Author Topic: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust  (Read 18067 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2006, 03:03:58 PM »
I baked my first pie yesterday using the San Felice flour, plugging it into my Caputo/Camaldoli recipe. After kneading, the San Felice dough seemed a little sticker than the Caputo dough, but after a 10 hour room temp ferment, 7 hour retard in the fridge, and 4 hour proof, the dough was soft, supple, and perfectly easy to work with using only a small amount of bench flour.

The biggest problem with this batch was my oven temp. I had to run out for an errand and left a helper in charge of feeding wood into the oven. He feed a little too much wood and the deck temp was off the scale of my IR probe, so it was over 1050F. I've never baked at such high temps so I thought it would be fun to try at least once. Well, I pulled the pie after 60 seconds. The top was perfect, the bottom was very charred - too much for my taste. Subsequent pies were baked between 900F and 950F. I would say that this flour burns a little quicker than the Caputo since these pies also were a little too charred on the bottom. But the texture was just what I was seeking - a very slight crisp on the outside and a light interior. I have achieved this same texture with Caputo, but not often. Perhaps this was just beginner's luck.

The real surprise for me was the flavor. Without intending, I stumbled on to the most authentic Neapolitan taste I have ever achieved ("authentic" to the extent that my poor memory can recall after only a few visits to Naples, the last one being over 18 months ago).

And for the first time I had very nice voids in the dough below the toppings.

Bottom line is that no conclusions of any kind can be drawn after just one test. The good news is that I can't wait to try experiment more.  I like what Marco says above about the enthusiasm of us amateurs - boundless and often baseless? But I for one am having a great time and, although I will never have the experience of a pro who bakes hundreds of pies each day, I do know my pizzas are improving - 2 steps forwards, 1 step back.



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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2006, 07:15:07 PM »
Two things I forgot to mention regarding this San Felice batch. First, in the time it took for a Caputo batch to ferment to double the volume, this dough almost ripled in the same time. Perhaps I'll try to decrease the amount of starter (currently 10%).

Second: I rarely eat leftover pizza since there rarely seems to be any leftover. One slice of this batch remained and was wrapped up and put in the  fridge. Several hours later I was walking the fridg and heard the slice calling out to me. So I took bite of the cold pizza. It was really good, surpirsingly good - soft and very tasty. That has not been my experience in the few times I've tried cold leftover slices.

Bill/SFNM

Offline pftaylor

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2006, 12:47:46 PM »
It is very difficult for a guy who comes from NY to admit that his home city pizza is not as good as somewhere else. But I am always open in my thinking (I think) and it has occurred to me that the Italians might have a leg up on NYC pie. So, in the spirit of trying to produce the best pie I am capable of, I have decided to investigate Neapolitan pizza in a big way. Mind you, not Roman or Tuscan pie but I mean the real McCoy. Napoli.

The genesis of this thread is rooted in the assumption that Italians, specifically Neapolitans, know more about pizza than any other and they can prove it by producing glorious pies. It is a very logical starting point to see if one can improve upon tradition or if they actually have it right. In order to do that, I need to incorporate new dough preparation and management steps. Otherwise, it wouldn't be new now would it? I managed to easily surpass the elite coal-fired pies of NYC with Raquel. I am now ready for the big leagues. The show. My sense is I may never get there. But if I die trying, what a way to go.

I just want to have a slightly more crisp exterior crust than they do without losing the fluffy interior. I would consider it an improvement in my personal opinion, they might think I'm a novice. No matter. I remain undaunted in my belief that a slightly crispy crust is world's better than a pure fluffy one.

In discussing with Pete-zza the other day about how I would make the shift to producing authentic Neapolitan pie with my above mentioned twist, our conversation meandered to room temperature rises versus cold ones. He calmly pointed out that before one spends money on better mixers and ovens, one has to have the right formula in order to advance forward. Pete-zza rightly pointed out that Sophia was cold (even though in her day she was hotter than Vesuvian molten lava) and authentic Neapolitan was warm.

Living in Tampa I have to endure delicious weather about eight months a year and brutally hot weather for four. The challenge for me is how would a Tampanian, from a practical point of view, manage the Tampa heat which can be 30 degrees above the globally accepted perfect range of temperatures which are ideal for long slow fermentations.

What I love about Pete-zza is that he comes prepared to discuss topics with unshakable facts. He also presents challenges associated with your goal but then seamlessly pulls from his pocket an acceptable solution or two. He is a trusted adviser in my book. He has no financial interest in the tireless help he has given to us all. I for one, will never abuse this privilege. This forum wouldn't be where it is today without his contributions. My pizza wouldn't be where it is either.

In this case he went through his thinking about how to conquer the Tampa heat problem by suggesting a cooler of some sort with some ice in it which may solve my problem. The negative here is that one would have to have a near vigil for the better part of the day to make sure that the cooler didn't get too cold or warm. He then dropped the little pebble of wisdom on my head that turned out to be a boulder. Perhaps one could use a wine cooler modified to tame the beast.
 
A pizza cooler I thought to myself. Sounds expensive but interesting. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) was high since it started its life as a wine cooler. So I knew I could sell the idea. Next up was to determine if a Pizza Cooler cooler actually produces the perfect range of temperature to allow the enzymes in the dough to do their dirty work most effectively.

As fate would have it, Home Depot sent an email out last week with a 10% off code so I figured why not take a look. Long story short I found a Magic Chef Pizza Cooler that can get the job done. Don't worry about the wine bottles in the picture, they are there for increased WAF, pure decoration, and libation afterwards.

So for $90 delivered I have a Pizza Cooler that will reach the perfect range. Did I mention it barely reaches the zone of perfection?. There may be times when I have to place the unit in the sun to hit the range but I know I can get there. I will certainly have a new use for my trusty RayTek Laser Thermometer to make sure I am in compliance.

I now have Pete-zza to thank for having one less thing to worry about as I climb the pizza mountain of enlightenment.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2006, 01:49:54 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2006, 02:47:13 PM »
pftaylor,

If you die trying, you will be greatly missed and remembered as one who threw his body over the barbed wire so that others could move forward in the battle.  :'(


I also find the whole time and temperature part of the fermenting/proofing equation very challenging. For no reason other than convenience, I do a  room temp bulk rise until the dough is doubled (8-10 hours), and then keep it in the refrigerator until 4 hours before baking. I know others advise against doubling pizza dough, but I think at my altitude, it is inevitable (the last batch about tripled!), I think the amount of starter is a critical part of this and soon I will do a series of batches to see what the effect of reducing the starter is. I'm currently way over what Marco recommends.

I have a Camaldoli/San Felice batch fermenting right now at room temp (68F today). The variable I'm going to play with this time is amount of time in fridge. The last batch was in overnight. This one will go for a day and a half. Baking set for Tuesday lunch.

Bill/SFNM


Offline gottabedapan

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2006, 08:38:12 PM »
Quote
As fate would have it, Home Depot sent an email out last week with a 10% off code so I figured why not take a look. Long story short I found a Magic Chef Pizza Cooler that can get the job done. Don't worry about the wine bottles in the picture, they are there for increased WAF, pure decoration, and libation afterwards.

So for $90 delivered I have a Pizza Cooler that will reach the perfect range. Did I mention it barely reaches the zone of perfection?. There may be times when I have to place the unit in the sun to hit the range but I know I can get there. I will certainly have a new use for my trusty RayTek Laser Thermometer to make sure I am in compliance.


pftaylor,

Just a thought: unless you're satisfied (or stuck with) with the Magic Chef unit, you might want to take a look at thermo-electric cooler/warmers like this unit from STC. (I'm pretty sure it's the same unit Wal-Mart's selling for $95 online.) I've seen a number of models from various companies in the $80-100 range that offer a much broader temperature range (typically, 40-140° F) than the Magic Chef cooler and are temperature-programmable, i.e., you punch in your desired target temperature and it'll kick in whenever necessary to keep it there, so you should be able to skip having to place the unit in the sun.  :)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2006, 10:17:30 AM »
pft,

I think you will find that your wine cooler will cycle between a range of temperatures trying to establish the temperature at which you have set the unit. My wine cooler is about the size of a refrigerator with a capacity of over 300 bottles so it has to deal with a larger volume. With your RayTek unit you should be able to get a pretty good idea of where your temperature stabilizes. Depending on where it is relative to the 18-20 degrees C (64.4-68 degrees F) range that Marco says is the preferred range, you should be able to tweak one or more of the factors that control the rate and degree of fermentation, including hydration, amount of preferment, water temperature and salt. I think that doing this sort of thing should eventually compensate for your unit's unique temperature behavior and obviate the need to place it in the sun or otherwise move it around (which isn't even an option in my case). To give you an idea, I tried out a test dough in my wine cooler last night and found that the dough after about 12 hours was just below the lower end of the ideal range mentioned above. Since that was during a cooling cycle, it most likely had an average temperature higher than that, which should have put the dough within the range. I will have to await what happens next to know whether any tweaking of the ingredients and/or temperature will be needed the next time.

Ultimately, what you should be looking for is essentially no rise in the dough for say, the first 12 hours or so, and only a modest rise during a period of several hours later, but not a doubling or tripling. I have found that the amount of preferment can be a powerful factor along those lines. Recently, when my preferment looked sluggish, I refreshed it and really got it percolating (I left it at room temperature for about 5 hours). To be on the safe side, I doubled the amount I usually use, to around 10% (by weight of flour). That turned out to be far too much and the dough just about tripled in volume during the final 3-4 hours. The key is to have the preferment at its peak and not to go overboard with its quantity. Over time and with experience, you should be able to get the numbers about right for all the ingredients and just adjust them for seasonal variations and personal scheduling. Having a fairly stable fermentation temperature is a big help since it eliminates a big variable.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2006, 12:07:10 PM »
Pete-zza,

What would be the harmful effects of the dough doubling or tripling? As long as there is enough fuel in the culture for an nice oven bounce, I haven't  observed any problems. The organisms that produce the desireable flavors seem unaffected. The latest batch that is fermenting now didn't rise at all for the first 6 hours, then over the next two, the dough doubled. It's now in the fridge, has stopped rising, and smells heavenly.

As mentioned above, I will soon start backing down the amount  of starter to see what will happen. Not sure whether to fix the fermenting time or the volume. Your input, as always, is greatly appreciated.

Bill/SFNM

Offline scott r

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2006, 01:57:26 PM »
Bill, It sounds to me like your starter is definitely behaving differently than mine. I think you are using camadoli most of the time and I am using Ishica.  I let mine go just until I see it starting to rise (can be anywhere between 6-14 hours depending on the room temp), then I ball the dough and use it when it has not quite doubled.   When I have let mine fully double and keep going anywhere near a triple my pizza gets too sour.   I can't wait to get home to start my Camadoli and begin experimenting with it. 

PFT, When I am balling my doughs I usually put a few in the fridge to be used later in the week.  These are obviously not fully fridge rise doughs, as they have had their first stage of fermentation at room temp.  I could be crazy, but I usually seem to get a slightly fluffier and crispier product with the room temp rise doughs compared to the ones that have been in the fridge for a few days.  The fridge rise ones seem to be a little more dense, and sometimes even chewier.  Has anybody else noticed this to be the case?

Bill, Looking forward to Petezza's answer, but my guess is that as long as you are getting good oven spring and your pies are not to sour you are in good shape.  I would think that using your fully fermented dough would let you eat even more pizza without getting full!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2006, 02:31:58 PM »
Bill,

Under normal circumstances, I don't think that there is a problem. As you indicated, so long as there is enough yeast left in the dough at the time of baking to give a good oven spring and the dough has not overfermented, your results should be fine. Once the dough temperature gets above about 140 degrees F in the oven, it will be killed in any event.

Marco may best answer your question in the context of a Neapolitan style dough, but, as you may recall from a post he rendered in response to one of yours, he encouraged you to use tiny amounts of yeast (he recommends less than 5% preferment by weight of water--which can be even less when measured with respect to flour) and long, slow fermentations. Under those circumstances, you are unlikely to get significant dough expansion, even after 12-15 hours at the ideal room temperature. I suspect that the enzyme performance may be better with the longer fermentation times even though the incremental flavor-enhancing byproducts of fermentation may not be all that noticeable--at least not to my aging tastebuds. What you want to avoid as much as possible is going out too far on the fermentation time scale. Otherwise, the protease enzymes may overly degrade the gluten structure and water locked up in the dough can be released that you end up with a wet and gummy dough that will not perform well in the oven. Also, as scott has noted, if you go out too far on the time scale you can end up with a crust that is more sour (but to a lesser degree with the Camaldoli) because of the predominance of acetic rather than lactic acids and their related compounds. This is where experience and practice and knowing how to manage the preferment and how best to adjust ingredient quantities and temperatures to adapt to the circumstances come into play.

My recollection is that you have been using about 10% preferment with a period of cold fermentation sandwiched between the two room-temperature rises. As you know, Marco advocates room temperature fermentation only. Under a room temperature regimen, and given the effects of altitude where you live, I suspect you could cut the amount of prefement in half and get good results, all else being equal. You might get good results even with your current use of cold fermentation.

When I baked up the pizza using the dough that tripled in volume, it was very good. The crust was a bit fluffier than usual but I had used a much thicker dough to begin with to compensate for that fact that my home oven doesn't do as well with very thin Neapolitan style doughs.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2006, 06:38:24 PM »
Scott: I think we have been through this before, but I don't use Ischia in pizzas exactly because it can be too sour. So that might be the reason why Marco treats it the way he does to keep it from being sour. It does have a very nice, distinctive tang and I have used it successfully for all kinds of breads where I want that tang - the longer the ferment the stronger the tang. Maybe I'll give it a few washings and see what happens, although I really like it the way it is. (BTW, for no sourness and a great flavor, sourdo.com's French starter is excellent. In fact, I intend to try it for pizzas one of these days.)

Pete-zza: Yes I'm using about 10% active starter. I did lower it to 5% a few weeks ago and did not get enough oven spring, but I may have been playing around with other factors. I did issue a rather rambling post here after that about the dilemma of time vs. starter amount.

I'll just keep tweaking away. Thank you Scott and Pete-zza for the help.

Bill/SFNM


Offline scott r

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2006, 07:46:41 PM »
Bill, thanks for the tip about the french starter.  I have been thinking a lot about trying some of ed's other cultures, but I wasn't sure which one to go with.  Now you have made my decision easy.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2006, 04:25:21 AM »
I was looking forward to your discussion on the the doubling or trebling in volume... (which is valid not only for Napoletana but it is a fundamental process for pizzamaking).

Once again you are off track... The problems are not the nutrients left in the dough or the yeast....

The focus is on the differences between bread and pizza, if you were still thinking that these were the same.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 08:35:35 AM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline Elior

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2006, 05:45:37 AM »
no offence pftaylor but why not using a better cheese?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2006, 10:55:32 AM »
Marco,

I don’t know if you were directing your last post to me but I am aware of the distinction between bread and pizza, even in a Neapolitan sense, because of what you said at Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,861.msg8679/topicseen.html#msg8679 (where you distinguish between use of a starter as a fermenting agent rather than as a preferment and the use of 1-5% Crescito solely as a fermenting agent), and Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2927.msg25127.html#msg25127 (where you discuss the distinction in the context of the dough made at the time at UPN in NYC). I also clearly recall a post (that you have since deleted) in which you tried to explain to pftaylor in response to his post at Reply 60 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9552/topicseen.html#msg9552 why so little Crescito (1-5%) was used—namely, because you were making pizza dough, not bread dough. As you can see, Marco, I do read and remember most of what you say  ;D.

All of the above aside, I do believe that it is factually correct that nutrient and yeast levels are still relevant to the final results achieved. It may well be that the results will be less than optimal because of our failure or inability or inexperience in mastering the use of the Crescito, but the results are what they are and we just keep trying until we do better.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2006, 11:03:41 AM »
Peter,

I was not referring to you in particular, anyway thanks again to read my post, but you also should know that I have never fully cover a subject purposly.

Once again the issue with pizzamaking being different from bread is not only in the leavening medium used, but more on the technology of it whatever medium you apply.....

Experience and scientific reading would tell you about doubling, trebling or not and why yes or not and when.....

Ciao

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2006, 11:45:47 AM »
I'm sure the doubling and tripling comment is aimed at me. I know I have a long way to go, but I may, by necessity, be on a different path from most of you since I live (and also my yeast and bacteria) at 7000' feet above sea level. The lack of oxygen and atmospheric pressure definitely has an impact on the biochemistry and physics of baking.  As just a simple non-baking example, it takes about three times as long to whip eggs into meringue or cream into whipped cream than at sea level. Boiling point is about 197F (91C). Wood burns cooler.

A given amount of gas produced by a yeast cell is going to create a much bigger bubble, thus my dough is going to rise higher than the exact same dough at sea level. I'm not trying to produce this amount of rise. I'm just trying to live with constraints of altitude to get a crust to my liking.

Macro, I appreciate your comments and am so grateful for all I have learned from your posts. I recognize I still have much to learn.

Bill/SFNM


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2006, 12:40:37 PM »
Bill,

The message was addressed to Peter, You and all the people that get confused when talking of that aspect of pizzamaking.

the time before and after cutting the dough as well as total rising at ball stage are directly related to the final product, at structure level, but for other reasons that the ones covered.

I also undertsand that you location may affect the rising, but oven spring is independent. The structure formation of the dough DURING FERMENTATION will be a huge effect on the final product, which a proper oven will only enhance. The yeast won't produce more gas during 60 second in the oven, when the internal temperature of the dough reach 70 + degree celsius in few seconds.....

Ciao

Offline pftaylor

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2006, 01:05:51 PM »
Smart,
I am very comfortable with my selection of Alleva Fresh Mozzarella cheese. Have you tried it? It is perfect for pizza at high temperatures and less watery than bufala in my opinion.

Is your question really why I don't write about using fresh bufala cheese? If so, it is only because it is not practical for my application. Bufala must be used in a handful of days from when it was produced. If not, it quickly goes down hill from there. For me, Alleva Fresh is a superior alternative.

pizzanapoltana,
I learn something new every time you make a post. Please don't lose patience with us. The depth of your understanding of Neapolitan pizza is astounding. I can now see why you know so much about other types of pizza as well. They are a derivative of the real thing.  Do you have a revised date for publication of your upcoming book? I have eaten all the appetizers I care too. I now want the main course. One can be expected to only hold on for so long...
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2006, 02:17:07 PM »
PF Taylor,

I am not publishing the book in the near future for some other commitment that I have at the moment.

Regarding the cheese you are talking about, in my opinion is actually to low in moisture. The Margherita in "My pizza in America" shows just that. It has a superior taste then other commercial available American product thought.

Ciao

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New Collaborative Standard - Tampa Fe Crust
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2006, 05:00:58 PM »
Today I stumbled onto the best pizza I have ever made or eaten. The texture was exactly what I had been seeking, but the taste - the taste - exceeded all expectations. I've simply never, anywhere, tasted crust with such a satisfying flavor. The difference between this batch and the previous one was just one thing - the dough retarded in the fridge an extra day for a total of 28 hours. Otherwise, it was a San Felice 64% hydration, 2.5% salt, 10% Camaldoli starter.

I'm not going to throw out the Caputo just yet, but this San Felice flour seems to be better matched to my environment, ingredients, preparation, baking conditions, and tastes. It produces a dough that is easier to work with and also seems more forgiving about baking temps. I made four pies today at temps ranging from 875-975 and all seemed perfect.

Below is a photo of the top. I ended up using Alleva Caciocavallo since I had run out of anything fresh. But it was wonderful in every way. I probably shouldn't tweak this recipe, but I will. I will try to see what will happen if I lower the starter percentage. And I'll also see what the optimum fermenting time is.

Bill/SFNM


 

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