Author Topic: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread  (Read 2261 times)

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Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2015, 10:00:44 AM »
Sorry to butt in, but I'd also like to find a good base for white pizza. Have tried whipped cream (thanks Capt Bob) but found it made the pie just too rich for our tastes..beautiful but rich. So Craig, when you suggest cream..how is it used?  Any other good choices?
I like to use créme fraiche on my pizza. When the oven is really hot, it tends to split a little but still taste fantastic. Créme fraiche, mushrooms and Parmesan is always a hit when I do the cooking class.

Antoine
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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2015, 10:14:35 AM »
Great, thank you!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2015, 11:03:55 AM »
But if you could elaborate on your bechamel sauce aversion, it probably would tell us just that much more about you.  :)

Thanks for the kind words.

I'm not the world's biggest fan of starch-based sauces to begin with. Other than some variety of gravy, I can't remember the last time I made a starch-based sauce. I think a lot of my aversion on pizza is the starch on starch thing. It "feels" wrong to me. It strikes me a putting paste on pizza. I'm sure that is not the case here, but I can't shake the feeling.

I really don't like the idea of separating red and white pizza. Either it's pizza or it isn't. The same fundamentals of balance apply. Maybe it's just me - thickened sauces seem heavy handed for NP. They are designed to cling to and coat things and to provide body that can stand up to very robust counterparts. I don't see what you could put on NP that requires these properties. What is it balancing against? Pizza is not lasagne.

Properly applied, cream thickens beautifully on its own in the intense heat. It can be combined with fresh or hard cheese and/or evoo to accomplish all manner of characteristics. It can be thickened naturally as in creme fraiche or via light whipping. Everything about putting a starch-based sauce on NP strikes me as fundamentally wrong and unnecessary.

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Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2015, 02:17:34 PM »
Wow ... lots of comments.  Thanks for the feedback everybody and looks like I've got some new ideas to try.

Craig, I would echo the thoughts that your words, even when clearly qualified with "IMO" as you did, carry a lot of weight on this forum.  Clearly this forum and its leaders like you have greatly advanced the state of pizza over the last few years.

My goal is to always improve, and if changing the way I make a white sauce will improve my pizza, then I'm all for it.




Offline schold

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2015, 05:57:33 PM »
I say make what you like, Brad. Of course a forum like this has a lot to do with getting valuable feedback and suggestions from one's peers, but consensus of opinion and a bunch of clones shouldn't be the goal...
Cooking is not a recipe, it's a philosophy - unless it's pastry, then it's chemistry.

- Marco Pierre White

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2015, 06:23:05 PM »
I say make what you like, Brad. Of course a forum like this has a lot to do with getting valuable feedback and suggestions from one's peers, but consensus of opinion and a bunch of clones shouldn't be the goal...

Absolutely. Make what you like. That's how you will make your best pie. Where feedback and suggestions come in that that you might discover that you like something else even more.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2015, 11:33:45 AM »
55 Pizzas in three hours and no pictures!!  Quite an experience and pretty tired at the end.

This was my first ever large batch of pizzas for my son's high school graduation party. 

Some things that were a challenge that I'd appreciate any advice more experienced folks have to give:

- Remembering what someone ordered.  I need to get a whiteboard or something to jot down orders.  My short term memory is very leaky.

- Remembering that I had a pizza in the oven.  After launching, someone would start a conversation with me and I'd forget to keep an eye on the pizza.  Again, my short term memory is very leaky.

- The oven really got quite hot, too hot for my tastes.  I prefer to have my floor around 750 and it was up in the 800-850 range as the afternoon wore on. As I was in fear of the floor cooling off too much, I had kept a fairly robust fire going to the side.  How does one keep a flame going for proper top-cooking but not end up overheating the oven?


Offline f.montoya

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2015, 10:14:41 AM »
55 Pizzas in three hours and no pictures!!  Quite an experience and pretty tired at the end.

This was my first ever large batch of pizzas for my son's high school graduation party. 

Congratulations! The more pies you bake, the more you hone your skills in this "craft"(to borrow the word from Tony Gemignani). :)


Some things that were a challenge that I'd appreciate any advice more experienced folks have to give:

Glad to try!

- Remembering what someone ordered.  I need to get a whiteboard or something to jot down orders.  My short term memory is very leaky.

Shorten the menu. If I have only one or two familes over and less than 15 or so guests, then I will have basically everything on hand, and even take requests. When the number of guests is between 20 and 30, I will decide on 3 or 4, fast-to-top pies to be on the menu only. After my guests, or at least the kids, start to fill up, I expand the menu to include other ingredients. For huge parties of 40 to 50 guests, I divide those guests into three groups and ask each of them to show up (for example) at noon, then 12:30 and finally 1:00pm. This ensures that they can eat when they arrive.

- Remembering that I had a pizza in the oven.  After launching, someone would start a conversation with me and I'd forget to keep an eye on the pizza.  Again, my short term memory is very leaky.

This happens to every guy. Women seem to be able to multi-task better than us guys. I can't even talk and turn pies while I'm shooting my videos, LOL. Best thing to do is to print out a big sign that says "Warning! Distracting the pizzaiolo can cause burnt pizzas!"


- The oven really got quite hot, too hot for my tastes.  I prefer to have my floor around 750 and it was up in the 800-850 range as the afternoon wore on. As I was in fear of the floor cooling off too much, I had kept a fairly robust fire going to the side.  How does one keep a flame going for proper top-cooking but not end up overheating the oven?

This is normal and good at the same time. I have had the opportunity to use exactly 4 different WFO's over the past 3 years and each heats differently and each radiates and convects a little differently. If you feel your oven floor is too hot, you have a good oven! Now it's time to learn how to cook and rotate off-floor. But more importantly, you have to get into rhythm with managing the flame. Make sure you have good flame no matter what the floor temp is. You can always lift and finish off a 50-70 second bake off the floor and tilting your pie toward the flame.

Usually, I have to pre-heat my oven for a minimum of 2 hours, just to get up to 900f all around. But it works even better after 4 or 6 hours when the masonry is saturated. By then the walls are so saturated with heat that I get 45 - 60 second bakes with the last 15 or 20 seconds being off-the-floor. It's just a matter of learning and getting used to all the different conditions your oven progresses through during any given period of time. You'll bake a certain way for the first few hours and then begin to change your approach as the oven's heat dictates.

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2015, 11:15:53 AM »
Hi Brad,

Here is what I do:

- Remembering what someone ordered.  It is like everything it gets easier with practice. You can also make it fun by saying "the cheese only pizza for the young men with a blue shirt"

- Remembering that I had a pizza in the oven.  We all burned a few pizza like that. I often ask people to give me one second while I finish cooking their pizza. Also as you do it more and cooking the pizza becomes a reflex rather than something you have to think about, you will be able to double task.

- The oven really got quite hot, too hot for my tastes. I am like you and like the floor around 750F. Use smaller pieces of wood and adjust how many you put in as you bake the pizza. I know I keep a good fire going till 30 minutes before the event, then I let it slow down almost to just embers. That way the dome is hot from the embers but the floor not as much as there are less flames. Then right before I start cooking, I get the fire going again. Also if the floor gets too hot, especially at the beginning of an event, try to use the same spot when you first place the pizzas. Then as the pizzas still some heat from the floor, you can start using different spots. My sweet for cooking in the oven is after 4 or 5 pizza, I feel it is perfectly balance and can cook endlessly.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.


Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2015, 06:21:25 PM »
Where's the oven pics? I really wanted a 950b but it wouldn't work for my application.

Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2015, 07:08:11 PM »
Fidel and Antoine, thanks for the feedback and suggestions, I think they will help.

Antoine, when you say you let the fire start dying down 30 minutes before cooking, is the fire still in the middle of the oven or have you already moved it to the side?  I had started to use smaller pieces of wood to keep the flame going, but then towards the end I noticed I was almost out of embers.  Are embers necessary for cooking, or just having a flame across the top?

Ogwoodfire - I need to get some better pics of the oven, but this is my "All Terrain Oven" that Antoine built for me.  It is designed to be able to be moved around on flat ground, both concrete and grass.  On grass, it takes at least two folks and sometimes three if there is any uneven surface.  I have an electric winch on my 5x10' trailer that I use to load and unload. 


Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2015, 07:58:43 PM »
Really, really cool. I spent a great deal of time communicating with Antoine and was all set to buy one of his ovens until we laid out the oven dimensions and it just wouldn't fit in my food truck, it would have blocked the door to the cabin. I hope it works well for you.

Best wishes,
Jay

Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2015, 08:29:45 PM »
I like the oven and it garnered a LOT of attention at my son's graduation party.  My long-range plan is to possibly start up a semi-retirement business of pizza catering similar to what Jconk007 does as described in his Flirting With Fire thread.  I would transport the oven to the desired  location on my trailer and then unload and fine-tune the location by just rolling the oven around. 

I'm going to spend 2015 learning how to cook with it and do a few more parties to work out the process a bit.  It was a little scary making 23 pounds of dough the other night and then turning that into 59 doughballs.

If the business never pans out, then I've still got a really cool oven for my own personal use.

Offline Ogwoodfire

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2015, 12:49:06 AM »
True, a good investment either way. Turning out the pizzas will seem easy in no time. No better way to learn than get thrown in the fire.

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2015, 01:12:36 PM »
Fidel and Antoine, thanks for the feedback and suggestions, I think they will help.

Antoine, when you say you let the fire start dying down 30 minutes before cooking, is the fire still in the middle of the oven or have you already moved it to the side?  I had started to use smaller pieces of wood to keep the flame going, but then towards the end I noticed I was almost out of embers.  Are embers necessary for cooking, or just having a flame across the top?

Brad,
At that point I have moved the fire to the side. For the 30 minutes, it really depends on the wood I burn, wind,..., sometime after 15 min I get the fire going again. I would make sure you check the floor temp often at the beginning to see how it works out for you. Don't want to be in a situation where the temp has dropped too much and you need to start cooking.

Yes, to me the embers are very important as it helps keeping you floor/oven hot and if need be bring the pizza closer to finishing the crust. Again it depends on the wood but you can try to alternate big and small pieces to keep a good stack of embers going.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2015, 09:21:58 PM »
First try at Ciabatta tonight after the pizzas.  The loaves were cooked in order from right to left.  Oven and floor was still close to 600 for the first one so it definitely got a little too brown.

#3 was a launch disaster as I tried something new that didn't work. 

They are still cooling a bit, but I'm hoping they taste as good as they look to me!!


Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2015, 09:24:26 PM »
Wow, that Ciabatta looks fantastic. Share your recipe when you get a chance  ;)

WFO cooking is about passion.


Offline bradtri

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2015, 08:31:02 PM »
Thanks Antoine.

My recipe is from Reinhardt's Artisan Breads Every Day.  The recipe is fairly technique-heavy with some stretch and folds and then a couple proofing rises with stretch and folds.  Just before baking, I added the step of rolling the entire loaf over to flip it and that helped the crumb structure significantly so that I don't get that big bubble on the top of the loaf. 

I just bought a proofing basket that I'm going to try to see if I can get a little more vertical in my loaf.

Here is the recipe:

567 g bread flour
11 g salt
4  IDY
454 g chilled water
14 g olive oil

At 80%, it's definitely a wet dough.  82.5% if you count the oil.

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Brad's 950B Pizza Thread
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2015, 12:16:24 PM »
Thank you  :chef:
WFO cooking is about passion.


 

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