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Offline baseball16

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First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« on: April 05, 2020, 08:24:11 PM »
Hello all, just wanted to say thanks to this forum (especially The Dough Doctor and Pete-zza!) for having my first two pizzas be a success!  I used a slightly modified Lehmann dough using numbers out of the Dough Calculator:

Two 12-inch pizzas:
100% AP Flour (Target brand) (396g)
63% water (250g)
0.5% IDY (0.67 tsp)
2% salt (1.67 tsp)
3% sugar (3 tsp)
2% canola oil (1.75 tsp)

Making the dough was mostly challenge free.  I added the flour to a glass bowl, added the yeast to the flour and mixed it a little bit.  Then I put water, salt, and sugar into a separate mixing bowl and stirred for a minute or two.  I put the dough hook on the stand mixer and started that up on the Stir setting.  Gradually, I added in the flour mixture and let that stir until it formed one cohesive blob.  That took about 2 minutes, and then I added the oil and continued to stir for 8 minutes.  This is where it went a bit wrong.

At this point, the dough ball was seemingly good enough to work with, so I tried to get it out of the bowl.  It was still pretty wet and sticky though, and there was a good amount of dough that was just stuck to my hands.  Eventually, I got the dough ball separated into two roughly equal sized balls, and I added the excess dough that was stuck to my hands onto the dough balls. 

After that was done, I used some olive oil spray and lightly sprayed the inside of two glass bowls.  I sprayed my hands as well, coated the dough balls with oil using my hands, and placed each ball in a glass bowl.  They were placed into the refrigerator for 24 hours for the cold ferment. 

Today, I got the dough balls out after 27 hours in the fridge.  I put a pizza stone in the oven and heated it to 550F, making sure the stone was in the oven for about an hour.  After the dough balls were room temperature (2ish hours), I got all of the toppings out and laid out some parchment paper with flour on it on the counter.

Stretching the dough went pretty well, much to my surprise.  I was able to get it into a mostly circular 12-inch shape, keeping the outer crust a bit thicker than the middle.  I got it onto a flour/cornmeal coated wooden peel and I added:
* 4 oz sauce (Dei Fratelli canned pizza sauce - not great)
* 6 oz pre-shredded Kraft whole milk low moisture mozzarella (didn't have a block on hand)
* 1 oz crumbled fresh mozzarella (didn't have a cheesecloth to try to get the moisture out so I just kinda squeezed it?)
* Brushed olive oil on the crush

The first launch didn't go too poorly, but it did morph into more of an ellipse instead of a circle.  This stayed in the oven (just a home, gas oven with the convection fan on) for 6 minutes and 45 seconds.  Got the pizza out with the wooden peel and started preparations for the next one. 

It was at this point that I realized that cornmeal burns and smokes.  I tried to get the cornmeal ashes off the pizza stone using a brush but that didn't go well. I decided the rest of the cornmeal would stay. 

The second pizza ended up better than the first.  I added sugar, salt, minced garlic, oregano, and Italian seasoning to the sauce so it didn't taste as much like a canned pizza sauce.  I did have one issue in that I put sauce on the pizza before putting it on the peel - managed to salvage it though.  I had the following toppings this time:
* 4 oz sauce
* 5-6 oz shredded mozzarella, 1 oz shredded cheddar, 1-2 oz shredded gouda
* Hot pepper slices
* 26 pepperoni slices (it started at 28 but two were sacrificed to the pizza gods in the launch :()

This was in the oven for 5.5 minutes, then I turned the broiler on for the last minute and a half.  The pizza stuck to the stone in one spot - not sure if that was caused by a hole in the dough or the leftover cornmeal/flour from the first pizza.

The first pic is of the first pizza, second one is the second pizza.  The third shows how thick it is, and the fourth shows the bottom.  I think the crust was the best part of the pizza ultimately.  The sauce in the second one was much tastier but still wasn't as good as a sauce from a pizza place.  The cheese blend could also use some work (and it would help if I didn't use pre-shredded).

I do have some questions though:
1: How do I prevent the dough from sticking to my hands next time - do I need to let it mix longer?
2: Is it necessary to oil the bowls before putting the dough balls in?
3: How do you brush off the stone after the first pizza if you're making multiple?
4: I had a bunch of flour on the bottom of my second crust - this was probably due to the problem of getting it onto the peel.  How do you prevent that from happening while also preventing the pizza from sticking to the peel?
5: Do you have a favorite sauce recipe for a sweeter pizza sauce?

Any other suggestions or tips are appreciated.  Thanks again!

Offline foreplease

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 08:57:27 PM »
That is a pretty good start! Some people spend years trying to get to that point. As your post indicates, you will learn something each time you make dough and bake. Re:dough being sticky, for AP flour you might have an easier time with slightly less water. Try 61%. Otherwise, you could strengthen the dough with a few stretch and folds. I think you are so close now that adjusting the water would be the easiest thing to try next.


Good luck and welcome to the forum.
-Tony

Offline MadMatt

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2020, 09:41:51 PM »
Wow looks amazing and thats with some cheap 10% protein flour? 

Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2020, 11:30:27 PM »
That is a pretty good start! Some people spend years trying to get to that point. As your post indicates, you will learn something each time you make dough and bake. Re:dough being sticky, for AP flour you might have an easier time with slightly less water. Try 61%. Otherwise, you could strengthen the dough with a few stretch and folds. I think you are so close now that adjusting the water would be the easiest thing to try next.


Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Thanks!  I'll try less water next weekend and see if that helps.  It stretched pretty easily this time so I'm guessing it won't be that much tougher with less water.

Wow looks amazing and thats with some cheap 10% protein flour?

Yep, just the Market Pantry flour!  Not sure of the protein %.  Going to try to find King Arthur flour eventually.

The house still smells like burned cornmeal 6 hours later by the way!

Offline Quebert

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 01:17:38 AM »
I would eat either, I haven't made a ton of pizzas myself, but I remember my 1st was good but a few weeks later my 2nd wasn't anywhere close to as good looks or taste wise lol. You're way ahead of me though using the dough calculator, I just watched a Bobby Flay video that was super basic and added stuff and played with the dough until it seemed right. The Pepperoni one looks especially tasty.

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Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2020, 07:41:17 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone.  Here's the second attempt at pizza-making!  Doubled the dough recipe so I have two more dough balls ready to freeze.
Dough #2:
800g flour
61% water – 488g
0.5% - ~1.33 tsp Fast Acting yeast (4g)
2% - ~3.33 tsp salt (16g)
3% - 6 tsp sugar (24g)
2% - 3.5 tsp canola oil (16g)

Pizza 3 has:
4 oz of Low-moisture whole milk mozzarella
2.5 oz shredded gouda
1.5 oz aged provolone
1.75 oz pepperoni
Onions
3.5 oz homemade sauce

I didn't try this one but the cheese blend was apparently a little salty - I'm guessing that was due to the provolone.

Pizza 4 has:
4 oz Low-moisture whole milk mozzarella
2 oz extra sharp white cheddar
1 oz Parmesan
1 oz aged provolone
1.25 oz pepperoni
1.5 oz soppressata
Half a jalapeno
3.5 oz sauce

This pizza was thinner than the other one, and neither pizza rose as much as the first dough I made.  The second crust today was also a bit tough.  I'm guessing that was due to the lower hydration percentage.

I tried this recipe for the sauce: https://www.food.com/recipe/iron-mikes-sweet-tomato-pizza-sauce-the-spirit-of-cincinnati-113153

It was better than the canned sauce I used last time, but still not quite what I was looking for.  I'll try a spicy sauce next time.

Making the dough went much more smoothly (also likely due to the lower hydration percentage), and the same went for making the pizzas.  No issues at all in launching or anything, so that's progress!  The taste of everything was of similar quality to the first trial last month.

Follow-up questions:
  • Should I re-increase the hydration % if I want the dough to be less tough, or was that a matter of baking too long?
  • What's the best way to freeze the other two dough balls?  Should I flatten them a bit and just stick them in a freezer bag?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 08:36:48 PM by baseball16 »

Offline Rocco1

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 09:28:54 AM »
Wow! Your pizza looks delicious!  Concerning the sauce, I never found any sauce I liked in a can or jar.  What I like to do is get a can of San Marzano tomatoes, crush by hand or put in a food processor for a few seconds, leaving it chunky.  Add seasoning as you like (black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, etc) and put it right on the pizza.  Don't need anything fancy.  They have to be San Marzano, other tomatoes can add weird flavors.

Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2020, 03:14:48 PM »
Hey guys,

I was planning on experimenting with a thicker, American style crust, and I was wondering how long/what temp I should be aiming for.  The previous dough I used ended up a little tough/chewy, and I had put it in the oven at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 and a half minutes or so.  Besides the toughness, everything else seemed fine.

Here's the new dough I'm currently cold fermenting:
Flour (100%):    1021.76 g  |  36.04 oz | 2.25 lbs
Water (57%):    582.4 g  |  20.54 oz | 1.28 lbs
IDY (0.35%):    3.58 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.19 tsp | 0.4 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    17.88 g | 0.63 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.73 tsp | 1.24 tbsp
Canola Oil (5.5%):    56.2 g | 1.98 oz | 0.12 lbs | 4.12 tbsp | 0.26 cups
Sugar (6%):    61.31 g | 2.16 oz | 0.14 lbs | 5.13 tbsp | 0.32 cups
Cornmeal (10%):    102.18 g | 3.6 oz | 0.23 lbs | 10.28 tbsp | 0.64 cups
Total (180.6%):   1845.3 g | 65.09 oz | 4.07 lbs | TF = 0.1326
Single Ball:   461.32 g | 16.27 oz | 1.02 lbs

The dough balls ended up around 450g.  Should I lower the temp and bake a little longer with a thickness factor at .13 instead of .105 like my earlier pizzas?  I'm still planning on using my pizza stone for this, by the way.  Not sure how the thickness factor and baking time interact.  Thanks!

Offline stevenfstein

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2020, 04:09:22 PM »
I'm real new at this also but for launching I have found that rice flour does a great job.

Best... Steve

Offline naval2006

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2020, 06:54:37 PM »
How long have you fermented the dough?  That amount of yeast seems to work best for 48 hours CF.

On baking times, the thicker the longer the baking. That’s something you’ll have to find out with your oven. In my oven I bake a 14” with a TF 0,085 at 580º in 7 minutes. Same conditions it takes me like 10-11 minutes to cook Peter’s Papa Johns original recipe, which is something like 0,12 TF.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 07:02:06 PM by naval2006 »

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Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2020, 06:57:40 PM »
How long have you fermented the dough?  That amount of yeast seems to work best for 48 hours CF.

On baking times, the thicker the longer the baking. That’s something you’ll have to find out with your oven. In my oven I bake a 14” with a TF 0,085 at 580º in 7 minutes. Same conditions it takes me like 10-11 minutes to cook Peter’s Papa Johns original recipe, which is something like 0,12 TF.
It's at 48 hours right now, and I'm going to use them tomorrow.  There shouldn't be a huge difference between 48 and 72 hours, right?

And got it! That makes sense.  Thanks for the info - I'll be sure to post how it went later on.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 07:01:26 AM by baseball16 »

Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2020, 07:47:40 PM »
That dough was pretty much perfect in my family's eyes!  I turned the heat down to 525 degrees Fahrenheit and left the pizzas in for just over 7 minutes.  I might lower the TF to 1.25 or so, but I'm extremely pleased with how they turned out.  One of the pizzas was even circular, lol.

Both were ~12 in BBQ chicken pizzas.  ~4 oz mozzarella, ~2 oz smoked gruyere, ~2 oz sharp cheddar, 4-5 oz BBQ sauce, 4.5 oz of shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, 4 strips of crumpled bacon, some caramelized onions, and some roasted red pepper strips on each pizza.

Offline jsaras

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2020, 10:51:37 PM »
You’re off to an auspicious start.  I look forward to the progress you’ll make
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2020, 09:55:01 AM »
So far I'm only seeing trials, no tribulations.  ;D

You are well ahead of my first pizzas.

Offline Quebert

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2020, 03:58:15 PM »
I mean, they look decent, but the Pepperoni's need better spacing, there are areas with hardly any of them.

Who am I kidding?  You're knocking it out of the park :D

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Offline baseball16

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Re: First Pizzas - Trials and Tribulations
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2020, 09:24:07 PM »
Thank you all, I really appreciate the kind words!  All this work has made me realize how difficult it is to have a consistently great pizza.  So much timing involved and lots of little things that can go wrong, but in the end, it will still generally taste good.

 I think the next project is to get some non-store brand cheese and find a regular sauce that I like...I chickened out with the BBQ chicken because I didn't feel like making another tomato sauce that underwhelmed.  Squeezing BBQ sauce out of a bottle is much simpler.  ;D

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