Author Topic: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven  (Read 4938 times)

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Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2010, 06:14:47 PM »
Your pizza looks under baked. I have no trouble browning crusts it just takes longer. As an option you can add some oil onto that dough. I would think Varasano's percentages have changed especially at his pizza place.

They don't look under baked.  The crust just looks like it isn't taking on coloration as well, remember this isn't your traditional North American flour.  Look at the cheese and sauce.  The cheese looks well browned and the sauce looks cooked.  I'd say extra oven time is probably not the answer unless you like to denature your cheese to a crisp.


Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2010, 07:01:08 PM »
Almog,

I'm curious, what is the total bake time of the pizzas in your pictures.  How long did you let the dough ferment and do you have any pictures of the fermenting dough?

I would try to find the real deal, actual malted barley flour or diastic barley malt.  Of course you could crush malted barley, remove the hulls and grind as mentioned below for the same effect.  You could use the dried barley malt powder found at a brewers supply store (also known as dried malt extract) however you won't get the full benefit of barley malt.  Unprocessed barley malt contains enzymes that help break down starches in your dough and also act as natural dough conditioners.  During the processing of that brewers dried barley malt powder most of the enzymes are unfortunately destroyed.  If you have no other options it's certainly worth a try.


Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 07:33:18 AM »
For the King Arthur barley malt information, see http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/nutritional-analysis-bakery-flour.html.

Peter

Thanks.
I'm quite surprised at the small amount of barley malt that's listed there - 0.07 mg per 100g
Either I read the table incorrectly, or maybe it just have a very significant effect.
If it's really that little, my 1g precision digital scaled won't even be able to measure anything near it.



Almog, the fan/circulating air will do nothing in regards to the peak temperature of the oven/stone. As far as the stone is concerned, circulating 490ish degree air will bring it to the exact same temp as still 490ish degree air.  All the convection feature will do is help you pre-heat the stone faster (as well as giving you a little more top browning of the pizza during the bake).

In order to take the stone to a higher temp than 490 using the broiling pre-heat technique, you have to get it close to the broiler- very close.  Radiative heat is distance specific.  Placing the stone on the top shelf may not give you enough room to work with, so you might want to go with the second from the top- but no lower.

As you leave the U.S., it seems like flour labeling changes.  In England, for instance, they seem to add malted barley to flour (from the browning that is achieved during baking), and yet they don't list malted barley on the label.  Just because your flour may have an ingredient list as simple as 'Ingredients: Flour', doesn't necessarily mean that there is no malted barley in it. I would try contacting the manufacturer, and, if that doesn't work, we should be able to discern if it's malted from photos- based upon baking times.

Scott, since I meant that I measured the temperature with the oven's door half-open, and that's why the measured temperature was lower than the stone temp.
Anyway, as you advised, I'll use the broiler to hit the stone next time, which, I hope will give me an even hotter stone.

I did contact the manufacturer today! I was surprised at how well he the sales representative was familiar with this problem (very uncommon for sales people in Israel), as he too advised me to add malted barley to the flour in order to add the alpha amylase enzyme.


Almog,

I'm curious, what is the total bake time of the pizzas in your pictures.  How long did you let the dough ferment and do you have any pictures of the fermenting dough?

I would try to find the real deal, actual malted barley flour or diastic barley malt.  Of course you could crush malted barley, remove the hulls and grind as mentioned below for the same effect.  You could use the dried barley malt powder found at a brewers supply store (also known as dried malt extract) however you won't get the full benefit of barley malt.  Unprocessed barley malt contains enzymes that help break down starches in your dough and also act as natural dough conditioners.  During the processing of that brewers dried barley malt powder most of the enzymes are unfortunately destroyed.  If you have no other options it's certainly worth a try.




Actually, I didn't measure at the time I baked it, but I'd dare to guess it was around 15-20 minutes.
Also, I didn't use the suggested broiler stone-heating strategy, so I'm sure that the next batch baking time will get shorten.

The dough was cold fermented for about 36 hours and proofed in room temperature for 2-3 hours (room temperature in Israel is probably 2 times hotter than most north American rooms(: )

Next time I'll take some pictures of the dough and post them here.


Your pizza looks under baked. I have no trouble browning crusts it just takes longer. As an option you can add some oil onto that dough. I would think Varasano's percentages have changed especially at his pizza place.

Hi Kenny, as sconosciuto noted, the pizza wasn't under baked in a soggy-dough sort of way.
It was quite crispy actually, and didn't have any unbaked parts, but didn't have that nice brown bubbled crust.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 09:51:11 AM »
I'm quite surprised at the small amount of barley malt that's listed there - 0.07 mg per 100g
Either I read the table incorrectly, or maybe it just have a very significant effect.
If it's really that little, my 1g precision digital scaled won't even be able to measure anything near it.

almog,

Out of curiosity, this morning, using the contact feature at the General Mills flour website (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/asktim.aspx?category=Bread), I sent an email to Tim Huff at GM and asked him how much barley malt is typically added to the GM flours, and whether their barley malt is diastatic malt. Within minutes of my sending the email, Tim replied as follows:

We measure malt addition via the falling number apparatus which is a secondary method for measuring the affect of the added enzymatic activity from the malt.  So the amount can vary, but a typical range would be between 0.1 and 0.2% of the flour weight.  And yes, we use a diastatic malt.

Peter

Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2010, 11:14:10 AM »
almog,

Out of curiosity, this morning, using the contact feature at the General Mills flour website (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/asktim.aspx?category=Bread), I sent an email to Tim Huff at GM and asked him how much barley malt is typically added to the GM flours, and whether their barley malt is diastatic malt. Within minutes of my sending the email, Tim replied as follows:

We measure malt addition via the falling number apparatus which is a secondary method for measuring the affect of the added enzymatic activity from the malt.  So the amount can vary, but a typical range would be between 0.1 and 0.2% of the flour weight.  And yes, we use a diastatic malt.

Peter

That's much more of a kitchen-scales measurable quantity.
If I'm not mistaken 0.2% of 100gr is 2857 times of 0.07mg as listed on King Arthur (0.2gr / 0.00007gr).

I bought a 500gr light malt powder, which I believe is diastatic, and I'll make some dough tonight.


I must admit I didn't expect to receive that much help for my questions, thank you!

Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2010, 11:38:30 AM »
Pete-zza, that flour-manufacturer sales-representative I've been corresponding with examined King Arthur's ingredients list and confirmed that I've been using their most similar flour, and advised me to add "no more than 0.5% barley malt".

That sounds much like the data you provided.
I'll start with 0.25% malt and see what happens.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2010, 02:10:47 PM »
almog,

The 0.07 mg King Arthur figure left me scratching my head also. So I sent a follow-up email to Tim Huff in which I gave him a link to the King Arthur specs. He replied shortly thereafter as follows:

Hmm.. Seems like the unit (mg) should actually be grams… then it would be more probable.  But 0.07 mg/100gm doesn’t seem right

If you want to follow up on this subject with King Arthur, you might send them an email via the Professionals section of their website.

Peter


Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2010, 05:20:57 PM »
Actually, I didn't measure at the time I baked it, but I'd dare to guess it was around 15-20 minutes.

That's a pretty long bake time even for sub 500F temps.  Most certainly not under cooked.  My conventional oven currently tops out at 500F and my bake time is around 7-8 minutes.  Many would say even that is a long bake time.  Pizzas always come out of the oven golden brown.  Try timing it next time. 

Hopefully some of the ideas given in this thread help you out.  Be sure to take pictures and let us know how it turns out! :pizza:

Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2010, 05:52:20 PM »
Thank you all, the pizza got much much better!
There's still much room for improvement, but if you'd shown me these pictures a week ago I wouldn't believe my oven can make these:
http://picasaweb.google.com/akurtser/NYPizzaExperiments#


Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2010, 06:17:47 PM »
Almog,

Your pizza looks much improved!  Congrats! :pizza:

Do you have any photos of the crumb?  It's hard to tell if it's dense bready or full of bubbles and air pockets.


Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2010, 06:51:40 PM »
Thank you!
I didn't take a profile view shot of the crumbs, it looked much like the piece of bread I made with the one pizza that got teared. I'll make sure to take better photos next time.

I think my major issues with that pizza were:
1. The dough got stuck on the plastic container I used to store it. I'll use more oil and larger container.
2. I used a frozen cheese to keep it from burning. I think I didn't really need that, the sauce coat was enough.
3. I don't have a peel yet, so I took a parchment paper, sprinkled some flour on it, and when the pizza was ready to get into the oven I slid the metal net that's shown on the pictures, and put it on the stone.
The problem was that there was too much flour between the parchment paper and the pizza, so the bottom didn't get brown.
I think I'll get a peel this week, but honestly, I'm not quite sure how I'd move that soft dough to the peel without getting it "injured".

Offline almog

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Re: Baking a Varasano pizza on 250c/480f oven
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2010, 02:54:41 PM »
Another try:
http://picasaweb.google.com/akurtser/DropBox?pli=1#5506445078647128162

This time I got into some troubles:
I first placed the stone an inch away from the broiler, and left the lid open to trick the thermostat.
After 20 of heating the stone, I placed it slightly lower, and noticed the temperature knob started melting:
http://picasaweb.google.com/akurtser/DropBox?pli=1#5506444568614075394

Apparently, the stone was so hot that the moment I put the pizza in, some flour leftover started a fire!

Many adventures for one pizza  :D