Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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Old 21-05-2004, 09:17 PM
John N.
 
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Default Different results. Why?

I make a lot of pizzas, and the last couple times I made seem to have lost
something in the crust. I'm hoping someone here can help me identify the
problem and suggest a solution.

The pizza crust is (supposed to be) a Neapolitan style. The proportions are
1.25 C water, 2.5 C all purpose and 1 C cake flower and 1 tsp. yeast. (This
recipe is from the book Pizza: Any Way You Slice It). At it's best, the
crust is very thin in the center, puffy around the rim and has a nice, chewy
texture and a great 'fresh bread' flavor (for lack of a better term).

The last couple times it has come out too chewy, almost hard or tough, not
as puffy and without that nice flavor. Here's some things that may be
effecting it:

Yeast - I was always careful not to use too hot water. Package was new and
date was fine.

Kneading - I kneaded approximately 7 minutes in the Kitchen Aid and another
2-3 by hand. Could I be overdoing it and developing too much gluten? Ot not
enough gluten to support the rise?

Hydration - It did feel a little drier than it usually does last time. The
recipe calls for 2.5 to 3 C all purpose, and I was at the low end of that.
Would a wetter dough help me get that lighter, chewier texture?

Proof time - Recipe calls for a first rise for 90 minutes, divide into 4
balls (with minimal handling) and another 90 minute rise until doubled. I
did as suggested, and it seemed about doubled. I know slower proof times can
improve flavor, but my best results have come using these times.

Too many variables, and too little time to experiment a lot. Any help or
ideas would be appreciated.

John



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Old 03-06-2004, 01:27 AM
Carol
 
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Default Different results. Why?

"John N." wrote in message ...
I make a lot of pizzas, and the last couple times I made seem to have lost
something in the crust. I'm hoping someone here can help me identify the
problem and suggest a solution.


Hydration - It did feel a little drier than it usually does last time.

John, since you said you make a lot of pizzas, I'm assuming you're
using the KitchenAid as you routinely do, so that is probably not the
issue. You also mentioned the yeast was fresh and the rising time the
same. But since you mentioned the dough felt drier, I wondered about
the age of the flour. As flour ages, it loses moisture, requiring
more liquid in the dough.

Humidity can also be an issue. I don't know where you live, but
changes in weather can affect the hydration. Go by feel and if you
sense more water is needed, add it. I hope this helps.

Carol


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