Nice job all around. It looks like you conducted about ten different experiments at the same time . If you were to settle on a single set of parameters for the next attempt, what do you think they would be?
Thanks Peter. I have no patience but to conduct mutliple experiments at the same time. It makes for a nerving wait for the results as I never know which experiment will be successfull or disasterous. I guess all the stars were line up last night.
So here are my new parameters. First I just got a Cuisinart Food Processor that I used to knead the dough with. I have been doing it by hand and it does a much better job than I can by hand. But I will continue to use both methods and test them against one another as my hand kneading techniques are improving.
I will do a write up on using the (cuisinart Food processor) to make pizza later once I get that dialed in.
#2) first time adding about 1/2 tsp of oil per pie for me and I like the results. If it makes the crust a bit more tender and easier to work with I think it's a good idea. JV's and other recipes that call for no sugar and oil are really meant to be cooked at HIGH temps. At those temps, the dough remains moist and not dry due to the short cooking times. For the home cook with a 550 degree oven at best, we have to cook pies at 6mins + compared to a 2 min bake. That's a lot of time for the crust to dry out, so oil is good for the home baker IMO.
#3) I got great results with GB's recipe so I'll have to go back and compare it with JV's recipe that I have been using to see if it they are that different from one another. In the end it's just all flour, water, yeast, salt, (and oil) right? I'm keeping in mind that I've read a number of posts stating that the italian masters really only measure water and not the other ingredients and that if the technique used is correct, you can get a great pie without measuring. Keeping this in mind, I'm think my results were due more to better kneading (with the cuisinart) than a better recipe.
I'll have to do a side by side test with a GB pie vs a JV pie with the cuisinart to really know.
#4) 2 T starter per pie was not too much for a same day pie as I just have to make the changes to the percentages accordingly. A pinch of ADY yeast for a 3-9 day ferment and a 1/3 tsp of ADY for same day pies works well along with my starter.
#5) I will substitute reballing for stretching and folding 3 hours prior to baking if the dough seems too soft or pliable. In a side by side comparison, doughballs made with ice chips in the the dough turned out a much colder product than simply using ice water. Sorry Peter, I forgot to measure the dough temp after kneading. The 2 doughs were rested for 5 hours prior to baking and both had different amounts of rise, aeration of the dough, pliability, workability when it came to stretching and skinning. They were so different in that the one that originally had ice chips in it, I was able to toss in the air and the other I wasn't able to, eventhough both had come to room temperature. After baking though, both were indistiguisable in oven spring. The dough that was colder initially was just easier to work with b/c it wasn't so slack.
so what I plan on using as a standard for now is this..
-Mix all cold ice water (no ice chips), 90-100% flour, yeast. Allow to autolyse for 20mins in the fridge to keep the dough cold.
-Then add oil and salt and knead for about 75 revolutions in the food processor with the dough blade.
-Turn out on counter to finish hand kneading. Very little bench flour will be used here.
-Will place into an oiled container and either rest for 20min on the counter or go into cold ferment.
I will test at a later date if the riposo is necessary or even makes a difference.
-cold rest for 3-6 days? in a ventilated container. I'll poke small holes in the top of my glad containers.
-Allow to proof to room temps for 3-6 hours.
-Will reball if necessary.
-Bake, take pics, eat, post pics, and get ready for more experiments.
Thanks for all your feedback Peter.