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Author Topic: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza  (Read 202863 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #260 on: April 14, 2005, 06:39:57 PM »
The yeast will feed off of simple sugars (mainly maltose) converted by the action of amylase enzymes in the flour (natural or added) that work on the damaged starch molecules in the flour. Under normal circumstances, there will be enough natural sugar converted to feed the yeast so that the dough can be used within 2 to 3 days without requiring a boost from the addition of extra sugar (usually sucrose) to the recipe. In some cases, the dough might go even longer, but this can also depend on a variety of other factors, such as the amount of salt, the temperature and consistency of temperature to which the dough is exposed (e.g., room temperature vs. retardation), the degree of hydration, duration of warmup time, etc. It is the ability to manage all of these variables, as well as the dough formation process, that will to a great degree dictate the final outcome of the dough and the period of its usability.

It is common practice to add sugar to a dough recipe when it is desired that the dough go beyond 48 hours before using. Part of the addition of the sugar can be to assure browning of the crust but it is also to feed the yeast. My practice is not to use sugar in my dough recipes, but that is because I normally don't let my doughs go beyond 48 hours and I bake my pizzas on a stone and too much sugar can cause premature bottom browning.

Tom Lehmann frequently responds to questions about adding sugar to dough recipes. His basic NY style dough recipe doesn't specifically call for sugar, but he recommends adding some if good crust browning is desired (and especially if pizza screens are to be used) or the dough is to go out several days. Here are a couple excerpts from some of his advice on this matter:

"...doughs made with 2 to 3% sugar will hold up quite well for up to 72 hours in the cooler, while those made without sugar are probably best if not held more than 48 hours in the cooler."

"The sugar helps the crust to begin browning and it also provides a nutrient for the yeast to feed upon if you elect to hold your dough for several days in the cooler as it is common to do."

Peter





Offline varasano

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #261 on: April 14, 2005, 10:25:54 PM »
I got the theory. But the practice is that I've routinely allowed my doughs to go 4-5 days and in this case 6, with no problems and no sugar. In fact, this dough was incredible and I'm sure it could have gone longer.  Far from saying that 48 hours is max for no-sugar doughs, on my site I recommend 24-48 hours as a minimum, with 3-4 days as the basic standard.

A larger determining factor is the kind of yeast. Since I'm using a starter and each starter is different, the rules have to be adjusted.  I do use baker's yeast, but only in small quantities.

I strongly recommend that people work on finding an appropriate way to get enough oven heat and figure out how to knead and mix their dough, rather than put things like sugar and oil and malt into their dough. The more they waste time on these things the more distratcted they will be from reproducing a true Patsy's pie. This thread is all about reproducing Patsy's pizza. It was started after I posted up in January that I had more or less already achieved that goal (after 6 years) and I laid out all of the steps for doing so. PfTaylor did many, many experiments and took council from a dozen people (including Jose at Patsy's), but in the end his most successful recipe is almost a clone of what I originally posted. And I think he will come still further towards my recipe as he works out the few remaining issues. Compare the latest sets of photos....

Trust me Danielsan...

Jeff

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #262 on: April 14, 2005, 10:46:13 PM »
Jeff,

I think we are basically in agreement. I think it is safe to say that using a preferment and little commercial yeast is a different animal than a NY style dough leavened entirely by commercial yeast. I speculated in my earlier reply to MTPIZZA that a preferment may have a slower metabolism. If so, that could cause a dough to have a longer usable life by slowing things down. I think that that is also part of the theory behind Neapolitan doughs that can tolerate long fermentation/ripening times except that the fermentation/ripening is at room temperature. In one of the Caputo pies I made, the total period was close to 40 hours or something quite close to that. All at room temperature. Most doughs made with commercial yeast can't go anywhere near that long at room temperature.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #263 on: April 16, 2005, 08:23:51 AM »
It's good to be back.

After reading the new posts in this thread, a few comments are in order. First, Varasano is quite correct in his statement about how I experimented with all sorts of procedures and ingredient combinations in an all-out effort to faithfully recreate a Patsy's pizza at home. I never had, and still don't have, any bias for how to achieve that elusive goal. Which is why I'm so open to trying new approaches. It helps me understand the impact of each aspect of the formula.

Last summer, I bought a grill for almost $2,000 for that express purpose. I knew the TEC grill was capable of achieving an 800 degree bake and 800 degrees were the reported temperature Patsy's baked their pies at. I assidiously began an effort in the second half of last year to determine how a Patsy's pie was made and what steps were required to do so at home. All of that research and effort led me to this site in December of last year.

When Varasano joined in January, he was clearly closer to the goal of a true Patsy's pie at home. The approach I used was to leverage off of my family recipe. Pete-zza came along and opened my eyes as to a scientific approach to solving the Patsy's riddle. From that point on, it was only a matter of time before I would eventually get there because I then had a framework for success. What I didn't realize at the time was that Pete-zza set the stage for the missing element in my approach. I already had passion in spades but I lacked the scientific approach necessary to achieve true greatness. I've often stated my belief that pizza making is a 50/50 proposition of passion and discipline or art and science. It takes both to get to the plane I'm after.

Varasano and I began collaborating almost immediately due to our shared interests. The result of the collaboration effort, along with help from many others, has been documented in this thread. We still have differences in how we recreate our version of a true Patsy's pizza. I use a grill, Varasano uses a tweaked oven. I use a regular stand mixer, Varasano uses a DLX. I use much less preferment (8% vs 40%). I use twice the amount of salt. I also use a simplified mixing procedure - likely due to the differences in mixers. I also use vastly different ingredients. Varasano likes using bread flour or even AP, I wouldn't be caught dead with either. I am truly a believer in high gluten flour.

The point of all of this however is the fact that we are both at the stage where we know how good our pies are. I'm pretty sure we are both utterly convienced that our pies taste just like Patsy's. Varasano still needs a lot of clarification in his posted recipe for others to try it. I'm not sure anyone without a DLX could recreate his high level of success. It's not specific enough at this point. Exact weights, volumes, and baker's percentages would have to be offered first. But it works for him which is all that matters.

My Patsy's version, in my humble opinion, tastes like what Patsy's could taste like had they not decided to make pizza on the cheap. It simply is the logical end point expression of a true NY style pizza. Of course, it is expressed in a manner which makes it probable to reproduce in a home setting with ingredients that elevate it to it's high standard. I like to think that it is the artisan version of second generation pizza in this country.

The goal of recreating Patsy's pizza has been accomplished a few weeks back for me. When I came back from NY, I managed to make the final changes necessary to fullfill that dream. But something happened along the way which has changed who I am as it relates to making pizzas. I actually surpassed Patsy's in the art of making a great tasting pie. Patsy's initially represented an ideal. Now it stands as a static point in my evolution of making pizzas. It's an interesting type of pizza due to the coal oven but nothing much more than that.

It's sad really. I know it sounds boastful to make such a claim however, it is evident in my formula. Try it for yourself and you will see. How do I know that my pie is better than Jose's? Well, it is afterall a somewhat qualitative statement isn't it. But the truth of the matter is that quality is not an opinion. Quality is a fact at least when it comes to ingredients. The ingredients used by Patsy's borders on being shameful. If Patsy's still used quality ingredients then I may never have diverted my pursuit of the perfect pie. But they did and so I did. I now find it incompatible with who I am to want to make a pie with such low standards as Patsy's. I cannot compromise my standards.

I am now well past the goal of making a Patsy's type pie (which I consider to be just like the other 63,000 pizza joints in the US with the notable addition of a coal oven). I am now in pursuit of the passion for pizza which apparently exists in only a handful of establishments. Il Pizzaiolo, Una Pizza Napoletana, Al Forno, and Pizzaeria Bianco come to mind.

Other than at Mel Gibson's house, I can't think of anyone who has more passion for pizza than the list above. I want in that group.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2005, 11:40:33 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline varasano

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #264 on: April 16, 2005, 11:10:02 AM »
A few quick clarifications:

I use almost the same amount of salt. When I posted my site I was not using baker's percents so my 1% of total dough weight  was closer to 2% when expressed as baker's percents. I'd typically use 12g for a 1000-1100g dough, which is just 600-700g of flour (thus 2% as a baker's %)

Regarding the flour type. I think if you experiment you will find that the high gluten is not adding ANYWHERE near the structure that most on this site think it does. The gluten DEVELOPMENT is much more important the that starting gluten %. KA Bread flour is a high quality flour.  The mixing technique is most of the game. It took me years to realize this.

Regarding the % of preferment. Lately, I'm thinking that the starting percent is not that important and that even a wide swing like we have would not affect the overall result all that much. When I begin feeding cycles of the starter it begins after a while to start peaking.  When it is at a high level of activity I begin making enough quantity to mix into my dough. When the culture is highly active it only takes 2-3 hours after a feeding to begin bubbling over.  So when I mix 40% of preferment into the dough, the reality is that most of the flour in the starter was introduced just a few hours before.  In other words, if I started with your 8% and it was cresting and adding a bunch of flour and water and waited 3 hours, I'd have my 40%. In the 2-3 day lifecyle of the dough, these differences are nominal. Baker's yeast does not really survive perpetually. So the starting amount is more important. But since the starter just doubles and doubles as long as it has the right conditions, the starting amount is not critical. With 40% preferment the dough will turn highly alcoholic and acidic more quickly, but then these changes cause growth to slow to a crawl.  With 8% the initial growth period is longer, but once the acidity level rises, it slows too. So after 2 or 3 days, the two samples are probably identical.  It's possible that they are identical in just a few hours, especially since the lactobacilli (which contribute much of the flavor) are not slowed down much in the fridge.. It's the yeast that slows.  My lastest batch was probably less than 25% preferment and it made no difference whatsoever compared to my normal 40%.

This probably deserves a rigorous test.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #265 on: April 16, 2005, 01:21:18 PM »
Varasano,
I have made a batch of dough this morning to test out the theory that a small amount of OO may not be necessary. The 20 minute autolyse appeared to be helpful in this regard. The Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer had a little difficulty mixing the dough which had previously not been the case. I am hopeful the removal of OO will not affect the ultra-high dough performance I have experienced recently. Time will tell.

I would also like to make a couple of points about my use of high gluten flour versus your use of AP and/or bread flour. I have no quibble with your position about gluten development - you and pizzanapoletana have made me a believer that flour has an optimal absorption rate. The use of autolyse during and immediately after the mixing period has greatly benefited the elasticity and extensibility of my dough.

I use high gluten flour for a couple of reasons. First, I believe in using the highest percentage of protein available. If I could get my hands on a 20% protein flour I would. The reason for this is based upon dietary concerns which I have elaborated on extensively in the past. It revolves around trying to get to a 40% - 30% - 30% macro-nutrient balance (Carbs, Proteins, Fats). High gluten flour is currently the flour which most meets this personal requirement.

Next, I'm not sure, based upon your posted pictures, if the crust structure has anywhere near the performance characteristics that would be capable with a high gluten based flour. I would be interested if you could share with us how robust your typical dough holds up with respect to facets such as elasticity, extensibility and rip-ability. Also, how does a finished slice perform in areas like spring, tip droop, foldability, flexibility, crunchiness and general handling properties like sogginess after cooling down and its ability to taste great and retain the majority of it's original properties even after reheating. I can gather that from an extensibility standpoint your dough has that and then some. I have read a number of your posts where you describe your dough as being buttery soft. I have made buttery soft dough in the past and in my experience it wasn't as robust as what I am currently producing. Not even close.

From the pictures posted, your crust seems to be much softer than what I'm able to achieve with a high gluten based recipe. This is a big point for me since I cherish a crispy bottom veneer. I like all the crunch I can get and my experience has been that higher protein levels help somewhat in this regard. Extreme heat also plays a role but taken in it's totality, I remain unconvinced as to your central point that AP type flours are the very equal of high gluten. However, I am open to a full discussion on this point. Pictures would be helpful. I know I have posted numerous pictures documenting the high performance features of the crust I have been able to create.

I started this journey with AP flour. I then went with bread flour since it was available in my local supermarket. I then went with high gluten and I can tell you that each time I upgraded flours, the end result got noticeably better. The crust was more competent each and every time.

Coincidence? Could be, but I'm willing to bet that if you were to try KASL- and take the time to master it, as you have with bread flour that you very well may reach the same conclusion.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2005, 04:40:14 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline varasano

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #266 on: April 16, 2005, 06:50:43 PM »
I have some KASL here and I will try it in May.   Let us know how the no OO test goes.

On the other points, I will let my photos speak for themselves...


Jeff

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #267 on: April 17, 2005, 01:01:43 PM »
Today I managed to produce not one but two stunning pies.

Those were the humble compliments laid at my feet by my entire family and in particular my teenage son. I feel blessed. They were both real beauties. Everything you'd want in a pizza. One true-blue American. The other an Italian bombshell. I call them Pizza Raquel and Pizza Sophia.

Pizza Raquel, photgraphed in this thread, was made with the standard KASL based recipe listed in this thread only without the addition of OO. Frankly, the taste was indistinguishable from the normal result. I suppose the current formula has such a miniscule amount of OO that it had a negligible effect on the overall taste anyway. I had recommended its use as a way to enhance the operation of a standard home mixer, such as a Kitchen Aid. My Artisan mixer had a slightly more difficult time without the oil. But who knows, maybe it ended up kneading the dough a little more as an unintended result. Stretching, elasticity and extensibility were apparently unaffected. In the end, I guess a teaspoon really isn't a lot (split between two pies).

In fact, I had a very difficult time discerning any meaningful taste difference between Pizza Raquels' produced with and without OO. There were other differences however. Perhaps the Pizza Raquel produced today without the oil was the slightest bit crunchier though somewhat less pliable. Also, visually it appeared to not char as well on top but appeared to char at least as well on the bottom if not even better. I can honestly say I have no preference between Raquel with or without OO. I would need to cook the WO OO Raquel a little longer (without burning the bottom) to see if the top would char a little more before I would be willing to say otherwise. Here is an interesting point. When I used a teaspoon of OO, the top was slightly overcooked relative to the bottom. Today's Raquel, with no OO, showed the bottom slightly overcooked relative to the top. The pendulum has swung, has it not? So it appears that the riddle of the "perfect relative bake" lies somewhere inbetween 1/2 teaspoon of oil per pie and none. One wouldn't think such a small amount could have such an impact. But kindly review the history of photographs I've posted and you'll notice the relative bake trend I refer to.

The second pie, Pizza Sophia, had superior crust taste and is described in the main Caputo thread. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out why Pizza Sophia has such a flavorful crust. Each pie was made to the same exacting specifications. The only rational explanation is the Italian flour must be superior somehow. I can't put my finger on it but the taste difference was quite noticeable.

Here are the pictures of the pepperoni & salami version of Pizza Raquel without the addition of OO.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 06:25:00 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #268 on: April 17, 2005, 06:52:37 PM »
A couple more of Pizza Raquel...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 06:27:26 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #269 on: April 17, 2005, 08:30:19 PM »
Well Done.

I am also happy when someone get to a conclusion by experimenting rather then reading.

On the "flavorful crust":

I have compared the Caputo Pizzeria flour against many other flours, italian and not, and The caputo's is indeed on another level...

Ciao

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Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #270 on: April 17, 2005, 08:33:13 PM »
Nice pics...my eyes enjoyed every bite!!!

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #271 on: April 18, 2005, 07:54:58 AM »
MTPIZZA,
Your candid feedback is always appreciated.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #272 on: April 18, 2005, 12:14:31 PM »
Varasano,
Tonight I will make a batch of dough where I intend to use a 48+ hour cold rise. One question; how long of a counter rise do you use?

I generally use a 1-2 hour counter rise after refrigeration.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #273 on: April 19, 2005, 06:21:09 PM »
Here are shots of the second batch without oil added. The crust actually handled better than the first batch for some reason. I took extra shots of the foldability. Oh and by the way, keep your eye out for my first satisfied customer...
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #274 on: April 19, 2005, 06:22:08 PM »
Here is the apple of my eye and my first satisfied customer...
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline duckjob

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #275 on: April 20, 2005, 01:16:02 AM »
pftaylor, pizzas look great as usual, your daughter is quite lucky :)

I decided to give your recipe and kneading/handling procedure a go. I followed the instructions in this post to a t. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg10410.html#msg10410 as my reference. Its interesting how much of a difference an autolyse makes. The dough felt wetter than previous dough I had made with higher hydration percentages. Also, this dough was amazing to handle. It felt like I couldn't tear this dough if I tried. I streched 10 oz dough balls into 14 inch skins, but felt like I could have easily taken it up to 16 or 17. The end result was quite tasty, particularly for a first try. I made more dough today, it looked better than my first, so we will so how it goes. I also want to experiment with different fermentation times. The dough in the photo was refridgerated for about 18 hours and then left on the counter for two hours before shaping.

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/patsys_041905/patsys1.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/patsys_041905/patsys2.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/patsys_041905/patsys3.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/patsys_041905/patsys4.jpg)

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #276 on: April 20, 2005, 05:37:37 AM »
The results are starting to be tabulated and initial reports of the Pizza Raquel dough are encouraging. So far Wayno, Pete-zza, and duckjob have all had considerable success.

duckjob, a special thank you for your kind words about my daughter. She thinks it is so cool that her dad makes what she calls a "kid food." Funny how we all see the world through our own eyes isn't it? Your pizza looks delicous. The char is worthy. I wonder how it tasted and if you would comment on the level of difficulty of following the recipe - exactly. And if in your mind the results are worth it.

A few words are in order about the ultra high performance of the dough. I realize how I have droned on about it's superior handling capability. Now that independent results are beginning to verify the authenticity of my claim I feel somewhat bolstered by the duplicatibility of the recipe. It's one thing for the originator to post images and numerous updates like an incessant gadfly about his success. But it is quite another when well meaning pizza makers can achieve a high level of success as well.

Here is a fact, if one were to follow the mixing and stretching instructions exactly (I don't mean mostly, I mean perfectly) you will then have a much higher quality dough than ever imagined. My dough is now nearly unrippable. It displays exceptional handling traits in every possible facet. It is quite simply the pinnacle of all dough in my biased personal opinion. With perhaps one exception. Flavor.

I still feel as if I can coax out more flavor from the dough by using a longer fermentation period or by using Caputo Pizzeria flour with or without a longer fermentation period. The Caputo is that much better than the KASL in the flavor department. The point is simply this; the recipe contained in this thread will produce a most competent dough in every single dimension which deserves measurement. What are you waiting for?

Just a gentle reminder, please do not skip any step of the recipe. Read every word and sentence. Follow the sequence of events exactly. They are there for a very good reason. Execute flawlessly and you will be rewarded. My daughter asked me last night a simple question: "Dad, if I follow your directions can I make pizza like you?" I replied with a resounding "Yes you can!" Pizza making doesn't have quite as much gravitas as I originally thought after that quick exchange.

I look forward to learning more about the forum's use of this dough.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 02:44:06 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #277 on: April 20, 2005, 07:02:23 AM »
forgive me it this has been discussed in the past but...where can I obtain Caputo flour in PA... does one buy it through the internet??? Sams' club??? any help would be appreciated...

Offline ilpizzaiolo

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #278 on: April 20, 2005, 08:33:00 AM »
in Pitttsburgh, PA you can get 25kilo of caputo from pennsylvania macaroni company...  412 471 8330 . They also sel Bel Aria in 1kilo.. don't be tempted... the bel aria won't do the same thing.... good luck

Offline duckjob

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Re: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza
« Reply #279 on: April 20, 2005, 01:48:34 PM »
Thanks for the kind words pftaylor. I did follow your steps to a T, and it is absolutely worth it. All it takes is a little extra time. On top of the superior handling, it also happened to be one of the better tasting doughs I have made. It was chewy, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. I am anxious to give it another try with a preferment. I am using KASL, but I would love to try Caputo's. You've got a gem here pftaylor.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2005, 02:01:11 PM by duckjob »

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