Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => New York Style => Topic started by: pizzzzagirl on December 09, 2005, 09:36:38 PM

Title: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: pizzzzagirl on December 09, 2005, 09:36:38 PM
I need some help. I have read post after post, and have failed at trying to attempt this dough. I feel like half the reason is because of the bread flour I used, but, does anyone have a good recipe that will yeild a nice crunchy exterior and a chewy center with lots of air holes ? There is a place here in Las Vegas called Metro Pizza, kind of like sbarros texture, but ten times better. I have only tryed making pizza dough a couple of times and am not so sure about all the technical stuff like hydration and other sorts. So does anyone have any advice for a girl trying to make the perfect pizza dough at home ? Thanks so much !!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: freshflour on December 09, 2005, 09:52:01 PM
There are a few things - are you measuring your ingredients by weight or volume?  Eventually you might develop the ability to do it by feel, but measuring by weight will help you to develop your dough consistently.  Secondly - how are you kneading your dough?  By hand or machine?  What kind of yeast are you using?  Almost anything on the market will work, but instant yeast is a little more convenient.  Lastly, are you using a pan, a screen, or a pizza stone?  A stone will really get you the tastiest results.  Second to that is a screen, and then a plain aluminum pan.  Bread flour will work fine - it's really the handling of the dough that makes all of the difference, moreso than any particular ingredient.  Once you have your technique down, you'll be able to make a pretty good pizza with just about anything.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 09, 2005, 10:00:53 PM
pizzzzagirl,

Welcome to the forum.

freshflour has pretty much touched upon all the relevant points.

You should be able to make a fairly good Lehmann NY style pizza with bread flour. My favorite bread flour is the King Arthur bread flour, but there are other good bread flours available in the supermarkets.

To assist you, it would help to know what size pizza you are interested in making. Once you have provided information on what equipment and appliances you have available to you to make pizzas, we should be able to offer up some advice and recommend a recipe for you to start with.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: pizzzzagirl on December 10, 2005, 02:08:18 PM
thanks guys, I am basically trying to make a 12 inch pizza. I am using a kitchenaid mixer. I only mixed the dough on the low speed for about 5 minutes, and after letting it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours, I let it sit out for about 1 1/2 hours and hand streched it. It turned out very bready with no air holes, and more cracker crust crunchy on the bottom then good pizza crust crunchy. So thanks for your help in advance !
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 10, 2005, 02:14:06 PM
pizzzzagirl,

We are getting a bit closer. Can you tell me what you baked your pizza on, e.g., a pan, pizza stone, tiles or pizza screen? And how long did you bake the pizza, at what oven temperature, and did you preheat the oven and, if so, for how long? Finally, do you have a decent kitchen scale?

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: pizzzzagirl on December 11, 2005, 03:21:13 AM
I used a pizza stone, which I had in the oven for about 15 minutes at 450. I baked it for 10 minutes on the stone. And no, I do not have a kitchen scale, where might I find a decent but inexpensive one ?
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on December 11, 2005, 03:41:24 AM
 Hi pizzagirl,
 The stone has to heat up in the oven for at least 45 min to ensure it is fully heated. I would also suggest cooking at 500F or above if possible. The high the temperature the better, high temps helps create that open airy crust you are looking for. When the raw dough hits the really hot stone it kind of explodes/blisters off the stone creating a open/holey crust. There are also other factors that help with open/airy crust which are Hydration/water levels tend to be higher and this is where the scale that Pete-zza is talking about is a big help with consistency. Using a high-gluten flour will also improve you're crust dramatically. A high gluten flour is almost the standard for a sbarros/N.Y. style crust. I hope you also have a pizza peel far transferring the pizza to the hot stone. If not get one. Ebay or www.pizzatools.com . I hope some of these things help you. It may help if you post you're recipe so myself or another member can analyze you're Bakers percentages to see if they make sense for N.Y./Sbarro style.  Goodluck, Chiguy     
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: freshflour on December 11, 2005, 09:35:27 AM
I used a pizza stone, which I had in the oven for about 15 minutes at 450. I baked it for 10 minutes on the stone. And no, I do not have a kitchen scale, where might I find a decent but inexpensive one ?

You're probably not as far off as you think.  Your mixing time is probably OK.  You could try a little longer, just to see what the effect is.  When experimenting, try to vary only one factor at a time.  That's why a scale can help out so much.  Most household stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, or Linens `N Things, will carry a decent scale.  A digital scale is a lot easier to use than a mechanical scale.  Just make sure it has a zero function and can measure in metric units, too.  That's proably most scales these days.


Try getting the oven a bit hotter, like 500F.  Mine goes to 550F, which is pretty good.  You'll bake in around 7 minutes at that temperature.  Make sure the stone heats for a good half hour before you put the pizza on.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2005, 01:53:22 PM
pizzzzagirl,

Thank you for the additional information. I agree with everything chiguy and freshflour have said, but since you indicated that you are after a 12-inch size, I have posted below a modified Lehmann NY style dough formulation, which I will follow with some comments and instructions for you to use.

Pizzzzagirl's 12-inch Lehmann NY Style Dough Recipe
100%, Bread flour, 7.15 oz. (202.03 g.), (1 1/2 c. plus 2 T. plus 5/8 t.)*
63%, Water (at around 100 degrees F), 4.50 oz. (127.65 g.), (1/2 c. plus 2 t.)
1%, Oil, 0.07 oz. (2.03 g.), (a bit less than 1/2 t.)
1.75%, Salt (table salt), 0.13 oz. (3.55 g.), (a bit over 5/8 t.)
0.40%, IDY (instant dry yeast), 0.03 oz. (0.81 g.), (a bit over 1/4 t.)
Total dough weight = 11.88 oz. (336.66 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.105
*Measure out the flour by first stirring the flour in the flour container and then repeatedly lifting the flour from the flour container into the measuring cup(s) and leveling off the flour in the measuring cup(s) with a flat edge (this is the "Textbook" method)

A few comments on the formulation are in order. First, since I did not have any bread flour on hand, I weighed an equal amount of King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour instead. If you are using bread flour, that will be fine and the amount you will want to use should be close to what I have set forth above. If you have a choice, I would go with the King Arthur brand of bread flour. It is a very high quality bread flour and my favorite among the brands I have tried. Second, I increased the amount of yeast from the levels I usually recommend, from around 0.25% to 0.40%. That was done to compensate for the fact that cold weather is upon us in most parts of the country and one way to compensate for lower kitchen temperatures is to use more yeast (in the summer, I would use 0.25%, or about 1/5 t. in the above formulation). The higher amount of yeast will help the dough to ferment a bit faster and better. Third, I have specified a water temperature of 100 degrees F. That is another way to compensate for lower kitchen temperatures. FYI, 100 degree water, which is what I have specified above, is water that is slightly warm to the touch. If you have a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, so much the better. (Note: During warmer weather, a lower water temperature should be used. Depending on the part of the country, it might be as low as 50 degrees F, and possibly even lower in really hot climates.) Fourth, I used a thickness factor of 0.105, which is a measure of crust thickness that is characteristic of a NY "street" style. This is purely a technical matter for those who wish to control the final crust thickness. Finally, I posted gram weights also. That is for those members who prefer to work in grams rather than ounces.

Since you are working in volumes, it is important that you measure out the flour as accurately as you can. The way I measure out flour by volume is to start by stirring the flour in the bag of flour to loosen up the flour a bit. I then use a standard tablespoon to scoop flour out of the bag into my measuring cup(s). I don't shake the measuring cup or tamp it. I then level off the top of the measuring cup using a flat edge, such as the flat back edge of a knife. I also level off measuring spoons. When measuring out water, you should check the water level marking on the measuring cup at eye level.

As for making the dough itself, this is the sequence of steps I recommend you use to practice the recipe posted above: 1) Add the IDY to the flour in a bowl and stir to uniformly disperse the IDY in the flour. 2) Put the water into the bowl of the stand mixer, add the salt, and, using a spoon or spatula, stir for about 30 seconds to a minute to dissolve the salt in the water. 3) Using the stir or 1 speed of the mixer, and with the dough hook attached, gradually add the flour mixture to the water in the bowl. Once the mixer is turned on, I usually use a spatula to help direct the flour/dough into the path of the dough hook so that the flour better incorporates the water. You can use the spatula while the machine is running, if you are careful, or you can stop the machine from time to time to do it. Some people use the paddle attachment for this step and later switch to the dough hook for the more heavy duty kneading. This approach is perfectly fine and, in fact, is my preferred method. The initial mixing/kneading step will usually take a minute or two in a standard home stand mixer. 4) Once the flour has been hydrated (absorbed the water) and a rough dough ball has formed, and with the dough hook attached, add the oil and knead that in, at the 1 speed, until it has been fully incorporated into the dough. Since the amount of dough involved is fairly small (about 3/4 lb.), don't be afraid to stop the mixer from time to time, especially if the oil is not being fully taken up into the dough, and help the dough along by doing some hand kneading to get everything to come together better. Stand mixers are just not that great at kneading small amounts of dough. 5) Once the dough has incorporated the oil, continue kneading the dough, at 1 or 2 speed, until the dough takes on a smooth texture and consistency and is elastic. It should be a bit tacky--not wet or dry. Don't be too concerned about elapsed times. The condition of the dough is more important than the elapsed times. At this point, and especially because you will be working in volumes rather than weight, it may be necessary to add a bit more flour or a bit more water to achieve the desired finished condition. When making such adjustments, I usually add flour or water a half-teaspoon at a time.

Once the dough looks just about right, remove it from the mixer bowl and knead it by hand for about 30 seconds to a minute. This will give you a good "feel" for the dough and allow you to shape it a bit before it goes into the container where it will spend one or more days. If the dough feels a little bit sticky at this point, the final hand kneading will also usually cause the stickiness to disappear, so don't be tempted to overcome it by adding more flour. You should lightly coat the finished dough ball with a bit of oil. The container itself can take many different forms. It can be a normal kitchen bowl (which will have to be covered during fermentation), a zip-type plastic storage bag, a metal container, plastic containers (e.g., Rubbermaid), glass bowls (e.g., Pyrex), or even an empty bread bag with the end twisted and folded under. To get the dough ball to cool down fast and remain cool, one of my favorite storage containers to do this is a metal tin with a tight fitting lid. A zip-type container has the advantage of being compact and requiring little storage space. Whichever form of container you elect to use, it should be placed in the refrigerator, preferably toward the back or near the bottom away from the door. For a Lehmann NY style dough, the time in the refrigerator can range from about 16 hours to up to about 3 days. I have found that one to two days works out well for me.

When the time comes to make the pizza, you should remove the dough from the refrigerator and set it on your countertop or work surface to warm up. I usually dust the dough with a bit of bench flour and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming at the outer surface of the dough. In most cases, it will take about an hour or two for the dough to get to the temperature (around 60 degrees F or higher) where it can be properly shaped and stretched. In the winter, it can take even longer. Conversely, in the summer, it can take less time. For these reasons, I usually take the temperature of the dough to be sure that it is at the proper temperature to safely proceed. If the temperature is too low at the time of shaping, the crust can develop large bubbles and blisters during baking. Some actually prefer this, but professional pizza operators detest it. Once the dough reaches the desired temperature, it can be safely used for 3 to 4 hours thereafter in most cases without overfermenting (a dough made with high-gluten flour will have a somewhat bigger window at this point than one made with a weaker flour). I usually turn on the oven about an hour before I think the dough will be ready to shape and stretch into a dough round ("skin"). I put the pizza stone on the lowest oven rack position and let it preheat at the highest oven temperature my oven can deliver (around 500-550 degrees F), for about an hour.

To shape and stretch the dough in preparation for dressing and baking, I gently flatten the dough using my fingers while avoiding flattening the outer edge which is to become the rim or forcing the gases out of the dough. Once the dough round is around 10 inches in diameter, I lift it and, draping it over my closed fists, stretch it out to its final diameter (12 inches in your case) while "flicking" the dough round by one-quarter turns. I often turn the dough over and repeat these steps. I try to work more toward the outer edges so that thin spots don't form near the center. A 12-inch dough round is fairly easy to handle and to toss, so you may want to try doing this once you gain experience and feel comfortable in handling pizza dough. It isn't absolutely necessary to do this, even though is is believed that tossing a dough helps the shaping and stretching of the dough. For those who would like to see a video on how to shape and stretch dough into a dough round, a good video is the one at YouTube featuring the famous dough impressario Tony Gemignani, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA.

Once the dough skin has reached the proper diameter, it should be placed on a peel (I prefer a wood peel) that has been lightly dusted with a bit of flour or semolina (rice flour can also be used). Cornmeal can also be used as a release agent, but it can burn and be messy in the oven, and require periodic cleanings. The pizza can then be dressed. I try to act fast at this stage so that the dough doesn't decide it wants to stick to the peel. So I always line up everything that is to go onto the pizza in advance, from sauce, cheeses, and all the other toppings I intend to use.

Once the pizza has been dressed and the pizza stone is up to proper temperature, it can be loaded onto the preheated pizza stone by a simple forward jerking action that allows the dressed pizza to slide off of the peel onto the pizza stone. The first few times you do this will have you on edge, but once you master the maneuver, you will be in good shape thereafter (although there will always be a nagging fear that you will not successfully manage the maneuver). The pizza will typically take about 7 minutes to bake, although the exact time will vary from oven to oven. You will therefore have to experiment with oven temperatures and bake times, and even different positioning of your pizza stone, to get the combination that works best for you. In due course, you may even find it helpful to use the broiler element to better balance the baking of the top and bottom of the pizza so that they are done baking at the same time.

Feel free to ask any questions that I have not covered above. Avoiding mistakes is usually better than learning how to correct them. Good luck and please let us know how things work out.

Peter

EDIT: Edited the post to provide a reference to the Gemignani YouTube video, and also to revise the volume measurements for the flour and water.


Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2005, 04:52:20 PM
pizzzzagirl,

Today I made a dough using a different NY style dough recipe. The dough weight was greater than the weight of dough you will make using the recipe posted above, however several of the procedures are quite similar to what I use when making the Lehmann NY style dough. I thought you might find the photos below useful as a guide to your efforts when you next attempt the Lehmann NY style dough.

The first photo shows what the dough will typically look like when flour is gradually added to the mixer bowl to be mixed with the water. As you can see, the dough has the consistency of a thick batter. As more flour is added, the dough starts to thicken and take on a denser, shaggy appearance. The photo below also shows the thin, long-handled plastic spatula I use to divert flour from the sides of the bowl into the path of the dough hook.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2005, 05:00:32 PM
This photo shows the shaggy appearance I mentioned above. It is usually at this point that I add the oil to the mixer bowl when making the Lehmann NY style dough. If the addition of the oil makes the dough a bit sticky I will sometimes add a bit more flour, but only if it is clear that the flour is really needed after about a couple minutes of kneading after adding the oil. 

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2005, 05:05:39 PM
This photo shows a typical appearance of a finished dough ball after it has been removed from the mixer bowl, hand kneaded for about 30 seconds to a minute to confirm that it is in proper form, and shaped into a generally round shape.



Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2005, 05:13:49 PM
This photo shows the finished dough ball as oiled lightly and placed in a metal container with accompanying lid. The metal of the container helps the dough cool down a bit faster when it is placed in the refrigerator. Using a zip-type plastic storage bag will accomplish much the same result. When I use the plastic storage bag approach, I usually flatten the dough ball into a disk shape to help the dough cool faster in the refrigerator. This is less of a problem this time of year because room and refrigerator temperatures are lower than in the summer.

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2005, 10:36:19 PM
The photo shown below is that of the dough once it has been removed from the refrigerator and allowed to warm up at room temperature in preparation for shaping into a dough round (“skin”). As previously indicated, the time it takes the dough to reach the desired temperature to be shaped, typically 55-60 degrees F, will depend on the temperature of the dough when it comes out of the refrigerator and the room temperature.

The sheet of plastic wrap shown in the photo is to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the dough during the counter warm-up time. To keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough, I usually dust the dough with a bit of flour before covering with the plastic wrap. Alternatively, the sheet of plastic wrap can be sprayed with a small amount of oil cooking spray before placing over the dough.

It will also be noted in the photo that the dough ball has gone from an initially round shape to a more flattened shape. This is because the gluten strands in the dough have relaxed due to the long fermentation time and the action of certain enzymes and other components in the dough that act to soften the gluten so that the dough goes from being quite elastic and rather difficult to stretch without springing back to being quite extensible (stretchy without springing back) and soft. This softening of the dough makes it easier to stretch and shape. It is important that the dough not be re-balled or kneaded again at this stage since this will only cause the gluten strands to become misaligned and cause the dough to become highly elastic again and be incapable of shaping. Once this happens, it can easily take an hour or more for the gluten to relax again and permit stretching and shaping of the dough.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2005, 10:41:08 PM
This photo shows the dough after it has been gently flattened and pressed out by using the fingers to increase the diameter of the flattened dough ball. When doing this, it is best not to touch the outer edge of the flattened dough ball since this will expel gasses retained in the dough and result in a small, dense (rather than airy) rim once the pizza is baked. I usually try to press the dough out to around 8 inches in diameter (as shown) before lifting the dough to stretch it out to its final diameter.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2005, 10:50:29 PM
This photo shows the pizza round after it has been stretched to its final desired size and dressed in preparation for baking. In this instance, a pizza screen is used to hold the pizza. The pizza is dressed entirely on the screen. In this case, the sauce was put down first and followed by the cheese and the pepperoni slices. To see how this particular pizza baked out, using a combination of screen, pizza stone and broiler, see Reply # 33 and Reply # 34, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.msg19801.html#msg19801.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: canadave on December 17, 2005, 12:46:21 PM
Pete,

I take it these are pics of your attempt at the "canadave" recipe ;)  How did it go?  What was your overall experience with it? 

Or are you planning an entire other thread of novella length to expose the problems you had with it?? ;) lol

Cheers,
Dave
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 17, 2005, 01:38:29 PM
Dave,

You are correct about the photos. I thought I would use them at this thread for instructional purposes since your dough behaves quite similarly to the Lehmann dough in most particulars, at least those shown in the photos. I was hoping to be able to use this thread as a self-contained thread for someone just starting and wanting to make a simple 12-inch (or any other size) Lehmann pizza.

I will be reporting on my results with your dough later today at your thread. Novella or not, I found your novella-like instructions to be first rate all the way. I think most cookbook recipes, including those devoted to pizza, fail or produce unintended results because of the lack of sufficient detail. Truth be known, most recipes are full of potholes and pitfalls that usually go unaddressed. Your instructions stand head and shoulders above most.

Peter

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: canadave on December 17, 2005, 09:16:17 PM
Thanks Peter....just finished reading your review, which was quite complimentary.  I think any successful lesson requires two essential ingredients: a good teacher and a good student.  It's a pleasure to now be able to say I've been on both sides of the lesson equation.

I guess we're both accredited novella authors now ;)

Cheers,
Dave
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2005, 11:28:49 AM
Dave,

As a footnote to your comments, I'd like to add that I feel that any beginning home pizza member will benefit greatly by simply reading the Glossary at the opening page of this forum (which can be reached by clicking on the red Pizza Making heading on this page). I was involved in the preparation of the Glossary and have a certain pride of ownership as a result, but I do believe it is one of the best I have seen anywhere on the internet. I also think it is more accurate than most. As a newbie, I would read it and refer back to it when questions arise since the Glossary was prepared to be more comprehensive than most and to anticipate and answer many of the questions that newbies will have.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: canadave on December 18, 2005, 11:55:20 AM
After reading the Glossary just now for the first time, I wholeheartedly agree.  Newbies, check it out!  It's a superb resource.

Dave
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 07, 2006, 03:39:03 PM
I just finished an attempt at this dough. I don't think I came near getting it right.  After following the instructions -- measured with a scale -- the dough was extremely sticky and was not forming into a ball when being kneaded.  I'd say I had to add 10 to 15 teaspoons of flour to get to a point where those dough was still sticky but able to be handled.  Is this normal?   
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2006, 04:38:52 PM
Dartanian,

I would say no. I usually use King Arthur bread flour, which is a bit higher in protein than other brands, but I have used other brands of bread flour on several occasions and did not experience a shortfall as great as 10-15 teaspoons of flour. I don't have an open bag of KA bread flour to check, but 10-15 teaspoons would weigh from about an ounce to about 1 1/2 ounces (about a third of a cup). If you used all-purpose flour, then I could see where the hydration would be too high. Assuming you used bread flour and your weights were correct, the next time you may want to hold back part of the water and see if you need it as you get closer to finishing the dough. Weights will get you close but there is frequently a need to tweak the quantities that go into the bowl since each home situation is different from the next. But, even then, it would be rare, at least in my experience, to have much water left over at all.

I can assure you that once you find the "sweet spot" you won't easily lose it thereafter. It's one of those things that is more easily shown than described, but you should get a better handle with experience. If you have a digital camera and can post photos, that might also help us better diagnose whatever problems you may experience.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 07, 2006, 07:02:26 PM
 Hello Dartanian and Peter,
 I think you probably made a mistake upon measuring ingrediant's. The formula Peter worked out is very solid and all the ingrediant's are in order to make a good dough. I do not want to sound like a fool or make you sound like one. I was curious if you worked out the Bakers % yourself or did you go by Peter's posted formula in grams. There was an error in the decimal point on the oil percentage 203g should be 2.03g. I do not want to make anybody look ridiculous here but sometimes mistakes like this can happen. I only thought of this because of the amount of extra flour you had to add to even get to a sticky dough. That amount of flour(15t) should have brought you're hydration down to about 52-53%, not exactly sticky. Anyway i hope this experience does'nt deter you and i advise you to try it again with careful planning.  goodluck,  Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 07, 2006, 07:33:53 PM
Thanks very much to both for the reply.  Whatever the problem is, I am sure it is one of my own making.  I did get the dough to what did feel like a "tacky" state.  I don't know how much that messed up the hydration. I guess I'll find out when I eat it.  Let me ask a question about scales.  The one I used I purchased today after going to 4 stores to find one that did not use fractions.  Even then, it only goes to one number after the decimal point.  So I can get a measurement of 5.3  ounces but not 5.35 if that's what's being called for.  Nor does the scale seem able to give me precise measurements on the yeast and salt, which were of such small quanitites that they either did not register at all or did but not in prescisely.   The scale I have is a Salter. It was $50.  Any thoughts on this issue?   
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 07, 2006, 07:48:49 PM
 Hi Dartanian,
 As long as you did not make the mistake with the oil that i mentioned the dough may still make a good crust. I have a sunbeam that measures in grams, i cannot remember what the cost was. It would be a nice feature if you're scale measured in grams, especially since you are making such small recipes. If you can return the scale i would and get a scale with gram measurements. Let us know how the pizza turns out.  Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 07, 2006, 08:07:32 PM
Hi chiguy --

Will your scale register a measurement of less than 1 gram?  My scale measures in grams, but I just tried to see if would give me a measurement for 1/4 a t. of IDY and I got nothing.  It's too little.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 07, 2006, 08:11:30 PM
 Hi dartanian,
It measures in 2g increments. It should say it's measurement increment's on the box or in the instructions?This is the hard part about measuring smaller formulas/recipes. I usually tend to calculate the bakers % and make a little extra dough, sometime i use it sometimes i toss it.I stck to even numbers like 500g flour to make things easier.    Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2006, 08:47:29 PM
chiguy: Thanks for finding the error. I went back and fixed it. If my math is right, 203 grams of oil would translate to 7.16 ounces, or 43.5 teaspoons. The recipe I posted calls for 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

Dartanian: I wouldn't worry too much about scale accuracy and your inability to get the precise weights of all the ingredients. The main ingredients to weigh are the flour and water. The other ingredients, like yeast, salt, oil, etc., are too lightweight to be weighed on scales intended for consumers, and especially in quantities for a single dough ball. There are scales that can handle the very small weights, and I am aware of a few members who have them (which is the reason I post them in recipes), but using the volume measurements for those items is plenty good enough. That's the main reason why I convert weights to volumes for the lightweight ingredients.

Since I don't know what kinds of scales people have available to them or their accuracy, my practice is to post what my calculator or my spreadsheets come up with. If you were a professional pizza operator making hundred or thousands of dough balls, the accuracy rate would increase dramatically as you scaled up the numbers. But, for a single dough ball, most of the accuracy is of no consequence. Like in horseshoes, close is good enough.

I might add that many of our members, especially those located overseas and use the metric system, prefer using grams rather than ounces because it is more accurate. I, too, prefer grams over ounces for that reason, but most of our members are not used to working with the metric system. So, I tend to favor our system of measurement in my postings. Fortunately, most modern digital scales allow weighing in both ounces and grams, some with accuracy down to 1 gram, so those who have such scales have the option of selecting grams or ounces as desired. I often switch between the two, depending on which system is used in recipes.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 07, 2006, 09:17:06 PM
Dartanian,

As I was looking for something on another thread, I stumbled across something I had written relative to making a Lehmann style dough. I thought it might help you so I have cut and pasted it below:

My practice in making doughs is to hold back on some of the water I have weighed out to use to make the doughs. If, after all the ingredients have been mixed and kneaded in the bowl, I see that the dough looks and feels dry or stiff, I trickle in a bit more water and knead that in. I keep doing this until the dough is smooth and feels a bit tacky and it has absorbed most (or all) of the water. The hydration of the flour is not instantaneous, and a dough that looks like it has absorbed a lot of the water can often take more, especially if you do a bit of hand kneading to speed up the absorption of the water by the flour. But I don't try to force the dough to take more water just because I weighed it out in accordance with the recipe. Flours vary from one lot to another and from one bag to another, and will change with time and storage conditions. When the dough is properly made, it should definitely clear the sides of the bowl and it should come off the hook in pretty much one piece. Stand mixers are not especially efficient machines so I will usually do a bit of hand kneading before putting the dough into its container.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 07, 2006, 10:18:50 PM
Pete and chiguy --

Thanks once again!  This is great counsel and I look forward to incorporating your advice into my next batch of dough, which will be tomorrow.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 08, 2006, 09:04:32 PM
Pete and chiguy --

I made the pizza tonight.  And as chiguy suggested, it turned out to be, all in all (the dough had the correct amount of oil), a pretty good crust .  Shaping it was a little difficult.  I let it sit on the counter for 2 hours after taking it out of the fridge. Whatever I did to it initially -- not enough flour I guess -- made it very sticky to handle when it came time to shape it.  Which leads me to ask this question: when  you take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter at room temperature, do you typically take it out of the container (or in my case plastic bag) that it was in in the fridge or leave it in the same container?  I cut off the top of the bag and left it sitting on the bottom part, dusted it with flour, then draped some plastic wrap over it.  If you do completely take it out of the original container, do  you dust the countertop or whatever it's sitting on with flour so it doesn't stick to the counter when its time to shape?

Also, fyi, I noticed after I was done making the dough yesterday that I had not removed a rubber clip from the platform of the scale I'd just bought earlier in the day. So my measurements were probably all messed up, which probably led to the problem. To practice, I made another batch for a 12 incher this afternoon and it went well.   

Thanks again for the counsel!! 

Dartanian
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2006, 09:35:15 PM
Dartanian,

I'm glad that things turned out reasonably after all. I didn't calculate the actual hydration of your dough, but there are NY style doughs that have hydration percents above 70%. It takes a lot of practice and real skill to handle doughs with such a high hydration, which is why I don't recommend it for beginners. Even 63%, the hydration ratio I posted in the formulation you used, is a bit on the high side. However, my experience is that most people seem to be able to handle that degree of hydration reasonably well.

The way I handle the dough once it comes out of the refrigerator is to remove the dough from the container, whether it is a bowl, metal tin, plastic storage bag, empty bread bag, or whatever, and put it on my countertop to come up to room temperature. I first dust the countertop with bench flour before putting the dough down and I dust the top of the dough also with bench flour. If the dough is a bit misshapen from my attempts to extract it from its container (sometimes the dough will stick to its container and resist removal), I simply gently reshape the dough into a round shape and gently flatten it into a disk. I don't re-knead the dough since doing this will only mess up the gluten structure and make the dough very elastic. Given enough time, the dough will recover from the re-kneading but there is no point in tempting fate. Once the dough is ready to warm up, I put a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough to keep the dough from developing a crust on its outer surface. Since the dough has been dusted with flour, the plastic wrap won't stick to the dough. If you choose not to dust the top of the dough ball with flour, you can spray the underside of the plastic wrap with a light oil spray. That will keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough. My personal preference is to dust the top of the dough with bench flour.

The approach you used should work OK but using the approach I mention saves you the storage bag so that you can reuse it another time. Otherwise you will go through bags like crazy if you make a lot of pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 08, 2006, 09:45:34 PM
 Hi Dartarian,
 I am glad the pizza turned out ok, i can't stand wasting a dough that can probably be salvaged. I am sure the next pizza will be even better now that you addressed the scale problem.The reason for the shaping problem may have to do with the extra flour you added that brought the hydration down to 52%, a higher hydration is usually easier to stretch. This is if you are referring to a lack of stretch/elasticity?? As far as resting dough outside of the fridge, i use bowls that have been oiled then covered until ready to bake. The dough comes right out of the container with a spray of canola oil before placing the dough in the bowl. always keep a rested dough ball oiled,dusted(flour), or covered to prevent a skin from forming. I Hope the next one turns out alot better. I can tell you are hooked on this whole pizza making thing, pizza 2 nights in a row is usually a good sign.  Goodluck, Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2006, 09:56:55 PM
chiguy,

Your comment reminded me of another reason I take the dough out of its container. Usually the container as it comes out of the refrigerator is cold also, and the laws of thermodynamics being what they are, the dough should warm up faster outside of the cold bowl than inside of it. Of course, if you want to prolong the counter warm-up time to accommodate scheduling considerations, leaving the dough within the cold bowl will do that very nicely.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 08, 2006, 10:13:54 PM
 Hi Peter,
 I am sure you are correct, it will probably warm it up faster. I am usually pretty patient so
I do prep work and turn on oven during the 2 hour waiting for the dough to warm up. I do have a trick for warming the dough up in about a third of the time. I fill the sink(4 inches) with hot water but not too hot. I then place the covered dish/ bowl in the warm water and if it is not too heavy it will float in the water. The dough is ready to be shaped in about 30 minutes. Be careful not to add too much water,you do not want the water to over flow back into the bowl.        Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 08, 2006, 10:28:57 PM
Pete/chiguy --

Thanks again.  I am hooked on learning how to make a good pizza.  Your contributions toward that goal are much appreciated.  chiguy, the difficulty I had with the dough was, in addition to it being really sticky, that it was super stretchy -- not a problem of elasticity.  Combined with the stickiness, I think it might not have had enough flour and/or I let it get to warm before shaping it.

Dartanian
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2006, 10:53:11 PM
Another useful tip for warming up a dough, especially in a cold kitchen, is to use an inexpensive, easy-to-assemble "proofing" box, such as described, for example, at Reply #6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,403.0.html. The proofing box can also be used to rise doughs to be used the same day. I have already used my proofing box several times this season since the cold weather arrived. It is one of my favorite tools.

Another simple technique to assist a dough in warming up is to place a large (e.g., 4-cup) Pyrex glass measuring cup filled with water in a microwave unit, heat the water to boiling, and then place the dough that is to be warmed up, in its container (covered), within the microwave unit. The container of water is left in the microwave unit. Until the water cools down, it will provide a warm environment for the dough. Using either this approach or a proofing box is far preferable to having to heat the entire kitchen to achieve the same results.

Peter

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 08, 2006, 11:17:18 PM
 Hi Peter,
 The oven is not part of the proofing, it is just procedure to let the oven warm up(1hr) while i am cutting veggies and waiting for the dough to warm up. I only use the warm water in the sink to speed up the warming process. I am sorry if my post sounded a little confusing. I have seen the homemade proof boxes here before, very ingenious.  Chiguy

 Dartanian,
 That's right, i reread the post. You had a problem with too much hydration. This is always a problem for shaping. i am sure with the scale problem fixed you should not have a problem with this again.  chiguy                                                                                              
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 08, 2006, 11:33:31 PM
chiguy,

Your post was not confusing. I understood it as you intended.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 09, 2006, 09:53:53 PM
Hi Pete and chiguy --

I made the second pizza today.  It was pretty good,  but had a bit of a floury aftertaste.   Perhaps I put too much flour on the peel before putting it on the stone -- just a little paranoid that it will stick to the peel I guess.  Somebody needs to invent a peel that flour doesn't stick to. 

I am looking forward to trying the Lehmann pizza with KASL, which I have ordered and should get later this week. 

Dartanian
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: chiguy on January 09, 2006, 11:14:14 PM
 Hi Dartanian,
 I would suggest to use corn meal as you're relasing agent on the peel instead of flour. It releases the pizza easier in my opinion. It adds a nice crunch to the bottom of the pizza and it will tolerate heat well. When done baking just leave oven door open and the cornmeal should not burn on the stone. Dust off after the stone has cooled. When applying the corn meal, just a good sprinkle over the peels surface. Once dusted and the shaped skin is on the peel, give it a shake to make sure it is not stuck to the peel. I also give it one more shake, after the toppings are added to make sure the heavy toppings did not cause the pizza to stick. I strongly suggest to give corn meal a try. I am glad to see you are progressing, quickly i might add.    Chiguy
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 10, 2006, 06:57:06 AM
Thanks, chiguy.  Corn meal it is next time.   Do  you ever use semolina to dust the peel?
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 10, 2006, 12:56:14 PM
Dartanian,

There are many possible choices to use as a release agent on a peel. Here is a list of possible release agents that I have read about: white flour, semolina, corn flour, cornmeal, corn grits, cream meal (which has a granulation between corn flour and cornmeal), polenta, cornstarch, wheat bran, rye flour, rice flour, and fine bread crumbs. Also, Papa John's uses a product called Dustinator, which is made from semolina, flour and soy oil. It is used when shaping pizza skins.

As you will see if you go to this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=3db949f02ac311e04df2bb990844e61a&topic=1578.msg14446, the use of cornmeal is often the subject of much debate. I used corrmeal for years but found it required frequent cleaning of the oven and stone to prevent the accumulation of residue. Now I just use plain white flour as a release agent. It is the simplest and the cheapest release agent I know of, and it does not introduce another flavor element to the pizza (although I know that many prefer the flavor contribution). If the dough is clearly not inclined to stick to the peel, I use the smallest amount of flour possible. If you use too much, you can get a bitter taste in the crust. Also, too much white flour on the bottom of the dough can cause the crust to bake differently because the flour can reflect rather than absorb heat from the lower heating element.

This is another one of those areas where you will learn from experience. And if you ever find yourself in a situation where your pizza is stuck to the peel, you can run a length of string or dental floss under the pizza to help free it up. My recollection is that one of the elite NY pizza places does this as a matter of course for all its pizzas, especially if they have been setting on the make board for too long.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: sebdesn on January 10, 2006, 03:56:05 PM
The most important thing is what Chiguy said about the little quick shake to get it "floating",
Bud
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 16, 2006, 11:38:07 AM
I reread all the posts in this thread today to see if something of potential value to newbies might have been left out. About the only thing that I felt might be added is the way I usually bake most of my pizzas, including the Lehmann pizzas, in my home oven.

Home ovens are no match for commercial pizza ovens. Commercial deck ovens, which most closely correlate to the typical home oven, are specifically designed to bake pizzas. Hence, they are usually quite shallow. This is to allow more top heat to achieve the proper balance between the baking of the top and bottom of a pizza.  By contrast, home ovens are intentionally designed to be deep (tall), so that all kinds of foods can be baked in them, including a giant turkey on Thanksgiving Day and traditional side dishes that can take up a good part of the oven space. So, in using a home oven to bake pizzas, one has to be creative and inventive. In effect, what you are trying to do is foreshorten the home oven to more closely simulate a commercial deck oven.

In my case, I typically use various combinations of pizza screen, pizza stone, oven rack position, and possibly the broiler element. If I wanted to make a pizza up to 14 inches in diameter, I would only need the stone. That is because 14 inches is the largest pizza size my particular pizza stone can handle (the stone is 14'' x 16"). The largest pizza that my oven can handle is 18 inches. So, if I want to make a pizza bigger than 14 inches, say, between 14 inches and 18 inches, that is where the pizza screen comes in. In fact, it's absolutely necessary in my oven.

When I use the screen/stone combination, my practice is to place the screen--with the dressed pizza on it, of course--on the top oven rack of my oven, which has been preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. Once the crust starts to turn brown and the cheeses start to bubble (fortunately, my oven door has a window for me to see this), I shift the pizza off of the screen and onto the pizza stone (which, as noted below, is typically on the lowest oven rack position). At this stage, the pizza crust has set and is firm enough to permit shifting the pizza off of the screen and onto the stone (I then remove the screen from the oven). It doesn't matter at this point that the pizza overlaps the sides of the stone because it is rigid.

When using the stone alone, to work best, the stone, which I place on the lowest oven rack position, has to be very hot. It is for this reason that I preheat the oven at its highest oven temperature for one hour. As the pizza is baking on the stone, I watch it to see if the top is baking too slowly or too quickly, based on the colors of the crust and cheese. In my oven, it is usually the top of the pizza that needs more baking. So, somewhere along the way, usually after the bottom of the crust has turned brown, I move the pizza to the top oven rack position for further top crust browning. Sometimes, I will turn the broiler on after the pizza has been placed on the stone and then shift the pizza to the top oven rack position under the broiler for a final minute or so of baking. This method works best with doughs made with low protein flours (like unmalted 00 flours) that do not brown as much as doughs made using higher protein flours. With experience, it becomes second nature to know when to move the pizza around the oven and when to use the broiler.

There are many possible variations to the above approach. Some members turn on the broiler element at the same time as a pizza is deposited on the stone (there would be no use of a screen in this case). Some will also place the stone at the middle oven rack position of the oven. Others might place the stone at a higher oven position. A good example of this approach is shown in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6585.msg56478.html#msg56478. (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6585.msg56478.html#msg56478.) For a similar recommendation (plus a few other, more preferred, options), see Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9835.msg86426;topicseen#msg86426 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9835.msg86426;topicseen#msg86426). It is also possible to put the screen with the dressed pizza on it directly on the stone and remove the screen once the dough sets and is firm. Others will construct an "oven within an oven", using two stones on separate oven racks or tiles on different racks and at the sides, all in an effort to more closely simulate a commercial deck oven. In my oven, I prefer not to use two stones because I have a hard time seeing the pizza through the window in my oven door because the top stone shields the pizza from a clear view. Also, with two stones, it usually takes longer for the two stones to preheat to the desired temperature as compared with one stone. In all of the above cases, one has to learn how to control bake times and temperatures since they are likely to vary quite a bit from one arrangement to another. It is also important to keep in mind that not all broilers work the same. Some can be kept on at all times, whereas others, like mine, kick off at a certain temperature.

For those with gas ovens, it is also possible to place a stone, such as a soapstone stone, on the oven floor, place pans or sheets of aluminum foil on a middle rack position to seal off the top part of the oven, and preheat the stone for about an hour.

It is also possible to use just a screen by itself, as many of our members do. However, unless steps are taken to modify the dough formulation in some fashion, as by adding sugar or honey or other color-enhancing ingredients, the bottom crust may be lighter in color and it may be less crispy (because there is no searing effect as with a hot stone). A principal advantage of using only the screen, of course, is that it isn't necessary to preheat the oven for a prolonged period, as would be required if a stone were to be used. It is only necessary to heat the ambient air in the oven to the required temperature, which usually only takes around 10 to 15 minutes in most home ovens. This can be a real plus in the summertime since it dramatically reduces the time to bake the pizza. In using only the screen, it is also possible to move the pizza around in the oven to get more or less top or bottom crust coloration and a more complete bake. For example, one can start low in the oven or high in the oven and move the pizza as needed to achieve the desired final results. If needed, the broiler can also be used. When I use just a screen, I tend to put the pizza at the lowermost oven rack position until I achieve the desired finished crust coloration and then move the pizza to the topmost oven rack position if more top crust coloration is needed or a more complete bake (slight browning or melting of the cheese and cooking the toppings more completely). This is essentially the approach that I used to make Papa John's clone pizzas as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html). The dough for those pizzas included a lot of oil and sugar and are American style rather than NY style but using just a screen worked well for that style even though one will not get an overly crispy bottom crust because of all of the sugar and oil.

Peter

Note: Edited from time to time to add new methods or variations.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 16, 2006, 04:11:02 PM
Peter --

I found this post to be like all your others -- extremely helpful.  Thanks for it.  I made my first Lehmann dough with KASL yesterday.  I used your the recipe with the 65% hydration and 1 1/2 t of ADY.  I made two 12 inch pies.  They were good -- chewy, leathery (I would have liked it a bit more leathery), with a pretty good rim (I think the 12 inch size, as you commented on when you compared it to the 16 inch version, may explain why it wasn't airier).   As you also described with your expereince with this recipe, I found the dough to be very extensible.  I don't think I under kneaded it.  I monitored the dough closely and it was smooth and elastic when I took it out with a final dough temperature of 82.8 (I was shooting for 82). 

One questions I have, which may be stupid but I will ask anyway, is whether most members, when they discuss kneading on "low" speed on their mixers, mean the "stir" speed or the speed right after that.  On my kitchen aid, I have six speeds: stir, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10.  I have been mixing on stir, as that is the lowest, but, as I say, am curious to what other, more experienced home pizza makeres typically do. 

As for the pizza, I do  have a picture of it which I intend to post when I figure out how to do that.

Dartanian
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 16, 2006, 05:02:34 PM
Dartanian,

I have the same settings on my KitchenAid stand mixer. You may not have noticed but there are actually speeds between the numbers. If you move the speed lever slowly, you can hear the changes. They don't immediately jump out at you but they are there. That said, I use stir for "stir" purposes and I use the "1" (unnumbered) or "2" (numbered) speeds as my "low". I typically use the "3" (unnumbered) speed as my medium. Occasionally I will use the "4" speed to try to jog a dough that is overly enamored of the dough hook or to make up for an insufficient knead at a lower speed. I have found that you almost have to use the speed lever like a joystick of a video game. Just as home ovens are no match for commercial ovens, most home stand mixers are no match for commercial mixers. If you can lick the oven problem and the mixer problem, you are almost as good as the professionals since we can now get most of the same and best ingredients that the professionals use to make their pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: sebdesn on January 16, 2006, 06:30:25 PM
maybe KA vern will pipe in ,,,
But the big unmistakable sticker on my spiral hook on my KA commericial said "use number 2 only, for dough...I have used higher numbers for short bursts (10 sec or so) to get stuff moving along. And as I recall the instruction book specifically said not to use the mix (1) speed to knead dough with...There is also a discussion forum on the KA web site where someone from KA will come on and answer your questions,,,
Bud 
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on January 16, 2006, 08:21:47 PM
Thanks Pete and Bud --

As you can see, mechanical inclination is not my strong suit...Thanks goodness for the forum!

Dartanian
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 16, 2006, 08:44:38 PM
Bud,

I usually make enough dough for one pizza at a time. For example, for a 16-inch Lehmann dough, the total weight is just a bit over 20 ounces. For the dough formulation I posted earlier in this thread for a 12-inch pizza, the dough weighs just under 12 ounces. With those amounts of dough, I have never had a problem at any speed. And my machine is geriatric.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: sebdesn on January 16, 2006, 10:12:09 PM
Peter, yea, for  small amounts, whatever feels right is undoubtedly ok.
 About the smallest thing I do is a Kilo total.....When I have had a load in the mixer and stopped at 1 the thing was in obvious distress.....I was just passing on what the directions said...(who me follow directions??? LOL!)
Bud
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: RockyMarciano on January 18, 2006, 10:22:32 PM
pizzzzagirl,

Today I made a dough using a different NY style dough recipe. The dough weight was greater than the weight of dough you will make using the recipe posted above, however several of the procedures are quite similar to what I use when making the Lehmann NY style dough. I thought you might find the photos below useful as a guide to your efforts when you next attempt the Lehmann NY style dough.

The first photo shows what the dough will typically look like when flour is gradually added to the mixer bowl to be mixed with the water. As you can see, the dough has the consistency of a thick batter. As more flour is added, the dough starts to thicken and take on a denser, shaggy appearance. The photo below also shows the thin, long-handled plastic spatula I use to divert flour from the sides of the bowl into the path of the dough hook.

Peter
Care to share the recipe? (in proportions for 1 16" pie) and was it any good?
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 19, 2006, 09:22:58 AM
Rocky,

The recipe I used was Canadave’s basic recipe for his NY style dough. It appears at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html. The formulation I used (a conversion of Canadave's recipe to baker's percents) was set forth at Reply #8 at the above thread.  My results using that formulation were reported at Replies #33 and #34, at page 2 of the same thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.20.html .The photos shown earlier in this thread were of the same pizza, at earlier stages of the production of the dough and pizza.

As you will see from my report on the pizza, it was great.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on February 21, 2006, 09:19:13 PM
Hi Peter, All --

First of all, let me extend a deep thank you to you and everyone else who gave me fantastic tutelage as I was getting up and running, and addicted. Since my last post, I've made a number of tasty Lehmann NY style pizzas (and yesterday my first Neapolitan with Caputo 00 pizza flour), and while I have some work to do to get to where I want to be as a pizza maker, I have been thrilled and encouraged with the outcome.  The information on this site is outdone only by the spirit with which it is offered by its members to all people out there who come here looking to learn how to make great pizza.  So, thanks again.

I have a question regarding the right amount of sugar for a multi-day rise in the fridge.  I am going to make dough for a Lehmann NY style 16 inch, 63% hydration pizza on Thursday evening, around 9:00,  for use on Sunday evening, around 6:00  How much sugar should I put in the dough to make sure the yeast doesn't run out of food before I am ready to use it?

Steve
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on February 21, 2006, 09:34:57 PM
Steve,

I'm happy to hear that you are making good process with your pizza making.

As far as sugar is concerned, I think you would be on the cusp and may not need any added sugar if your dough is kept on the cool side. However, as insurance, you could use 1% by weight of flour. For a single 16-inch Lehmann pizza, that would be about 3/4 t.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dartanian on February 21, 2006, 10:13:42 PM
Thanks, Peter.

Steve
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on February 24, 2006, 07:04:11 PM
As I was responding to another post today, I came upon an earlier post I had written on the matter of the need on occasion to interject oneself into the machine dough kneading process. Since that subject is one that comes up quite often, and although it was covered in part earlier in this thread, I thought it might be useful to beginning pizza makers to read nonetheless, especially those with standard home stand mixers (not DLXs or Santos units). The post is at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1159.0.html. It might also be helpful to read the other posts in the thread (it is a short thread) to put the matter into better perspective.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: cooper on November 21, 2006, 01:09:07 AM
I'm new to making pizzas properly.  Before finding this forum and Jeff Varasano's site a couple weeks ago most of the pizzas I attempted were done on a rare spur of the moment "I'm hungry for pizza now" whim, made by throwing some flour in a bowl, adding some yeast, salt, sugar and oil, all unmeasured, then enough water to make a dough.  Knead a little and turn on the oven.  Bake as soon as the oven came up to temp.  I didn't let it rise/ferment long enough.   I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  As you can imagine, the results weren't very good.

I recently used Pete's ingredient list in reply #8 of this thread (Pizzzzagirl's recipe) with KA bread flour.  I weighed out the flour and water and used measuring spoons along with a little estimation for the rest.  I don't have a mixer, so I did this by hand. 

Since my flour was cold from being stored in the freezer, I heated my water in the microwave until fairly warm.  I stirred about half the flour into the water, covered the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest 15 minutes. 

Then I added the yeast and salt and stirred for a few minutes.  I kept mixing, gradually adding in most of the remaining flour over about 5 more minutes.  When the dough thickened enough to become too difficult to stir with a fork, I worked in the remaining flour in with my hands and put the ball on the counter.  It seemed a bit wet, especially at first, but I used very little bench flour while kneading.  First I worked in the oil.  I didn't record my total knead time.  Maybe 4-5 minutes, then 5 minutes or so rest, then another 2-3 kneading.  Something like that.  I'm guessing.  It wasn't long.  My finished dough temperature was 82 degrees. 

I put the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, wiped a little extra oil on the exposed part of the dough, and sealed with plastic wrap.  I put it in the fridge for 48 hours.

On baking day I set the dough bowl out on the counter, along with the sauce I had made, about 2 hours before cooking time to warm up.  An hour before showtime I put the pizza stone on the bottom rack and cranked my older gas oven up a little past 550 on the dial (just short of broil).  I prepared the toppings: pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion.  I pre-cooked the sliced mushrooms in the microwave for about 90 seconds, then strained and put them on a paper towel to further draw out moisture.  I grated about 7 ounces of whole milk low moisture cheese (Precious brand -- not horrible, but I'll have to try others).

Using very little flour, I lightly pressed out the dough with my fingers, then stretched it over the back of my knuckles.  I'm not good at this, but I got it mostly round and about 12" in diameter.

With everything lined up and ready for action, I lightly floured the bottom of the dough and lightly floured the peel.  Out of fear from a peel-sticking tragedy years ago I worked extremely quickly after placing the skin on the peel.  I slapped on the sauce, threw on the cheese and toppings and hurriedly got the thing on the stone.  I'll bet it took less than a minute.  I don't know if such speed is required, but I was nervous.

I let the pizza bake about 5 1/2 minutes on the stone, then moved it up to the top rack atop my newly acquired 14" pizza screen for about another 90 seconds.

I removed pizza and screen, setting the screen on top of an oven burner to serve as a cooling rack.  After 3-4 minutes, I put the pizza on a perforated pizza pan lined with paper towels and sliced.  I served the slices on uncoated, cheap paper plates.

This was by far the best pizza I've made.  The crust was tasty -- better than chain store pizza.  I prefer the top slightly more done than this came out, but it wasn't bad for an early try.   More time on the top rack should fix it.  Or, use some tiles placed on the rack above the stone.  Now that I'm on the right track I'll experiment.

I welcome any suggestions for improvement.  I went a bit heavy on the toppings.  I'll eventually develop a better feel for how much of what is needed.  The crust was excellent when fresh out of the oven, but when reheated the next day seemed too chewy/tough.  Is that just the nature of the beast, or can adjustments be made to minimize this?

The crust wasn't quite as springy as I'd like (assuming "spring" means it pops back when you press on it instead of staying squished).  What factors affect this?

Would the bottom turn out similarly if I were to cook the pizza on a screen set directly on the stone?




Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on November 21, 2006, 10:29:55 AM
cooper,

Overall, I would say that you did a very nice job. Congratulations. With experience, your results should only get better.

The Lehmann dough formulation calls for a very small amount of yeast, and the dough spends most of its time in the refrigerator. Hence, you won't usually see much rise and "spring" in the dough. If your room temperature is on the low side, as will happen in most parts of the country as fall/winter are upon us, you may not even see much rise in the Lehmann dough on the bench just prior to shaping, dressing, etc. I suggest that you try increasing the amount of yeast a bit and see if you like the final results better. Try, if you can, however, to keep the finished dough temperature in the desired range. You might also let the flour warm up to room temperature once it comes out of your freezer. I think you will find that it doesn't take long for this to happen.

I noticed from your write-up that you used the screen to hold the pizza once you removed it from the stone to a higher oven position. There is nothing per se wrong with that, but you don't really need the screen at that point since the pizza is firm enough to stand on its own when you move it up higher in the oven. My practice is to use the stone for as long as possible and to move the pizza to a higher oven position if I see that the bottom of the pizza is browning too quickly and, at the same time, the top looks like it needs further baking. Remember, also, that you have the broiler element available to you to assist baking the top of the pizza faster. It usually takes a few pizzas to figure out how to balance using the stone, oven rack positions, oven temperature, and the broiler. Against this set of factors, you will also have to balance the amounts and types of cheeses and toppings you use.

You can bake the pizza on the screen directly on the stone. This will slow down the bake of the bottom of the pizza because the screen acts as a barrier between the unbaked pizza and the stone, and has to heat up before the pizza starts to bake in a more meaningful way. Using the screen/stone combo would also be a good idea if you use a lot of sugar in your dough (say, above 2-3% by weight of flour). This is a technique commonly used by some pizza operators to prevent the bottom crust from prematurely browning or burning because of the increased sugar content.

It is common for some of the higher protein flours to yield a crust that is a bit chewy once the crust cools. You could add a bit of all-purpose flour, or even cake or pastry flour, to the KA bread flour to soften the KA bread flour a bit, or you could use more oil, along with a bit of sugar, in the dough. The overall result should be a less chewy, more tender crust and crumb. Along these lines, you might also try other NY style dough recipes beyond the Lehmann version. A good example would be Canadave's NY style dough recipe, which can be found in the NY pizzas style section of the forum at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.msg19124.html#msg19124.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Woodyhoos on July 15, 2008, 01:37:41 PM
Peter,
  A few weeks ago you helped me with a recipe for a NY style pizza using a bread machine.  Just as I finally chose the exact recipe I was going to make..... I ended up purchasing a KA food processor.  So now I need to start the search again.  I found the thread above, and your detailed Reply (#8, I think).  It is written for a stand mixer, however.  Can I just follow this recipe, ignoring any kneading estimates based on times, and pay attention to the look of the dough?  Or is there a better recipe you might recommend specifically for a food processor.

Thanks,
Woodyhoos
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on July 15, 2008, 01:51:42 PM
Woodyhoos,

If you plan to use a food processor to make a NY style dough, you may want to take a look at the following thread that describes the methods I use when working with a food processor: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2189.msg19289.html#msg19289.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Woodyhoos on July 18, 2008, 09:06:54 AM
My first real homemade pizza experience last night.... I used the recipe from Reply #8 and it turned out fantastic (for the most part, I'll explain below).  I doubled the recipe so I would have 2 pizzas and didn't have to adjust a thing.  After my last horrendous experience with a sticky mess (different recipe, not from this sight) this was a joy.  Let the dough sit in the fridge overnight.  I made 2 pizzas using a no-cook sauce recipe (also a first time experience), shredded my own Richfood and Poly-O mozzarellas and small sections of deli-sliced provo.  One pizza had nothing else (for the kids) and the second one had pepperoni, bacon, and fresh basil leaves.  I cooked on a pizza screen on top of a pizza stone. 

Everyone raved about the pizza, including a neighbor who stopped by and had 2 slices (after already eating dinner).  The one big problem, unfortunately, was that I couldn't get my oven hot enough.  I decided to use my Primo Grill/smoker (similar to the Big Green Egg if you are familiar with that).  (For those familiar with this grill, I used thick firebricks as a heat shield, and placed a pizza stone on top of them).  It is a ceramic "oven" that should have no problem getting to 500-600 deg.  But I found out too late that in my rushed prep, I didn't have enough charcoal in it, so over the course of cooking the 2 pizzas, they were being cooked closer to 400.  I think this reduced some of the browning of hte crust, and I am guessing didnt give it the quick rise it might otherwise have had.  But I compensated by cooking longer and the crush still have some crispiness to it.  I look forward to duplicating everything, but with a hotter oven. 

So thanks to the site, and in particular to Peter, for the helpful information.  I look forward to further experimentation, but I think I want to get this style down (and my oven figured out) before I move on.

Woodyhoos
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on July 18, 2008, 09:19:50 AM
Woodyhoos,

Just keep plugging away at it and you will master the process in no time. Out of curiosity, did you use a food processor to make the dough? Also, did you place the pizza screen with the pizza on it directly on the stone or did you yank the screen out from under the pizza at some point?

BTW, you don't have to limit yourself to the specific recipe in Reply 8. As you will note, that recipe was mainly for winter, or cool weather, use. This time of year, I use 0.25% IDY.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Woodyhoos on July 18, 2008, 10:01:20 AM
I did use a Food Processor and did it by feel (no times).  The dough balled up on top of the blade after everything became incorporated.  I then pushed it down into the kneading area once or twice to make sure it was actually being needed.  (But remember, I have no idea what I am doing).  The dough came out just as in one of your posts - it was slightly tacky, but not too much, and the tackiness went away as soon as I hand kneaded (which I did for about 45 seconds).

I kept the screen in place the entire time, although I hope to eventually pull it out.  But this time it wasn't cooking very quickly so I was afraid of it folding up.  Also, my pizza stone finally cracked all of the way through, and I didn't trust it to stay together.  Finally, my pizza stone also is extremely dirty.  I made the mistake of using it as a heat shield when smoking some spare ribs one time and it was coated with the drippings.  I didn't want to worry about transferring any flavors to the pizza.  But I do plan to get either a new pizza stone or some unglazed quarry tiles soon and hope to improve to the point of being about to either only  use the screen initially, or mastering a peel and not using one at all.  Although I did find one advantage of the screen was that its grid seemed to be helpful in holding the pizza dough in its fully stretched out shape (by adding some friction), whereas on the cutting board it had a tendency to shrink up a bit more.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on November 17, 2008, 03:58:15 PM
I recently posted a reply at another thread in which I outlined several steps that I frequently use when making doughs by hand, whether a NY style dough or another type of dough of similar hydration. Since this thread has evolved into a thread mainly to help newbies, many of whom do not have dough mixing equipment, I thought that it might be useful to repeat the content of the abovementioned reply for the benefit of newbies who would like to knead their doughs by hand. Here are the hand kneading tips for a typical dough formulation including flour, water, yeast (IDY), salt, oil, and sugar:

1. Although not obligatory, my preference if a sieve or hand crank sifter is available, is to sift the formula flour into a first bowl and add and stir in the IDY. (See Note 2 below if using ADY or fresh yeast instead of IDY.) The IDY can also be sifted along with the flour if the openings of the sieve or sifter are large enough. Sifting the flour will improve the hydration of the flour by incorporating more water into the dough. Unlike ADY, it is not necessary to rehydrate the IDY in warm water although it perhaps should be rehydrated in a small amount (a couple of ounces) of warm water if the knead time is to be brief (e.g., below about five minutes), in which case the rehydrated IDY can be added to the rest of the formula water or to the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. The abovementioned five-minute number is one that Tom Lehmann often mentions as the cutoff for rehydrating the IDY when hand kneading. See, for example, Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21801.msg220619;topicseen#msg220619 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21801.msg220619;topicseen#msg220619).

2. Put all of the formula water into a second bowl, add the salt, and stir until dissolved, about 20 seconds. It is not necessary to warm up all of the formula water if prehydrating the IDY is deemed necessary or desirable (e.g., to around 105 degrees F), only the part used to prehydrate the IDY. Using all warm water will only increase the finished dough temperature and accelerate the fermentation of the dough and shorten its window of usability. Any water not used to rehydrate the yeast as discussed above can be cool or even cold right out of the refrigerator. Ideally, for a home refrigerator application, the finished dough temperature should be between 75-80 degrees F. Using cool/cold water at around 75 degrees F should allow one to achieve a finished dough temperature in that range, although some adjustment may be needed from time to time based on experience. A thermometer (e.g., an analog or digital instant read thermometer) will be required to measure the finished dough temperature. If too high or too low by more than a few degrees, the water temperature can be adjusted for future dough batches as noted above.

3. Add the oil to the bowl with the water/salt mixture. Alternatively, the oil can be added after step 4 below and incorporated into the dough. (Some people feel that the oil interferes with the hydration of the flour if added to the water. On the other hand, adding the oil to the water disperses it more uniformly throughout the dough as it is kneaded into the dough.)

4. Gradually add the flour/yeast mixture to the water/salt mixture a few tablespoons at a time and, using a sturdy spoon, combine the ingredients until it is no longer easy to stir more of the flour/yeast mixture into the dough mass. If desired, a wire whisk can be used at the beginning to improve the hydration of the flour even more, and switch to the spoon when the whisk bogs down. The whisk can take any of the forms shown in the photos below (although a Danish whisk, not shown, can also be used). If the oil was not added in step 3 above, add to the oil to the dough in the mixing bowl and knead into the dough.

5. Using a spatula or a flexible plastic bench knife, scrape the rough dough mass out of the mixing bowl onto a work surface that has been lightly dusted with a bit of flour. The bench knife I use is like the one shown at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-bench-knife (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-bench-knife) but any bench knife can be used, even the plastic ones (as shown, for example, at http://www.bakedeco.com/dept.asp?id=194 (http://www.bakedeco.com/dept.asp?id=194)).

6. Sprinkle the remaining flour/yeast mixture a little bit at a time onto the dough mass and knead into the dough mass after each addition. To facilitate this process, use wet hands or hands dusted with a bit of the flour. It is also possible to use a bench knife, or even two of them for a large dough batch, to turn and knead the dough mass as the remaining flour is added to the dough. For some guidance on how to use a bench knife to help knead the dough, see this video: http://www.monkeysee.com/play/997-pizza-how-to-make-dough-by-hand-part-two (http://www.monkeysee.com/play/997-pizza-how-to-make-dough-by-hand-part-two) If the dough is hard to knead for any reason, let the dough rest from time to time during the kneading process. This will allow the flour to better hydrate and will allow the gluten structure to relax and become less elastic, making it easier to knead the dough. 

7. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and malleable yet a bit tacky. Resist the temptation to add more flour. As the hand kneading continues, the wetness of the dough should gradually diminish and disappear. If the dough really sticks to the fingers and to the work surface (the dough will usually pull away in strands as it is pulled away from the work surface), add additional flour, a quarter teaspoon or half teaspoon at a time, and knead into the dough with each such addition. If the dough is too dry, add more water, about a half teaspoon at a time, and knead to incorporate. If more flour and/or water are used in this manner, note the total amounts of each added. This might help modify the dough formulation for future dough batches, especially if a scale is used to weigh the flour and water.

8. Another dough kneading method that can also be used as part of a hand kneading regimen is the one shown in Images 4a-4c at http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm. (http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm.). For other knead methods, including stretch and fold, see http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/175-the-stretch-and-fold-method.html (http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/175-the-stretch-and-fold-method.html) (including the video referenced in the article) and http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough.html (http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough.html).

Note 1: It is also possible to add the salt to the flour rather than to the water in the mixing bowl. The same also applies to sugar (if called for in the dough formulation). However, adding both the salt and sugar to the water helps them dissolve faster and better. If honey is used in lieu of sugar, it can be added to the water in the mixing bowl or to the dough in the bowl as it is being mixed and kneaded. The honey can be warmed up slightly to make it flow better but that step is optional.

Note 2: If ADY is used instead of IDY, it should be rehydrated in a small amount of the formula water at about 105 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes. It can then be added to the rest of the formula water or to the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. If fresh (cake) yeast is used, it can either be rehydrated in tepid water (a portion of the formula water) at around 80-90 degrees F, or simply be crumbled into the mixing bowl.

Note 3: If weights of ingredients are used and one of the dough calculating tools is used (e.g., at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html) or http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html)), it is recommended that a bowl residue compensation of 1.5-2% be used in the tool to compensate for minor dough losses during preparation of the dough.

If one has an electric hand mixer, another kneading regimen that combines use of the electric hand mixer and hand kneading is described at Reply 30 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36489.html#msg36489 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36489.html#msg36489). It will be noted that many of the steps suggested above are also incorporated in the procedures described in that post.

Peter

EDIT (9/21/14): Edited from time to time to incorporate newer information. For the Wayback Machine version of the nonworking Woodstone link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20140330190734/http://woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm (http://web.archive.org/web/20140330190734/http://woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm)
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: tsmys on March 11, 2009, 07:36:14 PM
Hi Guys,

Just a couple of quick questions about storage containers.  Is it OK to use a square container?  Also, when using a "Tupperware" type container, should the lid be sealed or left slightly ajar?  Thanks!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on March 11, 2009, 09:06:23 PM
tsmys,

I don't recommend a square or rectangular container for dough that is to be used to make round pizzas because it makes it more difficult to reshape a square or rectangular dough ball into a round one without mangling it or making it overly elastic because of the reshaping. If you plan to make dough for a square or rectangular pizza, such as a Sicilian style pizza, you could use a square or rectangular storage container.

If a dough ball is to be held overnight, you should be able to use a tight fitting lid. However, if there is a lot of yeast in the dough or the dough is very warm going into the storage container where there is a risk of the dough expanding too quickly and producing a lot of gases, you might either use a sheet of plastic wrap to cover the storage container or else use a lid with a small hole in the center. That will allow the gases of fermentation to escape while retaining the moisture of condensation. The Lehmann NY style doughs are low-yeast doughs, so the risk of the dough "blowing" and popping the lid is almost nonexistent. I personally don't leave the lid ajar because I don't want the surface of the dough to dry out.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: tsmys on March 12, 2009, 11:21:12 AM
Peter,

Thanks for the quick reply.  I'm getting ready to try my first Lehmann's dough and want to reduce the variables as much as possible so I can go back and figure out what I screwed up without too much trouble. ;D  As you can tell I'm brimming with confidence!  I've been using zip-lock bags with a small section of the seal left unsealed but I can see my zip-lock budget getting way out of hand not to mention the landfill issues.  I'm assuming from your reply that the lids on metal cans don't seal enough to cause any expansion issues.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on March 12, 2009, 12:26:30 PM
I'm assuming from your reply that the lids on metal cans don't seal enough to cause any expansion issues.

tsmys,

I have used cookie tins with fairly tight fitting lids without any problem. Usually, however, I will open the tins to check out the dough to see how it is doing. The advantage of using glass containers and some plastic containers is that you can see what is happening to the dough without having to remove the lids.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: tsmys on March 13, 2009, 03:46:15 PM
Thanks Peter,

Caught Alton Brown's pizza show last night.  It really helped fill in some blanks for me.  Also watched a u-tube video you had recommended in Foodblogger's thread "Malnati Deep Dish with Semolina".  That helped a bunch also.  Would recommend both for all newbies.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: dbsoccer on June 26, 2009, 01:37:26 AM
Hi Peter,

Per your suggestion I read (skimmed actually) this thread. It was very helpful. My one question is with the technique you outline for Pizzzagirl way back at the start. I don't recall the 'resting' period autoclyse (spelling is probably wrong). Is it there and I missed it or was it not there.

I need to more carefully read this and I also need to check out the crust stretching Youtube clip.

Brent
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on June 26, 2009, 10:20:27 AM
Brent,

You are correct. The autolyse or similar rest period is not there. The Lehmann NY style dough recipe is a commercial recipe and does not call for using an autolyse or similar rest period. In fact, you will find very few pizza operators who use the classic Calvel (Prof. Raymond Calvel) autolyse or even a pseudo-autolyse or quasi-autolyse rest period. A few artisan pizza operators do use it. Also, many of our members use the autolyse and similar practices, both for the Lehmann NY style and other pizza styles. I like autolyse for certain types of doughs but not for others. I have tried autolyse for the Lehmann NY style but don't regularly use it.  In your reading, you may note that a lot of people combine all of the typical ingredients of a dough, such as flour, water, yeast and salt, and let that dough rest for a period of time. They may refer to the rest period as an autolyse rest period. However, that is not correct. At that point, the dough is fermenting. A classic autolyse entails combining only flour and water and letting that mixture rest before adding other ingredients. A good place to learn more about autolyse is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2632.msg22758.html#msg22758, and particularly Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2632.msg22856.html#msg22856.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on June 30, 2009, 07:53:15 PM
Boys and girls........I just finished making my pies with Toms recipe for the home cook. I've been looking for this crust for 20 years..............I took some time off...................and it was just what I was looking for.........crunchy, with body and good flavor. I mixed the dough for about 15 min. let it raise twice, baked @ 520 degs middle of oven, on a stone, 11 minutes, kinda. WOW, what a pizza.

All I have to do now is do it again, and I can die a happy man...............

This web site is awsome..........thanks to everyone...........Mike Hoffman :chef:
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on June 30, 2009, 08:04:07 PM
Mike,

I am glad that Tom's dough recipe worked out so well for you.

It sounds like you made some changes to the dough management and did not refrigerate the dough. Can you elaborate a bit further how you made and managed the dough, including any changes to the recipe itself and the times used?

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 01, 2009, 03:13:42 PM
Mike,

I am glad that Tom's dough recipe worked out so well for you.

It sounds like you made some changes to the dough management and did not refrigerate the dough. Can you elaborate a bit further how you made and managed the dough, including any changes to the recipe itself and the times used?

Peter
                  I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I couldn't measure the ingredents that precise. I did let it raise twice then made the pizzas. I forgot to say I trippled the dough. Kept it moist and just let is raise twice. It came out friggin unbeliveable. I'm making it again Friday just to make sure I can do it again.
                 I palced the yeast in the flour water,  salt, and alittle sugar in the mixing bowl. Added the flour and mixed it for about 15 minutes, not at the ball stage but like a stiff batter. Then finished it with more flour till it was still tacky. I'll do it again friday and take better notes..........I'll let you know again............Thanks  Peter




                   Pete...........can't get around to the pie today...gettin ready for the 4th..........I'll hit it next week and do it by the numbers and get back to you.......................Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 08, 2009, 02:53:47 PM
Pete
        I just made pizza again today, was great..........

       4 cups unbleached high gluten flour
       1 1/2 cups + 4 Tablespoons 100 deg water
       1 teaspoon idy
       1 teaspoon salt
       1 teaspoon olive oil
       
            Mix yeast with flour

             Dis. salt in water, add to mixing bowl, paddle at first. Add enough flour for a stiff batter. Mix

            for 10 minutes. Add  enough flour to form a ball with dough hook, but still tacky. add oil, Mix for 5

            minutes, divide dough into 2 parts, kneed, oil, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 2 hrs. kneed, let

            rise again. Ready for pizza

            Bake @ 520 degs.  2 racks up from bottom, About 10 minutes. On a stone..........Killer Pizza

                                                  Mike Hoffman

           PS     What do you think   Pete?   :pizza:


           Almost forgot, when I pat out my dough, then try and streach it it gets thinner in a few places

          is this because I don't roll my balls enough to remove the seams and that is where it gets thin ?


Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on July 09, 2009, 12:10:37 PM
Mike,

From what I can tell from your description, it looks like you converted Tom Lehmann's cold fermentation method to a short-term room temperature version. In the process, you also reduced the amount of salt and oil from the basic Lehmann dough formulation values. To get back to those values, I estimate that you would need to use a bit less than 1 3/4 t. salt and a bit less than 1 1/4 t. oil. These are my best estimates since you used volume measurements.

Can you tell me how long you kneaded the two dough balls after the division (and was it a machine knead or a hand knead after the division), and also how long the second dough rise was, and what size pizzas you made? Also, can you tell me what method you used to measure out the flour and water by volume? I estimate that the total dough batch weight you used was around 32 ounces, or around 16 ounces per dough ball.

There are many potential causes of thin spots, but I think I should be able to better respond to that issue once you answer the questions I posed above.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 09, 2009, 03:06:05 PM
Peter, I kneaded the dough balls about 5 minutes by hand and could still see a seam.

The second rise was a little over 1 1/2 hours.............I ran out of time

I measured the flour and water by cup. don't have a scale..........yet.      made 2 13" pies about

After reading more about pizzas It said it takes lomger for the dough to relax using high gluten

flour. I though I would try more kneading by hand after the dough is done, then 24 hours in

reefer and try it again...............after 2 hours at room Temp.

Pete......after a dumb ass attack I thought about it and the way I knead the dough may be the problem
I do it by hand not on a bench, I streach the dough from top to bottom, then pinch the bottom. I think that is putting a seam in the dough, not taking it out. I'll try the bench method to remove the seam...........Thanks Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on July 10, 2009, 08:45:47 PM
Mikey,

I wondered whether the problem was due to underkneading or possibly excessive hydration. What I was looking for when I asked you how you measured out the flour and water was more specific than your brief answer. For example, if you look at the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator at http://foodsim.toastguard.com/, you will see a pulldown menu entitled Measurement Method. Depending on which Measurement Method you use, the weight of the flour will vary, often quite considerably, and can materially affect the hydration of the dough. For example, if you used the Textbook method, I come up with an estimated hydration of around 67% for 4 cups of high-gluten flour (I used the KASL for the calculation) and 1 1/4 c. + 4 T. water; if you used the Medium method, I come up with an estimated hydration of over 72%. Both of those numbers are very much on the high side, and if either of those numbers is correct, I can see how you could end up with thin spots, specifically, because the dough is overly hydrated and very extensible (stretchy). A typical hydration for a high-gluten flour and for the Lehmann NY style dough formulation is around 63%. It's possible that you are close to that, but I can't tell with any certainty based on what you have reported.

If you used roughly 16 ounces of dough (my estimate) to make a roughly 13" pizza, that translates to a thickness factor of about 0.12. That is significantly greater than the 0.09-0.105 thickness factor that most members use for the Lehmann NY style. To get back to the Lehmann thickness factor, you would have to make your pizzas about 14"-15" in diameter.

I mention the above differences (and others in earlier posts) to demonstate that what you have been doing is a fairly material deviation from the Lehmann NY style, and also to highlight some of the differences that can creep into a pizza when using volume measurements or when you try to estimate volume equivalents to weights. You might want to consider starting a new thread directed specifically to your particular dough formulation so that it is clear that your dough formulation is not the basic Lehmann dough formulation.

Peter

EDIT (3/4/13): Replaced Calculator link with the current link.


Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 11, 2009, 09:54:10 AM
Peter..........I want to thank you for all your help, I had no idea how precise you need to be to make dough you want all the time. I'll start over and crunch the numbers and methods better. I want that perfect crust, and with your help I'm getting close.

I wish I knew you when I lived in Texas, I would have loved to try your pizza..............Mikey

I'll start over today.........and thanks a Gazillion..............inflation..............Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on July 11, 2009, 02:13:26 PM
Mikey,

The important thing is that you like the results that you have been getting. It doesn't have to be a true Lehmann NY style. However, if you become hooked on pizza making, you might consider getting a digital scale, if only to increase the chances of getting a consistent product, whether it is a Lehmann NY style or some other style, even your own "interpretation" of the Lehmann NY style.

As far as my pizzas are concerned, I tend to jump around a lot and do a lot of experimenting, so I am never quite sure what I am going to end up with and how they will taste until I pull the pizzas from my oven. Even my Lehmann pizzas are all over the lot, as you can see from the Lehmann Roadmap at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193. Fortunately, it is hard to do much damage to the Lehmann dough formulation if you stay close to it.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 12, 2009, 08:02:28 PM
Pete....I made the pizza you gave Pizzagirl, by the numbers, volume method, didn't have to add any flour or water. Smokin Pizza, I tried to send some pics but it is too large. I see my nephew and send some tomorrow........Mikey

Pete...............here are the Pics I've been trying to send, Hope you like them................

Everybody loved the Pizza.................You know your beans.............Thanks again    Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Dragonborn on July 27, 2009, 12:06:53 AM
what size is that... thats one damn good looking pizza.  Now im going to have to make one

DB(Mike)
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 27, 2009, 09:35:15 AM
DB...........That is a 12 inch  Pizza. It came out great. I'm making one today with 2 day cold ferminting and 30 minutes kneeding. If I find my memory card for my camera I 'll take a pic and post it........

              Thanks.....Mike Hoffman ;D

              Matt...........Just finished the Pizza, it came out awesome I 'll put up pics tomorrow..I think u will like them


                                                                Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: MozzaMatt on July 27, 2009, 03:41:46 PM
Hello...first time poster here.

I wanted to mention that I came across this great forum a month ago and have made 3 attempts at the Lehmann recipe for NY Style.  The first 2 came out dense, yet still edible.  The third attempt last week using the modified recipe from Pete-zza came out dramatically better!!  Still some tweaks here and there, but I was finally able to get closer to NY pizza crust which I miss now that I am in LA. 

I wanted to thank Pete-zza and the rest of the people on the forum who contribute and upload their images as it helps me alot in learning.  I absolutley love a good pizza and learning to make it at home is my new recession obsession.  I look forward to sharing my results as I master this process.

Best!

MozzaMatt  :chef:
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: occifer19 on July 27, 2009, 04:16:50 PM
Matt
         I'm new here Too, and it is a great place to learn about pizza, The first time I made the dought it was good, but not exactly NY Lehmanns recipe. so I went back and tried again I will get one made later today and let you know. ALOT of things matter, temp. how much you use how you measure it. Ect.

         I bought a digatal scale and instant read thermometer, Makes all the differance in the world.

         I like a chewy crunchy crust and haven't got that exact on yet, but I'm workin on it......

         I'll let you know more tomorrow.....................Mike Hoffman

         Pizza was great now I have to figure out how to load the pics. lost my memory card...........Mikey
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: jonesyb on February 02, 2011, 05:21:37 PM
I've tried the recipe at the start of this thread. What I've realised is the hydration of the dough is not far off what I was doing anyway. It's just what happens afterwards and the amount of yeast that differs massively. There was no problem with my original dough it just had about 4 times the amount of yeast and I made it about 3 hours before I needed it.

I made this dough by hand.

Made enough dough for 5 x 12" pizzas.

Dough is in the fridge in zip lock bags.

Look forward to taking some pictures and starting my own thread to track my progress.

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: jonesyb on February 05, 2011, 05:00:46 AM
Here's a picture of the dough made from the recipe at the start of this thread.

It's been in the fridge since Wednesday night (3 days by the time I use it tonight). Would ideally like some plastic tubs to keep it in but these zip lock bags seem good enough. And I think the way forward based on my limited space.

Used strong bread flour. Can't seem to find any flour labelled as 'high gluten' here in the UK. I'm hoping the flour I used is high gluten.

When I make pizzas tonight I will start my own thread. I make pizza regularly. Documenting my experiments is something I definitely want to do.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: scott123 on February 05, 2011, 11:16:16 AM
Benjamin, that dough, as pictured, is ready to bake.  Perhaps even a little bit past ready. Next time, either use it in 1-2 days, lower the water temperature a few degrees or scale back the yeast a bit.

'Strong bread' flour = 'High gluten.'  I think you should be fine there.  You're probably going to need to fine tune the hydration based on the actual protein content of the flour, but, from the photo, I think you're in the right ballpark.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: jonesyb on February 05, 2011, 11:45:50 AM
Benjamin, that dough, as pictured, is ready to bake.  Perhaps even a little bit past ready. Next time, either use it in 1-2 days, lower the water temperature a few degrees or scale back the yeast a bit.

'Strong bread' flour = 'High gluten.'  I think you should be fine there.  You're probably going to need to fine tune the hydration based on the actual protein content of the flour, but, from the photo, I think you're in the right ballpark.

Thank you for your comments. I was a little worried that it had been in the fridge too long. I made it on Wednesday simply because I had a window of free time. I hope it will be OK anyway.

Pizzas will be being made in a few hours. I shall post my results tomorrow some time.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 07:47:07 AM
Hello,

My wife and I followed the recipe that Pete-zza gave the Pizzagirl. We just took a look at the dough ball after 24hours in the fridge (38 degrees) and found that it has not increased or puffed up that much.  Is this normal?  Please advice.

Thanks
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 20, 2011, 08:08:25 AM
capamando,

Yes, that is something that can occur, especially if it is cool where you are this time of year and you have not adjusted the amount of yeast or water temperature accordingly and/or you plan to use the dough before it has undergone sufficient fermentation. Also, a dough will often rise but unless you have a way of measuring the increase in volume, you may not be able to tell, especially if the dough slumps and spreads in its container. Unless you did something wrong, you should see a more noticeable rise in the dough, with increased softness, as it tempers at room temperature before using. The temper time will depend on how warm or cool your kitchen is or whereaver else you will let the dough warm up. The Lehmann dough is a low yeast dough that is intended to provide up to a few days of cold fermentation so you will not see it exploding in volume before your very eyes.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 11:04:27 AM
Pete-zza,

We live in Massachusetts and probably the inside temp is around 68-72 degrees. Here is a pic of the dough ball taken out of the oven five minutes ago after 27hours in the fridge. Thanks we will let it rest in room temp and keep an eye on the results. By the way we used the exact formula that you gave Pizzagirl.





capamando,

Yes, that is something that can occur, especially if it is cool where you are this time of year and you have not adjusted the amount of yeast or water temperature accordingly and/or you plan to use the dough before it has undergone sufficient fermentation. Also, a dough will often rise but unless you have a way of measuring the increase in volume, you may not be able to tell, especially if the dough slumps and spreads in its container. Unless you did something wrong, you should see a more noticeable rise in the dough, with increased softness, as it tempers at room temperature before using. The temper time will depend on how warm or cool your kitchen is or whereaver else you will let the dough warm up. The Lehmann dough is a low yeast dough that is intended to provide up to a few days of cold fermentation so you will not see it exploding in volume before your very eyes.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 12:27:20 PM
Here is the same dough ball at room temp after 1 1/2 hours out of the fridge.

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 02:54:33 PM
Hello Folks,

I am not sure if anybody is interested in my investigation...but I am having fun doing it!   :P

So... the next photo is the dough after 3hour/50mins after being taken out of the fridge.  Room temp is 74.. dough temp 71.5.  What do you guys think?  I think it looks ready for shaping and baking..  :pizza:
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on December 20, 2011, 03:05:11 PM
capamondo,

If the dough has expanded in volume while at room temperature and feels soft, you might go for it. Once a dough ball is ready to be used, it will last for two or more hours longer depending on the flour used, so there is no real rush to proceed. In fact, the older the dough is before using, the better the pizza usually (provided the dough has not overproofed).

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 04:22:50 PM
Pete-zza and others

Here is the shaped pie.... easy to as pie!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: capamando on December 20, 2011, 04:29:25 PM
Hello,

The final product


11 minutes  550
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 13, 2012, 08:09:55 AM
Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is well.  I have been lurking on this forum for quite some time, and then last week, finally decided to give my shot at a NY-style pizza.  I am originally from Staten Island, NY, which is one of the best places for pizza in the NY area.  My favorite pizza place is Denino's, which makes a traditional NY style, with a particularly crunchy crust (some might say "well-done").  Since I now live near Boston, MA, the NY-style pizza offerings are very weak.  Despite my wife's skepticism about making a pizza in a home oven, I proceeded anyway.

For the dough, I used the recipe at the beginning of this thread.

100% King Arthur Organic Bread Flour, 7.15 oz (my scale only rounds to the tenth of an ounce, so I did the best I could to approximate)
63% Water at 100 degrees (Cambridge, MA tap water)
1% oil, 0.07 oz.
1.75% salt, 0.13 oz
0.40% IDY (Fleischmann's rapid rise)

I made the dough in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and followed Pete's instructions as closely as possible. I forgot to weigh the final dough ball, but the final dough temperature was 80 degrees (room temperature was about 71 degrees, btw).  It then stayed in the refrigerator for 19 hours until I took it out to come up to room temperature. 

Following the video posted earlier in the thread, I dusted my dough ball with a flour/semolina flour mix, and then stretched out the dough. I ended up with an oblong pizza, but I decided not to try to fix it to maintain the integrity of the dough. I then got the rest of the pizza ready (just sauce, cheese and pepperoni, on half).

I baked the pizza in my electric oven at 505 degrees.  With 45 minutes of pre-heating, I got the oven to about 505 degrees, but then had a mishap getting the pizza in the oven. (My peel is coming this week, but I was impatient and wanted to make a pizza anyway. I got what I deserved, I guess).  I also dusted my makeshift "peel" with semolina. Despite the mishap, which involved slightly reshaping the dough, the dough held up really nicely.  The pizza cooked for about 12-14 minutes, probably at 475 degrees, because I had lost so much heat during my mishap.  I cooked the pizza on a stone I had seen recommended here, but now I forget the name, as I purchased it months ago and then never used it until now.

My "sauce" is described below, and for cheese, I used a local mozzarella from Burnett Farms in Vermont that I got at Whole Foods. It was basically the only choice besides Calabro or Belgioso, and I it was the right choice. Once I give it a few more shots, I plan to order some Grande from Penn Mac.

Despite my mishap and the non-ideal cooking conditions, the pizza came out surprisingly good. The crust was crunchy and had a nice NY style texture. In this respect, I think that the semolina really helped.  Tonight, I am going to try another go at this recipe with the hope of making a pizza Sunday, and I had a few questions:

(1) My wife and I both thought the crust lacked a little flavor.  We both figured that I should add more salt. Does this make sense, or is longer fermentation the answer?  I have read that salt can toughen a dough, and I do not want to overly-toughen the dough, either.

(2) For sauce, I got a can of Cento San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, and hand crushed them. Then I added some salt, oregano, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a touch of fresh garlic that I had around from a dish my wife was cooking.  The sauce was okay, but had a little bit of a "raw" taste to it. Do you think I should lightly cook the sauce next time?  I am also planning to puree it in the food processor, as I just did not get it smooth enough with hand crushing.

(3) The crust came a golden brown, rather than the slightly darker brownish color I am accustomed to in a NY-style pizza. Could this have been a result of cook time and the lower than ideal temperature?  I have also read some people add sugar to help a crust brown. Is this something that would be helpful?  If so, how much sugar?

Any thoughts or comments would be great. I will post some pictures later. Thanks!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 13, 2012, 10:43:29 AM
Cman710,

I have discussed this before but when I first volunteered to adapt the Lehmann NY style dough recipe to a home environment, I used a recipe that Tom Lehmann had posted at PMQ. That recipe called for 1.75% salt. Subsequently, Tom agreed to allow Steve, the owner and Administrator of this forum, to use a second version of that recipe. That is the one at http://www.pizzamaking.com/lehmann_nystyle.php. As you will see from that recipe, the salt quantity is 1.50%. A range of around 1.50-1.75% is quite common for a NY style pizza. However, different people have different sensitivities to salt so using more or less would not be an uncommon choice. In fact, I would say that there are likely many NY style pizza operators who intentionally use more salt in order to conceal taste deficiencies in their crusts that are typically made using doughs with short fermentation periods, often at room temperture. If you want to use more salt, I think I would go with 2%. That shouldn't affect yeast fermentation.

Another possibility to get more crust flavor is to use a high-gluten flour. High-gluten flour has more protein, and that translates not only into more flavor (because of the added protein) but also more crust coloration. You will also get more crust flavor by going to a longer fermentation, as you sensed in your post. With the dough formulation you used, you should be able to go out to 2-3 days. In fact, unless it is really cold where you are in the Boston area, you could lower the amount of yeast a bit, to maybe 0.30%. For a 2-3 day fermentation period, you shouldn't need any added sugar. However, if you choose to add sugar and use a shorter window of fermentation, say, a day or so, you should end up with some increased coloration. In such a scenario, I think about 1-2% sugar should work. Tom Lehmann recommends adding sugar to his recipe only when the window of fermentation is to go out to two or three days.

To the above, I might also add that most NY style pizzerias use bromated flours, such as the All Trumps high-gluten flour. However, since you used an organic bread flour, it occurs to me that that choice was intentional and that you might not want to use a bromated flour. My recollection is that the King Arthur organic bread flour has the same protein content as its regular bread flour. At 12.7% protein, that would be a good choice.

Another possibility to get more crust flavor is to increase the amount of oil. You perhaps wont want to use more than 3% since too much oil will affect the texture of the crust and crumb by making make them softer and more tender.

I don't know if you have seen the forum's dough calculating tools, but if you use the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, you can easily make changes to the Lehmann formulation you used. You can also increase or decrease the thickness of the finished crust. However, you will need a good digital scale to take advantage of the expanded dough calculating tool. Since you mentioned that you have a scale, that will be a big help.

You mentioned that you have an electric oven. Many electric ovens have a feature that allows you to increase the maximum temperature of the ovens by around 35 degrees F or so. You might investigate whether your particular electric oven has that feature, if only to give you more flexibility in bake temperatures and times.

Tomato sauces for pizzas can get quite personal. However, San Marzano tomatoes are not typically used to make a classic NY street style pizza as represented by the Lehmann NY recipe. A more common choice would be fresh-pack tomatoes as sold by Stanislaus and Escalon. Heinz, which owns Escalon, recently started offering its fresh-pack tomatoes at the retail level, specifically, at Wal-Mart, under the Classico name. You might want to check out the recent thread on those tomatoes at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16096.0.html. Of course, if you used the San Marzano tomatoes for a particular reason, then that would be another story.

I have heard of Denino's but am not personally familiar with their pizzas. However, you might find ways of adapting the Lehmann recipe to that style, as by using the right tomatoes and cheese and maybe adjusting the thickness factor. The Grande cheese you plan to use is a good choice and one of the most popular among the NYC pizzerias that specialize in the NY street style pizza.

BTW, I don't see any need to weigh out the ingredients that are used in small amounts. The conversion data used in the dough calculating tools, including the expanded dough calculating too, do a pretty good job in the volume measurements. So, for small dough batches, I would use the volume measurements for the ingredients like salt, yeast, sugar and oil.

Good luck. I look forward to the results of your next effort.

Peter

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 13, 2012, 02:33:39 PM
Pete,

Thanks so much for your response. I will respond in greater detail later when I am not at work, but I really appreciate all your thoughts. Some quick notes:

1.) I actually did not intentionally buy organic flour.  It was the only bread flour that the local supermarket had when I went, so I picked it up. My two main shopping options up here are Shaw's (similar to a Shoprite or Pathmark in the NY area) and Whole Foods. I will have to check to see if Whole Foods has Sir Lancelot flour.  Or, I will have to go on the hunt to try to find other groceries that might happen to carry other brands of high gluten flour.

2.) I will definitely re-think my sauce, as the San Marzano flavor does seem out of place on a NY style pizza. Unfortunately, I am a good distance from the closest Walmart, so I may have to wait until I am near one next to pick up the Classico tomatoes. (The 6-in-1 brand is not carried here, either.) In the meantime, I may try to use Tuttoroso, which is the standard brand my family uses to make sauce for pasta.

3.) I am going to try to make my next dough tonight (Friday) and use it about 2 days later, so I may add some sugar. I will let you know what I decide. If I try to make an attempt to find high-gluten flour, I may not end up making the dough until the morning, though.  I'll see.

I have to reduce the file sizes on the pizza pictures, but will try to post them tonight!  Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Best,
Charles

Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 19, 2012, 05:47:31 PM
This has taken a week, but these are pictures from the first pizza.  I made a second one last weekend, which I will write a post about soon.

The pizza looks gnarled because of the mishap that resulted from not having a peel. It looked funky, but tasted pretty good!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 19, 2012, 05:52:39 PM
Last weekend, I made a second pizza, incorporating the suggestions that Pete gave last week.  The results were excellent, with a change of two significant variables.

The recipe for the crust was the same as the last time, except that I increased the salt content to 2%, and decreased the thickness factor a miniscule amount.  This time, the fermentation period was 34 hours instead of 19.  I also made a makeshift peel out of a flat cookie tray and parchment paper, which actually worked.  (My peel finally came this week, so I should be set next time).  The oven was at 500 this time, and I cooked the pizza for about 12 minutes.

It really was terrific this time.  The added salt and fermentation time really added a lot of extra flavor to the crust, and my wife was very impressed. I will post pictures soon.

This weekend, I am going to make another pizza.  I got some King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour in the mail this week, and I am going to try to use that instead of the bread flour.  I will probably keep all the other variables the same, so I can see how much of a difference the high-gluten flour makes.  Thanks so much for all your help! 
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: buceriasdon on January 19, 2012, 05:57:01 PM
Cman, Just say you prefer to make Artisan pizza when they don't come out round. ;D They still look great.
Don
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on January 19, 2012, 06:12:33 PM
Another euphemism is "Rustic" ;D.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 20, 2012, 03:30:54 PM
Thanks to both of you!  I am going to be making my hi-gluten flour version on Sunday, so I will make sure to report back and let you know how it goes.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 22, 2012, 10:26:17 AM
This was the second pizza, which I made 1 week ago.  Some cheese spilled over the edge of the crust, but it otherwise was pretty nice-looking.  Today, I am going to make my pizza with KASL flour, so I will report back afterwards!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: buceriasdon on January 22, 2012, 11:05:42 AM
Charles, One thing I noticed from your unbaked photo was the large amount of cheese and I believe sauce you use, though it's hard to tell with the sauce. This can cause problems with loading the pizza from the topping weight shifting.
Don
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on January 22, 2012, 11:15:12 PM
Hi Don,

Thanks for your thoughts.  Tonight, I made my 3rd pizza, and I once again had the cheese spill over the edge.  I do put a lot of cheese on my pizza, as my wife likes pizza with a lot of cheese.  I go much more modestly on the sauce.  Is the large amount of cheese what's causing the spilling, and causing the toppings to shift around so much?

Thanks,
Charles
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on February 13, 2012, 09:56:45 AM
Hi everyone,

It has been a while since I posted, but I am still working on this same basic recipe.  This week, I took the same recipe I had been using and added 1% sugar to try to get more browning in the crust.  The pizza cooked for about 10 minutes at 500 (most I have been able to get my electric oven to, even adjusting calibration), which is a few minutes shorter than I have cooked it without he sugar. As you can see, I got more browning, and actually a little too much browning for my wife's taste.  Anyway, after this latest experiment, I have a few questions:

(1) Even with a wood peel coated with flour and some semolina, I have been having some trouble getting the pizza into the oven, as it is sticking to the peel. I think one problem is that I am still inexperienced and it takes me too long to put on the sauce, cheese, and toppings. How long does it take you, on average, to dress a pizza?  My other thought is that the difficulty is coming from the weight of the toppings. I put very little sauce on the pizza, but I put a lot of cheese - much higher than sounds normal. My wife likes her pizza with a lot of cheese, so I am trying to oblige.  I do think it makes the pizza heavy, and given the relative thinness of the crust, harder to get into the oven. Any thoughts on how to compensate for the heaviness of the cheese, which I would like to keep? I am not sure that there is any solution, but any thoughts would be great.

(2) As I mentioned, the sugar led to slightly more browning in the crust than I would have liked. Do you think I'd be better off trying no sugar, but turning the broiler on for the last few minutes? That might give some slight browning for flavor but not too much.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks, Charles.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Kostakis1985 on February 13, 2012, 10:26:02 AM
Cman,

When I first started making pizzas with a peel in my home oven, my pizzas often came out football shaped because I wasnt experienced yet but I found 2 things that helped me. 1) get all ingediants ready to go... lids off peel dusted etc. gently shake peel with only the dough skin on it to loosen it and insure it slides off. Dress the pizza quickly. 2) Be on the same level as your stone... Imean I actually squat down to my oven so my peel is almost level with my stone because if you are standing then when you try to get the pizza off the peel the cheese will roll off and then your dough will get crumpled and come out oddly shaped.

hope this helps it did for me!
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on February 13, 2012, 12:55:55 PM
Thanks kostakis. I, too, am getting the slightly oblong shape, as you can see from the picture. I have only rolled out five balls of dough so far, so I am hoping that this will get better as I get more practice and I will get a rounder result.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding getting as level as I can with the stone. My oven is a traditional oven and I have the pizza stone on the lowest tray in the oven, so I do tend to angle the pizza as I am about to slide it into the oven. My kitchen is really tight on space, but next time I am going to try to get as level as I can and will see if that helps.
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Pete-zza on February 13, 2012, 01:53:50 PM
Cman710,

I agree with the analysis given by Kostakis1985. Whenever you do things like add more cheese and toppings than normal, that will usually affect how the pizza will bake, and you will have to make adjustments in bake temperature and/or time. There are a ton of posts and threads on the forum that discuss the problems in using peels to load pizzas into the oven so you might do a few searches to find the wide range of solutions that our members have come up with. You might also consider using parchment paper until you feel that you are getting the problem under control. I described a method I used at Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,916.msg8295/topicseen.html#msg8295. In that case, I discuss the use of a metal peel but the method is the same for a wood peel. If you do a search on parchment paper, you will find several other posts and threads on the subject. I suspect that some of those posts and threads will have links to other solutions, including dealing with peel-related issues.

In your case, you might try lifting the pizza off of the stone to an upper rack position once you get the bottom crust coloration you are after. Raising the pizza in the oven should give you more top crust color and also help cook the large amount of cheese you are using. You can also move the pizza back onto the stone if you feel you need more bottom crust browning. Each oven is different so you may need to play around with yours to find the best temperatures and bake times to use. If your bake times are extended too much, you might try deleting the sugar next time. I normally don't use the broiler for most types of flours used for the NY style but it is an option if you feel it is necessary to get the desired top bake.

Peter
Title: Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
Post by: Cman710 on February 14, 2012, 10:18:54 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, Pete. I will do some reading on the peel issues, and will consider moving the pizza higher to get some browning. I am thinking it might be worth it for me to buy a pizza screen for this purpose, since I sometimes get cheese melting over the side of the crust, and at least the screen will catch the cheese so it does not end up on the bottom of my oven!