Cake flour experiment
Well, after reading a post on the egullet.org forum, I decided to try a mixture of 75% bread flour (King Arthur), and 25% cake flour. I took a stab and went with 58% hydration. The results were astonishing! I've never used Caputo, so I can't compare. However, I was shocked how smooth and silky my dough was (the cake flour, btw, was Pilsbury 'Softasilk'). The balls formed were the most uniform I've seen - I slapped a 16 oz. doughball out to 15", and was amazed at the uniformity of thickness. It made a really excellent thin-crust dough.
Next thing I need to try is smaller dough balls (10 oz?), smaller pizzas (12 "?), and cooking them right on my pizza stone again. Last year I bought some 15" pizza screens, so I could easily cook a 15" pizza on a 15" stone. My peel can only hold a 14" pizza, and it was well nigh impossible to slide that baby onto a 15" stone (at least, when only practicing once a week). Well... now I can make a really big pizza in my oven, but I don't think I'm getting as much 'oven spring' as I used to; I'm guessing because throwing it right on the hot stone gives more heat faster.
Ah, and I've discovered a new favorite pizza topping: sliced red pepper. But I think it gives me heartburn. :-/
Sliced red peppers
Sliced red pepper are, really, an excellent topping.
In fact, in Argentina, one of the most popular pizza toppings, present in any pizza chart, is composed by tomato sauce, mozz, ham, three or four black olives and several slices of red pepper, drizzled with EVOO.
IMHO, this red peppers taste even better if baked with several days in advance.
Bake the peppers in a hot oven (with practice you could cook them directly over the flames in your kitchen or in the microwave too. This last option is my wife´s favorite. I like the hot oven, because the delicate ‘charcoal’ taste) until the skin be black (do not let bubbles begin to form. It is supposed to have the skin blackened to be retired, not the peppers).
Let be warm and peel the peppers (easier to do when still hot).
Cut the peeled peppers in slices and discard the seeds.
Put the pepper slices in a recipient with EVOO, some crushed garlic and little salt.
Reserve it in the refrigerator until necessary. Better to use between 24/72 hours.
Use as a topping directly over the mozz and the jam. Sprinkle with EVOO.
This sliced red peppers are excellent to eat with black bread with a little butter or maionese.
Sliced red peppers (pics)
Following, some examples of pizzas with sliced red peppers as topping.
parsley, i hope you don't mind but i'm going to piggyback onto your thread so as to avoid bumping you off to the left. i used the caputo this weekend with excellent results. how did the sofassilk dough handle? do the pictures you posted show the cake dough crust?
among others this weekend we made a shrimp in basil cream sauce pizza (in the shape of australia).
we always precook shrimp and other ingrediants that might release water.
and a bbq chicken pizza.
Softasilk / weight of dough balls
Boy, those are some nice pizza pictures. I gotta start taking pictures of mine. :)
Ok, I didn't try the screen / no screen experiment; got a bug in me to try something else:
I made a second batch of 75/25 King Arthur/Softasilk dough last night - but I went for the gusto w/ 64% hydration. The resultant dough was a little sticky, hard to get out of the mixer, and kinda challenging to ball (had to flour my hands pretty well). HOWEVER, after a 24-hour slow rise, I actually made the pizza - and WOW, it handled great.
Quick background: during my recent brief moonlighting stint, I was making 12" pizzas from 6 oz. dough balls. The stuff was so wet and non-uniform, however, that I couldn't hand form it; I had to use a rolling pin, much to my chagrin. Well, I of course had to try the same thing at home, and I can gladly report that my results were excellent - my 6 oz. dough balls made a nice, uniform, thin cracker crust - entirely hand-formed.
Makes me wonder, though, what kind of dough ball weights others use, and about how big a pizza is made from it? From the looks of the photos I see, I would think 6 oz / 12" is kinda on the thin side. The finished crust was probably about 1/8" thick (in the absence of large bubbles). I think I'll try 7 oz. next time.
If I have a slightly larger pizza than my wooden peel I place a sheet of parchmnet paper onto the wooden peel and lay the oversize pizza on top. Allows for easy transition to stone (which is larger than peel dimensions). Place pizza with parchmnet paper on stone, one way to handle a slightly larger pizza.
I have always wondered how the parchment paper effects the way the bottom of the pizza cooks. Does it get in the way of the hot pizza stone extracting moisture from the dough and making steam? Does it burn?
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