Author Topic: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie  (Read 42052 times)

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Online TXCraig1

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #50 on: November 30, 2010, 10:30:51 AM »
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.

An excellent looking pie it is for sure.

Craig
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PaulsPizza

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #51 on: November 30, 2010, 10:32:06 AM »
Chau, that was a really nice write up and lovely looking pizza! :pizza: :chef:

Do you have a picture of you dough ball in the individual container just after you placed it in there? I would like to see how much of a gap you are leaving in the container.

Cheers buddy,

Paul

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #52 on: November 30, 2010, 10:49:27 AM »
Thanks guys.  Paul, the above pie is 250gm.  I'm looking through my old pictures and only found pictures of 200gm balls in these containers pre and post proof.   The containers that cone in slightly make getting the balls out easier but the straight walled containers work well too. 

Nothing wrong with using dough trays.  I think some professional operators place the balls close enough together (I'm thinking Keste's and Difara's here) so that when they proof up together, the balls help support eachother. 

From the few tests I've run (which are not that scientific), the balls that where proofed in smaller containers as opposed to allowing to free proof and flatten out always seem to produce a more airy rim.  Not sure if there is truth to this or just in my mind, but I'm convinced enough to keep doing that way. 

Ideally I would let these proof up a bit more.   The trick to getting an aerated crumb is to 1) start with an aerated dough (well fermented dough), 2) avoid degassing the rim when opening, and 3) high even heat. 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 11:09:50 AM by Jackie Tran »

PaulsPizza

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #53 on: November 30, 2010, 10:54:26 AM »
Thanks Chau, I am looking into individual vs dough trays for my shop and I am leaning towards the individual containers for the same reasons as you have mentioned (plus it will save me a lot of )

Paul

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #54 on: November 30, 2010, 11:01:43 AM »
Thanks Chau, I am looking into individual vs dough trays for my shop and I am leaning towards the individual containers for the same reasons as you have mentioned (plus it will save me a lot of )

Paul

Though I don't own dough trays and haven't tried this yet but next time I make pizza, I'll proof 4 balls in a small pyrex dish and let them proof into eachother supporting one another up.  I'll see how easy it is to get them apart without degassing them.   I would imagine the trick to separating such balls is to either use oil and or have a well kneaded/developed dough dusted with bench flour prior to proofing.  If it works well, I would think that having dough trays would be more efficient than individual containers as washing one tray would be a lot easier than mutiple containers. 

Chau

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #55 on: November 30, 2010, 11:27:13 AM »
....I'll proof 4 balls in a small pyrex dish and let them proof into eachother supporting one another up.  I'll see how easy it is to get them apart without degassing them....   

Chau

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Offline ponzu

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2010, 04:07:40 PM »
Man in the third pic on reply 48 I can almost taste that crunchy rim and open crumb. 

Great work JT!

Do you ever do larger format pies like 14-16 inchers?  For some reason I prefer the aesthetic/tactile sense of a slightly larger pie.  I know its not a possibility in th MBE but just wondering what your thoughts are on format in general.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #57 on: November 30, 2010, 04:52:40 PM »
Jet deck, yes the dough scraper or dough blade would be used to cut the dough out.   

Thanks ponzu.  You CAN taste it.  The crust of this pie tasted very similar to a tartine loaf made with the same flour minus the oil.   It is a crusty shell with a soft inside.  If you like your tartine bread, then you would like this crust.   

Even though I started with a 72% hydration ratio, the 2% oil and 10% starter really puts this hydration at around 75%, which is close to Chad's 77% for BF. 

I will do larger format pies when having guests over.  I'll do 14" pies since the stone I use is 16".  It is easier for me than NP pies since I bake this style of pie low in the oven away from the burner.   I want a lower heat and longer bake.   For a NP style pie, I have to bake it close to the burner/broiler and that thing is only 10"x12", so a larger pie than that is not feasible as parts of the pie won't get the same heat as the rest. 

I would have stretched this one even thinner to 12-13" but the dough wouldn't allow it.  I usually let the strength of the dough determine how large I stretch a pie without trying to push it beyond it's limits. 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 05:02:30 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #58 on: November 30, 2010, 07:07:04 PM »
Most excellent Chau!
Just a beautiful crumb and I really like the crusty shell you achieved.  Wish I could bite into that one...
Hog


Offline norma427

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #59 on: December 01, 2010, 12:14:36 AM »
Chau,

Your return to you first love looks great!   ;D  You really did a good job.  The crumb looks fantastic.

Norma

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2010, 09:32:25 PM »
Most excellent Chau!
Just a beautiful crumb and I really like the crusty shell you achieved.  Wish I could bite into that one...
Hog

Thanks PeethaHog!   ;D  Good to see you posting again. 


Chau,

Your return to you first love looks great!   ;D  You really did a good job.  The crumb looks fantastic.

Norma

Thank you Norma. 

Chau

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2010, 10:12:00 PM »
JT,  nice looking pie, but you can do almost as good without the chemicals can't ya?  :-D -marc

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2010, 10:23:34 PM »
JT,  nice looking pie, but you can do almost as good without the chemicals can't ya?  :-D -marc

 :-D  I haven't tried too hard Marc.  It's just I bought a 50lb bag and it's been making superb pizza and bread that it's hard to walk away from a sure thing.   :P

But once I get to perfecting my technique (which I don't believe I'm that far now), I would love to apply the same techniques to various brands of flours again.  I still have leftover All Trumps that member Tampa (Dave) sent me that I would like to revisit soon.   And after that, it's the King Arthur stuff.  I will really be able to tell if it's good stuff or mostly in ppl's mind. 

Chau
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 10:25:54 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2010, 10:44:40 PM »
"Good stuff" is 90% in people's minds no matter what.  This ain't rocket science, it is slapping dough, tomato sauce and cheese into the oven to make something tasty.

It ain't what you cook, it is how you cook it.

Offline norma427

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2010, 10:56:56 PM »
:-D  I haven't tried too hard Marc.  It's just I bought a 50lb bag and it's been making superb pizza and bread that it's hard to walk away from a sure thing.   :P

But once I get to perfecting my technique (which I don't believe I'm that far now), I would love to apply the same techniques to various brands of flours again.  I still have leftover All Trumps that member Tampa (Dave) sent me that I would like to revisit soon.   And after that, it's the King Arthur stuff.  I will really be able to tell if it's good stuff or mostly in ppl's mind. 

Chau

Chau,

I will be interested in your results using King Arthur stuff.  Will you be using KABF or KASL?  I had used All Trumps, Pillsbury Balancer, and Kyrol flour (all bromated) previously for a while, before I switched to KASL.  I did notice a change when using KASL in how my final pizza baked, crust coloration, and other differences.  I had to get used to using KASL.

Your experiments will help all of us.

Norma

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2010, 11:03:07 PM »
"Good stuff" is 90% in people's minds no matter what.  This ain't rocket science, it is slapping dough, tomato sauce and cheese into the oven to make something tasty.

It ain't what you cook, it is how you cook it.

Well yes and no.  I would definitely agree that it's not what you cook but how you cook it.  A master cook can turn simple ingredients into a masterpiece.  That's what is really fun about plain ol' simple pizza.  It is as much art as it is science.  Maybe not rocket science, but some kind of science. 

Pizza can be jarred sauce and any cheese on toast.  Or it can be an experience to last a lifetime.  I'm not trying to create sauce and cheese on toast.  That's not impressive to me.  ;D

Chau

Offline Outatime

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #66 on: December 02, 2010, 09:45:13 PM »
Apparantly, many here seek to reproduce that perfect pie as well.  I am no exception. 
 
I made a dough last summer that produced that most incredible pizza crust I've ever eaten.  The entire family could not believe how good it was: the crumb was perfectly chewy and soft and it looked fantastic, but the most incredible part was a wonderfully light, crisp bite that is tough to describe.

I didn't record what I did, but I know that it was hand kneeded for about 6 minutes using bread flour and over 70% hydration.  It was cold proofed for 2 days.  And the oven was set to 500-deg. and that I used a 3/4" fibrament stone set on the middle shelf.  The toppings didn't matter: the crust was the star of the show.

I've tried to reproduce it ever since.  It was "just another pie" that turned out to be the most amazing pie I have ever eaten.   I will jump for joy if I ever come close again!



Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #67 on: December 02, 2010, 10:41:08 PM »
Chau, I just find it amusing, for example, when I see that guy in SF making it his life's work (and charging a bundle) for something as simple as the guys in Napoli make.  Those guys are not weighing dough, buying exotic ingredients, or fretting about the perfect moment to use the dough.

They wake up every day, use the cheapest local ingredients they can find, mix up the dough like they have always done it (by eye) and slap out production pies. They are Domino's circa the 19th century.

Nothing wrong with that, and the pizza happens to be great, but come on, it is not rocket science.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2010, 06:22:19 AM »
Chau, I just find it amusing, for example, when I see that guy in SF making it his life's work (and charging a bundle) for something as simple as the guys in Napoli make.  Those guys are not weighing dough, buying exotic ingredients, or fretting about the perfect moment to use the dough.

They wake up every day, use the cheapest local ingredients they can find, mix up the dough like they have always done it (by eye) and slap out production pies. They are Domino's circa the 19th century.

Nothing wrong with that, and the pizza happens to be great, but come on, it is not rocket science.

I do agree that pizza is not rocket science, and that everyone should be having fun. But striving for excellence is not a detriment in any way.

And just because the pizza operators in Naples have easy access to the local ingredients used on pizza does not mean they are not striving for the same excellence we are. In fact, they are even MORE obsessed with getting it perfect - they just happen to have the rights to first hand knowledge and hundreds of years of experience.

John

Offline Matthew

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2010, 07:47:34 AM »
They wake up every day, use the cheapest local ingredients they can find,

Really........Come on.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 07:51:29 AM by Matthew »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2010, 08:11:07 AM »
Sure they do, same as they do anywhere at local home grown restaurants.  That is their charm and the key to their success.  From Cajun "legend" restaurants to the local (famous) BBQ joints, that is exactly what they do, and I do not see why it would be any different just because they happen to be in Italy.  Fresh is key and that almost always means local, and it just so happens that is usually the cheapest anyway.

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2010, 08:24:32 AM »
I think those on the "outside" (ie not Naples pizzaiolos) are having to do a fair amount of "reverse engineering" which is considerably more cerebral than those essentially born into the profession.
The guy who does the same thing over and over, day in day out as an apprentice, has a very different type of knowledge and understanding. I speculate that to an extent, this is why the aVPN, APN organisations etc. are so rigid about choice of ingredients, technique etc. - it comes from people who have an understanding based on experience rather than analysis.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2010, 10:34:25 AM »
As in the U.S., I am sure there are variations from one pizza operator to another in Naples and there will be those who will try to cut corners and seek out low-cost ingredients. There will also be some who, as I have been hearing, will depart from the classic approach of fermenting their dough entirely at room temperature and will use cold fermentation. But for those Naples operators who adhere to room temperature fermentation, there is a lot of knowledge and skill that has to be brought to the task of making dough day after day with changing ambient temperatures yet be ready with their dough when customers show up. Based on my reading, I discussed some of the challenges and issues critical to dough making in Naples at Reply 130 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11700.msg110966/topicseen.html#msg110966, Reply 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7225.msg68935/topicseen.html#msg68935 and Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5976.msg51224/topicseen.html#msg51224.

I also understand that being a pizzaiolo in Naples is a highly respected, highly paid, in-demand position, unlike those that Anthony Mangieri discusses in the Obsessives video at , starting at 3:17, who come to the U.S. and are willing to work for $10 an hour making pizzas. As for Anthony himself, whether you like him or his methods or not, he has taken the Neapolitan experience a step further by using a natural leavening system, which does complicate the dough making process. Even in Naples, there are only a couple of places, if that, that are using a natural leavening system. And there aren't that many more in the U.S., at least those who have come out publicly announcing such use.

Going from making the Neapolitan pizza dough to the oven is also a big leap. I was amazed when I read what Marco (pizzapoletana) wrote at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1831.msg16213/topicseen.html#msg16213 where he talked about being able to bake seven pizzas at a time and how, at Da Michele, they can make 650 pizzas on a Saturday night service and do so almost flawlessly.

What they do in Naples may not be rocket science but I wouldn't say that it is a day at the beach either.

Peter

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2010, 10:55:30 AM »
Very hard work, and done for service, consistency is what it is all about.  They "know the dough", and have mad skills with the peel. 

Offline Matthew

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2010, 11:01:51 AM »
Chau, I just find it amusing, for example, when I see that guy in SF making it his life's work (and charging a bundle) for something as simple as the guys in Napoli make.

Nothing wrong with that, and the pizza happens to be great, but come on, it is not rocket science.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, however, what is so amusing about someone who is passionate about his craft especially when it is his livelyhood?  You refer to him as that guy when I'm pretty sure that you know his name.  Why disrespect him? Yes his pizza's aren't cheap, but they are good enough that not only are people willing to pay the price for them but their lining up an hour before he opens.  Have you been there?  Have you tried his pizza?

Matt