What’s different this time: I backed down on the amount of semolina flour in the dough. This time it’s a 3:1 ratio of AP flour to semolina flour. Still using Bob’s Red Mill SF.
The change, I believe, is responsible for the “pizza bubbles,” as AP is a softer flour. The texture was softer overall yet still crisp enough to stand up with no “tip sag.” It was almost a little flakey or crackery in the way Midwestern/Chicago thin-crust can be.
Tried some shortening in the crust to see if that would tenderize it a bit. Didn’t really. Still chewy. Going to try backing down on the amount of semolina flour in the dough. This one was a touch thicker than No. 3, and it has some pizza bubbles, more than I’d gotten before. I kind of like them, but docking the dough is also an option to consider.
Also weighed the sauce for the first time in this series. Need to keep track to maintain consistency. This is the second time I weighed the cheese. I may bump up the amount of cheese. Though I do think that as-is, it’s got a decent enough amount.
I’ve been reading Ken Forkish’s “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast” lately, though, and in it he talks about pushing bread-baking variables to the extremes and past them — to see how far you can take things before they break. Once you understand that, you can back down and adjust your techniques as needed. But it’s important to know how far you can take things so that you have the knowledge to tweak variables as needed. I may push some limits on cheese and sauce amounts, just to see how much of each make for a great-tasting pie.
Bar Pizza Notes
Cook date: November 18, 2012
Dough used: basic Lehmann dough mixed lean and with low sugar and yeast (58% hydration)
Number of pies cooked: 2 (Brussels sprout, bacon, and Parmigiano; “frozen-pizza-style” pizza
Cooking surface: Quarter-inch-thick Baking Steel, bottom rack; half-inch Baking Steel and Emile Henry Flame pizza stone placed on rack above
I used my quarter-inch-thick Baking Steel for this pizza. This time I put it on the bottom rack of the oven. On the next rack up, I had my half-inch-thick steel AND my old pizza stone arranged to cover the entire rack. (Longest edges of each running front-to-back in the oven, with stone overlapping steel by a couple inches.) Essentially they created an artificial low ceiling for the oven right over the pizza. This had the effect of blocking a significant amount of heat from rising to the thermostat. That in turn meant the oven stayed on, constantly trying to hit 550°F. This would be good if I had a broiler element above the pizza to cook the top as quickly as the crust. What actually happened, though, was that the bottom steel sheet got insanely hot and almost incinerated the dough. Well, not really. But the bottom crust was done in about 1:50. The top, not so much: (more…)
I usually use one of two recipes when making pizza at home. This Cook’s Illustrated Thin-Crust Pizza dough or The Pizza Lab’s New York–style pizza dough. Both have worked well for me (although I usually go with the Cook’s recipe because it’s a smaller load for my 11-cup food processor, which already strains to mix this amount). (more…)
This is probably the most pizza dough I’ve had on hand at any one time. I made the 5 containers at right on Sunday evening and the two stacked containers at left this evening.
All are the Cook’s Illustrated Thin-Crust Pizza recipe, which would be evident if you could read my notation. “CI 1/3 265g” means “Cook’s Illustrated, divided into 3 portions, 265 grams each.”
As I said in my last post, I’m trying out the smaller dough balls to see how well they work. The larger 395 gram doughs sometimes are too large for my stone diameter.
Anyway, those on the left are reserved for official Pizza Night with the wife, while the rest are for a few toppings experiments I want to run on Wednesday.