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Author Topic: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough  (Read 1717 times)

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Offline Mako13

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5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« on: October 14, 2018, 06:33:22 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the group, and made a decent, thin-crust dough, so thought I'd share, for when you're hungry for pizza, can't wait for the dough to rise, and can't stomach those terrible, store-bought, frozen pies.

Had a couple of decent successes - 95%, with my thin-crust formulation, inspired by one I found on here.  Just reduced proportionally to make smaller pies, since I'm experimenting, and don't want to waste a lot on a large pizza, if it doesn't work out.  Also, using volume measures, instead of baker's percentages.

I don't have a scale, so just went by estimates - "desperate times call for desperate measures", so I've heard.

Switched on the gas oven, and let it warm up for about 20 - 25 minutes, or so, set to 500 degrees.

All measurements are approximate, and by volume:

8 oz. of KA bread flour
4 oz. of water (right out of the tap - we have good water from the Sierra mountains) - perhaps just a tad less, so about a 45% - 50% hydration
3/8 tsp. of Crisco oil
3/8 tsp of sea salt

I sprinkled the salt in the flour, and mixed well.  Then, added the oil into the water, mixed, and then poured into the flour.

Mixed up well with a spoon, and attempted to knead it with that a bit, right away.  Wasn't overly sticky, so switched to hand kneading, and added a little flour, as needed to keep from sticking to my hands, for only about a minute, or so.  Mixed up pretty well.

Laid out on the floured counter top, and pressed out a little, then flattened out with a rolling pin.  Added bench flour, as needed to keep from sticking.  Had to start over once, since it stuck and started to tear when I tried to roll it too thin, so balled it up, added a little more flour, and proceeded again.

Was going for a cracker crust, but it ended up being more like a "thin, thin crust" if that makes any sense.  Like a cross between a cracker crust, and a Round Table original crust.  Perhaps like their new, "thin crust" style.

Rolled out to about 2mm - 3mms thick, I guess, and then put on a screen and popped in the oven immediately to par-bake.  Dough ended up being about 9" in diameter, when rolled out.

No docking of the dough prior to cooking.

In the past, when I've tried making a cracker crust/thin crust, and docked it, it just turns out flat, bland, and like cardboard, so this was definitely an improvement over that.  Perhaps I docked the doughs too liberally in the past.

As expected from previous pizzas I've made, it ballooned up, which is what I wanted, to get the dough to separate and be a bit airy inside.  Par-baked for about 4 minutes (5 on the second one I made).

Removed from the oven, pressed down, and docked in a few places with a fork to help remove some of the air, and so I could add sauce and toppings.

Added 2 oz. of Hunt's tomato sauce with basil, oregano, etc..  Sprinkled with Italian seasoning - a bit much by accident, but it was fine - not overpowering at all, and some red pepper powder.

Added about 2 - 3 ounces of cheese on top (Sargento, 6 cheese Italian - pre-shredded, for ease of use), and Gallo pepperoni to cover in one layer.  A tiny bit of cheese on top of that for color.

Cooked at 500 on the top rack of the oven for 9 more minutes, and it turned out very nicely.  Top and toppings, and the rim of the crust were nicely browned (even underneath) and bubbly, and the rim was crispy.

Sorry, no pics, since I don't have the camera, currently.

Only downsides with cooking on the top shelf for the par-bake and finish was the center of the lower side was far too light (almost the original dough color white - firm, but not nicely browned and crispy like I wanted - hence the not 100% success, and I couldn't see how the pizza was turning out, so had to open the door to check on it, occasionally.

For the second one I made, it was a little smaller - personal size - 6", so used the following measures:

3 oz. of flour
~ 1.5 - 2 oz. of water
1/4 tsp Crisco oil
1/4 tsp salt

Obviously, a slight reduction in toppings.

On this one, made a day later, I tried par-baking on the bottom shelf of the oven first, but the bottom of the crust didn't get any browner, even though closer to the gas heating element, sadly.  Cooked for 5 minutes on the par-bake that time, there.  Then, after adding toppings, cooked on the top shelf of the oven again.

Need to find my pizza stone.

If I can't do that, am thinking about putting a cast-iron skillet in the oven to warm, then adding the crust into that to par-bake, and then adding toppings on after that, and finishing all in the skillet.  Works for small to personal sized pies, so might be a decent workaround.

Anyone else tried that with success to get the bottom of their pizzas to brown?

Another option would be to try to add in a little more oil, or some sugar to the dough too, I guess.

Thoughts?

Nice thing about this recipe is it can be made on the spur of the moment - no need for any yeast, or waiting for it to proof.  Just mix the dough, and go!


Enjoy!

Rob

Offline nick57

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 11:24:25 AM »
Adding a little sugar to the recipe will help with browning of the crust.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 12:03:50 PM »
Actually, adding sucrose (cane or beet sugar aka table sugar) won't help the crust develop any color. This is because sucrose is not a reducing sugar, it depends upon the enzymes in the yeast to reduce it to sugars capable of providing crust color, so you will either need to include a small amount of yeast or use corn syrup or dextrose solids to improve the crust color....then too you could always figure out how to  bake it at temperatures of 800F or more in which case sugar would be a moot issue.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 12:43:49 PM »
Actually, adding sucrose (cane or beet sugar aka table sugar) won't help the crust develop any color. This is because sucrose is not a reducing sugar, it depends upon the enzymes in the yeast to reduce it to sugars capable of providing crust color, so you will either need to include a small amount of yeast or use corn syrup or dextrose solids to improve the crust color....then too you could always figure out how to  bake it at temperatures of 800F or more in which case sugar would be a moot issue.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Tom,

I know that you have commented on the sugar matter before but won't some of the sugar caramelize on the crust surface and produce some color?

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 02:02:04 AM »
Nope, not unless it's inverted. You can put sucrose into a pan and heat it until it melts to a clear liquid and it won't develop any color. This is the reason why angel food cakes are made using only sucrose (sucrose is the sweetest of the common sugars and it doesn't provide any color) The little bit of crust color seen on an angel food  cake is due to the Maillard browning reaction with the egg protein. The enzyme invertase inverts the sucrose into reducing sugars (dextrose and fructose) almost instantly which are responsible for the impact on crust color which we see when including sucrose in a yeast leavened dough formula.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Offline HansB

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 04:09:32 AM »
Nope, not unless it's inverted. You can put sucrose into a pan and heat it until it melts to a clear liquid and it won't develop any color. .
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Wait, caramel is made with table sugar and water. How does that work?
Hans

Offline Rolls

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 10:04:44 AM »
Quote from: The Dough Doctor
Nope, not unless it's inverted. You can put sucrose into a pan and heat it until it melts to a clear liquid and it won't develop any color. .
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Wait, caramel is made with table sugar and water. How does that work?

Hans,

You raise an interesting point.  Even without water, you can make caramel sec using only table sugar and a heated pan.  On the other hand, something like a tart shell, made with a sweet shortcrust pastry, will not develop a uniform hazelnut color to it, despite the high sugar content in the dough.  This is why the Italian pastry chef, Iginio Massari, recommends adding a small amount of honey to such doughs in order to achieve the desired coloration in the finished product.  Confusing indeed.  I hope Tom or Peter come across this thread again and can shed some light on the subject.


Rolls
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 04:17:57 PM »
Rolls,

As you know, sugar is not essential for a pizza dough. However, if a dough is to be cold fermented for say, more than two or three days, it is generally advisable to add sugar to the dough. That is to ensure that the yeast is well fed throughout the fermentation period and to create residual sugars to contribute to crust coloration. A typical amount of sugar, that is, sucrose, to add to a dough in the above scenario is about 1-2%. For doughs that are to be cold fermented for brief periods, no added sugar is needed. The sugars needed will be produced by enzyme performance.

When I have discussed sugar in the context of caramelization, it has usually been for a short-term or "emergency" dough that is to be fermented for only a few hours before using. If there is sugar (sucrose) added to the dough, it can take a fair amount of time to convert that sugar to simple sugars to feed the yeast and to contribute to crust coloration through the Maillard reaction that, like the yeast, requires simple sugars. I theorized that if there is sugar at the surface of the dough during baking, it can be caramelized and provide both color and flavor. Tom says that is not true.

I should add at this point that I had become aware of the value of adding honey to a pizza dough to speed things up from the standpoint of feeding the yeast but also to contribute to crust flavor and coloration that sucrose many not be able to achieve in a short-term dough. This was the thesis of my short-term Papa John's clone dough. That PJ clone version is discussed at Reply 52 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.msg66312;topicseen#msg66312

As reported in the above post, I was satisfied with both the taste and color of the crust.

Returning to the caramelization issue, recently, in another thread, I cited this article that talked not only about the denaturing of protein and the Maillard reaction, and how they contribute to crust coloration and flavor, but also caramelization:

https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/cooking-for-geeks/9781449389543/ch04.html

Although the above article talks mostly about meats (but also talks about caramelization in the context of baking cookies), it was not clear to me if caramelization of sugar in a dough differs in some material way. For example, caramelization in general seems to require higher temperatures than those needed for denaturing protein or for the Maillard reaction. Possibly, the temperature of caramelization of sugar on the surface of the rim of a pizza dough doesn't reach that temperature during the bake of a pizza, except possibly in a high temperature oven, but not for a standard home oven. I suppose another possibility is that sucrose has to be transformed to simple sugars before caramelization takes place, creating its color and flavor components.

The above said, it would be nice for Tom to further elaborate on this matter should he revisit this thread.

Peter


Offline Rolls

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 09:18:28 PM »
Peter,

From what I can surmise from Tom's posts, the OP's pizza lacks colour because it is made without yeast which would otherwise provide the necessary enzyme to break down the sucrose into simpler sugars which are necessary for caramelization to take place.  What throws me off is Tom's comment that "you can put sucrose into a pan and heat it until it melts to a clear liquid and it won't develop any color".  This seems to contradict what we see (as Hans originally mentioned) when a caramel is formed by either melting sucrose in some water and cooking it to a darker colour or by making what is known as a caramel sec.  In either case, there is no yeast involved, just the application of heat to straight sucrose.  If we are able to achieve coloration in this way, then why wouldn't added sugar to a non-yeasted dough also produce a darker crust?  And yet it is also true, per my example above, that shortcrust pastry made only with table sugar (sucrose) will not brown very evenly and whatever coloration is achieved might be the result of the Maillard reaction involving the amino acids in the egg proteins in the dough, not unlike what Tom referred to in his example of Angel Food cake.  For shortcrust pastry, I've adopted the practice of adding some honey, as per the advice of Iginio Massari, and there is a notable improvement in both the uniformity and depth of colour in the finished crust.

Ah, the mysteries of baking science...


Rolls
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 09:21:36 PM by Rolls »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 10:49:35 AM »
Rolls,

I completely missed the fact that Mako13's dough has no yeast. Even when I reread his opening post list night I thought that he had forgotten to list the yeast in his recipe. It was only when I got to the last sentence that we were told that there was no yeast. You will also note that he posted on the American style board. Offhand, I cannot think of any American style dough that does not contain yeast. Since Mako13 was looking to make a cracker style crust, in due course I may move this thread to the Cracker board of the forum.

Now that I know that Mako13 did not use any yeast in his dough, I better understand Tom's post. Earlier this year, Tom entered a similar post at Reply 10 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=52049.msg523749;topicseen#msg523749

Sucrose is a complex sugar and to create simple sugars that can contribute to crust coloration it has to be hydrolyzed to simple sugars by either the invertase enzyme or by acid hydrolysis. The invertase enzyme, along with the zymase enzyme, is present in the cells of yeast. In the absence of yeast in the dough, and also the absence of sucrose, there are several activities that can still take place in the dough because of the presence of natural sugars in the dough. A good place to read about these activities is the section Sugar Transformations (Rosada) at:

http://www.theartisan.net/yeast_treatise_frameset.htm

As you will see, the activites discussed in the aforementioned section take some time. But, in Mako13's case, he made his dough and par-baked the skin within minutes after making his dough. So, any crust coloration would have had to be due to the denaturing of protein and maybe a little bit of Maillard reaction because of the small amounts of simple sugars in the dough and the free amino acids, both of which are required by the Maillard reaction. I can see why he might want to add some sugar to his dough. But, even then, he would need to find a way to hydrolyze the sucrose into simple sugars to get more color in his crust. He may get greater sweetness in the crust but that will depend on the amount of sucrose added to the dough.

All of the above said, I, too, would like to know how Tom might address the questions you and Hans have raised, and also to better understand the role that temperature plays in the creation and degree of caramelization of sucrose. To further this effort, late last night I did a search for articles on caramelization, but in the context of baking. I found this article to be quite interesting even though many parts of it are over my head:

http://bakerpedia.com/processes/caramelization/

But it is pretty clear from the above article that sucrose is low on the totem pole in terms of caramelization. But it was also interesting to get confirmation of the use of honey if caramelization and improved crust coloration are desirable.

Peter

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Offline caymus

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 05:03:29 PM »
Wait, caramel is made with table sugar and water. How does that work?


Isn't it usually made with brown sugar?

Offline HansB

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 06:49:47 PM »

Isn't it usually made with brown sugar?

No
Hans

Offline Mako13

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 02:43:29 AM »
Yep, no yeast, no rise, and no waiting.  About 5 minutes from gathering the ingredients (of which there are few), mixing, kneading for a minute or two, and popping into the oven at 500 degrees for a 5 minute par-bake.

Feel free to move it to the cracker board, if you prefer.

I was surprised to get decent dough separation using this "emergency method". 

Still need to experiment a bit more - perhaps a little more oil mixed in.

I didn't list it under the cracker board, since the first crust I made wasn't as thin as what I consider a cracker style to be.  It was more like a thin, thin-style crust pie.

I've made several of these and they have all turned out pretty well.  Would like a bit more browning of course, and now that I've found my pizza stone, hopefully that will come.   It does brown pretty well around the outer and top edges when cooking.  Perhaps due to moisture/ingredients thrown off from the cooking sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

I'll try the sugar in the dough trick for browning.

Would help if I could get a higher oven temp, but 500 is max..

Offline Mako13

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 02:45:36 AM »
The heat from cooking caramelizes the white sugar.

Offline vtsteve

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 10:28:30 AM »
The first step of caramelizing white sugar (after it melts clear) is that the heat splits the sucrose into glucose and fructose (reducing sugars). Invertase isn't the only way. A little acid helps, too, but heat alone will do it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramelization
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 10:30:52 AM by vtsteve »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2018, 11:12:43 AM »
Steve,

As you were editing your post, I was searching for more documents on caramelization ;D. I was especially interested in how one produces caramelization of onions. In that vein, I found these items, along with the wikipedia discussion of caramelization that you cited:

https://memeinge.com/blog/fun-fact-friday-caramelizing-onions/, and

https://commonsensescience.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/cooking-with-chemistry-what-is-caramelization/.

I picked on onions because the term caramelization of onions is a classsic cooking method. And, unlike the way that sucrose needs either an enzyme (like the invertase enzyme found in yeast cells) or an acid to invert or break it down into fructose and glucose, there is no enzyme present with onions as best I can tell that induces pyrolysis. In other words, caramelization is a non-enzymatic form of pyrolysis induced by the heat of cooking. If all of this is correct, or unless there is some other factor involved, such as pH, then why is it not possible that there can be a non-enzymatic pyrolysis when sucrose is added to a pizza dough? I noticed from the wikipedia entry that sucrose has a fairly high caramelization temperature compared with other sugars, but I assume that as a pizza is being baked at normal baking temperatures the temperature gets high enough to induce pyrolysis of the sucrose. And that would be true even when there is no yeast in the dough. I have always assumed that caramelization is a distinct browning mechanism along with the denaturing of protein, the Maillard reaction, and the enzymatic pyrolysis of sugars.

Peter


Offline nick57

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 07:49:41 PM »
 A few years back I experimented with a matzo style pizza crust. It used baking soda as a browning agent and to get some rise in the dough. It did brown up, but the color was off putting and the baking soda did not add anything to the crust flavor. My local pizza joint that makes nice crackers the crust barely has any color or browning. I have been told it is a yeast dough. I have quit using sugar in my cracker crust and it seems to retard the browning effect. Not sure if any of this is of help, just my 2 cents worth, or maybe less.

Offline Qapla

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Re: 5 Minute Thin Crust Dough
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2018, 07:24:14 PM »
If I had to guess, I would say that the relatively cool temperature dough achieves in normal cooking does not reach the high temps needed to caramelize white sugar while the very high temps the bottom of a pan over a burner reaches is enough to begin to burn the sugar and thus get the color we call "caramel" - I know that if you wait too long to add the cream/milk to sugar when making a caramel sauce it will burn and be unusable.

Like I said - just a guess ...

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