Author Topic: Pizza Raquel  (Read 197030 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #540 on: June 03, 2008, 11:36:35 PM »
pftaylor,

You, my friend, must be in 'Santos Heaven' just right about now!  ;D  Great photos.

After I read your post at work, I decided to open a bottle in your honor. Well, actually the arrival of the Santos at Pftaylor's was just an excuse to have two glasses of a nice red, instead of one.  :angel:

Seriously, though, the reason I'm "celebrating" is simple. We all will benefit from Pf's findings, his gained knowledge and perhaps his altered/different approach to making a great pizza due to the addition of a new member to the Pftaylor "Pizza Raquel" family.

And,  because when I first signed on here, he was already well into his Raquel project but never tired of sharing his knowledge and his results, learned by experimenting with different dough formula's, ingredients, equipment and ovens.

Kudos to you, Pf !

Mike
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 11:42:04 PM by Essen1 »
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Offline pftaylor

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Pizza Raquel
« Reply #541 on: June 04, 2008, 02:35:46 PM »
Hi Essen1,
Thanks for the kind words.

Judging from what you, Villa Roma, and others are doing in the Little Black Egg thread you better be careful. Real careful.  Because it is apparent to me you have the same pizza gene mutating and metastizing throughout you as I do. Chris Bianco so artfully explained the disease state to me one day with the following thought, ďyou have to submit to the pizza.Ē Consider me fully submitted. You are on your wayÖ

The pizza gene starts out with silent inflammation and is barely noticed. This stage for me was about three short years ago. Then I only had to invest a few hundred to keep the gene at bay. Now that the disease state has compromised my immune system and fully expressed itself as a grade four, Iím powerless and feel compelled to invest whatever it takes to get the cure. The disease does have a positive side as it also creates an endless cycle of continuous pizza improvement. But alas, Iíve also learned that there is a ratio between cash invested and the quality of Pizza Raquel. But hey, sheís worth it.

You've been warned...

So a day after receiving the Santos I just couldnít accept the protective lid being in my way. But I needed to come up with a quick and dirty way to defeat the instant-off feature should the lid be raised. Never one to stay within the lines, I removed the lid completely which then allowed unencumbered access to the bowl. However, the unit will not turn on unless the instant-off pin is attached to the lid and the lid must be in the down position. So I put my MacGyver hat on and came up with a solution which was inspired by my sonís recent mouse-trap car project.

After kneading the first batch of dough I have an initial set of observations:

- The kneading bowl is big. I mean really big. Good news is I can now make larger batches relative to the now retired Kitchen Aid Professional 600 which struggled with batch sizes much larger than thirty ounces of flour. Yeah, yeah I know the KA Pro 600 can do much larger batches. But for the Raquel dough in my kitchen, thirty ounces was the sweet spot. Above or below that magic mark and the Raquel dough was not quite as robust. With the Santos, I would consider thirty ounces of flour to be the bare minimum.

- A new tool was needed to properly incorporate the ingredients with the thirty ounce batch kneaded in the Santos today. A spatula. Without it, the Santos would be incapable of kneading such a small batch.

- Did I mention the Santos has a big bowl? Its huge capacity spreads out the ingredients to the point where the tips of its forks can barely touch the ingredients when only adding 25% of the flour to all the water and salt. Therefore an immediate change is necessary. Either a larger batch size is required or more than 25% of the flour must be added to the water and salt upfront.

- The batch was hydrated at 60%. But it ďfeltĒ drier relative to the KA Pro 600. More batches will need to be observed to be certain. But if true then this may portend higher hydration dough which doesnít sacrifice any handling qualities while offering even more Bubble-Burst in its baked crust. More Bubble-Burst is a good thing in my book.

- One of the photographs below shows the dough after kneading but before the second rest period. With the KA Professional 600, I would hand-knead the dough to reach the double dough point immediately after mixing and after then again after the second rest period. With the Santos batch, I was able to turn the Santos on for one spin of the bowl after the second rest period and the dough immediately sprang to life. It was springy and smooth right out of the bowl. It didnít require a minute or two of punching and folding to reach the final dough point before balling and cooling. At this moment I was doing jumping jacks in the hallway I was so happy.

The attached photographs tell the tale of the tape.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 02:51:11 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #542 on: June 04, 2008, 05:24:37 PM »
Pftaylor,

I know exactly where you're coming from when you talk about pizza genes. I remember I made my first bite-size "pizze" back in Germany, in my mother's kitchen when I was 4 or 5 yo. The "dough" consisted of flour, butter and ketchup!

I believe ever since then, the gene has been laying dormant until it surfaced with full force about a year ago. And since Villa introduced the LBE, it became a full-blown disease. Just like yours.

The LBE is a great substitute, especially for the guys on here who don't have the option of building their own WFO.

Nice photos! I can already see that you're fully engaged with the new family member  ;D

When you say that at 60% it felt drier, I could imagine that more of the water evaporates due to the size of the bowl and the dough's exposure to more air?

Mike
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 06:56:58 PM by Essen1 »
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Offline pftaylor

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Pizza Raquel
« Reply #543 on: June 08, 2008, 09:00:30 AM »
Hi Essen1,
You might be right. I'm not certain the larger bowl size can account for all the difference I'm noting. I'm leaning more toward the fork technology having a larger impact while the larger bowl size having a smaller yet contributory factor.

Yesterday I had a couple of ďfriendsĒ who demanded coming over on Sunday for pie or two or twelve. Pizza glutens but who am I to deny them their pizza cravings? Chefís Walk invitees donít seem to mind my enforcing recipricol rules. The notion of bringing over a nice bottle of wine or two to wash down the nightís affair is often greeted with glee at just being given a "seat-at-the-table."

Reciprocity is a given in this hobby and I'm not entirely sure why. So far no one has come empty handed for pizza night. This contrasts favorably when I use to invite folks out on The Fever which was our 10 meter Trojan boat. Inevitably they would show up with an old bottle of spf 2 suntan lotion, one 8oz bottle of water and maybe a chicken wing or two. Think they grossly underestimated the thirst and hunger which immediately ensues being on the water? How about a little help with gas? Forget it. So I stopped complaining and just assumed the worst. I was rarely, if ever, disappointed that way.

Iím not sure what guests were thinking when a hundred gallons or so of premium fuel were being pumped into The Feverís tanks but it wasnít reciprocity. Years of watching this scenario repeat itself allow me to confidently conclude that boat guests don't perceive the value of a day out on the water. To this day I'm baffled by this.

Pizza guests on the other hand are grateful. The perplexing thing about this is that the same people who epitomize cheapness on the water think nothing about splurging on a pizza night. Iíve had guests bring over gift wrapped bottles of really old scotch, fancy Italian desserts, and of course heavenly vino. Back to the topic at hand...

Tonightís impromptu occasion afforded the opportunity to try a slightly bigger batch in the Santos. So I increased the flour to forty ounces instead of thirty. The 00 flour was hydrated with twenty-four ounces of water, and complimented with 1.2 ounces of flavor enhancing and bubble bursting Ischia starter topped off with 1.09 ounces of Sicilian sea salt. This formulary is actually more attuned for Pizza Sophia and Neapolitan style pizza utilizing a 24 hour room temperature rise. 

While the slightly larger batch size worked better, my sense is itís still too small. By how much? Iím thinking a sixty ounce batch is more correct than not but I havenít a clue. My surmise would be bigger, in fact, much bigger batches are better. Sure itís possible to help the Santos out with small batches by employing all sorts of tricks like using a spatula and manipulating the bowl rotation. But it doesnít feel or look right. The Santos forks can do more. They were designed to do more. Almost like a sailboat in a harbor. I donít know about you but sailboats just donít ďlookĒ right in a harbor. Sure they are safe by being in a harbor but sailboats werenít designed for harbors they were designed for the open water.

Visually the forty ounce batch of flour mixed much differently and more competently than the thirty ounce batch. From my observation it was simply due to the increased mass of dough allowing the forks to grab more.

Here are a couple of short YouTube videos showing the Santos in action:






One last point about the whole boat vs pizza thing. Perhaps I'm a better pizzaiolo than captain. Now that's an explanation I can live with.

Ciao,
pftaylor
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 09:22:30 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything Youíd Want.
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Offline scott r

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #544 on: June 08, 2008, 01:00:45 PM »
Pete, I have been doing batches based on 1.5L of water which is at or close to (depending on where you look) the maximum capacity for the santos.  The results are amazing when I stop it at the right time, but I have had a few batches that I have over or under mixed.  I know I will be able to read when I am at the proper point in gluten development easier as I spend more time with this machine, but for a number of reasons I can't help but think how much better the Santos would work if it mixed a bit slower.  It is such a powerful machine that it gets the job done very quickly, sometimes as fast as 5 or 6 minutes even with large batch sizes.  It seems like the point where the dough is optimally mixed goes by so fast that an error of even 20 seconds can destroy the dough. So far my best batches in the Santos have employed a few rest periods during mixing, and I think with a slower speed this would not be necessary.

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.  
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 03:01:23 PM by scott r »

Offline foodblogger

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #545 on: June 08, 2008, 01:32:06 PM »
I woke up this morning and my starter was practically jumping out of the bowl.  I started it a couple weeks ago according to Reinhart's method.  I've been keeping it in the fridge between feedings and it hasn't been super active until this AM.  I've been baking sourdough breads with it and it does a fairly good job.  So far it has had a really nice, mild flavor but you can definitely tell it is a wild yeasted bread.  I decided to give pizza dough a try.  I thought I would give Raquel a try. 

So much has happened in this thread since the last time I checked it that I am lost.  I'm still using a Kitchenaid mixer and baking in an oven.  It won't be long though.  I finish my plastic surgery residency in 2 weeks and I'm opening a practice.  Give me 6 months or so in practice and I'll be up to date on technology.

I'm going to rent at first so I won't be building a real oven.  I was thinking I would give the 2stone a try.  Does anyone have any experience with it using this dough?  Sorry if this has been covered, I just can't bring myself to read 28 pages of text.

The other thing I am wondering is if Mr. Pftaylor would be so kind as to post an updated full guide to what he is doing now with this pizza.  I found one on like page 2 and like page 15 but there doesn't seem to have been one done in a while.

Offline pftaylor

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Pizza Raquel
« Reply #546 on: June 09, 2008, 07:40:48 AM »
Hi foodblogger,
The Raquel Formulary was last updated on page 24. But here is the thing. The whole concept of Pizza Raquel is to optimize home pizzamaking with what one has available to them. In my case Pizza Raquel has evolved from oven baking to grill baking to the venerable Raquel Oven and had to update various aspects of the formulary each time. Along the way I also graduated from an Artisan mixer to a Professional 600 and finally now the mythical Santos Impastatrice a Forcella.

How serious are you about climbing the pizza mountain? If you truly are ready to go mountain climbing then I have a one time offer for you. Kindly share with us a complete overview of the tools you have available, oven, flour, etc. and Iíll respond back with an optimized dough management suggestion customized just for you. We may not get it right the first time but through the process of collaboration we will nail it. Iíd offer a money back guarantee that this will result in the best pizza youíve ever eaten but alas, Iím not charging money. Iím just giving back, which is hopefully what youíll do as a surgeon when the time is right.

Here is a report of sorts from last nightís Chefís Walk.

It was a disaster. First pie was scheduled to hit the Raquel Oven at 6pm sharp. At 5:50pm the heavens opened up and I tried to bake pies in the rain. No fun I can assure you. On top of that the first pie was soggy because of the rain pelting the pie to and fro the oven. There was just no avoiding it.

So we resorted to using an umbrella to protect our prized pizzas on the journey from the prep area to the oven. Meanwhile the Pizzaiolo was drenched as he tended to the pies in the downpour. Good thing they only took a minute or so to bake otherwise it would have been worse. Even though the Raquel Oven is entombed with world-class layers of insulation material, Iím always concerned with a fire hazard when the tarp is wrapped around it to keep out the rain. I have a fire extinguisher just in caseÖ

I managed to only take a few photographs but here a few interesting observations about the two doughs used last night:

- Everyone (including me) preferred the texture of the 50/50 blend of San Felice 00/KABF compared to 100% San Felice 00. Voting was unanimous and a landslide

- The blended dough had the wafer-thin eggshell exterior. The 100% 00 dough had loads of softness and just a wisp of crisp but not enough to have a super interesting tooth-mouth feel for the assembled attendees. Iím now convinced Italian 00 based dough is an acquired taste. Frankly, I donít know if Iíll ever acquire it

- Everyone preferred the appearance of the 00 pies. The leoprading was just too enticing to choose the blotchy look of the blend

- Even though the 100% 00 dough is the softer of the two, it was much, much, much more robust in its handling properties. The difference here may have to do with the one change I made in the dough management process. I decided not to incorporate a 20 minute rest period upfront in the dough management process. The only other difference was a four day cold rise for the blend vs. a 24 hour room temperature rise for the 00

- One of the photographs shows a baked skin just before being slathered with nutella. 'Em Em good. Sitting beside it was a Trouser Leg which I now use to bat cleanup for all the ingredients I have left. Killer...

So it seems, based on my limited experience, the Santos produces superior dough without the first rest period whereas the KA Professional 600 had to have it to produce a similar quality dough. Iíll experiment with a few more batches before making a final decision but I know which way Iím leaning.   
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 07:44:51 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline foodblogger

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #547 on: June 09, 2008, 01:12:08 PM »
PFT
Thanks for the info.  Those pies look delicious.  I'm a little out of practice with NY style.  I haven't done too many since I moved to Kentucky.  I had a pretty good handle on it when I lived in Kansas City and I was able to make consistently tasty pies.  I'd give you my current equipment/flours etc but I'm moving (again) in 2 weeks.  The new place has a gas oven but it is pretty old.  I have no idea what I'll be able to do for maximum temperature etc.  I'm also very strongly considering buying a 2stone in the next month or so which would change things drastically.

After reading how hard the Santos mixers are to get I might hold off on that until the winter sometime.  Who knows if they will even be available by then.  I bake a TON of bread so I have been thinking of upgrading from my Kitchenaid for some time.  If the Santos suddenly becomes unavailable, are there any other options that come close?


Offline ray

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #548 on: June 10, 2008, 02:08:39 AM »
pft,

I'm looking forward to seeing a vid of the Santos in action, when you have time.  8) (edit: ah, I see my wish is granted! http://youtube.com/watch?v=KeQqtKtaMzM )

Also I'm wondering how long a span you usually employ between when your pie is completely prepared and the time that it is placed in your oven. Of course this may vary based on your ambient conditions.

Now that it's quite warm here, I'm seeing a lot more activity with the dough (as it should be) and my results are improving somewhat. I may increase the resting time prior to placing my pies in the oven in an effort to improve the lightness. Though I may need to be careful to make sure the pie does not get soggy.

Cheers,

Ray
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 02:18:10 AM by ray »

Offline pftaylor

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Pizza Raquel
« Reply #549 on: June 10, 2008, 12:50:48 PM »
Hi ray,
May I take the liberty to rephrase your question?

Q: What is most important in terms of what can be accomplished at this specific point in the dough management process?

A: When trying to optimize the conditions to produce a light and silly-soft or Bubble Burst crust, make absolutely sure the dough temperature prior to baking is as close to room temperature as possible. I strive for 75 degrees F as a target. 75 degrees seems to work best in my kitchen. I believe this is much more important than a preset timeframe and is a much more objective means of duplicating one's success.

After stretching a skin to the desired dimensions, it is normally dressed and peeled immediately into the menacingly hot Raquel Oven.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything Youíd Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline pftaylor

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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, itís 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 Chefís 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 Chefís organic garden is growing spices and vegetables such as oregano, basil, and arugula which jack up the flavor quotient over whatís available locally and obviously have the added benefit of helping lower costs. Iím 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 »
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Offline jeff v

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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

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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

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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

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Pizza Raquel
« Reply #554 on: June 21, 2008, 01:07:00 PM »
scpizza,
Interesting observation.

Iíve 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.

Hereís my perspective Ė Pizza Raquel started out as the ďAmericanĒ 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 ďItalianĒ 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 Iím 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 Iíve had were overly bland taste-wise as well. I guess flying over fresh bufala from Italy just isnít the same as getting it same day. Also, donít 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 canít get over the ďMini-MeĒ 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, ďThe king has no clothes!Ē

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 wouldnít 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. Iíd 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 doesnít 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:

ďWe 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.Ē

Ha-Ha!

Practically, itís where the Pizzaiolo creates such an undeniable cascading avalanche of flavor and textures which are so compelling and unexpected that it literally pins oneís brain to the veritable canvas mat with a submission hold. Itís 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, Iíve 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 isnít 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 Ė 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 bakerís pinch of IDY? Well, the Santos oxygenates the dough so well that the natural yeast doesnít 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, thatís why. Nearly all of Wood-Firedís 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 donít meet expectation. Kids will never get it. Iím 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 canít 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 donít have to.

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

Offline Essen1

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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
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Offline pftaylor

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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 Youíd Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Pete-zza

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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

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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 Youíd Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #559 on: June 24, 2008, 07:05:36 PM »
Okay,

I have been experimenting with PFTís 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 bakerís pinch, 1/8 of a tsp of ADY, to be exact. I also took PFTís 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 itís 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 PFTís Raquel formula calls for.

After, what PFT called ďRaquelís beauty restĒ, 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 thatís 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. Thatís 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 wonít 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 hereís where I change it up a bitÖevery 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 tomorrowís Germany Ė Turkey semifinal at the Euro 2008 and will make a couple of pies during half time. Iíll report back with pictures then.

Weíll 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 14Ē Ė 15Ē.  I have no data in terms of the thickness factor since I do it by feel. Iím 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

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