Author Topic: Follow up to “Introduction and minor dough issue”  (Read 1584 times)

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Offline Jack

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Follow up to “Introduction and minor dough issue”
« on: May 09, 2006, 01:35:37 PM »
I used the advice provided in my previous post,3083.0.html and made a few pies this weekend.  The biggest changes were increased hydration, a halving of the yeast and not fooling with the dough after it came out of the fridge. 

The dough was close to my previous consistency.  It was a tad softer and wetter, but just fine to work with.  I was a bit short on yeast, so my crust didn’t quite rise as much as I like on the outer edge, but overall the pizzas were great.  The dough was autolysed for 20 minutes, spent 24 hours in the fridge and 3 hours warming up.

The two attached pictures are Broccoli/Garlic and White pizzas; the first two out of the oven. My white pizza has (Extra Virgin) olive oil drizzled on the dough with a few seasonings, then sliced provolone, mozzarella and ricotta cheese and a variety of roasted peppers on top.  It also has about 2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic and a bit more olive oil drizzled on top.  If the kids were not eating with us, there might be fresh basil and/or spinach leaves under the provolone too.  Yes, I was a bit too heavy on the ricotta cheese, but the garlic was just right.

The crust on the Broccoli/Garlic could have been a bit more browned, but only for appearances.  Sometimes, when I have the time, I’ll brush my outer crust with olive oil before putting them in the oven.  This helps them brown.  I should do this with the Broccoli pies as I drop the oven temperature for them.  I always have to watch the these pies closely as I’m always afraid of burning the Broccoli, as is just starting on this pie.  It helps a little to put the Broccoli on first, before and under the cheese.  Oh, I steam the Broccoli, a tad on the firm side, first.  The crust on all four pies was foldable, crunchy and chewy.  Just about perfect.  All four were cooked on a pre-heated pizza stone, the Broccoli/Garlic at 500 and the White at 525 degrees.  I was playing around with the temperatures to dial it in.

The other two pies (no pictures) were a taco pie (salsa/tomato sauce mix, then tortilla chips topped with 75% cheddar/25% mozzarella mix, and covered with Chili powder) and also a Garlic pizza.  The family was thrilled that my pies were back to normal, but no one was as happy as I was.  I don’t know about everyone else, but it really bothers me to serve sub-standard food, especially pizza. 

Thanks Mark (Canadian Bacon), Pete and Steve for jumping in an helping out.

Edit: These are 12-14 inch pies
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 01:39:01 PM by Jack »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Follow up to “Introduction and minor dough issue”
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2006, 02:56:45 PM »

You may need a little bit of convincing on the yeast quantity, but I think you will learn from experience that it is not necessary to use large quantities of yeast to get good oven spring. The best example I can give you of this is Reply 280, at page 15, at,576.280.html. There are many factors that come into play in achieving good oven spring, but yeast is just one of them. There also has to be the proper oven dynamics and balance between the pizza and those oven dynamics. Mastering these aspects for different types of pizzas in different sizes and using different kinds and amounts of toppings comes with practice and experience.

Looking at your broccoli pizza, it occurs to me that the nature and amount/weight of toppings may have kept the pizza from achieving better oven spring and even greater crust browning. Pizzas with a lot of toppings, especially those high in natural moisture, just take longer to bake and a good part of the baking goes into trying to dry the toppings (and producing a fair amount of steam), leaving less time and temperature to achieve a nicely browned and risen rim. One way to deal with this is to pre-bake the skin by itself, that is, before dressing it, and then dressing it after the crust has started to rise and the rim has expanded. You can also use the broiler element for a minute or so after the pizza has been on the stone for several minutes to help increase top crust browning. Of course, you can also oil the unbaked rim, as you mentioned you sometimes do. Some of the toppings, such as broccoli or pre-cooked/sauteed mushrooms and green/red peppers, can also be added a few minutes before removing the pizza from the oven. Doing these kinds of things help avoid making "swamp" pizzas and getting an overall dryer and crispier crust. It is also important that the pizza stone be very hot, to help with oven spring. It doesn't look like you used a rolling pin to roll out your skins, but that is to be avoided as much as possible to allow the skins to retain the gases of fermentation and a raised rim and help achieve decent oven spring.

I think you are making good progress and that your pizzas will just get better and better as you master the basics of the dough, use of toppings, and your oven.


« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 02:58:57 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jack

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Re: Follow up to “Introduction and minor dough issue”
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2006, 11:46:15 AM »

I suspect you meant the shear mass of the toppings on the white pizza.  There was definitely too much ricota on there!

OK . . . . . I'll stick with the low yeast levels for now.  the pies were fine; just not with as puffy a crust as I had before. 

I had not considered the heat used to dry the veggies.  The Broccoli was definitely pretty wet and removing that water does take a lot of heat energy.  This Enginerd should have realized this.  I'll run it through the salad spinner next time to dry it.  Initially, the idea of adding the broccoli late in the cooking process does not appeal to me much.  I'm going to keep working towards keeping it in the initial build for now.  On the other hand, the wet Broccoli may "protect" it somewhat from burning.  I'll be playing with this variable. 

Before everyone laughs about the salad spinner, we use it to dry romaine lettuce after soaking it in cold water to maximize the crispness.  The difference is amazing.

Dough shaping - Yes, you are correct.  I do not roll out my dough.  While it's prepared in a Kitched Aid, once it comes out of the fridge, it's all hand worked. 

Thanks again,


Edit: After rereading your referenced post, I realize that while my finished dough was about 75F, I may have shocked the yeast.  I added the yeast to 1/3 cup of 110F water.  After ten minutes, I added the rest of the water, which was cold.  Something else to work on.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 12:11:36 PM by Jack »