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BrianShaw 05-30-2009 11:01 AM

110% hydration pizza dough?
Let me begin with a confession:

1. I generally have good enough culinary intuition to know (by reading and imagining, rather than experimentation) if a recipe is going to work and taste good.
2. After several transits through Chicago's O'Hare airport (CHI) I've had an un-natural interest in Chicago specialities including deep dish pizza, Chicago dogs, and Chicago Italian Beef sandwiches.
3. I have not yet succeeded in replicating even the worst example of these Chicago specialties. (Maybe one needs to have "Chicago" or "Midwest" in their blood... in which case I will continue to fail until my last day.)
4. These failures have led to a bit of insecurity regarding my "good enough culinary intuition".

So here's my today's dilemna: after becoming intriqued by the picture in Maggie Gleizer's Artisan Baking book (of Sullivan Street Potato Pizza I tried making this 110% hydration dough. I like pizza; I like potato; waht's not to like about Potato Pizza? My intuition says that the recipe can't possibly work. So far I'm getting the impression that I'm correct since the dough remained a batter and never "cleaned the bowl" as the recipe states. Gluten is obviously formed in the batter, but it remains a batter not a dough.

1. Has anyone experienced a 110% hydration that actually formed into a dough that would clean the bowl?
1.5 Has anyone had success with this particular recipe?
2. Should I stop experimenting and stick with reciepes I know work and taste good to me?
3. Should I travel more to CHI and plan longer layovers so I can eat more food in the airport rather than trying to replicate CHI speciality dishes at home?

I'm in angst and feel perplexed; perhaps even vexed... please help!

BrianShaw 05-30-2009 11:12 AM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
Oh... one more tidbit... the recipe states that it is written for 11.5% protein flour. I used a flour spec'd at 12% but that should have just made it slightly more likely to form a dough... right (he says in an insecure voice)?

BrianShaw 05-30-2009 04:11 PM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
UPDATE: the batter/dough is fermenting quite well but just as liquidy as before. I don't think it will work as advertised so I added flour to get it to a "very loose dough". Wish me luck!

james 05-30-2009 04:47 PM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
Good luck, but really? :-)

I make a nice focaccia/pizza bianca romana with 90% hydration, and it basically makes a batter that you pour into a well-oiled baking pan. I get my hands oily, and push it into the corners. I can't imagine trying to shape it into a pizza, or working with it on a floured work surface.


Let us know how it goes!

BrianShaw 05-31-2009 08:53 AM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?

Originally Posted by james (Post 56595)

Well, it baked OK and tasted OK. Even my kids went back for seconds. Perhps this is a good way to get them to eat more vegetables!

I think my alteration of the recipe brought the hydration to about 90 - 95% (can't say for sure since I didn't weigh the additional flour) -- a thicker batter but more controllable than it started out as. It poured and pushed; shaping was always out of the question.

Crust was crispy with lots of open pockets in the crumb. With only four hours of fermentation I'm surprised it tasted as good as it did; I might refrigerator retard next time.

I'm feeling more "secure" now... thanks for bearing with me and supporting my fragile ego. :)

Frances 05-31-2009 10:00 AM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
So what did you do, bake it in a tin? And then add toppings?

BrianShaw 05-31-2009 10:42 AM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
The batter/dough was poured and spread on a oiled aluminum baking sheet (half sheet pan). Toppings (onion and potato, sliced about 2mm thick, rosemary and olive oil) strewn about prior to baking. 40 minutes in a 425 deg F oven resulted in the crust having crispy edges and bottom; the potatos were cook through and carmelized to a nice color. A Silpat or parchment paper seems like it would have worked well as a replacement for the oil on the baking sheet.

james 05-31-2009 12:33 PM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
Yeah! That sounds like Pizza Bianca Romana. Excellent. I like the onion, potato and rosemary topping. Sounds great.

texassourdough 06-01-2009 10:15 AM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
The "dough" and technique sounds like more of an extreme focaccia than pizza. My favorite focaccia is potato and rosemary so I am with you on that. I can't imagine a 100+% dough that would have any flow resistance or be able to "clean the bowl. The highest I routinely go is 85% for ciabatta and that is "interesting" but I have heard of people going as high as 95. However, I have to suspect they are sticking a lot of flour to the dough as they fold and work it.

Send us a picture if you do it again!

BrianShaw 06-01-2009 12:43 PM

Re: 110% hydration pizza dough?
I will be making this again, probably soon... partly because it was quite tasty and partly for the challenge of getting a batter/dough of this hydration to "clean the bowl". I didn't think it would be possible but somebody made it happen -- see these pictures:

Sullivan Street potato pizza | The Fresh Loaf

My finished product looked very much like that depicted on this web site... but tasted much better!

p.s. the recipe overestimates the amoung of potato needed.

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