Author Topic: Help me improve at the Gjelina dough recipe (with photos)  (Read 607 times)

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Offline tellure

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Help me improve at the Gjelina dough recipe (with photos)
« on: January 12, 2020, 07:25:41 PM »
I'm a real newbie when it comes to dough and pizza making but Gjelina in Venice, CA is one of my two favorite pizza places in LA (the other being Pizzana in Brentwood) so I decided to give their dough recipe a try: https://forward.com/food/333170/gjelina-pizza-dough/

Here's a link to the photos I took documenting the process (seems like this forum only allows 8 attachments and I haven't figured out how to embed photos in the post).  Note that I doubled the recipe and froze the extra dough balls: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YyiigoT4nd-oIL0fdqWBRXkG9Sm1Ef3V

Overall I was happy with how it turned out as a first attempt but there's a lot of room for improvement.  I used Fleischmann's fresh compressed yeast cubes (although these had sat in my fridge for a week after I bought them so maybe not as fresh as they could be) and also did a much longer cold proof (5.5 days vs. the 1-2.5 days recommended) as I didn't have time during the week to make the pizza.

What worked:
>> Crust on the first pizza (Margherita with dollops of spicy Zoug sauce from Trader Joe's) was nice and airy and browned / blackened well.  This was getting into the ballpark of the crust at Gjelina but still not quite as airy as theirs.
>> Bottom of the first pizza was nicely spotted, although maybe a little bit too burned in spots? (stone temp was ~700F when it went on in my Pizza Party Ardore oven)
>> It stretched fairly well and was easy to handle.  I was going for oblong pizza shapes BTW since they fit better in my Ardore oven.

What didn't work so well:
>>Middle of the first pizza was too thick.  I'm going for a very thin crust in the middle (a la Gjelina / Pizzana) and although this middle was quite airy which was good it was about 3/8" or 1cm thick.  I think I needed to stretch it a lot thinner.. I was just afraid of breaking it since I'm also quite a noob at stretching dough.
>> Second pizza (White sauce / Kale / Goat Cheese / Mozza) had a crust that was a lot less airy, a bit too chewy/dense, and also a lot less browned on the bottom than the first. I think the stone in the Ardore oven loses a lot of heat during the first cook - stone temp was 580F when the second pizza went on.  In retrospect I think I should have waited and let it heat up but I was afraid of the second pizza sticking to the peel.  Does anyone else wait between cooks to let the stone temp come back up?

Stuff I'm thinking of trying next:
--> Shorter cold proof, in the range of the recommended time (1-2.5 days)
--> Stretch the dough more to get a thinner bottom
--> Maybe try and find some fresher yeast
--> Wait til stone temp is back ~700F before second cook

Thoughts / suggestions?  Thanks for any help!

Offline benska

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Re: Help me improve at the Gjelina dough recipe (with photos)
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 11:42:54 AM »
Their dough recipe is 77% hydration (weight of water in the recipe is 77% of the weight of the flour in the recipe), which is quite high. Neapolitan dough doesn't really go over 65% hydration for comparison. When you're cooking at such high heat, your dough isn't going to cook through to your liking when it's that wet. I'd suggest lowering the hydration levels.. maybe start at 65% and see how you like that. I think the recipe they provided is adapted for home ovens and not exactly the recipe they use in the restaurant.

Offline jsaras

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Help me improve at the Gjelina dough recipe (with photos)
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 10:24:54 PM »
It seems like you want to stop short of doing a legit Neapolitan pizza, and thereís nothing wrong with that.  If youíre baking under 850F, you might as well take it down to 650F and extend the bake to 3:30 - 5 minutes IMO.  I donít know if you used 00 flour, but if you did, and you want to bake a lower temps, standard bread flour will be a better choice. 

Fermentation is important to get under control.  Cold fermentation gives you a long usability window, but you likely took it too far.  I much prefer room temperature fermentations and I time the dough to be ready within a 2 hour window, but that would probably be a better thing to explore after you have more experience under your belt. 

That said, I suggest simplifying things until you get you get your dough handling skills together and you learn the idiosyncracies of the Ardore.

Make 250 gram dough balls (stretched to 11 inches) with the attached formula (multiply for additional dough balls).  Itís a fairly fool-proof, flour agnostic formulation which straddles the line between NY and Neapolitan.  Scott123ís dough handling instructions will do fine:

Measure dry (no yeast). Measure wet (+ yeast). Dry into wet.

Knead until well mixed, but no further (2-4 minutes). Dough should be somewhere between cottage cheese-y and smooth. (Window paning is too far).
Scale. Ball and place in lightly oiled containers/proofing boxes. Refrigerate 1-2 days.
Remove from fridge 2 hours before baking.
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