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### Author Topic: Perk's Dough  (Read 9363 times)

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#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: Perk's Dough
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2006, 10:11:59 AM »
Perk,

I, too, have a batch of dough working. I took the numbers I calculated for your dough the other day and scaled the proportions down to make just enough dough for a single 12-inch pizza with the same crust characteristics as yours (if my calculations were correct). I followed your instructions as exactly as I could, except that I used amounts of ingredients in about the middle of your dough weight range (based on the 5 1/4-5 1/2 cups flour range you use). For sugar, I used the 3 tablespoons benchmark. I had no problems making the dough at all, and the amounts of flour and water were just about perfect, without need to adjust either. And the dough came out a bit tacky as I had hoped.

It's been a long time since I last baked a 12-inch pizza directly on a stone. Since 16 inches is pretty much considered the standard for a NY street style, I have been making that size for a long time. And, to do so, I have been using a combination of a pizza screen and the stone. One of the things that concerns me with a dough with a lot of sugar in it, especially a dough that has not had several days of fermentation to use up a lot of the sugar, is that it is possible for the bottom of the crust to brown much faster, because of all the sugar, than the top. This can lead you to believe that the pizza is done when it really isn't. That is one of the reasons why the Lehmann dough does not include sugar in the basic formulation. The Lehmann recipe is intended for professional pizza makers who bake on deck ovens where high-sugar doughs are prone to browning too much and too fast on the bottom. To overcome this, some professionals dress their pizzas on screens or disks and place them right on the deck floor. The metal of the screens or disks places the pizza a fraction of an inch above the deck floor and serves as a barrier to reduce overbrowning of the bottom crust. The longer bake time also serves to make the crust crispier since there is more time to drive out moisture from the dough.

I have made high-sugar doughs, like Randy's American style, but they are dressed and baked entirely on screens without a stone. There is no searing effect of a very hot stone on the bottom of the crust, so the bottom bakes up very nicely, even with all the sugar, and without significant bottom crust browning.

Interestingly, professional deck ovens operate at temperatures lower than most people think. They typically run from 450 degrees F to around 500-525 degrees F, much like home ovens. Have you experienced any problems with overdarkening of the bottom crust with your pizzas? I know that some people actually like that effect. Or is your stone on the middle oven rack position?

I will have to watch the pizza carefully when I bake it tonight, just as you do to be sure that everything comes out OK. If necessary, I can always move the pizza off of the stone and put it on one of the upper oven racks if it browns too quickly on the bottom. This is all fairly new to me since I almost never use sugar in my standard doughs except for the Randy American style which, as mentioned above, I do not bake on a stone.

Peter

#### Perk

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##### Re: Perk's Dough
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2006, 01:18:35 PM »
Peter,
I have my stone in the middle of the oven,
I have been very fortunate that the bottom has not over cooked the top.
I am one that tries not to burn or have any real dark spots on my pizza crust,
So I am watching it constantly. I try to keep my eye off the pizza through out the cooking cycle.
I move my pizza around with the peel and average of 2 times so
I open the oven door 2 times to move the pizza so this may cause the oven to lose heat.
I think because it is a thin crust, and just air puffy around the rim, I never have a problem with under cooking
the dough.

I preheat my oven to 550F for around and hour.

-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: Perk's Dough
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2006, 07:34:14 PM »
Perk,

I thought you might like to see the photos (below) of the pizza I made tonight using your dough recipe as I reinterpreted it by converting it to make a single 12-inch pizza.

I followed all of your baking instructions, including putting the stone on the middle oven rack of my oven. In my case, the total bake time was only 6 minutes. And since my oven tends to bake fairly evenly, I did not find it necessary to reorient the pizza after it went into the oven.

The biggest surprise was that the crust didn't taste quite as sweet as I thought it would. The sugar was below the threshhold level where it would will be detectable on the palate, but I have a very sensitive palate when it comes to sugar and I can detect it almost anywhere it is used. Overall, I thought your recipe as I reinterpreted it made a good pizza. It was softer in the crust and crumb than I am accustomed to in a NY style, but that was expected since the use of the Crisco and relatively high sugar levels will have a softening and tenderizing effect on the crust. In fact, the sugar will cause the pizza to finish baking sooner than it would were it absent or used in small quantity, and the result will be a softer crust. One way to get more crispiness in the crust without lowering the sugar level would be to use a lower oven temperature and bake the pizza longer. You won't get a very crispy crust even in that event because the Crisco and high sugar levels work against crispiness to begin with. In my case, 6 minutes was quite short and, as a result, I did not get a great deal of crispiness, either at the rim or the bottom crust. But that didn't detract from the enjoyment of eating the pizza. It was tasty and I enjoyed it a lot.

Peter

#### Perk

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##### Re: Perk's Dough
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2006, 09:58:51 PM »
Peter,
Your pizza looked real good, and your right it is a softer dough.
It is thin but has a puff outer crust, I just put it with the NY Style, does it belong in
the NY Style or American Style?? Not sure.

I think it is good to just use 3 tbs. I made a fried pizza today with the dough and
3 tbs is good enough. I need to change the recipe to say 3 tbs instead of 4tbs or a 1/4 cup.

-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: Perk's Dough
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2006, 08:15:21 AM »
Perk,

NY style or American style? I think Shakespeare put it best, in the words from Romeo and Juliet:

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.

So, it doesn't really matter what you call your pizza. So long as it smells and tastes good and you like it.

Peter

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