Author Topic: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!  (Read 3785 times)

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Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2011, 10:41:48 PM »
Here is another pizza I made "blind".  Though I am amking these pies blind, im trying to keep them as consistant with one another as much as possible, and I the bakes have been staying very similar, fermenting at the same rates, cooking and eating very similar as if I have formed a cohesive repeatable recipe based on the senses alone.  I have been very pleased with these pizzas and the way my oven has been performing, with that said there are a couple of things that didnt turn out quite right...

1-the cheese:  The cheese was actually made by a friend a few days ago and at that point(the day it was made) It was fantastic, flash forward a few days I got rubbery cheese, granted it melted beautifully with only a few burns, better than low moist., worse than the stuff I get fresh made that day at the food coop, but even then the food coop cheese(made fresh in house daily) lasts longer than my friends cheese, perhaps this is because his tends to be slightly drier in general to theirs?
2-The pizzas underskirts were cooked to the girlfriends desire, if It were just for me the pizzas would have been more charred on the bottom, but hey you compromise.
As I said besides these two things the pizzas were great and cooked for about a minute thirty, not too long not too short...but should have went longer for the underskirt, but I would have had the stone hotter to begin with...Anyway here are some pics.

Set 1-Mini 9" pizza for lunch tomorrow and crumb shots of it
Set 2-My 12 pizza, notice lack of sauce girl friend wanted more to dip so I took one for the team...added extra OO to make up for it, underskirt, and crumb


Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2011, 10:42:47 PM »
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Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2011, 10:43:46 PM »
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Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2011, 10:47:32 PM »
also to add I experimented with the stretching technique
With the smaller pizzas I stretched them as I normally do not going out really far, making sure there is a large really airy rim. Then for the larger pies, again per girlfriends request, I pressed out the dough further to the edge, sort of eliminating that large emphasized rim.  I dont like this and prefer the large more airy rims...I wont be stretching my dough that way again, what do you guys prefer, Large and Airy or smaller?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2011, 10:56:34 PM »
Wu, I have been a bit busy to respond.   I'm glad you had a good time baking in the WFO.  Maybe it's just me, but  I do see a difference in the crumb between your home oven and the WFO BUT it's not much, which says a lot for your techniques with the dough and baking in the home oven.  

I know you are crazy about your pies which is great.  Lots of members are also crazy about what they are doing and yet they all look so different to me.  I guess we all have different ideals.   I wonder if we got a bunch of us in the same room and made our pies for one another that we couldn't collectively decide what is best?  

As satisfying as my own pies are, I'm leaving the comfort zone in search of something new and possibly better.  Something different from my usual.  In the meantime, I think you are doing a fantastic job given the use of a home oven and hand kneading.  

I think that given time/experience, a wfo, and some experimenting that you will be able to get the 00 flour pies to sing a prettier song but time will tell.

Until then, keep up the good work.

As far as the rim size go, I really go back and forth.  Scott123, says that a thinner rim will puff up more because it has less weight to fight against.  I'm not sure I always get that.  I think other factors also come into play.  If the crust is really good then I often desire more rim.  If it's just okay which is often the case for me, I could care less how thick or thin it is. 

Chau

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2011, 11:13:02 PM »
Your right I do see a difference and remember thinking that the wfo crumbs werent as airy, not denser just the voids were smaller, not just on one pie but all...so it couldnt be a shaping thing, but the difference as you say was minimal and many things like the fact that this dough and starter was mixed at a different place( my parents home as opposed to my apartment) causing a change in temps or the fact that the dough did end up sitting around an hour past what I would consider the optimal time of use...ideal chit-chat, ugh...jk.
About the varying difference between users, I think this is what makes our pie unique from one another, It is noticeable that we all have a set style that is consistently repeated throughout out bakes.  Your crumb and pies are distinguishable from infoodels and his leapording, and from bills pale, but blistered light and feathery crust, to mine.  If we all pumped out the same pies it would be a very boring place, but because of these differences we have a community and something to talk about, we try to learn from one another and apply these difference to our own, see if they work/see if we like them then share our opinions in a land of cookie cutter pies this is non-existant...I couldnt tell you the last time I ordered papa johns sat down and was really like, "well huh this pizza was way better than that pizza, I wonder why?(insert laborious/tedious experiment to solve).

When you say leaving the comfort zone, what do you mean?  What formulas are you going to try and thing radically crazy, I would love to know so perhaps I could try as well.  I have been contemplating longer ferm times, but when I do the crumb seems to suffer...This is why I have settled at 12 hours, but perhaps this is my opportunity to leave the zone...

I would have to say that in all my experience scotts observations havent matched with my baking, I dont know but it seems tried and true for me, but his theory seems logical

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2011, 11:50:14 PM »
Wu, It would be boring if we all made the same pie that's for sure.  You are right, there wouldn't be a sense of learning from one another if we all did the same thing.  What I was getting at, is that I suspect you will be like me any others and change your mind over time about what is great.  Mainly b/c if you are as crazy as the rest of us, you will keep pushing to discover what is unknown to you.   No doubt if we all got in the same room we would be at different places.   By doing so, it would allow us to maybe experience the other levels out there.  

This is because I don't want to keep making the same pies.   Once I feel like I can gain some understanding or consistency, I move the target.  It's just my style and keeps me from getting too bored.  

I'm really going to make a strong effort with CY b/c I (for now) believe there is something there and I want to learn more about it.   I'm also temporarily dropping my hydrations by 5% points or so and will be playing around with more kneading and 00 flour.   I'll still keep somethings the same.   But just b/c I don't see success right away it doesn't mean that it's automatically not as good.  It might be b/c I haven't discovered some truths or learn some things that would make the difference.   I'll post pics soon if I find something new.

Chau
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 10:33:37 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2011, 10:18:25 AM »
It seems as though you are moving the target to what is more consistently done over in naples?  Using CY, lowering HR, and kneading more(perhaps not necessarily more, but using a different technique) seems to be what alot of these people are doing in the videos recently posted.  I look at their dough, these almost stiff pure white balls and have never been able to get this sort of appearance.  Though I have never dropped my HR past 63(ever), maybe this is why.  Its just the lower you go the more crumb will suffer?  When I see people in the youtube videos ball the dough like mozz, I wonder how they are developing enough gluten/air pockets to get a good open crumb.  My lack of prior knowledge about these techniques is very minimal and because of this I dont want to risk the failure, as I only make pizza 1/2 times a week.  If I can find some more info or vids maybe Ill take the dive, but i think I am going to jump out of the 12 hour ferm, and try to either go at least 18, maybe full 24...well see.  I would love to see pics as soon as you do these experiments

Offline scott123

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2011, 03:44:56 AM »
Scott123, says that a thinner rim will puff up more because it has less weight to fight against.  I'm not sure I always get that.  I think other factors also come into play.  If the crust is really good then I often desire more rim.  If it's just okay which is often the case for me, I could care less how thick or thin it is.

I have brought up the weight concept, but it's only part of the story, and probably a small part.  The key component as to why thinner rims end up relatively puffier than thicker rims is water/steam generation. The same amount of water will take far longer to boil in a narrow pot than it will in a wide pot with greater contact with the heat source. A thicker rim will take longer to boil. Slower to boil = less steam generation = less volume.

Water plays a role in melting cheese as well. Too thick of a layer of sauce will slow the sauce from boiling and prevent the cheese from bubbling/melting properly. 

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2011, 06:16:01 AM »
Thanks scott for the elaboration, Ill keep experimenting with it see if the results change, my girlfriend like a smaller rim, so maybe one day Ill stretch her pizzas out bake and come to find the rim larger and puffier than mine, this may upset her, but would be a great thing to figure out.


Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2011, 11:20:01 PM »
Latest Pizza, eyeballed and out of the home oven.  Tried switching somethings up and doing a 20hr rm. temp rise, things went a little screwy either the ambient temps fluxuated to much, I added to much starter(possible) or a little little salt(unlikely), either way I ended up with a 17hr rm temp rise 2hr retarding in the fridge and 1-1.5 hour to get the dough back to rm. temp.
The pizza tasted really good...not really sour yet(maybe using the starter as its young) and the dough was a bit more difficult to stretch than my normal High HR doughs, but not by much, In retrospect I shouldnt have retarded the balls, but did so out of fear over overfermenting.  This reatrding prbably caused most of my problems(the stretching and lack of sourness).
Here are some pics

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2011, 11:20:47 PM »
crumb..sorry iphone sucks at pics when covered in flour.

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #52 on: June 06, 2011, 03:34:46 PM »
dang no feed back, my narcissistic college mentality needs it!

Offline rlaz

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2011, 05:00:03 PM »
My first post here and I guess I've been going about things bassackwards.  I started working on a basic crust using KA bread flour a little over a year ago.  I've been modifying it by feel, yeast amount, kneading technique and apparant "wetness" (how's that for a scientific term?  And I'm an engineer.) ever since.  Somehow I've gotten to the point where I think I've got a pretty good dough but judging from some of the photos here I still have much room for improvement.  That being said, I haven't written anything down.  I'll buy me a scale so hopefully I can get more consistent results and record the ingredient amounts.  Looks like there is a ton of good information here from all you folks.  I need to learn how to make mozzarella, work on my sauce, break up the routine by using different flours, etc.  Looking forward to it.

Robert

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2011, 05:18:15 PM »
rlaz being an engineer Im sure youll catch on fast.
It does help to know and work with calculated/consistant doughs.  Figure out what makes what do what and why, then you can take away the tools and try to match the calculated doughs through sensory perception.
As for cheese, its something I have been wanting to do, but haven gotten ahold of unpast. milk or rennet and for your sauce find some good tomatoes and then add nothing but salt to taste, let the oven do the rest!

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2011, 04:23:17 AM »
My first post here and I guess I've been going about things bassackwards.  I started working on a basic crust using KA bread flour a little over a year ago.  I've been modifying it by feel, yeast amount, kneading technique and apparant "wetness" (how's that for a scientific term?  And I'm an engineer.) ever since.  Somehow I've gotten to the point where I think I've got a pretty good dough but judging from some of the photos here I still have much room for improvement.  That being said, I haven't written anything down.  I'll buy me a scale so hopefully I can get more consistent results and record the ingredient amounts.  Looks like there is a ton of good information here from all you folks.  I need to learn how to make mozzarella, work on my sauce, break up the routine by using different flours, etc.  Looking forward to it.

Robert
oil is entirely heavier than you think it is and your 'this looks good' can be 20-30% oil (upwards of 10x what a 'normal' ny style recipe may have).   kneading is sub-par to stretch and fold (which i feel greatly improves your skill by a few levels and opens fantastic doors to tartine bread level crumb), use a hair less yeast than you think you may need but only a hair less (.1% of flour weight makes a difference), sugar and salt, 2 pizzas looks like a kitchen tablespoon (not measured tablespoons) scant with salt for salt total, sugar about the same.
Hotdogs kill more people than sharks do, yearly.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2011, 08:16:32 AM »
Latest Pizza, eyeballed and out of the home oven. 


I just saw this thread. Fantastic pies, I love the pearlescent crumb. Your skill level with pizza and bread is enviable.

John

Offline wucactus1

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Re: Forget the scale-Use your eyeball!
« Reply #57 on: June 11, 2011, 11:30:24 AM »
Thanks John I appreciate it. These pie are the acculmination of the wealth of knowledge you guy on the forum provide plus alittle experimentation.  I have done many pies and tartine breads this way. The true method if primitive baking, now that I have some what consistency over this blind method I tried switching up my process this time using a naturally leavened preferment. You should check out my thread switching it up upn style and let me know what you think. A's always you wfo pies look great!


 

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