Author Topic: Lehman dough test-tastes like Sbarro according to wife.  (Read 2526 times)

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Offline bortz

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Lehman dough test-tastes like Sbarro according to wife.
« on: March 19, 2005, 03:39:55 PM »
The Lehman style dough pizza has just been devoured and the results are in-
This pizza tasted exactly like Sbarro's pizza.  That's not a good thing either. I hate those mall type pizza places. ::)

Here's the key items noted with this dough:

1.  Due to a lack of yeast compared to other doughs, I gave this about a 4 hr. rise time and it had an overnight refrigeration period.  Dough was formed on the pan and allowed to rise an additional hour on the pan before saucing and topping it.

2. Oven temp was 540-550 and the crust took a considerably longer than normal (for me) time to brown. The toppings started to go south so I couldn't get it as brown as I usually take it to.

3. Crust was very workable and had virtually no spring back when working it.  This one had the most uniform thickness throughout that I ever experienced. No lumps or high spots in this crust guys.

4. This is a relatively tight grain structure dough with a granular type mouth feel similar to the Chicago type doughs featuring yellow corn meal.  Got the usual few large dough bubbles during the end of the bake but no real large voids to speak of in the completed pie.

5. Crust rim is very edible and had a taste reminiscent of bread sticks.  It's one of those "I'm just gonna take one last bite" can't put it down type rims.

Overall impression:

This dough is good for that pizza chain type taste.  If that's your goal,  then go for it.  The good thing I found from making this,  is that sugar isn't necessary in a dough but aids in the browning process and aids the crust in cooking thoroughly before your toppings start to overcook.

The texture is the big thing with this dough- it makes a great thin NY crust pie that will hold up to a lot of topping weight without flopping over.  That's good news if you like a watery type sauce and extra cheese which will add extra weight to your pie.

This dough was a good experience to make and I'll have to tweak it to get better browning while still maintaining the granular mouth feel.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 03:42:57 PM by bortz »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Lehman dough test-tastes like Sbarro according to wife.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2005, 04:30:08 PM »

All things considered, I think you did a very nice job. I especially like the looks of the rim. It looks like it was airy and chewy.

A couple of things you might want to keep in mind for your future experiments. It sounds like you let the dough rise for about 4 hours before refrigerating. If that's so, the yeast would have used up a chunk of the natural sugar before the dough went into the refrigerator, in effect expediting the rate of fermentation and forshortening its duration. So, by the time the dough came out of the refrigerator, it was fairly well on its way and there was less sugar available to contribute to the browning. In a future experiment, you might want to try putting the dough into the refrigerator right after it has been kneaded, and not worry about the fact that there is so little yeast in the dough. Or, if you liked the results you got from using the pre-rise before refrigerating the dough, next time add a bit of sugar to the dough from the outset. You might also use slightly cooler water, which will have the effect of slowing down the fermentation process and use up the sugar at a slower rate.

Using a pan also may have slowed down the baking. Normally, a Lehmann NY style dough/pizza is intended to be baked directly on a hearth or stone surface (a pizza stone or tiles in a home oven), so all the heat of the stone is transferred directly to the dough, cooking it faster and browning it faster. Ideally, the crust will finish baking at about the same time as the toppings are cooked.  An intermediary element, such as a pan, pizza screen or pizza disk, slows down the baking and browning of the crust by shielding the pizza dough from the direct heat source. Tom Lehmann sometime suggests the addition of sugar to the dough when the pizza is to be baked on a pizza screen or disk (or a pan in your case) because the sugar will result in increased browning, as opposed to burning or blackening the bottom of the crust if it were baked directly on a hearth surface.

I have never baked a Lehmann NY style dough/pizza in a pan, but it is quite possible that you may have changed the character of the crust somewhat by using the pan rather than baking it on a hearth-like surface or screen or disk. When you formed the dough in the pan and let it rise for an hour before dressing and baking, you engaged in a step that is often used in making deep-dish pizzas, and that may have accounted for the similarity to the Chicago style dough. Or it may have accounted for the Sbarro's comparison. But that is not necessarily all that bad. Sbarro's pizza is one of the few chain/mall pizzas that I happen to like :).


Offline bortz

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Re: Lehman dough test-tastes like Sbarro according to wife.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 09:38:52 AM »
Thanks for the comments Peter.
I recall from previous posts that a person considering using a stone should go to Lowe's or home depot and ask for quarry stones or something like that??

This Lehman's dough wasn't bad but I'm not going to switch over to it for my usual dough.

The thing about Sbarro's pizza is the toppings and sauce aren't very good by my tastes. But the crust is very good.
If we're talking chain pizzas, I would rate Sbarro's at the middle of the pack and Domino's at the very bottom.  :)

What I've learned from this experiment is sugar amounts effect browning more than I originally thought and that sticky doughs without sugar give more of a chain flavor.