Author Topic: First pie last night!!  (Read 2419 times)

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Offline 2112

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First pie last night!!
« on: December 13, 2006, 03:15:51 PM »
It was great to find this site and thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge. I have never gone the way of pizza because I always knew that it was science and not something that came in a Domino's box. I just left it to the pro's (which are few and far between in this neck of the woods) and either drove a fair ways to get good pie or not get any it all.

After finding this site I decided that it was time to do some reading, jump in and create some of my favorite food of all time.

A few days ago I followed the recipe below. I used King A. but it was the unbleached bread flour version. I also used Red Star Rapid Rise Yeast @ half a tsp. I fired up my KA high watt mixer and put on the paddle attachment. I followed the recipe to a Tee but when I added the final 1/3 cup of flour it basically brought my machine to its knee's. The dough completely changed with the final amount and seemed the whole chemistry of the dough went south. In fact, if I was to explain what I ended up with I would say that the dough was tough as nails. Forget the part about flouring your finger and testing the dough. This dough was not sticky at all. I almost tossed it but I decided not too. I split it in two, formed the balls, which when forming the skin tore a bit, oiled the bowls and let em sit in the fridge for 3 days. Last night I took them out to see if any transformation took place. After a 3 + hr room temp warm-up, to my surprise, it was manageable and I was able to follow the "Stretching Steps" to make 2 - 15" to 16" pies. I was able to get it very thin and although it did tear a few times it patched easily. I heated my gas over to max temp (which turned out to be 600° f) preheated an aluminum pizza pan with holes in the bottom, tossed some corn meal around the edges and proceeded to make the finest pie I've ever ate. Or I would like to think it was! My Wife and Daughter went nuts and can’t wait for me to make more. When I compared what I made (esthetically) to the pictures I saw on the Raquel thread, I would say that I am very close to the mark.

By the way my 15 yr old ate an entire 16" by herself.   :o

BUT…….What happened over the 3 days to change this dough? It started out looking like nothing I’ve been seeing here?

Tonight, I am going to make another 2 pies and hold back on the last 1/3 cup of flour if it gets as dry as the last one. I can only hope that they will turn out even better.

Pizza Raquel - Everything You'd Want                                                    
Weight                                  Volume                                         Description                     Bakers Percent
16   oz/  456  Grams      3 1/3 cups                                   KASL High Gluten Flour                   100%     
9.6  oz/  273  Grams      1 1/8 cups or 9 fluid oz               Water                                                60%     
.01  oz/ .285  Grams         1/8 teaspoon (baker's pinch)   Instant Dry Yeast                         .0625%     
.32  oz/  9.1   Grams      2 1/4 teaspoon                           Sicilian Sea Salt (fine cut)                    2%
1.3  oz/  37    Grams      2  tablespoons (heaping)            Preferment (I use Varasano)              8% 
27.23oz/775.385 Grams

Produces two dough balls weighing 13 - 14oz (enough for two 15" - 16" pizzas). If you do not have a preferment simply add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of IDY.

Preparation Steps
1 - Stir water and salt with spoon/whisk until dissolved in stand mixer bowl.
2 - Add approximately half the flour first, then the yeast. Fit stand mixer with hook attachment.
3 - Mix 30 seconds on stir to incorporate yeast.
4 - Add preferment.
5 - Mix 1 minute on stir to incorporate preferment.
6 - 20 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die painfully).
7 - Mix on stir speed for 5 minutes, adding in remaining flour gradually over the 5 minute mix.
8 - Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes.
9 - Check dough temperature with digital thermometer; it should be 80 degrees at the hook.
10 15 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die really painfully and slowly).
11 Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes on lightly floured prep area.
12 Cut into 2 equal pieces, form into balls, place dough into bowls, cover with shower caps.
13 Place dough in the refrigerator. Ferment for 24+ hours.
14 On the following day(s), remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Note: Do not punch down, reform balls, or do anything to the dough other than let it warm to room temperature.

Stretching Steps   
1 - Place dough ball in flour bowl. Dust both sides well. Dust prep area with flour.
2 - Flatten ball into a thick pancake-like shape with palm of hand, ~ 2" thick. Keep well dusted.
3 - Press fingertips into center and working toward the rim until skin is 10 inches round. Keep well dusted.
4 - Place hands palm down inside rim and stretch outward while turning. Stretch to 12" round.
5 - Place skin over knuckles (1st time dough is lifted off bench) and stretch to 16"+/-
6 - Pat excess flour off skin. Place on floured peel and dress with favorite toppings.
7 - Peel dressed skin into preheated oven (1 hr+ at max temp) outfitted with tiles.
8 - Bake until lightly or heavily charred (more flavor).
I started out with nothing and still have most of it left!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: First pie last night!!
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 04:38:29 PM »

I assume that you used volume measurements rather than weight measurements. If so, that could have easily accounted for the dryness of the dough you experienced, even though you used bread flour rather than high-gluten flour. Also, the Raquel recipe is predicated on using a preferment. Part of that preferment is water and part is flour. If there is more water than flour by weight, then that could alter the total amount of water used in the recipe--meaning that you should have used a bit more water or used less flour. I don't recall the precise combination of flour and water used in pftaylor's preferment, but I suspect that it was not a material cause of the dryness you experienced. I suspect it was your volume measurements of flour and water that were primarily responsible.


Offline 2112

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Re: First pie last night!!
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 06:53:40 PM »


I of course forgot a few things along the way. First of all, YES, I did use volumes and not weight. I sifted the flour and used a bit more yeast than the 1/8 tsp because I did not make a preferment. I'm making up a dough as we speak so I'm going to use a little more water as you suggested or less dough. I guess it will take some time to know when enough feeding of the dough is enough. But I sure can't bitch about the quality of the pie. It's a good feeling when the final product looked as fine as a lot of what I see on this site. Maybe I ran into beginners luck but I'll take what I can get and continue to learn from all the pros here. I'm sure it will make for a pleasant journey.

Many thanks,

I started out with nothing and still have most of it left!

Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: First pie last night!!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 08:49:00 AM »
Hydration of the preferment does seem to be a variable for me, at least, since I'm experimenting with the Ed Wood starters.  Sometimes when I feed them I may give them more or less water depending on how the starter feels when I first stir it up.  I guess my optimal consistency is something like a very thick pancake batter, although I know the starter thread had some folks opining that theirs was even thicker.

But that could alter the dryness if a preferment were being used.
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain