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Author Topic: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?  (Read 1925 times)

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Offline jim2022

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How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« on: August 08, 2022, 09:52:30 AM »
Hello,

I joined this forum a few days ago. I have been trying to replicate my moms Sicilian pizza for years. I have a new approach. I was hoping to tell forum members what little I know about what she did and if someone could fill in the blanks?

Here is what I know:
1. The oven temp was 350F ( bake setting and lower rack I believe) pretty sure on the 350F and the bake setting only.
2. She used Fleishmann's active dry yeast from packet ( not sure how much she used )
3. She used  some sugar and olive oil and salt.
4. She mixed by hand and she used a rolling pin to roll out the dough.
5. The pizza ended up about 3/4" thick out of the oven.
6. I think the cooking time was maybe 50 mins.
7. I think foil was involved but maybe that was for Romano cheese, maybe it was to retain moisture too. But the foil may have come off the last 10 minutes of baking or maybe no foil at all. Sorry on this, I can't recall.
8. She pressed the pizza dough into a 10" x 15" pan and added the tomato sauce ( can't recall if the Romano was during baking or after the fact.)
9. The undercarriage was a little crispy but not crunchy. The "bread" was somewhat dense but not very spongy or springy.
10. I believe she coated the pan with olive oil but not positive.
11. Last but not least I know it was either bread flour all AP flour. Don't know bleached or unbleached, but it would be a common flour.

To save on ingredients, I was hoping to bake this in a 13"x 9" pan and take it from there.

I was hoping someone can reconstruct what she did and how much of what she used.

Please adjust for 13" x 9" pan and 3/4" high.

I have wasted many hours guessing ( all incorrect ) on what she did.

One last thing it took about 3 hrs to produce a pizza out of the oven.

Thanks,
Jim
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 09:57:44 AM by jim2022 »

Offline deb415611

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 11:43:39 AM »
My mom made pizza (at home)  in the 70's and all the recipes contained an entire packet of active dry yeast.   I would guess your mom's 3 hour pizza would have the same amount of yeast  ;D.    Below is a recipe from Evelyne Slomon's The Pizza Book (1984).   If you search her you can find her on the forum.   One thing I remember is that she said that the publishers wouldn't let her write the book she really wanted to write and that it was more geared towards the home cook.   


Sicilian-Style Dough for Large-Size Pizza    yield 1 15 to 16 inch round Sicilian-style thick crust

3/4 cups warm tap water (110-115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

rough directions:
- water in mixing bowl, sprinkle in yeast.  stir until dissolved
- add 1 cup flour, the olive oil and salt, mix thoroughly with wooden spoon. 
- add second cup flour and mix
- after the second cup of flour has been mixed in, the dough should start coming away from sides of bowl and begin to form soft, sticky mass
- measure out third cup of flour  sprinkle some over work surface and flour hands.  remove dough from bowl and kneading additional flour in
- add only as much flour as it takes to keep dough from sticking to your hands
- when dough is no longer sticky, push heel of hand down into it and hold for 10 seconds, if hand comes up clean dough is done, if sticks more kneading needed
- put in 2 quart bowl with veg oil, roll dough to cover wtih oil.  tightly seal bowl with plastic wrap
- place bowl in warm place , let rise 30 to 45 min. 
- once doubled punch down, knead for ~ 1 min
- can be rolled into pizza
- for slightly thicker crust let dough rise again for 10 to 20 min before baking


eta - updated to smaller amount.  You won't need that much dough but I don't have time to do conversion right now.
one thing to note - in the recipe she used same amount of yeast for 3 cups of flour that she did for 4 1/2 cups - so for this her yeast stays constant .  I'm not sure you would need an entire packet of yeast for a smaller dough.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 11:51:53 AM by deb415611 »
Deb

Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2022, 01:12:15 PM »
Hi Deb,

Thanks for the quick reply. It seems similar so I will try that next. This am I tried a 400g Sicilian pizza for a 13x9 pan and it came up to thin and to short.

Jim
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 02:44:48 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pizza-Face

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2022, 05:49:37 PM »
Try this:


Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2022, 06:55:42 PM »
Thanks Pizza-Face!

I figured I needed at least 500g total weight for the pizza I messed up this morning. Your pizza recipe is just over that a bit.

On another note just the conversion for Deb's recipe as is goes as follows:

-3/4 cups warm tap water (110-115 degrees) 177.44 grams of water
-1 package Fleischmann's Yeast, Active, Dry, 0.75-Ounce (= 21 g) Packet
-1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 US cup of olive oil weighs 53.2 grams.
-1/2 tsp salt weighs 3 g.
3 US cups (us cup of bread flour) = Equals : 381.00 grams (g / bread flour)

~635g.


=================================================================================

-3/4 cups warm tap water (110-115 degrees) 177.44 grams of water
-1 package Fleischmann's Yeast, Active, Dry, 0.75-Ounce (= 21 g) Packet
-1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 US cup of olive oil weighs 53.2 grams.
-1/2 tsp salt weighs 3 g.
3 US cups (us cup of all purpose flour (APF)) = Equals : 375.00 grams (g / all purpose flour (APF))

~629g.

Both based on 3 cups flour so far.

Jim

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Offline Pizza-Face

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2022, 07:37:11 PM »
Should've put IDY yeast on that listing. It IS IDY (Instant Dry Yeast, -recommend red-star) yeast, no mixing with water needed, but DO use warm water anyway -it helps yeast grow faster.
It's based on the same same day dough I use for my Sicilian Grandma pizza, but I don't use any oil in the dough since I bake at 550F in a Perdomo steel pan from Italy.

The crisco will edge out slower during the bake during a long 350F period, keeping some chewy-ness inside.
It may sizzle a bit when baking, so it'll be crunchy on bottom, just ignore that sizzle.

Pay mind that the dough will cling to the crisco lined pan so "lift" and "pull" big handfulls from the middle to the edges to keep it an even depth, then use your fingertips to push toward the edges. And it will also rise faster in that pan since it is at the edge of MAX for yeast -which is needed for a same day dough.

Bake on the middle rack since crisco tends to brown the bottom a bit faster! Not to many globs of cheese/toppings so it'll be some chew up top and not soggy, after all it is a long bake.

Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2022, 10:38:01 PM »
Hi Pizza-Face,

I see where you consider cooking it at 350F despite your method at 550F. I want to stick to the 350F and interestingly your mention of Crisco is something that my mom may have used. I plan on trying yours and Deb's this week.

Thanks,
Jim

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2022, 10:29:08 AM »

3/4 cups warm tap water (110-115 degrees)

Are you sure about that? Unless I'm missing something, that's an incredibly low amount of water to use with 3 to 3.5 cups of flour for this style of dough.
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Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2022, 11:02:19 AM »
Are you sure about that? Unless I'm missing something, that's an incredibly low amount of water to use with 3 to 3.5 cups of flour for this style of dough.
I think it will work. There's a good  amount of olive oil in there too. Looking at the gram weight estimates, with only water it's 47%. Add in a quarter cup of oil and the effective hydration (the oil won't hydrate the flour but it will make the dough wetter) is closer to 61%. Don't know if pizza will be like what Jim is looking for, but I think the dough will come together well.

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2022, 12:04:27 PM »
I think it will work. There's a good  amount of olive oil in there too. Looking at the gram weight estimates, with only water it's 47%. Add in a quarter cup of oil and the effective hydration (the oil won't hydrate the flour but it will make the dough wetter) is closer to 61%. Don't know if pizza will be like what Jim is looking for, but I think the dough will come together well.
It might sound okay by the numbers, but I would think that much oil in the mix would hinder the release of moisture during the bake too much and make the pizza way too dense and chewy.
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Offline deb415611

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2022, 12:45:54 PM »
Are you sure about that? Unless I'm missing something, that's an incredibly low amount of water to use with 3 to 3.5 cups of flour for this style of dough.

that's what's in the book.  you have to remember that this is a recipe out of an older book geared to the home cook.  I believe older home recipes had lower percents of water than what we use now.  Every recipe I remember my mom making when I was a kid/young adult had a whole package of yeast and lower percent of water.  Weighing ingredients wasn't a thing at home, you added more flour/water as needed.   
Deb

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2022, 02:48:34 PM »
It might sound okay by the numbers, but I would think that much oil in the mix would hinder the release of moisture during the bake too much and make the pizza way too dense and chewy.
Randy,

Tom Lehmann often talked about how oil was a tenderizer and could lead to a softer crust. See, for example:

Reply 1 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=61059.msg610279;topicseen#msg610279

Reply 3 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59304.msg594866#msg594866

Peter


Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2022, 03:10:02 PM »
Randy,

Tom Lehmann often talked about how oil was a tenderizer and could lead to a softer crust. See, for example:

Reply 1 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=61059.msg610279;topicseen#msg610279

Reply 3 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59304.msg594866#msg594866

Peter
Right, I'm aware of this idea. But by my calculations, the oil represents 14% of the recipe by baker's percentages, which is way beyond any figure I've ever seen for this type of dough- or any kind of dough for that matter. And what it does to the gluten vs what it does in the bake are two different things. I just don't see how using this much oil could really contribute to a good bake.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2022, 11:51:44 AM »
Right, I'm aware of this idea. But by my calculations, the oil represents 14% of the recipe by baker's percentages, which is way beyond any figure I've ever seen for this type of dough- or any kind of dough for that matter. And what it does to the gluten vs what it does in the bake are two different things. I just don't see how using this much oil could really contribute to a good bake.
Randy,

You may well be right. However, about the only times that I can recall an amount of oil in double digits--in some cases over 20%--is with respect to Chicago deep-dish and stuffed pizzas, both of which require pans with fairly tall sides, typically over an inch or so. In those cases, it seems to me that the oil performs differently than in a regular dough, even one in a pan with a small rim. So, it might be that the oil in such a dough results in a tender crust, as opposed to a flaky/biscuity one that is characteristic of the deep-dish and stuffed pizzas.

It will be interesting to see what jim2022 gets with the dough recipe he is using. This is how we learn.

Peter

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2022, 01:07:59 PM »
Randy,

You may well be right. However, about the only times that I can recall an amount of oil in double digits--in some cases over 20%--is with respect to Chicago deep-dish and stuffed pizzas, both of which require pans with fairly tall sides, typically over an inch or so. In those cases, it seems to me that the oil performs differently than in a regular dough, even one in a pan with a small rim. So, it might be that the oil in such a dough results in a tender crust, as opposed to a flaky/biscuity one that is characteristic of the deep-dish and stuffed pizzas.

It will be interesting to see what jim2022 gets with the dough recipe he is using. This is how we learn.

Peter
Yes, I thought of Chicago deep dish crust not long after I made that last statement. In that case, the oil is clearly not there to make the dough airier. And when you think about it, the recipe shown here for the Sicilian dough is actually not all that far off from some of the thin/cracker crust recipes posted here on the forum, at least with respect to the hydration and oil quantities. I have a very hard time visualizing how this recipe could produce anything remotely resembling a Sicilian pizza crust.
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Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2022, 09:01:15 AM »
Hello,

I do see some new responses and I happened to look here after say 10P.M. last night. But on a whim I wanted to see if the recipe on a phone app that I have been using can work. The first time I tried this recipe from the app I ended up with too little dough. So I wanted to try that again with 480g. of dough because I think that should be a good amount for a 9" x 13" pan.

Although I did mention the 3hr time from start to finish of my mom's pizza made the dough late last night and then let it rise overnight at room temp.

I am attaching the recipe and what the dough looks like now in a pyrex bowl. The pyrex bowl is 8.5" round and the pizza dough stands 1-3/4" tall inside the bowl. It is somewhat spongy.

I am hoping someone can give some hints as to what to do next and where the bake is at 350F and the time is say 50 mins to 60 mins. The time and temp I wish to keep as is.

But the next part is really the question. What I do know is the outer perimeter of the crust from here pizza was a tiny bit crunchy. I usually end up with rock hard here.

The bottom of the crust came out browned and maybe a slight crunch to it. The bread portion itself was kinda of dense but not spongy and the height was about 3/4" tall as I recall. I realize this height depends on dough amount pan size etc, but I am just saying 3/4" tall.

So it has been say 10 hrs where the dough has been fermenting and I was hoping the next steps I could get from someone on this forum.

1. I know she did coat the rectangular pan with EVOO - how much not sure. Maybe this dough is doomed because she actually used alot of oil in the dough itself as was suggested above, but right now too late.

2. She also may have used Crisco on the pan too? Maybe not.

3. I do recall foil being used somehow. I wonder if the foil covered the pizza dough + sauce only while in the oven for say 75% of the total time in the oven?

Also the thing I can't figure out is how the Romano cheese looked only slightly cooked when served. I have trouble remembering if the cheese when on after the pizza came out or the foil protected the cheese and helped keep the dough soft where it was in the oven for almost an hour.

I was hoping someone could take these variables and let me know what you would do with the doughball which is sitting in the Pyrex bowl.

No worries if something goes wrong, because my best guess after the doughball stage has never really worked out anyway.

One other thought is maybe she painted EVOO around the edges of the crust, maybe not.

Attaching 2 images of what I have so far.

Thanks in advance.

Jim

« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 10:10:43 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2022, 09:56:16 AM »
I actually found this image on the web. I just wanted to show what I am aiming for. I also see that recipe too. But I am hoping the dough I already have will work out too.

Jim

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2022, 09:59:03 AM »


I am hoping someone can give some hints as to what to do next and where the bake is at 350F and the time is say 50 mins to 60 mins. The time and temp I wish to keep as is.

But the next part is really the question. What I do know is the outer perimeter of the crust from here pizza was a tiny bit crunchy. I usually end up with rock hard here.

I think you've pretty much answered your own question right there. That is an inordinately long bake time for any style of pizza, by my reckoning. If you're really committed to keeping the bake temp the same, then I would say you probably need to cut the time down to more like 30 to 35 minutes, max. If I were doing a Sicilian, I would increase the temp to at least 450 degrees and bake it for a shorter time. Also, a preheated baking surface, such as a steel or stone, really helps to get a good crisp on the bottom of the pizza, if that's what you want. Let it preheat a good 45 minutes to an hour and set your pan on top of that. A higher bake temp also helps to heat up the moisture in the dough faster and give a better rise and better aeration in the crust. I'm not totally sure exactly what kind of texture you're hoping to achieve in your crust, but if it's an airy and light crust you're after, I think you're going to have a real struggle baking at a low temp for such a long time. That's my 2 cent's worth.
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Offline jim2022

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2022, 10:12:16 AM »
RHawthorne,

Thanks for the reply. I am now thinking that my mom may have used a decent amount of EVOO in the dough itself. This was mentioned above. If that is true it is my understanding the EVOO tends to mitigate the water being removed from the dough at 350F? Maybe the foil was used to help retian moisture too - I don't know if the foil was used in the oven as I have mentioned, but it could have been.

At the 11 hour mark the dough is now 2" tall in the PYREX bowl. I will preheat the oven ( as you suggest )and use a pizza stone and then pan on top of that. Maybe more oil to the dough and then thin coat of oil on the pan also.

Thanks for your input!
Jim
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 10:14:13 AM by jim2022 »

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: How did she make the Sicilian Pizza?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2022, 10:31:13 AM »

Thanks for the reply. I am now thinking that my mom may have used a decent amount of EVOO in the dough itself. This was mentioned above. If that is true it is my understanding the EVOO tends to mitigate the water being removed from the dough at 350F?
Jim
That's all the more reason why this approach would not work well, IMO. You want that moisture to evaporate in the bake; you don't want to trap it in the dough. A long bake time won't achieve anything that a shorter bake time can't anyway, with or without oil. Baking at a high temp with no oil in the dough (for too long) and baking at a low temp with oil in the dough for a long time might very well produce the same effect- a hard dough with inadequate aeration. By no means am I trying to present myself as an expert on this style of pizza; this is a style I don't feel I've really perfected yet myself. But what I know about pizza in general leads me to these conclusions.
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