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Pizza Bliss Redux

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pizza Bliss Redux

Pizza Bliss Redux

August 26, 2013

 My first batch of Ken Forkish's “Pizza Dough with Levain” (See Pizza Bliss) produced the best pizza crust and, after freezing, some of the worst I've had. But I did learn a tremendous amount from the comments and the information generously shared by other TFL members, and my second batch will exploit what I have learned.

One thing I've learned is that Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast has some great ideas about how to approach baking, but you shouldn't take his times and temperatures too literally. They are “sample schedules.” My experience with, I think, five or six bakes from this book book strongly supports the “Watch the Dough, Not the Clock” dictum.

So, using the same formula as last time but scaled back to half of what's in the book, here are my timelines for a second mix of this formula:

 

Aug 27, 2013

11:00 AM

 

Mix levain

04:30 PM

Levain is ripe. Refrigerate it. (Had a conference call scheduled.)

05:30 PM

Take levain out of fridge.

06:00 PM

Mix flour and water for autolyse.

06:40 PM

Mix salt and levain into final dough.

07:10 PM

Stretch and fold dough.

09:30 PM

Dough has expanded by 50% and has lots of bubbles. Divide dough into 3 balls. Freeze one. Refrigerate two.

Aug 28, 2013

06:00 PM

 

Remove dough balls from fridge. Allow to come to room temperature and continue fermentation.

07:00 PM

Turn on oven to pre-heat the baking stone.

08:00 PM

Bake pizze!

 

MENU

Pizza with wild and domestic mushrooms sautéed with garlic and parsley, deglazed with Pinot Grigio. San Marzano tomatoes. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Assembled, ready to bake

Baked and ready to enjoy

Slice of pizza

Pizza with caramelized onions and garlic. Mixed fresh herbs. San Marzano tomatoes. Shaved Parmesan cheese. Fresh basel.

Assembled, ready to bake

Baked, ready to slice and enjoy

Green salad with mustard vinaigrette.

 The dough was lovely to handle. It was a bit less elastic than the first mix. In the oven, there was dramatic oven spring (Yay!). The crust was delicious. It was significantly less sour than the first mix but had a wonderful sweet, complex flavor and was thin and crisp. The joy is back!

We will see how the third ball bakes up, after 2 or 3 days in the freezer.

I so appreciate all the great problem-solving advice I received after my disappointing post-freeze pizza dough bake.

 David

 

Comments

evonlim's picture
evonlim

wow.. the crumb is remarkable!! airy, chewy. the raw dough is so shiny and light yet pliable. amazing post!! it has been a pizza frenzy for TFL. good discussion and beautiful results!!

thank you for sharing David

evon 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks for your nice comments. The shine on the dough is from olive oil which was brushed over the dough just before the other toppings.

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Remarkable pizza ! Your tutorials are as much a  treat as  the pizza was. Key seems to also be "less is more" with the toppings...no sauce for me I guess !  Looking forward to Chapter 2.....c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Both pizzas actually had pretty substantial toppings, but they did not include "sauce." I am thinking that, when vegetables are cooked prior to putting them on pizza, they give off less moisture, so the crust doesn't get soggy. 

If you use a sauce, apply it very lightly.

I am also wondering if the 00 flour, which tends to get really crispy, also resists getting soggy. Of course, brushing the dough with olive oil prior to baking is supposed to form a barrier to water from the toppings. Many variables.

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Looks very delicious and sounds like you had plenty of flavor and crispy tender dough.  Best of all it fit into your time for dinner and fermented wonderfully.

The mushrooms look devine.  I love mushrooms and just picked up some today.  They are so healthy and delicious. 

I had no complaints at all about my less than 24 hr. refrigerated dough when I made my pizza.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the freezer ones for an easy night pizza dinner. 

Sounds like you are also happy with your pizza 00 flour.  What brand pizza 00 flour are you using?

Happy Blissful Eating,

Sylvia

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

for your kind remarks and for sharing your experience. I think dividing the dough earlier than Forkish specifies for refrigeration was key. I think I hit a sweet spot in that regard. 

I'm thinking I may make a focaccia as a side dish with the frozen dough. 

The mushroom concoction is of a type I have used for years to serve with steak. Now, we eat beef very seldom. It is also good with chicken, though, and with pasta.

I used Caputo 00 in the red bag. I'd also like to try the 00-type flour from Central Milling, if  I can get it at their warehouse in Petaluma. Shipping costs make it just silly to buy otherwise.

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and hope to see how it works after freezer time.  I would imagine the shorter time the better.  

If I have pizza dough that's been the freezer a very long time and I know it's pretty much 'spent'  I use it as 'old dough' add in.

I order my flours from Taylor's Italian Market...they are on Amazon.com.  One of my favorite places to shop.  Wonderful store 'TIM'..with lot's of other goodies...they even repack for me in smaller bags.  The shipping and price are reasonable and it's delivered to my door for much less than my cost for gas to go pick it up locally.  I can also order the C.Milling  from them in.  Very, very nice customer service.  I can't figure out why the shipping is so cheap..probably because I'm not that far away.

Sylvia 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think I checked on all the Amazon.com vendors. I found that the best price for Caputo 00 was from a local Italian deli. But, I'll check your source again, just to make sure I didn't miss it.

Thanks!

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

They are located at 2900 Freeport Blvd. Sacramento.  Gourmet grocery store.   Call or order on-line.  They have just listed some 'repacked' flour's I requested and some I didn't.  Very nice people.

Sylvia

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

More deliciousness!  Interesting to see how dramatically you've shortened the bulk ferment, and with great effect- the pizze look amazing.  Love both those toppings, you're giving me plenty to be inspired by for this weeks' pizza bake.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I figure the dough fermented half way before dividing and refrigerating it and the other half, mostly, when it was taken out 2 hours before baking. Since the dough can probably be refrigerated for 1 to 3 days or, maybe, not at all, that provides a lot of flexibility. I like flexibility. :-)

Re. toppings: There is a Chez Panisse "Pasta, Pizza and Calzone" cookbook that I got from the library. It has dozens of wonderful ideas that inspired the combination of toppings I used.

Happy baking!

David

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Flexibility sounds very nice :) Thanks for the heads up on the Chez Panisse book, I haven't seen that one and love lots of pizza/pasta ideas.  I've also had a few nice ideas come from Mozza, both for pizza and pasta. 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I use only Caputo "00" that I get in 25kilo bags from a restaurant in Atlanta. I think you are on to something with the precooked veggies. I probably over did the sauce as well:) We are saucy folks !  Lots and lots of cheese too...I did brush with EVOO but only on the crust edges...you have given lots to ponder....thank you !  

Have used the steel the past 2 days for hearth baking. Am VERY pleased with the crust bottoms on loaves. I have been turning the loaves out onto parchment and then on to a thin cookie sheet. I just slide the cookie sheet on to the hot stone. Works like a charm and the bottoms of the loaves are gorgeous. So I am going to give pizza another try with the steel. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have read your references to your "steel" in several threads but missed where you said what product it is and a source. I would like to learn more about it. Can you point me to it?

Thanks.

david

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

pizza David. I'm a a convert and will try it out on Thursday as a replacement for our semi regular Focaccia Romana recipe.  Well done.   The only thing I freeze is the pizza sauce after it has had a day in the fridge to marry a bit.  Small amount of very spicy sauce makes for pizza where the other flavors come though.  Well done and

Happy baking

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let us know how you like it.

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

http://bakingsteel.com/shop/baking-steel/

this is the one I got. It certainly gets hot ! And stays hot...takes forever for the oven to cool down after using it. Also seems to hold the oven at temp quite well. I used parchment under the pizza crust when I made it. I also had the steel on the 2nd from top rack. I had preheat for a couple hrs as I was doing baking in my hot pots before I did the pizza. I cut on the broiler at the end to char the top of the pizza and was so pleased at how it looked...then was so disappointed when I bit into it...really tough and the whole bottom was pale and chewy...ugh. 

I think that I messed up as far as amount of sauce, too much topping without a prebake of blind crust to help. No EVOO on the unbaked crust prior to loading...probably too long with shaped crust sitting on parchment prior to topping and baking. I shaped and just let them sit there a bit then topped and baked. This dough is not as forgiving as a straight dough so I have a big learning curve !  

Glad you have had such success...absolutely lovely pizzas. c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

There sure is lots to learn before it all becomes automatized. And pizza has it's own learning curve, not the same as hearth loaves.

With a formula and routine that makes delicious crust, is easy to schedule and is resilient to seasonal changes, I can see making pizza much more often.

David

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Great looking pies David!  I have a few balls of Forkish's Pizza Dough with Levain in my freezer. Now I'm a bit concerned about how they'll turn out when I use them. I regularly freeze other pizza doughs with successful results. Two recurring differences I've noticed when using frozen pizza dough are the dough is more extensible, and the finished baked pizzas are thinner than when the same dough is baked without having been frozen and defrosted. Neither of these differences is unpleasant. 

We're having a pizza party this Friday for 20 people!  I'm going to make Hamelman's pizza dough with biga. It's my "go to" formula. 

Sjadad

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi David,
Mmm, those pizzas look delicious - all of those San Marzano tomatoes, and mushrooms deglazed with Pinot Grigio! Super yummy.
I just looked up the Chez Panisse pizza book on our local library system and requested it - thanks for mentioning this book!
:^) breadsong

isand66's picture
isand66

That crust looks as close to perfect as you can get David.  Thanks for sharing your experiment with us.  I can't wait to try this method .

Ian

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

for your comments.

David