Author Topic: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco  (Read 37477 times)

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Offline Peteg

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2007, 02:52:07 PM »
Artigiano,
            Hard to say how much biga he's using but as Scott said a couple of days ago, it's more superstition than anything else.  He does roast the sausage in the oven before putting it on the pizza.  When we walked into the restaurant in the first seating, they were just taking a trey full of the sausage out of the oven.


Offline David

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2007, 09:10:09 PM »
It is entertaining to read how such an archaic way of preparing a poor mans food  is so heavenly defended. I am interested if anyone here drives a Model A or lives in a log home with a mud roof and no electricity.

Thank goodness traditional methods are defended (Particularly in Italian culture ).I would hazard a guess that there are generations of "Wonderbread" kids wondering why they are asked to pay seemingly exorbitant prices for "Artisan" breads.
When was the last time you had a Cesar salad ? No...... I mean a real Cesar salad? I guarantee that 95% of the American public couldn't even tell you the ingredients (And this is a Classic American dish ).Am I right in believing that once upon a time everything grown was Organic?We've come a long way haven't we,and we're paying the price culturally,socially and economically.

P.S.Bill SFNM kindly pointed out that the Cesar Salad I referred to was in fact invented in Tijuana Mexico.This now explains more clearly my dilema at not being able to get a real one in 99% of the restaurants I visit. >:D Thanks Bill.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 09:54:32 AM by David »
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Offline artigiano

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2007, 02:05:43 AM »
OK, one more qustion... how the hell does this guy hand knead all the dough?  I have hosted some pretty large pizza parties approx 25 people in the backyard for some brick oven pizza and I know the hard work in kneading just that much dough.  Anyone have any ideas how its possible to knead for hundreds of doughs per night?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2007, 11:27:57 AM »
Reference has been made before to a Chris Bianco dough recipe that appeared in Gourmet magazine in 1999. At the time when I first spoke with Marco Bianco on the telephone, I could not find the recipe. I don’t recall if anyone has posted the recipe or a link to it before, but here it is: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/230788. Obviously, this recipe is not the one that Chris now uses, but the simplicity of it seems to remain.

In his book American Pie, Peter Reinhart says, at page 6, that Chris mixes and kneads the dough by hand in a big bowl, using Giusto flour specially flown in from the Giusto’s mill in San Francisco, California. Apparently Chris came to use hand kneading because, from what he said in an interview, when he first entered the business he couldn’t afford a mixer. According to the Reinhart account, Chris combines about 50 pounds of flour with salt, yeast and water. Nothing is said about hydration levels, but from my own experience hand kneading high-gluten doughs, I have discovered that I need to use high hydration and, sometimes, even an occasional autolyse-like rest period. The notion of high hydration seems to be consistent with what other artisan pizza makers do to hand knead their pizza doughs. For example, Brian Spangler, of Apizza Scholls in Oregon, hand kneads his dough, as mentioned at http://www.apizzascholls.com/aboutourpizza.htm, and, from what I have read elsewhere, he is said to use up to 74% hydration (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8632543/).

Chris Bianco has a mixer but apparently it is used mainly to make bread dough. I recall reading somewhere that Chris acknowledges that the time may come when he can no longer effectively knead dough by hand as he now does. I suspect when that time comes, he may use the mixer. But this doesn’t mean that he has to give up hand kneading altogether. My recollection is that A16 in California uses a mixer to bring the ingredients together but the bulk of the kneading is apparently done by hand thereafter.

I might add that I don't believe that Chris Bianco uses several hundred dough balls a night. I would think that something close to 200 might be right, and possibly less. But, even then, that is still a lot of hand kneading.

Peter

Offline David

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2007, 12:55:13 PM »
I believe he has also mentioned in interviews that it is almost as much a ritual thing than specifically to create a better product,and that he thinks a mixer could do the job just as well and likely even better.Regardless,it does add to the whole "Entirely Hand Crafted" aura,that is so appealing to many.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline addicted

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2007, 01:06:12 PM »
Thank goodness traditional methods are defended (Particularly in Italian culture ).I would hazard a guess that there are generations of "Wonderbread" kids wondering why they are asked to pay seemingly exorbitant prices for "Artisan" breads.
When was the last time you had a Cesar salad ? No...... I mean a real Cesar salad? I guarantee that 95% of the American public couldn't even tell you the ingredients (And this is a Classic American dish ).Am I right in believing that once upon a time everything grown was Organic?We've come a long way haven't we,and we're paying the price culturally,socially and economically.

P.S.Bill SFNM kindly pointed out that the Cesar Salad I referred to was in fact invented in Tijuana Mexico.This now explains more clearly my dilema at not being able to get a real one in 99% of the restaurants I visit. >:D Thanks Bill.

I could not agree more with you. I did not intend to flame. I guess It just strikes me as funny.
Well....okay,then.

Offline abatardi

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2007, 03:16:01 PM »
OK, one more qustion... how the hell does this guy hand knead all the dough?  I have hosted some pretty large pizza parties approx 25 people in the backyard for some brick oven pizza and I know the hard work in kneading just that much dough.  Anyone have any ideas how its possible to knead for hundreds of doughs per night?

I read about some french kneading technique in an artisan bread book about how to knead large quantities of dough by hand that was more efficient.  He may use something like this.  Otherwise you'd think he'd have bodybuilder arms by now.  :-)  I will try to dig up the reference and post here.

- aba
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline artigiano

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2007, 01:22:44 PM »
thanks Abatardi,

I am really curious about that kneading technique.

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2007, 12:59:23 AM »
I know that a long slow gentle folding method with rest periods works wonders for my dough.  I think it would be fairly easy in large quantities, especially with a OO flour.  I prefer it to my mixer, but it is a bit messy and time consuming.  If I rush the hand kneading, or leave out the rest periods I notice that the dough is a bit tougher.  The secret is to not underknead, which is easy to do.

On another note I have done a bunch of batches with a poolish, and with old dough this week.  I noticed that these seemed to produce a crispier product, which I liked very much, but I did not notice any big improvements in flavor.  So now that I have gone on about how the old dough doesn't matter that much, well, it does seem to make a difference, just not in the way that I expected.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 01:50:05 AM by scott r »

Offline abatardi

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2007, 12:26:44 AM »
The reference is from "Artisan Baking" by Maggie Glezer (Copyright 2000 / published by Artisan)...  Here is the text, I don't have a scanner to post the two pictures associated with it but you will probably get the general idea without them (excuse any typos, I'm retyping this by hand).  I'm including the introductory first paragraph that explains it as well...

"A French Kneading Technique -
If you are an experienced baker, you may be interested in learning a kneading technique for soft doughs (it does not work on very firm doughs) taught to me by Lionel Vatinet, a French master baker and former teacher at the San Francisco Baking Institute who is now co-owner of La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina.  Lionel had to learn how to hand knead very large doughs as part of his apprenticeship, and this is the technique he was taught.  It does require some practice to master and is definitely not for the beginner, but it is an extremely efficient (and fun) way to mix dough and, once conquered, will allow you to knead even large batches of dough much more quickly and thoroughly than by the traditional method.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface, again using no extra flour, and pick up the end closest to you.  Grasping the dough with both hands, squeeze it through your thumbs and fingers, making two opposing holes.  Release the dough with a quick flicking motion and move up the dough, making another set of opposing holes.  The quick release prevents the dough from sticking to your hands but is the hardest part to master.  Continue moving up the dough, hole punching all the way to the top.  (You will notice what a workout it gives your hands!)  Now hold the closest end of the dough with both hands and fling its far end onto the work surface.  Fold the close end over the far end, folding away from you, to form a (hopefully) smooth surface over the dough.  Fling and fold the dough a few more times, or until it is smooth again.  Now hole punch the dough, making a set of opposing holes up the length of the dough again.  Repeat the hole punching and flinging until the dough is very smooth and strong.  (Strange as it seems, squeezing the dough is what actually develops the dough.  The flinging just gives you a clean slate.)"

- aba
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!


Offline aeneas1

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2007, 04:36:02 AM »
here is some more information on the topic of hand kneading wet doughs:

http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/hand_mxing_and_kneading.htm

Offline DWChun

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2007, 03:24:20 PM »
Great thread(Chris Bianco is an inspiration!) and great information about hand kneading. I don't have a mixer so my dough is all hand kneaded.

Does anyone have first hand experience with the French kneading technique referenced from Artisan Baking? I'm mainly wondering if "punching holes" literally means making holes through the dough or squeezing the dough to make deep indents?

Offline abatardi

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2007, 08:13:19 PM »
Great thread(Chris Bianco is an inspiration!) and great information about hand kneading. I don't have a mixer so my dough is all hand kneaded.

Does anyone have first hand experience with the French kneading technique referenced from Artisan Baking? I'm mainly wondering if "punching holes" literally means making holes through the dough or squeezing the dough to make deep indents?

In the book the pictures show to literally squeeze until you puncture a hole through the dough.

- aba
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline DWChun

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2007, 08:42:49 PM »
Thanks for the clarification, aba! I have to give this kneading technique a try. :)

Offline giotto

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2007, 12:16:59 AM »
Hey Abatardi,

I've never been thrilled with most Salame products; and I noticed that FRA'MANI references Chris Bianco as using their products. You'll be happy to know they are in Berkeley with plenty of references in the bay area. When Chris says he doesn't care how much things cost, he ain't kidding. 

FRA'MANI's Toscano & Salameto salames are available from the Whole Foods in Palo Alto, off Emerson. Definitely preferred their Toscano, which is larger and deeper in color. 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2007, 07:44:43 AM by giotto »

Offline abatardi

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2007, 02:37:46 AM »
Giotto,

I already thanked you for the information in a PM but I figured I'd give you a thanks here as well.  And a much needed bump to the top for this thread. 

Things look pretty dead around this forum lately.  Everyone achieve perfection already?  :-)

- aba
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2007, 09:32:13 AM »
Things look pretty dead around this forum lately.  Everyone achieve perfection already?  :-)

Aaron,

Things have been rather quiet at the PMQ Think Tank forum also, as reflected by their Alexa ranking, which went from just under 70,000 to over 90,000 in about the course of a month. April does not appear to be the best time for pizza operators either. Apparently with the weather getting better in many parts of the country, people are spending more time on other matters. Also, Easter and tax time (especially if someone owes a lot of additional taxes and is short on cash) are often blamed for the slowdown in the month of April. Even the change to daylight savings time gets blamed by some.

Peter

Offline David

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2007, 10:23:20 AM »
April does not appear to be the best time for pizza operators either. Apparently with the weather getting better in many parts of the country, people are spending more time on other matters.

Peter

Like getting outside ,building ovens,perfecting pizza. ;)

p.s. Is perfection achieveable? I somehow hope not.......
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #58 on: May 05, 2007, 02:14:09 PM »
I made another batch of dough yesterday using the old dough method. I am sold. I don't think it will change my preference for wild yeast, but it does seem to be the next best thing. That extra acidity added early in the process definitely changes the dough and I welcome the effects. To me it almost seems like it gives some of the texture benefits that wild yeast would, just not the sour flavor.

I think some people will really love this technique especially because it is so easy. I find it much easier than a  poolish since it really doesn't require an extra step if you are someone that makes dough at least once a week.

Here is what I did:

I saved a dough ball in the fridge for about a week. It was right on the verge of falling and turning into gum. I made a batch of dough starting with 500g of water and added 150g of old dough right from the fridge. I tried to break it up into small pieces and let it break down in my mixer with just the water for a while. I added my salt and just a bit less yeast than I usually use (not sure if this is important). My dough was ready right on schedule and turned out crispy and soft just the way I like it.

I hope others will try this and report back.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 02:48:02 PM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #59 on: May 05, 2007, 02:40:48 PM »
scott,

What you have described is a technique that some pizza operators use to recycle old dough that would otherwise be discarded. I researched the subject some time ago in the context of a standard NY style dough and reported on the results at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1548.msg28085.html#msg28085 (Reply 34), including the link referenced therein that gives rough ratios of old dough to new dough based on the age and condition of the old dough.

Peter


 

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