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Offline BobC

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My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« on: February 26, 2015, 04:03:16 AM »
My favorite pizza was from Vincent's Pizza on Ardmore Blvd in Pittsburgh as a kid.  I saw a post from 2007 or 2008 of a pizza from there and it looked NOTHING like what Vincent used to make, as it had way too much pepperoni on it and was overdone and had a pool of grease.

This is Vincent making pizza in Plum Boro, not sure when, but it certainly is how he made it and what it looked like when it comes out.  Mine are looking like this, but are missing those big bubbles in the crust, hopefully the change to bread/crust flour and higher moisture content will help



Ok, anyway, on to my pizzas.  So for the past couple years, I've been making pizzas at home.  I was using all purpose flour, which was inexpensive, but I couldn't seem to go higher than 58% hydration, and the dough was too soft to toss, and so I only tried that once.  It did make good pizza, but I wasn't entirely happy with the crust.  I had the right flavor, but only got the big bubbles once or twice.  I'm trying to get a relatively thin crust pizza in the middle with a thick crust around the outside, with big crunchy bubbles that are soft and springy inside, and a crisp bottom crust.  I have a regular gas oven and a 16" pizza stone.  I can set it for "Broil" which appears to be about 625 or so based on the numbers stopping at 550, and I time it for at least 1 hr before putting the pizza in to get the stone good and hot.  The pizza bakes in about 8 or 9 minutes depending on how done you want it.

Ok, so here is the recipe I'm using.  I started with a recipe for NY style pizza dough from this site and have tweaked over time to where I like the flavor...

3 cups flour (GFS Primo Gusto Bread/Crust Flour 4 gm protein/30 gm serving)
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp amber malt powder (usually used for beer making)
1 tsp molasses
3/4 tsp granulated onion
2 tbsp olive oil

mix into a thick batter sponge and cover, let proof 30 min

mix 4 tsp table salt with 4 more cups flour, and mix into sponge

put dough hook on mixer and mix 5 min

rest 10 min, then mix another 5 min

turn out onto floured board and divide into 4  one pound doughballs, make into balls and put in oiled round tupperware containers and put in the fridge for at least 24 hrs

I pull the dough container out of the fridge about 4 or 5 hours ahead, and set on the counter.

To make pizza, I flour the board, then turn out the dough onto it, then flour the top of it and my hands, then make the rim and flatten the center as I spin it on the board. 

I sprinkle my peel with a 50/50 mix of cornmeal and semolina flour.  Vincent always used regular flour and the one complaint I had about his pizza was that I would feel/taste some of that flour on the bottom of the crust.  If I reduce it, the pizza seems to stick, but cornmeal mixed with semolina sprinkled from a little spice jar seemed to solve it.

I'm trying to learn to toss it, and I made my last batch with 2/3 bread flour and it held up much better than the dough made with AP flour, but with 58% hydration, I only rarely would get my big bubbles.  i was surprised how much different the dough texture was with 2/3 bread flour used.  The pizza came out real good, only lacking the big bubbles.

So then I put it onto my peel, and use about 1/2 cup of spicy sauce, putting it mostly around the outside, then spreading enough to also cover the middle, then i put on cheese (approx 1/2 provolone and 1/2 mozzarella, followed by other toppings and maybe more cheese to hold it all together, then shake it to make sure its loose, and slide it onto the stone in the oven.  8 min later I check it and usually get it out.

I removed the pics of previous pizzas, and the ones there now are from the 100% bread/crust flour batch...

PS: from reading here, I think next batch I will try reducing olive oil from 2 tbsp down to 4 tsp (about 1.5%).  Not having any problem with it but noticed my percentage seems high than others

PSS:  Here is the output of the calculator.  The flour and water volumes used were based on extrapolation of actual measurements of 1/2 cup each of the flour = 76.10 gm and 1/2 cup of water = 114.09 gm.  My scale can't handle large quantities.  I have a bigger scale, but it isn't accurate. 

Total Formula:
Flour (100%):    1066.05 g  |  37.6 oz | 2.35 lbs
Water (65%):    692.93 g  |  24.44 oz | 1.53 lbs
Salt (2.1%):    22.39 g | 0.79 oz | 0.05 lbs | 4.01 tsp | 1.34 tbsp
IDY (1%):    10.66 g | 0.38 oz | 0.02 lbs | 3.54 tsp | 1.18 tbsp
Oil (1.5%):    15.99 g | 0.56 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.55 tsp | 1.18 tbsp
Sugar (2.3%):    24.52 g | 0.86 oz | 0.05 lbs | 6.15 tsp | 2.05 tbsp
Total (171.9%):   1832.54 g | 64.64 oz | 4.04 lbs | TF = N/A
Single Ball:   458.14 g | 16.16 oz | 1.01 lbs

Made a "test" pizza for lunch, and it was all gone in 10 minutes.  I stretched it like ryan's video I saw here from knuckle to knuckle, no toss (chicken hearted), and I could see the light coming through it from the window behind while I stretched it, so it was pretty thin.  Put on 1/2 cup of sauce, then 7 oz cheese, then toppings of chopped mushrooms, salami, green pepper, red onion, oil curred greek olives and coarse ground red pepper flakes, then another 3 oz of cheese  on the one side.  It slid off easily and I baked it for 8 min, and I need to revise my oven temp guess to 575.  The crust came out a little crispy on the bottom, but I had to hold the middle because it was too thin to hold up the toppings on my side.  It had about 5 or 6 crunchy bubbles like what I wanted, when you'd bite into one, whatever was left of it would spring back up, and the outer rim was crunchy but soft inside.  No flour taste on the bottom.  I think it could have gone another 30 seconds or maybe a minute for more carmelization if I was to spin it 180 degrees midway through baking since it appears the back of my oven is hotter from looking at the results.  That might also get little more crispness on the bottom.  The stone in the pic is 16".  My peel is only 14" so I use a cookie sheet to assemble and slide it in with.  I was afraid it might stick, so I didn't dare stop to take a pic before putting it in the oven. 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 03:28:06 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 02:56:14 PM »
PS: I know its not "strictly" NY style, but I was told it uses a NY style dough, which I believe is a slight tweak from jerry's here.  I had real NY thin crust in NYC once, and it was good, but I always like Vincent's the best, with the crunchy/chewy thick outer rim and generous toppings.  There is no way I can buy a pizza as good as this around here that I've found, anyway.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 03:07:01 PM »
There is no way I can buy a pizza as good as this around here that I've found, anyway.

I bet not. That looks great.

I don't 2% oil is too high or really even unusual for that matter.
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Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 08:54:31 AM »
Could anyone please tell me the major factors that contribute or detract from the pies getting big bubbles in the crust, both on the bottom and the rim?  I think I have the taste right, but if I knew what to do to encourage the big bubbles, and what not to do that eliminates them, it would help me get them they way I want them.  If you look at Vincent's video, I think I can see he is starting with a pretty soft dough, and if I remember right it was at room temperature because he'd keep it in a bin of some kind down below counter level and would either cut off a hunk or maybe scrape it up off the bottom of a bin.  To be honest, I think it looked like he was actually cutting off a hunk with a scraper like tool.  But he smacks it a bunch of times, and he still gets those big bubbles coming out of the oven. 

In the video he says its 10 to 12 minutes but I don't believe that because I can't imagine that his oven would have been at that low of a temperature to allow the pies to stay in that long.  Does anyone out there know where I should try to be temperature wise?  It seems that if I don't turn it up as high as it will go and give it a full hour to heat the stones, that I don't get the bottom done very well.  Vincent's was crispy on the bottom, I remember...

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 09:23:14 AM »
Could anyone please tell me the major factors that contribute or detract from the pies getting big bubbles in the crust, both on the bottom and the rim?

All other things being equal: high heat, baking stone/conductive baking surface, higher hydration, longer fermentation, gentle dough handling, more undisturbed time in balls, dough not cold when baked.

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Offline rparker

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 09:36:45 AM »
Nice looking pie. I like doing that level of done-ness sometimes.

I don't know from purposely getting bubbles, but I do know when I get them. I get them mostly when my dough ball is more active than normal.

I do a cold fermentation. My dough ball can become very active with any sort of combination of the following.
Too much yeast in formulation. (Craig's been trying to cure me of this one.)
Too long in the fridge (If the sweet spot is 2-4 days in the fridge, this would mean using a 6 day old ball or something like that.
Too much water (makes other attributes more prominent, is my guess)
Too much time on the counter before use.
Too active before getting too the fridge and not cooling properly.

I normally give it a good slap all the way around the skin inside of the outer ring because all the cool kids are doing it. It does help knock down the bubbles when I get them. What I never do is press the outer ring. I never even touch it if I can help it. I form my ring by pressing down the dough just inside of the ring a couple of times around. The bubbles are either in the ring or, or just inside of the ring where I didn't press down perfectly and I didn't slap. If I have bubbles in any area inside the outer ring, the chances for getting them when I bake are greatly increased. 

Just to be clear I'm thinking of the same thing, I posted a picture below where you can see I cut a few slits into my pie's bubbles about a minute in to my bake. I had no idea I was gonna get bubbles on this one. I was pretty surprised to get a few. Not even sure I slapped this one in he center, but never would have where these bubbles came up.

(the bubbles I cut slits into are at 9 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 2 o'clock.)

I hope this triggers an idea or two for ya.  :D

(ps, I saw craig posted when I went to post. what I wrote is just way more wordy, not contradictive.)

Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 09:46:07 AM »
Thanks for the reply again...

The things I didn't see there were "more yeast" or "more sugar". 

Vincent always did a bongo playing like smackdown on his dough before he'd toss it, and the way he does it on the video is about what I remember.  I too have found that I get more big bubbles if I don't smack it like Vincent did, and instead make the rim and pie gently, without even tossing it at all.

Maybe it was that it always seemed very warm in his place, hot even, no matter what time of year, like at least 80 or 85 degrees.  Maybe that helped cause the big bubbles?  I remember he was ALWAYS sweating a lot.  That's why he always had his shirt half open.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 10:08:36 AM »
Sugar is not really a factor and too much sugar will make your pizza taste like cheap delivery pizza.

More yeast may actually work against you because, AOTBE, it will shorten your fermentation time.
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Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 10:20:55 AM »
Thanks for the ideas, rparker.

And thanks for the comments on yeast and sugar, txCraig.  I will keep that in mind.

In the video Vincent says the pie is 1 1/2 lbs of dough.  That's a lot, but maybe he meant for a large, which had to be about 18".   The thing I remember about the dough was that around the rim, about 1/4 of it would be like 2" high from the big bubbles, and usually a few in the pie itself, too.  I cut this pic out of the video.  i think I'll try taking a cooler and putting a pan of hot water into it like I was going to make yogurt, and then put the dough into it on a board or bin, just covered with some thin plastic wrap so it won't dry out or develop a skin, and see if having it real warm like that caused it to be very active and gave it the big bubbles effect.

The first pic is one made by Vincent himself, the 2nd is of one from his place, but not made by him

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 10:31:42 AM »
In the video Vincent says the pie is 1 1/2 lbs of dough.  That's a lot, but maybe he meant for a large, which had to be about 18". 

I'd say there is somewhat of a difference between big bubbles and a loaf of bread surrounding your pizza.
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Offline vtsteve

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 10:44:13 AM »
Open crumb is nice... I always considered 'big bubbles' a defect. I think I still do.  :-\

If you're looking for a big, puffy cornicione, hold the sauce an inch or two inside the edge of the pie. The unsauced area will blow up like a balloon.
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Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 10:50:18 AM »
Maybe what did it was that around the edge the sauce was very thin.  I will try that too.  His pizza did not have a lot of sauce, but the sauce it did have had lots of flavor.  The one Vincent himself made in the pic above had a crust about like what I am looking for.  Yes, the other one looks like a loaf of bread, LOL.

Offline vtsteve

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2015, 11:35:01 AM »
All other things being equal: high heat, baking stone/conductive baking surface, higher hydration, longer fermentation, gentle dough handling, more undisturbed time in balls, dough not cold when baked.

He was definitely cutting a piece off a bulk fermented dough... I would say 0 time in balls. Despite all the slapping, you could still see bubbles on the surface of the dough. It looks like 68-70% hydration to me.

I was trying to figure out the host's... interesting complexion; then I saw the title of the clip.  :-D
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2015, 11:39:01 AM »
I always considered 'big bubbles' a defect. I think I still do.  :-\

 ^^^

Yet I still get them pretty regularly.

I think you mentioned something about slapping the hell out of the dough. I haven't really had a chance to test this hypothesis, but I'd say quick slapping of the dough helps get rid of large bubbles, without turning your dough into a brick. For me this comes in handy when I'm using a dough ball that should have been stretched an hour or two earlier than I ended up stretching it.
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2015, 11:56:53 AM »
He was definitely cutting a piece off a bulk fermented dough.

I just watched the video. Sorry, but I'm seeing dough balls, rather than bulk dough. If that was bulk dough, it would take a lot longer than a second or two for him to reach down and re-emerge with the exact amount of dough he needs. I suspect the reason why it doesn't look much like a dough ball is because the dough is so soft and has changed shape considerably by the time it reaches the counter/bench.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2015, 12:20:24 PM »
I just watched the video. Sorry, but I'm seeing dough balls, rather than bulk dough. If that was bulk dough, it would take a lot longer than a second or two for him to reach down and re-emerge with the exact amount of dough he needs. I suspect the reason why it doesn't look much like a dough ball is because the dough is so soft and has changed shape considerably by the time it reaches the counter/bench.

I tend to agree, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

He beats that dough like it owes him money  :'(
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Offline BobC

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2015, 12:29:00 PM »
I think next batch I will try increasing the hydration percentage and see if it gets me there.  My memory is pretty vivid of watching him make them even if it was 45 years ago, and I do remember the dough looking super soft and squishy when he'd put it up onto the lower counter and beat on it.

Does anyone know what he used to put onto a supreme pizza?  We never got one, only pepperoni, mushroom or sausage, and never more than 2 toppings, so I don't remember...

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2015, 12:55:12 PM »
Here are some random thoughts:
  • 1% is probably way too much yeast.
  • I feel like you may want about 65% hydration, plus 1% or 2% oil. But that also may depend on the type of flour you use. And for some reason that I can't explain, I feel like there may actually be more oil in their dough (than 1-2%). But maybe not.
  • I see no reason to use much or any sugar at this point. (But I haven't had any good looks at their pizza yet, either, so I may be completely off the mark here.)
  • I really doubt that they use AP flour, or the foodservice equivalent to AP flour. If I was trying to make a pizza based entirely on that video, I'd probably start out with bread flour.
I'm not sure if you're using the recipe you listed or the dough formula you listed. And considering they are not even close to being the same thing, that kinda matters.

Simplify what you're doing, unless you're absolutely sure this complicated list of ingredients is correct. Aside from the fact that the measurements in the first recipe are listed volumetrically (which tells me and everyone else essentially nothing), that recipe is also unnecessarily complicated, which will probably keep you from figuring out what you need to figure out. Simplify. Ask yourself why you might want to include any particular ingredient before including that ingredient. Amber malt powder? Molasses? Onion powder? One or two of those ingredients might actually be useful, but do you know why you're including them?

And if I seem excessively critical here, please don't misinterpret my intention. Because your pizza looks great. However, it's obviously not the same thing as the pizza in the video. The only thing that is really obvious to me at this point, I think, is that their dough has a much higher hydration percentage than your dough.

Disclaimer: I may be totally full of it. I'm not sure yet.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2015, 01:05:52 PM »
Here's another thought: When you make a change, make it a big change so you can tell exactly what difference that particular change made. And blending flours is just a waste of time and energy. If AP flour doesn't work, then just try bread flour next time. There's simply nothing to learn by going from all AP flour to part-AP/part-bread.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: My first bread/crust flour pizzas--Vincent's Pizza
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2015, 01:21:34 PM »
Another thought: The dough in that video does not want to be tossed. As soft as that dough is, it's fully stretched within a few seconds of simply removing it from its container below the counter. If you toss dough while trying to clone his pizza, that alone is going to change it enough that it almost certainly will not end up a clone of his pizza.

There is really no reason to toss any dough skin. You may think it's cool to toss pizza dough, just like I did for many years, and just like pretty much everyone else here did for many years. But for the most part, it serves no purpose. And in this instance, it is probably a negative thing.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

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