#11  
Old 01-17-2012, 03:54 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: sydney
Posts: 29
Default Re: Crust Issues

Jay,

Thankís so much for the very detailed response. I canít wait to make my next batch of pizza and try the expansion and kneading methods youíve described. Just one thing though, when you mentioned that after kneading you bag it with a little oil and then retard it, do you leave it out to proof at room temp for an amount of time before you put it in the fridge or does it go straight in. I have been leaving it out for about 3 hours before retarding.

Mick
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2012, 05:08 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Crust Issues

I don't do SD pizza much so my timing is not refined. I have done it but I haven't perfected it...

As I recall - but am perhaps mixing threads - you felt your dough was stiff - in which case early balling is preferable to allow the dough to relax more. However, there is a belief that larger masses of dough develop more flavor which favors late balling. And SD should not be particularly "stiff" for the dough is degrading more than with IDY. Sooo...the balling point should vary according to your experience.

With AP flour you should be able to ball at retarding or even after removal from the fridge. With BF or Caputo (I seem to be in the mnority on the Caputo) I would ball before retarding.

How long to wait before balling? If you autolyse, add the salt and yeast, mix lightly, let sit a half hour, S&F, you have a half hour of proofing already. How much proofing you should do before retard is a fxn of your starter and I can't tell you whether half an hour, an hour, or four hours at room temp is needed before retard. Probably an hour is a good start if your starter is robust (half an hour after S&F).

You should probably check the dough the next day. The dough will be cold and somewhat stiff, but if it is "gassy" then two hours of room temp proof should be plenty. If is heavy and not gassy I would opt for four.

Hope that helps!
Jay
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2012, 07:19 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: sydney
Posts: 29
Default Re: Crust Issues

Hi Jay,

Iíll take all those points on board and use them the next time I make a batch which will probably be next week. So much to learn and so much pizza to eat along the way. Oh well, someone has to do it.

Regards,

Michael
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2012, 01:08 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: sydney
Posts: 29
Default Re: Crust Issues

Well, made another batch of dough yesterday and cooked pizza today. I used:

ē 250g bread flour and 250g Tipo 00 pizza flour
ē 325g water
ē 50g SD starter
ē 10g sea salt
ē 2g IDY

I decided to use some IDY with the SD stater as I am not confident enough yet to go all SD starter. I will next batch though with about 150g and no IDY. I used Jays expansion method of 4 to 1 which made the starter a lot more active than Iím used too which will solve my problem of the dough not rising enough in the last batch.

I autolysed the flour, water, yeast and starter for 20 min after a brief mix. I mixed in the salt and hand kneaded for two minutes. I then let it rest for half an hour and then did an S&F and let it rest for another half an hour. I then balled it and put them into individual containers and let rest for 10 min before putting them in the fridge. From this point I knew it was going to be a great dough. It was so soft and easy to ball. The next day they had risen beautifully in the fridge. I took them out of the fridge two hours before shaping into pies. Result: The best dough Iíve made to date. It was soooo easy to work with, had little resistance, great elasticity, great oven spring and bounce back once cooked. The flavour was awesome. I canít wait to try all SD starter next time.

One thing that I was surprised is that how little kneading was needed. I was defiantly over kneading the dough before this batch and now that I understand the SD starter expansion method, I will have more confidence to use it as a leaven without IDY.

I fell like I am moving forward in leaps and bounds thanks to this great forum and the people in it.

Cheers,
Mick
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2012, 04:11 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Crust Issues

Hi Mick!

Sometimes I get lucky on my guesses! Glad my comments helped!

Jay
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2012, 09:12 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chico, CA.
Posts: 11
Default Re: Crust Issues

Hello Mick,

I think your pies look fantastic. I too use Jeff Varasano's procedure and have had great results using only my starter with no ADY. I use King Arthur Bread Flour... fresh only.

If I'm following you correctly in your post you state that after forming the balls and putting them into the container you let them proof at room temp for several hours prior to retarding them in the refriderator... is that correct? I have used my dough balls up to a 7 day of retard. After day 5 the results began to diminish slightly in finished texture (rebound) but had a mild enhancement in sour dough flavor.

If so, you might want to consider going right to the retard after a 10 minute rest.

Concerning the starter, I do not use mine out of the fridge... I keep mine very active on the kitchen counter at all times... yes, requires attention and feeding every few days, but it is ripe and very active at all times. I do keep a separate starter retarded in the fridge, but I only keep it for no-kneed sourdough loafs i.e. breadtopia.

Also, I hope you have dried a bit of your stash in case of a bad day. I recently had to reactivate some dried culture to start fresh. It happens!

Have fun and thanks for sharing,
Mikie V.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2012, 11:22 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Crust Issues

Good suggestion of drying some starter, Mikie! Good to be reminded periodically for I know my starter moves around a bit... About two years ago I was given a starter from Northern California and it was distinctly more sour than my old, familiar starter. Now, two years later my old starter has more twang than it used to. Good to have samples of old starters (and potentially of a whole wheat or rye starter built off of your regular one).

Thanks for the reminder!
Jay
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2012, 03:17 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: sydney
Posts: 29
Default Re: Crust Issues

Hi all,

I have just made a batch with no IDY and just my starter as a leaven. It worked . I also did a little comparison, (too much time on my hands). I made a batch with just IDY and no retard, a batch with just IDY and 24hrs retard, a batch with 30% SD starter and a 24hr retard and a batch with 60% SD starter, (accidental) and a 24hr retard. All done at the same time, same percentages with a 65% hydration dough and same needing method as described in post number 15. The only difference I had was in regards to the timing once I balled and placed them into individual containers. I waited 10 mins for the IDY dough and placed them in the fridge and waited about 3hrs for the SD to activate before retarding them.

Results:

- All had nice oven spring, elasticity, bounce back and colour, it was the flavour that really stood out.
- IDY and no retard compared to the IDY and 24hr retard. A notable difference in flavour. The dough that was not retarded just lacked that complexity that the retarded dough did. Itís when you do a side by side tasting that you can really taste the difference.
- Next where the two SD pizzaís. I have to say first up that the SD starter blew the IDY doughs out of the water when eaten side by side. You cannot compare the taste. I know every starter is different and that longer retard times effect the overall outcome in different ways, (which I will have a go at doing in my next batch, might aim for 2 or 3 days) but these doughs where timed the same. The 60% SD pizza had so much more flavour than the 30% SD. Maybe because it only had a 24hr retard. I would imagine that if it had been longer than that it might have been too sour.

Thanks for the complement Mikie. I have tried to retard after 10 mins but my dough does nothing in the fridge. It just sits there and does not move no matter how long I leave it in there. Once itís out of the fridge it comes back to life pretty quickly. The thinking was that I give it a chance to activate and take hold it might have a better chance to develop better flavour. I will give it another go; maybe my starter was too young when I tried it.

In regards to storing my starter in the fridge as apposed to feeding it every day and not refrigerated, when I feed it when I take it out of the fridge it comes back to life quickly and peaks in about 6 hrs, (its summer over here so that helps). So that begs the question, if my starter peaks in say 6hrs, can I feed it every 12 to 24hrs if I decide not to refrigerate it or should I be feeding it when it peaks in say 6hrs?

I will dry some starter as well, just been pre occupied getting my pizza right. I have also brought a couple of bread book, The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart and Tartine bread by Chad Robertson. Canít wait to read them.

BTW, I wonít be doing another test like that for a while, ate too much pizza that night. Had too make sure the results where correct after the first round .
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:07 AM
TropicalCoasting's Avatar
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Qld
Posts: 351
Default Re: Crust Issues

Subscribed; I still trying to perfect the SD Pizza.............. great info
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2012, 08:35 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chico, CA.
Posts: 11
Default Re: Crust Issues

Mick, thanks for taking the effort with the tests and posting results. Love your passion for nailing the perfect pie (if it really does exist). I totally agree on the flavor thing on the SD crust. Hands down the winner for me and my family as well.

My starter, the one on the counter, gets a lot of neglect to be honest. It's funky but lively. I have gone as many as 4 days without feeding it (I thought you fed it, Honey) and it rebounds nicely. Room temp in our home runs a constant degrees 68f. If I were to 'knock it down' right now and feed it, it will be bubbling in 2 hours... so, I know I have a very active culture at all times.

Concerning the 10 minute rest vs. several hours... I'm with you on the fact that the dough does very little while in the fridge with a 10 minute rest... I happen to think THAT is a VERY good thing because the little yeastie fellas don't waste their energy until I tell them too. :-). I find I get a little more sour dough flavor this way, but that could just be my taste buds telling me what they think I want to hear.

Note: My containers are not vented at all... after about 3 days in the fridge I get only a little rise, but my lids are bludging and sometimes pop off (Bad Deal, Dry Dough Balls)... The key is when I take them out to proof before I toss em. I give them enough time to double in size before I use them (up to 6 hours) with the lids not sealed. The lids just rest on top of the containers and self vent as needed.

I have to say that a few years ago I was ready to give up on making my own dough... I'd tried everything but never got the oven spring I was looking for... I hate to admit it, but I started going to my buddys Pizza Factory restaurant and bought dough balls from him. 5 bucks for an extra large dough ball that made me four 10" pies... and they were predictable and tastey everytime. But, my friends were ribbing me... of course they still ate me out of house and home... but still. That was until I found Jeff Varasano's website. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to use a live culture.

Oh, i will say that I'm not currently using a WFO as I'm appartment bound until our house closes escrow... short sale and all, it's taking forever! First order of business to build the oven. I say because I'm not going with the 65% hydration at the moment... but it works just as well regarding spring on my Forno Bravo stone in the electric oven.
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