Pizza Newbie with lots of questions!
I make pizza every Friday. Trying to get a grip on yeast before delving more into bread. I have lots of questions, but here's my most immediate.
Bought Bread Flour for the first time last night. I made up the dough this morning like I usually do (but using the bread flour). It tripled in size in just two hours! I punched it down, but I'm a little concerned. Here's my recipe and process. Maybe somebody can tell me what I'm doing wrong.
1000g Bread Flour
10g Dry Active Yeast
After proofing the yeast, I just combined all the ingredients and put it in the KitchenAid with dough hook for 10 minutes (checking to scrape bowl once or twice). Once that was done, I just remove the hook and cover the bowl with a wet towel. That's pretty much it.
Maybe I should:
Put it in the fridge?
Divide it up?
My other most pressing question is about hydration. As you see, I went with 60%. I tried at 65% the last few times. The first time it just tore a little when transferring, but it was salvageable. The second time, it was a sloppy mess with no strength. I got so upset that I just threw it away. Last week, I got the same sloppy mess, but I just re-kneaded it generously adding more flour and had to delay dinner while it rested until I could form the pies. The only difference I could think is that it was rather warm the last two Fridays. Keep in mind that this was with AP flour as well.
For anyone who is still reading and has the time, some other questions that I haven't quite found in the forum are:
How can you tell the protein content of the flour you're buying? I looked all over the packaging and couldn't tell..
Convection oven tips. We recently bought a house that has a full convection oven, meaning the heat source is at the back instead of the bottom. This makes it hard to get a brown crust. Pre-heating my 14" cast-iron skillet helps, but I avoid using parchment paper because I need all the heat I can get on the crust (another struggle with high hydration since I have to transfer from the peel to the skillet). I haven't bought a stone (or steel) yet. Is that the only other trick? My best results have been with the skillet on my gas grill.
When do you divide the dough into balls?
That's enough for now. Here's hoping for success tonight!