Author Topic: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie  (Read 43626 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2010, 02:00:41 PM »
Yes HS. That is one setup you should try. The top stone can also be a cast iron pan but I think you are already familiar with that technique. These stones or thick CI can give off higher heat than what the oven dial reads if it's close enough to the heating element.

I don't have an electric oven or even a CI pan but these are just some things I've read about on the forum.
I'll see if I can find some threads later.   

HS I was actually thinking earlier the 2 stones would be far apart. One very low and the other high up right under the top heating element.  Try it out and let us all know.  You would bake on the bottom stone to brown the bottom and then move the pie up high either under the element directly or under a stone that been heating.  I'm guessin you'd wan it very close to take advantage of the heating reflecting off. 

 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 02:03:21 PM by Tranman »


Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2010, 10:32:31 PM »
Thanks Tranman.  Very frustrating when you have an oven that only goes to about 500 F.  I am not brave enough to tweak my oven like some others.  So that is why I bought a G3 Ferrari. 

Will do some research into the two stone technique.  Heston Blumental's technique of using a Cast Iron skillet might be one answer but it is not good when you have to bake a few pizzas.  Will look around the forum for the answer.  But if anyone can post the link that would be great!
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Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2010, 10:34:43 PM »
The two stone method is likely better than heston's method.

I tried the cast iron method, and it just scorched the bottom of the pie. I'd go for the two stone method and shoot for about a 6 minute bake in the home oven. It's entirely achievable, (though I haven't quite made it there yet.)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2010, 11:43:52 PM »
HS, have you tried baking the pizza on a stone and using the CI pan over the pizza?  That high heat coming off of the pan might be better use to brown the top than the bottom.

Also if the pan is scorching the bottom, you may try movig it away from the heat source or adding a pan between the pie and the CI pan.

Ieats, believe me I know that it can be fustrating but keep at it. I ALWAYS and truely believe that there is a simple answer right in front of us. All we have to do is find it. Not always easy solving the riddle but there is an easy answer.  I once heard a quote that stated, "you're bound to be successful if you're persistant enough" (or something along that line).

Half of my experiments are unsuccessful but Im going to keep at it.  Just last night I drilled into my pampered chef pizza stone for an experiment and ultimately cracked it BUT from that I came up with a different solution that I'll be testing tomorrow night.  I try to keep it fun and light hearted.  I REFUSE to give up and order out! Lol.

Anyways keep us posted on your results.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 11:45:35 PM by Tranman »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2010, 12:03:49 AM »
I may try preheating the oven with the CI pan directly over the stone on the next highest rack. So both the stone and the pan absorb heat...I'll let you guys know how that works out.

Another option would be heating the pan on the stove until its super hot amd popping it in with the pizza, but idk how that would work.

Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2010, 08:50:43 AM »
Hi Tranman,

I am happy to report success using your recipe!  Thanks a lot! This was baked on the G3 Ferrari, so it is a little small.  I am still figuring out the two stone method for my own oven.  But I am quite a happy guy today thanks to your great recipe.  I used the bread flour low hydration recipe but found I had to use 3 cups of bread flour instead of 2.75 cups.  Must be the humidity here in Singapore

Anyway here are my pics.  Not perfect by any means but much better than what I was doing before!

Never waste your calories on yucky food!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2010, 10:31:26 AM »
Ieat. CONGRATS!!! it sounds like you've just taken your pizza to the next level. Your pie looks awesome!  I would say it looks even better than mine. I'm glad you tried the recipe and posted pics.  If you don't mind, do post your pie in that thread with some details of any changes you made so that it may encourage others to try it.
   
How did the crust taste? Was it a little dry at all?  My goal is to always get a crunchy outter crust and a soft moist crumb. Your crumb looks fantasic. Also if you could, do post a pic of the g3 oven. I'm not familiar with it but it sounds like it does a good job.

Again, congrats. It really looks like you made your "perfect" pie today. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 10:38:34 AM by Tranman »

Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2010, 10:47:00 AM »
Thanks Tran.  You know what, I really can't tell you if I have achieved what I am looking for in terms of the taste.  Believe it or not, I only imagine what a pizza napoletana should taste like because we don't have it here in Singapore.  So I can only imagine the taste based on what I see on the internet. I have to visit Naples one day and find out!

Will post the photos on the other thread as well thanx!
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2010, 10:58:44 AM »
Ieats you should try a 00 flour and a neopolitan recipe for a pie closer to neopolitan style.  In the meantime, try to see if you can reproduce your results to hone your skill. to get more flavor from the crust, look into making and using your own starters. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pies.   


Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2010, 12:11:49 PM »
That is a stunning looking pie.

Can you tell us, exactly, was is the G3 Ferrari? Where did you get one and how much did it cost and how long did it cook that pie in, because it really looks delicious.

Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2010, 01:20:08 PM »
Oh, the G3 Ferrari is a portable pizza oven.  I got mine second hand.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,274.40.html
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Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2010, 01:21:07 PM »
Can you take a picture of the particular model? I may pick one up if I can. Better than the home oven?

Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2010, 02:11:37 PM »
Oh, and do you have any idea what temp that was cooked at? I was reading some people had trouble getting those ovens to cook the bottom and top equally, but your pie looks amazing. What's your secret?

Does the stone in the g3 rotate, or is it close to the pizza bella oven, which I may try to find.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 02:22:38 PM by hotsawce »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2010, 03:00:17 PM »
HS he posted details of the temp and time in the "easy to remember NY pizza recipe" thread. He also took a torch to the crust for added browning.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2010, 03:01:19 PM »
Ah, I didn't see that.

Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2010, 10:51:09 PM »
I owned the G3 Ferrari for a coupla months and the problem is you never know when you can put the pizza in because if the stone is too hot, you will burn the pizza.  So finally I got myself an infrared thermometer and that made a huge difference.  When you heat the stone till 260-280 degrees C, the pizza bakes nicely at 5 minutes at level 3! Better than my oven because it is hard to get the char on the bottom with an electric oven.
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Offline hotsawce

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2010, 10:57:56 PM »
It wouldn't seem hard for a company that actually new pizza to make one where the top element's heat was adjustable or something. That would be nice to have to make pizza at home


Offline ieat

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2010, 10:32:27 AM »
My latest pie.  Using Tranman's recipe, I used 2 cups Breadflour 1 cup AP flour and 2 teaspoon Olive Oil.  This is better than my first attempt.  The middle was chewy the crust was chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.  I think I shall stick to this.

One of the things I think is important is to use chunks of mozarella instead of shredded.  Buffalo is of course the best, big chunks melt slower.  Ideally, you would want to put the cheese on only after 2 minutes of baking so that the cheese will not melt too much.   I did not do this with this pie, but next round I shall do it so that the mozzarella is soft but not all melted.

Never waste your calories on yucky food!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2010, 02:21:34 PM »
Les, that pie looks very tasty.  I like gooey oily cheese and sauce look. A job well done.  I'm glad you found a combination of flours that your like.  You have progressed very quickly. You can use that recipe as a base now.  It's yours to modify and make your own.  Keep up the work and keep posting those nice looking pies.  ;)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2010, 11:41:35 PM »
Les, that pie looks very tasty.  I like the gooey oily cheese and sauce look. A job well done.  I'm glad you found a combination of flours that you like.  You have progressed very quickly. You can use that recipe as a base now.  It's yours to modify and make your own.  Keep up the good work and keep posting those nice looking pies.  ;)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2010, 11:45:42 PM »
Whoops, I was just trying to correct some grammar mistakes above.
 :angel:

I made a very good crust tonight.  Very very close to the original pie that I posted some time ago.  Definitely getting closer to it.  Here are the shots of the crumb.  It was very airy and fluffy.  Soft and tender.  Compare it to the original perfect crumb (last picture).



Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2010, 01:17:46 PM »
Just wanted to update this thread I started some time ago.  After 6 months of experimenting and I have finally been able to reverse engineer my own perfect pie that I made accidently when I first started out. 

It has not been easy but I had to backtrack and nail down the individual components that make the crust that I like so much. 

-It's a high hydration dough to give a moist crumb. 
-A minimal kneaded dough to give a tender crumb and not leathery or dry.
-I use a well proofed dough and a gentle touch when opening.   
-I also used a stretch and fold technique to trap the big air bubbles.
-Baked in the realm of 4min plus to get the exterior crispy.  The bottom has a slight crisp but will soften up after slicing and sitting around for a bit. 
-reheating the next day retains it's excellent soft crumb and crunch. Might even be better the 2nd day.

Pics of the recent pie vs the 1st perfect pie. 

« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 01:22:51 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2010, 01:32:36 PM »
i go through this myself.  i try to base my 'perfect pie' off of a sicilian dough recipe i found here, but use it as an american style hand tossed.

maybe someone can recognize the recipe?

poolish:

1.5c flour 1.75c water 1t yeast

the rest after a 5 hr sit:

2-2.25c flour    1t yeast   1.5t salt    1T honey

i've experimented with increasing/decreasing hydration, oil, sugar, yeast etc trying to dial in the texture/crumb but the taste is always awesome, like sourdough and italian bread at the same time.   for the life of me i can't find the recipe in the sicilian section, regardless of how many times i search for it
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2010, 11:50:56 PM »
Tonight I returned to my first love.  The pie that got me really hooked on pizza making.  Turned out an excellent pie.  Very close to that perfection but just a bit off.  Will use just a bit less dough next time or stretch a bit thinner.

Recipe

100% HG bleached and bromated flour from Sam's Club
72% water.  I would start with about 65% for the beginner.
10% active starter
0.3% IDY
2% salt  (need to up it to 2.5%)
2% oil

Method
Add starter and IDY to water and stir.  Then dissolve salt and add oil.   Sift in all the flour and squeeze between hands to get an even mixture (2-3min).  Make sure there are no lumps.

Let rest 20-30min.  Do a series of folds (5-10?).  Fold doughball in half like a taco shell and press halves together.  Fold the 2 other ends together again keeping the outside surface of the dough always on the outside.  You are folding the dough onto itself.   Do this about 5-6 times.  You should notice that the dough is alot smoother at this point compared to it's condition prior to the autolyse. 

Now cover the dough with the bowl you mixed it in and let it bulk rise for about 2 hours.  You want to see some increase in size of the doughball. 

30m into the bulk rise and especially after the 2 hours of bulk, the dough will absolutely windowpane beautifully and should look as smooth as a baby's bottom.   Weigh, divide, and ball the dough and place in well oiled clear plastic containers. 

When balling the dough, avoid the temptation of balling it too many times or doing too many folds here.  Only 1-3 folds or just the minimal amount to get it into a ball shape or similar roundish shape.   Don't worry about creases in the dough.  As the dough proofs all these lines and what not will even out.

I like to use clear plastic bowls with lids like Mr. Verasano does.   Use a size that is appropriate for your doughball.  When you place the ball into the container it should take up almost all the space at the bottom the container.  This will force the dough to rise more up than out.  This is one trick that will make a difference in how aerated your finished dough is. 

Make sure to oil the container well.  Just enough to cling on the side walls of the container.  You don't want it pooling at the bottom though, that would be too much oil.  I usually place a few drops and spread it with my fingers along the bottom and side wall.

Now if you plan on baking the same day, then let the dough rise up till it about doubles in size in the containers.   If not baking right away, then place into the fridge.  This dough will last about 1-2 days.   
For a longer cold ferment, just decrease your IDY to about 0.1 or 0.2%. 

With 2% oil, I find that I like a less than 24 hour cold fermented dough.  This works out well for my schedule.  I like to make dough at my leisure in the evenings the night before.  Put them to sleep in the fridge until the next day.  Since my work schedule varies, I'm never sure of when I will get off that day.   About an hour prior to coming home, I ask my wife to take the dough out and set it on the counter.   This dough will be ready to bake within 1-2 hours of being out of the fridge.  The doughballs will have risen aproximately 90% of their full potential in the fridge.

On opening the dough.  Dust the top liberally with flour and turn the container upside down, the dough should fall out on its own or with minimal coaxing.  You don't want to wrestle the dough out as you will degass the dough.   You can use a papertowel to absorb any excess oil on the dough's surface.  Now liberally flour the top of the dough ball (was the bottom).  You can pick up the dough ball, shake off the excess flour, and clear the bench of excess flour where you plan to open the dough.   Open the dough gently to avoid degassing the dough too much.  How easily or tough a dough opens depends on how much gluten has been developed in it from kneading, folding, balling, cold fermenting, hydration ratio, use of oil, and generally how well fermented it is. 

A properly developed dough should open easily but not too easily.  If the dough is practically falling apart in your hands then there isn't enough gluten developed in the dough.  Next time, lower your hydration ratio or oil amount, and/or increase kneading/folding/balling.  That should fix the problem.  If your dough is too tough to open, then there is too much gluten developed into the dough.  You just have to practice and tweak the variables to find your happy medium.   The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will be with working with wetter doughs. 

This pie below is baked in the home oven.  Preheat the oven at 500F for about an hour.   The pie is loaded onto a stone temp of about 550 and baked for about 5 min.  I usually rim it against the broiler just a bit to finish it off.  The result is a crusty crunchy shell with a soft aerated crumb.   I topped this one with buffala mozz, grated parm & romano, pepperoni, and cremini mushrooms.  It was very tasty.

Happy pizza making,
Chau

« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 10:55:57 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline gtsum2

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #49 on: November 30, 2010, 10:11:51 AM »
beautiful pies, chau!  That crumb looks fantastic!