Author Topic: Pizza Crust?  (Read 3044 times)

Offline bluesman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2010, 02:19:56 PM »
What is, and where do I find, Vital Wheat Gluten.....That's the only thing I have left out of your recipe.

I haven't been able to find this at any of my local grocery stores. Here's a link for an online order.

http://www.koshervitamins.com/shop/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Item_ID=3238&zmam=83101301&zmas=1&zmac=2&zmap=AM-37120
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2010, 02:42:09 PM »
What is, and where do I find, Vital Wheat Gluten.....That's the only thing I have left out of your recipe.

I got it at Whole Foods.

edit: Oh, and basically it's a high-gluten flour that increases the protein content of the dough.  Increasing the protein content is believed to increase the amount of crust browning and crispiness.  In my experience, the vital wheat gluten does in fact make a difference in those respects.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 06:53:07 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline euge

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2010, 08:38:45 PM »
What is, and where do I find, Vital Wheat Gluten.....That's the only thing I have left out of your recipe.

I got it at Whole Foods.

edit: Oh, and basically it's a high-gluten flour that increases the protein content of the dough.  Increasing the protein content is believed to increase the amount of crust browning and crispiness.  In my experience, the vital wheat gluten does in fact make a difference in those respects.

That's good to know because I've found even All-Purpose is as good as Bread flour. I quit using gluten a ways back. but I still have lot's of it.

The trick with doing a poolish is making it a day or so before. Really it's like making a starter but it's much more than that. The poolish ferments out by the yeast eating most of the starch and leaving the gluten behind plus a bunch of really tasty by products such as alcohol. This then acts as the liquid basis for any batch of bread or pizza dough.

About 16 hours before baking I'll stir just enough flour into the water that's asked for in the recipe to make a thick liquid. Add yeast and stir.

Store overnight in plastic container with a snap on lid. Throw a kitchen towel over it. A warm place would be good. Really this should be easy for us brewers.

This poolish goes on top of the rest of the flour and is mixed in- usually at the three hour mark before baking.

Give it a try.

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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 08:07:36 AM »
Just like homebrewers to take an art and turn it into a science! ;) ::)
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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2010, 03:58:23 PM »
Hey bluesman,

I've been thinking of making a poolish for my Lehmann dough one of these days.  Since you've been making them for your recent doughs, maybe you can answer a few basic questions.

1) What is a poolish?

2) What is the point of a poolish?

3) Do you notice an appreciable difference in the doughs made with a poolish as opposed to the 24-48 hour cold-rise Lehmann doughs?

4) How do you make a poolish?

Thanks!
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Offline niquejim

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2010, 07:10:40 PM »
Hey bluesman,

I've been thinking of making a poolish for my Lehmann dough one of these days.  Since you've been making them for your recent doughs, maybe you can answer a few basic questions.

1) What is a poolish?

2) What is the point of a poolish?

4) How do you make a poolish?

Thanks!

A poolish is like a small sourdough starter...

The point is to get the yeast working and for the slightly richer flavour...

As said add all the water and enough flour to make a paste

You will then add the rest of the flour and all other ingredients when it is time to mix...which I would do several hours ahead of time

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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2010, 11:59:46 AM »
What is, and where do I find, Vital Wheat Gluten.....That's the only thing I have left out of your recipe.

I got it at Whole Foods.

edit: Oh, and basically it's a high-gluten flour that increases the protein content of the dough.  Increasing the protein content is believed to increase the amount of crust browning and crispiness.  In my experience, the vital wheat gluten does in fact make a difference in those respects.
I found Vital Wheat Gluten at a larger grocery store and it did make a huge difference in my dough.  However, it was more in how elastic it was rather than how it browned.  It says right on the package that mixed with water it becomes almost taffe-like.  It dramatically improved how easy it was to work and spin my dough.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2010, 12:39:08 PM »
Hey bluesman,

I've been thinking of making a poolish for my Lehmann dough one of these days.  Since you've been making them for your recent doughs, maybe you can answer a few basic questions.

1) What is a poolish?

2) What is the point of a poolish?

4) How do you make a poolish?

Thanks!

A poolish is like a small sourdough starter...

The point is to get the yeast working and for the slightly richer flavour...

As said add all the water and enough flour to make a paste

You will then add the rest of the flour and all other ingredients when it is time to mix...which I would do several hours ahead of time



Pretty much what niquejim has stated. I find that the dough has a different flavor when a poolish is used. The dough also tends to be easier to work with...more elastic.

I've done several batches so far and like the results. I am playing with the hydration % at this point. The only downside is the time factor. It takes more time to process the dough but for me it's all about the results. If the results are good...I'll take the time needed to acheive the end result. It's kind of like homebrewing in that sense for me.

I'm going to try a 61% poolish tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Offline denny

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2010, 12:43:01 PM »
I found Vital Wheat Gluten at a larger grocery store and it did make a huge difference in my dough.  However, it was more in how elastic it was rather than how it browned.  It says right on the package that mixed with water it becomes almost taffe-like.  It dramatically improved how easy it was to work and spin my dough.

I just started using this in my bread and I agree on the huge differences it makes.  Won't bake bread without it again!
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2010, 06:59:17 PM »
What are we gonna start a bagel thread next, oy! ;)  Vital Wheat Gluten increases the protein and elasticity in the dough, but I've found that the right combination of kneading and rising break down the glutens in flour well enough to give the correct amount elasticity to the dough for great pizza. Just sayin' ;)  Myabe I'm just too old school. ;D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 07:05:13 PM by redbeerman »
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2010, 07:30:29 PM »
Myabe I'm just too old school. ;D

Not at all...adding gluten enhances the dough somewhat, but it is strictly optional. 
While most American pizzerias (including old school, NY places) use high gluten flour, if the dough isn't soft enough it can make for a tough crust.  In Italy, I'm told they generally use a softer flour and certainly don't add more gluten. 

The NJ pizzeria I worked in many years ago made a very soft dough the day before use (when possible...sometimes we got slammed and had to make same-day dough;  but freshly made dough makes a decidedly sub-standard pizza).   I guess that making it the day before gave time for the elasticity to develop, as well as a characteristic lightness...the dough was very supple and easily shaped, and baked up light and airy on the all important outer rim crust.

I've duplicated the dough at home many times and it works great...but what I can't duplicate and what sets some average pizzas apart from an outstanding one  is the temperature of the pizza oven;  at the pizzeria we operated the ovens at almost 800°F...the pie was in and out in a very short time and was authentically and nicely singed (if you've ever had a pie at John's in Greenwich Village, NYC, you'll know what I'm referring to).  The highest temps I can get from my home oven (with stone in place) is around 550°F...close enough,  and it makes a good pie, but I do miss the character that  a really blazing hot oven contributes.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2010, 07:34:52 PM »
What are we gonna start a bagel thread next, oy! ;)  

Now that's one I haven't tried yet.  ;D
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Pizza Crust?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2010, 07:45:31 PM »
John's is da bomb!  Best in Manhattan!
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Jim