The Fresh Loaf

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Tweaking Hamelman's Pizza recipe

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NanusT's picture
NanusT

Tweaking Hamelman's Pizza recipe

After I have read some around, I want to try Hamelman's Pizza recipe. His recipe calls for biga proof for about 12 hours and bulk fermentation of 2 hours. I want to bake my pizzas in the evening and with his schedule it's impossible (unless I get up in 4-5 am to mix the biga).

I want to tweak his formula so it will work with my schedule. What I thought to do is using the refrigerator in one of the phases. I want to consult on how I can do it with the best result. Also another thing I have learnt from previous pizza baking is that that till the time I bake the 4/5 pizza, the dough gets over proofed so I think the best way is to refrigerate the dough in the bulk fermentation or proof the dough for about 1 hour and then refrigerate it whole or divided. Any ideas?

Note: if anyone can recommend on other pizza dough with great results it will be good too!

 

Thanks a lot

Tal  

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Tal - I make Hamelman's pizza dough w/ biga quite frequently and I don't start at 4:00 am!  After the two-hour bulk fermentation, I divide and form balls (I make my dough balls smaller than he calls for because I prefer making pizzas with about 8 oz of dough).  I place the dough balls on a floured sheet pan and dust the tops with flour, cover with plastic, and put the sheet pan in the refrigerator until I'm ready to bake. I've held the dough this way for up to three days with no negative consequences.

Good luck and let us know how your pizzas come out. 

Sjadad

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

As David Snyder has been posting lately and I certainly have been (concurring and) baking this summer, Ken Forkish's pizza doughs in his Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast are fantastic.  We've been doing one that calls for an overnight poolish, mixing dough in the AM, fermenting it until late afternoon, then refrigerating pre-shaped doughs until bake time.  That gives you plenty of flexibility if you're preparing toppings that need to be prepped (e.g., roasted) beforehand.  We've been doing it with 40% ODO sprouted wheat flour and it is bulletproof (unlike some of Forkish's other formulas!) and as tasty and well-behaved a (commercial yeast) pizza dough as I'll ever need.  Highly recommended.

Happy pizza nights.

Tom

NanusT's picture
NanusT

Sjadad, I think that's what ill try to do next time.

Tom, I have been reading David Snyder posting too. He always says that the time he mentions for fermentation is way too long. Did the timing for his pizza dough are better? also, did you try other formulas than the one with poolish? I am bit "afraid" trying such a wet dough for pizza. 

Tal

 

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Tal - I've made Forkish's pizza dough with Poolish a couple of times, but I adjusted it down to 70% hydration.  it makes a great pizza.  You should try it at some point. 

Sjadad

henkverhaar's picture
henkverhaar

Not sure whether tweaking Hamelman's recipe is the best approach - check out www.pizzamaking.com for more information on pizza than you ever wanted to know, including extremely good recipes and tips.

That being said, here's what I do, for schedule-fitting pizzamaking: I make a (sourdough/yeast hybrid) dough in the evening, ball the dough in individual portions and put them in oiled containers, and freeze them - no bulk or other fermentation before freezing. 24 hours before I want to make pizza, I transfer one or more containers from the freezer to the top shelf of the fridge where they thaw and slow-ferment until the next evening. When I get home, I take the container out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature/final ferment for 45 minutes to an hour, after which I open up the dough into a pie, put it on a peel, dress it and shove it into my oven (on a thick steel plate...) for a 4-5 minute bake.

If I decide in the morning that I want to eat pizza that same evening, I take the container from the freezer and put it on top of it, i.e. at ambient temperature. This won't work if ambient is higher than, say 22°C, because it ferments too quickly then. So this doesn't work during the hotter summer months.

 

Henk

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Check out http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm for a lengthy write-up with lots of wonderful tips you might have never thought about. This is one of the things that led me to TFL. I was looking for a way to make better pizza, and ended up getting started in bread baking because of it. To quickly answer your question, a long stay in the fridge can actually improve the flavor of your pizza. The guy who owns the website at the link above, always puts his dough in the fridge for AT LEAST a day, before using it to make pizza. That makes it really convenient as far as timing goes. Just pull a ball out a while before you're ready to make pizza, let it come up to room temperature and finish rising, then put your toppings on and bake. I don't use his method or recipe for my dough, but I do bulk ferment my dough in the refrigerator, and in my case, it is best after about 4 or 5 days. The only time mine spends at room temperature is the time before baking.

henkverhaar's picture
henkverhaar

[Check out http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm for a lengthy write-up with lots of wonderful tips you might have never thought about.]

+1. That is what got me started too.

NanusT's picture
NanusT

Hey David, this blog gave me some good tips, especially the wet dough mixing, which I'll try with my next dough. He says some interesting stuff but I think he tends to exaggerate with some stuff.

Henk, I think I'll try to do Ken Forkish's pizza with poolish next time. The process is similar to what you have described.

Tal.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I think, from reading Varasano's long post, that his knowledge is very experiential, not so much scientific. That may account for some exaggeration, because our feelings tend to be larger than reality at times. Still a good read, though, I think.