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Author Topic: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey  (Read 38008 times)

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Offline quietdesperation

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quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« on: December 02, 2016, 10:34:54 PM »
yes, it's true, most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Never was Thoreau's aphorism proven more correct than today, when I embarked upon my NY pizza journey with results ranging between disastrous to (barely) edible. Without further ado, here is the tale pf pizza number 1.

my setup is two 8.5x11x.5 steel plates resting on 4 aluminum tubes. The tubes are just the right height to the steel over the lip of the oven rack, buying me an extra 1.5 inches. I know the whole thing looks tilted but it's not, just poor photography skills.

That fan in the back has a leading role in this story.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 10:17:41 AM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 11:07:05 PM »
I used Mike Essen's formulation  with kabf. I planned a 5 hour rt (72 degrees) fermentation.

Flour (100%): 227.68 g  |  8.03 oz | 0.5 lbs
Water (60%): 136.61 g  |  4.82 oz | 0.3 lbs
IDY (.5%): 1.14 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.38 tsp | 0.13 tbsp
Salt (2%): 4.55 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.82 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
Olive Oil (1.5%): 3.42 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.76 tsp | 0.25 tbsp
Sugar (1%): 2.28 g | 0.08 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.57 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
Diastatic Malt Powder (3%): 6.83 g | 0.24 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.30 tsp | 0.76 tbsp
Total (168%): 382.5 g | 13.49 oz | 0.84 lbs | TF = N/A

Dough is for a single 13-ounce dough ball for a single 15" pizza; nominal thickness factor = 13/(3.14159 x 7.5 x 7.5) = 0.073565; bowl residue compensation = 2%) https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8093.1200

My first problem was getting our old j hook KA mixer to play nicely with the dough. It ended up catching the dough on the hook and slapping it around the bowl. I pulled the dough after 6 minutes, it was rough but looked well-blended.

I clumsily opened up the dough but sorta got the hang of it in the end. I think when I pushed/turned, I lost some of the rim by pushing on it instead of the dough lower in the circle. Oddly, hand stretching went pretty well though I did end up with a small tear which I repaired. In the end, the pizza on the peel was 15 inches.

here are some dough photos...I'm guessing the rise was 2x the original size...maybe 2.5x


« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 10:19:47 AM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 11:20:57 PM »
The steel was pre-heated for an hour to 580 according to the ir gun. I considered but decided not to use the convection feature of our oven. The heating element of our oven is on top, I decided on the third rung (as shown in the steel picture).

I was pretty nervous about launching the pizza but it was sliding nicely on the peel so I dove right in and it came off perfectly. or so I thought. I quickly closed the oven door and turned on the oven light to watch pizza magic. The cheese (sliced grande) started bubbling almost immediately. I didn't think that was supposed to happen but there wasn't much I could do about it.

After two minutes, I opened the door to rotate the pizza. The peel slid right under the crust but I couldn't get the pizza to rotate. And that's when I realized my launch wasn't as perfect as I thought. The back of the pizza was attached to the convection fan! I twisted and turned the peel to no avail. Finally, I grabbed the front of the crust and gave a gentle tug. then a harder tug. Well, the pizza had to eventually come out of the oven, so I gave it a good tug, the back of the pizza dislodged from the fan but I'd tore a two inch hole in the middle of the pizza. sigh.

I rotated the pizza, cooked another 2 minutes, the bottom crust looked good so I pulled the pizza. here are some slice pictures
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 10:21:45 AM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 11:34:07 PM »
besides the disaster in the back of the oven, from a taste pov, here are my observations:

- the biggest problem was that the pizza was too chewy.
- the bottom crust was just about perfect. the flavor of the crust was very good.
- The pie was unevenly cooked. The top dough on slice 1 was undercooked, slice 2 was much better.
- I just about lost the rim.
- there was very little rise/spring (do those two things mean the same thing?). Slice one at times tasted like eating fallen bread.
- uneven sauce line
- not a great melt
- the cornicione wasn't brown enough
- the sauce was very good (scalfani crushed run through a fine sieve and a dash of sea salt/oregeno)

well, time to go. My wife is yelling something about scraping dough off the convection fan. I cycled for 45 minutes today to create a caloric deficit for something that wasn't all that pleasing so your suggestions are most welcome!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 11:48:23 PM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 09:59:23 AM »
You could increase oil if you feel it's too chewy. Might want to bake a rack higher to slow the bottom down and get more color on the rim; or reduce browning agents like sugar and/ or malt.
the proof is in the pizza

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2016, 10:22:10 AM »
I'd do the dough the exact same way at least one more time. You can't tell much from a single bake. The only thing I'd change is I'd preheat the steel for 2 hours. 1 hour isn't enough for 1/2" steel.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2016, 09:37:04 PM »
thanks for the suggestions, I'll try a 2 hour pre-heat. I think a practice dough for stretching and launching is also in order.

What are some of the leading culprits for the crust being too tough/chewy?
jeff

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 10:48:29 PM »
pies 2 and 3 are in the books. Here's what I did:
- same dough formulation but made two dough balls
- focused on creating and maintaining more of a rim during opening/stretching.
- instead of 100% grande, used 1/2 grande and 1/2 fresh, with the grande shredded instead of sliced.
- same tomato sauce (drained scalfani crushed tomatoes pushed through a fine strainer to remove the seed with a pinch of salt and oregano)
- the ka mixer with the j hook did a terrible job, even w two dough balls. Eventually I just hand-kneaded
- The outer crust was a little pale after 4 mins (at 580) so decided to go for 5 minutes.

overall, these were much better than my first try, my D declared them the equal of our local pizzeria. Of course my goal is to make something better than what we can buy.

  The outer rim was crunchy and light with great flavor. I'd still like to build a bigger rim with more rise.  next cook, I'm going to insert the divider that came with our oven to see if that creates a hotter cooking compartment. I also have to focus on keeping the pie rounder.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 10:50:31 PM by quietdesperation »
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2016, 10:53:33 PM »
Sauce further from the rim if you want it larger.
the proof is in the pizza

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 12:39:24 PM »
thanks, I see I wasn't clear, I should have said I'd like to builder a higher rim. Also, I didn't note in my post but I took craig's suggestion of a 2 hour pre-heat.  I also noted that dough rose quite a bit during the 2-hour pre-heat, I guess due to proximity to the oven.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 09:59:42 AM by quietdesperation »
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Offline jkb

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 11:50:25 PM »


What are some of the leading culprits for the crust being too tough/chewy?


Over mixing.
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Offline bregent

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2016, 08:27:49 PM »
>My first problem was getting our old j hook KA mixer to play nicely with the dough.

I've got an old kitchen aid with the 'C' hook. Was hoping to find a spiral hook but they only make them for the bowl lift models. But I noticed the new 'C' hooks are a different design than the one I had, so I bought one and it does work better. In the image below you can see the new one on the right protrudes out further and has more working area.

Bob

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 11:48:57 AM »
three more pizzas under my belt. No pictures, but I'm really having problems getting a round pizza.  I took Tom's suggestion and raised hydration 5%. The dough was easier to shape but seemed a little more delicate during hand stretching. I managed to tear a hole in one of them. The first pizza, at five minutes, was a little underdone. Went six minutes with the next, crust was just about perfect. Third, at 6 minutes, was good, not great. 

We had some bad weather, so I used sliced boars head mozz from local supermaket ($9/pound!). I definitely prefer grande. I've also settled on boars head pepperoni over hormel.

I'm thinking the next batch will be same formulation but higher up in the oven.
jeff

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 01:32:24 PM »
>three more pizzas under my belt. No pictures, but I'm really having problems getting a round pizza.

Have you watched this yet? Helped me a bunch.


Bob

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 02:47:41 PM »
thanks for the video, I had watched tony g's video about 20 times.  here's what I noticed about the video you posted:
- his dough comes out of the flour in a perfect circle, mine are misshapen, ragged and somewhere between a circle and a rectangle. I've been letting my dough rest in a plastic square container, the dough goes in as a ball but slowly settles into the shape of the container. here's a link to the container: https://www.walmart.com/ip/44785855
- his dough seems a lot less fragile than my dough. if my thumbs were up during hand stretching, they'd go right through the dough.

I'm starting to wonder if part of the problem might be dough temp. My dough ball rests for 3 hours at rt in the kitchen, about 6 feet from our oven. Then I preheat the oven for two hours at 550, so the ambient temp around the dough rises.

any chance that's a problem? and I guess maybe my tupperware container is too small?
jeff

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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 03:06:43 PM »
Have you considered a round dough container?
the proof is in the pizza

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 07:43:33 PM »
not until you mentioned it. I figured I could just take the dough out and shape it into a circle?
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 10:29:48 PM »
I made my first few pies with dough from a square container. I highly recommend switching to a round container as Ryan suggests. It will make a big difference.
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Offline Essen1

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 12:51:54 AM »
thanks for the video, I had watched tony g's video about 20 times.  here's what I noticed about the video you posted:
- his dough comes out of the flour in a perfect circle, mine are misshapen, ragged and somewhere between a circle and a rectangle. I've been letting my dough rest in a plastic square container, the dough goes in as a ball but slowly settles into the shape of the container. here's a link to the container: https://www.walmart.com/ip/44785855
- his dough seems a lot less fragile than my dough. if my thumbs were up during hand stretching, they'd go right through the dough.

I'm starting to wonder if part of the problem might be dough temp. My dough ball rests for 3 hours at rt in the kitchen, about 6 feet from our oven. Then I preheat the oven for two hours at 550, so the ambient temp around the dough rises.

any chance that's a problem? and I guess maybe my tupperware container is too small?

Just a couple of thoughts here...

Tony is using dough boxes to store his dough balls in, not round or square containers. However, I have used squarish containers before out of necessity but it did not have any impact on shaping the dough into a round skin. Flour a surface, turn the container upside down and let gravity do its thing then make the necessary adjustments regarding shape before digging in and shaping it into a round skin.

You mentioned you have a KA with a C hook. All that thing does is slap the dough around with not much real kneading going on. Professional mixers, such as a Hobart, a Steno spiral mixer or a Mecnosud mixer will mix/knead a dough much more sufficiently than any home appliance mixer will.

I highly recommend at least a KA 600 Pro as a starting point. It does a fantastic job with pizza dough (Speed 1 & 2), imo. Or, if you're willing to spend a bit more money, an Ankarsrum Original is in my opinion the ultimate home mixer for pizza dough. It's next on my list.

Hope that helps...
Mike

ďAll styles of pizza are valid. I make the best Iím capable of; you should make the best youíre capable of. I donít want to make somebody elseís pizza.Ē ~ Chris Bianco

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: quietdesperation's tale of woe aka my ny pizza journey
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 01:48:11 PM »
thanks for all the suggestions. A round container is a cheap fix, I'll pick a couple up before my next cook.

Mike, I agree, the dough hook on our old ka mixer is pretty horrible. For this last batch, it got stuck in the middle of dough most of the time. So I've been using the paddle to get things mixed and then mostly hand kneading. my wife's head is going to explode if I spend > $300 for a new mixer because this one doesn't do a great job on pizza dough. And, it's built like a tank, I don't think it's ever going to die a natural death. And, finally, it was inherited from her mom, so it represents a strong family connection.

It would be nice if there was an inexpensive, dedicated for purpose dough mixer. anyhow, I'm going to do some research/forum archeology to see if there's a less expensive option.

best,
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 11:31:45 PM by quietdesperation »
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