Author Topic: Pizza Raquel  (Read 220143 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #225 on: March 04, 2006, 09:27:24 PM »
pftaylor,

Those are spectacular looking pies.

Peter


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #226 on: March 04, 2006, 10:24:30 PM »

Pie #2 - San Daniele (Pizze con Rucola e Prosciutto) Thinly Sliced Prosciutto di Parma, freshly ground Ugly Ripe tomatoes, Alleva Fresh Mozzarella, organic Arugula, and Parmesan shavings.



pft,

Great looking pies!

Don't you find the high heat make the prosciutto tough? I've taken to draping slices over the pie just as it comes out of the oven. It heats up, but retains its soft, silky texture.

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #227 on: March 05, 2006, 08:49:53 AM »
Ditto Bill ........
 PFT !
The only thing I personally would like to add would be to see Raquel wear a little EVOO  when she  adorns herself with Rucola for San Danielle ;)It looks like you have her almost exactly where you want her to be now,no?I wish I had more time now to devote to my concubines !
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #228 on: March 05, 2006, 01:13:57 PM »
Thanks for the insightful comments guys. I have learned a great deal from fellow member comments so please keep them coming. Here is an update as to where I am in my journey of home pizza making.

In the absence of better tools (a wood burning oven and perhaps a better mixer come to mind), I have perfected every facet of the dough making process. The lone caveat being perfection was specifically achieved for me. For my tastes with my available tools. I have literally tried every known combination of process steps, hydration levels, oil/no oil, sugar/no sugar, malt/no malt, preferment/no preferment, fresh yeast/IDY, etc. Hopefully you get the point.

I have challenged conventional wisdom at every juncture with all available ingredients and with all known procedural steps, irrespective of time and cost. The fun part for me was I did not know exactly where I would end up. Once I surpassed the Patsy Pizzeria standard I was in no-man's land. So it wasn't as if I was rigging the experiments in any one direction to produce a particular outcome I wanted. I really didn't know what I didn't know. The goal of producing the most robust handling dough and most flavorful crust was my goal. I humbly state that I have principally achieved that target.

So the current Raquel is the very best American based dough I can produce. If there is some other magical combination of ingredients out there, I couldn't find it after months of assiduously detailing every effort and changing a single variable at a time. I have developed a new appreciation for the phrase hand-crafted as a result. 

The same level of bravado cannot be articulated with respect to toppings however. I have not experimented anywhere near to the same extent I have with dough, cheese, and tomatoes. But the time for inventing flavorful new topping combinations is upon me. Until I move to the next level of baking with a wood burning oven of some sort or mixing dough with a fork mixer, I have little left to accomplish other than in the area of toppings.

Bill/SFNM brings up a valid point. The prosciutto did taste a little like shoe leather - which is exactly how my Virginia bride likes it. It reminds her of Country Ham which is a favorite of her Danville, Virginia based upbringing. I am originally a Yankee so heavily salted shoe leather is lost on me but it makes her real happy so who am I to argue.  Come to think of it, small chunks of Country Ham is worth trying. I've not heard of anyone putting it on pie before but who says we have to stay within the lines when it comes to home pizza making?

David brings up another good point with respect to EVOO or the lack thereof on Raquel. My family prefers a somewhat dry pie. When oil is added they feel Raquel is being moved closer to chain pizza instead of the utterly light crust they have come to love. To date, I have not pressure tested my taste testers on things like a splash of EVOO and chopped up prosciutto much but then again the time is now. I need to be every bit as creative with toppings as I have with developing every other facet of Raquel.

I do have another goal which is somewhat different than most home pizza makers. It is simply designing the appropriate macro-nutrient composition of my offerings so that the bloat which typically comes from eating pizza is minimized or avoided all together. On this note I can report that my tinkering in this area has yielded promising results. My stated macro-nutrient goal is to have 40% of the calories come from carbohydrates, 30% each from protein and fats. The 40-30-30 ratio seems to allow one to eat 3 -5 slices of pie and be fresh as a daisy. More to come on this pivotal point.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #229 on: March 05, 2006, 03:21:13 PM »
pft,

Please explain: if your target macronutrient distribution is 40-30-30, then you should be able to eat 10 pies and still be in the zone? No?  >:D

I guess Southern country ham is an acquired taste or one of those things that you have to grow up eating. Even after long soaking, it is, exactly as you describe, salty shoe leather.  I have a similar aversion to grits - tried it every way possible and it still sucks! Hey, how about a pizza with country ham and grits. You could call it Pizza Scarlett.  :D

Seriously, your efforts and dedication to achieve perfection are most admirable. My respects.
 
Bill/SFNM

« Last Edit: March 05, 2006, 03:23:44 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #230 on: March 05, 2006, 07:27:49 PM »
It has been written pizza is crust.
It is an opinion I wholeheartedly agree with. Take a look at the tag-line located at the end of my posts if you don't believe me.

So if pizza is crust, then a calzone (means trouser leg in Italian) is most assuredly about toppings. To be more precise, the fillings. Tonight I decided to take the gloves off and make the very best concoction I could with the ingredients available and I came up with an out and out winner. Had a ball making it to boot. This is a great hobby.

The calzone below was beyond good. It was illegal. Here is what I did to expand my base and extend the reach of my home pizza/calzone making:
- Pizza Raquel dough (12" skin) as the base layer
- A lining of Alleva Fresh Mozzarella sliced thin to coat the bottom and stem potential seepage
- A healthy layer of Prosciutto (to appease Mrs. T)
- Alternating little dabs of Ricotta and freshly ground up Ugly Ripes
- Quartered slices of pepperoni
- Slivered red onions
- Organically grown baby Arugula
- A splash of David inspired EVOO spiced with fresh cracked pepper
- Raquel dough was folded over with ornately sliced edges in tribute to the DiFara original
- Baked in our home oven at 500 degrees for 12 minutes which percolated all the fillings
- Another splash of David inspired EVOO over the outside top and accentuated by a sprinkling of 4 cheeses
- Finally, an off the shelf beer in the hopes that Candianbacon will come to Tampa and teach me his craft
- Make that a light beer to better balance the carbohydrate load as thoughtfully pointed out by Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: March 05, 2006, 08:08:15 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #231 on: March 06, 2006, 06:52:04 PM »
PFT --
I have been marveling at your pies for months now, and I have a question.  I've tried lots of fresh (cryo and wet packed) mozzarella products, and the one that does it for me in terms of flavor and melting characteristics is Belgioso.  Lately I've listened to you rave about the Polly-o fresh, and I was wondering if you had tried Belgioso, and if so, how the two compare in your estimation.  I share your passion for the pie, and would like your thoughts.

-- Glutenboy
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #232 on: March 06, 2006, 07:45:36 PM »
pf,
That is an awesome calzone. Last time (also the first time) I made calzone, the leakage almost destroyed my stone. It looked like lasagne on pizza stone by the end. What a mess. But for the bits that were edible, the lovely camaldoli flavoured crust and yummy fillings made an incredible eat. I'm going to try again soon.

Been real busy in the last couple of months so I haven't been able to post. Was in Naples in January and paid da michele a visit. Will post thoughts in Naepolitan forum soon.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #233 on: March 07, 2006, 11:43:29 AM »
Glutenboy,
I have used BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine extensively in the past and may do so in the future. It is a good solid choice in my experience. It is generally available in the Publix supermarket chain here in Florida. I can completely understand why it works so well in your application.

Compared to the Polly - O and the famed Alleva Fresh Mozzarella it is close in flavor but I have found it to be much wetter. Since I grill for only 2-3 minutes (now much closer to two minutes) upon melting, the cheesy pool doesn't have a chance to dry out much. My grill simply doesn't create enough top heat. Just before switching to the Polly - O, I found an effective method for the BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine which required draining it on the counter for a few hours. In the end it proved to be too much work for me to overcome a problem which other cheeses didn't possess. I can imagine with a longer bake or a wood-burning oven which produces a higher top temperature, the pooling problem would be virtually non-existent.

Currently, the Alleva Fresh Mozzarella is the finest all around Fresh Mozzarella cheese I have personally experienced. It's flavor is instantly recognizable as authentic Elite NY cheese.  It melts perfectly without burning. I couldn't be happier.

JF_Aidan_Pryde,
I too have experienced the leakage problem and resorted to placing the calzone in a brownie tray as my last gasp solution. Try it and see.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 11:46:54 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #234 on: March 07, 2006, 01:36:46 PM »
PFT --

I wish I had access to the Alleva brand here in LA.  I'm going to order a Polly-o log from Penn Mac just so I know what I've been missing.  It sounds like your experience with Belgioso has been with a wet-pack fresh mozzarella.  The stuff I get here is cryo-packed just like the Polly-o log.  I wonder if this could account for my satisfaction (less moisture).  Anyway, thanks for the info.  I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future!

-- Glutenboy
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #235 on: March 07, 2006, 07:59:16 PM »
Glutenboy,
You can buy Alleva cheese in LA. Go to allevadiary.com and stock up. They have an array of the finest cheeses in the US.

Robert Alleva is a genuinely nice person who knows cheese inside and out. Ask him about your specific application and he will make a recommendation. It may be different than mine but one thing is for certain, you will have an exact fit for the type of pie you want. As an example, he will ask you if you want salted or unsalted. Balls or loaf. Shredded or unshredded. The list of questions goes on and on. Before you know it, you have a cheese which exactly matches your needs.

Report back with your success.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #236 on: March 08, 2006, 04:29:11 PM »
PFT --

One more question.  If you don't mind sharing, what are the choices that you made for the cheese you purchased from Alleva?  The pic you posted looked like a loaf, but I'd love to know more.

-- GB
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #237 on: March 09, 2006, 07:50:55 AM »
Glutenboy,
My application may be different from yours, I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve. You may think I am nuts researching cheese to the extent I have but I wanted Raquel to be beholden to no pie. My goal was to mimic the cheese used by the traditional elite pizzerias in NYC - those with coal-fired ovens. I also felt like a significant improvement could be achieved with the process of constructing an elite NY style pie. My reasoning here was simple, I am not subjected to the commercial concerns of a pizzeria and so I am able to take the time necessary to take an artisan approach. Trust me, putting down cheese first takes time. A lot of it.

My primary requirement was for a cheese which could hold up to intense heat in the 750 - 900 degree range. My definition of holding up is to not leave a cheesy puddle upon melting. A secondary requirement is a creamy splotch without scorch marks upon melting. The relative importance here for me is that a Raquel is constructed by laying the sliced cheese (which covers greater surface area than chunks) down first and placing the sauce in between the cheese.

It renders a completely different taste profile than when one lays the sauce down first.  When you bite into a Raquel, there are three distinctly different taste zones;
crust and cheese,
crust with sauce,
and finally crust, cheese and sauce.

The notion I have labored many months to perfect then, is a buildup of flavors and textures which eventually lead to varying degrees of homogeneity with the big three ingredients. That's why a Margherita, in my opinion, is the most difficult type of pizza to construct. It's sheer simplicity reveals the slightest imperfection in one's dough, crust, sauce, cheese, and more importantly in the resulting mouth feel. A seasoned pizza eater instantly knows when it is right or wrong because there aren't mountains of toppings to hide behind.

Now that you know a little bit more about my reasoning, here is the description of the Alleva cheese which has met my requirements: Alleva Fresh Mozzarella in a salted loaf.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 08:02:06 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #238 on: March 09, 2006, 07:37:47 PM »
PFT --

I grew up just outside of NYC, and I'm aiming for exactly the same result you are.  That's why I came to you.  Thanks for your prompt and thorough responses.  I can't wait to get my hands on that loaf of Alleva.  I've been working on my pizza for years as well, and am only now becoming truly satisfied with my results.  I am in complete agreement with you about the Margherita -- It lays bare the quality of the ingredients and the skill of the maker.  Keep making 'em and keep posting the pics.  They give us all something to shoot for.

-- Glutenboy
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #239 on: March 10, 2006, 08:21:41 PM »
Glutenboy,
I look forward to your results. Speaking of results, below are mine from tonight. The Alleva handled perfectly and I noticed a unique property as well. It is very light compared to other cheeses I have used. Must be because there are no heavy chemicals added. LOL!
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #240 on: March 10, 2006, 08:46:23 PM »
Wow...  A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

-- GB
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #241 on: March 11, 2006, 11:49:50 AM »
Glutenboy,
I appreciate the encomiums. Pizza Raquel adorned with Alleva Fresh is a pure delight.

There are but two more tiers of the mountain I need to climb before the beginning part of my journey is completed. The view would then be totally unimpeded and I could really start to innovate with much more latitude. The first is procuring a fork mixer. My thinking is that a fork mixer, like a Santos, would craft the dough to its highest possible point in a home setting. 

The second tier I need to overcome is also the most expensive. Heat. Not any kind of heat but the right kind. Natural heat generated by burning wood. My dream would be to bake a Raquel, and a Sophia for that matter, in a wood burning oven. Research I have performed has confirmed my desire is not merely an attempt to preserve a folk tradition or to recreate a quaint old-world atmosphere. There is, in fact, a culinary principle involved. However dry the firewood and however good the draft, the interior of the oven will always have a little smoke inside, which will contribute a very slight but distinctive aroma and taste to the pizza. I simply cannot achieve this with my grill no matter how hard I try. Therefore I am at the end of the trail so to speak with where I am currently at.

Back to the wood burning oven. No matter how much pride a pizzaiolo takes in keeping the wood burning oven clean, there is no way to prevent a microscopic layer of ash from adhering to the bottom surface of the pizza. This ash, in minimal quantities (totally harmless to the body), actually uniquely enhances the crust's flavor.

Once I scale the final fundamental tiers before me Pizza Raquel and Sophia will then exemplify the Italian phrase "Farsi Una Pizze Assime" which translated means "Let's Have Ourselves a Pizza." I will no longer have to make excuses for this or that. It will represent a unique reflection of who I am at my core. I am of the opinion that Pizza Raquel and Sophia reach beyond the senses of taste and smell, playing pleasurably upon the gift of sight.

And in order to fully realize taste, smell, and sight, a wood burning oven is required.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2006, 08:44:47 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #242 on: March 31, 2006, 10:30:47 PM »
Hi:

This is my first post. I followed this thread for about a month and finally decided to try making Pizza Raquel. I have since made it about 10 times. I wanted to make sure that I was getting consistant results before asking any questions. Here is my problem. Either I add too much tomato sauce and the pizza is literally soaked through, or (in my opinion), it is too dry and needs sauce (but the rest of it is great). Any thoughts?

I have attached three pictures from a pie with what I consider very little sauce and then a last photo of a pizza that was wet and basically had to be eaten with a knife and fork.

Thanks

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #243 on: April 01, 2006, 05:24:57 AM »
mivler,
I know a thing or two about Raquel, so if it is okay with you I'll try to help.

A few questions are in order first however. You stated that you have consistently gotten the same results. That is actually a good thing. It means you have reproduced the recipe. Consistency is very difficult to achieve. Here we go;
- It sounds as if you enjoy the crust but can't find a happy place with your tomato sauce viscosity. Do I have that right?
- Tell me, did you follow the Raquel dough Preparation steps exactly?
- Did you follow the Stretching steps exactly?
- If not, where did you deviate? Be specific and candid here (i.e., did you actually weigh ingredients?).
- Also, you have some nice char going so could you share some details on baking method? You appear to have access to a lot of heat. Much more so than a typical home oven. I will be interested in learning about this piece.
- List your ingredients (what type of cheese, tomatoes, flour, etc)
- Finally, are you putting down the cheese first or the sauce?
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #244 on: April 01, 2006, 05:03:39 PM »
First let me apologize for the length of this answer, I want to answer the questions as fully as possible to improve my pizzas, hopefully as some point down the line I will be able to help others.

I want to clarify, I am now consistently making great pizza. The dough has a similar feel to it each time. However as I will explain, due to sauce, cheese, thickness and the length of time it cooks, the results are not 100% consistent.

You are correct, the sauce seems to be the problem. When I add what I consider enough of if it, it soaks through. 

I follow the recipe as precisely as possible. I have a scale accurate to 1 gram. I follow all of the steps; each time I have made the recipe I follow the timing. I have a KitchenAid which I think holds 5 quarts. When tripled the recipe one time my mixer really struggled. I had to break the mixing into a few shorter mixes because my mixer couldn’t handle it. I also had to supplement with a longer hand knead. Usually I do a double batch. This is enough of a strain on my mixer, but it gets through it.

I made my starter a few months ago from Dan Lepard’s book “The Handmade Loaf”. Basically started with a little yogurt flour and water. Once it became active I just add water and KA all purpose flour. It is sometimes on the thin pancake batter side and sometimes a lot thicker.  I use King Arthur high gluten flour. I am not sure exactly what yeast I bought because I got a pound of it a year ago and I keep it in a Tupperware in the freezer. I use Diamond Crystal salt

After the hand knead I usually cut the dough into quarters. I do not weigh each before dividing but they are generally pretty close in weight. I have let the dough sit in the refrigerator from one day to three days. When I get to the stretching step I follow the steps pretty closely. (Every now and then I do a toss or two into the air.) I had never had dough that was nearly as easy to work with before I was introduced to Raquel. I generally make 11 to 14 inch pizzas. I have played around with that a little because I thought the problem might have to do with the thickness. I do not measure it but the picture I sent is typical something slightly thicker.  After it is the right size I may make slight adjustments so that it looked more circular.

I have not been very scientific about sauce and cheese. I have tried Redpack whole tomatoes (in puree) Progresso and Hunts whole tomatoes in tomato juice (I strained out the juice). I blended it all and added a little sugar and salt. I have used store brand (stop and shop) fresh mozzarella (from a fresh bulk containers at the supermarket. This turned into a soggy mess. I wanted to pour off the wetness from the top of the pizza. I put the cheese on first and then the sauce on top of it. This was the last time I used fresh mozzarella, I really felt that it added way too much moisture to the pizza.

In my most recent pizzas I have been putting on the sauce first but my first few batches I put the cheese on first.

After I gave up on canned tomatoes and I tried Emeril’s kicked up tomato sauce and Moma’s (I was amazed how much better the canned tomatoes are). I have never measured the amount of cheese or sauce. I realize this could be critical information, however, I vary the amount of sauce to find the right amount and I have never been totally happy. Now that I stopped using the fresh cheese, I do not think the cheese is adding moisture to the equation.

After I get the sauce and cheese on I get it into the oven as quickly as possible.

I preheat my over for a little over an hour. It is a Masterpiece self cleaning oven by Thermador. Here’s the info I have about the oven. I recently moved into this house and as far as I know the oven is from the early 80’s. It is a double wall oven. The doors do not have seals on them, so when food is cooking the door isn’t sealed closed. From the first time I used it I knew that it cooked too hot but I did not know how hot. I finally got a cheap oven thermometer that went to 600. Even though my oven says it’s cooking at 550, it clearly goes a lot hotter than that. It looked like it read in the neighborhood of 750 (estimating based on where the needle was), however the thermometer cracked so I really don’t know how hot it gets. This brings me to question for another forum, I am going to be renovating my kitchen and I obviously am going to be looking for a very hot oven. Anyway I have no idea why the oven gets so hot, but I’m not complaining. I do not time the pizzas but I think they are in the oven about 5 minutes, but I’m really not sure because I pull them out when they look done. I usually peek once. I attached a picture of one of my earlier attempts, where I tried three pizzas in a row to not peek and three pizzas in a row came out charred.
 I am usually so busy getting ready to eat my pizza and getting my next pizza ready that I lose track of time. I have this idea in my head that I should have a feel for it and not need to time it.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #245 on: April 02, 2006, 07:33:01 AM »
mivler,
Thank you for the very well articulated response. It sounds like you may have solved your own problem. Your type of conundrum is what makes pizza so mysterious for me. It is so simple yet so very complicated. Everything is inter-related and if you get one thing wrong it can literally drives you nuts.

After reviewing your photographs I have another question before we move away from identifying the crust as a culprit. You described your crust as being wet. Could it also be gummy? Let me know. Gummy is a dough preparation and mixing problem. Wet is an ingredient problem.

Objectively, the wetness issues you mention either come from the dough, the sauce, the cheese, or some other topping. I would stop making anything but basic Margherita styles. You need to focus intently on the cheese next as you have already played with the sauce ranging from too little to too much without a satisfactory solution. 

I still do not know what type and brand of cheese you typically use. I would be willing to bet that switching to a good fresh mozzarella like what Sam's Club sells (Biazza or a Polly - O Fresh Mozzarella, etc) will help. They are relatively inexpensive and do not break down into a puddle of seeping mess. At the high heat your oven operates at you must have a cheese that can handle it.

Another related thought is to reduce the amount of whatever topping you use. Human nature is to load up sauce, cheese, and whatever else your better half is fond of. Experience tells me that proper balance of a pizza comes from using less ingedients not more. I call it the Pizza Hut syndrome. Try it and see for yourself.

Good luck and report back with your changes and findings.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2006, 07:43:01 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #246 on: April 02, 2006, 09:10:57 PM »
It’s hard to tell from the pictures of the back of the pizza so I attached a side view. My pizzas have been wet on the bottom 2/3 of the pizza. Regarding the cheese, I often used whatever was the least expensive because I did not think it was a factor in the moisture, but I guess you can’t take anything for granted.

I didn’t remember anyone mentioning having a similar problem. I’m going to do some more experimenting (and measuring) of cheeses and sauces. In the past I have generally keep the toppings simple. I sometimes add basil. I may add dried tomatoes, roasted peppers or fried mushrooms. For now I’ll just stick to Margherita pizza. I’ll report back when I come up with a combo that works. Thanks for the advice.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #247 on: April 04, 2006, 11:25:30 AM »
mivler,
I have not seen a pizza as charred as the ones you posted. This is a good thing mind you, I have had to struggle very hard to get decent charring. It does seem your pizzas are a little over cooked though. Or do you prefer the extra char?

I suggest you hang on to this oven. Today's home ovens just doesn't break 550. Just looking at your results, I would love to have your oven. :D

Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #248 on: April 04, 2006, 01:49:27 PM »
I like char, but in my opinion there is good char and bad char. Some of the pizzas have been charred so badly that they were hard to eat. The last picture I posted was the third in a row that I had overcooked. The outside crust got by far the most charred. The bottom was charred, but not as much as the crust. Again, going back to my original problem, the top was more of a puddle (no char problem on top). I realize that I just need to keep a better eye on how much time the pizzas are in the oven.

On the oven issue, I am about a year out from haveing my kitchen redone, and therefore I haven’t started doing the research. My current oven has a cracked glass case for a light that doesn’t work inside, the door has a crack and (as I mentioned above), there is no seal on the door. When I am ready I am going to consider a commercial pizza oven. (I don’t know anything about them yet.) I guess the alternative is to have my oven repaired, but I was also hoping for a larger oven. Right now I can only make 12 inch pizzas. Also, I would much rather get a new oven than design a kitchen knowing I have an oven that is over 20 years old. 

Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #249 on: April 05, 2006, 10:07:33 PM »
Here is an update. I made a few changes. First I took the extra time to carefully layer the cheese first. This was a step I rarely did before. Even when I did it in the past, after I added the sauce, I would spread it with the back of a spoon on the pizza. By the time it was ready to go in the oven the sauce and cheese were mixed up. Second I tried new cheeses. I used Il Villaggio for my first pizza and Lioni Latticini for the second. For the third, I used the part skim processed mozzarella from the local supermarket. (my control pizza). For all the pizzas I used Progresso whole tomatoes. (I blended the tomatoes with the tomato juice in the can)

Layering the cheese first helped significantly. My control pizza was dry.

Il Villaggio – Dry. I was happy with the results
Lioni Latticini – Wet on the bottom. Based on my results I wouldn’t use this cheese again. However after looking at the picture it looks like I added more sauce even though I think I measured pretty carefully. (pictured)

I made 4 pizzas. In the last one I pushed the tomato sauce envelope. I added more than I needed and the pizza was still mostly dry on the bottom.

The other thing (which is probably obvious to everyone) was that I waited a few minutes to cut the pizzas. I think some of my previous pizzas were cut too early. As far as I can tell it looks like the liquid continues to evaporate for the first few minutes out of the oven.

I timed all of my pizzas for 5 minutes and that time worked very well for me.