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    • Profile PhotoIsam
      Participant
      @isams123
      Post count: 11

      Hello All -my pizza crust is way too chewy / dry (olive oil topping, not red sauce). Right out of te oven it is ok, but the rate in which it dries is very fast.

      Some people add yogurt or milk to improve the crust.  I don’t want to use dairy products. Do you recommend non-dairy alternatives to such problems?

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello Isam,

      For pizza crust the approach is a little different than bread.  Without seeing other formula and process details, I can only take some guesses, and hope you find the information useful.  First off is hydration.

      A less chewy pizza dough will require higher highdration – generally.  this can be somewhat dependant on ash and protein of the flour too.  Most artisan type pizza with a less chewy or less bread-like crust are 70% hydration and up – again this is flour dependant – crop year, etc.  Quick example is the Italian “00” Flour used for pizza has lower ash and protein than All Purpose Top Patent flour in Canada.  the Canadian flour can take up more water, and will be slightly chewier.

      Process – Fermentation is your friend.  The best pizzas I have enjoyed have all been slow fermented dough retarded overnight under refrigeration.  There is natural enzyme activity that helps relax the gluten and improves the flavor.  These enzymes need time, and go to work when the fermentation is slowed down in the retarder.  I am aware that unpasteurized juice from fruits like pineapple and kiwi can be used to add enzyme activity in establishing a sour barm for bread.  It may work for pizza dough as well.  I have not tried it yet myself.

      As for direct dairy replacements, it is a matter of understanding what is happening in the functionality that you are replacing.  Obviously yogurt provides lactic acid, that you cannot directly replace without dairy.  You can create similar fermented notes through fermentation.  Other than that some of the most popular substitutes will depend on local availability.  Soy flour, and or lecithinated soy flour, pea flour, and isolated proteins from soy, pea, or wheat can be beneficial.  Partner with your supplier for support and recommendations of what you can reliably obtain supply of to meet all of your needs.

       

    • Profile PhotoIsam
      Participant
      @isams123
      Post count: 11

      Hello Mark – thank you for the input, I really appreciate it. I also watched your Live Stream today. This is a frozen pizza, hydration is at 74.9% and olive oil 6.3%…with flour protein at 10% All-purpose Gold Medal Unbleached.

      I par-bake it at 450 F for 5 minutes before it is frozen. Quick and hot like you and Dr. Lin refer to.

      With low protein content, high hydration and olive oil in dough, I am surprised that texture still comes out dry and chewy after baking the frozen pizza.  That’s why I always thought it was the olive oil.

      I will try increasing to 80% hydration (but maybe thats too much?) or using half softer flour and will see how that will play out..Is that more common for frozen pizzas? once again, my current measurements come out great with no dryness/chewyness if baked fresh…but since it is frozen, I face this issue. So maybe different flour / hydration level for freezing needed.

      Thanks a lot!!!


      @independant-consultant

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello @isams123 – my pleasure.  My initial response was based on assumptions, and in general is of course valid.

      You are good on hydration in my opinion, and you are using an American type all purpose flour that should suffice for protein strength.

      As your challenge is par-bake specific, this adds different factors.  I think you will need to adjust the baking process.  It may be that you are baking to cool, too long, and either drying out too much, or not getting sufficient set and the crust collapses.  For par-bake of a pizza it would be best to have 2 or more zones.  First 550°F, or hotter if available, for 1 or 2 minutes, and then cooler chambers just long enough to set the starch structure without evaporating much moisture.  This might be 400°F for 2 minutes.  Important is that you get heated all the way through to the center and achieve at least 200°F.  If you have a long enough thermal probe it would be beneficial to use to check.  The idea behind par-bake is that the end customer/consumer creates the final browning process, and only heats the product through briefly.

    • Profile PhotoIsam
      Participant
      @isams123
      Post count: 11

      Hello @independant-consultant – thanks a lot for the input. I usually put the crust on a pan then place that pan on a stone in center oven rack when par-baking the dough at 450 F for 5 minutes.

      Per your comment, this makes me wonder if indeed the heat transfer between the stone to the pan and then the pan to the crust is limited in those 5 mins causing moisture to evaporate and not setting the crust structure enough..

      400 F for 2 mins seems very low, it usually takes 6-8 minutes for me at 400F..but again that is using a pan. I will try using parchment paper on the stone instead and see if that improves end product.

      Could the evaporation and dryness be taking place in the final bake by the customer / after freezing instead of the factors you mention in the par-bake process? I bake the product for 7 mins, 425 F or 400F, 10mins after taking out of the freezer.

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello @isams123,

      I have to admit I do not know what your production process Setup and limitations are.  For baking temperature what I was suggesting would be in a multi-zone oven.  This allows you to have more drastic temperature changes as the product travels through the different zones.  For example; if you had 2 ovens and set one at 550°F, and the second at 400°F, then you can bake briefly at both temperatures. One after the other.

      Yes, the pan is definitely adding heat transfer resistance.  If you cannot easily eliminate the pan, increase the temperature, and be sure the stone is well heated.

      What type of oven are you using?

    • Profile PhotoIsam
      Participant
      @isams123
      Post count: 11

      Hi @independant-consultant – hope you had a nice weekend. I am using a regular home conventional over  to par-bake at 450F middle rack for 5 minutes at the moment. Sorry for not clarifying that earlier.

      At the above time and temperature, it makes the crust firm enough but still soft with barely few browning on edges which is why I limit it to that time/temp.

      I have a second smaller oven that I can set to 400F…is that common practice to parbake in 2 different zones? if it will help with setting structure and avoiding extended water evaporation then I will surely give it a try!

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello @isams123,

      multi-zone ovens’ a fairly common where a special or unique process is beneficial.  Product like pizza or flatbread that bake in a relatively short time may need high heat at first to get proper expansion, but then lower heat after, and a single chamber oven cannot cool down that fast.

      First, I think you need to get your heat transfer up.  You mentioned you are baking on a stone.  First try just making 1 change.  Bake on the stone instead of the pan.  Then try the same, only higher temperature.  As hot as you can set the oven.  A home oven will never be as hot as a pizza oven, but you can at least troubleshoot your product development first.

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