Author Topic: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie  (Read 42027 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #125 on: December 09, 2010, 12:49:35 PM »
Just a quick question : When you work with the dough, flattening it out and make it into a skin, isn't it difficult doing it if there are many small bubbles on the surface?
I tend to try to flatten out the bigger airpockets (pinky nail size and larger) as much as I can by giving the dough a manual kneading for a short time after the machine has done its work, to avoid having those bubbles appear when I stretch out the dough. If I don't do that, the air bubbles [again..!] disturbes my work flow. 

N2D, I think this depends on the end product you are trying to achieve.  For me, I want my pizza crust and crumb to be aerate with varying size holes.  These are developed from those bubbles in the skin.  So I don't purposefully pop them.  The more air bubbles I have in my dough before opening it up to form a skin, the better.   As a matter of fact, I handle and open the dough gently as to not disturb or pop any of these bubbles, especially the ones in the rim.   

The bubbles in the middle of the skin usually do not bubble through the weight of the sauce, cheese, and toppings. 

This might sound crazy to you, but kneading a dough after its been kneaded in the mixer actually helps develop gluten further and further  strengthens  the dough.  This strength (later down the road of fermentation) is actually what helps tents up those airbubbles that you don't like.   Relatively speaking, a strong dough will always proof up more than a weak dough. 

Chau


Offline new2dough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #126 on: December 09, 2010, 12:51:37 PM »
N2D, thanks for clarifying about your difficulties with working with a pizza stone and for posting a picture of the stone.   Now I understand your reluctance to using your pizza stone.

Several observations:

1) Your pizza stone is wayyy too clean looking.   :-D  Often times, a pizza stone is a reflection of the pizza maker.  A "well seasoned" pizza maker should have a well seasonsed stone.  That is the stone should be dark with remnant spotches of burnt oil and cheese.   Pizza stones can be washed with warm water if you want but never wash it with soap or soapy water as it can absorb that soap.  Just use a metal dough blade to scrape off the bits of burnt flour and cheese.   So don't worry about a clean looking stone.  

2) Put that metal handle somewhere up high or far away so you can't find it.  It gives a false impression that you should be moving the stone about.  You should not.   Preheat the stone in the oven and when you are ready to bake, load the prepared pizza on a wooden peel quickly as to minimize the heat lost from the oven.   Handling a hot stone is not only not recommended but can be dangerous.  

I have welding gloves doubled up inside another pair of welding gloves for moving hot pizza stones about but again, it's not the routine or norm.  Most ppl place the stone on desire rack, heat it up, load the pizza, bake, unload the pizza using a metal peel, never moving the stone back and forth.  

For instructions on how to use a wooden peel or metal peel, you can probably fine a lot of videos on youtube for that.  

About the stone absorbing moisture is a common characteristic and usually desireable.  You don't want a stone trapping moisture under the pie but absorbing it to crisp up the skin.  The bottom of the pizza will usually soften up again once it's out of the oven and cooling off before eating.  You are right about increasing the hydration level to offset the stone absorbing moisture.  

Good luck,
Chau


Ah, now I get the picture. I never thought of using the peel to slide off the pizza directly onto the stone while it's in the oven!
How much noob am I? :-D
It's definately worth a try, but I will have to get myself a real pizza peel or at least a bigger one than the one I'm using right now.
I never used the metal handles by the way, I just added it to the photo shoot to show the its concept. ^^

Thanks.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #127 on: December 09, 2010, 01:01:49 PM »
No worries N2D.  There are many many ways to make and bake pizzas.  Only some methods produce superior results but it doesn't mean the other methods are wrong. 

We are all noobs at one time and ALL the members here continually learn all the time.  No one here has their act together.   :-D

Until you get are a real peel, you can use a big piece of stiff card board as a peel, but it looks like you have a real wooden peel already (in the picture above).  You don't absolutely need the metal peel either.  There are plenty of members that use the wooden one for double duty.   

And when you start learning how to use the wooden peel there can be a few headaches there as well.  Mainly dough sticking to the peel and mangling the pizza while trying to slide it off onto the stone.  If you can salvage the pie, you may have to bake it folded as a calzone.   :-D  When this happens you may find yourself swearing and cussing a lot.   This is all part of the process: the fustrations, the learning, progressing, and finally making a decent pizza.  What we all strive for and go through.  No easy route.   

You are doing a fine job, just keep at it.  And don't worry about the local pizza makers and their "secrets".  You won't find a more knowledgeable group of folks anywhere else and ready to help with all your pizza needs than the ppl in this forum.   

Good luck,
Chau
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 01:10:29 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline new2dough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #128 on: December 09, 2010, 01:04:36 PM »
N2D, I think this depends on the end product you are trying to achieve.  For me, I want my pizza crust and crumb to be aerate with varying size holes.  These are developed from those bubbles in the skin.  So I don't purposefully pop them.  The more air bubbles I have in my dough before opening it up to form a skin, the better.   As a matter of fact, I handle and open the dough gently as to not disturb or pop any of these bubbles, especially the ones in the rim.   

The bubbles in the middle of the skin usually do not bubble through the weight of the sauce, cheese, and toppings. 

This might sound crazy to you, but kneading a dough after its been kneaded in the mixer actually helps develop gluten further and further  strengthens  the dough.  This strength (later down the road of fermentation) is actually what helps tents up those airbubbles that you don't like.   Relatively speaking, a strong dough will always proof up more than a weak dough. 

Chau

Chau, thanks for the explanation. I also think the Italian way of making pizzas, at least to some extent, is predominant on this forum? Where the crust has many airpockets and the rim itself is more or less thready with lots of big air pockets. I love having at least some air pockets in the rim and maybe some near the rim only.  
If there are more airpockets due to the post-kneading session I do, I'd say most of them are methodically pushed into the rim area.
I assume this is the Swedish way of pizza making and only way I know. ^^
I try to form the pre-rim but not squeezing it too hard because I figure the air that is in the center of the crust will have difficulties being transported when I later gently press the dough with my fingertips

Edit: here's an easy way to make the rim with some of the air still enveloped, but it demands the dough to be fairly stiff/strong:

http://img510.imageshack.us/i/kant.gif/
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 01:12:00 PM by new2dough »

Offline new2dough

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #129 on: December 09, 2010, 01:13:33 PM »
No worries N2D.  There are many many ways to make and bake pizzas.  Only some methods produce superior results but it doesn't mean the other methods are wrong. 

We are all noobs at one time and ALL the members here continually learn all the time.  No one here has their act together.   :-D

Until you get are a real peel, you can use a big piece of stiff card board as a peel, but it looks like you have a real wooden peel already (in the picture above).  You don't absolutely need the metal peel either.  There are plenty of members that use the wooden one for double duty.   

And when you start learning how to use the wooden peel there can be a few headaches there as well.  Mainly dough sticking to the peel and mangling the pizza while trying to slide it off onto the stone.  If you can salvage the pie, you may have to bake it folded as a calzone.   :-D  When this happens you may find yourself swearing and cussing a lot.   This is all part of the process: the fustrations, the learning, progressing, and finally making a decent pizza.  What we all strive for and go through.  No easy route.   

You are doing a fine job, just keep at it.  And don't worry about the local pizza makers and their "secrets".  You won't find a more knowledgeable group of folks anywhere else and ready to help with all your pizza needs than the ppl in this forum.   

Good luck,
Chau


Chau,
I will take one step at a time and not give up. Further down the road, I will use the peel trick.
Thanks for the advise and all the help.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #130 on: December 17, 2010, 12:10:27 PM »
Chau,

I know how long you have been experimenting in all your aspects of dough making.   ;D  I also think the Tartine book taught me a lot about handling high hydrations doughs, in combination with your posts.  I did work with some really high hydrations in the Sicilian thread, some up to around 84% and they needed to be plopped out of the container.  I did do stretch and folds on those doughs by the recommendations of UnConundrum (Warren), from his breading baking class at Fred’s. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10020.msg87337.html#msg87337 Warren told me at that class and afterwards how he sometimes works with really high hydration doughs.  Those doughs did come out nice and airy after experimenting.

In this thread is where I sometimes I used really high hydrations http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9946.msg89636.html#msg89636 and gave thanks to Warren for helping learn.  Warren has some videos somewhere on making dough.  I don’t know if you ever saw them or not.  Finally this is how I recently tied all this together, with all the members that have helped me, with you included. Matt and Toby also helped me along the learning trail of trying different methods.

Norma

Thanks for the links Norma.  I haven't had the pleasure of crossing paths with member Unconundrum.  Sounds like he makes some good stuff.

Chau

Offline norma427

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #131 on: December 17, 2010, 04:15:08 PM »
Thanks for the links Norma.  I haven't had the pleasure of crossing paths with member Unconundrum.  Sounds like he makes some good stuff.

Chau

Chau,

Member, Warren (Unconundrum) is an accomplished baker and cook.  :) This is Warren’s website and one page on his website. 
http://www.recipesonrails.com/    http://www.recipesonrails.com/recipes?page=2

If you are interested in looking though his pages on Warren’s website he does have formulas for his breads and recipes for his foods, if you click on show. Warren also works with high hydration doughs.

Norma

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #132 on: December 24, 2010, 08:34:51 PM »
Tonight I made one of my greatest pies yet.   I put Di Fara style toppings on one of my crusts and the result elevated me into pizza nirvana. 

I'll detail what I did here for prosperity sake.  :-D

Formulation
100% HG (Con Agra HG bleached and bromated flour)
71% water
0.3% IDY (10hrs @ 70F)
2.5% kosher salt
2% EVOO

Method
-dissolve salt in water.  Add oil and IDY.  Dump in all of flour and hand mix in bowl for a few minutes until well mixed.
-Rest 10-15m.  Then hand knead for 1 min (yes I timed it)
-Rest for a couple of hours.  Divided and ball.  Add in a few folds while balling.  Enough so that the balls hold their shape fairly well in hand.
-Proof for 8 hours at room temps of 70F.   Initially I had planned this for a 6 hour ferment at 75F, but didn't realize my room temps had dropped to about 70F since it's winter so it took longer to proof up.
Baked in MBE for 5 min.

Results were incredible.  Crust was somewhat crusty and light on the inside.   Slightly crusty bottom.   

Di Fara style Toppings:  block and soft mozz., Pepperoni, drizzle of EVOO.   After the bake, another drizzle of EVOO, grated parm/romano/asiago, fresh basil.  A Di Fara style pie needs to be oily.  EVOO drizzled on AFTER the bake will have more flavor than before. 

Enjoy,
Chau
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 05:47:14 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #133 on: December 24, 2010, 08:36:34 PM »
I took multiple crumb shots to show what a proper crumb should look like.  It should be aerated, soft, moist, tender, just slightly chewy - not too much. 

Chau



Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #134 on: December 24, 2010, 09:10:05 PM »
JT,  again,  nice looking pizza.  Here is my question to you for the new year.  Can you make pizza that is as good without the bromate?  Some people insist that it the level of crisp and lightness cannot be duplicated without it.  What do you think?  I am not trying to bust your balls on the bromate thing either,  Some people use it with no reservation and I respect that,  but to me artisan and bromate do not belong in the same paragraph.  Happy Holidays.  -marc

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #135 on: December 24, 2010, 09:40:27 PM »
JT,  again,  nice looking pizza.  Here is my question to you for the new year.  Can you make pizza that is as good without the bromate?  Some people insist that it the level of crisp and lightness cannot be duplicated without it.  What do you think?  I am not trying to bust your balls on the bromate thing either,  Some people use it with no reservation and I respect that,  but to me artisan and bromate do not belong in the same paragraph.  Happy Holidays.  -marc

Thx Marc, I haven't been avoiding your question on purpose.  I sort of just forgot about it, sorry.   I just haven't had time to make this type of pie with regular bread flour since there are so many experiments I always want to do with more cropping up.  And then there is helping others on the side via PM or email.  To answer your question, yes I can make very good pies without the bromates.  I have before but have not pursued it recently b/c I still have this HG bromated flour left over and it's been making great dough.  Perhaps I will attempt to make an awesome non bromated flour pie for you for the new year.

For an example of a non bromated pie, check out the very first pie in this thread.  It may not look like much but it is to date my greatest achievement in crumb.   All others have been very very close but not exceeding.  It was made with HG bread flour bought from my local Sun flower whole foods market.  I am positive it is nonbromated. It was truely feather light.  It was and remains the ideal crumb for me.

Pie in reply #46 of this thread was made with Canadian Manitoba BF.  I believe it is non bromated as well.  It too was a really good pie.  Crust looks different b/c it was baked in the home oven ala NY style.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.40.html

Here are 2 pies (manitoba vs the bromated Sam's Club HG flour) baked in the MBE.  Reply #21-#22 shows the manitoba pie with an excellent crumb shot as well.  Post #23 shows the Sam's HG bromated flour pie with crumb shot.  Both had comparable oven spring and  crust and crumb.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11476.20.html

I have also made some very excellent pies with just caputo 00 (non bromated version). 
reply #107 shows a very open and airy crumb for caputo 00 flour.   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.100.html

Here is another caputo pie with better leoparding and a grade A crumb.  Reply #281
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11126.280.html

I believe it really would take just a bit of time tweaking and dialing in the correct hydration ratio, kneading time, and fermentation time to get the very best crust and crumb from any flour whether it be bromated or not.  I am a firm believer that with true understanding of the ingredients and dough process, one can create consistent products despite using different types and strengths of flours.  Again, perhaps after the new year, I will try my hand at non bromated flours again. 

Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite non bromated flour?  If it's something that I can not get locally would you be interested in sending me a little to experiment with?  I can post the results for comparison.

Cheers,
Chau 

« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 03:00:44 AM by Jackie Tran »

foolishpoolish

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #136 on: December 24, 2010, 09:45:37 PM »
Chau,
Those are some amazing looking pies (and their colors are somewhat festive too imo! :D)
 So glad that your quest for the "perfect" pie has allowed you to share all this pizza awesomeness with us. Long may it continue!
Merry Christmas :)

Cheers,
T

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #137 on: December 25, 2010, 10:41:58 AM »
Class A pie there Chau. Looks about as tasty as it gets. I love a greasy pie.

Merry Christmas!

Craig
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #138 on: December 25, 2010, 11:48:50 AM »
Thank you Toby and Craig for the kind remarks.  I work hard for them.  :-D    Kidding aside, Toby good to have you back.  I hope you stay awhile.    :-D

I admire both of your work Toby and Craig.   Merry Christmas to all!

Chau

Offline fazzari

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #139 on: December 26, 2010, 04:19:06 PM »
Chau
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful pizzas.....I have a question in regards to your process...I'm always looking to simplify if possible.  If you had mixed your dough maybe 2 or 3 minutes after the rest instead of the 1 minute you actually mixed it...and then scaled and balled, could you have eliminated the folding and scaling and balling of the dough later in the process??  I'm just wondering if you might have obtained the same results, with a little less effort....I know I'm lazy!!!  Great job!
John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #140 on: December 26, 2010, 05:06:31 PM »
Chau
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful pizzas.....I have a question in regards to your process...I'm always looking to simplify if possible.  If you had mixed your dough maybe 2 or 3 minutes after the rest instead of the 1 minute you actually mixed it...and then scaled and balled, could you have eliminated the folding and scaling and balling of the dough later in the process??  I'm just wondering if you might have obtained the same results, with a little less effort....I know I'm lazy!!!  Great job!
John

John, thanks for the compliment.  I always say I work hard for them.   :-D  To answer your question - absolutely yes.  I don't always do the folds.  I just find it easier for me to underknead and then make up the strength later by doing folds.  But if you can knead the dough to the right place each time, then I would not do any folds, but simply just ball it up quickly.   There is not just one way of making pizza.  As a matter of fact, it's hard to say this or that is my technique b/c it changes so often.  Things are done depending on how the dough feels at a particular moment.  I may sometimes decide to do folds or not do folds, depending on how the dough feels, how much gluten is developed already.  If I change the hydration ratio, or the flour used, or how long the dough has fermented, or if I'm using a starter, or....then it all changes the way the dough feels.   And by the way, I don't always get it right either.  Sometimes, I over or under estimate a certain variable.   The perfect pizza comes from the perfect dough and perfect bake.   The perfect dough comes from a balance of hydration, gluten development (affected by kneading, folding, oil, salt, etc), & fermentation. 

Basically I think to myself...how do I make a dough that will bake in 4-5m, fluff up, not be too chewy, not be too wet, not too dry, and still get a nice and crispy skin.   I think...what type of flour do I need to use?  how wet should the dough be? how much kneading vs folding?, how long to ferment, how much should I proof the dough up?  how gentle should I handle the dough?  Does it make a difference? Do I need oil?  What does it do or not do?  If I change the flour or hydration, add oil or not, then how much kneading do I need or not to get the same dough each time.   The is the funnest and hardest part about making dough. 

I have learned a lot about what good dough should look like from watching videos of the pros.  Look at how the dough looks in the mixer, look at how it proofs up, look at how it handles when stretched out, etc.  If you can get the dough nice and balanced and then bake it properly, then we have great pizza. 

Anyways, yes as a pizza maker you HAVE to understand these things and make necessary and purposeful changes to make good pizza.  There is not one way,  there is never one way b/c dough changes daily.  To get a consistent product, we must adapt and tweak things all the time.   A great pizza is hard to come by.  If we can make friends with it and find ourselves in good company, then we are fortunate.    ;D

Chau
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 05:36:05 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline fazzari

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #141 on: December 26, 2010, 07:56:29 PM »

Chau
Thanks for an excellent reply...and it goes to show one of the main advantages a home baker has to the retail pizza guy.  While the home baker can monitor and develop small batches of dough, and even pick the perfect time to bake...the pro baker has to monitor large numbers of doughs (mixed from different bags of flour), and have them ready to go on a second's notice from the public demand for product.  Not an easy task...   Thanks for your reply....and for the nice photos!!

John


Offline jever4321

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #142 on: December 27, 2010, 10:29:08 AM »
Chau, You pizza looks awesome. Seriously man that's art on a plate. Your pictures are always top notch as well, I can't get enough of 'em.
Makes me wish we were neighbors.  ;D We would probably gain a few lbs.
-Jay

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #143 on: December 28, 2010, 05:42:37 AM »
Chau
Thanks for an excellent reply...and it goes to show one of the main advantages a home baker has to the retail pizza guy.  While the home baker can monitor and develop small batches of dough, and even pick the perfect time to bake...the pro baker has to monitor large numbers of doughs (mixed from different bags of flour), and have them ready to go on a second's notice from the public demand for product.  Not an easy task...   Thanks for your reply....and for the nice photos!!

John

Great point John.  The one time I got to speak with Chris Bianco this summer, he said you can make a better pie in the home setting because you can take your time to get things just right.  I agree with you that the professional can be confined by those particular circumstances.

Chau

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #144 on: December 28, 2010, 05:44:06 AM »
Chau, You pizza looks awesome. Seriously man that's art on a plate. Your pictures are always top notch as well, I can't get enough of 'em.
Makes me wish we were neighbors.  ;D We would probably gain a few lbs.

You're too kind Jever.  I'll keep at it for both of us.
Chau

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #145 on: February 19, 2011, 10:11:38 AM »
I am sure his pizzas are good, but  people are not buying them just for their flavor, they are buying them for something else.

I am late going though this thread, but I have to disagree whole heartedly.

First, I agree with you that some people are buying them because of the hype surrounding Mangieri's pizzas. Some are buying them for the "cool factor" of being able to say they went to UPN or for any number of reasons. Who cares?

I do not think a pizza business is going to be able to last long-term if those are the only reasons people visit a pizzeria.

TScar, what's your beef?

I for one can certainly see why some people may not even like Mangieri's pizzas, even if they were priced at $8 per pizza.

But you are missing a meaningful segment of Mangieri's success.....that is regular patrons are willing to pay $20 for his pizzas over and over.

I went to UPN for the first time a few years back because I was already in NYC. I was taken aback at the $21 per pizza price, but bought a Margherita to give it a fair shot. I ended up buying a Bianca and a Marinara after that the same evening. After that fist trip there was a reason that I have driven, 3.5 hours each way, to NYC only to visit UPN, eat pizzas, and turn back immediately for home. Night sweats of thinking about how good those pizzas tasted.

Whether or not they are the greatest pizzas ever made is irrelevant. Are they expensive? Very much so. Does the price itself make the pizza good? Definitely not.

That being said, Mangieri makes some of the very best pizza I have ever tasted. And subsequent visits to UPN after my initial forray and talking with other patrons revealed many regulars who repeatedly paid those steep prices for a reason. --k
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 12:54:14 PM by pizzablogger »
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Offline doodneyy

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #146 on: March 26, 2011, 02:46:57 AM »
You want the "Perfect"?  Here it is... & by the way your fold tech is the way to go..
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 03:04:31 AM by doodneyy »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #147 on: March 26, 2011, 08:31:51 AM »
Doodneyy, nice job!  ;D  That looks like a great crust & crumb provided it wasn't too dry, but it doesn't look like it.  Are you able to make this type of pizza consistently or is this just hit or miss?

Chau

Offline doodneyy

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #148 on: March 26, 2011, 11:25:53 AM »
Doodneyy, nice job!  ;D  That looks like a great crust & crumb provided it wasn't too dry, but it doesn't look like it.  Are you able to make this type of pizza consistently or is this just hit or miss?

Chau
Not dry at all.  I am able to now replicate this 80% of the time.
My main factors have been the length of time I am able to leave the dough out before I have to feed everyone & the weather. 
I live in Seattle & well ya know it's wet & windy here that effects the wfo.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: That elusive yet "Perfect" pie
« Reply #149 on: March 26, 2011, 12:04:51 PM »
Not dry at all.  I am able to now replicate this 80% of the time.
My main factors have been the length of time I am able to leave the dough out before I have to feed everyone & the weather. 
I live in Seattle & well ya know it's wet & windy here that effects the wfo.

Dooneyy, not sure how long you've been lurking for or just joined, but either way welcome.  I (along with others I'm sure) would love to see a picture of your WFO/ODK setup and the formula and recipe you used to make your pies.  I'm always curious to know what others are doing to see if I can learn something new.  I truely believe that all members have something valuable to offer however great or little it may be.  It helps everyone when there is more info AND pics posted.    ;)  I think you need 5 posts or something like that to post pics.  Do let us know if you have any problems posting pics.

Chau


 

pizzapan