#11  
Old 06-14-2009, 01:11 PM
Puy de Dome's Avatar
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Default Re: Hydration question

And here is a before and after of a little pizza I put together.

The 'tomato' base has been replaced with spicy caramelised onion, with a few sun-dried tomatoes, some Saint Agur blue cheese, and a dribble of mint here and there.



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  #12  
Old 06-14-2009, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Hydration question

If your dough ball holds a spherical shape it's probably too dry. You're not making matzoh balls.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2009, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Hydration question

I might back off from the higher hydration, though.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2009, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Hydration question

Guy,
I have pulled out my recipe and have worked out my hydration. As a percent of the weight of flour (10 ounces-283.5 grams) my water added (one cup - 230 grams just shy perhaps 220grams) makes a hydration of close on 77%. My dough balls quickly become flattened and rounded in the raising containers.
My process for working the wet dough: The rising containers are inverted over a dusting of flour on the bench. As the containers are sprayed with olive oil before placing the doughball therein gravity drops the dough onto the surface in a moment. A light dusting of flour is sprinkled over to keep ones fingers from sticking to the dough. And the center is patted down (degassed) with the finger tips in the center leaving about one half inch around the edges. The flattened disc is then inverted by grasping the edge away and flipping towards oneself. The disc is then degassed as per the first side. One then grasps the edge furtherest away with the right hand and lifts the dough onto the back of the left hand. The back of the right hand is placed next to the left so the dough is supported by the backs of the hands. Lifting and separating the hands stretches the dough, one then moves the hands working quickly around the perimeter. One then flips the skin onto the dusted peel and if necessary adjust the shape. In this the top of the finished skin is also the top of the dough when it was in the raising container. With a bit of practice it is fairly easy to create a round smooth edged pizza with uniform thickness thruout the center.

I am not a pro by any means and it took some failures to come up with this process, which works for me. I hope this is some help when working with wet pizza dough.
Wiley
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2009, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Hydration question

Two comments:

1. That pizza has me drooling all over myself!

2. I get that windowpaning when I fight the dough -- too aggressive shaping and not enough rest time when it tightens up, or when I try to make a big pizza with insufficient quantity of dough.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2009, 01:27 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hydration question

Hi Tim!

The pizza looks like it was excellent. But a couple of questions and comments...

The thin spot in the dough is what I got when I tried to had shape wet dough by hand. Forming the pizza on a floured surface solved that for me. Wiley gives good comments for handling wet dough and using flour. I think it is worth reiterating that it is best to flatten the edges first, leaving a mound in the center. Once the outer area is flattened one then starts on the central mound. That helps avoid thin centers.

Was the pizza done in a conventional oven or a WFO. In either case it looks to me like it could have benefited from more time in the oven (but that is my preference speaking and not necessarily yours). I like the top speckled with caramelization -brown spots - and I like the dough to char a little. That look can be a bit harder to get in a conventional oven due to the lower temp. When in a WFO I get pizzas that look like yours when my oven is cooler than I like and don't have flames licking the wall and roof.

All that said, the pizza looks like it was delightful and demonstrates a good taste for ingredients and how to place them on the pizza. You are going to be a popular pizzaiola!

Bravo!
Jay
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Hydration question

Evening Jay

I did work on a floured surface - melamine work top in my case, but not over floury. More to the point, I did not leave the bump in the middle as I have previously read hereabouts. I have tried that method, but not with this hydration. I agree that it's not a bad method. I will remember to do that this weekend.

You're right about this particular pizza being made in a conventional oven. Temperature being +/- 290c. It's going to be a different story when the wfo gets going Saturday lunchtime!

I think you're bang on the money when you describe the pizza above. I also feel it was underdone. It had about 8 minutes in the oven, whereas 12 would probably have charred it nicely. In the wfo it's going to be different, of course. In particular I would like a pizza that is not quite so floppy when you hold your triangle/slice up. I'm looking for a crispy underside if possible.

As for the base... I have these spicy caramelised onions in a jar, and simply thought to myself, 'cheese and onion' and the mint was an afterthought almost as much for the colour as anything. I'm planning on making some straight-forward caramelised onions for this weekend. It also occurred to me later that I could call this the 'Traffic Light Pizza', with its green, amber and red colours.

Ignore me, my imagination working overtime.

What I think inspired this was that recipe I read here on the forum about a pesto base - I love the idea of a really dramatic non-red base. Pesto=green, yes, but I wanted another colour, hence the onions.

Thanks for your interest and comments.

Tim

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:39 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hydration question

Hi Tim!

I was pretty confident it was oven pizza. A WFO would have to be pretty cold to yield a pizza that pale unless it was pulled really fast.

It is going to be a great pleasure hearing of your pizza adventures for you obviously have an interesting palate and style!

A couple of final thoughts re: the WFO. The easiest way to tell if the hearth is the right temperature is to simply throw a small amount (say 1/8 tsp or less) of semolina or flour on the floor and watch it. The flour should sit for about a count of three before it turns black. If it is count of one or less, wait a few minutes. If it takes five, rake some coals out and reheat the hearth. Also...if the speckled caramelization is what you want, try to keep flames going up the dome in the oven.

I will be candid and honest. I typically do one pizza at a time - about every ten minutes and it is easy to let the oven get too cool Not a big deal, just takes a little longer to cook and the "look" and "caremelization" aren't as good, but my guests and yours will never turn their nose up on a pizza cooked in an oven too cool for perfection. Oven management is an art and experience helps a lot. But with experience it becomes second nature and the pizzas get more consistent.

You are off to a great start!

Looking forward to hearing of your adventure!
Jay
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2009, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Hydration question

Well, Jay, it was a long day, and I worked worked worked at it!

I didn't get much chance to shape any pies, really, and barely took a drink even! Quelle horreur!

Anyway, I suppose the hydration was ok, but the doughs really took on a life of their own after a while, and were rampant yeast-wise. Maybe I should have made the doughballs on the morning of the party, not the day before.

It was tough work. I spent the whole day before preparing toppings, moving furniture, building and maintaining the fire etc.

Still, I learnt a great deal. I think next time I want to build and shaped the pies, and let someone else do the fire.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2009, 02:13 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hydration question

Hi Tim!

My other email partially addressed some of these comments.

One thing for certain. "Barely a drink" is beyond "Quelle horruer!" (Great use of French by the way!)

The dough will be better made the day before, but it looked like your balls got way too far along while in the fridge IMO. IF they were that big in the fridge they must have gotten huge when warmed for a couple of hours.

Multiple possibilities/solutions. Could be your refrigerator is warm. I have two - one at 35 and one at 37 degrees F. Even that close together, I think I see the balls grow more in the warmer fridge. Lots of people keep their fridges warmer than that and if yours is warm that could be a contributor. IF it is warm there are several things you can do to help. One is get the dough in the fridge quickly - most recipes have you give it a few minutes (say 15 to 30) to get the yeast going before it goes in the fridge. You could try skipping that and just put the balls straight in the fridge. If you already put them straight in the oven, try using ice water to mix the dough. That will slow down the immediate expansion and the dough will be much cooler when it goes in the fridge so it will be a lot slower expansion. Of course this assumes turning down the fridge is not an option.

In my other email I referred to bagging individual balls of dough. I just put a tablespoon or so of oil in a sandwich bag, oil the dough ball and pop it in the bag, squeeze the air out and zip it closed. The bags go on a sheet pan where they stay until I am ready to use them. I usually give it 15 minutes or so to get going before I put it in the fridge. There is a hazard though. The balls need to be relatively small or they may expand to the point of bag explosion (which has occurred) and getting the dough out of the bag is sometimes interesting. So I do it both ways. One nice thing about the bags though is you can freeze them for a month or two and take a couple out if you find yourself wanting to make pizza!

Be well!
Jay
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