Author Topic: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco  (Read 40700 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2007, 03:08:09 AM »
peter, thank you so much for all this information.  I am definitely going to do it.  That Wiseguy was totally addictive.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2007, 08:08:42 AM »
scott,

Yesterday I located a small ball of Mozzarella Fresca "fresh" mozzarella in the back of my freezer so I decided to see if I could smoke it using my Camerons smoker (I have the larger unit). After defrosting the ball of mozzarella cheese, I cut it in half and I also cut cubes out of the other half for comparison purposes. I found that the recommended times did not work particularly well with my setup because I have a cooktop with cast iron heating elements, which is not the best arrangement according to the people at Camerons. What I learned from past experience is that I get better results, and shorter cooking times, by bridging the smoker across two adjacent heating elements. Doing this yesterday with the cheese worked better and the smoker worked to lightly brown the cheese pieces. I might note, however, that water was expelled from the cheeses and the smaller cubes melted and flattened out. But, for both forms--large piece and chunks--there was definitely a smoky flavor. In my case, I used cherry wood chips (my other choices would have been alder and hickory).

While I was at it, I decided to see if I could impart a smoky, woody flavor to some leftover slices of pizza that I had preheated in my countertop toaster oven and on which I had placed a few melted cubes of smoked mozzarella. I found that I could definitely taste the smokiness of the cheese but I couldn't specifically pick out a smoky flavor on the rest of the slices although the slices tasted very good. Someone with better taste buds and a better nose might have detected a flavor contribution to the crust itself. If so, a roughly 9 1/2" pizza will fit in the smoker.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 07:54:47 AM »
I recalled reading somewhere how Chris Bianco smokes his mozzarella cheese, so I did some searching. The article I had in mind is this one, toward the bottom: http://pizzatoday.com/makeline_articles.shtml?article=NTQzOHN1cGVyNTQzNXNlY3JldDU0NDI=. The rest of the article has some nice topping ideas for those who like smoked cheese.

Peter

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2007, 09:11:45 AM »
wow.. such a useful article, thanks for the link Pete. Smoking the slices is an interesting idea also.

grove.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 09:14:06 AM by grovemonkey »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2007, 08:20:37 AM »

....The key is to not try to make a neapolitan pie here, what you are duplicating is a NY elite style pie. My opinion is that this thread is in the wrong place.
...

I agree with Scott. This thread should be moved to the NYC style section.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2007, 09:46:27 AM »
scott and Marco,

I don't mean to be argumentative on this point or to derail the direction of this thread, but I think a case can be made either way and, in reality, maybe Chris Bianco's style is a fusion of the two styles, with influences from both the Bronx and Naples. Chris may use flours similar to the "elite" NY pizzerias, but he uses a wood-fired oven rather than a coal-fired oven, and his toppings and their quality and purity are more emblematic of the Neapolitan style, which is not surprising given that Chris spent time in Naples honing his craft. I realize that Peter Reinhart is not the last word on this subject, but in his book American Pie he does not lump Chris Bianco's work in with the NY elite (or New Haven) pizzerias or other NY pizzerias. He treats Chris' work as more Neapolitan and, in fact, Chris' Rosa pizza is included in the "Napoletana Style Pizzas" section of Reinhart's book, at page 186. Reinhart's own recipe for "Napoletana Pizza Dough", at page 107, calls for all-purpose flour, rather than 00 flour, and his notes at page 109 suggest the possible use of bread flour and high-gluten flour. In a similar vein, Pamela Sheldon Johns, in her book Pizza Napoletana!, presents a "Classic Pizza Dough DOC" dough recipe at page 89 that calls for a combination of all-purpose flour and pastry flour rather than 00 flour. Both Reinhart and Ms. Johns were well aware of 00 flours when they wrote their books.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2007, 12:12:01 PM »
I was just trying to make a point to all the people in our forum that are trying to figure out what the heck this guy is doing.  I am only saying this to continue that idea, not to actually make you move the thread, but chris told me that he lived in Rome, not Naples.  It could be that his dough methodology is Neapolitan, but that is where the similarity ends.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2007, 12:29:39 PM »
scott,

Thans for clarifying your position. I was relying on a sentence I read at page 5 of Peter Reinhart's book in which he described his first meeting with Chris Bianco at his pizzeria. The statement was: We learned that as a young man with cooking talent he had gone to Naples from the Bronx, his hometown, to learn how to make true Neapolitan pizza.

Of course, is is possible that the statement is incorrect.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »
Going to Naples to visit pizzeria and eating pizza is not exactly learning how to make it......

For his own admission he's trying to make good pizza and not neapolitan and the use of american ingredients (not only flour) would take him away from making Neapolitan pizza (even some NYC pizzeria use italian tomatoes and olive oil...)

{amended: let's not talk then for the use of biga that would probably take him away from both styles}

The arguement about the oven doesn't count in my book (he doesn't have a neapolitan oven capable of cooking in 30-45 seconds).

In this respect Luzzo is more Neapolitan and Bianco is more NYC even thought the ovens would suggest otherwise.


The recomandations of flours to use for the average home cook (not even remotely addressed to someone reading this forum) on both Reinhart and Johns books doesn't make a case for it either IMO.

regards

Marco
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 05:09:01 PM by pizzanapoletana »


Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2007, 06:30:58 PM »
A new catagory of pizza making on the forum might have some merit.  Here are a few ideas:   

Artisian
Fusion
Neo-Neopolitan
New World


Grove

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2007, 07:19:44 PM »
Neo-Neopolitan

..and the mascot for the Neo-Neapolitan section could be "Neo" who's stuck in the Gluten Matrix.

Offline David

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2007, 10:17:53 PM »
A new catagory of pizza making on the forum might have some merit.  Here are a few ideas:   

Artisian
Fusion
Neo-Neopolitan
New World


Grove

Ameripolitan.......Please God No! ...No more derivatives :'(
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Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2007, 10:41:56 PM »
Artisan seemed the most interesting, I thought.  Fusion was a bit too out there, imho.  Ameripolitan seems to have an interesting ring and I thought of using the term Japolitan for the types of Neopolitan styled pizza coming out of Japan.  I mean, who puts macha (a type of green tea) in the dough and calls it Neopolitan pizza but it happens over here.   To me, a new catagory might add some breathing room to the forums.  Personally, doesn't matter either way, but I thought it was a good enough idea to mention. 



 

Offline addicted

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2007, 10:44:34 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.

Back to the topic at hand, I smoke cheese at about 225 for 3 minutes with pecan and hickory in my barrel smoker. Any longer than that and I have found  it changes the cheese's melting properties substantially. Believe it or not, around thanksgiving last year, Costco had smoked mozz balls that were excellent, perfect balnce of smoke and melted perfectly. Unfortunately thay only stocked it for a very short time.  .02$
Well....okay,then.

Offline artigiano

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2007, 02:31:42 PM »
I know this may not be the right spot fot this post but I was reading about C. Bianco's biga method.  How much of the yesterday's dough would he use?  Is there a ratio to go by?  I have also wondered if he puts that Wise Guy sausage on completely raw or if he cooks it a little first?

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.
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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.

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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
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