Author Topic: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)  (Read 10626 times)

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Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2010, 04:17:10 AM »
haha you describe the differences so well, whereas i don't really know what im talking about. i just know that there is a taste i associate with white bread and i taste i associate with new york pizza and my recent crusts have been reminding more of the latter than the former. i just checked some leftovers i have in the fridge and i would say i want the rim of the crust to be less crunchy and more chewy and fluffy. i can't really critique the bottom because it was stretched too thin, i don't know how it would be if i got the thickness right. i don't know about cell structure.

when you say you have NY style locally, where is that? i am assuming nowhere near new york, but i have had good NY style pizza as far away as pennsylvania before.  i was born in new jersey (15 minutes from NYC)  and i never knew there was any pizza other than NY style for the first several years of my life. my family eventually moved to michigan and i was shocked and horrified when i tasted the pizza here. every year when we would go back to visit, i would get NY style pizza and never stopped loving it. the reason i know they make it as far out as pennsylvania is because on the drive back to michigan, we would stop and get pizza for lunch and we knew the last possible place we could stop and still get good NY style pizza was this place called luigi's pizza in pennsylvania. after that, all the pizza was american style.

 i have had NY style pizza from a couple of places in michigan, but neither is very good.

anyway, to get back to the point, i have been using the escalon 6 in 1 brand tomatoes and GFS whole milk mozzarella. i'm not really sure if it's the sauce or the cheese or both that i'm doing wrong, i just know my pizza does not taste at all like real new york pizza to me and it's not just the crust that i'm doing wrong. i guess i'll have to do more reading here and more experimentation. is there any formula that is tested and guaranteed to give you NY style sauce and cheese?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 04:19:58 AM by Pizzalogy »


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2010, 09:24:32 AM »
By your description of your crust I would guess that it is the new lower hydration rate that is causing the extra crunchiness and cracker (dry bread) taste.  I'm kind of surprise you are getting that result b/c with your new stone your overall bake time should have decreased since you are not parbaking the crust anymore.

Just curious why did you switch to using unenriched flour?  Is it a healthier alternative? Would you consider switching back to enriched flours?  I would use the flour that gave me the better result, but that's just me. I'm also assuming it is the flour, but that I'm not sure of.  You can also try either adding a tablespoon or two of water to the new recipe or cut the flour by 1-2 Tbs to see if that will help with the dryness issue.  Also are you currently using oil in the recipe?  It can help out with the dryness issue as well.

Also curious as to why you paint the entire crust with oil? Is it for taste, looks, or both?

I'm in Albuquerque, NM.  We have several places that claim to serve authentic NY pizza. The owner of one is even from Brooklyn.  90% of the pizza here is mediocre and not outstanding so I have to assume they are not as good as true NY Pizza.  There is one place I do like called NYPD or NY pizza department, but even some ppl I work with say though it is very good the crust is still missing something. 
So not having eaten the real deal, I can only imagine.  Once I do though, I wouldn't be surprise if I wasn't thrilled.

Perfect pizza or great pizza is very subjective at best. Unless you are using the very same ingredients, technique in dough prep, and same baking oven, oven temp, and time you may get close to replicating your favorite childhood pizza but it will never be just the same.  Those experiences and memories are emotional events and IMO nearly impossible to duplicate since we are different ppl now.
 
You can have a whole city of ppl from NY and even they can't agree on who has the best pizza and who's authentic and who's not.

Pizzalogy, I do wish you luck on finding you perfect NY pizza. As you are starting out like me you still have lots of room to improve. But if you are a perfectionist like many members here who can't settle for 2nd best you may end up chasting your tail looking for that perfection.  It's hard to say if it exists or not.

Sauce and cheese wise, you'll have to just read and try out different combinations until you find something close. That, I'm sure is another area of debate.   

 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 09:48:24 AM by Tranman »

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2010, 11:45:42 AM »
Hey Pizzalogy
Looks like you are well on your way with Trans recipe and help, just thought I would add a bit. 

I do not believe King Aurthur non organic flours are enriched.  Enriched flours will state "enriched" right on the ingredients label.  Plus, the levels of viatmins & minerals stated on KA's label to not meet the minimums required by the FDA to qualify as enriched.

Organic flours tend to contain less protein than their non organic counterparts within a brand line, and in general.  In the case of KAAP as an example, it is something like a percent and a half less.  So yes, your hydration experience with the organic was prob due to this drop in protein as compared to the KA bread flour you started with. 
The assumption on NY style is that it is made with high protein flour, often or sometimes bromated and Stanislaus tomato products are often mentioned.  But then again there are many differences even between NY pizzas.  So it might help if you could nail down what you are looking for by comparing to a known or famous pizzeria which you could then research.  There are many threads here on reverse engineering such pies and if your favorite is not among them, you could even start your own thread.

No good NY style in Michigan you say?  Sad, but true for me also.  That is except for your kitchen!  Not sure where you are located but here are a few referrals.

Roselli's is a pizza/restaurant supply, carries the full Stanislaus line plus others, pep, cheeses, peels, oils, the full monte and wholesale pricing.  Every time I go there it is like a kid in a candy store.
http://www.rosellifoods.com/ 

Another wholesale restaurant supply that sells to the public with restricted hours so call first.  I have not been there but was found by another forum member who purchased flour there as I recall.
http://www.manta.com/c/mmfyrhm/miceli-oldfield

Great locally made cheeses by an Italian family, no additives or preservatives, and they make fresh mozz 6 days/week.  Cash only and try to bring exact change so they don't have to dig into their pockets.  Good pricing, great cheese, friendly folks, I love this place.
http://www.buymichiganproducts.com/Public/CompanyDetail.php?id=498

A few pizzerias that get close to NY style should you be in the mood.  The last is a WFO place that is garnering lots of praise that I have not tried yet but plan to.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tomato-and-basil-washington
http://www.yelp.com/biz/green-lantern-madison-heights
http://www.yelp.com/biz/supino-pizzeria-detroit#query:tomato%20basil

Finally, I notice that Grande cheese is often mentioned with NY style.  I have yet to find a local MI supplier that carries this and sells to the public though and so have never tried it myself.
Good Luck on your quest!
Hog.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2010, 06:25:02 PM »
I switched to unenriched flour because it is healthier. I thought one of the benefits to making my own pizza was that I could make healthier pizza. I will consider switching back (or just making some of each) if I can't get it right with the unenriched, but people made pizza back before enriched flour was introduced in the 1940s, so there has got to be a way to do it.

I made another pizza today but with the same dough I used last night. I did a little better stretching it but still made the rim too thick. I'm also having problems with the bottom cooking too fast and blackening before the top is cooked. I did move the stone up a rack, so it is now directly under the pan but the top still did not cook quickly enough. Next time I will try adding an extra tablespoon or two of water to the recipe and possibly look into using some vital wheat gluten. I have been using oil.

The reason I paint the top of the dough with oil is because I thought that contributed to the greasy feel of NY style pizza.

PizzaHog, thank you. Your post was very informative. I live in Ann Arbor, so Roselli's is only about an hour's drive away from me. Do you have any specific products you recommend I try from there?

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2010, 08:04:13 PM »


I do not believe King Aurthur non organic flours are enriched.  Enriched flours will state "enriched" right on the ingredients label.  Plus, the levels of viatmins & minerals stated on KA's label to not meet the minimums required by the FDA to qualify as enriched.



PH,  king aurthur converntional flours are both malted and enriched.  the organinc line is just malted,  which is not always the case with organic flours.  -marc

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2010, 08:31:39 PM »
Why is unenriched flour healthier than enriched flour?  The only thing they enrich it with is vitamins.
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2010, 08:36:09 PM »
GB,  I think there might be some confusion between enriched flour and bromated flour from earlier in the thread from this statement,  sorry I didn't qoute it correctly.  -marc


You are right.  Sorry about that.  I use High Gluten Flour bleached and bromated.  So it has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent to help with gluten development and makes a stronger more elastic dough.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 08:38:23 PM by widespreadpizza »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2010, 08:46:15 PM »
Why is unenriched flour healthier than enriched flour?  The only thing they enrich it with is vitamins.

well i suppose it is controversial but i have seen enough evidence to convince me that natural vitamins and added vitamins do not affect the body is the same way, with the natural ones being superior.  a lot of people report adverse side effects to vitamin supplements and enriched food, even if they have no problem tolerating the same vitamins from natural sources. however, if you are not getting enough vitamins from the rest of your diet, then enriched flour would actually be healthier. i just prefer to consume as few food additives as possible.

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2010, 09:00:55 PM »
PH,  king aurthur converntional flours are both malted and enriched.  the organinc line is just malted,  which is not always the case with organic flours.  -marc
Thanks Marc for clarifying that.  Dang, I really like that flour and was happy in my ignorance.
Quote
Do you have any specific products you recommend I try from there?
Sorry P for the misinformation.  I do go to Roselli's a couple times a month so can give you some ideas and hopefully get this right.
Margarita peperoni at the best price I have found.
Lots of cheeses.  I have only tried their house brand mozz.  It goes really soft rather than stretchy when melted if you like that texture.  They will cut a log in half of any cheese if you ask so you don't have to buy the whole thing.
Tomatoes and sauces galore.  You can get some ideas on favored brands with a forum search but something from Stanislaus for sure.  The "full red fully prepared" has been mentioned for NY style so I tried it and liked it but they have lots to choose from.  Hit their website to see and remember they have multiple products with the same first name, like full red in at least 3 versions.
Otherwise go nuts as everything I have priced there is lower than anywhere else I know of, some stuff a little, some a lot like the soprasetta and calabrese salami.
Only 1 mile down Groesbeck from Roselli's is Sera cheese so you should check them out too but they are hard to find.  Access off Groesbeck Hwy by turning E into the Fedex bldg parking lot.  Stay straight and pass Fedex to the first white building right behind it.  Maybe try some of their mozz and provolone.  If one of the family is there you can usually taste some samples.  You can tell the owners cause they won't be in cheese makers garb.  It's a small place.  If you like stronger cheeses try their Fina Table cheese.
Have fun!


Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2010, 01:56:25 AM »
ok so i tried the high gluten recipe with the vital wheat gluten and ended up with another sticky mess. i added more flour by feel and i'll see what sort of pizza i get tomorrow.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2010, 08:31:00 AM »
  :-D now your making pizza! It's not always about recipes Pizzalogy. There's definitely a time and a place for them, but it's more important to make what you have work for you. Soon you'll be making your very own recipe.  Do keep us posted.

Sorry I have no experience with unenriched flours or VWG, otherwise i'd be able to help you more. With all new ingredients I would add a little at a time to see the effects and adjust accordingly. 

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2010, 06:58:44 PM »
haha thanks for the encouragement. the vital wheat gluten crust was an improvement. nowhere near perfect but not bad either. i may try adding more next time.

 i still had the best results with the enriched flour unfortunately but i'm not ready to give up on making healthy pizza. i also don't think i can do much better right now without fixing my cheese and sauce because no matter how good the crust is, the pizza won't taste very good if i don't like the sauce and cheese.

i may experiment with some whole wheat crusts in the mean time.

Offline s00da

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2010, 03:55:50 AM »
You are getting a cracker crust because you are stretching the pizza too thin. So with your low hydration of 54% and bake time, it's easy for most of the water in the thin parts to be evaporated. Also, the stone is different from the pan because the stone can absorb the water in the skin as it bakes while the pan will trap moisture and redirect it into the skin.

Usually you can resolve this issue by first getting your stretching techniques right. Shoot for an even thickness skin, it's harder than making a puffy rim. This should help retain moisture, you can work on the rim later. Your hydration of 54% sounds very low to me, usually when putting together a new recipe, a hydration of 60% is a good starting point and it's usually appropriate for any kind of flour. Increasing hydration also means decreasing the % of yeast to counter over-fermentation.

Good luck

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2010, 01:26:39 PM »
thanks. i will try 60% hydration next time. what happens if you get over fermentation?


Offline hotsawce

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2010, 01:32:55 PM »
You'll rarely get over fermentation. I think there's a difference between over fermentation, and the use of too much yeast. If your dough puffs up like a balloon, you used too much yeast.

Offline s00da

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2010, 03:50:47 PM »
you know that your dough over fermented when it has a strong beer like smell AND/OR that it just disintegrates as you handle it being too wet and having no elasticity

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2010, 08:05:35 PM »
ah ok, haven't had that happen yet.

well i made my first 100% whole wheat pizza today using king arthur white whole wheat flour. i followed charbo's recipe from the speciality-grain forum except i omitted the sugar and refrigerated it 42 hours instead of 30 like he suggests. i used the same stretching technique and baked it the same way and same time as my last few pizzas. quick question: should you let the dough warm up at all when taking it out of the fridge before stretching?

http://i44.tinypic.com/a3edjt.jpg

http://i41.tinypic.com/34smrea.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/e1565f.jpg

i was very pleased with the crust. it was droopy and foldible like NY style but had a nice whole wheat flavor to it. i am going to give up on making traditional  NY style for the time being and just make whole wheat.

also, i used some fresh mozzarella on part of this pizza instead of my usual cheese and while it wasn't the flavor i was looking for, it did tell me that the cheese i have been using (GFS whole milk mozzarella) has been giving my pizzas a sour, almost bitter taste.  so that is definitely what i plan to change next. maybe the sauce isn't even the problem.

anyway, thanks for all the help you guys have given me (especially tranman). i will go post this in the grain forum.


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2010, 10:12:17 PM »
Pizzalogy, your welcome!  ;D  I'm glad you are having a fun time making pizza.  Afterall that's what it's really about....and eating pizza too of course.

Should you let your dough warm up before stretching?  Hmmm, tough question to answer.  Yes and no depending on how much yeast is in the dough.   In general, warming the dough up to room temperature before stretching will make it easier to stretch the dough.  Stretching a low hydration dough while it's cold can result in tears.  BUT as the dough is warming up, the yeast will become active and start producing their byproducts (enzymes being one of them?) which can lead to some gluten breakdown which can then lead to the dough being too pliable and extensible.   

Now if you have a dough that has little yeast in it, say 1/16 tsp per 300gm ball, you can let that guy proof to room temps and beyond without the negative effects.  I have room temp (72F) proof such a dough up to 9-10hours and it opened easily without issues.   On the opposite end of that if you have 1/2 tsp yeast per 300gm doughball, you'll only want to proof AT room temps for about an hour or 2 max.  You'll want to stretch it while it's slightly cool.  If you let it get to room temps, you run the risk of it overproofing and then as s00da says it will fall apart in your hands.   If this does happen and you do reball it, then you want to let it sit for another 45m minimum before trying to open it again.   You now run the risk of the yeast having spent all the sugars in the dough and you may not get that extra spring in the dough in the oven.

The easiest answer is to follow the specifics of the recipe.  Usually each recipe has been (re)tested multiple times and the author will note the times at which you should bulk rise, cold ferment, and proof.   After awhile, if you've been studying your recipes and times, you'll develop a sense of how a dough is suppose to look or how much it has proof vs how much it can depending on the amount of starter or yeast.   Once you get there, you can fudge the times a bit and know when a dough needs to be baked vs how much longer it can go and at what temps.  But of course, expect to ruin a bunch of dough along the way while you experiment.   ::)

Online Pete-zza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2010, 10:29:29 PM »
(enzymes being one of them?)

Tran,

The enzymes that attack the gluten, mainly protease, are already in the flour. Also, if the attack and degradation of the gluten is extreme, as can happen if the dough overferments, the dough rarely can be saved by reballing and resting, or adding flour to absorb the wetness of the overfermented dough and trying to salvage it. For all intents and purposes, the dough is unsalvagable. The risk is higher with a lot of yeast and warm room temperatures but a dough can overferment even with small amounts of yeast. I learned this from the experiments I conducted with low-yeast, long room temperature fermented doughs, especially those made in the summer.

Peter

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2010, 12:31:51 AM »
Thanks for explaining it better than I did Peter.  I agree with you that sometimes the dough can not be salvage, therefore it's always best to avoid the situation by following the instructions set forth by the author. 

The only thing I have been able to do with overproofed (over fermented dough) is to roll it out and make fried pizza dumplings.  Either that or enjoy a thin and crispy pizza.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2010, 12:24:54 PM »
hi tranman. i have a question about your recipe(s). what is the reason that you say to mix 75% of the flour and then let the dough rest before adding the rest? i am interested in trying some recipes where you just add all of  the ingredients right away, because it's a bit simpler and it also seems easier to play around with the hydration that way. i don't really know much about kneading though. a lot of the recipes on this forum, just give the dough ingredients and then they expect you to know how to knead them. i don't really know though, besides your method.

i think i want to try using my bread machine to knead. so i was thinking of this, mix my ingredients in a bowl and then let rest for 30 minutes. then add to bread machine and let it knead for 20 minutes. then put the dough in the fridge. how does that sound? i get confused over whether it's better to let the dough rest, knead again (i will have to see exactly what my bread machine does) as well as how long to leave it out before refrigerating. i know you gave me some advice on this, but does it apply to all recipes or just your recipe?

for the lehman calculator, what kneading and fermentation times are expected?


btw, i am going back to using the organic white flour now. the reason for this is that i am pretty pleased with my 100% white whole wheat crust but rather than just make pizza with the same crust over and over again, I would like to also perfect my white flour crust and I would also like to work on a whole wheat/white flour blend.

last night I made 2 dough balls with the organic flour as a quick experiment. i made one dough ball at 60% hydration and one at 64% hydration with vital wheat gluten. i then let the dough rest 30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of kneading and then refrigerated it. how does that sound?

one other thing, I have begun hydrating the yeast rather than adding it according to your method and I have noticed it is much more active this way. do you have any comments on this? you tend to use a very small amount of yeast and you donít hydrate it, so now I feel like I am using too much yeast. I guess basically I would like to know the reasoning behind everything you do, so I understand what I am changing as I change things.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 12:28:12 PM by Pizzalogy »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2010, 12:53:08 PM »
never mind about the bread machine. i did some more reading and it sounds like you need to use more dough or the bread machine wont knead it properly. i want to make single dough balls right now, since i am just experimenting.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2010, 02:14:59 PM »
Pizzalogy, I somehow missed this post and will try to answer your questions.  If mixing by hand and you add 100% of the flour it will be hard to hydrate the flour without getting dry lumps.  You want to actually add around 60%, mix well, and add in more flour slowly. If using a machine to mix, you can add it all in at once and mix.

You can play with various methods and techniques of kneading to find something you like. The one I posted I use a variation of now for all recipes. It works well.

Yes do experiment with your bread machine. Machines do a great job of mixing so no need for autolysing or resting periods. This is not to be confused with the bulk rise or rest periods after kneading.

ADY, as Peter has posted many times, it's best to rehydrate ADY for best results.  I don't out of laziness and   in the interest of keeping things simple by cutting out one step. I get great rise either way so I don't fuss about it. If you find that your getting more or faster rise than you want, just cut back the amout of yeast. Remember that recipe is for you to learn how to make your favorite pizza by modifying it. It is not a recipe to follow exactly all the time.
  I would still leave the amount at 1 tsp for the sake of it being easy to remember whether you hydrate or not.  Many recipes call for a packet of yeast and mine is well below that.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 02:23:45 PM by Tranman »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2010, 02:22:35 PM »
is it ok to mix the dough with your hands a bit? not really knead it, but squeeze it and play with it until the flour is all mixed in? it was a bit difficult to stir in all the dry lumps with a spoon, so i just squeezed the dough with my hands for a couple of minutes had no problems with dry lumps. then i let it rest 30 minutes before kneading.

i plan to try the bread machine at some point, like i said my fear is that only one dough ball won't be enough dough for it to work with. i guess i could make two and discard one.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2010, 02:28:02 PM »
Yes it is ok pizzalogy. It's also ok to experiment and try new mehods and recipes.  There are no rules for me.  Let your results dictate what is right and wrong. Don't be afraid to venture off the well travelled road and do some exploring.

The info I share with you took me 6 months of reading, studying, experimenting, and learning. It's ok to fail as I do often but you learn that way.  Keep it up, you're on your way.