Monday, February 14, 2011

A little bit goes a long way

As I am on my quest to make great pizza, I will periodically try new recipes. Last week saw one from I tried the New York Style. Two things I found interesting about this dough. First, it has a fairly low hydration (amount of water to flour) of only about 56% . The second was the relatively large amount of yeast.
I'm not going to go into detail now, but higher hydration leads to better texture and the goal is to use as little yeast as is necessary.

According to the great bread baker Peter Reinhart: "use only as much yeast as it takes to get the job done and no more"

I would say there was way too much in this recipe.

At the same time I made another batch with my Ischia culture, at about 70% hydration. I let the doughs rest in the refrigerator for 4 nights. Then proof at room temperature for about 6 hours. Here you can see the difference in the doughs.


In the end the New York Style was too puffy for my taste. The parts under the topping was too doughy and the cornicione (crust) was too uniform in texture. Shown below is a fire roasted tomato with fresh mozzarella.


As you can see below the higher hydration dough, still puffed in the oven, but was less uniform in texture, creating big open holes (this is were that extra hydration comes into play). This one is topped with hot peppers and roasted garlic.


Here you can see the structure of the cornicione.

This last one was again with the New York dough and topped with mizuna (also called japanese mustard, has a similar taste to arugula) and blue cheese.


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