Author Topic: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF  (Read 155652 times)

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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2005, 12:19:22 AM »
Thursday afternoon my first shipment of Caputo 00 pizza flour arrived at my house.  That same evening, I set out to create some dough to begin the initial A16 experiment.  I made SIX doughs on Thursday night and, per the feedback from the pizzaolo at A16, I planned for a 48 hour refrigeration/retardation.  As it turned out, I couldn't quite wait for the full 48 hour rise, and I made three pizzas already.  The earliest rise was just under 24 hours and then one at 24 hours and then one at 32 hours.

Allow me to say that, with my first experience of Caputo flour, I am totally hooked on this flour and the pizzas it produces.  I simply cannot say enough good things about this flour.  It was easy to handle, incredibly responsive, and flavorful as all get out.  Did I re-create A16?  No.  But every pizza that I produced was delicious in flavor, texture, crisp and chew.  The only thing that was quite evident was the limitations of each pizza based on baking in my home oven, as opposed to a high heat source such as a brick oven.  I now have joined the ranks of those who are strongly considering and researching a  home brick oven, probably for my backyard.

In my initial attempt with the Caputo flour, I chose to use the pizzanapalatano recipe that Peter posted earlier in this thread, with a few modifications.  There was no autolyse used in the mixing process.  I made three doughs with 60% hydration and then three other doughs with 58% hydration.  I also played with the yeast content and increased the yeast in the 58% hydration doughs significantly.  I will report in more depth tomorrow night on the differences in these recipes but, in the short run, I would say that the differences in the pizzas at this point has been very minimal.  They've all been delicious with great taste and texture characteristics.  Perhaps the crisp and chew has varied slightly with each pizza/recipe, but only minimally so.  Folks, if you haven't experimented with Caputo flour yet and you have a taste for Neapolitan pizza, you really need to make the jump and experience the pizzas that this flour is capable of producing.  My wife has requested that I discontinue making NY style pizzas entirely in favor of Caputo based Neapolitan pizza.  This is after only three pizzas!  It's just great flour in every respect.

More details to follow tomorrow.  In the meantime, attached are some pictures of one of the Caputo pizzas that I made today.  It has a 60% hydration and a minimal amount of yeast and olive oil.  No olive oil in the recipe and only dusted lightly with olive oil before the refrigeratin/retardation process began.  More to follow tomorrow.
Friz


Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2005, 12:22:41 AM »
dough ball

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2005, 12:28:54 AM »
Caputo pic
« Last Edit: May 08, 2005, 12:45:54 AM by friz78 »

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2005, 12:30:30 AM »
pic 3

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2005, 12:32:13 AM »
pic 4

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2005, 12:35:12 AM »
pic 5

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2005, 12:37:06 AM »
pic 6

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2005, 12:39:46 AM »
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Offline abatardi

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2005, 02:52:50 AM »
Has anyone compared real Caputo 00 to the King Arthur 00 clone?  I have the KA clone but wasn't very impressed with it the couple of times I used it and have switched back to KA Bread / KASL.  I was going to pick up a bag of the Caputo at one point but if it's not drastically different than the KA clone I don't want to buy a 55# bag of it.

- Aaron
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2005, 09:34:27 AM »
Friz,

I'd say you did damn well. I can't wait to hear the details, especially the characteristics of the crusts. Now you have a baseline against which to compare the later efforts using a lot more oil, etc.

Aaron,

Many of us have tried the KA00 but it is just not the same as the Caputo 00. The KA00 is a domestic clone of the Italian 00 flours with a protein level of 8.5%. The Caputo 00 is a specially crafted 00 flour with 11.5-12.5% protein. They behave differently in recipes, even in the same recipe (which is true of 00 flours in general), and will produce different results. There could well be some recipes out there where one would prefer the KA00 but I haven't found them yet myself. I haven't done a side by side test, but maybe one of our members has and can report the results to us.

Peter

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2005, 11:04:32 AM »
Aaron,
I agree with Peter on this - there is no comparison between KA and Caputo 00.  It's not even in the same ball park.  The only way you will really understand what we are talking about is to get yourself some Caputo flour and you will then understand completely, believe me.
Friz

Offline abatardi

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2005, 01:53:39 PM »
Sounds good, that's what I wanted to hear.  I was hoping they weren't in the same ballpark as if they were I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about :)

I guess I'll try to pick some up at some point and try and find a location in the apartment where my girlfriend won't see it (she can't understand why I have 4-5 different kinds of flour already)...

- Aaron
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2005, 09:25:30 PM »
As follow up to my post and pictures the other day, I would like to further detail my pizzamaking experiment with Caputo flour.  On Sunday, I made two more pizza and I have attached pictures below for everyone's review.  I used the Pizzanapaletana recipe noted earlier in this thread by Pete-zza, with a few subtle modifications.  I thought this would be a good starting point in attempting to re-engineer A16 pizza while also getting familiar with the use of Caputo flour.  Here was the recipe for each pizza:

Pizza #1:

Caputo pizzeria flour, 6.33 oz. (100%)
Water, 3.85 oz. (58%)
Sea salt, 0.17 oz. (7/8 t.) (2.73%)
IDY, 0.1 oz. (a couple of small pinches between the thumb and forefinger) (0.05 oz.)

In this experiment, I added double the amount of yeast that was recommended in Marco's recipe in an attempt to learn the effect it would have on the pizza.  I also decreased the hydration level to 58%.  The results were very good, but not quite as good as Pizza #2, which I will discuss in more detail next.  This pizza was very tasty and had good crisp.  I would say that it fell short in the chew department, as the chew was somewhat "flat" and not as responsive as Pizza #2.  This pizza certainly passed the taste test with the family, but when compared to the other recipe, I would say it was a slight notch below, but just barely so.

Pizza #2 was a smash hit and here was the recipe:

Flour, Caputo pizzeria flour, 6.33 oz. (100%)
Water, 3.85 oz. (60.8%)
Sea salt, 0.17 oz. (7/8 t.) (2.73%)
IDY, 0.05 oz.
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

I did not see much impact that the olive oil had on the pizza.  Even in the browning department, I found that of all five of the Caputo pizzas I made this weekend, the greatest impact that olive oil had was on those pizzas that I coated  with olive oil AFTER mixing (olive oil sprinkled on top of the completed dough ball).  Indeed the coating of the dough ball seemed to very much enhance and encourage browning in a very positive way.  This is particularly evidenced in the pictures I posted two days ago earlier in this thread.  Based on the variations of this recipe, I am convinced that a fairly liberal coating of extra virgin olive oil on the finished dough ball did a wonderful job of encouraging browning without overtaking the flavor of the dough.  With regard to oil in the recipe, I'm not sure it had much effect on the outcome, especially when compared to other factors like hydration % and yeast amount.  Nonetheless, this pizza was incredible tasty and had great texture and flavor characteristics.  It handled beautifully while forming the peel and transferred well from the peel to the stone.

One thing that was evident with all five pizzas I made this week - they were all delicious and they had great dough characteristics.  At the end of the day, I found myself saying, "The only thing that would make this pizza any better would be about 300-400 more degrees of heat."  There's no doubt in my mind that that is the only factor missing from having a dough that more closely resembles that of a restaurant like A16.  Clearly, the higher heat and subsequent shorter cooking time, would give the pizza a bit more spring in the rim and a bit more of a smoky flavor.  Without the extra heat though, I'm not sure anything else can be done to achieve the aforementioned characteristics.  The good news is that I am sold on Caputo flour and Neapolitan style pizza.  It is simply fantastic - the best I have created at home by a wide margin.  Of course, this is my taste and that of my wife, and our tastes might not be the same as others on the forum.  Everyone needs to try the Caputo product for themselves to determine your individual taste preference.

Where do we go from here?  I'm not really sure.  I think I will try this recipe again and this time use an autolyse to enhance oven spring a bit more.  I'm not sure if this will really make a difference but it's worth a shot.  If anyone else has recommendations for experimentation with this recipe I would love to hear your feedback.  In the meantime, I would strongly recommend pizzanapoletana's recipe for anyone looking to create an authentic Neapolitan pizza with Caputo flour - you WON'T be disappointed.
Friz

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2005, 09:31:56 PM »
pizza #1

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2005, 09:35:53 PM »
friz78,
I truly enjoy reading your posts. You are quite the pizza maker. It seems you make several variations at once to determine a winner much like Pizza Idol. I find myself rooting for one version or another. Good fun.

I too have found that Caputo Pizzeria 00 flour produces a fantastic tasting pie. Much more flavorful than KASL. Although it took me a lot longer than yourself to finally figure that out. The Pizza Sophia recipe is oddly similiar to what pizzanapoletana recommended originally even though it grew out of Pizza Raquel which was based on a recommendation by ilpizzaiolo. For me, the mixing and stretching procedures made all the difference in the world.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2005, 07:42:11 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2005, 09:38:33 PM »
pic

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2005, 09:46:11 PM »
PIZZA #2


Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2005, 09:48:48 PM »
PIC

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2005, 09:50:09 PM »
PIC

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2005, 09:52:23 PM »
PIC

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2005, 10:20:54 PM »
pft,
I believe you are correct about the mixing and stretching techniques being paramount to making a quality pizza.  No doubt, these are two fundamentals that must be executed well in order to achieve success.  I also believe that the mixing techniques can be adjusted in order to achieve different results.  So far with my experimentation of using an autolyse, I have found that it changes the character of the crust in different ways, sometimes to my liking and sometimes not.  I also believe the combination of the use of autolyse with a variation of hydration % is an intriguing one.  I have a sense that autolyse may work best for lower hydration percents and it might encourage more of a breadlike affect (too much spring) when used with higher hydration percentages.  Although this is just an hypothesis on my part right now, not a proven fact.  I plan to continue my experimentation of autolyse, non autolyse, and various hydrations percentages in order to better determine the effects of these combinations.

One thing we have to make sure everyone on the forum understands - heat and flour are the two biggest factors in crust taste and texture, in my opinion.  A16 does not use an autolyse and it is the finest pizza I have ever eaten.  I am convinced this is because of the use of their flour (Caputo) and a wood burning brick oven that runs at close to 900 degrees.  If you take either one of those factors out of the equation, you don't have the same pizza.  I'm not sure I would say that autolyse and mixing techniques rate as high as the two aforementioned factors.

As I continue to pursue an A16 clone and to improve my abilities in Neapolitan pizzamaking, I also want to get a better handle on the best ways and times to use an autolyse.  As I said, I believe that it has benefits in the right situations, it's just a matter of better understanding when to use it and when it might be better not to use it.  That's why my next A16 experiment will include an autolyse.  While A16 does not use one, I believe that it may enhance the rim spring for the pizzanapolitana recipe in a conventional oven. Essentially, trying to use an autolyse to "artificially" create a lighter, more springy crust in the absence of high heat.

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2005, 10:53:01 AM »
I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts on potential effects that use of an autolyse and room temperature rise might have on the A16 experiment.  While I plan to experiment with both methods, it would be interesting to gain feedback from people on the expected outcome and then compare it to the actual results.  As I noted in my previous post, I wonder if autolyse might create a sort of "artificial" lightness and spring to the crust for those of us who don't have the luxury of a high heat cooking source. Of course, the other possibility is that autolyse has a totally different affect on the crust - I'm not really sure.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2005, 01:58:29 PM »
Friz,

I view autolyse as being independent of whether a dough undergoes fermentation at room temperature or during retardation, since the effects of the autolyse are pretty much determined and fixed by the time the dough is kneaded. I also do not believe that we fully understand the implications of autolyse in the context of making pizza dough because of the limited experimentation to date. An added complication is that the term "autolyse" has come to mean different things to different people (more on this below).

The first reference I could find at this site to autolyse in the context of pizza dough was a post by YoMomma in August 2003. In January of 2004, Randy and others also talked about autolyse in the context of pizza dough, and shortly after I became a member of the forum, I discussed autolyse in the same context. I thought to try autolyse based on my experience in using the technique in breadmaking, which is where the concept of autolyse originated. The idea was that maybe autolyse would also be good for pizza dough.

My starting point with autolyse was the classical one--the approach I have since come to learn (from DINKS) was invented by Prof. Raymond Calvel, the author of Le Gaut de pain and widely considered the world's foremost expert on French bread. He wondered what would happen if one combined just flour and water and let it rest. No yeast or preferment would be included since they would start to ferment and acidify the dough and, in the process, reduce the effectiveness of the enzymes (e.g., protease) that attack and soften the gluten and which do this most effectively in a more neutral pH environment. No salt would be added either, since it would cause the gluten to tighten and thereby hinder the dough's development and hydration. What Prof. Calvel discovered is that autolyse resulted in a dough with better hydration, gluten development and softness. The effects of these improvements were to shorten the overall mixing time, increase the dough's extensibility, and produce a bread with a creamy colored crumb and better aroma and flavor. 

One of the early criticisms of the Calvel autolyse in a commercial environment was that the autolyse rest period meant having to stop the mixing process for the duration of the autolyse. Ultimately, bakers came to alter the Calvel autolyse in many ways to get around this concern, even though what they did in their alterations in many (if not most) cases could no longer be technically called an "autolyse", at least as contemplated by Prof. Calvel. Yet the term "autolyse" remained and is commonly used today to describe just about any period of rest, no matter when, how or where it is implemented. Fortunately, doughs seem to benefit from any period of rest and will have some of the characteristics envisioned by Prof. Calvel in his work. But, in any given situation, it is not entirely clear what attributes or benefits of autolyse are actually achieved.

I have gone through the above explanation to stress the importance of distinguishing between the various forms of autolyse used in our experimentation, whether it is in the A16 or other contexts, since the different forms of "autolyse" will not produce the identical results. Additionally, if we are too loose in our terminology or defining our procedures, we will not get clarity on whether autolyse is good or not for pizza doughs. The ultimate objective is to determine which sets of steps and sequences produce the best final results for our pizza doughs, whether it is for doughs that undergo fermentation at room temperature or in a retarded environment or whether the pizzas are baked in high-temperature ovens or in standard home ovens. It's quite possible that we will learn that autolyse is more effective for one kind or style of dough than another, or one kind of flour over another, and that it is not a cure all for all our pizza dough ills, but rather another useful tool to use in our quest for the perfect pizza.

Peter


Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2005, 05:48:02 PM »
Peter,
As usual, you have summed up the autolyse idea so well it really needs no further commentary.  Just a fantastic overview of the evolution, logic, and usefullness of autolyse.  Thanks for the background and I totally agree with your assessment that autolyse is a tool that can be effective in certain situations and, in other situations, one would be better off going without it.  The challenge is to ultimately determine, as you stated, when and when not to use an autolyse.

Now, can you lead me/us to the specific autolyse technique you referred to in your last post?
Thanks,
Friz

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2005, 08:47:43 PM »
Friz,

My inclination is to start with a basic autolyse and, from there, try other forms of rest periods.

I have recently been experimenting with a variation of the Calvel autolyse as was brought to my attention by fellow member DINKS. I most recently used it for a Lehmann NY style dough. Basically, the Calvel autolyse approach as I have been using it entails combining one-third of the flour, one-third of the water, and the yeast (commercial or a preferment), following which the dough is subjected to an autolyse rest period of 30 minutes. Then the rest of the flour and the rest of the water are added to the dough and thoroughly combined, and the process is completed by adding the olive oil (if used) and kneading that into the dough (about 2 minutes), and finally the salt. The dough is then kneaded, for about 6-7 minutes (at the 1 setting), or until the dough achieves the desired characteristics (shiny, smooth, elastic and tacky). At this point, if the dough is to be retarded, it can be subjected to another rest period (not technically an autolyse at this point) of about 15 minutes before placing the dough in the refrigerator.

You will note that the yeast is added early in the process. This is generally considered acceptable since most yeasts, such as IDY or ADY (proofed), don't start to act quickly and most likely will still be "dormant" during the autolyse period. If I were to use cake yeast, as most likely was used when the concept of autolyse was born, then I would add the cake yeast later in the process (before adding the oil and salt) because it acts faster than the dry yeasts and could produce the acidic condition that is to be avoided as much as possible when implementing the autolyse. When combining water and flour, I recommend that the flour be added gradually to the water, as the stir setting of the stand mixer. You will also note that the final knead time is a bit shorter than usual. This is because one desirable end result of using an autolyse is to reduce the total knead time. Using the shorter overall knead time, especially at low mixer speed, also reduces oxidation of the dough and thus preserves carotenoids and other elements in the flour that contribute to the color, aroma and taste of the finished crust.

While I haven't done it, it may also be possible to combine all of the flour, water and yeast at one time (gradually adding the flour/yeast to the water) and, after the autolyse rest period, add the oil (if used) and finally the salt.

As alternatives to the above approaches, I would also consider trying the methods, including the use of rest periods, that pftaylor and Varasano have been using with their respective doughs. The approaches used by pftaylor and Varasano are similar but they have enough differences to warrant considering them in relation to the Calvel approaches discussed above. It's possible that they may produce even better results than the Calvel approach. After all, the Calvel autolyse was developed for use in breadmaking and not for making pizza doughs. Consequently, it is possible that it is a rest period in a generic sense that is really important and it may not matter whether the rest period is part of the autolyse or not.

Peter