Author Topic: Interesting observations on the version of the PJ clone I have been playing with  (Read 2054 times)

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Offline bonesbr549

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OK I've settled in on a recipe  with playing around the edges and made some interesting observations.  I'll list my current run and sauce and then follow with how I played with things and the results.
I use for a 12" pie:

 KASL  100% 268g
water 56.5% 152g
IDY .8% 4g
salt 1.5% (tablesalt) 4g
Canola 7.3% 20g
Honey 5% 14g (a clover based honey)

Finished ball is around 458g

I generally make 3 balls in a batch.  My son like pepperoni only so I do one for him, and a 2nd for us and that varies depending on what I have and the third if company or for a second dinner later.   My sauce is a can of 6-n-1's 1/2 tsp of onion powder, 1/2tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed, 1/2tsp oregano 8 - 10 fresh basil leaves, and 4 tsp of a good olive oil, and 3 tsp of sugar all run through the food processor and not cooked.   That will make three pies.     

Observations on ingredients, OK now I've played with other ingredients such as regular sugar but like the honey better.  It browns nicely and is just as sweet with a smaller amount.   I used baker's milk to help browning but found the honey served to sweeten and since i used kasl did not think i needed it. I've used olive oil but i think it adds an over taste (sorry I know thats not a real word).  I've done IDY and ADY.  I like IDY just because I'm lazy and don't need the bloom.  I have seen no difference in the rise.   

Now for the most interesting observations on how I made the balls.    I use a kitchenaid mixer with dough hook.  I've got two sizes the smaller standard one which is going on 25 years old would tend to bog down, so I use the larger Pro-650 with larger bowl and has the screw style.  I find it moves the dough better than the old style and of course because the motor is bigger.   I played with how i mixed the ingredients and how long the balls mix after they come together.  I went as long as 15 min on the kneading and slowling adding the water, to my current method of adding the wet and dry ingredients except the salt.  After the ball is fully formed and no loose ingredients, I add the salt slowly at the bottom and need for only 5 min.   Don't know why but this produces the best looking ball and i noticed that adding salt earlier or in with other dry ingredients impacts the rise of the dough and how it cooks.  I lightly oil the balls and place them in a rising box and put them in the fridge.  I've gone as long a 5 days and as short (usually) 1 day.   The five days is pushing it but the first day is fine and the 3rd day seems to be the sweet spot.   Now for some observations on consistency.  I noticed that often with doing 3 balls at once the pies baked differently.  The first would be different from the 2nd and the 3rd.  I chocked it up to the oven and stone being different temps due to the first pie cooling it down some (I start on a screen for 4-6 min and finish on the stone for 2 - 3 to brown the bottoms).   By chance one night I was going to do just a single ball and after making that one, my son popped up and said he'd like to eat pizza the next night after all, so I made a second one.   When I cooked the pies, they came out almost identical and were the most consistent of me earlier efforts.  I immediately thought OK what did i do differently.  So over the next month I experimented and found they by using the same recipe but doing them individually instead of 3 in a batch and dividing after the needing, I got much better results.    Now I do three individual runs in the mixer instead of the one big batch and perfect each time.    I know it could be something else, but I have been able to replicate results each time using this method.   

My next experiment is a Neapolitan pie.   I bought some 00 flour and tried a couple of tries with just water yeast salt but the results were not that great just bland.  My goal is to try to match the pie i had in Italy back in the fall. It was heaven.  I'm building a WFO this summer so I figure the high heat is a critical factor but thats a different thread for a different section.  Ahhh the love of pizza!