Author Topic: Pizza Raquel  (Read 195918 times)

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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #180 on: October 02, 2005, 09:45:54 AM »
Yesterday I traveled to NYC for a one day business meeting which began at noon. My flight landed at around 10:30am and I caught a taxi into Manhatten via the Whitestone bridge which puts you in the vicinity of Patsy's Pizza. What was I to do with about an hour on my hands?

You guessed it, I directed the cabby to Patsy's which is located just a few scant blocks from the Whitestone. While Patsy's wasn't quite open yet, I managed to convince the cabby to park in front for a while until I could find John (owner) or Jose (pizzaiolo) to open early. Unfortunately John wasn't there. Jose doesn't work on Saturdays and I had to literally beg through a series of hand gestures through the window to a shadowy figure in the back for a pie to go. My request was granted, the employee opened the doors early and warmly greeted me. The oven was already white hot and quickly spit out my cherished order.

While I was waiting for a plain cheese masterpiece, Victor (a long-time Patsy's waiter) walked through the door. We shared a few minutes of pizza talk and I was made to feel like a regular. Wearing a business suit and armed with a large pie to go, I carefully weighed the impact of potentially walking in to a business meeting with pizza sauce splattered on my shirt. Throwing caution to the wind, I sat in the taxi eating slice after slice with Carlos (the cabby) who was brought to his knees by the greatness of it's coal charred crust. He genuinely couldn't believe how thin and delicious it was. I quickly concurred. In my mind, it was the most balanced tasting pie yet (from a pizzeria).

The business meeting went off without a hitch (no doubt due to the positive impact imparted by Patsy's killer pie) and after a few hours we decided to grab a late lunch and  the participants allowed me to pick the restaurant. Where was I to go? Naples 45? Una Pizza Napoletana (is that place ever open?), Grimaldi's? Nah, I choose Lombardi's in Little Italy. I hadn't been there in years and hoped for the best. What a disappointment. The Margherita was overly bready. The crust had no flavor and was stiff as a board. The sauce was pedestrian at best. The cheese didn't help matters. Compared to Patsy's, it was like eating a chain pizza. The contrast was that startling. My top three current rankings for elite NY pie are Patsy's, Grimaldi's, and DiFara. Lombardi's wouldn't crack my top 50. Suffice to say that, in my opinion, Lombardi's is a tourist destination at best. The pie at Patsy's cost all of $11.00, Lombardi's was $25 (with a single diet Coke). What a rip-off.

I ended up catching a 7:30 flight back to Tampa with a huge smile on my face anyway. As I sit here in Tampa this morning I can reflect back on my whirlwind experience and count my blessings. There is nothing better than combining business with pleasure.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2005, 09:59:38 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline briterian

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #181 on: October 02, 2005, 10:57:08 AM »
What a great story and makes me want to take a red-eye to NYC.  I tried Lombardi's back in 2000 and thought it was the bomb...maybe their quality has gone south...what a shame.

Offline scott r

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #182 on: October 02, 2005, 04:11:16 PM »
Pizza at most of the high end places in America just seems to be totally inconsistent.  I am not surprised at all at your experience PFT.  Although too bready, my last four experiences at Lombardi's (in the past two years) have been quite consistant and not stiff at all.  I think the main problem with all these coal oven pizzerias is that the guys tending the oven think they are cooking at 550.  My guess is that they hire people with pizzamaking experience.  With so few coal ovens, or even wood ovens fired hot like they should be, I think these guys are used to working in Blodgett or Marshall deck ovens.   It appears as if they are accustomed to being able to have  a minute or two leeway between a raw and a burned pie.  Unfortunately the reality is that at 750 plus degrees that window is really measured in seconds.  This is my guess, or hope, at least.  I hate to believe that they really just don't care.

I think this is why places like Di Fara's are always going to stay on top.  One man that really cares about the pizza making the pizza.  Lately I have been dreaming about switching careers and becoming one of these people. All I want is a simple setup, a few tables, and a good wood burning oven.  The unfortunate reality is that it is looking like the rent in Boston is so astronomically high that there is no way that it will be financially possible for me to do it.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #183 on: November 30, 2005, 09:34:31 AM »
A few days ago I made some pies. One of them turned out to be quite a something. When I looked at it, it reminded me of a certain kind of pie I've seen before, one that I've always admired, one that I wish I could make -- that pie was the Raquel. I am proud that I've finally made it, close enough that I'm posting it in this thread.

So without further adieu, Pizza Raquel, born down under:



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #184 on: November 30, 2005, 02:29:55 PM »
James,

Nice job. Did you use the Varasano or pftaylor process to make the dough and did you use your recently activated starter from sourdo.com?

Peter

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #185 on: November 30, 2005, 07:14:22 PM »
A few days ago I made some pies. One of them turned out to be quite a something. When I looked at it, it reminded me of a certain kind of pie I've seen before, one that I've always admired, one that I wish I could make -- that pie was the Raquel. I am proud that I've finally made it, close enough that I'm posting it in this thread.

So without further adieu, Pizza Raquel, born down under:




Great looking pizza James, well done!

Keen to know if you used the sourdo.com starter too. If so, what was the taste impact on the crust? I stupid neglected my preferment when I went away one weekend a couple of weeks ago. I forgot to tell my partner to feed it and it was pretty tragic by the time I got back, really badly sour smelling and bad looking. I had a brief attempt at washing it but I ended up pooring both lots down the drain. If only my mixer was broken till this week, I'd have had a chance to try the preferment.

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Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #186 on: December 01, 2005, 12:16:08 AM »
Hi guys,

The pizza was risen using the Camaldoli starter with no IDY. To be honest, I really don't find the starter to be very demanding. For example, a great deal has been said about using a starter at its peak. I find that the starter kind of works in any state, so long as you give it a overnight counter rise.

The recipe is roughly inline with Jeff/pftaylor's methods -- mix 2/3rd of the flour, autolyse, slowly mix in the rest. I used about 3 tsp of starter for the above batch, which was about 1000g all together. Hydration was about 62%, using all purpose flour.

As for the taste, it was pretty mild. It was not sour at all in fact. Perhaps a hint of tang, but overall very good. Perhaps I'm taking it for granted, but the flavour is not jumping out and making me smile. I think I should try IDY again to remind myself of what I was eating before. ;)

PS. BTW Pete, I used spanish chorizos in the above pizza. They were homemade by a highly respected deli and tasted fantastic. I think it may have displaced my favourite pepperoni!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2005, 12:18:08 AM by JF_Aidan_Pryde »

Offline scott r

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #187 on: December 01, 2005, 04:34:07 AM »
Portuguese Chorizo is a topping offered at a number of pizzerias around the New England area.  I don't know how different it is from Spanish chorizo, but it sure makes an amazing pizza topping as well!

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #188 on: December 02, 2005, 08:09:07 PM »
Hi guys,

The pizza was risen using the Camaldoli starter with no IDY. To be honest, I really don't find the starter to be very demanding. For example, a great deal has been said about using a starter at its peak. I find that the starter kind of works in any state, so long as you give it a overnight counter rise.

The recipe is roughly inline with Jeff/pftaylor's methods -- mix 2/3rd of the flour, autolyse, slowly mix in the rest. I used about 3 tsp of starter for the above batch, which was about 1000g all together. Hydration was about 62%, using all purpose flour.

As for the taste, it was pretty mild. It was not sour at all in fact. Perhaps a hint of tang, but overall very good. Perhaps I'm taking it for granted, but the flavour is not jumping out and making me smile. I think I should try IDY again to remind myself of what I was eating before. ;)

PS. BTW Pete, I used spanish chorizos in the above pizza. They were homemade by a highly respected deli and tasted fantastic. I think it may have displaced my favourite pepperoni!

James, interesting findings. Thanks for sharing them. I am wondering if the 'mild' taste has anything to do with the fact you used AP flour. Just reminds me of the many counter rise doughs I used to make with AP and end up thinking they tasted a bit too light or as you say mild. I would describe it as not quite bready enough tasting in a pizza crust sense(if that makes sense) to make it compelling.

I had a piece of Neopolitan style Margerita at Mezzalina restaurant in Canberra the other night, which was ok, very light tasting, probably same day rise perhaps with 00 flour. It was pretty typical of the Neopolitans I've experienced in Australia, inoffensive but not compelling enough to have me craving more than one piece as a starter.

I wish I hadn't ruined my Camaldoli starter the other week. I'll have to try it again with the other packet. I'm quite keen to try a starter with my high gluten flour to see how the taste is impacted. May be a project for Jan., when I get some time off for it.

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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel With Sophie and Molly
« Reply #189 on: December 17, 2005, 07:32:31 PM »
Tonight I was with two women eating pure passion food - Pizza Raquel.

Neither of which were my wife of nineteen years.

Who says pizza isn't a women magnet?

But before I share pictures of Sophie and Molly, kindly take a quick look at my preparation of Raquel. The first couple of pictures show the sequence of applying ingredients. One question I get asked a lot in private messages from fellow members is about the surprising lack of a lot of sauce. I err on the side of more fresh mutz as a way of trying to create more balance between the macronutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2005, 07:34:47 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel With Sophie and Molly
« Reply #190 on: December 17, 2005, 07:36:26 PM »
As promised, here are pictures of two lovely ladies who might love Raquel more than me...
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #191 on: December 18, 2005, 10:51:54 AM »
pftaylor,

I know you are on the road a lot on business, but I wondered if that has posed a challenge to your keeping your preferment in peak form. Or are you leaning more on IDY as a result? Or possibly having a family member look after your preferment while you are away. Just looking at your most recent pizza, it doesn't look like it has suffered from your frequent absences from home.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #192 on: December 18, 2005, 05:49:29 PM »
Pete-zza,
Great question and one which I've contemplated quite a bit. Here are a couple of observations;
Using the normal amount of IDY, the finished dough didn't seem to rise as much after three days of being in the fridge. It resembled a hard chunk of cold dough. However, with a two hour counter rise, it performed nearly as well as I remember. It was a little more bready than airy. That said, the grilled crust was fairly pale in color.

Tonight the grilled Pizza Raquel benefited from a four day rise in the fridge and it seemed quite normal. It was softer to the touch before forming and the crust puffed significantly more. I even had to puncture a couple of bubbles. Pictures are attached.
The lucky man in the middle is my son who enjoyed his slice of Raquel a little more than usual. No doubt due to the company.

Regarding maintenance of the famed Varasano preferment, I haven't made a Raquel or Sophia in over a month - maybe two. I hadn't refreshed the preferment the entire time and it still seemed to perform well. It was surprising to me it performed as well as it did without the weekly re-freshening it typically received. I would say it performed at about 80% of capacity.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2005, 06:12:42 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #193 on: December 19, 2005, 06:11:35 AM »
JF_Aidan_Pryde,
Your version of Pizza Raquel is simply beautiful. Speaking from experience, all the time, energy, and effort appear to have paid off for you. I trust it tasted as good as it looks because it looks great.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Wazza McG

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #194 on: December 24, 2005, 02:29:55 AM »
Congrats on a great looking pizza James. Compared to the previous crusts you have shown us, I believe you have nailed it.   What do you think  was the most significant difference in preparation or procedure?

Wazza McG
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Offline duckjob

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #195 on: January 12, 2006, 04:28:11 AM »
Well, its been a few months since I posted, but its good to see the site is alive and well, growing even. I purchased the italian cultures from sourdo.com and finally got around to activating them and incorporating it into a pizza dough. Today's pizza was amazing! It was the best tasting crust I have made by far, and it seemed to handle just a little bit better than dough that I had made previously with IDY. I pretty much followed pftaylors Pizza Raquel recipe to a T, as I always do, except that I add a tsp of olive oil for every 8 ounces of flour in the recipe. In this case I used the following amounts:

24 oz KASL
14.4 oz water
3 tsp salt
3 tsp olive oil
3 T. of Camaldoli starter
1/4 tsp IDY

The results, again, were amazing:

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/camaldoli_011106/IMG_0467s.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/camaldoli_011106/IMG_0469s.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/camaldoli_011106/IMG_0470s.jpg)

(http://www.duckjob.net/pizza/camaldoli_011106/IMG_0471s.jpg)

For those interested, the Pizza Raquel kneading instructions were followed meticulously. The spent 3 days in the fridge and then two hours coming to room temp. The oven was heated to 550 for one hour, the the broiler turned on high and the pizza cooked for 5 minutes.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2006, 04:46:12 PM by duckjob »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #196 on: January 12, 2006, 07:43:11 AM »
Brian,

Good to see you back. Excellent job.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #197 on: January 14, 2006, 09:10:53 AM »
duckjob,
You have continued to amaze me with your experimentation and dedication with the core Raquel recipe. The level of success you have achieved is notable simply due to the fine looking end product. Your pictures look quite familiar to me and delicious.

I am happy for you to be dating Raquel's sister, who is every bit as good looking. She is Everything You'd Want!
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #198 on: January 16, 2006, 09:07:24 AM »
Having seen duckjob’s (Brian’s) recent Raquel masterpiece made me jealous. I had to have a Raquel pizza too.

So, a few days ago, I started a dough using a slightly-modified version of pftaylor’s basic formulation for his Raquel dough. It’s the formulation that is set forth in Reply #24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11359.html#msg11359. For my purposes, I added a small amount of oil (1% by weight of flour), and I made only enough dough to make a single 15-16-inch pizza. I followed pft’s instructions to the letter, as he instructs to do (upon the pain of death no less). Doing this, I ended up with a first-rate dough and a first-rate pizza. The pizza was intentionally kept simple. It was a cheese pizza using fellow member Les’ grape pizza sauce, and a mixture of fresh mozzarella cheese (Bel Gioioso) and shredded Dragone low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, and topped after baking with some freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Romano cheeses. The dough formulation I used was as follows:

100%, High-gluten flour (King Arthur Sir Lancelot), 8 oz. (226.80 g.), 1 3/4 c. + 3 T. + 1 t.
60%, Water, 4.8 oz. (136.08 g.), about 5/8 c.
0.0625%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.005 oz. (0.14 g.), about 1/16 t. (a few grains)
2%, Sea salt (I used Sicilian), 0.16 oz. (4.54 g.), between 3/4 and 7/8 t.
1%, Oil (I used light olive oil), 0.08 oz. (2.27 g.), about 1/2 t.
8.125%, Preferment, 0.65 oz. (18.43 g.), about 4 t.(in my case)
Total dough weight = 13.69 oz. (388.25 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.068

One of the most interesting aspects of making the dough was that I had a problem making a roughly 14-ounce dough ball in my KitchenAid stand mixer. In essence, the dough ball was too small for my KA mixer to handle efficiently. I proceeded nonetheless to make the dough as best I could. Getting less than a perfect dough ball had the effect of piquing my interest in what I would end up with a few days later when I was ready to use the dough to make a pizza. In my case, “a few days” was a few hours more than 3 days. For all of that time, the dough was under refrigeration and, during that spell, the dough hardly rose at all. Since I was using principally a preferment for leavening purpose, with a trivial amount of IDY, I expected this. In my case, the dough started out as a round ball but after 3 days it had spread and flattened a bit as the enzymes in the flour (mainly the protease) attacked and softened the gluten structure. But it wasn’t until I started to work with the dough that I truly saw the benefits of the Raquel dough recipe.

The dough worked flawlessly. It was perfectly balanced from an extensibility/elasticity standpoint and I had no problems whatsoever stretching it out to about 15 inches. I actually played around with the dough for several minutes longer than I needed--just savoring the event--because I was having so much fun tossing and stretching the dough. So, if anyone feels they need practice tossing and stretching a dough without almost no likelihood of tearing the dough, the Raquel dough recipe is the recipe to use.

After dressing the skin, I placed it on a 16-inch pizza screen and baked it for about 4 minutes on the top oven rack position. I then transferred the pizza off of the screen and onto a pizza stone (on the lowest oven rack position) that had been preheated to about 500-550 degree F for about an hour. Shortly after I shifted the pizza onto the pizza stone, I turned on the broiler element. After about 3 minutes on the stone, the pizza was moved under the broiler element for about 1 minute.

The photos below show the finished pizza. It was an excellent pizza. It had very good crust flavor, color and texture. It was also fairly light (weight-wise), as I had expected based on the fact that it had a thickness factor of only 0.068, which is quite a bit less than the typical “non-elite” thin NY street style, which has a typical thickness factor of around 0.10-0.105. I also knew that the Raquel pizza was an attempt to replicate the famous thin-style Patsy’s pizza. All of this aside, it was a great pizza made from a great dough recipe.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 11:37:17 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #199 on: January 17, 2006, 10:32:08 AM »
Pete-zza,
Your results speak for themselves. You must surely be one of only a handful of pizza makers who have the uncanny ability to pick up recipes and produce winning results on a consistent basis. It is always a pleasure reading about your adventures in pizza making. I am flattered you chose to produce Pizza Raquel this time. I am curious about a few aspects of your latest effort.

First, could you kindly describe which preferment you used and what process you used to heighten it's effectiveness. I receive emails from fellow members wondering if they can try a Raquel without the use of a preferment and would like your input on this related issue. What changes might you recommend in this instance, if any? Additionally, do you have an opinion on the "worm-hole" I noticed in the handle of your Raquel?

Next, I would like to get your perspective on the core Lehmann recipe vs. Pizza Raquel (in whatever dimension(s) you desire). A comparative analysis if you will. I have made both and recommend both and would be interested in your comments since you have also made both with considerable success.

I look forward to your comments.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
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