Author Topic: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)  (Read 8892 times)

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Online scott123

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2010, 09:30:08 PM »
Could you shoot a shot of your oven dial? I think it's similar to mine, but I want to make sure. If it is similar to mine, you want to set it to the notch right next to broil (possibly 600 but unmarked) and make sure that the bottom element turns on. I would also preheat your fibrament 90 minutes as opposed to 60.  As has been discussed elsewhere, fibrament's lower conductivity might require a longer preheat. Maybe- it might not make a difference, but it's worth a shot.

A thicker crust will help prevent crispiness/crackeriness, but, because of the abundance of dough, the crust takes longer to heat up, oven spring is lost, and you end up with something dense/bready. If you want to fight crackeriness/denseness, minimal skin thickness, water and high heat are key.

I would take your organic flour, scale back your recipe 12%, bump up the water to 70% and stretch it to 14".  Well, at least try stretching it to 14".  There's a really good chance you might fail at that hydration. Even if you do fail, though, I promise you that the experience will not be for naught.  Imo, there's nothing better for mastering skin opening than struggling with sticky, fragile, almost impossible to open doughs. Think of it as a wax on wax off kind of thing  ;D

I'm sure you've seen this video, but watch it a few times more to get a better sense of skin forming.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA</a>


You'll notice he doesn't press the rim and he focuses more on stretching the outer circumference of the skin as opposed to the middle. Ignore the rolling pin stuff.

Lastly, there's one other way to cut your bake times and keep more residual water in the crust- sugar.  Sugar will help the outside of the crust brown a little faster.  The sooner it comes out of the oven, the more moisture that's left in the center of the dough. There's two forms of sugar you want to add- as an ingredient (1% is a good starting point) and process encouraged.  Not everyone agrees with this, but my experience has shown me that when you dial back the yeast a bit and extend the cold fermentation, enzyme activity produces more residual sugar in the dough- so a three day less yeast cold ferment will have more residual sugar than a one day more yeast version. It will also, as it's well known, have more flavor/character. I can't tell you how exactly much yeast to use- there's two many variables.  You should use enough yeast so that the dough doubles by the third day and has a lot of bubbles visible (in a clear container). It should have an alcohol smell, but not an overpowering alcohol smell.

Speaking of learning from failing- there's nothing more valuable to learning how to work with yeast than making a batch of dough and leaving it in the fridge for too long.  Understanding the signs or overfermentation are just as important as recognizing underfermentation.


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2010, 09:54:07 PM »
Nice video post Scot.  I've seen it before and have often wonder....

1) what do you think the hydration rate is that allows him to man handle the dough like that

2) do you think that is their everyday dough that they actually bake with.  I am assuming it is.


Tran
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 10:58:19 PM by Tranman »

Online scott123

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2010, 10:19:30 PM »
1) Honestly, it really depends on the flour. The more protein in the flour the more water it can hold without acting wet or sticky.

2) That's a really tough call. Although Tony Gemignani is a world renowned pizza throwing champion, he's also a pizzeria owner.  As a thrower, I'd think he want to work with what he's most comfortable with- a high salt acrobatic dough.  As a pizzeria owner, though, I would think he'd just grab one of the dough balls from that day's run. That specific dough looks quite a bit more smooth/extensible than the norm, so it could be high salt, but I'm leaning towards edible.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #63 on: May 25, 2010, 10:43:54 AM »
Nice video post Scot.  I've seen it before and have often wonder....

1) what do you think the hydration rate is that allows him to man handle the dough like that

2) do you think that is their everyday dough that they actually bake with.  I am assuming it is.


Tran,

For an example of typical hydration of a Tony G dough, you might take a look at Reply 14 (by Tony G himself) and my Reply 15, starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8032.msg74616.html#msg74616. I never did learn whether the oil was by weight or by volume, but if by volume, 20 ounces of vegetable oil would weigh around 19.22 ounces. For olive oil, it would be about 19.06 ounces.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2010, 11:27:25 AM »
Thanks Peter.  At 58% hydration and lots of kneading (perhaps) it does seem to fit the picture.   I wonder though if you can still get a light crumb out of it.  It must be the effects of the oil. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2010, 11:37:40 AM »
At 58% hydration and lots of kneading (perhaps) it does seem to fit the picture.   I wonder though if you can still get a light crumb out of it.  It must be the effects of the oil. 


Tran,

I think the lightness is more of a function of the amount of yeast, the type of flour (including whether it is bromated or not) and hydration, the fermentation and the capacity to retain gases and moisture, and conditions that encourage good oven spring. While oil in the dough helps retain moisture and create some softness in the finished crumb, you aren't going to get a lot of that with about 1% oil.

Peter

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2010, 01:53:37 AM »
ok so i made a couple more pizzas. one yesterday, which i stretched too thin and ended up with a cracker crust despite not baking it that long. the crust even smelled like a cracker. that dough was made with bob's red mill organic bread flour at 62% hydration. the dough flopped over the edge of the stone a bit when cooking.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2ypisrt.jpg

 i tried again today, this time with 64% hydration (i made these dough balls before you suggested i try 70%). this time i baked it for 5.5 minutes and took it out even though i didn't think it was done. this was a definite improvement. the crust was not crackery and it was much closer to pizza crust than bread unlike my recent pizzas.

http://i45.tinypic.com/23u4p7b.jpg

http://i45.tinypic.com/33ubuck.jpg

http://i47.tinypic.com/v5bckg.jpg

this pizza was not like a frisbee. it actually drooped when you picked up the side like a pizza should. but as you can see, the bottom crust is barely browned, mostly white on the bottom. doesn't this mean i have to bake it longer? although i'm afraid that will result in crackeriness with a crust this thin. do you think i should still try the 70% hydration? this dough was rather difficult at 64%.

here is a picture of the bottom crust of the  first pizza i made after finding this website: http://i46.tinypic.com/24v39zd.jpg

that was before i had the stone and pre-baking the crust on a pan. obviously, it's far from perfect but look at how much more browning there is and it wasn't bready or crackery even though the total bake time was long. i don't want to go back to pre-baking or using a pan, i want to learn to use the stone, but it has not been easy so far.

http://i47.tinypic.com/kbx1f4.jpg

there's the oven dial.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 01:58:17 AM by Pizzalogy »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2010, 06:53:20 PM »
i made another pizza today, very similarly to how i made yesterday's. but for some reason, the crust browned this time. why is this? this dough had one extra day in the fridge, 3 instead of 2. could that have something to do with it? the pizza actually came out pretty well.

http://i46.tinypic.com/dg3vhe.jpg

http://i48.tinypic.com/1ghglh.jpg

the crust was chewy, although i would say it still had more bready flavor than i would like. bake time was 6 minutes and i actually used a bit more cheese. still doesn't taste anywhere near as good as NY pizza but i will try to tweak the sauce, work on the oregano flavor and get the crust tasting less bready. it seems incredibly difficult to make a pizza that tastes like real new york pizza at home. has anyone had success?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2010, 12:01:24 AM »
Tran,

For an example of typical hydration of a Tony G dough, you might take a look at Reply 14 (by Tony G himself) and my Reply 15, starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8032.msg74616.html#msg74616. I never did learn whether the oil was by weight or by volume, but if by volume, 20 ounces of vegetable oil would weigh around 19.22 ounces. For olive oil, it would be about 19.06 ounces.

Peter


Peter, I'm only assuming that if that is indeed their everyday dough that it is soft and tender as they are a professional pizzeria.  I can make a dough that handles like that in the video anyday but I guarantee you it wouldn't taste any good.  it would be too leatherly and tough.  So I'm at a lost at how they can do it. ???

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #69 on: May 28, 2010, 12:27:44 AM »
Tran,

For an example of typical hydration of a Tony G dough, you might take a look at Reply 14 (by Tony G himself) and my Reply 15, starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8032.msg74616.html#msg74616. I never did learn whether the oil was by weight or by volume, but if by volume, 20 ounces of vegetable oil would weigh around 19.22 ounces. For olive oil, it would be about 19.06 ounces.

Peter


It was by volume, or he would not have said a 20 oz cup. If it was by weight, he simply would've said 20 oz.


Online scott123

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #70 on: May 28, 2010, 02:06:09 AM »
it seems incredibly difficult to make a pizza that tastes like real new york pizza at home. has anyone had success?

It depends on how you define 'success' ;)  This is probably going to get me in trouble, but there's lots of people who eat quasi-NY pizza outside of the NY metro area, enjoy it, and then, in turn, duplicate that at home. It's not really high heat, short baking time puffy chewy non bready NY pizza, though.   There is a small group of people, though, that either live here or have lived here (or have visited extensively), that know and understand pizza bliss and have successfully recreated that bliss in a home oven.  It's not a large number, though.  And none of them have your dietary restrictions  :(

I'm sorry to say it, but you've kind of handicapped yourself on two fronts.  Equipment and ingredients.  I've become a lot more vocal about fibrament's inadequacies due to the growing number of people with experiences such as yours. It just doesn't quite have enough conductivity for quick bake times.  Other the the stone, your dietary restrictions are the second half of a one two punch.  I sincerely believe that if you had either a better stone or a willingness to work with purported less healthy flour, your chances would improve tremendously. If you could work with both a better stone (1" cordierite or soapstone) AND All Trumps bleached bromated (enriched) flour, with your current level of knowledge/dough handling skills, the pizza of your youth would be a piece of cake.  You could do it in your sleep.  Which makes your current predicament a little frustrating.

Frustrating, but not necessarily insurmountable.

Caputo flour is unmalted, and that works fine for 850 deg wood fired ovens.  Unmalted flour, such as the Bob's Red Mill Organic flour you're using, does not work well in lower heat situations, though.  Without the enzymes in the malt, less sugars are generated, which, in turn, stunts yeast growth and coloring. For NY pizza, you need both.

I know artificially derived vitamins are off  your list, but what's your feelings on malted barley flour?  Ideally, you could find a malted unenriched bread flour, but I don't think such a thing exists. It's either all the additives or nothing. Bob's Red Mill sells malted barley flour, so you could add it yourself- if you were willing to use it.  Malted barley flour would improve your crusts dramatically.

Sugar, although not normally absolutely necessary, becomes a necessity when you've got an impaired stone.  What's your feelings on agave nectar?  That should give you browning, and, unlike honey or fruit juice, has a fairly neutral taste. Agave is rich in inulin which is a probiotic and relatively healthy.  Also, what about fructose? Does your diet allow that? Fructose has been rumored to be attached to a few health issues, so I wouldn't use it to make desserts on a daily basis, but a little bit once in a while in pizza may not be the end of the world. And, for what it's worth, it's low glycemic.  Fructose browns faster than any other type of sugar so you wouldn't need much.

I recommended 70% hydration because I want you to have experience working with a dough that was too hydrated. I guess if 64% is troublesome, maybe 70% might be a little too much, but I want you to keep increasing the water until it's absolutely impossible to work with and then dial it back a tiny bit. Next time, try 67%

That's the ingredient front.  I think you're at a point now where the time might be right for pushing your fibrament with a little careful broiling.  You've been doing the 90 minute preheat, right?  I don't think it's making much of a difference, so dial it back to 60. Put the stone on the top rack of your oven (making sure you have enough room to work with). After the 60 minute preheat at maximum temp, crack open the door and put the broiler on for... 5 minutes.  Try another pie with 10. Bear in mind, there may be a small chance this may crack your stone, but I think if the stone is fully preheated, the extra thermal impact of the broiler shouldn't be too much for it- as long as you don't overdo it.

From the photos, it looks a little like you're using the floured peel that you used to deliver the dressed skin to the oven to remove the fully cooked pie.  That's a bit of a no no because it gets uncooked flour on the bottom of the cooked pie.  This uncooked flour tastes horrible. Use a metal peel or metal cookie sheet for removing the pie.

Re; 3 day vs. 2 day dough.  Malted flour has enzymes that produce sugar in dough that is both food for yeast and promotes coloring.  Unmalted flour still has these enzymes, just much less. So as you leave dough in the fridge, the more sugars are created, the more crust color you get. To a point.  Eventually the yeast activity will increase and residual sugars will decrease.

In another thread it mentioned getting the pizza out of the oven straight to a metal tray so the crust steams a bit. You've implemented this, correct?

I know, from the other post, your ingredient ratios, but how about posting your process?  A pre refrigeration and post refrigeration photo of the dough would be hugely helpful as well. Unmalted flours make relatively yeast unfriendly doughs and I want to make sure your critters are doing their thing.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 05:23:38 AM by scott123 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #71 on: May 28, 2010, 09:01:58 AM »
It was by volume, or he would not have said a 20 oz cup. If it was by weight, he simply would've said 20 oz.

Peter,

I believe you are correct. However, since Tony G had responded to my post and I thought he might return, I wanted to confirm the way the oil was measured out. As I noted, there is a difference but it is not major. I was more interested in the amount of ADY. 2% ADY is a lot for a cold fermented dough.

Peter

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #72 on: May 28, 2010, 11:09:42 AM »
It depends on how you define 'success' ;)  This is probably going to get me in trouble, but there's lots of people who eat quasi-NY pizza outside of the NY metro area, enjoy it, and then, in turn, duplicate that at home. It's not really high heat, short baking time puffy chewy non bready NY pizza, though.   There is a small group of people, though, that either live here or have lived here (or have visited extensively), that know and understand pizza bliss and have successfully recreated that bliss in a home oven.  It's not a large number, though.  And none of them have your dietary restrictions  :(

I'm sorry to say it, but you've kind of handicapped yourself on two fronts.  Equipment and ingredients.  I've become a lot more vocal about fibrament's inadequacies due to the growing number of people with experiences such as yours. It just doesn't quite have enough conductivity for quick bake times.

  Other the the stone, your dietary restrictions are the second half of a one two punch.  I sincerely believe that if you had either a better stone or a willingness to work with purported less healthy flour, your chances would improve tremendously. If you could work with both a better stone (1" cordierite or soapstone) AND All Trumps bleached bromated (enriched) flour, with your current level of knowledge/dough handling skills, the pizza of your youth would be a piece of cake.  You could do it in your sleep.  Which makes your current predicament a little frustrating.

well that is frustrating because when I ordered the stone, I wanted to make sure I got a good one so I researched here first and this stone was highly recommended. oh, well, though, I am not surprised. Do you have a stone you recommend specifically? No problem to order a new one.


Quote
Frustrating, but not necessarily insurmountable.

Caputo flour is unmalted, and that works fine for 850 deg wood fired ovens.  Unmalted flour, such as the Bob's Red Mill Organic flour you're using, does not work well in lower heat situations, though.  Without the enzymes in the malt, less sugars are generated, which, in turn, stunts yeast growth and coloring. For NY pizza, you need both.

I know artificially derived vitamins are off  your list, but what's your feelings on malted barley flour?  Ideally, you could find a malted unenriched bread flour, but I don't think such a thing exists. It's either all the additives or nothing. Bob's Red Mill sells malted barley flour, so you could add it yourself- if you were willing to use it.  Malted barley flour would improve your crusts dramatically.

I have no issues with malted barely flour. What about adding malt powder? I actually thought of this already and my sister is supposed to be bringing some malt powder with her tonight (she is visiting from milkwaukee and she has some she uses for baking) although I have no idea how to use, how much to add or anything.
Quote
Sugar, although not normally absolutely necessary, becomes a necessity when you've got an impaired stone.  What's your feelings on agave nectar?  That should give you browning, and, unlike honey or fruit juice, has a fairly neutral taste. Agave is rich in inulin which is a probiotic and relatively healthy.  Also, what about fructose? Does your diet allow that? Fructose has been rumored to be attached to a few health issues, so I wouldn't use it to make desserts on a daily basis, but a little bit once in a while in pizza may not be the end of the world. And, for what it's worth, it's low glycemic.  Fructose browns faster than any other type of sugar so you wouldn't need much.

In regard to sugar, Iím not even entirely sure that tiny amounts used for baking rather than sweetening would be off limits on the diet Iím following. So Iím not necessarily opposed to trying it. However, since you seem to think it isnít necessary with a proper stone, I would much rather simply get a new stone than start playing around with sugar.
Quote
I recommended 70% hydration because I want you to have experience working with a dough that was too hydrated. I guess if 64% is troublesome, maybe 70% might be a little too much, but I want you to keep increasing the water until it's absolutely impossible to work with and then dial it back a tiny bit. Next time, try 67%

That's the ingredient front.  I think you're at a point now where the time might be right for pushing your fibrament with a little careful broiling.  You've been doing the 90 minute preheat, right?

Yes, sometimes longer if I happen to not get around to making the pizza right away.


Quote
  I don't think it's making much of a difference, so dial it back to 60. Put the stone on the top rack of your oven (making sure you have enough room to work with). After the 60 minute preheat at maximum temp, crack open the door and put the broiler on for... 5 minutes.

The broiler of my oven is a separate compartment on the bottom. I usually always have it on because it turns on when you turn the dial to maximum. But Iíve never tried cooking with it.

Quote
Try another pie with 10.

10?
Quote
Bear in mind, there may be a small chance this may crack your stone, but I think if the stone is fully preheated, the extra thermal impact of the broiler shouldn't be too much for it- as long as you don't overdo it.

From the photos, it looks a little like you're using the floured peel that you used to deliver the dressed skin to the oven to remove the fully cooked pie.  That's a bit of a no no because it gets uncooked flour on the bottom of the cooked pie.  This uncooked flour tastes horrible. Use a metal peel or metal cookie sheet for removing the pie.

Oh woops. Could I just the other side of the wooden peel? I donít have a metal one or any cookie sheets that are really large enough yet.

Quote
Re; 3 day vs. 2 day dough.  Malted flour has enzymes that produce sugar in dough that is both food for yeast and promotes coloring.  Unmalted flour still has these enzymes, just much less. So as you leave dough in the fridge, the more sugars are created, the more crust color you get. To a point.  Eventually the yeast activity will increase and residual sugars will decrease.

In another thread it mentioned getting the pizza out of the oven straight to a metal tray so the crust steams a bit. You've implemented this, correct?

Yes, with the last pizza. although I need to buy a larger tray.

Quote
I know, from the other post, your ingredient ratios, but how about posting your process?  A pre refrigeration and post refrigeration photo of the dough would be hugely helpful as well. Unmalted flours make relatively yeast unfriendly doughs and I want to make sure your critters are doing their thing.

Ok, I can do that with the next batch of dough. I may switch from ADY to IDY with the next batch also. Iíve been using tranmanís method of just sprinking the yeast onto the dough without even hydrating it. I hydrated it once when making a 100% whole wheat pizza and got way too much rise, so Iíve been hesitant to do that again but with this information it sounds like it might actually be essential when using white flour. But I guess switching to IDY will solve the issue either way.

I was thinking of ordering some organic high gluten flour from central milling. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for all the valuable information. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #73 on: May 28, 2010, 01:06:47 PM »
scott123,

Have you posted any photos of your NY style pizza anywhere, and the NY style dough recipe you use as well? I think that might help the members, me included, get a better idea as to what you have been talking about and the results you have been achieving.

Peter

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #74 on: May 28, 2010, 01:43:28 PM »
Some reading material and links as I am doing a bit of research in the same areas as well.
Quote
Do you have a stone you recommend specifically? No problem to order a new one.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=53d1a212009dba9ba3301cc27968bc91&topic=10973.msg98499#msg98499
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=53d1a212009dba9ba3301cc27968bc91&topic=10987.msg98841#msg98841
http://axner.com/cordierite-kiln-shelves.aspx
http://www.continentalclay.com/products.php?cat_id=413&sub_categoryID=271
http://www.sheffield-pottery.com/Cordierite-Kiln-Shelves-s/318.htm
Quote
I have no issues with malted barely flour. What about adding malt powder? I actually thought of this already and my sister is supposed to be bringing some malt powder with her tonight (she is visiting from milkwaukee and she has some she uses for baking) although I have no idea how to use, how much to add or anything.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=53d1a212009dba9ba3301cc27968bc91&topic=5178.0
Quote
I was thinking of ordering some organic high gluten flour from central milling. Do you have any thoughts on that?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9066.0
I am trying to locate soapstone locally myself, so far with no success.  Cordierite pizza stones are available in the Old Stone brand all over the internet and possibly locally although thicknesses are typically less than 1".  Still a viable choice used by folks on the forum inc Pete-zza and myself. 
Good Luck and keep on bakin'

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #75 on: May 29, 2010, 11:15:08 PM »
thanks for the links. i went with 1.8% malt powder because it worked out to a quarter teaspoon and it was the best crust i have made so far with the stone. i am not sure whether the malt powder was the reason, but it very well may have had something to do with it. the rim did not brown at all, but the bottom was browned fairly well.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #76 on: June 12, 2010, 02:47:00 PM »
just an update and perhaps i'll posts pictures of the pizza i made tonight:

i've been having good success with the steaming the crust method to prevent it from being too crispy. when i take the pizza out of the oven, the crust is crispy and frisbee like, however after letting it sit on a metal pan for a few minutes (sometimes i cover it with tinfoil) it loses a good portion of the crispiness and becomes softer and chewier. i've been adding 1/4 teaspoon of malt powder to my dough now and i'm not quite sure what effect that is having. i would have to make two pizzas side by side one with and one without to be able to tell for sure.

i do feel like i am having a hard time getting the cheese cooked all the way before the crust burns and i'm not even sure if replacing the stone would solve that problem, but i am looking into getting a soapstone stone. i'm still not sure why my cheese and tomato sauce don't taste as good as new york cheese and tomato sauce even though i'm using grande cheese and full red. maybe it has to do with the temperature and bake time. i've also been using oregano i bought from thezaman. it's a lot better than the oregano i was using but still not quite as good as i have tasted on new york pizza. i'm curious how much oregano you all tend to put in your sauce.

despite those issues, my pizzas are better tasting and healthier than most of the pizza i can buy in my state so i plan to continue making pizza even if i never master the true new york pie. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #77 on: June 12, 2010, 03:04:56 PM »
Pizzalogy, I was thinking about you today and was just going to PM you to see how your pizza making is going.  I'm glad you are making progress with your pies.

You are using great ingredients there so I'm not sure why it's not as good as NY pizzas you have.  If you are interested in duplicating or replicating exactly pizza from a certain place it will be very tough.  Unless you've worked there and know exactly what ingredients are used and in what manner. 

The oregano you are using is probably the best on the market and I doubt very many NY pizzerias are using it as it's cost is a bit higher than regular oregano.  It may be that you just need more of it.  I usually pull a small amount (about 1/2 tsp in volume) off the branch and crush it in my palm for a small bowl of sauce that will do 3 - 12" pies.  Sorry to be so vague, but I'm too lazy to go measure it out for you.  If I find that it's not enough oregano for me, I'll take another 1/2 tsp pinch off the branch and crush that in.  Usually that's enough for me.  You may try sprinkling some crush on the cheese after the bake.  This will give you the flavor as you are biting into the pizza.

To get the cheese cooked through, try using room temp cheese instead of cold.  Use less of it or get a top stone if you are not using one.  That will add some heat to the top of the pie.   Are you wanting to get spotting on the cheese or just melted or bubbly?

Do post some pics as we always like to see pizza pics.

Tran

Offline kross

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2010, 03:11:13 PM »
So the bottom is cooking faster than the top?  You could try moving the stone higher in the oven, so the stone isn't as close to the burner, and also the air in the oven should be hotter at the top than the middle. 

Another option is to preheat the stone less, not more.  Do you have an infrared thermometer?  I'm guessing no.  In my oven with my Fibrament stone, I cook on the self cleaning cycle so I can get oven temps over 800 degrees.  But I don't let my stone get over about 750 degrees.  If I do, the bottom of the pizza cooks too fast relative to the top.  You could try something similar in your oven.  Set the oven temp to 500 or 550, and throw the pizza on when the stone hits 450.

Also, from one of your earlier posts, it looks like your Fibrament stone is upside down.  The wider surface should be on top.  They make it angled like that to make it easier to pick up.  I don't know if that affects its performance or not, though.

Hope this helps!
-- Kevin

Offline jjdec05

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 54
  • Location: New England
  • The more I learn,the more I know how little I know
Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2010, 04:56:20 PM »
You have made a ton of progress from when you first started.  Congratulations!  If you really want to emulate the New York pizza from your childhood I would suggest reading Jeff Varasano's pizza recipe website( I cannot post links so just Google it, it should be one of the first hits).  He too was a NY local transplanted out of state to where the pizza was less than stellar.   It contains a lot of good information and is a must read for anyone looking to get serious about their pizza. 

While I believe he is right about the high heat, there are ways around it.  Most of the pizzas you remember  were baked in a deck oven running at about 500-550 degrees.  Not all great NY style pizza is baked in a coal or wood fired oven, so with a little oil in the dough, you can create a well browned delicious crust.  You have already made quite a bit of progress in that, so play with the amount of oil until you feel you hit it just right.

In terms of sauce, if you are still looking to improve that, when making NY style for my oven at 550 degrees, I use a slightly cooked sauce.  I pulse the tomatoes in my food processor, add a little bit of oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, and red pepper flakes and cook it until boils.  I prefer the garlic powder because fresh spices and aromatics tend to give a more marinara style sauce in my opinion.

Other than that, another good source of info is  PFTaylor's Raquel Thread on this forum.  That also contains tons of good information.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 01:19:01 AM by jjdec05 »