#11  
Old 06-13-2010, 04:12 PM
Journeyman
 
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

That's a beautiful pie!
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2010, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Doing a post-mortem on my process, one thing that I have realised is that to get a really smooth, silky dough that doesn't have thin spots, you have to use a starter. The IDY I think is just too powerful and large bubbles develop (and keep developing) in the dough which leads to problems.

For a batch of dough to make 4 pizzas I use about .1g IDY in the starter which is miniscule but nonetheless gives me a perfect base in terms of rise and texture. It is a bit more effort to start the day before but in my view well worth it. Like bread, it can't be hurried...
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2010, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hi Rossco!

There is nothing I can think of that is bad about extending the dough development process other than convenience and the need to plan further ahead (well, up to 2 or 3 days). Flavor is definitely better. And starting with reduced IDY will tend to give you an extended development period with more enzyme action (relative to yeast). I have to think there is more to this than you allude, however. With high IDY you may well have been overproofed and big bubbles are consistent with wet, overproofed dough. I suspect the lower IDY has you baking earlier in the proof cycle which is probably more important to thin spots than the biga. The silkiness tends to be associated with proper development and time so the retard can be expected to help with that.

And you are right... pizza and bread don't benefit from being rushed. But I would add, pizza IS bread! The better one understands bread, the easier pizza seems to get.

Bake on!
Jay
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hello Jay...

Interesting science!!

Definitely think I was overdoing it on the IDY in the early days which caused those light an puffy pizzas.

Well tonight I made the next batch of dough and again it turned out very well. It seemed a bit more fluid and softer and silkier than before - despite making it according to a Baker's percentage based recipe.

The dough almost looked like it could be used right away - but of course it was not properly fermented as the biga had only been added about 90 mins before and allowed to rest for 60 mins thereafter.

Tomorrow is the next bake off ....
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  #15  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hi Rossco...

For now, keep doing what you are doing... but pay attention to the change in the dough over time as you bake pizzas. With the low inoculation of IDY I think you could might benefit from more proofing time. Reading your message I think you are proofing for 2 1/2 hours after mixing the biga. That feels short given your low IDY in the biga. I would think your second or third pizza would be likely to be better than your first. (lighter, better texture). Especially if you can wait a half hour to hour between pizzas so you can really see the difference.

Bake On!
Jay
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  #16  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:46 AM
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Hi Jay ...

Sorry, forgot to mention that after 1 hr proofing on the bench I placed the balled doughs into the fridge. Will proof for 24 hrs and bake tomorrow night.
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2010, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hi Rossco!

Ahhh....I was going to suggest trying a second retard - later - That explains a lot. With the second retard following the balling the IDY will work in the fridge and proofing will be reasonably close. I have done similarly with SD but can't retard much for my SD basically stops in the fridge.

Look forward to your results!
Jay
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2010, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hello Jay ...

Just checked on the four balls that are proofing and they have retained their texture nicely. In contrast, in the old days they would have been puffed and airy by this stage - a situation which got worse when I placed them on the bench to warm up prior to baking.
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  #19  
Old 06-14-2010, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hi Rossco!

What was your percent yeast before you cut back? Norm is around .5% of the flour weight for retarded dough (one shot). As I seem to recall you were somewhat higher - which as you acknowledge gave you airy dough --- but too airy. (and too overproofed)

I have a feeling you have "gone too far" (which is purely a value judgment and thereby somewhat moot). I think you will find letting the biga go for two days or bumping the yeast to .2 % will give you more oven spring if you want it without causing any problems. Running through the yeast levels, doubling times, etc. leads me to think you are pretty heavily underproofed (from conventional standards...)

I look forward to hearing how they do on the bench...for that will tell me more about the errors in my above observation!

Hang in there!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 06-14-2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: fix parentheses
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  #20  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Personal Best Pizza

Hello Jay,

I initially went with the prescribed IDY yeast % in the FB recipe, which now, on reflection seems a bit high, and likely the cause of so many of my early failed attempts.

Your suggestion of a 48 hour biga proofing sounds good - and certainly consistent with something I saw on TV the other day where the guy spoke of a 48 hour "levieto madre" (sp?) in preparing his pizzas. The Italian guy had his own pizzeria and seemed to know what he was doing.

This breakthrough has really fired me up to make more and more pizzas, though I continue to want to experiment so I will start a 48 proofed starter this evening in anticipation of a bake-off this weekend. This is moving toward the perfection that I have been chasing for so long, but which had hitherto eluded me.

Thanks for the continued comments Jay - and please keep them coming. Your combination of science and practical understanding is very valuable to both myself and indeed this group, making you one of the most valuable contributors in this forum!
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