Author Topic: Pizza Raquel  (Read 223413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #550 on: June 10, 2008, 01:21:26 PM »
Ever wondered what the cost of making a wood fired pizza at home is?

Well I have and here is some Pizza Raquel Wood-Fired Math. Below is an estimate of what it probably costs me to produce a Pizza Raquel. In summary, it’s the investment of a lifetime:

$1.66 - Raquel Oven amortized over 25 years/20 pizzas per month
$1.50 - Fresh Mozzarella avg 4oz per pie
$0.95 - Pepperoni, Onions, Mushrooms, Sausage, EVOO averaged over 10 pies
$0.50 - Miscellaneous scales, electricity, travel, tools, etc.
$0.50 - Seasoned Wood (30 Firings per $150, 10 pies/firing)
$0.30 - Flour (Mixture of King Arthur, Caputo, San Felice 6oz/pie)            
$0.30 - Other Cheeses (Reggie Parm, Sini Fulvi Romano, Ricotta)    
$0.20 - San Marzano Tomatoes ($2/can per 10 pies)
$0.20 - Purified Water (3.6oz per pie)   
$0.17 - Santos Mixer amortized over 25 years/20 pizzas per month
$0.05 - Sicilian Sea Salt, Yeast/Starter, special spices

$6.33 - Total Cost per Pizza Raquel (excluding labor)            

The above costs are mostly historically based in part on the past several Chef’s Walk events hosted. Other costs, such as for the Raquel Oven are amortized over what I believe to be a realistic useful life of the asset. Though the Raquel Oven will likely have a much longer usable life, I will probably not be around to enjoy its divine output much more than projected.

Currently the Chef’s organic garden is growing spices and vegetables such as oregano, basil, and arugula which jack up the flavor quotient over what’s available locally and obviously have the added benefit of helping lower costs. I’m sure there are other ways to reduce some of the other costs (such as buying in bulk) but then again, ingredient costs are skyrocketing so the above is offered only as a real world guesstimate.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 01:51:20 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Online jeff v

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1697
  • Location: Orland Park, IL
  • I'm Valentino not Varasano :)
    • Pizzeria Valentino
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #551 on: June 10, 2008, 03:40:21 PM »
Now that is justification! :P

Nice work PF!
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline ray

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 18
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #552 on: June 10, 2008, 10:22:35 PM »
pft,

Thanks.

My pizza journey has advanced more during the past four months than during the preceding fifteen years, and you receive 90% of the credit!

... I'll gladly pay a 20% premium over your cost for one of your pizzas!  ;D

Cheers,

Ray (now to take the starter from the fridge for another round)

Offline foodblogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 236
  • Favorite Chain Pizza - Gino's East
    • My Food Blog
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #553 on: June 11, 2008, 01:41:02 PM »
I made a pizza Margarita using this dough formula/techiniques modified slightly to my kitchen last PM.  It was superb.  It was every bit as good as the pizzas I was making in Kansas City and those took a year of experimentation to get nailed down.  Thanks for the shortcut!  The sourdough flavor was there but subtle.  I think I will use this formula and set of techniques whenever I am doing pizza with a starter.  I will, of course, have to adapt it as I add new equipment etc but the formula probably won't change all that much.

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #554 on: June 21, 2008, 01:07:00 PM »
scpizza,
Interesting observation.

I’ve decided to respond to your thoughtful post in the Pizza Raquel thread simply because with the advent of the Raquel Oven and Santos mixer I have now standardized both styles from a centralized and optimized dough management platform irrespective of flour used. This streamlined approach will allow me to focus more on end-to-end process optimization of pizzamaking rather than chunking it down into discrete sections. Neither Pizza Raquel nor Sophia fit well into any existing pizza category or style so I might as well choose one and go for it.

Here’s my perspective – Pizza Raquel started out as the “American” version of my home artisan pizza making and was loosely based on my interpretation of what elite NY style pizza could be. Pizza Sophia started out as the “Italian” version and was loosely based on the Neapolitan style. Both have come a long way baby and are similar to each other but they are both different enough to be totally separate life forms in my opinion. Neither is intended to be a clone of each other or any other style but is constructed according to guiding principles of unparalleled quality and attention to detail. Not to express guidelines such as authenticity to any given style. This would limit and govern my imagination. At the same time I’m not trying to beat up any existing style. But if I had to weigh in with my views here is what I would conclude.

What is the big problem I have with elite NY style pies? Simply put they are borderline fast food tasting comprised of cheap and sometimes potentially harmful ingredients. The questionable dedication to improvement by the vast majority of pizzeria owners is another sore spot. I do admire the high heat induced charred crust of the coal-fired versions. Coal-fired pizza is nearly unavailable anywhere else in the US other than the northeast so it is very limited and generally tastes good as a result when baked at high temperatures. It is my childhood definition of pizza and as such will always hold a special place in my heart despite its obvious faults.

What is my view of Neapolitan pizza? Based on my personal experiences, perhaps the biggest complaint I have is that I have no tangible reference point for it. I find its crust way too soft and the watery sauce and puddled bufala created an overly soupy tasting experience for me. The Neapolitan pizzas I’ve had were overly bland taste-wise as well. I guess flying over fresh bufala from Italy just isn’t the same as getting it same day. Also, don’t get me started with eating pizza with a knife and fork in the name of soft and light. How is that justified? Oil and water if you ask me. Oh yeah, and I just can’t get over the “Mini-Me” form factor either. There I stated exactly what bothers me. I now feel better. With the honesty of a pizza youth I can finally exclaim, “The king has no clothes!”

What do I admire most? Well, the attention to overall quality of crust and toppings and the high heat induced ultra-fast bakes are the top two. Not to mention that if it were not for Neapolitan pizza there probably wouldn’t be NY style. From what I can deduce, Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh probably does it as good as or better than any place in the US. I’d be willing to bet Brad at Settebello is just about there as well with his new ovens so I need to reserve final judgment until I can try the real thing with Ron, Brad or one day with Marco in Naples.

How does all this fit in with my girls? In truth, Pizza Raquel and Sophia are an amalgam of numerous styles with a heaping helping of pftaylor innovation and originality thrown in. It is easy to recognize the NY styled form factor, the charred Neapolitan influenced wood-fired crust, and the Californian notion of unsurpassed toppings quality and freshness.

The hidden factor which doesn’t expose itself in the countless photographs I have posted over the years is what I now call the notorious Pizza Collective. Traditionally it works like this, upon contact with an unsuspecting pizza enthusiast, the Pizza Collective would transmit a message saying something along the lines of:

“We are Pizza. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. The probability of your assimilation is calculated to be extremely high, but may depend on a number of factors including hunger, palette and childhood proximity to Chicago.”

Ha-Ha!

Practically, it’s where the Pizzaiolo creates such an undeniable cascading avalanche of flavor and textures which are so compelling and unexpected that it literally pins one’s brain to the veritable canvas mat with a submission hold. It’s where one just has to submit.

It is a standard by which all artisan pizza makers whether commercial or residential should strive to attain. I know I do. Pizzeria Bianco probably does it better than anyone. Certainly better than any other commercial establishment I have eaten at.

Raquel and Sophia crusts are so good right now I could stop experimenting and be happy for the rest of my life. But trying to optimize the overall flavor quotient according to my synergy scale could take the rest of my days. I used to think pizza was crust but now I have come to realize it is the overall experience and balance of crust, toppings, and flavor. To date, I’ve achieved this level of perfection with just two pies; my version of Margherita and my version of marinara cranked up using hard cheeses. Yeah, yeah, I know it isn’t a marinara then on an authenticity level but one bite will have you twitching your toes in happiness so label it what you will. The dessert pizza topped with Nutella is nearly there as well due to the seemingly simple addition of slivered almonds which caused an exponential increase in flavor.

Both Pizza Raquel and Sophia now utilize the exact same newly developed dough management process. The Santos was the trigger event and has cured all sorts of mixing workarounds and has greatly simplified and demonstrably improved the overall dough kneading process. How you ask? Well, mixing dough with the Kitchen Aid Professional 600 required tricks to coach maximum dough performance from a machine ill designed to mix pizza dough in my opinion. The 600 is a good general purpose mixer no doubt. But in order to create my signature Bubble Burst crust it was a pain in the you know what. I have now concluded there is no longer a need with the Santos for actions like adding only a small portion of flour to the water and salt then resting for 20 minutes. I now realize just how Pro 600 specific my mixing regimen was.     

Both styles use the same rise protocols – either a 3 day cold or a one day room temperature. My results have concluded very little difference between these two approaches and I freely choose either based on my time and availability.

Both use a natural starter though different ones. Pizza Raquel uses the famed Varasano, Pizza Sophia uses the Ischia. Alas, the Camaldoli is relegated to the refrigerator due to its overly mild impact on flavor and less spring in the crust. Why no baker’s pinch of IDY? Well, the Santos oxygenates the dough so well that the natural yeast doesn’t need a boost anymore. From what I can tell, the absence of IDY enhances the flavor of the crust even more. The culture is finally free to have its way with the flour without competing with IDY.

Pizza Raquel utilizes either 100% North American hard flour or is softened slightly with a minority blend of Italian 00. Sophia utilizes either 100% Italian soft 00 flour or is slightly hardened with a minority blend of North American flour. Why the difference? Texture, that’s why. Nearly all of Wood-Fired’s guests have preferred the Raquel crust either with 100% hard flour or both blends more than the 100% 00 inspired Sophia. The real world difference I have observed and recognized is my guests seem to prefer a slice of pizza which they can pick up and eat with their hands. Knives and forks to cut up a slice just don’t meet expectation. Kids will never get it. I’m not sure I do either.

The blended Raquel and blended Sophia crusts are my personal favorites because their crust profiles are neither too hard nor too soft. Both are constructed to have a wafer-thin crisp of a veneer with a silly-soft interior which is my ideal. Only real difference is they come at it from different ends of the spectrum. Hard to soft versus soft to hard. Both ways work for me.

I can’t seem to choose between Raquel and Sophia because they are both superb. Now with the advent of the Raquel Oven and the Santos kneader, I don’t have to.

Resistance is futile!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 03:17:56 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #555 on: June 21, 2008, 03:48:39 PM »
PFT,

Great post.

I'm wondering, since you have eliminated the IDY from your formula with the arrival of the Santos, if you have increased the amount of starter or if it's still the same?

Mike
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #556 on: June 22, 2008, 07:40:54 AM »
Essen1,
Insightful question. A little background before I answer.

Years ago I managed to develop nice flavor and success using 15% starter based on the weight of the flour. Back then there were bakers on the forum who routinely recommended 20%. I also believe Varasano, at that time, was even going as high as 40%. It was all so new we were frankly feeling our way along and viewed the use of starters from a baker's perspective. Big mistake.

Then I began to learn and understand the unique differences between bread and pizza due to the teachings of pizzanapoletana. As I scaled down the amount of starter used, I feared I would lose some of the oven spring I had come to know and love so I began complimenting the starter with a few sprinkles of IDY. Remember, back then the notion of using 5% instead of 15% was downright scary. Supplementation seemed to work quite well so I left well enough alone until the Santos showed up and I decided to challenge all these little workarounds I had come up with in order to produce killer pie with inadequate tools like the KA Pro 600, TEC grill, etc.

Simply put, I have learned, demonstrated, and proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there are three primary factors which lead to optimizing the flavor in Raquel's Bubble-Burst crust:

- The starter type and quantity
- The flour type and rise time after kneading
- The water type and hydration

Kindly allow me to quickly tackle each beginning with the starter type and amount. The amount of Ischia starter I used for the last batch was 3% of the weight of the flour. This amount is just about right for a twenty-four hour rise. However, if I wanted a same day rise or if it were in the middle of the winter, I could and probably should use more say in the five percent range. So depending on certain variables like time and temperature, I use a sliding scale for the amount of starter used. Alternatively, I could use more or less salt and accomplish the same end result. But that is a topic for another day and has a whole host of potential problems which can rear their ugly head if too much or too little is used. Whenever I finally get my greedy, flour-stained hands on the MR-138 type unit, I will finally be able to directly control the rise times and temperatures with even more precision. But that too is another topic for another day.

The flour type and rise time is up next. I keep on using, either in whole or blended, Italian 00 flour in Pizza Raquel crusts like Caputo Pizzeria because Caputo flour has a low enzyme amylase (an enzyme that breaks starch down into simple sugar) activity. What the heck does that mean relative to producing Bubble-Burst crust? Long story short I believe it means that it needs both the right amount of time and temperature to develop properly. A long rise then allows the starter to break down the starches in the flour. Thereby increasing the digestibility of the pizza so it doesn't sit heavy in your belly. Believe me, the elite athlete in all of us need this feature!

Finally, the last key component to developing a flavorful Bubble-Burst crust with plenty of spring is water. The water here in Tampa is so heavily chlorinated that no amount of yeast can act normally when in its presence. Therefore, I use only bottled water for making my doughs. Its a little more expensive but why take the chance? In fact, there is no chance of creating a flavorful dough from Tampa tap. Your water may be different. I now recommend a 61% hydration and am thinking of going slightly higher because the Santos at 61% hydration feels like the KA Pro 600 at 57%. The difference is that much.

I trust the above answered your question.
pftaylor
« Last Edit: June 22, 2008, 07:45:05 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23570
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #557 on: June 22, 2008, 09:38:35 AM »
pft,

I was one of the early ones on the forum to play around with starters/preferments in the context of converting ordinary dough recipes to use natural starters/preferments, so I remember this matter well. It was member bakerboy (Barry) who recommended using 15-20% natural preferment based on his experience as a professional artisan bread baker and pizza maker. The 15-20% number, which I have continued to use ever since in converting recipes to use natural starters/preferments, was based on the weight of the formula flour. I subsequently found confirmation of what bakerboy recommended at http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/howdoiconvertyeastbreadrec.html.

As you know, the idea of using much smaller amounts of natural starter came from pizzanapoletana (Marco). He deserves full credit for introducing that idea to the forum. Marco suggested use of 1-5% natural starter. However, in line with common Neapolitan baker's percent practice, the 1-5% was by weight of the formula water, not by weight of the formula flour (although it is easy enough to convert to weight of flour). At levels of 1-5% by weight of water, the primary effect of using such a natural starter (in addition to flavor enhancement, of course) is to leaven the dough, just as commercial yeast does. Importantly, however, you will not get certain attributes that using a much larger amount of starter material (actually a preferment) might contribute in some cases (such as increased acidity, tightening the gluten matrix, etc.). I have personally stuck to the U.S. system of baker's percents where the starter/preferment is based on weight of flour but I believe that scpizza, and maybe a few others, have tried to stay true to the Neapolitan method and use the starter as a percent of water. I might add while on this subject that Bill/SFNM uses his starter as a percent of total dough weight, which is still another way to do it. Because of the three different methods, when Boy Hits Car (Mike) and I were designing the preferment dough calculating tool (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/preferment_calculator.html), we incorporated all three options.

Even with your recent changes to the Raquel dough formulation, including the amount of starter you are now using, along with the slightly increased level of hydration, it should be easy to use the preferment dough calculating tool to provide the ingredient quantities to make any number and size (diameter) of Raquel pizzas. I believe the only pieces of information I do not now have on the latest Raquel dough formulation is a typical dough ball weight (and corresponding pizza size) and the flour/water composition of your starter as defined in the preferment dough calculating tool.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 22, 2008, 03:30:59 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #558 on: June 22, 2008, 12:29:33 PM »
Hi Pete-zza,
Right now I am hampered by the 9" turning peel which I bought back in December last year before I knew what I was doing. I actually have multiple problems. The 9" head makes it quite difficult (and perhaps combined with my lack of spinning ability) to spin pies which are much larger than 13". In fact, I have punctured a few 14" - 16" pies while trying to spin them due to the sharp edge cutting the bottom of the crust on the first spin.

To top that off, more than a few toppings have tumbled off the pizza's edge which drapes down over the 9" peel while making the trek from the venerable Raquel Oven. This is particularly a problem with 100% Italian 00 based doughs. In addition, the 9" peel I ordered was with the short handle which toasts my hands due to having to reach so far into the oven.

Its sort of like fighting city hall and I've had it. So while I'm reluctant to make smaller form factors, right now I'm in a corner. A smoldering corner at that. With not a hair on my arms from my elbows to my hands. So until I order a new larger spinning peel from GI Metal, I will stay with 13" as the preferred size.

The dough ball weight I shoot for is 10 ounces for a 13" skin. 12 ounces for a 14" - 16" skin.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #559 on: June 24, 2008, 07:05:36 PM »
Okay,

I have been experimenting with PFT’s Pizza Raquel dough now for quite some time, but since I do not own a WFO, only a LBE, am altering and tweaking his dough formula here and there, to make it more suitable for my oven.

Probably the main difference is that I add 1Tbsp of olive oil to the dough, about half way through the first mixing cycle. I use garlic-infused olive oil from Gilroy, CA, aka The Garlic Capital of the World. It adds a slightly different texture and flavor to the crust.

The ingredients are otherwise the same: Caputo 00 Pizza flour, bottled water, salt, starter and a baker’s pinch, 1/8 of a tsp of ADY, to be exact. I also took PFT’s advice to heart to create two dough points during the mixing and kneading stages. However, like I mentioned before, I had to tweak the formula and that also applies to the kneading regimen, particularly in regards to the dough points. I created 4 dough points, because of a) no Santos here and b) to achieve a smoother dough structure through the use of a more thorough dough kneading with my KA Classic Series model.


The steps I took are as follows:

I dissolve the salt in the water and add about 200 gr. of flour. I use the paddle attachment at this point, mixing it for one minute until it’s smooth and no more clumps are visible. Then the starter goes in, mixing it for another minute, and then I add the ADY.  The rest period after incorporating aforementioned items is 45 mins, 25 mins longer than what PFT’s Raquel formula calls for.

After, what PFT called “Raquel’s beauty rest”, a clear, watery form of hooch was visible around the edges of the bowl. I use a rubber spatula and gently mix in the hooch and switch over to the dough hook.  On stir speed, I add the olive oil to the mix and then, with a regular spoon, start adding the rest of the flour gradually. Once that’s all done, I cover the bowl with some foil, clean the dough hook from remnants of dough, flour and oil and rest the dough for 15 mins. That’s my dough point #1. I repeat the dough hook cleaning procedure during the entire kneading process. That has two reasons. First the remnants on the dough hook won’t dry out and become crusty and second, every time I attach the dough hook again, it comes in from a different angle; a technique ( aka Drop Hook Fold) I learned here:

http://www.artisanbreadbaking.com/discussions/folding_dough.htm

Anyway, back to the kneading procedure. I give the dough another spin for about minute or two and let it rest again for 15 mins; dough point #2. Again, I cover the bowl with foil and repeat the cleaning of the hook. After the rest period, I proceed with the DHF technique. But, and here’s where I change it up a bit…every 15 seconds, I give the hook a quarter of a turn so that it comes in from four different angles, one angle at a time, in 15 secs kneading intervals. Now, as you can see in the pictures, the dough has an immensely smooth and airy texture. Again, let it rest for 15 mins and clean the hook; dough point #3.
Once the rest period is done, I give it a quick spin and and transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface, give it short kneading and shape it into a ball, cover it with a damp kitchen/tea towel and let it rest for 30 mins; dough point #4. the dough now has an incredibly soft and silky feel to it. I place it into a lightly-oiled bowl and in the fridge for further overnight retardation.

At this point, I have no clue how the finished pizze will turn out. I have a couple of buddies over for tomorrow’s Germany – Turkey semifinal at the Euro 2008 and will make a couple of pies during half time. I’ll report back with pictures then.

We’ll see how it all comes together, but given the texture of the dough so far, it cannot be a disaster. I simply refuse to believe that.

Here are the percentages for 4 dough balls, about 325 gr for a single dough ball and a skin size between 14” – 15”.  I have no data in terms of the thickness factor since I do it by feel. I’m aware that the total dough weight is 1336 gr, 36 gr over what four 325 gr balls would be (1300 gr). I simply use the rest of the dough to make a new starter.

Below are the numbers:


Caputo 00 Flour:   770 gr / 100%
Water:         470 gr / 61%
Salt (Kosher):      20 gr / 2.6%
Starter:         70 gr / 9%
Olive oil (1Tbsp):   6gr / 0.78%
ADY (1/8 tsp):           0.26gr / 0.034%



Mike
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 07:15:53 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #560 on: June 25, 2008, 07:57:06 AM »
In an attempt to slow down my santos I hooked it up to a variac and dropped the voltage, but unfortunately the machine really did not slow down at all. Eventually when I got fairly low the mixers internal circuit protection shut the machine off.  This probably means that the santos uses an AC motor and not a DC motor, so I am off to try to figure out a way to slow this baby down a bit and still let it run cool enough to be safe for the unit.  I fear that I might need a frequency converter, and if so it could get costly.  

I've been trying to figure out how to slow mine too for a long time now without any luck.  Frequency converters only seem to convert among 50Hz, 60Hz, and 400Hz without anything to go to say 30Hz.  If you look at the schematic on the Santos you don't see any reduction gears, though I can't help but think there is one hidden in the elbow connecting the motor shaft with the fork shaft.

Offline jimd

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 143
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #561 on: June 25, 2008, 08:40:22 AM »
Not sure if this is the same idea as the "variac" that is mentioned, but I have the same problem with my Bosch Universal Mixer---it mixes very well, but at a higher speed (even at the slowest setting) than is ideal, resulting in dough that is overheated. I bought a dimmer switch intended for lamps, and am now able to slow the machine down to a crawl. (Apologies if your analysis goes way beyond my simple approach---it may be that other machines simply shut down once the power is reduced below a minimum threshold.)

Jim

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #562 on: July 06, 2008, 09:20:46 PM »
Tonight we achieved a personal best. Every single pizza was off-the-hook good. Our congenial guests made the evening. Since they were friends from my wife's hometown, we had a relaxed come-as-you-are experience.

Of course it started raining "medium hard" which meant yours truly had another variable to contend with, but it didn't phase me as much this time because it was more or less controllable. Since I was soaking wet, photographs were limited.

 
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Glutenboy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 431
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Pizza & Sex -- Good? Great! Bad? Still okay.
    • My Pizza Gallery
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #563 on: July 06, 2008, 11:19:19 PM »
Okay, now I'm hungry...
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 517
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #564 on: July 07, 2008, 05:36:10 PM »
pftaylor,

Nice looking pies. I sure you family loves your "hobby"

Have you settled on a flour combination that you found to be the favorite?

Are you still adding the pinch of yeast to your starter in your formulation?

MWTC  :chef:

Offline widespreadpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1245
  • Location: NH
    • my beer store opening in june 2011
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #565 on: July 07, 2008, 10:03:18 PM »
PFT,  those pies are looking real killer!  just got in my bag of bread flour to again do some flour mixing as well.  I am curious as well what your preferences have been with bread/00 flour.  Along with that are you favoring a single or double fermentation(bulk rise).  Also,  I have been experimenting with a dough box type stage 2 rise like you have pictured above.  My spacing in the dough box is much farther than yours,  enough so that the dough balls will not touch.  They have been spreading out more than I would like and was getting ready to make them collide to keep some loft.  Are enjoying the dough box method or is it causing you problems?  Also is it making you use oil at all to help with an easy release of the dough.  Let me know -Marc

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #566 on: July 08, 2008, 09:19:14 AM »
Hi widespreadpizza & MWTC,
Your questions are prompting me to post an update to the Pizza Raquel Formulary. I'll try to accomplish that task today. In the meantime here are the answers to your specific questions:
- My current preference for flours is to use either Caputo Pizzeria or San Felice Pizzeria. I would need much more time than I currently have to explain why I am ending my experiments with blending but suffice to say it is based on results

- My current preference for fermenting the dough is to use a double stage room temperature fermentation. Again more when I have time

- No problems with separating the dough from the Pyrex container though it is a learned skill

- I use no oil whatsoever unless it is on top of the pie

- Finally, I no longer am using a pinch of IDY to boost the starter. Tests have proven it actually hurts Raquel's Bubble-Burst.

pftaylor
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #567 on: July 08, 2008, 09:36:39 AM »
I should also caveat the above recommendations are only for when one is kneading the dough with a fork kneader. If you still have a KitchenAid, or equivalent, then kindly refer to the freshest Raquel Formulary which specified this mixer.

The Santos has "cured" a number of ills but I understand its not available for everyone.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #568 on: July 08, 2008, 11:55:43 AM »
Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite summer refresher as this will likely take a while.

Naples is calling me. I can’t help it no matter how hard I try to resist.

I really mean it. Over the past several years I have endeavored to produce the finest pizza, irrespective of cost or complexity, which I was capable of. After hundreds if not thousands of pizzas I finally have found what I was looking for. A pizza worthy of being called Raquel, Sophia, pftaylor’s or whatever anyone would like to label my perfect pizza as. I’m finally there due to the synergy of knowledge, humility, passion, intense curiosity, stubbornness, and frankly having the proper tools. I now understand I couldn’t get there without all the above. All these facets needed to ferment together slowly before the truth was revealed. So how did it happen?

Well not so fast my friend. First, some history to provide proper context for my comments. My intention for sharing is simple; hopefully my journey will serve as guidepost of sorts to others for what it takes. We’ll get to the end and see how we did.

I started out making pizza at home by following my Italian Grandmother Quagliariello’s recipe. It was all I knew about making pizza in the home. She was from the Province of Avellino which is in the Campania region. As such, no one and I mean no one, questioned why she did what she did. She just did it. We were all grateful because the pizza was delicious. I was lucky to get her to share her recipe with me before she died because it wasn’t written down. The recipe is still on this forum somewhere.

The next big breakthrough occurred after buying the TEC grill and then joining this forum to affiliate with others regarding our passion for pizza. As I began collaborating with the membership here, Pete-zza primarily, I quickly learned while Grandmothers may know best, mine didn’t with respect to pizza. I learned the family recipe had all sorts of defects and workarounds like adding Carnation malt to the mix to add flavor. All was not a failure as the real take home lesson was simply this; I learned how to make pizza from the ground up.

Grandma Quagliariello would never buy supermarket pizza. Heck, she hated buying pizzeria pizza. So she chose to make pizza from scratch because she believed in her pizza. I use to sit with her in amazement as she hand mixed the flour in the shape of Mt. Vesuvius carefully pouring the ingredients in the middle one after the other. I’m certain that’s where my desire to hand-craft pizza came from. I’m also certain that’s where my stubborn streak came from as well. In my case, being stubborn can be as much a blessing as it is a curse.

I was born in NY and both sets of my Grandparents lived in NY which meant I was exposed to coal-fired pizza regularly during my childhood. So it was natural that I migrated to a coal-fired standard as my primary reference point as I grew older and moved further and further away from ground zero. I even bought the ridiculously expensive TEC grill ($2K) for the express purpose of making coal-fired oven pizza. I didn’t have much success before joining this forum making authentic coal-fired pie. My goal for joining then was to first figure out what was wrong and then faithfully reverse engineer the elite coal-fired pizza of NYC.

My favorite was Patsy’s Pizza. So I started the Patsy’s Pizza Reverse Engineering thread which is still on this forum. Fellow member varasano chimed in proclaiming his love for Patsy’s and we went about the task of producing a Patsy’s pizza. But then something tragic happened for me. Maybe not for varasano because the Patsy’s standard, on a good day, is still his target according to newspaper accounts. I quickly found out I could make a better pizza than what Patsy’s was capable of. How did this happen? What was I to do? What would be my goal if I had exceeded what I thought was the finest example of pizza on the planet? Thinking back, it was a painful time for me pizza wise.

I then decided to set my eyes on my own personal standard which I named Pizza Raquel in its American guise and Pizza Sophia in its Italian guise. I decided to no longer take as gospel what others had to say about pizza. It was time for me to go it alone. To take what I knew and come up with a new standard. So I stopped all my participation in various reverse engineering efforts and focused on making my best pizza. Not a clone of someone else’s style. That’s why I steadfastly refuse to allow Pizza Raquel to be called a NY Style pizza, or Pizza Sophia to be called Neapolitan. Because they weren’t and aren’t either of those styles. I just can’t see myself wanting to perfectly reproduce let’s say a Naples based Margherita with bufala. It just couldn’t be as good as they make it in Naples. Why? Well, I’m sure the cheese is delivered fresh daily whereas I would have to wait days to get it. That’s just one dimension of my reasoning as to why I wouldn’t want to produce a Neapolitan pizza or any other style. I just want to produce the best I’m capable of with what’s available to me and maximum freshness has to be part of it.

See, the only standard I adhere to is what I can personally see, hear, feel, and observe as being better. Not what someone else says is better but better as defined in being producible my kitchen in Tampa. Frankly, I have borrowed a lot from other styles but none more so than the Neapolitan one which is where most folks think modern pizza came from to begin with. But even so, I still initially found fault with trying to reproduce a Neapolitan pizza – after all it was just another man’s pizza in my eyes.

Make no mistake, I really wanted to embrace authentic Neapolitan pizza because of the teaching of pizzanapoletana and the sense that Neapolitans do it right. However, its not as easy as it sounds. Neapolitan pizza is the hardest style to get right. I ran into significant difficulty making a great Neapolitan pie relative to the success I was enjoying with my NY based reverse engineering efforts. So naturally I migrated towards success and shied away from bad results. It confounded me that others at the time claimed how easy Caputo was to work with while I struggled mightily. I now realize my pizza palette and attention to detail is perhaps not as forgiving as some others. What others may have defined as great would not be for me.

Further, I learned the hard way Caputo based pies really weren’t meant for my grill, low, medium or even high heat. Yet I knew from the teachings of pizzanapoletana that it “should” be the best flour for high heat baking. So was the problem with me or with everyone else? That is where humility came into play. As advanced as I thought my pizza making skills were, they weren’t enough to make a killer Caputo pie on a grill. Caputo based pies may work okay in high heat gas or electric environments to a degree but not well enough for me. But Lord knows I tried with the TEC. The defects were too overwhelming in my book. This led me to building the venerable Raquel Oven. I felt an ultra-low domed wood-fired oven could produce a better pizza regardless of style. Since I didn’t have a roadmap to guide where I was going I needed the Raquel Oven producing perfectly uniform heat whether it’s humming along at 600F or blazing away at a thousand. So I can really produce any style I want without fear. But in the back of my mind I knew I wanted another crack at Caputo.

What I learned about wood-fired baking other flours like high gluten or bread is they simply don’t hold up quite as well as they did on the TEC. 800F on the TEC produces a crisp crust. 800F in the Raquel Oven produces a crunchy crust. I would call that a defect. Others may prefer it, which is why every type of pizza is valid if you enjoy it and why I don’t force my personal preferences on anyone else. But for me, crunch is best left for crackers.

Then I began experimenting with blended flour combinations of Italian 00 and harder bread or high gluten flours. What I determined here is that once again the Neapolitans have it right more than they have it wrong. My last few batches of blended flours have been good bordering on great. But the 100% Italian 00 flour based crusts have been stupendous. Both Caputo and San Felice I might add. They have proven to be the superior flours for my style of pizza. Which is decidedly un-Neapolitan but which borrows more concepts from Neapolitan pizza than any other.

What’s going on here? For years I tried to make crusts with 00 flour and struggled to even make a competent crust and now I think I’ve mastered it? Yeah that’s right. It’s that simple. No really I mean it. How can I say that with a straight face you ask?

Pizzanapoletana that’s how.

He has laid out in painstakingly precise detail how to make an authentic Neapolitan pizza. It is only now with enough understanding of his teachings and the right tools that I can use his recommendations. It took a high temperature wood fired oven and the Santos fork kneader before Caputo submitted. It was a battle of wills for years and I finally got there with heaping helpings of passion and curiosity.

So my curiosity led to years of experimentation with every possible mixing regimen down countless rabbit holes. What did I learn? All paths led me right back to the feet of pizzanapoletana. He was right all along. I’m glad I finally decided to submit to pizzanapoletana’s teaching around dough management because if you think about it, who else makes better crusts? The truth is the ancient way of making dough, coupled with a fork kneader is the proven approach. I tried to improve upon it and couldn’t. So with total humility, I can honestly state the best pizza crust I’m capable of making requires:

- Low dome oven wood-fired at a certain temperature range
- Fork kneader mixing certain ingredients in a specific sequence
- Natural starter to produce an avalanche of flavor in the crust 
- Long fermentation at certain temperatures

Now if I could just get pizzanapoletana to consider a 15” form factor. There I go again…

So without further ado, here is the revised Pizza Raquel Formulary taking all my experiences and chunking it down into what should be a familiar guideline:




Pizza Raquel
Simply Everything You’d Want


Baker's          Weight             Ingredients &
Percentage   (oz/g)             Descriptive Comment(s)

100.0%        58.21/1650       Sifted Flour – Caputo/San Felice Pizzeria
060.6%        35.27/1000       Water – Purified, Bottled, Anything but Tap
003.0%        1.76/50            Ischia Starter – Fully Activated
02.73%        1.59/45            Sicilian Sea Salt – Finely Cut


Suggested Preparation Steps
1 - Dissolve salt in water. Dissolve starter in brine. Add one half of flour
2 - Turn kneader on continuously during the double stage kneading process
3 - 1st Stage Knead: Slowly sprinkle remaining flour for 10 minutes incorporating wet & dry ingredients completely
4 - 2nd Stage Knead: 15 minutes to build gluten structure
5 - Turn kneader off, cover bowl. Give Raquel a 15 minute beauty rest
6 - Turn kneader on for one full revolution.  Dough texture should appear finished
7 - Remove dough from bowl. Punch & fold on bench until very springy. Shape into bulk ball & place in covered bowl to begin double stage rise process
8 - 1st Stage Rise: 15 hours at 66F
9 - Divide & shape into balls & cover
10 - 2nd Stage Rise: 3 hours at 66F
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline shango

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 345
  • Age: 42
  • Location: right here
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #569 on: July 08, 2008, 12:52:19 PM »
PFT,

This is a lovely recipe.  It is also Neapolitan. 

Sorry, but a rose by any other name...
pizza, pizza, pizza

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 517
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #570 on: July 08, 2008, 05:15:36 PM »
Just a few questions.

Are you feeding your stater with Caputo?

What is the effect of using the Santos mixer as compared to the KA Spiral Hook Mixer?
I understand that is the incorporation of oxygen added through the folding of the dough when it is being kneaded by the Santos. So, what is the tangable results of using the Santos over the KA with Spiral Hook?

Seeing the new Formulary, I notice that there is no longer any cold fermintation. That really changes things. Having to go through the process each time you want Pizza seems cumbersome. You must have some cold fermantation dough on hand just for ease of production. I will be trying the long version to see the results. Would you speak to this point.

Thanks for your willingness to share.

MWTC  :chef:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 12:25:15 PM by MWTC »

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #571 on: July 08, 2008, 08:43:16 PM »
PFT,

A couple of questions.

I remember reading in one of your posts that you started out with a KA Mixer with an "C" hook before you upgraded to a spiral hook and different KA model. I got one of those. It's KA Classic (w/"C" hook). Anyway, how would you advise us guys who don't own a Santos to go about your new mixing regimen? Would you say to stick with your old routine, pre-Santos, or would you say to give your new mixing technique a shot?

And what about the additional pinch of IDY when using a KA? Is that something you'd keep or just try it without?

Actually, that were three questions.  :)

Mike
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #572 on: July 09, 2008, 08:19:45 AM »
shango,
I believe you captured the entire essence of the post. In other words, without purposefully trying to make an authentic Neapolitan crust, it sort of happened. Of course, the odds were stacked in the favor of a Neapolitan crust due to:

- Using what turned out to be Neapolitan mixing regimen
- Using a fork kneader which is favored by Neapolitan pizzerias
- Using an ultra-low domed wood-fired oven incorporating Neapolitan oven principles
- Using the flour of choice of Neapolitan pizzerias

In fact, I would have to say one would have to go out of their way NOT to make a Neapolitan pizza considering the above. But that is exactly what I do. I will continue to utilize the best techniques available to produce the best pies I'm capable of making without consciously trying to "fit" into any category. An accurate description of my pizza would be it is primarily Neapolitan with strong NY and artisan style overtones. But by no means is it authentic Neapolitan by intentional design or any other style for that matter. It is my style which may be no distinct style at all. A little of this, a little of that. Yeah, that's the ticket.

No, my personal journey can be summed up in the following illustrative example. Upon receiving the Santos kneader I naturally tried my standard formulary first which worked okay but only used 30 ounces of flour. Not nearly enough to take advantage of the Santos forks to oxygenate the dough in my opinion. I sort of felt like the Santos was a Ferrari idling in the garage instead of being out on the open road. So I then decided to increase the flour by 10 ounces to 40 total. Still not enough. So I drifted up to 50. Better, but still not optimizing the Santos technology to the fullest in my estimation. But the trend analysis was positive so I finally went up to 60 ounces of flour and lo and behold I stumbled upon the Santos sweet spot for batch size - in my opinion.

Now how does all that tie back into anything remotely Neapolitan? In my post above I discussed how I'm imbued with curiosity. At a 60oz batch size the Santos was operating in an optimal manner so I decided to make another batch to reproduce the results to make sure my good fortune wasn’t luck. As I began adding the ingredients I reflected back upon just how differently the Santos forks attacked the dough than the Kitchen Aid. It was at this point I remembered pizzanapoletana’s advice about not turning the mixer off once you begin adding the ingredients. So rather than include a pseudo autolyse for the batch at hand I decided to not start and stop this batch as I have for the past several years. In essence I decided to submit to the Neapolitan method of making dough in a fork kneader. After all, they are the ones who have been perfecting this approach for decades so logic would dictate they know a little something about the process.

Turns out the dough was at least as robust as the previous attempts but the texture of the resultant crust was superior. So I knew I was on to something. In the world of home pizzamaking the one tenent which seems to hold true is “less-is-more.”

So I began to realize the less-is-more approach worked for my dough making and I began to wonder about the other facets of the dough management process. It was precisely at that juncture I began to question everything with equal skepticism. Why am I using a refrigerator for the rise? Didn’t pizzanapoletana comment one time that his dough “never see the inside of a refrigerator.” So I switched from a cold rise to a room temperature rise and the flavor in the crust shot up without compromising Raquel’s Bubble-Burst crumb.

Frankly, if a pizza maker from the foothills of Kentucky would have shared his experience like pizzanapoletana did with a fork kneader, natural yeast, and a long slow fermentation you might be calling my pizza a Louisville Slugger. But alas, that didn’t happen.

Anyway, I then decided to go back to my notes and review Neapolitan recipes and lo and behold what did I see? How about a recommended batch size of one liter of water which just happened to be within two ounces of where I ended up on my own with all the experimentation.

Now is that fate?

Luck?

Heck I don’t know. Which is why I started out the above post with “Naples is calling me. I can’t help it no matter how hard I try to resist.”

So I patently reject the label of authentic Neapolitan for my pizza but gladly accept it as the most appropriate description for inspiring Pizza Raquel’s crust. My goal is to continuously improve the Raquel Formulary for what I consider to be the consummate crust, if you will: one built upon centuries of acquired knowledge, experience, secrets, and most importantly my personal preferences.

In the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “now you know the rest of the story.”

MWTC & Essen1,
I use a rotation of Caputo, San Felice, and King Arthur to refresh my starters. An additional point is the Ischia starter has proven to be the starter of choice for my tastebuds. It is not even close compared to the varasano and the Camaldoli. I did not uncover this until I began refreshing the starters on a weekly basis. Refreshed on a lesser frequency and the varasano was the clear winner. The Camaldoli never had enough impact on flavor, in my experience, to make it worth all the trouble. Go figure.

The tangible differences are exactly what I have exhaustively written about over these past few weeks. The Santos does not heat up the dough one bit which means you can work the dough without fear of overheating or overworking it. The Kitchen Aid simply beats the heck out of the dough and heats it up which is why I suggested keeping the mixing times so short. The last few recommendations I have given about using Kitchen Aid mixers is where I suggested working the dough by hand as soon as the ingredients come together to minimize the deleterious effects of heat. Also, the Kitchen Aid is not very adept at injecting oxygen into the dough which is what the yeast (whether wild or baker’s) needs to get jumpstarted. Yeast need the presence of oxygen to flourish which is why an extra pinch of yeast is not needed with the Santos but is with the Kitchen Aid. So the solution for the Kitchen Aid was to clobber the dough over the head with yeast to force the beginning of the process with two extra steps; the upfront rest period allowing the yeast freedom to begin their maniacal breeding and feeding and the addition of a pinch of yeast to make sure there are enough beasties to “get er done.”

Regarding the desire to use a refrigerator to make life easier, I can understand completely. A famous Pizzaiolo gave me the following advice years ago when I asked the same question:

“if the dough is going to be fermented under refrigeration, it needs to come off the hook at 80 degrees
if the dough is going to be fermented at room temperature, i would suggest 75-77 degrees

to get the light crust and proper cooking, the dough must be at room temperature prior to baking.

just a thought.... hope this helps.”

The take home message here is most knowledge is borrowed. The key in this hobby is to take that knowledge and apply it for yourself. In your kitchen. If it works great, keep it. If not, throw it overboard and come up with a better way. Your own way.

I trust you will find the above useful.
pftaylor
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 10:42:36 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 517
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #573 on: July 09, 2008, 10:37:55 AM »
Thanks pftaylor.

Thorough and useful.

MWTC  :chef:

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #574 on: July 09, 2008, 03:43:45 PM »
PFT,

Thanks for the update. I'll make the necessary adjustments.

Mike
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein


 

pizzapan