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  • #381 by Pete-zza on 04 Sep 2018
  • here is my dough from yesterday that I just now took out of the fridge. any thoughts or opinions? thanks
    pizzaman1,

    I'm with Steve on this one ;D. You will only know what you've got by preparing the dough for use. In theory, you may get more flavor through the long fermentation but the texture and crust coloration might be different. As they say, making predictions is difficult, especially when they are about the future.

    Peter
  • #382 by steel_baker on 04 Sep 2018
  • I am watching this bake from cold fermented dough with great interest. I have not been able to cook even an acceptable tray of pizza since I moved to Colorado 5 years ago. Living at nearly 7,000', I have adjusted the dough recipe constantly and the texture is never just right. It seems that whenever I get the structure & airiness right, it's too soft & bread like. The issue overall is of course that the yeast is working too fast because the of the low pressure here (approx 23" mercury- standard at sea level is 29.95"). When the yeast rises the dough too fast, it outraces the ability of the dough to form a "structure" of any type that is self supporting during the process of rising. What happens is that it looks great coming out of the oven, but it falls into crumbs when you try to take it out of the pan. Nothing but saucy cheesy mush. It all turns to crumbs.   ???

    In a 5 year effort to correct this, I have adjusted yeast & salt numerous times. I've deleted sugar, deleted oil, added sugar back, all kinds of things trying to fix this mess but it doesn't seem to help much. I have been considering trying cold fermentation to slow everything down in an effort to get it to build a strong dough overnight. I'll be watching this bake to see the results.

    Other issues with baking this pizza at high altitude: 1) the cheese burns extremely quickly given the low humidity here (typically 5-15%) necessitating the need to pre-bake without cheese for the first half of baking time, 2) browning can be difficult. I've had some trays where the crust was nearly overdone by the time I could get the browning needed.

    And of course, the usual oven issues that come along with a different oven. Back east, I was using a gorgeous Wolf Dual Fuel range with nearly perfect temperature control & even heat. The pizza always browned easily and the cheese wouldn't burn until the end of the bake. Slid out of the tray easily every time. Now I have an old GE wall oven that I have to monitor the temperature in because it overshoots the temp setting by 50 degrees then slowly comes back down. Heat is uneven resulting in the need to turn every tray halfway through the bake.

    What I do find interesting, is that I occasionally whip up a batch of the Lehmann dough recipe & make some NY style pizzas on a stone. The crust comes out beautiful every time. So the issue is this high hydration, high yeast dough used for VP style pizza. I do have 3 local baker friends (2 pizza & 1 bakery) that I have considered talking to for advice. They're all east coast guys so they had to change their baking when they moved out here to high altitude. They may have some good advice on the subject, especially the 2 pizza guys. They both bake excellent NY style pizzas, consistently voted the best in their communities. But then the NY style dough doesn't seem to be an issue.

    So bottom line, I'm still pushing forward to continue this pizza quest. Hopefully someday I will beat this altitude and get this pizza consistently right again, like I used to.

     :chef:
  • #383 by NepaBill on 04 Sep 2018
  • #384 by PizzaBinge on 04 Sep 2018

  • So bottom line, I'm still pushing forward to continue this pizza quest. Hopefully someday I will beat this altitude and get this pizza consistently right again, like I used to.

     :chef:

    sb, I havenít kept up with your recipe changes, have you tried switching to a regular moisture cheese? I donít have the altitude issue like you, but I do use the 2% IDY in an overnight cold ferment where I have incorporated ice into the hydration, works really well.
  • #385 by steel_baker on 04 Sep 2018
  • sb, I havenít kept up with your recipe changes, have you tried switching to a regular moisture cheese? I donít have the altitude issue like you, but I do use the 2% IDY in an overnight cold ferment where I have incorporated ice into the hydration, works really well.

    I haven't posted any changes because it has not been consistently successful. At anything but high altitude, I would continue to rely on the original recipe as posted.  I haven't specifically looked for higher moisture cheese. I can do that with mozzarella but it will be difficult with white cheddar. There is not much choice here with that. You have to buy whatever you can find. But it's certainly worth a try.

     :D
  • #386 by PizzaBinge on 04 Sep 2018
  • I haven't posted any changes because it has not been consistently successful. At anything but high altitude, I would continue to rely on the original recipe as posted.  I haven't specifically looked for higher moisture cheese. I can do that with mozzarella but it will be difficult with white cheddar. There is not much choice here with that. You have to buy whatever you can find. But it's certainly worth a try.

     :D

    If all else fails I think a blending of part skim mozzarella & cheddar might help the issue.
  • #387 by steel_baker on 04 Sep 2018
  • If all else fails I think a blending of part skim mozzarella & cheddar might help the issue.

    Actually I already do that. Because the white cheddar I can get here seems to be of mediocre quality, I've gone from 100% white cheddar back to a 50/50 cheddar/mozzarella blend. It melts better & burns a bit less. I used this blend during my early days making this pizza back east. I switched over to all cheddar because it's more authentic to the original and I could easily get high quality white cheddar. Since that's no longer the case here, I went back to the blend. It may be worthwhile for me to go down to a 75/25 mozzarella/white cheddar blend. That would perhaps ease the burning and still give some tang from the white cheddar.

     :D
  • #388 by steel_baker on 04 Sep 2018
  • Good article about high altitude..  https://slice.seriouseats.com/2011/02/pizza-protips-baking-at-high-altitude-adjustments.html

    Good article but it contains all of the usual tips. Been reading those for 5 years now. One of the important tips that I alluded to in a previous post today was cold fermentation. This will be my next step, making the dough the day before. From the article:

    The best way to slow down the bread's activity is to keep it chilly. Many bread recipes advise finding a warm spot in the kitchen to let the bread rise. Some recommend placing the bread on the top of the refrigerator or inside the oven with the light on. My oven even has two proofing settings for a fast proof and a slow one. That's fine at sea level, but at high altitude, ignore the search for the warm spot, and find a cooler spot instead.

    And of course, the resulting action at high altitude that makes corrections for it necessary:

    you need to make sure your gluten structure is well developed and strong enough to hold those pesky bubbles


    Yep, them pesky bubbles!!

     ;D

  • #389 by pizzaman1 on 04 Sep 2018
  • sorry if i missed this info..... but how important is temperature for this dough? should i be measuring the temp of the water,flour,final dough etc? thanks
  • #390 by NepaBill on 04 Sep 2018
  • You should find yourself an old pressure cooker..  The kind that goes on the stove..  Buy a $3 threaded valve stem..  Drill a hole in the pressure cooker, or if you can't, find someone to do it for you..  Now you can seal your dough  and with a bicycle pump, increase the pressure to 14.7 psi.  Throw it in your fridge to cold ferment..  If that don't do it move..  Good pizza is too damn important.
  • #391 by steel_baker on 07 Sep 2018
  • You should find yourself an old pressure cooker..  The kind that goes on the stove..  Buy a $3 threaded valve stem..  Drill a hole in the pressure cooker, or if you can't, find someone to do it for you..  Now you can seal your dough  and with a bicycle pump, increase the pressure to 14.7 psi.  Throw it in your fridge to cold ferment..  If that don't do it move..  Good pizza is too damn important.

    Ha! Spent 60 years in PA. Too much heat & humidity in the summertime. 5% Humidity here means my sinuses stay clear. Could never move to a lower altitude. Too many health benefits living at high altitude.
  • #392 by steel_baker on 07 Sep 2018
  • sorry if i missed this info..... but how important is temperature for this dough? should i be measuring the temp of the water,flour,final dough etc? thanks

    Not necessary.
  • #393 by pizzaman1 on 13 Sep 2018
  • can anyone tell me if this style of dough can be used for strombolis,calzone, stuffed pizzas etc? thanks
  • #394 by steel_baker on 12 Oct 2018
  • Tried another high altitude bake tonight and it appears to be much better. I drastically lowered the amount of yeast & salt and made the dough yesterday so it's been in the fridge overnight. This time it stayed intact and actually had a nice firm structure. I'll make it a day ahead of time from now on to take advantage of the cold slow rise. Now I need to tweak it a bit to get the crumb I'm looking for. The crust tonight was fairly dense so I'd definitely like to lighten it up a bit. The recipe I used in making the dough yesterday was:

    Bread Flour       430g          100%
    Water               301g            70%
    Salt                      8g            1.9%
    IDY                      4g               1%

    My next batch I'll up the yeast to 6g and keep the salt at 8g. Overnight refrigeration should keep the rise low & slow.

  • #395 by steel_baker on 12 Oct 2018
  • can anyone tell me if this style of dough can be used for strombolis,calzone, stuffed pizzas etc? thanks

    I think you'd want a lower hydration dough for strombolis & calzones. This dough at 70% hydration is too sticky to work with much. I'd use the Leeman recipe. I use it whenever I bake NY style pizzas and it comes out great nearly every time. Easy to spread and gets nice & thin. I was surprised the first time i made it how easy it was to get it thin enough to windowpane. Makes a gorgeous thin pizza.
  • #396 by mkoss on 16 Dec 2018
  • Steel Baker is the latest recipe for a 11 X 17 pan?. Are there any new sources for good pizza pans? I need an 9 X 12
  • #397 by steel_baker on 16 Dec 2018
  • Steel Baker is the latest recipe for a 11 X 17 pan?. Are there any new sources for good pizza pans? I need an 9 X 12

    Yes, it's for 11x17. If you need 9x12, then just change the quantity of ingredients based upon the area of the pan. The 11x17=187 sq in vs the 9x12=108 sq in. 108/187=0.58 so multiply the quantities of the ingredients in the 11x17 recipe by 0.58 to arrive at the quantities for a 9x12 pan. That's how I've always made the adjustment. It's also why I do everything in grams on these recipes now, it's much more granular & easy to scale.

    In terms of where to purchase, I haven't bought pans now for about 7 years so I don't really know where to direct you on this. Amazon sells nice Paderno Blue Steel baking sheets but they're only about 1" high so you have to be careful not to use too much oil in them.
  • #398 by mkoss on 16 Dec 2018
  • there was a reference to land of lakes cheddar before. The one from Genoa Supplies Pizza Loven uses is the Genoa brand Wisconsin cheddar. the reason I know is one time in the past they packaged some items in a box that was labeled Genoa Wisconsin cheddar. 42 lbs is a lot of cheese for 1 person but if a number of people are interested we can arrange to split a block somehow when I frequent the area preferably when its cold for easy shipping. Just a thought.
  • #399 by NepaBill on 17 Dec 2018
  • Mkoss..  I live in the Victory Pig and Pizza L'oven territory..  Are you sure it wasn't cheese supplied by a local pizza restaurant supply in the Wilkes-Barre area called Genoa Foods?  www.genoafoods.com
    The cheese they carry most likely used is Land O'lakes mild cheddar.  This cheese is unlike any cheddar you'll find in a grocery store..  Very mild, no sharpness.  I buy it all the time from another local pizza restaurant supply.  You should be able to contact Land O'lakes and find a local distributor in your area.
  • #400 by mkoss on 17 Dec 2018
  • Yes Genoa supply in Plains. If you get the pdf of the supplies there's 2 listed as 40 lb blocks Land of Lakes and Genoa brand Wisconsin cheddar. It the latter they used a box from to package some items for me years ago.
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