've arrived at the conclusion that no matter what kind of flour I'm using, or what kind of kneading regimen, I don't think my dough ever benefits from more than 1% oil, and I quite often go without it altogether. This is something that takes some time to fiddle around with, but the knowledge gained can be priceless.

2) Why do I think using too much sugar can lead to overfermentation? The first thing you need to realize (if you haven't thought too much about it already) is that most any flour that's used for pizza dough already has some form of sugar in it- usually barley malt extract. And with the fact being that pizza dough and bread dough mostly differ significantly only in the area of hydration (unless some other type of grain is being used), I think we can safely assume that the flour millers formulate their flour knowing that its end use might be for either purpose. This means that there's an excellent chance that you might not need to add anysugar at all to get a properly fermented batch of pizza dough. It depends on your dough formulation, kneading regimen, and fermentation environment. Again, I think it's often assumed that sugar is necessary in pizza dough- and I generally agree with the practice- but sometimes it's not. And even when it is used, it can present an issue when it's overused. If we assume that a given flour has even a 0.5% sugar content, that means that if you're adding 2% sugar to the mix, that's already 2.5% sugar in the mix, which is quite a bit by my reckoning. This is especially relevant when you're talking about fermenting your dough in a warm environment, where the yeast is primed to get down to business quickly and voraciously, even if you're not using much yeast at all. I could go on and on about all the different things going on during fermentation, but I think I've said enough on the subject to make my point.

Again, I think it would be prudent to make two test batches, one with 2% sugar, and one with none at all, and compare the end results. My chosen amount is again the 'happy medium' of 1% sugar (wheat malt extract in my case), which I mainly stick with because I do cold fermentation, and I want the yeast to have just a pinch of extra fuel to do the job at lower temps.  You might arrive at a different figure than me, but I think you should strongly consider testing this parameter out for yourself, because it could very well be one of the central factors affecting your finished product.

3) You didn't specifically ask about this, but I would say that your kneading regiment is also highly important. I don't recall you saying anything about how much you knead your dough, but overworking the gluten in a batch of dough is something that can also happen, and create symptoms that lead one to conclude that their dough is 'overfermented'. My own regimen is to knead my dough for no more than 10 minutes total, usually with a rest in the middle. This is a complicated area, and one that I'm probably not the best suited to articulate well, but I think that it can pay off handsomely to experiment with. Best practice (IMO) is to tread lightly with you dough and not assume that it needs to be kneaded to an extreme degree to achieve its best gluten development. Sometimes a good long kneading is appropriate, and sometimes it's not. I suggest the next time you make your dough (assuming you're kneading with a mixer, and not by hand), you let your dough knead only long enough so that it just barely clears the bowl and doesn't stick, and no longer. Go from there, and go up on the kneading time with each successive batch of dough, to see how different kneading times affect the finished crust.

Sorry for the long-winded response, and thanks for reading all the way though, if you did. I haven't posted here at any great length for a while, and tend to answer questions pretty thoroughly when I do. I hope this advice proves useful.
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Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #109 on: June 23, 2021, 06:57:26 PM »
RHawthorne,

I TRULY appreciate your thorough reply and I will implement your advice in my next bake.

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Offline Chronic mole

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #110 on: June 23, 2021, 07:01:05 PM »
My latest  and best effort thus far.

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: First time NY pizza fail -help me please. UPDATE : still need help.
« Reply #111 on: June 23, 2021, 08:49:34 PM »
RHawthorne,

I TRULY appreciate your thorough reply and I will implement your advice in my next bake.
Cool. It sounds to me like you're taking the challenge seriously, and that's what this whole site is all about. The best stuff here starts with pages just like this. Keep it up.
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