Author Topic: JT's WFO pies  (Read 49885 times)

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scott123

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #150 on: July 26, 2011, 11:19:50 PM »
Thanks to Kelly and Scott for pushing me towards the bigger pies.  I hadn't given them any credit, but they will be a standard for me now :pizza:.  More for folks to eat while waiting.  Also the extended cooking times will allow me to bake 2 at a time without too much fuss, I think.

About the 4min bake times.  I think I am partially to blame for pushing folks that way on the forum.  Lately I have been making some excellent 5-6m pies.  The more I think about it, 4 minutes is just one variable among many.  Because I tend to work with slightly higher hydration doughs for the open crumb, I think that my pies are actually benefiting from the extra bake time.  I'll have to do more tests to verify this though.

Scott, I think you maybe right.  I'll keep toying with NP, but my infatuation may very well be short lived.

I think one of the reasons why you don't see NY pies of that quality coming out of WFOs is that it's really hard to dial in the temp. With all the different equipment you've been through, though, I think you're in a unique position to be able to do pies of that caliber on a consistent basis.

I have said elsewhere that, if you serve 100 people an 8 minute pizza next to a 4 minute pie (or a 4 minute next a 2), 99 of them would prefer the 4 minute pizza.  Now... a 5-6 minute pizza next to a 4- that gets a little trickier. A lot of Americans have been conditioned, unfortunately, to enjoy golden, brown and crisp pizza.  You can tweak the hydration to make a 4 minute pie a little crispier, but it's never going to have the same crunch that you experienced cutting that 5-6 minute pie. Ever. I think, when you get into the realm of authenticity, 4 is a little more authentic than 6, so I might call 6 more of a NY/American hybrid, but 6 is still great pizza that I wouldn't judge anyone for preferring.

Chau, when it comes to 6 minute bakes, you have one slight advantage over the rest of us.  At lower elevations a 6 minute bake could end up a bit more oven spring impaired. So, in that sense, you get to have your pizza and eat it too  ;D


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #151 on: July 26, 2011, 11:21:25 PM »
Thanks guys for the kind words.  I will keep cracking at it.  That nut has got to break sooner or later right?   :-D  

I read a quote awhile back that said that if you keep at anything long enough, you are bound to be successful.  I will likely keep toying with both styles forever since I can bake a few NP pies and then let the fire die down for the other styles.   I would really like to make this kind of NP crust.  Look at 5:45 onward.  When he cuts that crust....damn!

http://www.eatitalian.com/feature/67044/neapolitan-pizza-making-masters

This would be the type of NP crust that is ideal to me.  Do you guys think that dough is 60% hydration? I wonder if this crust still softens up after sitting for a minute.  

Gene - I'm glad you guys were able to hear that pie being cut.  I wasn't sure if it would sound clear once uploaded considering my 5 yo was screaming in the background for more pepperoni and the in-laws were arguing a bit.  :-D

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #152 on: July 26, 2011, 11:38:17 PM »
I think one of the reasons why you don't see NY pies of that quality coming out of WFOs is that it's really hard to dial in the temp. With all the different equipment you've been through, though, I think you're in a unique position to be able to do pies of that caliber on a consistent basis.

I have said elsewhere that, if you serve 100 people an 8 minute pizza next to a 4 minute pie (or a 4 minute next a 2), 99 of them would prefer the 4 minute pizza.  Now... a 5-6 minute pizza next to a 4- that gets a little trickier. A lot of Americans have been conditioned, unfortunately, to enjoy golden, brown and crisp pizza.  You can tweak the hydration to make a 4 minute pie a little crispier, but it's never going to have the same crunch that you experienced cutting that 5-6 minute pie. Ever. I think, when you get into the realm of authenticity, 4 is a little more authentic than 6, so I might call 6 more of a NY/American hybrid, but 6 is still great pizza that I wouldn't judge anyone for preferring.

Chau, when it comes to 6 minute bakes, you have one slight advantage over the rest of us.  At lower elevations a 6 minute bake could end up a bit more oven spring impaired. So, in that sense, you get to have your pizza and eat it too  ;D

Scott thanks for the input.  I have always paid attention to your posts and you haven't lead me astrayed yet.   

Concerning NY style pies from a WFO, do you think a WFO is that different from a coal oven?  I was thinking about this earlier today and as far as I know coal is made from hardwoods.  So when I burn oak wood down to coals and bake a pie in my WFO, aren't I really just making a coal fired pie?

Concerning hydration and bake times, I may be wrong but I think that if you are working with HG flour at say 65% hydration versus 75% hydration and you baked both at 4 minutes, you will get a different level of crispness immediately post bake and 10 minutes later.   I'm not sure b/c I haven't done the test, but logic is telling me that a 65% hydration HG dough baked at 4 minute will have a similar crisp that a 5 minute baked 75% hydration HG dough. 

I agree that if you polled 100 people with a 4 minute vs a 5 minute pie (same hydration) that most ppl wouldn't be able to tell the difference and wouldn't perhaps even care. 

Concerning the ovenspring between a 4 min pie and a 6 min pie, I tend to think the difference would be negligible.  I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.  :-D  IMO, if the gluten is strong enough to support the lift, that lift will occur very similarly after certain temp.   Beyond 500F, I think that temp is hot enough to create an equal amount of lift to both crusts.  The crust should set after just 2 minutes or so and the extra bake time beyond 4 minutes just allows for extra crispness.   Am I nuts for thinking this?  I don't have any proof other than what I have seen during trial bakes.  But again, it could very well be the ovenspring advantage I have at high altitudes that are skewing my results as well, so I will defer to you. 

Scotty, I'm a little confuse about the different style categories by bake times.  I thought the 3-4 min bake pies are NY-elite or NY/NP hybrid type pies where as a 6-8minute bake in a deck oven is more a street style NY.   American would be 8 minutes plus, I guess.  Am I off here? 

Chau

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #153 on: July 27, 2011, 12:11:12 AM »
Concerning NY style pies from a WFO, do you think a WFO is that different from a coal oven?  I was thinking about this earlier today and as far as I know coal is made from hardwoods.  So when I burn oak wood down to coals and bake a pie in my WFO, aren't I really just making a coal fired pie?

Charcoal is (sometimes) made from hardwoods. Coal is made from 350 million year old peat bogs. The coal typically used as an oven fuel has more than 2X the energy content of oak for any given weight.

CL
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #154 on: July 27, 2011, 12:25:17 AM »
Ahh thanks for the clarification Craig.   Any idea where these pizzerias are sourcing coal from?  I'll do some reading via Google.

Thx

scott123

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #155 on: July 27, 2011, 12:56:41 AM »
Quote
Concerning NY style pies from a WFO, do you think a WFO is that different from a coal oven?

Chau, coal ovens, with their (from what I've seen) lower ceilings and more removed heat source are more of a middle ground between WFOs and decks than WFOs- which, as I'm sure you know, makes sense, because the pizza is a middle ground as well.

Quote
Concerning hydration and bake times, I may be wrong but I think that if you are working with HG flour at say 65% hydration versus 75% hydration and you baked both at 4 minutes, you will get a different level of crispness immediately post bake and 10 minutes later.

As long as the 75% hydration dough is baked at a higher temperature to match the level of 'doneness' at 4 minutes as the 65%, absolutely.  More water in the dough translates into more water post bake (if baked for the same amount of time). Post bake water is the enemy to crispness. But water, to a point, is the friend of oven spring. We've talked about this many times, before. Additional water = additional potential for steam = viagra for bread  ;D

Quote
Concerning the ovenspring between a 4 min pie and a 6 min pie, I tend to think the difference would be negligible.  I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.  Laugh  IMO, if the gluten is strong enough to support the lift, that lift will occur very similarly after certain temp.   Beyond 500F, I think that temp is hot enough to create an equal amount of lift to both crusts.  The crust should set after just 2 minutes or so and the extra bake time beyond 4 minutes just allows for extra crispness.

The lift does occur early in the bake, that is true, but, in order to finish baking in less time, you need more heat for a 4 minute pie than a 6 minute (and even more heat for 2 minutes).  As the baking time decreases, the heat has to go up.  Where there is more heat, there is more steam/more spring in those critical first couple minutes.

Quote
Scotty, I'm a little confuse about the different style categories by bake times.  I thought the 3-4 min bake pies are NY-elite or NY/NP hybrid type pies where as a 6-8minute bake in a deck oven is more a street style NY.   American would be 8 minutes plus, I guess.  Am I off here?

Here's how I classify bake times

0-1.5 minutes - Neapolitan
2-3.5 minutes - Coal (I don't like the term 'NY elite' ;) )
4-5.5 minutes - NY Style
6+ minutes - American



Offline pizzablogger

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #156 on: July 27, 2011, 06:55:49 AM »

Here's how I classify bake times

0-1.5 minutes - Neapolitan
2-3.5 minutes - Coal (I don't like the term 'NY elite' ;) )
4-5.5 minutes - NY Style
6+ minutes - American

It's interesting in that "NY-Elite" is a term I have only encountered on this board.

During my trips to NYC, locals have pretty much always referred to it as "Coal Oven Pizza" or "New York-Neapolitan".

Scott, I've stopwatched a good amount of pizzas and I can't recall ever clocking a sub 3 minute pizza at one of the NY coal oven joints. Nearly all of the pizzas I've clocked come in between 4:00 to 4:45, with any variance usually being on the high side (4:45 to 5:15ish) --K
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #157 on: July 27, 2011, 08:38:15 AM »
scott123 and Kelly,

I am not sure of the origins of the "elite" term but it has been used on the forum for many years. I have also seen the use of the term at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6622&hilit. That thread was a controversial thread judging from the heavy moderator intervention to delete and modify posts. Maybe I can do some research to see if I can find the first use of the term "elite" on the forum. However, it is quite possible that the term "elite" evolved to include DiFara's, which does not use a coal oven. Maybe there are others in the same boat as Dom DeMarco.

In any event, it will be interesting to see what Chau does with a WFO style NY pizza. Maybe we can call his versions "Chaulite" :-D.

Peter

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #158 on: July 27, 2011, 08:52:16 AM »
Peter, for me at least, the "Coal Oven Pizza" or, perhaps more appropriately New York-Neapolitan as the style was an Italian immigrant interpretation of Neapolitan pizzas using the ingredients at hand here in the "new world" is determined by cooking times, the crunch-chew characteristics of the crust, use of fresh mozzarella, sauce which is much more Neapolitan in style (uncooked San Marzano or other Italian tomatoes), TF, etc.

I don't feel this style and NY-Style (street slice) are the same style of pizza at all.....NY Style is almost like a bastardization of the original New York-Neapolitan style which has sadly devolved into the use of cheap ingredients, long cooking times, dried out pizzas, etc. Most of the pizza sold in NYC is akin to McDonald's, Burger King, etc (cheap, fast, comestible food made with no care).....in essence the entire style when taken as a whole is now BS, with a minute number of good examples. To be frank, the NY-Style (street style) is likely best being preserved by the "At Home Pizzerias" of the members of this board.  :)

I personally do not feel NY-Neapolitan/Coal Oven/Elite is constrained to the fuel source only. As an example, I would consider Toby's Public House (Brooklyn-WFO) and Lucali (Brooklyn-WFO) to be New York-Neapolitan in style, just as the Lombardi's, Totonno's, John's, Patsy's, Grimaldi's Big 5 are.

Regardless of fuel source (and keep in mind opening a coal oven pizzeria in New York is very difficult do to regulations), Chau's video looks very much to be in this same style.

Of course this is just my personal opinion, which is just one person's rambling.

DiFara is kind of difficult to peg...the mixture of 00 & HG flours DeMarco uses brings a character to the crust that is not quite in this style. Kind of a hybrid almost.

Then again, at the end of the day all of it is pizza!  :)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 08:58:24 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #159 on: July 27, 2011, 10:21:04 AM »
...  Any idea where these pizzerias are sourcing coal from?  I'll do some reading via Google.

Thx

Charcoal is (sometimes) made from hardwoods. Coal is made from 350 million year old peat bogs. The coal typically used as an oven fuel has more than 2X the energy content of oak for any given weight.

CL

If you find an answer Chau please let us know.  I have always been curious what the "coal" that they burn is also.  I had always decided it was anthracite, but that was only a speculation.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #160 on: July 27, 2011, 10:25:44 AM »
Kelly,

The earliest reference that I could find on the forum that mentions the "elite" NY style, and draws a distinction between that style and the NY "street" style, goes back to April, 2004, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,361.msg2842.html#msg2842. Two of the members who discussed this topic, Arthur and Canadave, were both long-time veterans of the NY pizza scene.

I have always been intrigued by the evolution of NY pizza to the point where I found myself researching the invention of the planetary mixer (Hobart), deck ovens and refrigeration, and when they were commercialized on a fairly wide scale, and also the evolution of flours, from the early all-purpose flours, bread flours, and finally high-gluten flours. I doubt that that there are many pizza operators today in the metro NYC area who are making their doughs by hand but I would imagine that there are many who are still using same day doughs made with all-purpose flours (scott123 may be able to comment on this). It was also interesting to read about when sugar and oil were added to the NY doughs, after deck ovens were commercialized for baking pizzas.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #161 on: July 27, 2011, 11:00:39 AM »
Wow, great info guys!  I too only picked up the term elite from this forum and don't care much for it either.  Mainly because it gives a sense of an elitist mentality, which I don't like.   I will refrain from using the term for future references.

Also, I failed to mention that the above pies were 75% HG and 25% 00.   For my next bake, I'll be comparing a 100% HG pie versus my hybrid blend of 75% 00 and 25% HG.  I have made good pies with both formulas and interested to see them side by side.

Chau
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:27:46 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline communist

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #162 on: July 27, 2011, 11:26:58 AM »
Great pie Chau!  Interesting discussion on heat sources.  I have been enamored by the idea of coal pizza, but my dream was shattered when I walked into an anthracite coal oven pizza joint in Northeastern PA.  I observed the oven, and had to search for the heat source in the back left.  There were a few coals burning, and they gave off no aroma.  I remember one of the advantages of anthracite was that it was clean burning - little smell, right?  I asked the owner the deck temp - he measured with his IR gun, and reported 495.  My pie was an 8 minute bake, and the crust was dead in the water.  Flat, but crispy.  Topping heavy and tasty, crust a dog.  As I walked out weeping, I thought they used coal in NY for one reason, clean and cheap heat.  My dream of a coal oven at home evaporated.  I am using my steel plate, with great NY pies.  I think a wood fire oven is the next step because the wood does burn dirty.  That smoke and heat does help the final product.  A lot of work, but adds magic. And your pies are a wonder!  Mark

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #163 on: July 27, 2011, 11:56:44 AM »
Communist, don't let your dream be shattered.

It's not that coal as a fuel source cannot make a great pizza, it's that the particular pizzeria you visited doesn't know what they are doing.

Remember that pizza doesn't particularly care how the heat is being created. I've been to a fair share of wood fired pizzerias which were cranking out 8-9min pizzas with a tiny ember pile with no flames at all.

Coal in fact can burn very, very hot and make a great pizza.....but it all comes down to the people involved in the process. --K :)
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Offline communist

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #164 on: July 27, 2011, 01:06:51 PM »
Thanks Pizzablogger :)  I keep my dream alive!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #165 on: July 27, 2011, 10:23:44 PM »
Thanks Mark.  I would say your experience was lackluster because the dough was off.  You would be surprise by what you can make even with a very tiny pile of coals.   Look at the pie in reply #117.  That is just one example of pies I have done with a very tiny cresent shaped pile of coals.  Not more than 2" wide at the thickest part of the pile and stretched out in a semi circle.  The dough was great for that pie so it turned out great even at a ~6 minute bake. 

Chau

Offline DrivenAgain

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #166 on: July 28, 2011, 03:33:54 PM »
Chau,

Awesome video.  I tried to be as cool as you...made a PERFECT pie and set up my camera, turned my back to position the camera one last time, and under the broiler the pizza caught fire!! I just HAD to be a show off right :)  Amazing looking NY pie my man!!

Jason


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #167 on: July 28, 2011, 03:42:21 PM »
 :-D Thanks for the nice word and laugh Jason.  Don't you think pizza making can be so unpredictable?

Chau
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:25:04 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #168 on: July 28, 2011, 04:36:43 PM »
Awesome video.  I tried to be as cool as you...made a PERFECT pie and set up my camera, turned my back to position the camera one last time, and under the broiler the pizza caught fire!! I just HAD to be a show off right :)  Amazing looking NY pie my man!!

Do you ever look up at the pizza when you hold it near the top of the oven to finish it? Often, little flames jump off the top of the pie.  I guess it is steam jets on the surface spitting up little bits of oil. It's kind of cool looking especially when the fire from the wood is not too bright.

CL
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #169 on: August 05, 2011, 07:40:07 PM »
Here are some pizzas from my latest wfo bake. 

A few NP's that I posted here....reply #10

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14979.msg148889.html#msg148889

Here is a Totonno's style cheese pie that I made. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #170 on: August 05, 2011, 07:46:34 PM »
A made a couple of short videos of a few of the pies that we enjoyed.

A white pie with garlic chicken.  Oops, I forgot the red onions on this one.


Half cheese, half meatball.  The meatball pies were a crowd favorite.



Offline chickenparm

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #171 on: August 05, 2011, 08:43:48 PM »
A cheese pie? How dare ya?
 :-D

Seriously,that looks so good,I it made my stomach growl.Nice Job!Wonderful char too!
 :pizza:

I will check the videos in a little while...for some reason tonight,the interwebby thingy is sloowwwwwwwwww and the videos keep stopping.Must be massive online traffic.Very common around here though.


-Bill

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #172 on: August 06, 2011, 09:57:00 AM »
Loving the Totonno' style pie. :) Simplicity is a beautiful thing when everything is fresh.

Will watch videos later.....always enjoyable to follow your progress Chau. --K
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Offline chickenparm

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #173 on: August 06, 2011, 03:35:03 PM »
The videos were  8)  thanks for posting.

I loved the white pie and the meatball! Haven't had either one of those in years.

You're way past ready to open your own place.Seriously.Those look better than many places out there.
 :chef:

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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: JT's WFO pies
« Reply #174 on: August 06, 2011, 03:45:53 PM »
A made a couple of short videos of a few of the pies that we enjoyed.

A white pie with garlic chicken.  Oops, I forgot the red onions on this one.


Half cheese, half meatball.  The meatball pies were a crowd favorite.




Dom Demarco would be proud to cut through one of your cripsy goodness sounding pizzas.

Quick question.  On these particular pizzas are you using ady/idy, your starter or fresh yeast?  Keep up the good work.  Thanks.
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