The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Dough VS Bread Dough

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Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

Pizza Dough VS Bread Dough

When I find the difference it will explain a lot.

I have been frequenting "Jerry's Pizza" for over 30 years now.  There is something that he does that I have spent at least 20 years (on and off, mostly off) trying to figure it out.  

Here is the set up:  The crust that Jerry makes tops out all other pizza.  Hands down!  If I were to compare other pizza doughs, I have to remove his from the picture because all other evaluations are simply flat lines.  No, I am neither related nor selling his restaurant.  However, if you are ever in Connecticut, he is located in Wesleyan land on rt 9 in the south end of Middletown.

He makes his own dough and I am starting to think he even grinds his own flour.

When you go there, order yours with just sauce and cheese.  Be ready to enjoy that first taste as soon as it is delivered to the table. The aroma of the bread is what I recall the south end of Hartford would smell like on an Sunday morning when the the Moon Bakery was in full swing.

The dough carries that fresh out-of-the-oven bread scent.  I tout his crust as being bread dough and not pizza dough.  However, I can not explain why this happens as the ingredients are not all that dissimilar.  He, apparently doesn't know how not to create it that way so I cannot figure out what he is doing directly from him.

I have tried many times to make my own bread and followed a lot of suggestions from many sources. I have used hand-made breads, purchasing fresh raw dough from the grocery store, and have made many breads using a bread machine. 

I can not recreate it here at home. This means that he and the Moon Bakery have something in common.  My breads and croissants are good, just do not have that powerful just-out-of-the-oven scent, taste, and texture. I now cook directly on a pizza stone and have tried many combinations of temperature, rising times, kneading, and baking times.

I am desperate and have been spoiled! 
Is there a magical miracle chant or spell I should be using?

 

 

 

 

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Have you used?  Do you have a sourdough culture?  The best pizza doughs are made with a preferment and long (12-36 hours) of cold fermentation. As for the pre ferment I've seen sourdough, poolish, bigs, and often pate fermente. Pizza dough is the same thing as bread dough. It's just a formula focused towards pizza characteristics. crisp, chew, extensibility, 

Josh

golgi70's picture
golgi70
Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

To what do you refer when you ask about "Process"?  Is there more than one? Are they named? Is this a description of activity?

Is "Sourdough culture" a specific bread or a technique.  I have had Sourdough bread and don't like it.  If this is generic for retaining any dough for the next cycle, will this cause an increase in flavor over time or simply retain the flavor of a line of dough?

I have tried 12 - 36 hours of refrigeration, even longer.  The dough did rise as expected.  It did not seem to result anywhere close to the fresh bread dough scent/flavor expected.

 

ccsdg's picture
ccsdg

Sourdough culture refers to a complex, hm, may I say symbiotic mixture of wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria, rather than a single strain of commercial yeast which I assume is what you've been making bread with (I certainly had until I heard of sourdough). It's a raising and flavouring agent, if you like, not always sour, and can make all kinds of breads not just the one you tasted and didn't like.

I personally found sourdough to give so complex and exciting a flavour to my pizza, sandwich and artisan breads that I have given away most of my commercial yeast and keep pet starters instead. Sourdough does take longer than commercial yeast raised bread but I have never tasted such flavourful, delicious bread. If I want the tasteless kind again I can always go down to the store.

Not that your pizzeria is necessarily using sourdough either. But I just wanted to suggest that sourdough raised bread can be tastier than you might have experienced. I waxed too lyrical, sorry!

ericreed's picture
ericreed

I don't think natural levain (sourdough) pizza is particularly common in commercial operations though. I've certainly never noticed it if it is. As far as I'm concerned the #1 difference between homemade pizza and commercial is their ability to cook it at very high temperatures. You just can't get the texture and cornicione right otherwise.

Ingredient wise, the best doughs in my opinion are nothing more than flour, water, yeast, and salt. No olive oil or sugar or anything like that. Commercial bakers often have access to flour we do not. Most sources seem to agree that investing in an Italian flour, Caputo Tippo 00 flour, is the best option there.

Process-wise, long, as the normal tools bakers have to develop bread flavor are available. I would guess most quality commercial operations would either retard their dough overnight or use some sort of preferment, like a pate fermentee. We at home can't get the massive heat of a commercial pizza oven, but if you have a pizza stone or even better (for pizza, not necessarily for other breads) a baking steel, put on the top rack at your ovens maximum heat you can get a decent approximation.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Emorogork,

The sourdough culture is cultivated from wild yeast and lactobacillus bacteria. You may recognize lactobacillus from its involvement in making yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk. The culture is kept alive by occasional feeding in what we call a starter. Most starters that we talk about on here are feed only flour and water. But, you will also once in a while hear of a starter that is fed other things like milk, potato flakes, sugar, etc. If you've ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread, you will find it uses a starter, although it is not necessarily sourdough.

Depending on how the starter is maintained and used, you can make bread that has just a little bit richer flavor compared to commercial yeast, or bread that is very sour that you won't like, or anything in between. When I first found this site, I was looking for a way to improve the flavor of my pizza crust, just as you are. I tried sourdough, and I haven't baked with commercial yeast since. My pizza is still a work in progress, but it's much better than it was with commercial yeast. I just still need to figure out how to get the baking time and temp right. I use the exact same dough that I use for my bread. It works both ways, and it's very convenient not to have to make two different doughs.

By the way, before I got the sourdough starter, we only ever baked two things: pizza and occasionally biscuits. I'd never really made "bread" before. Now, I bake sourdough bread for all of our bread needs. None of us like our bread very sour, so the bread I bake isn't. On the rare occasion that we can't get our sandwich bread baked because my schedule is too full, my wife may buy a grocery store sandwich loaf. My daughter refuses to eat it, and none of us really like it any more. My daughter calls it "bad cake".

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

ericreed,

Although I'm sure you're right, that sourdough is not likely used in most commercial pizza places, we're not really talking about most commercial pizza places, but one good pizza place. Here's a link that will show you how big the difference is between the two:

http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm

Emorogork, that link is for you, too. You will be amazed at the depth of insight this guy shares into his business, and his passion for making the best pizza possible.

edit: ericreed, I do agree with most of what you said. I don't want you to think I don't.

ericreed's picture
ericreed

I certainly haven't done a survey of top pizza places to know whether sourdough is common. But in my own quest for the perfect crust, I have seen very little mention of sourdough crusts, and generally when I have it's been connected to California style pizza. And we all know California pizza isn't real pizza. ;)

But on the practical side, I would think that like a proper french baguette, pizza dough, at least in the style I prefer, would be more difficult to pull off with a pure levain dough. (To me, like with a baguette, I'm looking for a light tender crumb and lots of crisp crust, with a nice full wheat flavor that's almost got a sweetness to it, not the acidity of sourdough. Which isn't to say that can't be achieved using sourdough with the right technique. But I think it's harder.) In regard to the dough the OP wrote about, I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that it would have been more apparent if Jerry's was using sourdough in their crust.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Perhaps Jerry is using some Durum Semolina? Have you ever asked him anything about the dough? My brother used to bake pizza all the time and he'd buy his flour through a restaurant supply chain, it must have been some kind of high-protein stuff. (Although my brother's pizza was just god awful, soggiest crust ever, even though he'd bake on a stone.) Another thing might be the amount of yeast he uses, that is the most aromatic ingredient in any plain, non SD bread recipe.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Pizza is high temp so I would start by eliminating the high temp breads looking around for another source of aroma.  Does he bake something else that requires a lower temp?  Rolls perhaps when the oven is cooler or warming inside another oven?  Or does he double bake the crust?

I have to admit that the Caputo flours do have a desired taste.  Active malt also tends to add a little something extra for the taste and aroma of white breads, they brown easier too giving more aroma and flavour.  

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I happen to think the Tartine Badic Country Loaf makes a very tasty pizza dough. I usually preheat the oven to 500, with cast Iron pizza pan on top shelf. I then drizzle olive oil on the hot pan, place the dough on the pan, put the broiler on high, and bake for 4-5 minutes. Then top and bake for another 4-5 minutes. Gives a great char. The crust tastes great too. 

I take the pan out to add the oil, by the way. And I use a superpeel to get the dough on the hot oiled pan. It is not elegant. But I find the bottom browns better if the pan has olive oil in it. 

dosco's picture
dosco

Reinhart's pizza dough recipe uses the "Pain a la Ancienne" technique of very cold dough formation, cold ferment, etc. Perhaps your pizza guy is doing something like that? Perhaps you could try it and see what happens?

Have you asked the owner of the pizza shop about how he makes his dough? Maybe he'll give you some insights.

Many years ago I worked in a pizza shop, we ran the ovens at about 600 to 650dF. I wish my oven at home could get that hot, it only gets to 550dF. Plus the pizaa oven had very thick firebrick on the floor on which we directly cooked the pizzas.

Cheers-
Dave

 

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

A lot of good discussion here....

I have been taking notes and trying to make sense of it all but for now, does anyone have any experience/knowledge using "Diastatic Malt Syrups"?  I just read about it.  Come to think of it, Jerry's dough does have a beer flavor to it just as it comes out of the oven.  There maybe other ways to get this flavor and I doubt he uses beer or malt but maybe this is a good substitution.

I am not a beer drinker at all, maybe that is why I did not make this link earlier.

 

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I suggest you go to www.pizzamaking.com   It has an very active forum,  I would do some searches of the threads before you post your question.  As you will see, there are a wide variety of styles, and just describing it as excellent won't be of much help in narrowing it down.  I make a variety of different pizzas and can tell you the final taste involves many different factors, the flour used, the amount of yeast, the fermentation time, how the dough is stretched, and the temperature and how long it is baked.  If he is baking at a very high temp, it may not be possible to replicate that in your home oven, though there are many things you can do to try to come close, including buying a specialty pizza oven.  BTW,  pizza, IMHO, is much easier than bread -  while they use many of the same ingredients, and processes, bread normally has a pretty narrow window in final proofing -  if you overproof the results are pretty bad, and under proofed, not much better.  Pizza dough does not normally have such a narrow window for proofing. 

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

My intention is to make bread dough, not pizza dough, for my pizza.  What ever it is that makes bread smell that way when it first comes out of the oven is what I like about Jerry's pizza.  My use of the phrase that he "uses bread dough and not pizza dough" is because it tastes that way not due to anything he claims.

As I have learned, pizza is cooked at 800 -1000 degrees and I have ever heard bread being cooked so high.  That way, I just might be able to get what I want with a oven that maxes out at 550.

When I achieve a bread dough that makes everyone swoon when it comes out of the oven than I will have my pizza dough.

 

 

 

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Emorogork,

Seems to me, you want a very yeasty bread dough for your pizza. You say Jerry's dough does taste a bit beery. I think a pre-ferment would really give you what you're looking for. You can get the beery flavor that comes from the longer fermentation time. Just mix up some flour, water and yeast ahead of time, let it ferment for several hours, then mix it in with the dough that you make for your pizza. You can actually use a lot less yeast that way, yet get better aroma and flavor and plenty of rising power. Sorry I don't have an actual recipe for you. As I said earlier, I only use sourdough. but, you can certainly find lots of information about pre-ferments using the search box at the top right of this page. If you're the experimental type, you can just try it with your usual plain bread dough. Subtract some of the flour and water from the recipe and make a pre-ferment with it and a tiny amount of yeast. Then, mix the rest of the ingredients in and bake it.

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

I once said that I wanted a "more yeast flavor" and was corrected that if that meant using more yeast then I would not like the strong flavor of too much yeast.  I realized, shortly before I placed that last post, that yes, rather than a more yeast flavor, it is "beery" (-: that I am looking for.

"Beery", official bread making terminology, yes?

This is when I found the term "Diastatic Malt Syrups" and from what I read, it looks as if I this is what I want to try next.  My thinking was to see who may have and experience in this.

Your suggestion "Just mix up some flour, water and yeast ahead of time, let it ferment for several hours, then mix it in with the dough that you make for your pizza." makes me wonder what the difference between mixing a small amount, let it ferment, then mix it with the main dough VS mixing it all as one then letting it ferment for 24 hours.

I am going to try your suggestion as doing it as one mix did not work for me.

 

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Emorogork,

If you do the preferment, let it stay at room temp. When you mix all the dough and let it go for 24 hours, usually it is kept refrigerated to prevent over-ripening. With the pre-ferment, over-ripening is what you want, because it gives you more aroma and flavor. But, it is a small amount of your final dough, so it won't prevent your dough from acting right when you bake it. Hope this helps.

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

Ok do I mix both at the same time, refrigerate the bread and leave the preferment at room temp?  Do I mix just the preferment and let it work then mix the rest of the dough? Do they both contain yeast or just the preferment?  When/how do the two get mixed together, in the kneading?

 

ericreed's picture
ericreed

You can ferment the whole dough for up to around 18 hours at room temperature, but you must start with a small amount of yeast. This is what Lahey's No-Knead pizza dough does. Though his dough is too salty for me at 3%! Salt slows fermentation and I wonder, but haven't tested yet myself, whether lowering it to a more usual 2% salt (10 g in that recipe) would speed fermentation up too much.

For pre-ferments, you generally wouldn't want to use more than 50% of the flour in your preferment. The easiest one is called a poolish, and it's equal parts flour and water (by weight), and about 0.08% instant dry yeast (by weight of the flour in your poolish). So if you were making, say, dough with 18 ounces of flour, your poolish might be 9 ounces of water, 9 ounces of flour, and a scant 1/16 tsp of instant yeast or a pinch. This can ferment somewhere around 12-14 hours at a room temp of 68-78 F. 50% is the high end though, it's more usual to preferment around 20-30% of the flour.
And just a note, while people are talking about the taste of yeast, it's not the yeast itself you are usually tasting. (If you did, it would be kind of bitter.) The "yeasty" flavor is from fermentation and for fresh still warm bread especially from residual alcohol. (Or so sayeth Jeffrey Hamelman on pg. 78 of "Bread".)

ericreed's picture
ericreed

Do the poolish the night before you plan to bake. (Or early in the morning for that evening.) When it's done fermenting, mix the final dough. If you are baking right the same day, let it rise for a couple hours before shaping it. Give it a gentle stretch and fold once or twice while rising. Otherwise, after mixing you can do the usual rest for 30 minutes then refrigerate.

The yeast does have time to multiply in the poolish, so you generally will need less yeast in the final dough. One of my favorite doughs that uses the 50% poolish finishes the final dough off with a mere 0.6% yeast (by weight of flour added to the final dough, 1/2 the total flour), or for the hypothetical 18 ounces mentioned before that's about 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast, for a 2-3 hour first fermentation.

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

I purchased another cheater lump of dough. It has defrosted over night int eh refrigerator and is about 50% larger. I will place it on the counter for a few hours.

I am thinking I will chill mixed butter and cinnamon, then knead it with raisins.  I hope to get a marbling effect.

The baking will be the same as before.  550d oven to charge the pizza stone and when I place the dough, turn the oven off.

The last one was deliciously tough!

 

Thoughts before I get to work on it?

 

 

Roost 12's picture
Roost 12

I hope you still read this thread. The biggest difference makes using wood-fire to heat your (brick) oven.

In my country I can't find a pizzeria which would have that delicious crust from the 90s and now I know why. They all use brick ovens but heat them with electricity. I am lucky to come from a family where we regularly bake bread in wood-fired brick oven. I tried baking dmsnyder's Pizza Bliss recipe in it and it was just divine - exactly as I remember pizzas from my childhood. I also tried his recipe in my electrical oven (the regular domestic stuff). The flavor just wasn't there - it was empty. 

Fire does something which no artificial heat source can replicate. Maybe it's smoke but I doubt it. If I had to guess I would say your Jerry is baking pizzas in a wood-fired oven. ;-)

Roost 12's picture
Roost 12

Oh, one more thing. The burning fire in the ovens is just cosmetic. Ovens are heated with electrical heaters in the walls. That's why the cook throws only one or two logs of wood every few hours. If it was true wood-fired oven he would need to throw in a lot more.....unless he is using cold fusion to power his oven then those few logs would last for days. :-) 

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

Jerry uses oven bricks to help regulate the heat.  He leaves them heated up 24/7 to be sure of the high temperature.  I am now looking at the flour they use. (Hummel Flour?)  He gave me some and I made very good croissants, better than I have made in the past so I am leaning to the flour as being the factor for the great pizza crust.  He prepares his own sauce and shreds mozzarella (whole milk Polly-O) every day. All these steps add just a bit more tot he flavor.

As for one-log in the gas or electric oven thing: I wonder if it is for a bit of flavor other than getting the heat from it.

Would not cold-fusion produce frozen pizza?

 

 

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

My original Croissant recipe called for a preheated oven to 400 then reduce to 350 for the first 10 minutes then turn off the oven to allow slow cooling.

I just now baked a batch at 550 for 10 minutes.  A definite improvement.
Preferment is next...

 

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

Now I read that 6 days of refrigerated rise time really improves texture and flavor.

Sooner or later, it is going to work.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Another posted thread on umami got me thinking ....  check out the wiki posting on umami.  Maybe a few ideas there.

Emerogork's picture
Emerogork

I had figured that the in-shop shredded Whole Milk Polly-O Mozzarella and the home brew tomato sauce were overly influential and had him cook up some pizza dough with out anything on it. He served just the dough and it was absolutely delectable...  He even told me that when he serves a dinner, that is what they use for the side serving of bread.

One thing I did learn about tomato sauce lately.  Don't use canned spaghetti sauce especially if you cook it with added flavors such as onions, garlic etc. By the time it gets out of the oven on either a pizza or lasagna, the sauce has been cooked up to three times changing the flavor significantly.  (Well don't do it unless you want that flavor...)

My next pizza (or lasagna) will be straight tomato puree or chopped chunks.  I might even use fresh tomatoes instead. (Can anyone say Margarita?)

My 6-day rising of dough is now in its 3rd day...  Gotta keep an eye on it though.  I hear that when it stops rising may be too late.