Author Topic: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie  (Read 28320 times)

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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
Always working and looking for new information!

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.


Offline 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
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz91GfoZ-Zs" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz91GfoZ-Zs</a>
, 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

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2010, 11:46:05 AM »
I would rather say "that guy" than misspell his name.  We all know who I meant anyway.   Hey, I think it is great that he can make a living doing what he obviously loves, but I am pretty much, well, I don't know how to say it.  I am sure his pizzas are good, but  people are not buying them just for their flavor, they are buying them for something else.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #76 on: December 03, 2010, 11:57:26 AM »
The fact that something is not "rocket science" in terms of its complexity or technological challenge does not imply anything about the difficulty of achieving perfection - let alone repeatable perfection or perfection on a large scale.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #77 on: December 03, 2010, 12:05:08 PM »
That is absolutely correct, especially the repeatability part.  For service, that is the most important aspect of the operation, and also one of the hardest to maintain.

As it pertains to the elusive but perfect pie at home, I would argue that there is no such thing as perfection, nor a real need to regiment your method to achieve it.  In fact, what you consider perfection today will probably not be so the second or third time you make it.  But that is just the way I am.  I hate to do the same thing twice.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #78 on: December 03, 2010, 12:17:59 PM »
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz91GfoZ-Zs, starting at 3:17, who come to the U.S. and are willing to work for $10 an hour making pizzas.


I visited UPN not long before it closed. I got there early, and was able to sit at the table closest to where they made the pies and had an excellent opportunity to observe. Anthony was not there, and the kid making the pizzas did not appear to have been doing it long. I watched as he made and threw away two pies (unbaked - right into the trash) before he got one that he considered to be acceptable. Attention to detail like that - by a kid when the owner is not around - doesn't just happen by accident. Perfection has to be important to the owner for employees to be that well trained.

Was the pie perfect? No, but it was good enough to inspire me to spend months working to duplicate it.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2010, 12:36:21 PM »
... nor a real need to regiment your method to achieve it...

You know that Chau has a very strict regiment when he plans to cook pizza, he posts in detail (which I personally appreciate), so I guess this comment is directed at him?

Why don't you get that chip off you shoulder, and just say it this way."  Chau you are stupid to take so much time to make your dough " or maybe this "Chau- Its not rocket science, its just flippin dough" or "Chau- your cooked pizza is charred to much and that is an imperfection, probably because of your regime"

It seems as though some people continually p1ss on other peoples parades.  I have my rain jacket on, and will stay until the parade is over.
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