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Cracker crust, crunchy...

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Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 701
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Cracker crust, crunchy... Reply with quote

Randy writes:

I made pizza last night.
I used the pizza dough recipe in the therapy book.
All ingredients were measured with a scale to ensure accuracy.
I used Fleichmann's bread machine instant yeast,
which is what I use for all my rustic breads.

I used (Antico Molino Napoli) Antimo Caputo tipo 00 flour.
Although the flour was about 12 months past the "best by date" it
had been stored in a cool, dry area, and I sifted it with a fine screen
strainer. I did this, as it was somewhat compressed when I opened the

When I turned the dough out of the mixer (KA) it was well
kneaded, but not sticky at all. It did not stick to the bottom or
sides of the bowl. I timed the KA kneading as per the recipe.

I let the dough rise in my oven (no pilot light)
with the light turned on.

The dough formed nicely into three balls, which I let sit
overnight in the refrigerator. I took the dough out the next day
about 2 hours prior to prep time to let it return to room temperature.

The dough was very tight, and kept springing back when I
tried to form it by hand. I let it rest for 10 more minutes, but it
was still hard to work with. I ended up using (ghast) a rolling pin
to get to about 1/8" thick (maybe a bit less).

I had pre-heated the oven for 60 minutes to 550F with a Fibrament baking stone as
the baking surface, and another no-name baking stone on the rack above it.
Since I am determined to get this right, I prepared the pizza on a wooden peel dusted
with flour, and removed it with a metal peel.
I baked the pizza until it was lightly golden brown on the bottom.

The crust, although tasty, was almost like a cracker crust, crunchy
on the outside, and VERY chewy on the inside. It was actually too crunchy,
and too chewy. It was edible though, after all, the only bad homemade pizza is no pizza.

I know what it should be like, as I lived for 2 years about 65 miles outside of Naples, Italy.
in the small town of Mercogliano (near Avellino). We had pizza on a very regular
basis while we lived there.
We also have two wonderful places here in Las Vegas, one of which
(Setebello Pizzeria Napoletana) is VPN certified.
The other, (Pizzeria Novecento) although not certified, follows the VPN practices.

Any idea what went wrong with the dough that caused it to be so hard to
work with, and then less than great after baking?

I am thinking maybe I should modified the dough to a higher hydration until
a very sticky dough was produced. I didn't want to over develop
the dough on the initial mixing so I did not do so. Most likely next time I
will increase the water by 1/2. Ideas?


"Pizza on Earth...Good Will to All!"
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Joined: 07 Jul 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Santa rosa,ca. USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randy, it sounds to me like you kneaded the dough toooo long. The gluten overdeveloped. I useCaputo 00 Pizzeria flour alone and in combo with KABF. The dough is tender and pliable after kneading. I suggest you test the dough every minute as you knead, stop the mixer and pull a small piece of dough, large marble size,roll it gently into a ball and stretch gently until the dough has some give and tears nicely. I saw this done in Vegas at the Pizza Expo this year. It has helped me a lot. note the total time that the dough kneaded to get to that point for future use. I don't know the hydration you used but 60-62% should be good for that flour, environmental conditions taken into account.
Many pizza cooks beat up their dough, be gentle, it will bring dividends.

Happy pizza Making!!!!!!!

Mark Cool
Mark's kitchen & Smokin' BBQ
Head cook
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