Author Topic: Flavour to the max  (Read 2558 times)

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Offline mischael

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Flavour to the max
« on: March 06, 2006, 11:09:02 PM »
Hi all,

I am Michael from Germany.
First of all I have to say that I am totally amazed
finding such a great resource and dedication to
the round pies! Didnt know that its that a highly
spread addiction.  :P

I was hoping to find an answer to my looong chase
that I do for years now. I am searching for mainly
one thing: intense F L A V O U R.

Before trying a sour starter, I want to give commercial
yeast one more chance.

Here are my targets:

- Very airy crust, crunchy, irregular shaped holes... there we go!

- Bottom: thinner, also crunchy, not chewy but not cracker
I think that is best described as "just right not foldable"  ::)
It should be crunchy and stay up at least with "light" topping.

- The Flavour: on the border to sour. No yeast taste, wheat taste.

Here is what I got:

- Granolo Tipo 00 from Italy (9,5% Protein)
- Commercial Yeast
- Dairy Whey
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- A Fridge
- Lots of fermenting time.
- An electric Pizzaoven that does up to 450 - 500 Celsius

What I think is the direction:

- On the wet side

58-60% for airiness?
- On the long side

24h minimum?

- On the almost-no-yeast-side


- On the Preferment side

More flavour with a Poolish? Or even natural Preferment?

- On the underkneaded side


- On the rise-the-gluten-of-Type 00 side?

rise 9,5% Protein to 13 %?

- On the cold side?

To prevent over-fermentation?

....... well. I have fun already. Now its your turn.  :chef:

Please help me with a solution for the best recipe ever.
Thanks in advance!!

« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 01:38:17 AM by mischael »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Flavour to the max
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 10:44:32 AM »


The folks who work regularly with 00 flours and have high-temperature ovens are perhaps the best ones to answer your questions. But, in the interim, perhaps I can offer some comments and suggestions.

I am not familiar with the particular 00 flour you have, but to a certain extent what it can deliver in the way of results is to a large degree already programmed into the flour by Mother Nature. Fortunately, some of the shortcomings of the flour will be overcome by the fact that you have an oven that apparently can deliver temperatures of over 900 degrees F (450-500 degrees C).

If I had to guess, I would say that your 00 flour may have a fairly low gluten level. If so, that usually means that a dough made with such a flour will require a fairly long knead time to fully develop the gluten. Your 00 flour will also have inherent limitations on how much water it will be able to absorb. However, because of your high-temperature oven, I would try to use the greatest amount of water possible subject to your being able to physically handle and shape a wet dough, dress it, and get it into your oven. The high level of hydration should also lead to a tender crust and a cornicione (rim) that has a lot of irregularly shaped holes. I would not suggest using vital wheat gluten or dried dairy whey unless and until everything else fails. I also would not use any oil in the dough. For now, I would stick to just 00 flour, salt, yeast (or preferment) and water. In Naples, the form of yeast that is most commonly used is fresh yeast, so if you want to try to replicate the Naples way you can use fresh yeast.

In terms of crust flavor, I think you will get the best results using a natural preferment and a long room-temperature fermentation. To a great extent, the duration of the room-temperature fermentation will depend on the specific 00 flour you are using, the amount and potency of preferment you decide to use, and the room temperature at which the fermentation is to proceed. The amount of salt, which acts as a regulator of the fermentation process, will also be a factor. All of the above factors will have to be in proper balance to achieve satisfactory results. In your case, you will have to experiment to see what combination of factors works best for your particular flour and operating environment. If you can provide more detailed information on your 00 flour, particularly its strength factor ( called the "W" factor), it may be possible to suggest a protocol to use with your flour.

It is possible to use a poolish or a biga or similar preferment based on a commercial yeast, but I believe the best flavors will come from using a natural preferment as mentioned above. Although cold fermentations (in the refrigerator) are not commonly used in Naples, there are many pizza operators in the U.S. who do use cold fermentation with commercial leavening with apparently good results. One of the benefits of the long cold fermentation times, sometimes up to 3 or more days, is the development of flavor-enhancing byproducts of fermentation. In my experience the crust flavors will not be as good as those obtained from using a natural preferment at room temperature, but they will usually be satisfactory. I might add that it is also possible to use a combination of room-temperature and cold fermentation and get satisfactory results.

I can't promise that following the above guidelines will satisfy everything on your long "wish" list, but I think they will get you headed in the right direction.


« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 10:48:03 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline mischael

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Re: Flavour to the max
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 08:50:11 PM »
Hi Peter,

thanks for your suggestions. You are right, I should not use supplements
until I get stuck with a certain wanted property.

I tried to contact the Granoro Manufacturers to get more info on the flour, without success yet.

From crust and look point of view I had beautiful results with the use of a
little poolish with fresh yeast with overall production time of 4-6 hours at room temperature.

I really would like to experiment with a natural preferment, if this produces
the strongest flavour. Together with a long room temperature fermentation.

Do you think such a low gluten (Protein 9,5) flour will survive the long fermentation?
Long kneading might be one part, perhaps together with a colder dough and a higher
salt level might prevent the dough from overfermenting.

I am not at all experienced with natural preferment so I would appreciate some hints
where to rougly set my percentages.

I read a lot in this forum and searched for the instructions of the Caputo 00 biga
that you refer to in the Thread "Caputo 00 Pizza with Caputo 00 Biga".

I would like to eather try this biga or much more even a completely natural one.
Did you see instructions for a natural 00 biga?

Plan so far (absolutely not sure yet):

15 % Preferment (to flour weight)

100% Flour Granoro Tipo 00 (minus Preferment Flour 7,5%)
60% Water (Temperature? 50 F?) (minus Preferment Water 7,5%)
2,3% Salt

24 hours on counter
reshape and ripening 5 hours

Room temperature variable depending on place in house, between 60 and 75 F

Kneading: Only a poor Hand Mixer with dough hooks (Im a student...) and both of my hands

Kneading time: 4 mins?

Please share your thoughts

« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 09:10:24 PM by mischael »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Flavour to the max
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 10:00:53 PM »

I can tell you have been doing your homework. You have put your finger on all of the critical issues.

The reason I asked about the W factor is because that number is a pretty good indicator of the fermentation period to use. It can't be viewed in a vacuum but rather together with the amount of yeast (or preferment) used and the fermentation temperature. As you noted, salt is also a factor because of its role as a regulator of the fermentation process. Until you get further information on your flour, you may have to resort to experimentation. Absent a natural preferment, you might use about 0.15% cake yeast (by weight of flour) and a 15 hour fermentation period, split 12 hours and 3 hours. A room temperature of around 65 degrees F would be desirable, but if not possible, you could adjust the amount of yeast and salt accordingly. You could also adjust the hydration ratio. As you may already know, in Naples all of these factors are routinely adjusted to adapt the dough to seasonal variations and other circumstances.

My preferment is homemade. Many of our members have been using the Ischia and Camaldoli starters from sourdo.com, with very good results from what I have read on the forum. I don't know whether you have seen it, but there is a section on Starters on the forum that you might want to visit to learn more about the subject.

I have personally tried different percentages of natural preferment, from 3% to around 20% (both by weight of flour), but on the forum I have also seen 8% (for the cold ferment Raquel dough formulation) and around 40% (for the cold ferment Varasano dough formulation). It all depends on how fast you want things to happen and whether you are using a room-temperature fermentation (as is done in Naples) or a cold fermentation. For a room-temperature fermentation, I would use the lower preferment percentages.

There is no reason why you cannot use hand kneading with the 00 dough. I do it all the time. As I indicated in my last post, the knead time may vary depending on the protein/gluten level of your particular brand of 00 flour. I would start by putting the water in a bowl, add the salt and dissolve it in the water, stir in the yeast (or the natural preferment once you have one) to dissolve, add some of the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon. When a good part of the flour has been absorbed, put the dough on a work surface and knead in the remaining flour. I would knead until the dough is smooth, but it should end up being wet and sticky. The condition of the dough takes priority over the knead time. The dough should then be set aside (covered), at room temperature, for the periods you elect to use.

There are people on the forum who are far more expert on this topic than I. Hopefully, they will share their knowledge and experiences with you.