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Offline Swiss Frank

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Improvement Ideas?
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:00:46 PM »
I've made this 100 times or so.  It's great as far as I know but any ideas for improvement would be welcome!

I have a specific wish, for more bubbles in the dough, and to be sure this is as tasty as it can be.

I live in Tokyo and recently while in the middle of some international moves have ended up in a place that has no oven and I don't have my KitchenAid mixer.  I tried a toaster oven and found the results were BETTER than the last electric oven I had, though, and while that means I have to make a lot of pizzas to feed the fam its not bad at all.  I may stick with the toaster even even after I get a real oven again.  Also use a 0.1g Tanita scale.

Caputo Sacko Azurro Tipo-00: 330g
Yeast: 6.0g
Salt: 3.0g (plus I scatter a tiny bit of margerita salt on the bottom of the pan before cooking.)
Water: 200g, cheap bottled stuff, microwaved to as hot as I can stand my finger in
Sunflower oil: 10g

Yeast is dissolved in water (I didn't used to do this and it didn't make a difference that I recall).  I measure the others into a bowl, then add the dissolved yeast water.  Stir with spatula until it's mostly one unit.

Then knead (I think this is kneading??) for 10 min, folding in half from top; flattening; folding from right; flattening; folding from bottom; flattening; folding from left; flattening.  I use a dough scraper in one hand.  I don't need flour or oil on hands or the counter.

Then break into 5 pieces (107g each; I guess 15g is lost?!).  The cutting process results in little pieces being added when my initial guess is too low, and I want the dough to be one unitary piece.  So I'll repeat above "knead" procedure 3-4 times, then bring all the seams down to a single point leaving the outside crevice-free except for one "pucker."  I roll that smooth 2-3 sec between my palms then put each ball in an individual sunflower-oiled plastic container in the fridge two days.  (Sometimes one day, but the taste is FAR better after two.)  The containers are less than half-full even once the thing grows.

I take those out and sit 15-30 minutes to warm and (I think the term is) relax.  At that point I turn them around thining and stretching the edge (no cornicione) as the middle kind of takes care of itself for the most part.  When it's about 70% of the size of my little baking sheets, it goes on there.  I stretch it out and bring up the edges about 1cm or 1/3".  (The lip is actually designed to keep the toaster oven clean! but tastes good too!)  At 60% hydration I don't need flour at this stage but at 65% (trying this week) I might need a bit.

The pans are 17x24cm (6 3/4x9 1/2") stainless steel (I wanted aluminum but couldn't find the size) and fit my oven almost exactly.  I lube them with a small grape's worth of lard, and give a very light sprinkle of margarita salt.

I then par-bake 4:30 or so at 1300W, and remove from the pan.  It isn't quite bread yet but is quite stiff.

A pepperoni/sausage/onion/green pepper load-out would be: 24g tomato paste straight from a can, 60g mozzarella (hard-cured, not the wet kind; I didn't see much difference at all in some comparisons; should I retry?) 60g pepperoni, 60g "pizza sausage chunks", "lots" of sliced onion and green pepper.  Cheese is half on top of the pepperoni, to cement the sausage in place.

A Diavola would be: no tomato paste, 60g mozz, 90g pepperoni, lots of onion, a couple thinly-sliced cloves garlic, several thinly-sliced Thai chilis, and a fair amount of mild gorgonzola.

Quattro Formaggi would be: just 4 cheeses.  60g mozz, then substantially less taleggio, smoked provolone, and mild gorgonzola.  Mozz is evenly spread.  Other three are just chunky enough that each bite won't taste quite the same.

A final sprinkle of Italian Seasoning.

Then bake with no baking sheet for 5:00-6:00 at 1300W.

The result is quite good and we don't get tired of it even after years.  We have lots of things in our "family cookbook" and complain we can never make anything often enough, but let other faves come around only once a month while pizza's weekly.  But I'm left wondering if it could be better?  My big sadness is that the crust never has big bubbles in it.

My big wonder is whether I should re-form it after the refrigerator, in effect punching it down, fold it a few times, produce a new smooth ball, and let that grow a bit before stretching?

Should I cut the yeast and do three days in the fridge?

Should it sit out hours?

Am I even kneading right?

-----------------------

My experiments have been:

-- trying to cook with toaster oven was a HUGE win

-- adding the sunflower oil was a win, but 20g was too much.  10g seems good.  Olive oil was bad.  Canola so-so.

-- I've tried 65 and 70% hydration in the early days and found it unmanageable.  I've gotten it down now so am trying 65 again this week.  65 kneaded well (trick seems to be to move fast, almost slap it instead of push it and it won't stick) but still sticky enough at the end it was hard to get the dough balls as pretty as usual.  (Results not clear, because in addition to changing hydration I accidently used canola AND the dough balls sat for 90 min not the usual 30, so there are too many variables.)  At 60% I need no additional flour when shaping; with 65% it's a necessity.

-- I used to put the dough in 1-2 containers and found out that by the time I got it all unstuck from each other it just never wanted to fully cooperate again.  Individual containers has been a MASSIVE improvement in the shaping/stretching phase.  I don't end up with holes that need patching, or tough "sinews" between paper-thin spots.  More generally, shaping those dough balls before refrigerating just seems absolutely key.

-- I originally got the recipe from a site offering it as no-knead dough and I found that it wasn't crisp enough even cooked to browning.

-- sprinkling some salt on the baking surface is a trick I got at Pizza Studio Tamaki in Tokyo, a Neapolitan place I love.  Cutting the salt in the dough keeps it from being overly salty.

-- I used to use 300g for 5 17x24cm (6 3/4x9 1/2") pizzas.  I upped it to 330g at the same time I added a vertical edge.  I tried upping further to 360g but a HUGE step down.

-- letting the dough sit 30 minutes after removing from the refrigerator seems super-key.

-- I tried 10% semolina one time, was a major step down.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 01:13:43 PM by Swiss Frank »

Offline bobgraff

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 07:25:22 PM »
Hi Frank - your pizza looks great!  I think I read somewhere that a true pizza master never stops looking for ways to improve - so hat tip to you.  :chef:

While I am by no means an expert, I might try:

  • Reducing the water temperature (close to scalding will likely kill your yeast) - My faucet tops out at 117 F - The sweet spot is 95 - 110 F.
  • Reduce the amount of yeast to 1g.
  • Add 3g of sugar to feed the yeast.

In my experience, 60% hydration dough produces some fairly bubbly pizzas using low yeast + sugar.

I appreciate your detailed post.  I am currently using canola oil, but will make a point to use sunflower oil in my next attempt.  The quest never ends!
Bob

"I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work." - Arnold Toynbee

Offline Swiss Frank

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 12:52:00 AM »
Thanks Bob.

I've never had yeast not thrive so while I don't question your advice, maybe my personal heat tolerance is several degrees lower than yours!

I put the yeast-water into the flour immediately so it has plenty of food.  Whatever problems I have, and I'm sure they're legion, they're not due to starved yeast.  Also personally I can't stand sweet crusts.

The dough always expands 2-3x in the fridge so I think the yeast is happy...

I'll try reducing yeast to that level but I'm scared to make the jump all in one... jump?  Next week I'll cut from 6 to 4 then to 2 and 1 and see if its edible all the way.

Offline bobgraff

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 08:41:08 AM »
It's always a mental and emotional challenge for me when I am trying something that I'm certain won't work.  The struggle is real!

Your hydration levels are similar to NY style recipes, so you might look there for insights.  This discussion in particular has some good info on yeast levels.

Another thought - bubbles form on the rim/cornicione due to 1) gas in the dough and 2) the process of pushing the gas from the center of the pizza towards the rim as part of the pizza shaping process.  Maybe try leaving a thicker rim and see if it produces the better results?

 


Bob

"I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work." - Arnold Toynbee

Offline Swiss Frank

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 01:08:41 PM »
Thanks Bob.  I don't have a rim/cornicione.  I'm making a rectangular pizza that totally fills my rectangular pan.  The edge I mentioned is simply the thin pizza going vertical to keep toppings from spilling into the oven.  (It also creates a bit of structural strength.)

So to be clear I was hoping for bubbles throughout the crust.

I'm not wedded to 60% or 65%, I'm happy to try any result that gets me more bubbles.

I'll check out your yeast link now.

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Offline Swiss Frank

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 11:29:18 AM »
I watched a video about making ciabatta that inspired this.  A night and day difference but don't know which change produced it (probably both):

1) went from 60% to 80% hydro

2) after taking the dough out of the freezer and letting rest a few minutes, I shaped to my baking sheet and let sit for another 3 hours.

After a 5 minute par-bake in the toaster oven last night, I just put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge and had it for lunch today.

Result was incredible: crispy yet soft.  A pizza you'd almost want to share a recording of biting into.

------------------

This is the same weight flour per cm2 as the first picture in this thread (0.176g/cm2) but is over a 1/4" or 1/2cm tall.

The 80% hydro is horrible to work with as I don't have a mixer at the moment; I just stirred with a spatula for 10 min then finally kneaded by hand for 2-3 minutes using water to keep from sticking.

I'm going to do just 70% hydro this weekend but with the three hours on the sheet.

Side view of a Diavola (no sauce; pepperoni sliced raw garlic, sliced Thai chilis in two colors; gorgonzola).  Top-view of a par-baked shell about to be refrigerated for the next day (not part of "the process," just a logistical necessity), and a bottom view.

Offline Swiss Frank

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Re: Improvement Ideas?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 08:50:26 AM »
After the wild success of the 80% dough shaped to the pan and allowed to rise that way for three hours, I've since tried a 60% dough:

330g flour (0.16g/cm2, VERY VERY VERY thin)
3g yeast (half what I'd put in for a same-day rise)
3g salt (half normal because I add extra margarita salt to baking sheet)
205g water, about 62% hydration

After 36 hours in refrigerator and 30 min to warm on counter, I shaped to the pans as I did the "magic pizza" and let it rise 3 hours.

Except, I only got a VERY little rise.

CONCLUSION: either I need a lot more water, or the cut of yeast from the possibly 6g I used before was responsible.

NEXT STEP: I should either make this method again with (I think I used last weekend) 6g yeast, or higher hydro with 3g yeast.  I shouldn't change too many things at once.

But I will anyway.

Since 80% hydro was such a pain, I'll try 70% and 6g yeast.  Also I'm trying for 48h refrig.  This most recent batch was 36 for logistical reasons.


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