While the Wife is away, Dad and Kids eat Sourdough Pizza!!! HAHAHAHA
100% AP flour, sourdough risen, 8 hour bake, 70% hydration
Took a break from baking bread for a few days to work on Christmas presents out in the shop and fail to fix an unruly toilet.
Got to bake pizza tonight. My favorite type of bake. My wife is out of town, so I got to take a departure from my 100% whole grain bakes. Tonight, we dine on 100% Central Milling Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour. Bag says it is a mixture of wheat flour and malted barley flour.
Since I was baking for 5 kids and myself, I ended up baking 7 different pizzas (one small bonus pizza at the end because I didn’t weigh something right when dividing my dough). Having so many different pizzas to bake is nice because I get to experiment with bake times and other variables. I also get to see how the oven bloom changes throughout the bake.
Lessons to be Learned from this Bake:
- Going back to processed flours after almost a year without using them in bread or dough was interesting. More different than I had remembered.
- 70% hydration when using 100% AP flour was too wet to handle in a fun way for pizza. I like to throw my pizza in the air while shaping. This dough was a cloud, wonderful dough, but it needed gentle hands. I think next time I’ll drop it to 65%… My guess is that the perfect hydration level would change if I were to change to a different brand of flour.
- The crust was too chewy. I mean, it was excellent, but I would prefer less chewy. Two solutions: Shape a thinner crust (which was difficult at 70% hydration and because the gluten was fighting too much shaping at one time), use a different flour type that isn’t as strong. When I make pizza with home milled 100% WW, the crust is never this strong. I guess another solution would be to add a little bit of another type of flour to the mix to knock down the strength just slightly, like spelt.
- This is a personal preference thing… but I shaped the dough to have about a 5/8″ thickness throughout. Which when baked properly produced a very nice crunch and a nice piece of pie. But, if you like those blistered cornicione, you had to leave a lot crust when adding toppings, and the crust would just be SOOO tall compared the topped parts of the pizza. The lesson here is… if you want a blistered and cornicione, a thinner pie is probably better, something closer to 1/4″. If you have a pizza more than 1/2″ thick, it is probably a good idea to get those toppings as close to the edge as possible.
- I usually have thinner pies (1/4″ to 3/8″) and I usually bake my pies at 550dF convection. Well, with these thicker pies, 550dF was too high, the top burned before the middle of the pie had enough time to bake properly. One of these days I am going to buy or build a pizza oven and cook some pizzas at super high temps. When that happens, it think it will be interesting to see how thicker pizzas do in a super hot pizza oven (800-1500dF)… I bet they don’t bake too well unless covered, or unless you have very specific toppings… or maybe the heat transferred from the stone bakes from the underside so quickly that the results would be surprising. Anywho, since I got to bake 7 pies tonight, I got to zero in on the a perfect bake temp… started at 550dF convection at 6 minutes, and ended up at 500dF non-convection for 12 minutes.
Comparing what I did to Vito Iacopelli:
I had watched this youtube video on hydration levels a few weeks ago. Vito recommends 70% hydration in the video. I’d say my 70% dough behaved much like his 70% dough. Vito was much more assertive with his dough handling than me, and a big difference between his shaping and mine… Vito pie is thinner in the middle and has a thick ring around the edge. I went for even thickness throughout. I wonder though… maybe there is some benefit to that approach… basically you get the fast cooking thin crust in the middle where the toppings will be, and the cornicione can be big and blister on the edge. I don’t know… seems like you would end up with a lot of untopped cornicione, but maybe some people love that.
- 120g (13%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard white wheat:well water)
- 916g Central Milling Organic AP Flour
- 23g (2.5%) non-iodized salt
- 51g honey
- drained canned crushed tomatoes as the sauce, after putting on pie, sprinkled with salt, dried basil/oregano/thyme. This was a last minute pizza sauce, tasted quite good once I got the salt right.
- fresh mozzarella from costco.
- some OK sausage from costco, sliced diagonally to look cooler.
- sliced pickled jalapeños
- red pepper flakes
- large granule garlic powder
- 11:30a: Mix all ingredients till combined evenly and transfer to container for bulk proof, I siphoned off 20g for my aliquot jar.
- 12:00p: The dough had no strength, stretch and fold about 5 times.
- 1:00p: Very very mild increase in strength, stretch and fold about 5 times.
- 2:00p: Some strength, stretch and fold about 5 times.
- 3:00p: definite strength, stretch and fold about 5 times.
- 4:00p: I think I was at maximum strength at this point, stretched and folded 5 times.
- 5:30p: Dumped onto bench and separated into 7 pies. Preshaped each pie.
- 6:00p: Shaped each pie, gluten was strong, so I decided to shape in two steps. First pass got dough halfway to final size.
- 6:15p: Shaped each pie to final size.
- 6:20p: Preheat oven with pizza stone. (500dF non-convection is ideal)
- 7:00p: Top and then load first pie into oven and bake until done (ideally 12 minutes)
- 7:00p – 9:00p: Baked all pies topping while oven empty giving the oven about 10minutes to recover between pizzas.
6th out of 7 Pizzas
Crumb shot of 6th Pizza
Underside of 6th Pizza
Aliquot at 9pm
4th of 7 Pizzas
3rd of 7 Pizzas
1st of 7 Pizzas (My youngest chose the non-uniform topping distribution… he insisted)
Aliquot when the first pizza went in at 7pm
The pies after shaping and my son topping his.