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calendar   Thursday - February 22, 2024

Once Again, The One And Only Post

February 22, 2024


Ok, this works. Scale it up if you want more dough. Once well rested and matured, this is a super extensible dough that can stretch out to “windowpane” thinness, and will bake nicely in a 500-500 oven in just a few minutes.

Autolysed Poolish NY Style Pizza Dough

Autolyse, or autolysis, is the term applied to the way flour breaks down when wet. Without any yeast or any heat, damp flour will soften up and start to form glutens. This is a good thing. About an hour is long enough.

A poolish is a “pre ferment”, in which a little bit of commercial yeast is added to a good amount of some very wet flour and left alone for half a day or so. Not only does it use less yeast, it creates lots of flavor, as the little flour bacteria start to breed. It’s kind of halfway to being sourdough, but with supplied yeasts, instead of what occurs naturally on the wheat in the field. A poolish is very wet, often 100% hydration.

Hydratian level is the amount of liquid in a dough, expressed as a mass percentage of the total amount of flour in a recipe. So 100% hydration would have a certain weight of flour, and the same weight of water. 50% hydration means the water weight is half that of the flour weight. Another kind of preferment, called a “biga” often uses 50% hydration. Bigas can be harder to work with because they are very stiff, but they are also rather forgiving time-wise to their peak yeastiness, whereas poolish is pretty close to flour soup but the yeast peak is a more narrow time window.

A New York style pizza dough needs to be a bit firmer than a Neopolitan dough, but also not brittle; a NYC street slice is a long thing, and everyone folds it in half lengthwise so the toppings don’t drip off.



image  image




Makes a bit under 800 grams of dough, which is enough for 2 15” pies

Mix together
323 grams King Arthur Bread Flour
139 grams King Arthur All Purpose Flour

then put 300 grams of the mixed flour in your mixer bowl. Set the remaining 162gm mixed flour aside.
To the mixing bowl add 270 grams of warm water. 270/300 = 90% hydration, so this will be pretty soft. You don’t knead here, just mix it up. Rough mix is ok; you can do this with bare hands or a wooden spoon or the beater in your stand mixer.
Cover the bowl and let it sit for an hour. It’s just flour and water.
Next, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in 30ml of water, which is 1 fluid ounce. A good excuse to get out your cocktail jigger! Add this to the autolysed wet flour, then use the mixer to thoroughly mix in the yeast water. Cover, and leave it in the bowl on the counter for about 12-14 hours. When the poolish is ripe you will see plenty of little moon crater bubbles on top.

To the remaining flour, add an mix in 12 grams of salt, 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, 2 teaspoons of white sugar.  Pour this onto the poolish along with 2 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil. Mix on low speed for a minute or two, then knead on speed 2 for only 3 minutes. This slack dough will not require much kneading at all!

Now cover it up, leave it on the counter for 90 minutes, then into the fridge for at least 8 hours ... 2 or 3 days is fine; the longer it’s in there the better the flavors you’ll get.

When it’s time to make some pizza, dip both hands in plain all purpose flour, and carve off about half the dough, and work it. The flour on your hands will dry things out just a bit (it might take 2 dips in the flour) and leave you with a very soft dough you can play Pizza Guy with to your heart’s content. You can stretch this stuff out and out and out, to the point where you can easily see light through it. Windowpane!

and it tastes good too.


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February 20, 2024


Maybe, maybe I might be starting to get well. Or less sicker?

I have been very sick for 3 weeks now. A few days into the huge doses of Augmentin and the Prednisone, along with a ton of vitamins and some Mucinex tablets, and I might be turning a corner. Might. Not quite as much coughing, nose running much less.

The initial positive reaction was just initial; it’s still a fight and it doesn’t always go my way. but I’m doing everything I know how to do.

Sorry, that’s about all I have.


#############

Ok, I tried making pizza dough yesterday. And then found out later that there is a tremendous difference between a Neopolitian dough that’s designed to bake up in a minute in a 1000 degree oven, and the more or less New York style dough that will do well in a typical home oven which tops at at perhaps 550 degrees.

And all that other baker stuff ... use a biga, use a poolish, do an autolyse, do a chilled 72 hour ferment ... oh gak, a bit more than I could handle. But that was yesterday. Today I feel up to experimenting with a small amount of flour and water, enough to make one decent sized pizza when all is said and done.



#############

I might do some kind of beef and bean burrito thing for dinner. Keep it fairly small. Not sure what kind of cheese we have or how much. Beans and chiles, no problem there!


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February 17, 2024


Another week of light posting. Another week of being sick. Ok, I finally broke down and went to the local clinic. The extremely young woman PA set me up with some strong antibiotic and a heft 12 day dose of prednisone. Both prescriptions together cost me $2.26. Got home, took the first dose of each, and within an hour my nose is not running and I am not coughing and my chest is not congested. Son. of a. Gun.

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