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OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

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  • OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

    I started my effort at homemade pizzas a while back, and I still can't get the dough right. I'm using the FB dough recipe to the letter - 500gr flour, 325gr water, 10gr salt, 3gr ADY.

    I am using Napoli Antico Molino tip 00 chef's flour, which says right under that "Produced by Antimo Caputo S.R.L". I found it at Central Market here in San Antonio, and it appears to be the correct thing, but now that I've dug a little bit though here, it appears that all tip 00's aren't created equal. I'm using filtered, softened, RO filtered well water, Morton's Kosher salt, and Red Star ADY.

    My process - hopefully you can find what I'm doing wrong.
    1. Measure out the flour directly into the KA bowl
    2. Measuer the salt and add to flour
    3. heat water to 120?F
    4. measure out 325gr of hot water
    5. add 3gr ADY to water and stir
    6. turn mixer on to 2, and pour water into the flour and salt.
    7. mix on 2 until ball forms/all flour incorportated
    8. rest for 10 minutes
    9. mix on 4 for 5 minutes
    10. mix on 2 for 2 minutes
    11. form dough into a ball, and put into an oiled SS bowl to rise (the first time I just used whatever EVOO was in the pantry. Last night, I used a Spanish garlic-infused olive oil).
    12. Since our kitchen is cold (anywhere from 65?F to 68?F), I heat the oven up to 180?F with the (2) stones in it, then turn it off. I open the door and let it cool for a moment, then place the bowl in the oven with a towel on it between the two stones, about 3" to 4" away from each. The stones are at about 150?F at this stage, the oven air probably less since it's been open for a few minutes. I leave the door cracked for about 30 minutes, then close the door and let it rise in the oven for a total of 2 hours.
    13. Remove the dough from the bowl, and measure out 5 equal portions of dough, using the pizza wheel to cut it.
    14. form the pizza balls, pulling the skin around to make a tight, smooth outer layer, dust them with (AP) flour, cover with plastic wrap and a towel.
    15. The first time, I out them in the fridge over night, and removed them about 2 hours before they were cooked. Last night, they sat in the now 85? oven for 30 minutes, then on the counter for another 30 to 45 since I had to light the oven to heat my tools.
    16. stretch the balls into pizza - they stretch well - almost too well - and pass the windowpane test easily. I say too well because when I pick it up, it sags and pulls it out of the nice round shape I just finished making
    17. (this step was only performed last night as a test) Using pastry brush, I brushed the dough with the garlic infused olive oil.
    18. add sauce, which in this case is Delallo Pizzeria Sauce out of a glass jar
    19. add pepperoni, Applegate Farms organic, humanely-raised pork, yadda yadda
    20. the first time, we used pre-sliced Boar's Head fresh mozzarella. It was way too wet and left a lot of water on top the pizzas, last night we skimped a little and just used a block of HEB processed mozzarella which we shredded.
    21. the gas oven at this point has reached it's max setting of 550?F, which in reality is closer to 580?, since I tuned the thermostat down a bit. There are two stones in the oven - 12" and 10" Pampered Chef stones, and a ~10lb cast iron Lodge griddle for added mass.
    22. The first time, I used the broiler. the stone was at ~600?F, and the pizza was about 2"-3" from the broiler.
    23. Last night, I put the 12" stone on the bottom rack, less than an inch from the oven floor. The 10" stone on the rack above it, and the griddle above the 10" stone with about 1.5" between all off them.
    24. The first pizza I made last night was a foccacia bread for my little boy that's currently suffering from a stomach bug - it had oil, salt, a bit of oregano and basil, dusted with (Kraft) shredded parmesean, and a few bits of the mozzarella. It went on the top stone which read 548? on my MT6 for 4 minutes. It was nice and crunchy, but way, way too tough and chewy.
    25. The next pizza went on the bottom stone which read 575? for 3 minutes.
    26. All in all, 5 pizzas were cooked alternating between the stones, for 3 to five minutes each. I had to toss my daughter's cheese pizza on the griddle for another minute to crisp up the bottom a bit more, though - I only brushed the outer rim of the crust of hers with the oil.

    The good news is, I'm getting consistent results. The bad news is, it's not very good. The pizzas come out with nice color and stiffness - almost blackened in spots on the bottom, browned on top. That's where the quality stops.

    The thin portions under the toppings are crunchy - completely crunchy, like a cracker. The outer crust is tough and chewy, to the point I thought my daughter was going to loose a tooth in it last night (she has one that's about to fall out anyhow). And there is no flavor to the crust.

    Ok, so where am I messing up? Are the stones not hot enough? Am I at the right hydration? Am I putting the yeast in at the right point in time? What am I doing wrong?

    I'll take pictures next time, but the wife ain't happy with my attempts so I don't know when that will be.

  • #2
    Re: OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

    Buy some King Arther Bread Flour and save the Tipo OO for the WFO. After the initial mixing, let it rise for an hour or so, then break into doughballs with no further mixing. Get some 7 cup plastic bowels, oil lightly, and let the dough ferment in the fridge for at least 24 hours out to 7 days. When you are ready to make pizza, take the doughballs out as needed, no need to let them warm up. You do not say what style pizza you want, but that works for most.


    • #3
      Re: OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

      My doughballs are 280-300g and press out to 14-16".


      • #4
        Re: OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

        I split this batch up into 5 dough balls of about 160 grams each, and they each came out to about 8" or 9". Due to the stretching after they were moved to the peel, they were more oval, about 12" long and 8" wide or so.

        I'll switch to bread flour this weekend and see if that improves it any. Is the main problem my temps are too low for the 00?


        • #5
          Re: OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

          I've never tried the FB recipe, but what strikes me as odd is that your adding such hot water to the dough. In culinary school we always shot for about an 80 degree (f) finished dough temperature, we had a formula that calculated the temperature of the flour and the speed of the mixer so we would would know what temperature of water to add. I would think that the hot water your adding is messing up the proteins in the gluten a little, but mostly killing your yeast. Yeast have a hard time living at too warm of temperatures. I am not sure about bread yeast, but even 80 degrees will kill beer brewing yeast. I would try your same recipe with ice water, your dough will come out of the mixer warm enough. I'll attach a good recipe I have used a zillion times, and it really rocks. I've used it in brick ovens, impingement ovens, and in my WFO.

          If your yeast don't digest some of the protein in your flour you will have very chewy bread/crust. Yeast actually tenderizes!

          I also recommend using SAF instant yeast. It is the most reliable yeast in my experience.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Re: OK, help me out here - it's too tough & chewy

            You know, now that you bring that up that is one thing that I discussed with my wife later last night. I pulled my one remaining package of yeast out of the pantry to re-read what it said, and it said 110?F for bread. I only have 500g of the 00 left, I'll finish it with cooler water this weekend before I go get a bag of bread flour.