Author Topic: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF  (Read 155522 times)

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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #125 on: June 11, 2005, 04:29:25 AM »
Peter (Pete-zza)

In the other thread you have rightly pointed out the differences in falling numbers and what this indicates.

Now it is proven that enzymes, as well as yeast, work better and faster at room temperature. However with commercial yeast, this process happen too fast, and thus the enzymes do not have time to work on the damaged starch.

The principle of retardation is that with a large amount of yeast we introduce also more enzymes in the dough. At this stage, once in the fridge, whilst the yeast get slowed down a lot, the enzymes get slowed down slightly less (but they still get slowed down), however for the large quantity of enzymes as well, the maturation of the dough, happen faster then the fermentation.
The proper retardation needs of at least three fermentation room, the first at -10 celsius, the second at +2 and the third at 12-16, then finally the dough needs to be brought at room temperature at around 25 celsius.

Going back to the caputo flour, you have rightly pointed out that it has a low amylasse activity, thus it is not ideal for retardation purpose. On the other hand the retardation technique would be really beneficial for strong flour with high amylasse activity (low falling number).
Do not forget that high hydration also speed up the enzyme activity and salt on the other hand slow it down.

I would also like to point out to Giotto, that I agree with him that experimenting to find a better product is possible, but it doesn't make sense when the product has already reached the optimum.

Look at the difference between Ciro's cross section and A16 cross section. It is not hard to achieve a bready crust, it is hard to achieve a fluffy one.

Ciao


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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #126 on: June 11, 2005, 10:58:12 AM »
giotto,

First, a housekeeping item. It was Marco Bianco, Chris' brother, who told me that even they have doughs that don't always turn out right, and they don't always know the reason.

I'd like to talk a bit about salt and sugar in the context of A16, although my comments have applicability in general.

Like you, my practice has been to keep salt away from yeast. The reason I did this was because I understood that salt, being hygroscopic in nature (it absorbs water), would suck liquids away from the yeast, through permeating the cells of the yeast (through osmosis), and render the yeast less effective in the fermentation process. By analogy, it would be like turning a grape into a raisin. A couple of our members, I believe it was Marco and DKM, pointed out to me that it was not improper to combine yeast and salt if the salt was first added to the water and dissolved in it (as by stirring), and, indeed, this was quite common in the making of pizza doughs at the professional level. By first dissolving the salt in water, the salt would get its fill of water or other cellular liquids and its impact on the yeast would then be negligible. When I did some further research on this matter, I saw that it was common even among pizzaioli in Naples to combine dissolved salt with yeast. I was further comforted to read materials produced by yeast producers such as SAF that the newer strains of yeast they now produce have greater tolerance to salt than earlier versions and that it was acceptable to mix disasolved salt and yeast so long as the time of physical contact was not excessive.

That said, I believe that salt plays a greater role in the context of doughs, such as a Caputo 00 dough, that are fermented for long periods at room temperature. A lot of things have to be just right, or otherwise the final dough will produce poor results. The amount (and type) of yeast has to be just right, the hydration level has to be just right, the temperature has to be just right, and the amount of salt and its management has to be just right. We all know that salt toughens the gluten in dough,which is desirable to get a good gluten structure that can effectively hold gasses, but it also has an effect on the protease enzymes in dough, which act, if unrestrained, to soften the gluten and, in the extreme, turn the dough into a gummy mess. If this analysis is correct, then this suggests that high levels of salt are needed to toughen the gluten while at the same time keeping the protease enzymatic activity in check, and slowing down the rate of fermentation. This becomes even more important when the dough is a high hydration dough, which speeds up the fermentation process, and the room temperatures are elevated, which also speeds up the fermentation process. To get a dough that can withstand long periods of room-temperature fermentation, beyond say, a 10-12 hour period that is fairly typical of a Caputo 00 dough, all of the abovementioned factors have to come together just so to get the desired end results. I believe these are the points that Marco has been trying to drum into our heads.

What is not entirely clear to me at the moment, however, is whether we need elevated salt levels for a fermentation delayed dough, such as used at A16 and also in many of our experiments at this forum. By introducing delayed fermentation, we have, so to speak, changed the rules of the game on the Caputo doughs, and maybe the rules on salt management can be also altered as a direct result. In other words, maybe we can look and treat salt just as we have done with other fermentation delayed doughs, with reduced salt levels. Maybe this is an area that can be further explored, either through further cross examination of Chef Christophe or our own experiments. 

Turning now to the matter of sugar. I don't think this is as great an issue from a fermentation standpoint with the Caputo 00 flour, in relation to other flours, because the Caputo 00 flour has low amylase enzyme activity and low levels of starch damage, which suggest that the extraction of sugar from the flour and its conversion to forms usable by the yeast takes place at a slow and measured pace. Again, this may be a factor that plays more directly into the scenario discussed above in relation to room temperature fermented doughs. In either case, however, there has to be enough residual sugar in the dough once the fermentation process has concluded to be able to promote better coloration at the crust level and to produce better crust and crumb texture, etc. It is this thinking and analysis that leads me to wonder whether it is worth increasing the amylase enzyme content of the Caputo 00 flour for a delayed fermentation application, either alone or in conjunction with other possible measures that might lead to better results. Clearly, A16 doesn't seem to think that such measures are necessary, but having a very high temperature wood-fired oven in itself avoids many of the issues we face in a home oven environment. To me, this is just another example where we have to innovate to overcome obstacles put into our path.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 11, 2005, 02:46:18 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2005, 12:26:46 PM »
While we certainly have our bready styles in America, including disasters that mimic road kill and cardboard boxes, it really is possible to attain other results right at home.  All in all, this site covers a myriad of styles.  No style is easy to do right.  With regard to this re-engineering project, my earlier comments attest to the "transparent" nature of this style of crust, with a relatively thin, slightly crispy, yet non-dry texture that "doesn't get in the way" (i.e., characteristics that are attributable to A16).  Optimum is an illusion when it comes to personal taste.

Time to move forward.  I tried less salt, Pete-zza, as mentioned earlier.  That batch didn't work for me.  I have also tried sugar, which did work fine in one batch.  The little bit of sugar that I used here, actually 3/4 tsp for 3 doughs, was used during initial yeast hydration, and was comparable to the 1/4 tsp per 13" dough used in the past.  I keep it's hydroscopic nature in mind for obvious reasons.  As far as malt, I'll look forward to seeing it lifted from paper and placed into a test.  Like I have said, it's great when different people try different tests to move this along, and it's worked in other applications. I look forward to your test.   

In the end, I can reach an excellent texture and taste without worrying about color.  The color is for presentation, which I need to put aside in my tests.  A grill or other firing alternative may be used to get those char spots if I want to head for even more of an authentic look.  For now, I need to stick to the strict timing that I used in the past, as well as the same amounts of salt.  For now, I'm signing off to get some light, and then I'll return to my focus on texture and will let you know how my test goes.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 01:18:59 AM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #128 on: June 11, 2005, 08:52:10 PM »
PFTaylor:

Let me just say that I've found patience to be more of a necessity than a virtue when it comes to Caputo vs. my high gluten.  But it pays off.

Here's a reprint of your first 6 Mandatory Stretching Steps:
 
1 - Place dough ball in flour bowl. Dust both sides well. Dust prep area with flour.
2 - Flatten ball into a thick pancake-like shape with palm of hand, ~ 2" thick. Keep well dusted.
3 - Press fingertips into center and working toward the rim until skin is 10 inches round. Keep well dusted.
4 - Place hands palm down inside rim and stretch outward while turning. Stretch to 12" round. ]
5 - Place skin over knuckles (1st time dough is lifted off bench) and stretch to 16"+/-
6 - Pat excess flour off skin. Place on floured peel and dress with favorite toppings.

#4 is what caught my eye, just as it caught my eye at A16. It was pull at one end with right hand, while holding down with left palm at other end, then turn.  I usually just skip this step. But in an effort to develop a better cornicione or outer edge in the pizza, I decided to put it back into the game plan.   

I took my last dough from the same batch that I've had trouble with in the past.  This time I exercised #4, and took a little more time with my palm in #1 to mimic A16, after leaving it out for 2 hours.  Other than stretching the pizza too thin, I got an amazing cornicione... a bit too amazing.  Incredible.  I ran it to the pool.

I also decided to turn the broiler on once my oven reached 550F (to the 2nd highest level).  And I followed a step that caught my eye with A16-- before taking the pizza out of the oven, I lifted the pizza up with my peel to the top broiler heating element for about 10 or so seconds.  This deepened the outer brown spots.  I could have obtained dark char spots if I wanted; but all too often, everyone yells "burnt." Well, at least they aren't saying "hold the prosicutto."

So now I just need a bulletin board that says "stop trying to make a 15" pizza."  I got carried away and made it way too thin for my liking.  One time around with the the pull/turn was all that was needed at this size. Sometimes people wonder why tradition gets deviated.  Well, in this case, I'm able to make only one pizza in my oven safely, and these little pies ain't gonna cut it for long.

I hope to run some temperature gauge tests with broiler between 4 to high.  For now, I agree that stretch is to be moved up on the totem pole in importance.  Thanks much for the suggestion.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2005, 08:57:17 PM by giotto »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #129 on: June 12, 2005, 10:27:21 AM »
giotto,
While a robust stretching regimen cannot take a mediocre dough and turn it into a fabulous one, I have proven to myself that it can take a good dough and turn it into a great one. The stretching procedure one employes makes a huge difference.

I believe you are on the right track with your comments above. Next time at A16, pay particular attention to the entire skin stretching procedure they use and that alone will potentially fill in a big gap. Reverse engineering home pizza making efforts, in my experience, need to focus just as much on stretching as anything else. It is often overlooked for some reason. My humble results skyrocketed once I learned this important lesson.

Also, I realize the A16 dough does not use a biga, poolish, preferment, mother, chef or any other sort of natural starter but it seems to me that a good portion of the mixing procedure I have read about here seems to point in the direction that a good preferment could otherwise take it. The mixing steps you and Friz78 have detailed might be accomplished with a much simpler regimen where a preferment is added early in the process. With a lot less variability as well. The A16 mixing regimen is so precise that it leaves a huge chance for failure if it is not followed exactly. If the mixing process were to be simplified, as I think it can, we could increase the odds for a consistently great cloning result.

I would also be willing to bet that if you could buy a raw piece of dough from A16 and culture it over a couple of weeks, you could duplicate the flavor exactly. That is what fellow member Varasano has done with Patsy's Pizza. I can speak with authority about the Patsy's preferment as Varasano was gracious enough to provide me with a small sample. After eating the real thing while in NY, I can attest the flavor of my home effort is spot on. The crust is indistinguishable. Texture was improved for some reason as well. I don't profess to completely understand why it works, it just does.

I would be interested in what the head chef at A16 would have to say about incorporating the use of a preferment. In my opinion, while we may never achieve the exact look of an A16 pizza, due to the lack of a wood burning oven, we can duplicate the taste through this approach.

The intent of my suggestion is to not thwart all the progress that has been made to date but rather to express another perspective on how to achieve the goal of cloning an authentic A16 pie.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 12, 2005, 10:31:51 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #130 on: June 12, 2005, 10:28:26 AM »
Last night I made another neopolitan but my wife wanted me to load it up with NY style toppings.  I should have made it on a screen, it was so heavy that I had to push it off the peel onto the stone.  The other problem was the additional liquid generated by the extra toppings.  The crust did not hold up too well with the extra liquid and I could not leave it in the oven long enough to let the liquid evaporate before the crust was finished.
JimBob

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #131 on: June 12, 2005, 06:07:16 PM »
JimBob:

How funny, I was just thinking along those lines as I was remembering a comment one of my Aunts made about her pizza experience while in Naples.  When I told her the style I was working on, she commented "oh that thin stuff... we didn't like it much." 

I've placed a great deal of thought into my Aunt's comment.  The other day I was at a small pizzeria with a great ambiance called "Gumba's".  They load it up on their Vegetarian and the big beautiful tomatoes on the pizza immediately caught my eye.  The original Italian owner is back, and I can only assume that he had an Italian mother who often echoed the same words as my Aunt used to say when I was a kid "Eat up... You need meat on those bones."  What amazes me about Gumba's is that their crust can hold up fairly well considering the fresh toppings.  This is a different style though; but one I enjoy at times.

Then I remembered those wonderful meatballs at A16, and I thought "hey, I can have my heavy toppings and Neapolitan pizza as well" and I can do it in the same fashion as any other multi-course meal, with increased flexibility.  So here I was today enjoying my meatballs, which had fennel and juices from a sauce incorporated into them.  First I had a couple by themselves-- excellent.  Then I had them mixed in with some pasta.  Well, let me just say, it was one of those experiences where something works by itself; but isn't quite right when mixed directly with something else I enjoy. 

My conclusion. Flexibility can develop into a good thing.  Neapolitan style in general is simplicity; but that does not prevent enjoyment of heavier raw, grilled or sauteed vegetables, as long as you separate them out and enjoy them as a pre-cursor to your pizza.  In some cases, you may enjoy them more.  The same standards apply to heavier sauteed meats.  Otherwise, I need to head for a different style crust-- unless of course I want to be heard next door.

PFTaylor:

I have A16's technique down to a final art as far as watching how they stretch the dough. Fortunately, when I read your notes, I decided it was worth the try since your steps were the same and #4 was my only deviation (as highlighted in my past response).  I've seen International champs toss dough beyond my wildest dreams, and they can make one kick butt looking pizza without following the very step that I was leaving out-- and the same has been true for me in the past.  The same also holds true when working with room temp vs. cooler dough.  I've seen many pros of mama-papa pizzerias work with dough while it's still cool, without any issue.  But they are setup for their procedures.  When it comes to this flour, I'm not taking any chances for now-- I'm working with room temp dough and the initial stretching will be done on the table as per above.

I'll check Christophe's reasoning behind not working with mother starters, etc.  I've found that once pizzerias have their procedures down, they can create the same result time and time again.  As for trying to work with an existing dough, it does not guarantee a consistent result due to so many other factors. Two different doughs will not make the taste of the first. And then there's hydration levels, humidity, temps, mixing procedures, additional amounts of flour required, etc.  Even with mother starters, I end up spending an incredible amount of time when working by hand, and I need to start adding amounts of flour that go beyond original measurements.  Since flour is my one constant that all other ingredients rely on, it does not always guarantee the same results.  In contrast, I am aware of it's advantages as well.

I would LOVE to see what kind of results I can get with dough made from A16; BUT without any deviation, other than to place it in my oven.  This is something that I recommend to anyone trying to test out a whole new procedure.  For me, I have found the oven to be a TOP consideration that is so often overlooked when making a crust.  Simply moving pizza around in the oven, testing different temps, times, screen vs. other holdings, etc., can make a world of difference. One thing is for sure, if you can't recreate someone's crust with their dough to a level that you are satisfied with in the oven, you'll never know if you have the right dough when making it yourself. 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 12:29:52 AM by giotto »

Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #132 on: June 12, 2005, 09:25:10 PM »

My conclusion. Flexibility can develop into a good thing.  Neapolitan style in general is simplicity; but that does not prevent enjoyment of heavier raw, grilled or sauteed vegetables, as long as you separate them out and enjoy them as a pre-cursor to your pizza.  In some cases, you may enjoy them more.  The same standards apply to heavier sauteed meats.  Otherwise, I need to head for a different style crust-- unless of course I want to be heard next door.


giotto,

We learned that simplicity is the key.  Today I made another one only this time I used some of the same toppings but very sparingly.  What a difference!  This time the flavor of the tomatoes and crust came through along with the other toppings.  It came off the peal with ease and cooked up fine.
JimBob

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #133 on: June 12, 2005, 10:45:55 PM »
I was finally able to find some time to contribute to the A16 experiment today.  Waking up this morning, I immediately set out to make a batch of dough.  I used the most recent Giotto recipe in this thread that was modified by Pete-zza for a thickness factor of .093.  To clarify the exact recipe was as follows:

100%, Caputo 00 pizzeria flour, 7.62 oz. (a bit less than 1 3/4 c.)
57.3%, Water, 4.36 oz. (a bit more than 1/2 c.)
2.4%, Salt, 0.18 oz. (between 7/8 and 1 t.)
1.79%, Extra-virgin olive oil, 0.14 oz. (a bit less than 7/8 t.)
0.30%, IDY, 0.023 oz. (a bit more than 1/5 t., or about 9 pinches between the thumb and forefinger)
Total dough ball weight: 12.32 oz. (for a 13-inch pizza)
Thickness factor (TF) = 12.32/(3.14 x 6.5 x 6.5) = 0.093

I made five dough balls so I just multiplied the quantities for the above mentioned recipe by five.  My family wanted pizza this evening, so I decided to use three of the five dough balls with my first ever same day room temperature fermentation.  I let three dough balls sit at room temperature for 9 hours before baking.  I punched the dough down three times during the course of the 9 hour room temperature rise, being careful not to over knead or over handle the dough when I punched it down.  I had never used a same day rise, so I had no idea how it would turn out.

Here is a synopsis of the techniques I used and pictures of the finished product.

MIXING TECHNIQUE:

1.)   Hydrate/mix yeast, olive oil, salt and water for 15 minutes (Water temperature was slightly under 100 degrees).  I dissolved the salt in the water for about 1 minute, then added the yeast and then shortly thereafter added the olive oil.
2.)   Gradually add flour to water mixture in KitchenAid mixer.  The paddle attachment was used for this mixing.  The mixer was set on level 1 and mixing was halted immediately after the flour and water were barely mixed.
3.)   This produced a very wet and sticky dough that I removed from the mixer and transferred to a floured bench for hand kneading.
4.)   The dough was hand kneaded for approximately two minutes
5.)   After hand kneading, the finished dough ball was placed in a stainless steel bowl and covered with plastic wrap and secured with a rubber band around the rim.
6.)   Dough was left to rise for 9 hours before shaping

STRETCHING TECHNIQUE:

1.)   Dough was removed from bowl and transferred to well flour service
2.)   Dough was spread first with fingers to about 5 inches
3.)   Dough was gently “slapped” around the perimeter and in the middle to about 6 inches  (this was a technique that I watched a pizzaiolo use at A16 when I was there)
4.)   Middle of dough was held in place with left hand and, with right hand on the edge, pulled gently with the right hand.  Dough round was rotated and aforementioned process was repeated around entire edge of dough round.
5.)   Dough ball is now at about 11 inches
6.)   Briefly pick up dough round and hand toss for about 20 seconds.
7.)   Dough ball is now at 13 inches after brief hand toss. 
8.)   Gently transfer dough round from bench to peel.
9.)   Dress and place in oven

COOKING TECHNIQUE:

1.)   Dressed dough round was place on a pre-heated pizza stone.  The stone was preheated for one hour at 550 degrees
2.)   Pizza stone was located on the lowest rack in the oven
3.)   Pizza was cooked on pre-heated pizza stone for 4 minutes and 30 seconds


Summary:

It’s debatable what to attribute to the success of this pizza, but I’ve narrowed it down to two key factors:  The same day fermentation and/or the slightly shorter bake time.  Although my previous efforts with the A16 experiment were very good, they were a bit too crispy in texture with not enough chew.  In reading Giotto’s post on this matter, I realized that I had been too reliant on the judging the TOP of the pizza for doneness instead of the bottom.  Hence, I was getting good browning but too much crisp.  This time, I shortened my bake time by about 30 seconds and it made all the difference in the world.  Also, the top of the pizza was predictably not as browned as previous attempts earlier in this thread.  In the end, I am more than happy to give up the aesthetic browning appearance for the wonderful chew and soft crisp that this crust provided.  My wife declared this pizza the finest that I have made.  At the risk of falling prey to overstating results, I would agree with my wife.  This pizza was a home run in virtually every respect except for browning.

I would also like to add that, in reading various posts that declare Caputo flour more “temperamental” or a bit trickier to deal with than KASL, I must say that I have not found this to be the case at all.  In fact, I have yet to make a pizza with the Caputo flour that wasn’t a cinch to handle and didn’t taste great.  I certainly can’t say the same thing for some of my early attempts with NY style pizza using KASL.  Maybe it’s just me and I’ve been very fortunate.  But I would tell people who are reading this thread and considering experimenting with Caputo flour that you shouldn’t be intimidated or concerned about this flour, as it has been a pleasure for me to work with in every respect.

Last but not least, while tonight’s pizza was a great Neapolitan pie, I can’t say it resembled the unique taste and flavor of A16.  There is indeed something quite unique about A16 and I’m not sure how to attain that unique flavor.  Perhaps pftaylor is correct about a starter that originates with A16 dough could be the answer to attain their unique flavor.  We certainly know that there is nothing unique or magical about the ingredients that they use.  Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a great tasting Neapolitan pizza, the above recipe and technique outline is a great resource for anyone, in my opinion.
Friz 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2005, 09:34:57 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #134 on: June 12, 2005, 10:52:23 PM »
JimBob:

Most excellent.  Appreciate your experiences on the excruciating questions below. This feedback on texture really helps people on the web distinguish what's important to them, and the stats help distinguish variations for those of us experimenting.
 
Texture:

Attributes that stood out, good or bad:
* crispy vs. brittle?
* light vs. went down like a lead weight?
* chewy, soft or airy?
* straight as a board vs. some elasticity?
* lasting impressions when you reached the outer edge?


Oven: 

- temp? Did you employ broiler or a blower?
- time approx?
- screen, stone, etc?
- bottom vs. top of oven?
- final color?

Crust:

- weight of dough vs. crust size?
- water hydration (below or above 57%)?
- oil & salt % or amounts relative to flour?
- other ingredients (e.g., sugar)?
- delayed fermentation via refrigeration?


Many Thanks.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2005, 11:09:54 PM by giotto »

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #135 on: June 12, 2005, 10:54:04 PM »
pic 1

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #136 on: June 12, 2005, 10:58:00 PM »
pic 2

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #137 on: June 12, 2005, 11:03:16 PM »
3

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #138 on: June 12, 2005, 11:07:07 PM »
4

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #139 on: June 12, 2005, 11:55:31 PM »
Friz,

My recollection is that A16 uses ADY, which is usually rehydrated in warm water, and that it was pieguy who suggested IDY and also rehydrating it in water. So, I take it that whether one uses ADY or IDY it should be rehydrated in water. Is that correct?

Also, I noticed in step 1) of your mixing technique you call for hydrating/mixing the yeast, olive oil, salt and water for 15 minutes. This suggests tossing everything into the bowl at the same time. Is this the way it is done at A16? I know it would save time and simplify things doing it that way, but I would think that it could be done just as simply by rehydrating the yeast and water for the bulk of the 15 minutes and then adding the salt and, if you wish, the oil. Or the oil could be added once the initial mix starts and the flour has had a chance to start hydrating. Doing things this way would seem to be better for the yeast and improve hydration of the flour.

BTW, my experience when I made my first 00 pizza dough a few years ago--also a room-temperature dough--was very similar to yours. I was using the Bel Aria 00 flour and, it too, produced a light-colored crust--which I took to be normal. The Caputo 00 flour is better because it is a stronger flour than the Bel Aria 00 flour and can tolerate a longer room temperature fermentation. Under normal room temperatures, you should be able to get out to 12 hours or more before the dough starts to overferment. The one place where I found the Bel Aria 00 flour to be better than the Caputo 00 was for making pizzas within an hour. Many a time I did this when all I wanted was a quick bite to eat.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #140 on: June 13, 2005, 12:06:36 AM »
Friz78:

Thanks so much for the information.  It is so good to hear that you have appealed to your taste buds at HOME.  I agree that Caputo is a cinch to knead... and handles very nicely in general without splits in the end.  I contribute its tempermental nature mostly to the oven, and I have to be careful with its hydration.  As you've found, a small amount of time in the oven can make all the difference in the world, and even placing it toward the bottom has proven advantageous. The 4.5 minutes is about what I am also finding to be right at 550F, which is a couple of minutes less than usual for me with a NY style for obvious reasons.

A16 has not indicated any use of pre-fermentation doughs (mother starters, etc.).  They certainly don't use it same day.  Personally, I prefer doughs that have fermented for 2-3 days, which seems to be Christophe's impression as well.  The amount of olive oil is pretty minimal, so I don't suspect it.  But the char marks from the wood makes all the differences in the world.  The first time I tasted the charred crust at Amici's NY in Mountain View, I sat for awhile disillusioned... I knew this was one taste that I would unlikely be able to touch.  But that's a personal preference.

Regarding coloration, it does appear you are getting some coloration.  You may try turning it in the 2nd half of your time, or try holding the pizza up in your peel for the last 15 or so seconds to the top burners-- you'll see their pizzaiolo does both as well.  He has the advantage of not losing heat; but in this little time, you should be okay.  Placing it toward the top worked for me.  I did put the broiler on the last minute though; but I'm not sure it's necessary.  Based on tests, it appears my broiler goes well above 550F-- in a minute, it may unnecessary.

If you have an opportunity to ask A16 for a dough the next time you are out, you should certainly try.  I can kick myself for not asking the last time I was there. We are only trying to prove the taste differences in our humble ovens.  They've been very open and for good reason.  It helps them become a standard.     
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 02:37:24 AM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #141 on: June 13, 2005, 12:18:18 AM »
Pete-zza:

FYI:  If you check my past notes and other notes as well, A16 uses IDY.  If you find anything different on my part, I will correct it to IDY.  It was me who tried ADY on an occassion, after trying IDY.  Also, you may remember my update that I provided recently in detail after my last visit, explaining how they went about rehydation. You commented on them as well.  Friz78 looks like he followed it.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 12:35:09 AM by giotto »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #142 on: June 13, 2005, 12:36:59 AM »
giotto,

It was the first post in this thread (page 1) where Friz said that A16 uses ADY. When I just went back to confirm this, I also saw that the way the water, yeast, salt and oil are combined is pretty much as I suggested in my last post. I know from our many past exchanges that you prefer ADY. When some of the early recipes we played around with called for ADY or even cake yeast, I would change them to IDY, my preferred yeast, and calculate the amounts to use. BTW, I recently picked up a bunch of packets of ADY for $0.29 each (the three-pack) when a local Albertson's closed down. If A16 does in fact use ADY, I will give it a try in a future effort, for the sake of autheticity.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #143 on: June 13, 2005, 01:12:37 AM »
Pete-zza:

They use and recommend IDY.     
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 02:38:21 AM by giotto »

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #144 on: June 13, 2005, 03:54:19 PM »
Yesterday I made a 13-inch Neapolitan style pizza based on a Caputo 00 dough that had almost three days of refrigeration. The purpose of that pizza was largely experimental. I wanted to test several theories for achieving a crust that was flavorful, tender in the middle and crunchy and chewy at the rim, and with decent coloration, especially at the rim. While the results were generally satisfactory, I concluded that several changes are required to the recipe I used before I am satisfied. However, one of the aspects I tested was the use of dry dairy whey as a mechanism for getting better coloration of the crust. Dairy whey includes lactose, which is the only simple sugar that yeast doesn’t metabolize, but it contributes to crust color. Also, because lactose has a low sweetness factor, it contributes little in the way of sweetness to the crust. So, you in effect get color without the sweetness. For purposes of this test, I used 4% dairy whey by weight of flour. I bought the whey at Whole Foods, in the bulk bin section.

The photos below show the finished pizza. The pizza was baked on a preheated stone and moved under the broiler for a brief period. The browning of the crust was much greater than I usually get out of Caputo 00 doughs in a home oven, even when sugar is added and the same baking procedures are followed. So, for now, dairy whey looks promising as a way of getting more color. I plan to experiment further with the dairy whey to confirm my preliminary findings. I also have some other thoughts in mind for achieving similar effects on coloration. If they prove out, I will report my findings on the forum.

Peter

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #145 on: June 13, 2005, 06:27:50 PM »
Pete,
Thanks for prompting me to clarify step #1 on my mixing technique.  After reading one of your recent posts on this thread, I started by dissolving the salt in the water for about 1 minute.  I then added the yeast and then, shortly thereafter added the olive oil.  Thanks for helping to clarify this step, as I have edited it on my post outlining mixing technique.
Friz

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #146 on: June 13, 2005, 10:53:02 PM »
Pete,
By the way, your pizza looks fantastic.  Did the whey have any noticeable affect on the bottom portion of the crust?  I'm curious if it was more difficult to balance the timing of top and bottom doneness.

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #147 on: June 14, 2005, 12:20:57 AM »
Friz,

The bottom was also darker than usual but not quite as much as the top, which went under the broiler element and was exposed to higher heat. In retrospect, I could have let the pizza bake a bit longer on the stone to darken the bottom of the crust further before moving the pizza under the broiler. The pizza also had a thicker crust than usual so it could have withstood a longer bake time on the stone.

The next time I make the dough, I plan to make several changes based on the results of the recent pizza. The dough will be thinner but it will still have whey, and I plan to also add a bit of sugar (or possibly a non-diastatic liquid barley malt), and I may also add some diastatic malt to see if I can get more residual sugar in the dough (after the needs of the yeast have been satisfied) in order to get added browning. The Caputo 00 has less damaged starch than our domestic flours, so I am looking into ways of increasing the damaged starch content of the Caputo 00 flour so that there is greater opportunity for the amylase enzymes in the flour and from the diastatic malt to produce more residual natural sugars in the dough for browning purposes. I have no idea if this will work, but I am going to give it a try. I may find that I improve one aspect but worsen another.

Peter

Offline JimBob

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #148 on: June 14, 2005, 04:46:50 PM »
JimBob:

Most excellent.  Appreciate your experiences on the excruciating questions below. This feedback on texture really helps people on the web distinguish what's important to them, and the stats help distinguish variations for those of us experimenting.
 
Texture:

Attributes that stood out, good or bad:
* crispy vs. brittle?
* light vs. went down like a lead weight?
* chewy, soft or airy?
* straight as a board vs. some elasticity?
* lasting impressions when you reached the outer edge?


Oven: 

- temp? Did you employ broiler or a blower?
- time approx?
- screen, stone, etc?
- bottom vs. top of oven?
- final color?

Crust:

- weight of dough vs. crust size?
- water hydration (below or above 57%)?
- oil & salt % or amounts relative to flour?
- other ingredients (e.g., sugar)?
- delayed fermentation via refrigeration?


Many Thanks.




Hey giotto,

This is the same dough I posted pics, details and recipe for earlier on in this thread so all I was really commenting on was my experience ruining a good pizza. lol  :D

I plan on increasing the hydration level on my next attempt and will happily post more pics and all the details to go with it.   :)
JimBob

Offline giotto

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #149 on: June 15, 2005, 03:35:20 AM »
Pete-zza:

I used to employ dry buttermilk at times when working with higher gluten flours, which contained lactose like most milk products.  When working with the buttermilk, I would cut my sugar requirements to compensate for the lactose.  Another byproduct was the slight softening of higher gluten flour with its milk fat.  In general, I was always happy with the results in color and texture.  I've been entertaining the possibility of using it with the Caputo flour; but did not want to soften the dough. 

The dairy whey certainly came through with the Caputo.  Does the dairy whey contain fat?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2005, 04:07:34 AM by giotto »