• #41 by Foccaciaman on 09 Oct 2004
  • Fat Shmat, ya want healthy

    Eat Beansprouts

    You want taste

    You need Fat.

     ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
  • #42 by DKM on 09 Oct 2004
  • If people knew that amount of fat that is in most restaurant recipes (I'm talking all types, not just pizza) most would have a heart attack just from hearing it.

  • #43 by Pete-zza on 10 Oct 2004
  • Canadave,

    As I mentioned previously, the equation W = Pi (i.e., 3.14) x R x R x TF can be used to calculate the dough weight for a desired size (diameter) and thickness of pizza.  The same equation can also be used--with a simple manipulation--for dough scaling purposes based on actual experience.  Assume, for example, that you determined through the process of experimentation or trial and error that the ideal, or "perfect" dough ball weight (from your perspective) for a 14-inch pizza is 16 ounces.  Using the expression (3.14 x R x R), where R is equal to 7, the surface area of the pizza would be calculated to be 153.86 square inches (3.14 x 7 x 7).  A value for the thickness factor TF based on the 14-inch size pizza would then be calculated by dividing 16 by 153.86, or 0.1039906.  That would become your "personal" TF number.  (Mathematically, TF = W/(3.14 x R x R)).

    That same TF could then be used for other size pizzas for scaling purposes, using the expression for W given above.   For example, to determine the dough ball weight for another size pizza, say, 12 inches, the corresponding value of the new dough ball weight would be calculated by multiplying the surface area of the 12-inch pizza, or 113.04 square inches (3.14 x 6 x 6), by 0.1039906 (your personal TF), or about 11.8 ounces.  To scale up to a larger size pizza, say, 16 inches, the amount of dough required would be calculated by multiplying the surface area of the 16-inch pizza, or 200.96 square inches (3.14 x 8 x8), by 0.1039906, or about 20.9 ounces.  The dough ball weight for any other size pizza, up or down in diameter, would be calculated in the same manner.  So, as you can see, you do not have to lock yourself into one of the three TF numbers I mentioned as being typical for the three different thicknesses--thin, medium, and thick.  Of course, to determine your own TF means having to weigh the dough balls you make and then finding what weight works best for you in terms of producing the "perfect" crust thickness relative to the size (diameter) of the pizzas you make.  

  • #44 by Pete-zza on 10 Oct 2004
  • I thought I would devote this posting today to address more fully the subject of autolyse in the context of making pizzas and pizza dough.  As reported in an earlier posting in this thread, I introduced an autolyse to Tom L.'s NY style pizza dough recipe as one of my several experiments with the recipe.  Autolyse (pronounced "otto-lease") is a fancy term for a simple concept--a period of rest for a dough as part of the overall process of forming and kneading a dough.  Its origins are principally in bread making (mainly artisanal breads) rather than the making of dough for pizzas.  In fact, I first became aware of the use and benefits of autolyse from making artisanal sourdough breads in accordance with the teachings of Nancy Silverton in her book "Breads from La Brea Bakery".  

    In the strictest technical sense, autolyse is a period of rest for a dough made from mixing flour and water, and usually yeast--but not salt.  Sometimes the term has been used for doughs incorporating other ingredients also--such as sugar, oil and/or salt.  The term is even used on occasion--I suspect somewhat incorrectly--to describe the period of rest to which a dough is sometimes subjected to allow the gluten to relax more fully because the dough is overly elastic (with springback) and difficult to shape. Over time, the term autolyse has come to be used to describe almost any period of rest to which a dough is subjected.

    The notion of using autolyse for bread making developed a following, especially among artisanal bread makers, because the autolyse allowed the starch and gluten in a dough to better absorb water (hydrate), it allowed gluten developed in the dough to relax more fully and provide greater softness in the dough, it reduced oxidation of the flour and thereby preserved color and flavor contributing vitamins (such as carotenoids), it reduced the overall kneading time, and resulted in a soft, more open crumb in the crust. Leaving the salt out of the dough during the autolyse minimized the potentially harmful effects of salt on the yeast (if incorporated into the dough) and thereby allowed somewhat greater volume expansion of the dough.

    In looking at pizza dough recipes at this forum and elsewhere, I saw that autolyse, in pretty much all its forms and variations, has been incorporated in one fashion or another into many of the recipes I saw for making pizza doughs.  As previously mentioned, even Peter Reinhart, whose original work with doughs came out of bread making more so than pizza dough making, is also an advocate of using rest periods in the course of making pizza doughs (including for his NY style pizza dough in his book "American Pie").  

    All of this begs the question of whether there is a legitimate role for autolyse or other forms of rest periods in pizza dough making.  To be sure, the concept of autolyse does not appear to be generally endorsed by the commercial pizza industry.  In fact, when I did a search of the term "autolyse" at the PMQ forum, I came up with exactly 0 hits.  Combining that term with "pizza" or "pizza dough" at Google, got me 33 hits and 9 hits, respectively, and many of those were not directly on point and none was in the context of practices employed by the commercial pizza industry.  Tom L. himself has on many occasions stated that bread making is not the same as pizza making.  All of this leads me to believe that the general pizza industry does not see sufficient value to using autolyse in their practices, or the use of autolyse has gone generally unreported, or the current practices followed by pizza professionals do not lend themselves well to incorporating autolyse into their processes, even if the perceived benefits of autolyse are understood and appreciated.  In a home environment, introducing rest periods is easy to do.  For a stand mixer or a food processor, all that is necessary is to stop the machine for several minutes (5-20 minutes is typical) during the process of kneading and let the dough rest.  It may be a little bit more difficult to program rest periods (autolyse or otherwise) into a bread making machine, but it can be done.  Autolyse and other forms of rest periods can also be introduced into a hand-kneaded dough.  

    None of this is to suggest that everyone immediately incorporate autolyse into their pizza dough recipes. My experience with autolyse is that it does produce a somewhat surprisingly soft and malleable dough and contributes to a more open and porous crumb, and for those who like that characteristic in a crust, whether for a NY style pizza or any other style pizza, incorporating an autolyse or other rest period(s) into the dough making process may be a useful tool for the home pizza maker.  As with any tool, the user will have to do some experimenting to determine its potential value.


  • #45 by stock on 11 Oct 2004
  • pete: this is perhaps a dumb question, but when incorporating autolyse into your dough making, do you knead for, say ~5 minutes, and then let it rest awhile, and then throw the salt in and knead it a little more?  the reason i ask is because i could see myself doing this in such a way that the salt doesn't get evenly mixed into the rest of the dough.
    • stock
  • #46 by Foccaciaman on 11 Oct 2004
  • Good to hear from ya scott, I thought you had abandoned us. ;D ;D
  • #47 by stock on 11 Oct 2004
  • Quote
    Good to hear from ya scott, I thought you had abandoned us.

    after i graduated i went to live with my grandparents for awhile, and i wasn't able to make pizzas there.  after escaping that place i then spent a bunch of time studying for the law school admissions test.  however, now i'm back home, done studying, and ready to make some pizza. :)
    • stock
  • #48 by Pete-zza on 11 Oct 2004
  • Scott,

    It's not a dumb question at all.  The most effective way of doing an autolyse (whether it is 5 minutes or something else) seems to be the way you suggested.   The autolyse is usually used at the beginning of the kneading process, after you have combined the flour and water (and, often, the yeast) and before adding the salt.  The concern you voice about incorporating the salt into an already-kneaded dough is a legitimate one.  In fact, you will note that once salt is added to a dough that has been subjected to a fair amount of kneading, the dough is very likely to tighten, develop tears, and become more difficult to knead and stretch. It's actually quite interesting to observe this phenomenon since it demonstrates how dough and salt aren't naturally compatible.  Anyone who has ever made bread dough by hand following this procedure will be intimately familiar with the difficulty of incorporating salt into an already-kneaded dough.  

    However, once the salt has been completely worked into the dough, whether by machine (which will be faster) or by hand, the gluten in the dough become stronger, and the dough is thus capable of stretching farther without ripping.  At this stage, the salt will improve the texture and the elasticity of the dough, increase the dough's capacity to retain gasses (air and carbon dioxide) and, consequently, expand the volume of the dough.  It's just the short while when the salt is being worked uniformly into the dough that you will note how antagonistic the dough is to the salt.  In some respects, it is like trying to incorporate oil into an already-kneaded dough, which is a practice recommended by Tom L. (as opposed to mixing the oil in with the water, etc.)   It takes a minute or two for the oil and the already-kneaded dough to come together to form a smooth ball.  


  • #49 by Randy on 11 Oct 2004
  • I've tried autolyse for a couple of months but found I prefered Pizza without the delay.

  • #50 by Pete-zza on 11 Oct 2004
  • Randy,

    Thus far, I have tended to use autolyse where I want a soft and open crumb, as with certain Neapolitan style crusts based on 00 flour or equivalent flour combinations.  With the NY style, I tend to prefer the thin, chewy, leathery crust, but once in a while I will use the autolyse even for the NY style just as a change of pace.  I notice that Peter Reinhart uses rest periods in all his dough recipes in American Pie.

  • #51 by Pierre on 11 Oct 2004
  • Hi Scott, also glad to hear from you again.

    Has LMU ever reported in again from his trip to Italy? Strange..... a few weeks ago I was wondering whether you 2 were still with us or not...

    looking forward to your postings

  • #52 by Pete-zza on 12 Oct 2004
  • Having recently experimented with stand mixer and food processor versions of Tom L.'s NY style pizza dough recipe, I thought it might be useful to try to develop a workable version of Tom's recipe for automatic bread making machines--for those who may have a bread maker but not a stand mixer or food processor. As regular readers of this forum may recall, I had previously attempted a bread machine version of a NY style dough (using Tom L.'s recipe) and reported on the results, along with a photo, at the Quality NY toppings thread at,524.msg4871.html#msg4871 (Reply 57). My complaints at the time were that the dough rose too much, both in the machine and later in the refrigerator (because of excessive heat buildup in the dough), and that the finished crust was more breadlike than I liked. This time around, I tried to take steps to address some of these concerns.  

    Before discussing the most recent bread machine experiment and the results, I think it might be useful to make some basic observations about the use of bread making machines to make pizza dough.  

    First and foremost, the principal purpose of a bread making machine is to make bread dough, not pizza dough. What this means is that the pizza dough made in a bread machine will have more of the characteristics of a bread dough than a pizza dough and these characteristics will be reflected in the finished product. Tom L. frequently says that making bread dough is different from making pizza dough and I believe he is correct, and even more so when the pizza dough is made in a bread machine.  

    Second, to be effective at making a pizza dough, the bread machine requires a minimum size dough ball. Otherwise, the dough can become impaled on one or the other of the two dough blades and just rotate without kneading, or bounce between the two dough blades, again without being kneaded or sufficiently kneaded. So, dough ball size is important to be sure that the dough ball you produce gets sufficient kneading.  

    Third, it is difficult, without altering the dough making processes of the bread machine or using the programming cycle, to control the temperature of the finished dough. I have a Zojirushi machine, and if it is like other bread machines, it has a fixed-duration preheat cycle, during which it tries to stabilize the dough ingredients at a specified temperature (around 82 degrees F for my machine), and a fixed-duration knead cycle that follows the preheat cycle. Trying to control the finished dough temperature under those constraints, using the standard method of controlling the water temperature, becomes a hit or miss proposition at best (although I do have some suggestions for dealing with this concern, as will be noted below).  

    Fourth, the knead cycle of bread machines can be quite long, more than what one would normally use for making a pizza dough. In my machine, it is about 13-14 minutes and can create a significant buildup of heat in the dough. In fact, when I calculated the temperature of water I would need to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 80-85 degrees F (the range called for in Tom L.'s recipe), I estimated that the amount of heat that my bread machine would produce due to friction would be about 15 degrees F--somewhere between a stand mixer and a food processor. As I later discovered after the dough was finished kneading, it was more like 40 degrees F. Where I miscalculated was underestimating the amount of heat that a 13-14 minute knead (continuous) can produce.  

    In making the dough for the most recent experiment, I decided to use enough flour and other ingredients to produce a dough ball size of about 22 ounces which, for my bread machine, seems to be about the minimum that it can handle and produce a decent dough ball.  For the experiment, I also decided to use a thickness factor of 0.105, which places the dough thickness between thin and medium. I selected a hydration percentage of 60% and used instant dry yeast (IDY) at 0.25%. Following the calculation techniques reported in earlier postings in this thread, I came up with the following formulation:

         Flour, high-gluten (Giusto), 13.55 oz. (about 3 3/8 c.)
         Water (60% hydration), 8.15 oz. (about 1 c.)
         Salt, 1.21 t. (slightly less than 1 1/4 t.)
         Oil (olive, light), 0.82 t. (slightly more than 3/4 t.)
         IDY yeast (at 0.25%), 0.32 t. (approx. 1/3 t.)

    To process the dough, using the basic dough cycle of my Zo machine, I put the ingredients into the bread pan in the manner specified by the instruction booklet, that is, water (at 63 degrees F, based on my initial calculation), flour, salt, oil, and yeast. During the approximately 20-minute preheat cycle, the ingredients were warmed, achieving a temperature, including the water, of about 80 degrees F. At the end of the preheat cycle, the knead cycle commenced, and continued for the next 13-14 minutes. The knead cycle produced a dough ball that was flawless. The dough ball was smooth and shiny without any tears on the outer surface, and there wasn't a speck of flour left in the baking pan. My only disappointment--a technical one only--was that the finished dough temperature was 88 degrees F. Working backward from this figure, I estimated that the proper frictional temperature factor I should have used for the experiment was around 40 degrees F, not the 15 degrees F figure I initially used. Using the 40 degrees F friction factor would have called for a water temperature of about 39 degrees F.  

    Once the dough ball had been completely kneaded, I oiled it lightly, placed it in a loosely covered metal tin, and placed it in the refrigerator.  After an hour, I covered the tin tightly with the lid and returned the tin to the refrigerator. Exactly 24 hours after the dough had gone into the refrigerator, I brought the dough to room temperature where it stayed for 1 hour, at which time I shaped the dough into a 16-inch round on a 16-inch pizza screen. The dough was extensible and not overly elastic and handled very well. After dressing the pizza (with a basic marinara sauce, sliced mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and sliced sausage), the pizza was baked on the screen for about 5 minutes and for a final 2 minutes on a pizza stone that had been preheated at 500-550 degrees F for 1 hour. The finished product is shown in the photo below, and in a slice form in the next posting.

    As I expected, the crust of the finished pizza had a breadlike character--reflecting the long knead cycle, which tends to produce a more dense crumb and a less airy texture. The crust was properly browned and had a leathery character typical of NY style crusts, although the bottom crust was a bit thicker than usual (because of the higher thickness factor selected). I had no problem with the taste of the pizza, although I believe that using a stand mixer or food processor does an overall better job than a bread machine, especially in being able to more carefully monitor and control the processing and the characteristics of the finished product.

    Nonetheless, I believe that the pizza dough made with a bread machine can be improved further by taking the following possible steps. First, I would use ice cold water. Although all of the water could be put in the bread pan all at once, I might be inclined to put a part of the water in the bread pan at the beginning (to minimize the heating effects of the preheating cycle) and the rest of it as soon as the knead cycle begins. Second, I would shorten the length of the dough kneading cycle, by watching the dough as it is being kneaded and then removing it as soon as it is smooth and shiny. The combination of both of these steps should reduce the buildup of heat in the finished dough. As another possible step, I would consider using a higher hydration percentage, to achieve a more open and airy crumb, being careful to monitor the dough kneading process to be sure that the bread machine can handle the higher hydration without producing a gummy mess. At some point, I plan to test out these possible changes to see if the anticipated improvements are actually achievable.



  • #53 by Pete-zza on 12 Oct 2004
  • And a Lehmann slice (bread machine version).
  • #54 by stock on 12 Oct 2004
  • good to see you again as well, Pierre. :)

    Pete, please allow me to thank you for the time and effort you've put into this thread; i've found it incredibly informative, as well as enjoyable.  (i always find myself a bit at a loss for words when i phrase things this way, since i haven't explicitly thanked you yet--only said i want to.  so, um, i really appreciate what you're doing, and i look forward to putting some of this information into action.)
    • stock
  • #55 by Pete-zza on 12 Oct 2004
  • Stock,

    Thanks for the kind words.  If you are going to law school, you'll most likely end up eating a lot of pizzas as you hit the books at night.  Being able to make some good ones, whether it is a Tom L. NY style or some other, will come in handy :).  

  • #56 by Foccaciaman on 19 Oct 2004
  • Here is my most recent NY Style with the Lehman recipe.
  • #57 by Steve on 19 Oct 2004
  • Wow!!  :o

    That looks great!!  8)
  • #58 by DKM on 19 Oct 2004
  • Now that looks like a pizza 8)
  • #59 by canadave on 20 Oct 2004
  • I made a pizza that looked just like that, about two days ago, using the Lehmann-based recipe.  Tasted delicious, too--I was very happy with it.  Tasted GREAT after being re-heated the next day--another true mark of a good NYC pizza :)

  • #60 by Pete-zza on 20 Oct 2004
  • Foccaciaman and Canadave,

    Would you guys mind sharing your particular versions of Tom L.'s NY style dough recipe for those who may want to try their hand at making a NY style pizza along the lines of Tom's recipe?  Also, would you make any particular recommendations for improving the recipe based on your own experiences?