Author Topic: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project  (Read 59818 times)

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Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #60 on: June 17, 2010, 09:59:29 PM »
Peter,

So Marco believes that very high yeast quantities can exhaust a dough's residual sugar content? 5% seems so extreme that it's difficult to picture any sugar surviving, but... I have a hard time picturing yeast eating everything.  Yeast have a very localized feel to me. Sure, nutrients travel via osmosis, but I don't think they travel that much, so that, no matter how much yeast you have, there's always going to be pockets of undigested sugar somewhere.

As I was pondering high yeast quantities and their effect on sugar, a thought occured to me. Although experience seems to show me that yeast depletes very little sugar, maybe the enzyme activity is so great that the sugar it produces causes the sugar consumption to pale in comparison.  In other words, the enzyme train is moving so fast it makes the sugar consumption train look like it's standing still, but, in reality, the sugar consumption train is moving pretty quickly as well.

I have been noticing lately that relatively long cold ferments (longer than 3 days) not only create a lot of residual sugar and break down gluten structure, but the thickness factor seems less.  It's a closed container, so I'm not losing anything to evaporation (condensation, perhaps?), but it feels like the longer I ferment dough, the less dough I have.  Either that or my mind is playing tricks on me.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 10:01:02 PM by scott123 »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2010, 10:25:55 PM »
scott123,

The role of sugar in dough has always intrigued me. And I know that it is possible to end up with a lot of residual sugar even if no sugar is added to the dough. For example, the photos shown in Reply 117 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg42556.html#msg42556 are of a pizza made with a dough without any added sugar whatsoever and where the dough was cold fermented for 23 days. I can't say that the crust flavors were what I was after but it is clear that there was plenty of residual sugar in the dough to produce color. Likewise with the pizza shown at Reply 110 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg42160.html#msg42160. The dough for that pizza cold fermented for 15 days. Not being a chemist, I still don't quite understand the phenomena involved but I do know how to reproduce them.

Tran's dough was perhaps equivalent to several days of cold fermentation, although the amount of yeast or preferment that he used would be a factor in that comparison. If the yeast or preferment was modest, he could have ended up with a fair amount of sugar.

Peter


Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2010, 10:54:55 PM »
Peter, yes, I'm a bit in the dark about the chemistry of long fermented doughs as well. I would really like to get an understanding of why gluten weakens/goes gooey in long ferments. It's not like biochemical gluten development is overworking it and it's tearing. It's like it's too extensible. As far as I know, yeast isn't consuming it.  I also don't think alcohol is breaking it down.  At least I don't think it is.  Is it water? Does gluten hydration extend 3 or more days into the ferment? Acid will increase gluten extensibility, but what's the acid here and how much of it are we talking about? I know San Francisco sourdough is acetic acid (vinegar) as are some other sourdoughs, but in an un-soured dough, how much acid is there?  I'm certainly not tasting or smelling any acid. When my dough overferments and the gluten goes gooey, I smell lots of sugar/sweetness, alcohol and beery flavors, but never acid.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2010, 11:07:20 PM »
scott123,

I always understood that the main reason the gluten degrades is due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour. Marco mentioned this at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1291.msg11704/topicseen.html#msg11704. I expanded on the subject in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3057.msg25910.html#msg25910. Salt slows down the action of the protease enzymes so increasing the salt can delay the release of the water from its bond.

I am assuming that Tran used a long room-temperature fermented dough for his pizza. It sounds like he experienced some of the symptoms that I described in Reply 1 referenced above.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 11:10:05 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2010, 12:26:49 AM »
Hey guys, thanks for the feeback.  While you guys were busy theorizing about the proclivities of yeast, i was busy creating a bigger mess.

I went ahead and shaved off 1/4" off the perimeter of the stone to widen the gap between the hearth and the side wall.  I measured the back end where the heat from the air flow was greatest and it's about an 1" gap.  I tried to achieve that throughout the perimeter.  I will center the hearth for the next bake and add a stone or metal lip to block the gap right under the top vent in the lid.    This took about 1/2 hour to do and I was covered in dust.

Next, decided to take Tampa's suggestion for removing the the aluminum clump from the burner head.  I took a mapp torch to it and melted the clump out.  I also had to take center flame disperment piece out and found a bunch more aluminum plugging up the handle.  I then  spent the next 20 min heating it and digging it out piece by piece. 

Look at all the aluminum I got out!


Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2010, 12:48:17 AM »
I applaud your diligence.  You won't find me cutting firebrick. Not the first time or the second. No way no how :)

I think the bigger gap should help.  Like I said before, try a 500 deg. hearth preheat and then immediately launch the pie with the burner at full blast.  3 minutes later, I think you should have something you'll be pleased with.

Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2010, 12:55:28 AM »
scott123,

I always understood that the main reason the gluten degrades is due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour. Marco mentioned this at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1291.msg11704/topicseen.html#msg11704.


Peter, thanks I was aware of amylase, but my protease knowledge was a little thin.  I just spent a couple of hours researching protease.  Wow, enzymes can get complicated.  It seems like most commercial bakeries/studies diminish the importance of protease, but I think that's because it's viewed through a scope of super quick same day (same hour?) baking. You get a three day cold ferment and that protease impact really adds up.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2010, 01:02:46 AM »
Scott you are right about the dough being overfermented.  I knew that but didn't piece together that being part of the reason the pizza burned so quickly.  I couldn't figure out why the pie burned in 30 seconds when the hearth temp was just 650.  It didn't make any sense until you posted that bit.  

This dough is the same dough I posted about here.  Reply #3
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11210.0.html
The dough was a same day dough made with about 10% starter.  10% starter is equivalent to using about a 0.4% ADY according to my conversion.  It was bulk and proofed at room temps (covered with a moist towel) for about 14 hours.  Surface dough temp measured 65F throughout the entire proofing period.  I meant to only proof it for about 9 hours or so, but let it go to 14 based on the dough temp being consistently 65F.  It didn't look overproof meaning that it never deflated as some of my past overproof doughs but when I handled it, it was almost unmanageable.  It was very pliable and extensible.

"The lack of yeast activity as a dough overferments isn't the result of lack of nutrients, but a result of an alcohol rich (and possibly acid rich) inhospitable environment".

I absolutely agree with you.  Here's my explanation of what's going on.  I may be repeating some of what you and Peter stated already but this is how it makes sense to me.  If I'm wrong or if you agree you can let me know.

At some point in fermentation, the byproducts create an inhospitable environment dramatically slowing down and eventually ceasing yeast activity.  As Peter noted, the byproducts including the pretease enzymes soften up the gluten structure making the dough very pliable and extensible.  Not only do you get dough softening effects but the enzymes also have a proteolytic effect on the proteins and sugars.  They break down the proteins and more complex sugars into simpler sugars.  This dramatically increases the availability of the sugars (not being used by the stunted yeast) leading to burning.  

To try and answer some of your questions.  

-Yes the top vent is closed.  I have replace that with the new vent cut out right above the rim of the lid.
  That new vent is 1"x6" so it's not big enough to load a pie through.  
-I have centered the stone so that the gap is even all around.  I plan to put a stone or metal lip right under the lid vent to block that airflow to direct it towards the back and sides of the stone as Tampa suggested and as Pizzacraver has done.
-I do plan on starting with a lower hearth temp.  500F sounds good.  Thanks for the suggestion.
-The burner is a 160K BTU burner.  It will pump out plenty of heat for neopolitan, but until I can get the top heat to be at least equal or higher than the hearth, neopolitan is out of reach.  Once I can equalize or get higher dome temps (which may not be possible) I'll should be able to do neopolitan.   If it turns out that I can't, I'm ok with that since I like the lower temp bakes better.  I create the nearlypolitans in the home oven as is.
-Great suggestion on lowering the temps between bakes.  I may take the lid off and lower the heat dramatically to get the hearth temps back down to 500?  I may also swipe the hearth with a wet rag.  No worry about the hearth cracking since it's split bricks.  Load the pie at a hearth of 500F, then crank the fire up to get the surrounding air super hot.  This technique may be the key.  Thanks Scott.
-I can't put a 2nd layer of firebrick b/c it would not allow the lid to shut properly or close the gap between the lid an the top stone.  What I can do is load the pan below with more ceramic briquets or a smaller firebrick stone.  This will create the 2 firebrick layer you are talking about.
BTW, the pan is 10" and the hearth is 12", so there is a 2" difference.  
-I'll double check the clearance b/t the hearth and the sloping lid to make sure it's not blocking airflow and report back later.

Thank you for your input.

Tran
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 01:23:12 AM by Tranman »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2010, 08:43:28 AM »
I'll double check the clearance b/t the hearth and the sloping lid to make sure it's not blocking airflow and report back later.

I went out last night and took measurements again.  With the shaved stone and all the foil removed, I have just shy of 3/4" from the edge of the stone to the sloping lid.  Is that sufficient?  I don't know, but what is really intriguing is what was I working with before?  Probably less than 1/2"?  I went ahead and removed all the foil since it was flaking/burning off anyway and potentially adding to my airflow problems.

I'll have to hand it to you guys (Tampa, Scott, Ron, & Peter).  You guys are really helping this project go along much more efficiently.  It's nice to have you guys trouble shoot things for me so I don't have to try and figure it all out by myself.   :-*

Back to the airflow.  I think I may have to shave down the upper edge/corner of the rim on the hearth to see if I can't increase that gap to greater than 3/4?  That means that I'll have to make perfectly round sub 12" pies and land them perfectly on the stone.  That should be no problem. :-D

For my next mbe bake, I also be switching the 10" pan and supporting stone out with a SS 7" bowl.  I'll put that small round firebrick into the bowl and add some more ceramic briquets.  This gives me a heat diffuser to temper the heat from the bottom (double firebrick layer Scott was talking about), but it will also give me about a 1" air gap between it and the hearth.  Hopefully that air will act as an insulating layer to prevent the hearth from getting too hot. 

So with the replacement of the pan, improved airflow, and Scott's suggestion of baking with a cooler hearth while cranking the burner for increase heat to the sides, I hope to have a more successful bake tonight.   Wish me luck! Results pending...
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 08:47:44 AM by Tranman »

Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2010, 08:55:27 AM »
Tranman, I think you might have misread my post.  3/8" clearance is what I'm recommending. If you have 1/2" or more, that's more than enough.

I would try it once with the bowl and another day without. The bowl will definitely increase the cool down time between pies.

And, after sleeping on it, I'm tweaking my launch temperature recommendation- 550.   The second the hearth hits 550, get that pizza in and the lid closed.

Even if you can't work through the side vent, you should still be able to monitor your pie without removing the lid, right?  Can you check underneath the crust with the lid in position?


Offline norma427

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2010, 09:12:26 AM »
   Wish me luck! Results pending...


Tranman,

I wish you the best of luck with your experiment.  :)  Your determination is admirable.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2010, 09:32:47 AM »
Thanks Norma, I need it!  :-D

Tranman, I think you might have misread my post.  3/8" clearance is what I'm recommending. If you have 1/2" or more, that's more than enough.

I would try it once with the bowl and another day without. The bowl will definitely increase the cool down time between pies.

And, after sleeping on it, I'm tweaking my launch temperature recommendation- 550.   The second the hearth hits 550, get that pizza in and the lid closed.

Even if you can't work through the side vent, you should still be able to monitor your pie without removing the lid, right?  Can you check underneath the crust with the lid in position?

Thanks Norma, I need it!  :-D

Scott, I retook the measurements and it's about a 1" gap between the hearth to the sidewall and that gap decreases to about 3/4" at the top b/c of the sloping lid.  I'll try the bake without shaving the corner further.  If I feel it's still not enough then I'll shave it down tomorrow or the next day.  Besides, I'm all clean now and shaving that firebrick makes a big mess.  

I'll load the pie at 550 instead.  600 might even be ok now that I've improved the airflow a bit and don't plan on working with overfermented dough this time around.  

Yes the bowl will hinder cool down times.  The jury is still out on whether that heat difussing bowl is helpful or not.  On the one hand it blocks the flames from hitting the hearth directly dead center but on the other hand the stone in it heats up and acts as a mini heat source itself.  Would replacing the ceramic briquets with sand work better?  Would sand be a poorer conductor of heat?  I'm looking for something that will block heat and not retain too much heat.  Would lava rocks work better than ceramic briquets in this situation?

Yes I should be able to monitor the back rim even if the lid is on unless there's a lot of rise to the crust.  I should also be able to monitor the bottom crust through the vent by using a metal skewer or a fork to lift the pie while wearing the oven gloves.  

Tran
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 09:36:37 AM by Tranman »

Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2010, 09:42:11 AM »
Sand... nice idea.  Just make sure it's dry. The sand should block all directional heat, so you might get a heat void in the center of the firebrick, but, the firebrick should be thick enough to avoid too much uneven heating.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2010, 10:11:37 PM »
I can not even put into words how PLEASED  I am with tonight's bake in the MBE.  This was the 1st successful bake after 4 other big failures.  After the first pie loaded at a hearth temp of 535 ish, it baked 5-6 min with some nice browning to the rim but white and not burnt on the bottom at all.  Half way through this bake, I started increasing the throttle and feeding it more juice to try and char the bottom but to no avail.  BUT from this first bake the MBE was telling me it could now tolerate a higher hearth temp without toasting the bottom.

I ran with it and jacked the hearth temps up to 720 and baked a nearly perfect pie.  I'm only posting pics of the 2nd pie.  This one baked at a temp of 720 ish for 4 min.  The char around the rim and the bottom was perfect.  I rotated the pie about 4 times (once a minute or so) to check the bottom and to evenly char the rim.   Pics of the same pie.  The 2nd pic is the pie dressed with basil and OO.

Let me know what you guys think.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 10:37:04 PM by Tranman »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2010, 10:13:13 PM »
a few obligatory pics of the crumb and bottom crust.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 08:41:22 AM by Tranman »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2010, 10:14:21 PM »
and a few more.  ;D

Offline scott123

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2010, 10:40:58 PM »
Hmmmm... 535 took 5-6 minutes with little bottom color?  I guess my numbers were a little off  ;D

So 720 appears to be the happy number? Was this done entirely in the MBE/no indoor broiling? If so, I think you've got a winner there.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2010, 10:47:28 PM »
Yes Scott, no indoor broiler cheats on this one.   For some odd reason I didn't fire up the oven today as I usually do as backup incase I needed a rescue. 

Your numbers were based on my previous results.  It's always better to start low anyhow.  Part of my problem as you figure out with the previous bake was an overfermented dough. 

BTW, the sand worked perfect....

Offline Ronzo

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2010, 10:57:48 PM »
Tranman, I humbly bow to your pizza kung fu. That is a beautiful pie.
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2010, 11:08:35 PM »
Tranman, I humbly bow to your pizza kung fu. That is a beautiful pie.

Rise my man!  You were one of the pioneers long before I came along.  It was your leoparding on the cheese that got me to even consider an LBE and tonight I am glad I did.  In my excitement I have forgotten to thank the god father of the LBE, Villa Roma himself and all the others who have made it what it is.  This is an amazing little pizza oven once you get all the variables worked out.  I have a few more tweaks to make, but it is a big step for me tonight. 

It's funny you mentioned KF and pizza making as both are favorite hobbies. I've been wanting to change my moniker to "Jackie Tran". :-D  Peter can I do this or do I have to get a new account?

« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 08:42:59 AM by Tranman »


 

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