pizza, autolyse, and first post
I considered myself a fair baker having started over 30 years ago with my good friends mothers apple pie recipe. I have worked in the food and beverage industry for about that same period of time in various positions, front and back of house. While very open minded, I have not sought to expand my baking acumen beyond what I already knew, which is mostly pies, cookies, cakes, and crap loads of pizza. I am sooooo going to break out into breads it is not even funny!
Since finding this website and trolling alot of the posts I have come across some fantastic, innovative techniques, as well as some great references to cookbooks on baking. The first techniques I have used are the the autolyse as well as the the French fold as shown in Richard Bertinets great video posted by ehanner, sorry, don't know how to link pages yet. Wow! What a diffefence this has made to my pizza dough! It was supple and much more stretchy than I am used to. Got a great windowpane after just a few minutes of kneading.
I cannot wait to make my pies tomorrow! FYI, i am using the recipes from Reinharts American Pie book. The only difference is that I incorperated an autolyse with 80% of the flour and all the water for the first mixing. Waited 30 minutes and added the remaining flour and other ingredients and followed with the Fench fold for about 7 minutes. All mixing was done by hand as I have a pretty good feel for dough, plus my KitchenAid mixer is the suxor for bread, especially a 10 cup batch. Before I had always used an active yeast with the sponge method. This time I used SAF instant yeast directly to the dough. I think this will be a transformational change in my baking as well.
This is my first post on a website devoted to baking. Normally I just troll and have a grand old time learning what I can. This time, however, I wished to share some of my success and with others that have the same passion as I do with food in general and baking specifically. I wish to develop a relationship with all of you passionate bakers and learn and share as much as I can.
Hopefully I will have some good pictures of my pies in the next few days, going on a camping trip this weekend. If anyone has any questions, please ask, I will check my post and respond to all inquiries. While I am new to this site and have alot of things to learn, I have been and avid dessert baker for along time. Also, I have made hundreds of pizzas in many variations. So please avail yourself if you have any questions. I'd love to help anyone make better pie, pizza pie that is!
Thanks for your time!