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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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My thoughts on pizza dough
« on: April 19, 2014, 01:01:33 AM »
I've been making pizza dough for a while now and I've used it to make pizza in gas ovens, wood-fired ovens and coal-fired ovens.  I've used lava stones, ceramic tiles, steel plates and fire bricks to bake on.

Let me let you in on a little secret.

I've used the same dough recipe in every venue, every time.

The recipe I used came from Fiorentini's King of Pizza on West 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Avenues in Times Square.  Yes, in the middle of all the triple feature and triple X movie theatres, right next to Bill's Gyro's (who are still going strong on the boardwalk in Atlantic City).

And then, when I was doing all my pizza research getting ready to open Lombardi's, I decided to go right to the source:  General Mills.  It took a couple of weeks to find the right person (this was pre-internet), but they gave me what they called their recommended recipe for making pizza dough.

And guess what?

It was exactly the same.

50lb bag of All Trumps Hi Gluten Flour
3.5 gallons of water (mark 3.5 gallons in a big plastic container with a black magic marker and fill to just below the line)
1lb of sugar
1lb of salt
8oz olive oil
4oz fresh bakers yeast.

Throw the water in the Hobart and mix everything but the flour with a whisk.  Then add the flour.  Mix on low for 8 minutes.

You now have 80lbs of dough.

That's it.  Except when it's really hot & humid, add ice to the water.

You now have the dough recipe for everyplace I've ever been.  Including Lombardi's.

I fooled around with different hydration percentages but wound up coming back to this - which for you guys keeping score is about 57%.

So, what's my point?

Good pizza has been around long before hydration formulas and such.  Don't get so wrapped up into what is really a very simple process.  Because that's what pizza is supposed to be.  Plain. Simple. Food.
Pie Man
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"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

Offline waltertore

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 06:26:46 AM »
Andrew:  Thanks for posting that recipe.  Is this same day dough or do you refrigerate it?  I grew up with same day dough in NJ in the 50's-70's and with measuring tools like you mentioned (marks on buckets :) ).    I have to admit the refrigerated for 2-4 day dough I learned about on this forum hooked me and more accurate water measurement (scale) has also worked its way into me since being here.  Walter
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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 01:49:39 PM »
Hey Walter - I generally like to keep it refrigerated for 48 hours.  After that it can get a little dry.  I have used it in less than 24 hours as the results aren't bad if you let it come to room temp and use high heat.
Pie Man
201 OG

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

JBailey

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 03:32:02 PM »
Many thanks for sharing this Andrew.

Offline waltertore

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 03:41:54 PM »
Thanks Andrew!  I will have to give that recipe a shot.  My recipe has no oil, no sugar, and about 63% hydration, salt is similar to yours.   Walter
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 04:55:08 PM »
Andrew,

Is the measurement for the oil in your dough formulation by weight or by ounces? Also, maybe you have mentioned this before in the other thread, but what form does the baker's yeast take? And I am curious to know if Lombardi's used fresh yeast or dry yeast. And, finally, what dough ball weights are you now using and for what sizes?

Thanks.

Peter

Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 01:49:07 AM »
57% hydration for AT is pretty dry.  I will try it and give feedback.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 02:32:07 AM »
Andrew,

Is the measurement for the oil in your dough formulation by weight or by ounces? Also, maybe you have mentioned this before in the other thread, but what form does the baker's yeast take? And I am curious to know if Lombardi's used fresh yeast or dry yeast. And, finally, what dough ball weights are you now using and for what sizes?

Thanks.

Peter

Hey Pete,

The measurement for oil is ounces.  The only thing I ever weighed was the baker's yeast which came in the form of a fresh one-pound block.  It's was easy to get in NY and if I ran out, I walked over to Parisi's Bakery and borrowed a couple of their bricks and replaced it when my order came in.  I haven't been able to find fresh baker's yeast here in Malaysia, so I'm using dried.

Right now, I'm using 770 grams for an 18 inch pie.  It's the only size we make.

If I remember correctly at Lombardi's, I used 18 ounces for the 16" pie.
Pie Man
201 OG

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 02:36:00 AM »
57% hydration for AT is pretty dry.  I will try it and give feedback.

Nate


Hi Nate,

I'm interested in how you find it.  I'm not using AT here - not available.  Using local stuff that they say is 12-13% gluten.  Getting the  same results as AT.  The 57% doesn't include the oil, just the water.  It's what I've been using my whole career, though I did experiment here with higher hydrations.  But at the end, it's 10 kilos of flour and 5.7 kilos of water.
Pie Man
201 OG

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 07:30:12 PM »

Hi Nate,

I'm interested in how you find it.  I'm not using AT here - not available.  Using local stuff that they say is 12-13% gluten.  Getting the  same results as AT.  The 57% doesn't include the oil, just the water.  It's what I've been using my whole career, though I did experiment here with higher hydrations.  But at the end, it's 10 kilos of flour and 5.7 kilos of water.

Andrew,

I'm gonna make up a batch tonight.  I always though the best dough is very oven dependant but you have much more experience than me.  I've made probably close to a 1000 pies but that is nothing vs a restauranteer.  I can crank out roughly 610F on my cordierite stone so I will let you know how it goes.

Nate

« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 08:38:11 AM by pythonic »
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Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 06:08:21 PM »
Boy this was a dry dough.  I sure hope I didn't over knead with my AT flour.  I'm usually around 65.5% after the oil.  Should I bake this pizza less then what I  used to because of the lower hydration?  I will do a 24 and 48hr cold rise.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 10:15:02 PM »
It's all what you're used to.  If I have a dough at 65% hydration, I think it's very wet.  Nice that you're testing at 24 & 48 hours - that's the window I use.  I would think you'll bake it in less time than what you're used to.  I don't time anything - I just go by look & feel.
Pie Man
201 OG

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
It's all what you're used to.  If I have a dough at 65% hydration, I think it's very wet.  Nice that you're testing at 24 & 48 hours - that's the window I use.  I would think you'll bake it in less time than what you're used to.  I don't time anything - I just go by look & feel.

The dough looks good.  Baking in about an hour.  I usually go 4:30-5:00 mins.  Will keep an eye on it.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 01:33:08 PM »
21hr cold rise.  620F stone temp, baked 3 mins on stone and 1:30 on screen (on stone).  Bottom of the pie excellent.  Not as chewy as my higher hydration doughs.  I'm getting over a cold and my taste is half gone bit I was happy with what I tasted.  May have pulled too soon (top needed more heat.  End crust wasn't crispy enough for my likes). Dough looked under fermented as well.  Tomorrow's attempt should take care of that.

I used 50% brick cheese on this pizza.  Never tried it before.  It was better than provy in my opinion.  Great stuff.

Nate
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 01:37:02 PM by pythonic »
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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 09:44:46 PM »
21hr cold rise.  620F stone temp, baked 3 mins on stone and 1:30 on screen (on stone).  Bottom of the pie excellent.  Not as chewy as my higher hydration doughs.  I'm getting over a cold and my taste is half gone bit I was happy with what I tasted.  May have pulled too soon (top needed more heat.  End crust wasn't crispy enough for my likes). Dough looked under fermented as well.  Tomorrow's attempt should take care of that.

I used 50% brick cheese on this pizza.  Never tried it before.  It was better than provy in my opinion.  Great stuff.

Nate

Looks good!  Did you bake any with longer fermentation?
Pie Man
201 OG

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

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Offline pythonic

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 09:00:56 PM »
Looks good!  Did you bake any with longer fermentation?

Yes.  No pics though.  The dough had better flavor.  I want to test with a lower protein flour though.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline gfgman

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2015, 12:35:03 PM »
Sorry, I'm resurrecting this as it piques my interest, and I have a few questions.
If, I'm figuring this right, I come up with essentially 1 teaspoon of oil per 16 oz. of flour.  Is this is a typical amount for NY style?  I'm convinced that my favorite commercial pies have oil in the dough but, I stay away from it a home because I've never liked the end result.  Olive oil always gives the crust a flavor that is offputting to me.  Vegetable oil negates that, but it still doesn't anything for the finished product that makes me think it has to be in there.  Perhaps with the HGF I am using, a bit of oil and a lower hydration would make a difference. 
I will compare this formula to mine and see what the difference is.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2015, 02:35:50 PM »
gfgman,

A teaspoon of just about any oil, including olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and blends thereof, weighs about 0.16 ounce. That comes to 1%. I would say that the typical range for oil for a NY style dough is about 1-3%. But there are some pizza operators who use no oil for their NY style doughs.

Peter

Offline gfgman

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2015, 03:45:25 PM »
Thanks!  The recipe on his dough generator website says no sugar.  The one here says sugar.  Which one would be correct? 
So far, for 8.5 oz. of flour, I'm coming up with 4.55 ounces water (57%), just over 1/2 tsp. salt (2%), about 1/4 tsp. IDY (.5%), and just over 1 tsp. oil (1%).  The difference between my this formula and mine, is the lower hydration, and the addition of oil.  Also, not having any sugar, if indeed it is left out.  I usually go with about 3/4 tsp. 

I've made dough in the past with this low of a hydration, and I too think it is very dry after mixing.  At 61-62% hydration, my dough forms a ball quite easily.  There is no need to pinch it closed.  With the lower hydration, it definitely needs to be pinched, and I have seen videos of pizza operators pinching their dough balls.  Would a rest period make it easier to form a ball?
Also, at that low of a hydration, I'm afraid of having a dry finished product.  To be fair though, I can't recall having a deck oven pizza that was dry.  Perhaps the wetness of the sauce compensates for that. 
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 10:40:26 AM by gfgman »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My thoughts on pizza dough
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2015, 04:10:24 PM »
gfgman,

I assume you mean the recipe at http://doughgenerator.allsimbaseball9.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=31. If so, there is nothing at either Andrew's original post in this thread or with the recipe posted in the dough generator as to why one recipe calls for sugar and the other does not, so Andrew may be the best one to explain the discrepancy from his perspective. But, I believe the answer may lie in the duration of the cold fermentation. Usually for a dough that is to cold ferment for about one day, there are enough natural sugars released by the amylase enzymes from the damaged starch in the flour to both feed the yeast and also to yield sufficient residual sugars after feeding the yeast to provide decent crust coloration. But once you get beyond one day of cold fermentation, there may be a need to add sugar to the dough to be sure that the yeast remains adequately fed and that the residual levels are high enough to contribute to crust coloration. Typically, the amount of sugar to add to the dough for these purposes is about 1-2%, and that amount should be enough for say, a two- or three-day cold fermentation, and maybe a day or more thereafter depending on the amount of yeast, temperatures, etc.

By the way, if you look at Tom Lehmann's recipe for the NY style dough at the PMQ Recipe Bank at:

http://www.pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/index.php/name/New-York-Style-Pizza/record/57724/

and also on this website at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/lehmann-nystyle.php,

you will see that there is no sugar is included in either recipe but the instructions mention sugar. I believe Tom had in mind what I discussed above since he has discussed this matter many, many times over the years. I assume that he forgot to explain the discrepancy on the sugar vs. no sugar.

As for resting the dough, that is a good way of forming a nice ball since the gluten can relax during the rest period and the protease enzymes can also contribute to the softening of the gluten during the rest period. I suspect professionals can get away with using a lower hydration value such as you mentioned because their commercial mixers can do a better job than our standard home mixers.

Peter

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