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  • #61 by norma427 on 02 May 2012

  • Norma, so this was a total of ~28 hour ferment? Was this done entirely refridgerated? or did you room temp any of it?


    Dan,

    The dough was room temperature fermented for about 27 hrs, then fridge cold fermented for 7 hrs, then room temperature fermented for 9 hrs.  It was about a total time of  about 43 hrs. fermentation.  The dough ball was placed in the fridge overnight because I thought it might over ferment.

    Norma
  • #62 by Pete-zza on 02 May 2012
  • Norma,

    I'm glad to hear that you achieved success with the preferment version of Tom Lehmann's cracker-style dough formulation. Your results also confirm that it is indeed possible to use a natural preferment with the cracker-style dough. I wasn't sure how active your starter was, and how a total of 43 hours of fermentation would affect the results, but I wasn't particularly concerned about the leavening effects of the starter since you would be forcing most of the gases out of the dough as you formed the skin. I wondered more about the final crust flavors due to all of the byproducts of fermentation over a 43-hour period and the effects of the acids on the final crust crust coloration and whether the pH-residual sugar relationship was correct.

    I know that you wanted to make a decent cracker-style pizza for your own personal reasons but are you considering selling a cracker-style pizza at market? If so, and you decide to use a starter, that would mean having to use an even longer fermentation period, and also some likely adjustments to the amount of starter you use and, if you need a period of cold fermentation as well as at room temperature, how to work that into the schedule.

    Peter
  • #63 by Pete-zza on 02 May 2012
  • Wow.. that sounds a little "stalkerish"! Thanks for the heads-up. The suspense was killing me.

    Dan.

    I have worked so closely and for so long with Norma that I have gotten to know how she reports her findings on the forum after the close of work on Tuesday's. I also know that she is extremely diligent about reporting her results and, barring a scheduling conflict, I could pretty much count on her showing up on the forum on Tuesday nights pretty much on time. I was a bit off, however, on the 8:30 PM time I mentioned to you. Norma's first post last night was at 8:24:18 PM, at Reply 239 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18407.msg185375.html#msg185375.

    Peter
  • #64 by norma427 on 02 May 2012
  • Norma,

    I'm glad to hear that you achieved success with the preferment version of Tom Lehmann's cracker-style dough formulation. Your results also confirm that it is indeed possible to use a natural preferment with the cracker-style dough. I wasn't sure how active your starter was, and how a total of 43 hours of fermentation would affect the results, but I wasn't particularly concerned about the leavening effects of the starter since you would be forcing most of the gases out of the dough as you formed the skin. I wondered more about the final crust flavors due to all of the byproducts of fermentation over a 43-hour period and the effects of the acids on the final crust crust coloration and whether the pH-residual sugar relationship was correct.

    I know that you wanted to make a decent cracker-style pizza for your own personal reasons but are you considering selling a cracker-style pizza at market? If so, and you decide to use a starter, that would mean having to use an even longer fermentation period, and also some likely adjustments to the amount of starter you use and, if you need a period of cold fermentation as well as at room temperature, how to work that into the schedule.

    Peter

    Peter,

    I am also glad I was finally able to make a decent cracker style pizza.  I had thought at one point that I never would be successful with this style of pizza.  I think I could improve though. 

    When I rolled the dough out at market I was a little concerned that the dough might have overfermented, because as I rolled, there wanted to be a few tears, even though the dough was easy to roll out. I tried to pinch them together, but it can see on the par-baked bottom crust where the tears were.  I donít know if that was because the dough was overfermented or not.  I am not to sure of that because the crust still did brown.

    I wonder if I should do this experiment again and use my pH meter to see where the pH of the dough might be.  I really liked the final crust flavors using the Ischia starter.  The Ischia starter was fairly active after I fed it again.  I think it doubled in about 3 Ĺ hrs. 

    No, I donít plan on selling this type of pizza at market.  There are too many different ways of messing it up.  It amazes me that from my other experiment with the cracker style at 38% hydration and using Better for Bread flour and then this preferment formulation using 47% hydration with KASL, how they could both produce cracker style doughs.  That is a wide range of hydrations and much different flours.

    I still would like to use the Ischia starter at market for a NY style dough though, but probably wonít ever be successful with that.

    Norma
  • #65 by Pete-zza on 02 May 2012
  • It amazes me that from my other experiment with the cracker style at 38% hydration and using Better for Bread flour and then this preferment formulation using 47% hydration with KASL, how they could both produce cracker style doughs.  That is a wide range of hydrations and much different flours.

    Norma,

    In the course of my research on the cracker-style dough, I found a fairly wide variation in the types and brands of flour that could be used for that style. One can use either all-purpose flour, bread flour or high-gluten flour, and you will find proponents and advocates on the forum for each flour type. However, I preferred a flour with a relatively high protein content because I found that I could get more crust color, and a bit more flavor, with such a flour. I also discovered, both from my research and my own experiments, that the hydration of the dough was a critical factor and that you didn't want to go much over 45%, and it was preferable to keep the skin on the thin side if you want a really crispy, shatter-type crust, with a thickness factor of the final skin of around 0.06. One could theoretically go over 45% hydration but you would have to come up with ways of getting more of the moisture content out of the dough during baking.

    I am talking here about skins that are not subjected to measures such as multiple folding and re-rolling in order to get several lamination layers. As you know, the master and expert on such measures is John (fazzari).

    Peter
  • #66 by norma427 on 02 May 2012
  • Norma,

    In the course of my research on the cracker-style dough, I found a fairly wide variation in the types and brands of flour that could be used for that style. One can use either all-purpose flour, bread flour or high-gluten flour, and you will find proponents and advocates on the forum for each flour type. However, I preferred a flour with a relatively high protein content because I found that I could get more crust color, and a bit more flavor, with such a flour. I also discovered, both from my research and my own experiments, that the hydration of the dough was a critical factor and that you didn't want to go much over 45%, and it was preferable to keep the skin on the thin side if you want a really crispy, shatter-type crust, with a thickness factor of the final skin of around 0.06. One could theoretically go over 45% hydration but you would have to come up with ways of getting more of the moisture content out of the dough during baking.

    I am talking here about skins that are not subjected to measures such as multiple folding and re-rolling in order to get several lamination layers. As you know, the master and expert on such measures is John (fazzari).

    Peter

    Peter,

    I donít know about you, but found the cracker-style pizza one of the hardest styles to even come close to what might be called a cracker-style pizza.  With all the different flours, hydrations, methods for mixing, how to form a dough ball, how thin the skin needs to be, to dock the skin or not, to oil the par-baked crust or not, how to bake the pizza in a cutter pan or not even par-bake the skin, it is really confusing at least for me.

    Thanks for explaining everything it takes to make a cracker-style pizza.

    I know John (fazzari) is the master and expert on laminations for a cracker-style pizza.

    Norma
  • #67 by Pete-zza on 02 May 2012
  • Norma,

    What makes it so difficult in a home setting is that we typically use a rolling pin to roll out the skin. It is almost impossible to roll out the skin so that it is the exact size and perfectly round. That means that we have to overshoot the size when rolling out the skin and then use something as a template to trim the skin to the desired size, like a pizza screen or cutter pan. That makes it difficult to get the perfect weight of the skin on the first try, with the precise thickness factor we want. The exercise becomes more of a math exercise and requires using a scale to weigh the skin. If we had a commercial sheeter or roller, the machine would produce either an individual skin of the proper size, shape and thickness or a continuous sheet from which one can cut out skins of the desired size, shape and thickness.

    Peter
  • #68 by DNA Dan on 02 May 2012
  • Peter you crack me up!

    Even with a dough sheeter there are a lot of inconsistencies with this style. IMO that is what makes John's input here so valuable. He is one of the few making this style in a commercial setting with a fair degree of consistency. He goes to great lengths to account for some variables I would not have even thought of.

    I agree Norma, it's a lot of work and there are a lot of factors that can make the style "hit or miss". When it's good it's really a great crust, when it's bad, I'd rather have a nice NY style.
  • #69 by norma427 on 02 May 2012
  • Peter you crack me up!

    Even with a dough sheeter there are a lot of inconsistencies with this style. IMO that is what makes John's input here so valuable. He is one of the few making this style in a commercial setting with a fair degree of consistency. He goes to great lengths to account for some variables I would not have even thought of.

    I agree Norma, it's a lot of work and there are a lot of factors that can make the style "hit or miss". When it's good it's really a great crust, when it's bad, I'd rather have a nice NY style.

    Dan,

    Peter cracks me up sometimes too!  :-D First he is almost called a stalker, and now he makes it sound like if the math is understood then each time, there might be a good crust.  Donít you know by now that Peter takes everything into account, including all the minor details.  All kidding aside, I think it is hard to make this type of pizza and a NY style is much easier. 

    You have all the right equipment now, with your sheeter and conveyor oven.  I am looking forward to all of your thin crust pizza attempts.   ;D

    John will always be the master of laminated cracker-style crusts. :chef:

    Norma
  • #70 by tedcholl on 25 Apr 2021
  • Hi Pete-zza,

    I made your dough yesterday and pizza today based on the recipe and process at Reply 2:

    https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5173.msg43961#msg43961

    I really like the way the pizza looked in the photos, especially the photos of the crust lamination so decided to give it a try.

    A few minor ways I deviated from your post.

    - I used Sunflower Oil vs Olive Oil.
    - I prepared the dough in a food processor vs a mixer
    - I forgot to dock the dough.

    Overall I got a tasty pizza but I suspect my results were not the same as yours and I'm not sure why.

    - The dough was sticky.  I hand massaged it for 1-2 minutes which helped but I still had a tacky dough requiring me to add some bench flour.  For some reason I don't understand, every dough I make at 48% and higher hydration results in a sticky dough, while at 45% and lower I do not get sticky dough.
    - While fermenting at room temp my dough balls would not retain the ball shape, they flattened out.  Same IDY yeast I've been using and is still good.
    - I didn't get the pastry dough laminations like you got in your photo and which I had hoped to achieve.  I did get alot of bubbles and some lamination, just not as much as you got.
    - I cut the pizza into pie shaped pieces as you did but I got a more droopy crust than you described that you got.
    - The resulting crust was more chewy than crunchy.  It was tasty but I was expecting more crunch that chew.

    I understand that following a recipe and a detailed process can still result in differences in the finished result but I admit to being somewhat perplexed in this particular case and without an understanding of why.

    Thanks for the original post and as you can see there are folks still using and benefiting from it!



  • #71 by Pete-zza on 25 Apr 2021
  • Ted,

    I decided to try Tom Lehmann's recipe for a cracker style pizza only because he came up with a recipe that he liked or recommended. And also I was curious to see what using baking soda would do to the pizza. What makes Tom's recipe tricky is that it uses such a high hydration value. When I played around with the DKM recipe for a cracker style pizza in the thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5762.msg48991#msg48991, I used mostly a hydration value of around 36%. At that value, I found that I got better results using my food processor than my KitchenAid stand mixer. And I sometimes used an autolyse to allow the dough to come together better because of the action of the protease enzymes.

    To modify Tom's recipe, I would be inclined to reduce the hydration value by several percent, as I did in Reply 22 in this thread and that resulted in a very nice pizza that I really liked. The reduced hydration should also keep the dough from flattening out as it did in your case. That would also allow you to use your food processor. In my case, I really didn't know what to expect or what results I might achieve. That was because I had only had one cracker style pizza in my life (a mediocre version from Domino's). Even today, where I live in Texas, I do not see cracker style pizzas sold by local pizzerias, at least not locally.

    Peter

  • #72 by tedcholl on 31 May 2021
  • November,

    Thanks.

    I read somewhere that a dough in the bowl loses about 2% of its weight, due to losses of gas and moisture in the dough and normal bowl losses. In my case, I used a bowl residue factor of 1.5%, which got me a final dough weight of 10 ounces, which is the number I wanted. I also read that a typical loaf of bread loses about 11% of its weight during proofing and baking. Using that latter number (even though it may be different for a pizza skin that is slowly baked) and adding together the weights of the sauce, cheese, oil for coating the dough, and the pepperoni slices, and allowing for some loss of liquid in the sauce, cheese and pepperoni slices, I estimated that the total weight of the pizza was around 20 ounces. Next time, I should actually weight the entire pizza. Fortunately, I only eat until I am satisfied, even though I was tempted this time. Beyond the point where I am sated, I find that the pizza slices just don't seem to taste as good to me. I'd rather save the leftover pizza for another time when I will like it as well as the original slices. 

    Peter

    I made a 14" thin crust pepperoni pizza (40% hydration, 6% shortening, 5.0 oz sauce, 7.0 oz cheese, and 7.45 oz pepperoni) this past weekend.  I weighed it before I cooked it, it was 31.70 oz, 898 grams.  After cooking it weighed 27.40 oz, 777 gr.   13.5% reduction in weight from cooking.

    Also, I normally use the 2% Residue factor which gives me close, but slightly below what the dough calculator gives me.   For the pizza above the dough calculator gave me a single ball weight of 367 grams using the 2% residue factor.  After mixing I got a ball of 359 grams and I'm very careful to minimize any loss.  After a 5.5 hr RTBF and a 3 day CF the ball was at 352 grams when I started rolling it out for the pizza.
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