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Old 01-05-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default Yeast culture for Pizza Dough help!

I have been recently working on a good sauce and dough recipe for pizza. I live at higher altitude (7000 feet). So working with dough is tough. Recently i came across this site about New York style pizza.
Jeff Varasano's Famous New York Pizza Recipe

He talks alot about how the yeast for the dough is very important and that it should be done with a starter of sourdough yeast. So i am thinking about using some ale yeast to see what type of flavor I can get.

Can someone help me make a starter for pizza. I make starters for my beer. I have standard equipment. [Stirplate, Flasks, burner, etc.] I am just unsure of how the process may be different for pizza. Things I should consider. Thanks.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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Boudin Bakery sourdough starter. You could add some ale yeast to the mix, but flour normally has both wild yeast and bacteria in it. You can even buy the culture they've been using since 1849. One of the best sourdoughs on the planet.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmoor View Post
I have been recently working on a good sauce and dough recipe for pizza. I live at higher altitude (7000 feet). So working with dough is tough. Recently i came across this site about New York style pizza.
Jeff Varasano's Famous New York Pizza Recipe

He talks alot about how the yeast for the dough is very important and that it should be done with a starter of sourdough yeast. So i am thinking about using some ale yeast to see what type of flavor I can get.

Can someone help me make a starter for pizza. I make starters for my beer. I have standard equipment. [Stirplate, Flasks, burner, etc.] I am just unsure of how the process may be different for pizza. Things I should consider. Thanks.
It's been a while since I've read his stuff (and it's a doozy due to the terrible, ramble-on single-page approach on the web site), but somewhere in there he mentions that "sourdough" is actually a misnomer; what "sourdough" means is a naturally-occurring yeast poolish. You likely don't want a "real" sourdough. He does have a link on his site to a place where you can find pizza dough starters.

As an aside, I don't understand the SF Bay area's fixation on sourdough. It's OK once in a while, but try as I might, it's difficult to escape. It really perplexes me that I have to watch when buying a baguette at the store for the fear that I'll accidentally grab a sourdough baguette by mistake. BAGUETTE SHOULD NOT BE SOURDOUGH!!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:42 PM   #4
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I finally found a reference to homebrew and pizza cultures, after searching through tons of stuff. It looks like people are just using the leftover yeast from a bottle of beer. adding that to the water that is used to make the culture.

So here is what I did.

3 tablespoons of flour
3/4 cup of water/the bottom of a bottle of ESB

stir twice a day for 48 hours. Add more flour and water/bottom of beer after 48

Repeat after another 48 with less water. Repeat again after 24 with even less water.

Then after another 24 make a starter with fermented dough that is remaining.

I can't wait to see how this tastes. My philosophy on this is that I do not want to buy a straight up culture that is made from some bread yeast. I want dough that has used beer yeast to go with my theme of pizza and homebrew. This is something I am developing for a business plan I am working on. My girlfriend and I want to open a wood fired pizza brewpub. A friend of mine is a baker and builds wood ovens for baking. The are amazing. He is going to build us a modified one for cooking pizzas.

The goal is a showcase oven where everyone in the restuarant can watch their pizza's being made. Also while they wait they can sip on beer, made on site. Anyway this is our goal and we are slowly getting things put together.

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Old 01-06-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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keep in mind the pizza that Jeff V. is making is one type of pizza cooked at extremely high temps. Not all pizza is the same...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php
kinda like HBT, but for pizza.

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Old 01-06-2010, 05:53 PM   #6
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I've use the yeast from the bottom of my primary fermentor bucket to make pizza dough with. You might give that a try as well..

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the Pizza Forum Link. Now I can get addicted to another forum

No really thanks for all the help.

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:11 PM   #8
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Cross-industry terminology can be a pain.

Lots of luck on the plan. It's tough to do a brewery and a restaurant at the same time. The Tornado in SF has the solution: a great pub in between a pizzeria and a sausage grill.

jpc - I love sourdough, but not in a baguette. Sourdough bread shouldn't be crunchy.

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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I'd be interested in your results. I'm ever screwing with pizza crust recipes, but I just use the store bought dry yeast as I've been able to find very little information on baking yeast. The experimentation I've been doing is with different beers in the crust. Bocks seem to give it this delicious kick

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #10
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I just listened to a Basic Brewing Radio podcast about sourdough bread, and the guest provided some excellent information about how to generate your own "sourdough starter" from scratch that sounds like it may be exactly what you're talking about - but IIRC it didn't require any yeast, it just used bacteria that was naturally on the flour.

You might find the podcast interesting - it's the January 10, 2008 episode, down near the very bottom of this page:

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.ph...ing-radio-2008

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