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  • #16
    The rolling pin thing is really a matter of taste. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine. Still, I'm glad your pizzas are working.

    How long are you resting your dough balls after you shape them? They need time to relax.

    There are various types of real pizza, each of which is authentic and different people like different styles. The main types include Pizza Napoletana (where you quickly hand toss the dough made from Italian Tipo 00 flour), NY style pizza (which is a slightly thicker and chewier and based mainly on US bread flour), cracker style (which has a thin and crispy dough that does not puff up around the cornice and is made with a rolling pin), and a much thicker Sicilian pizza (which is bread like underneath). There is even a generic "thin" pizza that you find in Italian pizzerias -- somewhere between Pizza Napoletana and the cracker style. I have heard people complain that Pizza Napoletana is too heavy for them. Imagine that -- if only they could see a chain store pizza, they would fall over.

    There is definitely no "right" pizza.

    I can't imagine using my oven without the turning peel --it's an essential.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

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    • #17
      Back to the yeast

      Tom,

      I have always thought that it is best to use just enough yeast to accomplish the rise you want in the time frame you want. If you have the time, and your dough is working well, I don't think there is any advantage to using more yeast. I don't find a yeasty flavor all that attractive and if your dough rises too fast, you are not getting all the flavor and texture you can from the flour. I've read numerous articles and books on how yeast and dough work (though of course I don't remember the chemistry), and the main theme seems to be that time and cold fermentation are good -- and that while you can hurry fermentation with more yeast and a 90F temperature -- such as bread machine, your dough won't be as nice.

      When I am in a hurry, and want to be certain that my dough will rise in time for my dinner (or party or event), I will use a little extra yeast to be risk aversive, but that's all.

      In one sense, I think your home pizza can be better than restaurant pizza -- where too often they don't have the time (or space, or refrigeration, or cost-structure) to do long ferments. The same is true with your olive oil. At home you can use the good stuff, where many restaurants don't.

      James
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

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      • #18
        Originally posted by james
        How long are you resting your dough balls after you shape them? They need time to relax.
        I made two batches, one 3 nights before and one 2 nights before, although I did not have my dough ball containers (used Glad 42oz square plastic containers) when I made each batch so they were divided and rested for 1-2 days each. Again, unbelievably supple and easy to work with. Our crust before this was in between cracker and VPN. Ordering the pizza turner and some caputo today.

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        • #19
          Bout time I posted something useful...

          I made a pie last night, was fresh Mozz and smoked black and green olives..

          for those who do not have a smoker, grab a big box, poke two holes in two opposing sides, thread a dowel through the holes, rest a grill on the dowels with the box flipped over, cut a hinged flap in one side near the bottom..

          ok that's yer smoker...now you need smoke..grab one of wifey's 8 or 9 inch
          cast iron skillets..one she doesn't ever use.. and a ten dollar single burner hot plate from wally world...now, soak some hardwood chips, your choice, in a pan of water for at least a couple hours, but not much more than a couple days, load a handful into the skillet and cover it with heavy grade aluminum foil, poke a few holes in..the idea here is to keep the wood from catching
          fire,
          you just want it to smoulder..set the hot plate in the box, (far enough from the
          carboard so as not to catch fire please...turn it on to about medium and
          drop the skillet on the burner...now, watch and see how much smole you get, if it's great big clouds, turn down the fire, you just want a nice steady flow...

          when you are happy with the smoke, you can put the food in by unfolding the
          top (bottom really) of said large box.

          Here is the fun part, take a pyrex pan or whatever (it's a cold smoker so temp isn't a big deal, washing out the dish later is a hassle though, pyrex makes it easy..loomnum foil works too... anyway, dump in a handful of green olves and some black olives, drizzle a little EVOO and sprinkle with garlic powder (lightly!) some pecorino romano, maybe a little white pepper..whatever you think is good..now smoke 'em until you like 'em!

          you can then add the olives to anything you;d usually use olves for, but you might find that they don't last.

          if you want to be the center of attention at a pot luck, chuck a few of these into the cuisinart and grinde em to pate, which can be used as such, or mixed with cream cheese and served on water crackers, maybe with a bit of lox and caviar...

          try this...grab a block o half decent cheddar and smoke it...see, I just freed you from 8.00 a pound smoked cheese.

          heh..salt cure some salmon and...well, you get the point..

          Don't however try this with un cured meat...gotta have a hot smoker for that action.

          yes, I did see that episode of Good Eats..been doing it this way for a long time.

          with a little more equipment, you can make your own pepperoni..chorizo..
          name it.

          Oh..do this outside... If I didn't say it...
          hope somebody finds this useful.

          Edit: I see I got this in the wrong pigeon hole...feel free to move it...<DOH!>
          Last edited by zopi; 10-16-2006, 01:58 PM.

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          • #20
            Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

            I just made some dough using the first James recipe, 500 g flour, 65&#37; water. I actually added MORE water after the 10 min autolyse because the dough ball wasn't sticking to the bottom at all, it seemed too dry. Added maybe 1 tbsp extra, seemed ok when I pulled it out to rest.
            Keller TX
            Artigiano 39"
            former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
            www.leanblog.org
            http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

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            • #21
              Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

              Is it possible to make a dough like this entirely by hand?..

              I don't have a mixer of any kind.. and I have generally been making my dough by mixing for as long as I can in a bowl.. gets pretty hard to mix after about 1 - 2 minutes .. And then I knead it for like 5 - 8 minutes..

              I've been fairly happy with the results, but I've just been using standard plain old all-purpose flour and supermarket grade ingredients, so I know I can do better..
              I recently ate an authentic Napoletana pizza at a restaurant in Calgary, AB (Pulcinella) which was amazingly good.. And so I'd like to try to replicate this as best I can with my BroilKing grill (will go up to 700 degrees) & pizza stone..

              Once I'm able to locate the proper ingredients I'd like to attempt to make this without the aid of a mixing machine. Is it possible??

              Originally posted by james View Post
              We have been experimenting with this for some time, and I think we are ready to offer a standard "by weight" recipe for Pizza Napoletana dough. One thing that is remarkable is how simple it is -- if you start with the right ingredients and use a digital scale, it can be easy and fast. This is an olive oil-free recipe, but in order for it to work, you need to use real Italian Tipo 00 pizza flour.

              I have started working in grams, as the baker's percent is easy to calculate digitally. If you don't have a digital scale, think about getting one. They aren't expensive (I bought my scale at Walmart for $25), and a scale will definitely improve you baking. If you don't want to go digital, you can find our Pizza Napoletana recipe (in cups) here:

              That said, I have enjoyed moving from volume (cups) to weight (grams). It is more accurate and it's fast. It can also be consistently replicated -- which unlike most home recipes, it very important.

              Here goes:

              500 grams Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour
              325 grams water (65% hydration)
              2 tsp salt
              2 tsp active dry yeast

              Using a stand mixer set a low speed (use #2 for a minute or two, go to #4, then back to #2 with a KitchenAid mixer), blend the water and flour until you have reached a dough ball. It should take a couple of minutes. Once you have incorporated all of the flour, stop, and let everything rest for 10 minutes. This period will allow the flour to fully absorb the water.

              Then mix the dough for 10 mintues.

              Let the dough rest at room temperature for 90 minutes. It should have doubled.

              Then, cut the dough into four balls (125g each). Shape the pizza balls, and set them on a floured surface to rest for at least 30 minutes. If you start in the morning or the night before, make your dough balls in advance and put them in the refrigerator.

              If you use Caputo Tipo 00 flour, the moist (65% hydrated) recipe and you handle your dough gently, you will reward you with a supple, silkly pizza base that is easy to shape, springs in the oven, and tastes great.
              James

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              • #22
                Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                TH,

                Of course you can do it by hand. After all, it was done that way for centuries before electricity arrived. Have a look at some of the videos at pbs.org that feature Julia Child & famous chefs. In several spots, there are people making dough entirely by hand. The best way to know if you've hand kneaded enough is to learn the windowpane test discussed in the "Wood-Fired Bread Cookbook." If you can see a dark pattern of gluten threads in the stretched dough, it has been kneaded enough. This is easier to accomplish with better flours, so maybe try a 50-50 blend of AP and hard bread flour until you get your hands on some Caputo.

                Jim
                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                • #23
                  Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                  I've been without an stand mixer for a year, and I have enjoyed the experience of hand mixing dough. It puts you in touch (hah) with the ingredients.

                  Of course I miss the smell of the gears burning on my KitchenAid mixer.
                  James
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces

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                  • #24
                    Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                    James, what speed on the KA mixer for the last 10 minutes?

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                    • #25
                      Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                      Hi Ted,

                      I just read through the PDF file, and I can see that it needs to be more clear. I would run the mixer on 2 for a minute or two to mix everything together into a loose ball, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Then I would mix it for 10 minutes on 3 or 4 (I don't have a mixer here to double check).

                      Having said this, I would defer to Jim on his thoughts.

                      Meanwhile, I am re-writing the PDF and will post it shortly. This will also be part of the upcoming Wood-Fired Pizza e-Book, so the timing is good.
                      James
                      Pizza Ovens
                      Outdoor Fireplaces

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                      • #26
                        Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                        Here is a new version of the Using Caputo Tipo 00 pdf. Take a look and let me know what you think. I am very open to making changes to this.
                        James

                        http://www.fornobravo.com/PDF/Using-caputo-tipo00.pdf
                        Pizza Ovens
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                        • #27
                          Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                          James, I think you meant to say "bring them back out of the refrigerator" not "oven" in the next to the last paragraph.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                            Thanks Ted. I've fixed that.
                            James
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces

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                            • #29
                              Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                              James,

                              The dough pdf is looking good. Under ingredients, there is a typo: year for yeast.

                              As for mixing times, it really depends on the mixer. I stick to temperatures for this, normally between 77 and 81 F, no higher. Ten minutes in the mixer seems like a lot to me. I always finish my doughs on the bench by hand to make sure the consistency is where I want it. A dough can feel too tacky in the mixer, but once on the working surface with a dust of flour and a minute or two of hand kneading the consistency changes quite a bit. Better to undermix in the machine than overmix.

                              Jim
                              Last edited by CanuckJim; 05-03-2007, 07:33 AM. Reason: Thickheadedness
                              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                              • #30
                                Re: Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

                                Very good. Thanks. I will add that commentary, and fix my millionth typo.
                                James
                                Pizza Ovens
                                Outdoor Fireplaces

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