Author Topic: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM  (Read 1903 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« on: September 27, 2010, 07:43:32 AM »
Over the weekend, I had a very welcomed opportunity to meet up with Bill and chat about pizza over lunch.  Bill and his wife were so gracious to open up their home and were the perfect hosts.  I was very much looking forward to this luncheon to chat about pizza and to sample some of Bill's creations.  Meeting Bill was just a real pleasure for me.  I tried to play it cool at Bill's house and not get too caught up in the fact that I was eating pizza with Bill!  :-D

We made and ate about 5 pies total and every one of them was really satisfying.  I have to honestly say that Bill's pies are as good as they look in the pictures he puts up.  From the quality of ingredients he uses to the finished crust, everything was really spot on.  I was really caught up in the moment having such a wonderful time that I completely forgot to take any pictures.  Sorry gang.   :P  I think Bill did snapped up a few pictures though. 

Bill even encourage me to bring along a few doughballs to bake in his WFO.  Knowing my obsession with pizza, he even allowed me to bake a couple of my own pies in his oven.  I brought over 2 doughballs.  1 was made with caputo and mixed with my new Bosch mixer and the other one was 50/50 AP/Pastry flour I hand kneaded several days prior.  I wanted to see the difference in the 2 kneading techniques and flours.

I was really surprise by the transforming effect a WFO has on the finished crust.   My first distinct impression is that the WFO brings life to the crust and crumb.  It just seemed to me that the effect of a WFO really bridged the gap that I was missing in my home made pizza.  Both crusts turned out well, but the caputo one mixed with the Bosch was the clear winner between the two.

My wife and I had a really wonderful time with much laughter and great pizza.  The overall experience left a big impression on me.  Thank you again Bill.

Chau
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 07:47:27 AM by Jackie Tran »


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 08:27:55 AM »
NICE, what a great opportunity !!
unfortunately i live in Brazil, i would love to meet in person... iam going to the US (Florida) December for Christmas, hope to go to Tampa and stop by Peter's Wood Fired Pizza....
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline norma427

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 08:29:15 AM »
Chau,

I am glad you got to try your dough in Bills WFO and also try his pizzas.  ;D  It sounds like you both had a great time.  WFOs sure are fascinating.  You did have a wonderful opportunity to meet Bill and also be able to try his pizzas.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 09:03:35 AM »
My wife and I had a blast hosting Chau and his lovely wife. As is obvious from his posts, Chau is a sharp, thoughtful, and witty guy. And the pizza he made, especially the Margherita with the Caputo and mixed in his new Bosch, was as good as any I've enjoyed in Naples. Can you imagine how good his pies will be once he gets his own WFO? Below is a shot of it with a sauce I made from tomatoes from my garden and some some DiPalo mozzarella. 

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2010, 09:32:16 AM »
Chau - You hit perfection with your dough on the first try in a WFO. That pie is picture perfect. It goes to show your formulations and technique are spot on.

John

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2010, 09:45:20 AM »
you are right John... the only thing Chau is missing is a WFO....

all of us tried making the perfect neapolitan pie without a WFO, but once you see what a WFO does, you know its the missing link...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2010, 10:14:58 AM »
Thank you all and thank you Bill for the huge compliment.  I think it might have been one of those rare times where everything was lined up just right.  I certainly had all the work cut out for me on this one.  I am very much looking forward to learning more about WFO's and how to properly build and manage a fire.

I had hope that the pictures would turn out okay.  I only remembered studying the cornicione briefly and noted how I had a little too much angle in the peel so the cheese shifted a bit off centered.   :-D  It was my anal retentive nature kicking in.  Always something to work on...But the picture....wow.
Your photography skills are top notch like your pizzas.  Very artistic.  You are a man of many talents.

Though I was impress that the WFO elevated the crust in both texture and taste, it was really the combination of sauce & cheese that made it very good for me.   The sauce was awesome and the cheese....I liked it very much.  I'll be ordering some soon.  Would you mind posting a link of where you order that cheese from?  How did you come across this cheese and how did you settle on using it?

Beyond the awesome pizzas that we enjoyed it was as you related to me about your experience with pizza in Naples.  For me, this pie and the whole experience including the ambiance and the company of friends is something I will remember for a long time.   

Chau

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2010, 11:26:42 AM »
Chau,

It's all about the crust! The rest is just icing on the cake, as it were.

Chau and I ran one little interesting test. While stretching out the dough, I really pounded the edges. Had absolutely no effect on the puffiness and texture of the crust.

In another experiment, we put a completely naked crust in the oven for a dessert pie. It puffed up, almost exploded up, into a big sphere. I deflated it, topped it with Nutella, a cloud of whipped cream, and a few liquor-infused cherries.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2010, 11:35:33 AM »
Chau,
Yes you are a lucky man! I have the same oven as Bill that I built myself, but nowhere near the knowledge or commitment or photo skills, as Bill. They do the puff (naked dough) thing here at Amono and use it for sandwiches. I do it to wow the crowd with a small 6" pie POOF! so cool! I did put the Bosch on hold and got a new Nikon D3000 for a start. Chau Your dough looks great ! I also enjoyed the thread on your bosch experiments. What Type of WFO did you say you were getting? I can imagine the research on that for you :-D
Thanks for posting
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 11:49:42 AM »
Would you mind posting a link of where you order that cheese from?  How did you come across this cheese and how did you settle on using it?


http://store.dipaloselects.com/frhomo.html

I first learned about from it from one of my favorite food blog:

http://www.cookingissues.com/

Alleva Dairy:

http://www.allevadairy.com/

also has great fresh mozzarella. Both freeze very, very well.



Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 12:36:58 PM »
Chau you need a WFO...NOW! The pizza looks great and on the first try to.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 04:51:43 PM »
....but once you see what a WFO does, you know its the missing link...

Well said Andre.  I wanted to expand on this for a moment.  My original plan was to have some sort of a decent 12H dough worked out and ready before going to Bill's.  At the last minute, I ran out of time and use one of the doughballs from my first batch of dough made in the Bosch.  It too was an experiment of sorts.  First batch in the bosch, first time for caputo in a long while, and 2nd time using cake yeast.  It was a gamble - I know.   It was also a 2 day fermented dough.  I had zero hopes for this dough.  I had determined in my mind that it wasn't going to be as good as a 12h dough, but this is what I had to work with.   I also found a 3 day fermented hand kneaded 50/50 blend of AP/pastry dough in the fridge.  To be honest, this 2nd dough looked like garbage and I was a bit embarassed BUT decided to bring him along.  I figured that since Bill's oven would be hot already, what was the harm in throwing this guy to the fire.  I had no intention of even wasting Bill's toppings on these pies.  I was planning on maybe just throwing a little OO on them and throwing them to the fire just for kicks.

Again, I had zero confidence in my 2-3 day cold fermented doughs based on my past experience with the effects on the texture and crumb.  I have always gotten a bit of a tough/dry crumb.   Well I don't know what happened but the WFO brought the doughs to life.  They actually tasted pretty decent with a decent crumb and texture.  A bit chewy but easily fixable.  I was quite shocked.  It basically took what I thought I knew about dough and dumped me on my head.  I have no way of explaining what happened.  Somehow the WFO 'magically' changed these doughs into something decent.

Even the AP/Pastry dough wasn't bad.  It wasn't as good as the other one but it wasn't terrible either.  Again, I was shocked.  What can I say at this point.  I would be a fool and kidding myself if I wasn't honest  about the effects of a hot WFO on pizza crust.  It puts magic into the crust....somehow.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 08:20:18 AM by Jackie Tran »

PaulsPizza

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 04:54:53 PM »
Gwad damn Chau/Bill that looks amazing!!
Awesome job guys!

Chau, the main question I have........did Bill look like a bald/bearded Brad Pitt? ;-)

Paul

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2010, 04:58:22 PM »
Thanks dellavechia and JConk007 for the nice words.

JConk007 and BSO.  I have no idea what kinda of oven I will get BUT after eating pies with Bill, I know I need a WFO if I want to make the best NP pies I can.   I can make decent pizza in the home oven, but to take it out of this world, I need a WFO.  At least that's how I feel right now.  If I can ever make out of this world NP pizza in the home oven, I will definitely post about it.  :-D

As for WFOs, I know nothing about them.  Yes, Jconk007, I have so much research ahead of me.  It's not even funny. :)

« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 05:36:08 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2010, 05:01:06 PM »
Gwad damn Chau/Bill that looks amazing!!
Awesome job guys!

Chau, the main question I have........did Bill look like a bald/bearded Brad Pitt? ;-)

Paul

Paul, it tickles me that YOU asked that.  I've honestly have been waiting for someone to ask that.  All I can say is that I'm surprise that Bill isn't mistaken for an older Brad Pitt more often in public.   The resemblance is uncanny.... :-D

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 05:09:18 PM »
I was going to ask... but i figured that some one would ask, so i just waited...  :-D :-D :-D
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2010, 05:13:33 PM »
Chau,

It's all about the crust! The rest is just icing on the cake, as it were.

Chau and I ran one little interesting test. While stretching out the dough, I really pounded the edges. Had absolutely no effect on the puffiness and texture of the crust.

In another experiment, we put a completely naked crust in the oven for a dessert pie. It puffed up, almost exploded up, into a big sphere. I deflated it, topped it with Nutella, a cloud of whipped cream, and a few liquor-infused cherries.

Bill if it's all about the crust as you say, then I would have to say you have the crust down pat.  I have spent a bit of time today trying to recall the smallest of details of the crust you served me yesterday.  I don't know if you had any complaints about your own crust or pizza BUT I thought they were really good.  Of the 3 pies you made that I ate from, I tried to think about if your crust was a bit too salty. It was not....It was not even a bit too chewy, or overly sour.  It wasn't too doughy, tough, or heavy.   It wasn't overly charred and had no unpleasant burn bits that I could taste.  Every bite was as enjoyable as the last.   From what I can remember it was slightly crispy on the outside, soft tender and light on the inside and gave way to the teeth easily.  Not too easily but just right.  The flavor was good but not overpowering as I don't like an overly sour crust.  I don't know Bill.  All I can really say is that the crust was right.  At least right to my taste.  I enjoyed it quite a bit, I did.  I (we all) ate our fill.  Leaving your house I didn't fill like I had just eaten a ton of bricks.  I didn't feel heavy the rest of the day which was a real bonus. 

What Bill says about pressing the rim is true.  I saw it with my own two eyes and then shortly later tasted it.  The crumb and texture didn't seem to be any different (to me) regardless of how hard the rim was pressed.  I'm pretty sure Bill could have pounded the rim with the mallet and it wouldn't have made any difference.   I think the ultra high heat of a WFO along with a dough that is not overblown could have something to do with it.

Again, I thought my blended dough looked like crap.  It was past due and very slack.  I was surprise that it too had a decent amount of spring despite it's sad condition.  

On the dessert pie, Bill docked the heck out of it.  made no difference.  The heat blew it up.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 06:03:52 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2010, 05:18:06 PM »
http://store.dipaloselects.com/frhomo.html

I first learned about from it from one of my favorite food blog:

http://www.cookingissues.com/

Alleva Dairy:

http://www.allevadairy.com/

also has great fresh mozzarella. Both freeze very, very well.




Thanks for posting the links.  I'm sure they will be getting a number of new customers.   

I don't know what I would have thought of the cheese after it cooled, but while it's hot out of the oven, it was really good.   Also good to know that it freezes well.  I just bought a bunch of other cheese but as soon as I run out, I'll be putting in a big order. 

PaulsPizza

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2010, 05:30:46 PM »
So...we all now know that Bill is the stud-muffin of the forum!

Chau, great thread buddy. You are an asset in many ways to this forum, as well as the lives you help with your job! Hats off buddy!

Offline gtsum2

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Re: Pizza luncheon with Bill/SFNM
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2010, 09:23:43 PM »
sounds like a good time was had by all!  A WFO certainly seems to be in your cards Chau! ;D