Author Topic: Nearlypolitan  (Read 53040 times)

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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #180 on: March 26, 2010, 09:02:08 AM »
Wow. I am pretty sure he is talking about someone and his anger towards him because of his views(not going to name names). Can you guys please stop with your awkward philosophical thoughts...


Infoodel

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #181 on: March 26, 2010, 10:02:35 AM »
OK I guess I should help clear up any possible misunderstandings that have come from my 'rules' post.

I assumed it was blatantly obvious that a high level of sarcasm was used in my previous post but I guess this being the internet does not guarantee effective translation. Sarcasm aside, I still stand by the sentiment I was trying to originally communicate.

Put simply, I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. If I put up a picture of my latest experiment then suddenly I become accountable to the entire forum for every last blessed detail of what I've done in the kitchen (assuming I kept detailed notes of course).  If I then post all the details I can gather on the formula, process etc. I'm essentially setting people's expectations that this formula can also work for them. Problem is, I can pretty much guarantee it WON'T work in exactly the same way (for a multitude of reasons - flour being the most obvious).
Now feedback, positive or negative, should be a good thing right? If someone has difficulty with a certain aspect of a formula then we should work together to find out what's going on. 
I don't feel that happens in reality. I've honestly tried to give as much time as I can (both on forums, email twitter etc. etc. etc.)  Increasingly though, I think when things go 'wrong' it is basically assumed that the initial formula (and poster) are at fault in some way. I'm just like anyone else. I'm not good at giving instruction because...well... I'm not an instructor! I shouldn't have to bear the responsibilities of one.

On the other hand, I know there are a number of folks who basically consider contributions by mere mortals (yes I'll continue using that phrase) to be somewhat beneath them. Fine if that were the end of the matter. However repeatedly I have seen such individuals (not just on these forums but anywhere on the internet  the words 'neapolitan pizza' are used) feel the need to weigh in (ie beat down) on those who are less knowledgable. This is ridiculous. I'll put it another way:- Someone who has worked with naples-built wood burning ovens for 20 years (or whatever) has an intimate knowledge of such tools. In no way would I question their experience in that area. Long may their expertise continue to inform us.
Likewise, I've spent a long time working with a plain old unmodified electric oven. I have an intimate knowledge of MY tool. My problem is my seeming inability to articulate that in a form that people might find truly useful. I try to apply the same pursuit of excellence in making pizza to my subsequent write-up / forum posts. I fully expect to fail repeatedly in the former (ie making pizzas), I'm not so happy with failure in the write-up.

I never thought that I'd reach the day when sharing my experiences with a pursuit/hobby/project/callitwhatyouwill would end up impacting on my enthusaism and enjoyment of it. Unfortunately this has happened several times over the last few months.
May be one of these days I'll find a formula which is so iron-clad that it'll work in any situation and everyone will be happy. Until such a day, for my own sanity I'm going to refrain from spilling every last bleeding detail of my pizza shenanigans all over the internet. If you want specific details - please do ask questions in PM, email whatever. Otherwise, I'm much happier playing a passive role.

I'm sorry if anyone was offended by this post (or any others). It's the nature of any opinion that someone, somewhere will take offense. I hope that whatever rants and crackpot theories I've posted about pizza (or whatever) do not detract from anyone else's enthusiasm and enjoyment of making pizza.

Cheers,

Toby
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 10:10:46 AM by Infoodel »

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #182 on: March 26, 2010, 01:25:59 PM »
Toby you're not a mere mortal, you are the

Nearlypolitan Pizza God

... and don't forget it!

I don't know what stuff set you off but don't let it get you down.

Scott

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #183 on: March 26, 2010, 01:46:29 PM »
Toby, thanks for the clarification.  I completely understand and agree.  It is enough that you post pictures and even more that you have posted your methods.  It really doesn't matter if anyone agrees or not with your methodology. 
   As far as being responsible for every member utilizing the info, you are not.   We all (or should) realize there are many variables that go into making a pizza: ingredients, oven, technique, weather, the pizza gods, etc.  If ppl cannot figure it out or don't have the time to do a little experimentation (esp after having the formula and method)  that is their problem, NOT yours.  Of course you are not responsible for fixing everyone's problems. 
  I for one, am glad that you posted that you use AP flour instead of 00.  Now I know I can play around with AP flour and have your pie as a benchmark.  I will hold off trying to online order 00 flour for someday when I've exhausted all of my local resources. 
  If you had not posted that, I would not have known.   So please reconsider and continue to post up pics and possibly your new method.  I, along with lots of other members do appreciate your work and insight.

Disclaimer:  Sorry, this may not be the appropriate spot for this but I feel that is related so I'll post it.  Mods can move or delete it if they feel it necessary.

RANT:  How is it that some lurkers, members, etc. can benefit from free information from this site and never offer any thing in return?  No word of thanks?  No pictures of pizzas they've made from recipes and information they've gotten from here.  No word of encouragement or welcome to others.  Nada...

It's OK to ask if you don't know something....BUT it's also OK to use the search function, read on your own, do a little research, and do a little experimenting.  We are adults after all.  Don't expect to get spoon fed and have all your problems solved.   This is an online community.  Community means that sometimes you help out and sometimes you benefit from others.    Rant over. 

Sorry for the rant, but I felt that possibly it may be part of the reason why Toby is disillusioned.  Sorry if im way off base here.   

Offline Creeper

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #184 on: March 27, 2010, 02:59:20 PM »
I'm new to this forum but have been lurking for a few weeks.  Last night I tried something similar to Toby's approach.  This pie spent 60 seconds on a 750 degree stone that was over a gas grill followed by 2 minutes under my broiler.  Unfortunately, the broiler kicked off halfway through, or else I think I could have pulled this 30 seconds earlier with better results.

73% hydration, half 00, half KABF, instant yeast (though I hope to move to a natural starter soon.)


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #185 on: March 27, 2010, 03:30:54 PM »
Creeper, what an excellent first post and a pic to boot.  The pie looks gorgeous to me.  Well done!  I take it you used Toby's original recipe and methods?

Offline Creeper

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #186 on: March 27, 2010, 05:48:14 PM »
Thanks, Tranman.

I think I used a wetter dough than Toby did.  I want to say his posted recipe was around 62% hydration, where I ran this one at 73%.  I think the key to this method is the pie's proximity to the broiler.  Even on my relatively standard kitchen oven, the element on the broiler gets up to around 800 or so, at least according to my IR thermometer.  I'll probably try heating the stone using the broiler next time, as opposed to bringing it up to temp on the grill.  My method essentially attempts to emulate a brick oven's heat in two parts--cooking the base on the hot stone on a gas grill, which does very little to cook the top but gives the bottom a nice char and the overall dough a quick rise, followed by blasting the top, which finishes the top of the crust and, of course, the toppings.

If I had timed things better, the broiler wouldn't have cycled off, and I think the top charring would have been better.  I have a couple of dough balls left, so I'll give it another go in a day or so.

671g flour - an even mix of Caputo 00 and KABF
16g salt
6g IDY
488g filtered water

Resulted in 4 roughly 290g dough balls.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #187 on: March 27, 2010, 06:33:09 PM »
Creeper, could you try something for me?

Toby's original method called for heating the stone on the rack closest to the bottom element, then moving it to the top of the oven and heating it on the broiler some more.

Do you think you could heat the stone under the broiler entirely, not moving the stone at all, and then cooking on it? Temperature readings, timing used, or pictures would be great if you could do it? I'd really like to see more results and opinions. and, if possible, could you use a dough hydration most of us noobs can manage :p 73% is tough....I'd like to see a 61% hydration

I'd like to find out which version of this method will work best for me. Until then, I've been cooking on a rack about an inch over the bottom element, without anything on top (I'm going to try pizzahogs thermal mass idea soon though.)

Offline Creeper

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #188 on: March 27, 2010, 08:40:32 PM »
Hey Hotsawce-

It's interesting you mention that (re: the hydration.)  I've been making pizza for maybe 6 mos now (I'd say 10 times over 6 mos but have been reading about it obsessively.)  One of my initial attempts involved the recipe for Lahey's Co. pies, which clock in at around 75%.  I could barely shape it, let alone get it off the peel.  (Ordered delivery that night.)  But my past two attempts have been right around 70%, and the dough has been extremely manageable.  I have to attribute that to working the dough, vs Lahey's no-knead method.

I'm using a KA and start off with a 20 minute autolyse using maybe 85% of the flour.  Then 6 minutes on the stir setting.  But as soon as I start the mixer, I add another 40g or so of additional water.  This basically turns it into a soupy mess.  But from what I gather, this is really when a lot of the gluten development takes place.  (Varasano speaks to this.)  After 6 minutes or so, I might take the speed up to 1.  That's when I start adding the remaining flour.  Maybe mix for another 4-6 minutes, adding enough flour so that it never quite balls up but gets close.  A 20 minute rest before balling, an additional 10 minute rest, and then into the fridge.  The resulting dough, even at 73%, is a dream to handle.  No rips, tears, extremely pliable.  No sticking.  I've stopped using semolina on the peel... just straight AP.

Anyway, to the rest of your post, that's exactly what I was planning to try next time.  My only concern is that my broiler cycles (I assume it hits the oven's max temp, turns off, then cycles back on), so I'm curious as to how hot the stone will get.  I imagine pretty hot, though.  It should absorb a fair amount of heat.  If not, I'm tempted to heat the stone to 700 or so on the grill, as I've been doing, then transferring it to the oven, directly under the hot broiler, before making the pie.  I imagine I could do a 2-minute pie, or close to it, if I timed the broiler properly.

Either way, I'll report back.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #189 on: March 27, 2010, 10:44:17 PM »
hmmm, I have been wanting to try a higher hydration dough again.  It's been awhile and now I'm motivated.

I have always believed and found that if the dough is kneaded properly, even a high hydration dough will require very little bench flour and not stick.

BTW, for 10+ pies, you are doing pretty dang well I must say.


Offline Creeper

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #190 on: March 27, 2010, 11:14:41 PM »
Thanks, Tranman.

Gotta say... try the higher hydration again.  I kind of came to pizza via Lahey's no-knead bread dough.  And while I'm moving toward a natural starter plus kneading (or at least stretching), I find there's so much more lift with the higher hydration.  At least at moderately high - high temps, that's it's definitely worth it.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #191 on: March 28, 2010, 04:48:08 PM »
Thanks, Tranman.

Gotta say... try the higher hydration again.  I kind of came to pizza via Lahey's no-knead bread dough.  And while I'm moving toward a natural starter plus kneading (or at least stretching), I find there's so much more lift with the higher hydration.  At least at moderately high - high temps, that's it's definitely worth it.

Is the crumb on the interior of the crust more moist with the higher hydration? How has it been different than the slightly lower hydration dough?

If you say 70% is manageable, maybe I'll go for it next time....if the benefits outweigh the risk of dough handling humiliation  :P

Offline Creeper

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #192 on: March 28, 2010, 08:29:46 PM »
Is the crumb on the interior of the crust more moist with the higher hydration? How has it been different than the slightly lower hydration dough?

If you say 70% is manageable, maybe I'll go for it next time....if the benefits outweigh the risk of dough handling humiliation  :P

It's relatively soft and pliable but still has enough structure to easily support its toppings.  I've only used a higher hydration dough with this method, so I'm not sure how different a slightly lower hydration dough would perform.  My initial attempts all involved cooking for around 7 minutes in a 550 oven with a lower hydration dough, and the crust on those pies was certainly firmer than I prefer.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #193 on: April 11, 2010, 12:26:27 AM »
Creeper, are you still around.

Did you ever try preheating and cooking completely under the broiler yet?

Offline dhs

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #194 on: April 26, 2010, 09:44:33 AM »
I tried this technique a couple of times now. First time was just ok but showed a lot of promise. But last night it all seemed to come together well. My oven is a inexpensive gas oven with broiler under the oven. To bake I put 2 stones on the bottom of the oven, and one under the broiler (approximately 3 inches from flames). Pre heated for 1 hour on high (over 600 degrees, pins the thermometer I have). I start the pie in the oven for about 2 minutes, and then finish under the broiler for about another 1-2 minutes, peeking in to see how much char develops. I move the pie onto the peel and off again to change positions.

I used a natural starter dough (will have to add the formula later. It was a modified version of a recipe from this site and was on the wet site). It rose for 4 hours, then I divided and used it about 8 hours later.

I am very pleased with the outcome adn thankful for Infoodel for the inspiration. Looking forward to trying it again and tweaking further. Here are a couple of shots from last night.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #195 on: April 26, 2010, 10:11:40 AM »
Those are nice looking pies dhs. Thanks for detailing the process again. I use the same oven set up and technique and my pies look very similar to yours.  Sorry to be picky but I still consider these to be a thick NY style pie. I have only made 2 that have the look of the Nearlypolitans. 

Can u show a shot of the crumb? Also did you find it light or more on the bready side?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 10:17:51 AM by Tranman »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #196 on: April 26, 2010, 11:39:37 AM »
great looking pies. I still haven't found my own nearlypolitan method though, unfortunately.

Offline dhs

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #197 on: April 26, 2010, 02:43:33 PM »
Can u show a shot of the crumb? Also did you find it light or more on the bready side?

Thanks - I'll have to take a pic of the crumb this evening from the leftovers. I would say it was on the bready (chewy) side, but not really dense as I have had in the past when the dough did not rise to the degree I wanted it to. If you are trying to clasify the dough as being Neopolitan or NY style, I would say they leaned towards ny in terms of texture. I don't have 00 flour at this point which I presume would be a major step towards a lighter softer dough. I also don't think the heat is quite there. I will have to get an IR thermometer to check that out for the next time.


Edit - here is a pic of the crumb. A bit collapsed from when fresh (day old and having travelled a bit in tin foil) but still quite airy in there
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 05:31:52 PM by dhs »

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #198 on: April 26, 2010, 05:16:43 PM »
DHS, congratulations on the broiler breakthrough! I know that feels good.  :)

Nice looking pies by the way. Take away the mushrooms and peppers from the first pic and that pie looks a LOT like some of the pies I have eaten at Franny's in Brooklyn.

Thanks for posting and sharing your success.....those look like some good tasting stuff for sure!  8)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Nearlypolitan
« Reply #199 on: April 26, 2010, 05:36:40 PM »
Thanks - I'll have to take a pic of the crumb this evening from the leftovers. I would say it was on the bready (chewy) side, but not really dense as I have had in the past when the dough did not rise to the degree I wanted it to. If you are trying to clasify the dough as being Neopolitan or NY style, I would say they leaned towards ny in terms of texture. I don't have 00 flour at this point which I presume would be a major step towards a lighter softer dough. I also don't think the heat is quite there. I will have to get an IR thermometer to check that out for the next time.


dhs, I agree with you.  Only so much you can do with AP flour in a home oven, but I like the challenge of it.  I've got this nearlypolitan project on the back burner.  Will hope to solve it's mystery soon.


 

pizzapan