Author Topic: looking to improve  (Read 951 times)

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Offline Braised

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looking to improve
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:32:34 PM »
Greetings all!  Just found this site - what a remarkable community to have found.

I've been making pizza at home for a long time and have recently become more focused on the nuances.  I bake on a simple stone from Williams Sonoma in a good Gaggenau oven that runs up to 570F. 

What I'd like to discuss is dough. 

My basic recipe has evolved over time and here's what I'm currently playing with on a weekly basis:

16 oz water - hot from the tap
26 oz King Arthur bread flour
.5 oz SAF instant yeast
.5 oz salt - usually kosher
2-3 of olive oil
about 4 oz of dough from the last round

The process is pretty simple.  I dissolve the old piece of dough in the water, sprinkle on the yeast and mix in 16oz of the flour with a spatula in a Kitchen aid bowl and let the mass sit for 30-60 minutes.

After that period, the remaining 10oz of flour and salt go into the trusty, but now failing kitchen aid, for a 4 to 6  minute spin with the dough hook.  When the mass is coming together I squirt in a couple of tablespoons of oil.

The next step is a brief hand knead to get a feel for the dough and then a rise in a large, 17 inch ceramic bowl covered with polyfilm for an hours time, or so, on the counter.  After a gentle pick-up-and-tuck-under-once-or-twice-to-deflate, the bowl goes into the fridge for the remainder of the day.  I check it once or twice to make sure that itís not rising out of the bowl and give it the deflation if it is.  In total the dough probably "ferments" for 6 hours or so.

Around 90 minutes before I want to start cooking it, the whole mass is turned onto a floured counter.  I first cut off around 4 ounces which is saved in a plastic container for the next batch and divide the remainder into three balls of around 12-14 oz each.  A gentle shaping is all they need as they ďcome back to lifeĒ on the counter.

They get pulled into shape, topped and cook in 8-9 minutes.

Other pieces of the puzzle -  Water comes from a well, its hard. I donít often add sugar, have added non-diastatic malt powder but never noticed anything.  The basic ingredient amounts evolved to be round numbers on a good digital scale.

Overall, it works pretty well and Iíd love some feedback on what Iím doing and what alternatives to consider.