Author Topic: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust  (Read 15379 times)

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Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #75 on: January 06, 2012, 09:00:08 AM »
Don,
It's a gas oven, but I like your setup and will try something similar.

Scott,
You are correct that my #1 concern is burning.  This is a different approach to what I've been doing, but frankly my broiler is so pitiful it's worth a shot.

Grazie a voi,
Salvatore


buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #76 on: January 06, 2012, 09:18:00 AM »
Salvatore, I have found with the gas ovens here in Mexico it is important to leave some hot air to circulate up to the vent at the top of the stove, when I sealed the top off my burner would not operate correctly and I lost temperature in the oven. Both ovens had to have some air circulate out the vent. Your oven may be different so try it both ways.
Don

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2012, 02:05:42 AM »
6 minutes?! 6 minutes?!  Oh, man! I was thinking the other day how, with really thick materials, it might take some time for the heat to travel from one side to the other, and that we might see diminishing returns as thicknesses increase, but 6 minutes?! If 1/2" steel plate can do 3.5 minute pies at 530, how can 3/4" steel plate take 6 minutes at 525?

As disappointing as these results are, I think there may be one or two mitigating factors.  The hydration is most likely extending the bake clock.  I also think that, due to the sheer heft of the plate, that 80 minutes might not be quite enough. Is it worth doing again with a lower hydration and longer pre-heat, though?  I guess if you really want to be thorough and don't mind longer baked caputo pizza, go for it (for long baked caputo, it really doesn't look half bad), but I don't think the mitigating factors are going to resolve the issue.

I really thought there was a chance this could be easier, but I guess the pizzamaking gods feel otherwise. I'm not giving up completely on 550, but it might be 575 for the hearth.  I guess it's time to begin the aluminum foil pouchmaking (or start shoppping for insulating brick and/or kiln posts).  Remember, air is the insulator, so big bubbles= good.  Also remember, though, that aluminum melts in the 1200s, so try not to let it actually touch the broiler.

And it took 5 minutes for the broiler to glow? That's also a bit of head scratcher.

Oh, well, bring on the mods  ;D

I'm making a new dough tonight and I'll follow your suggestions.  Namely I'm going with a lower hydration of 60%, oven calibration 35° higher (585°), and I'll try not to forget to crank the broiler before launching the pie.  I haven't heard back from the insulating fire brick supplier, but since I'm only looking to spend around $1 I can see why there's no hurry on their end  ;).  Hopefully this bake can serve as a better baseline before employing the oven probe cover mod.  Either way I'll post photo's of the results.

Flour (100%):
Water (60%):
ADY (.7%):
Salt (2.44%):
Total (163.14%):
159.59 g  |  5.63 oz | 0.35 lbs
95.75 g  |  3.38 oz | 0.21 lbs
1.12 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.3 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
3.89 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.7 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
260.35 g | 9.18 oz | 0.57 lbs | TF = 0.0812

Note to self, next up:
Flour (100%):
Water (61%):
ADY (.5%):
Salt (2.8%):
Total (164.3%):
165.88 g  |  5.85 oz | 0.37 lbs
101.19 g  |  3.57 oz | 0.22 lbs
0.83 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.22 tsp | 0.07 tbsp
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.97 tsp | 0.32 tbsp
272.54 g | 9.61 oz | 0.6 lbs | TF = 0.085
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 09:43:49 PM by johnamus »

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2012, 07:31:04 AM »
John, sounds good.  Lowering the water will definitely give you a faster bake and a much better point of reference for what 3/4" steel can do.  I'm also highly curious as to your feelings on the 2-3 minute caputo bake that you'll most likely achieve.

Sourcing the brick really shouldn't get that complicated.  Look up 'Brick' in the yellow pages and start calling each listing to see if they have insulating bricks in stock.

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2012, 07:47:18 AM »
Most all ceramic supply stores carry insulating brick for kiln building/repair. Very expensive but jewelry making suppliers carry them for silver soldering on.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #80 on: January 08, 2012, 08:54:36 PM »
Argh! This attempt wasn't much better than the last despite the adjustments.  Bake time was less than 4 minutes, although it could have probably come out of the oven sooner than that at the expense of some crispiness. The bottom of the pie exhibited a bit of charring, but the top was an albino leopard.  I'm going to focus on creating an insulator for the probe before making any more attempts.

Pictures are attached.  On a side note, I opened up the dough without using any bench flour, does it matter that the dough resembled the surface of the moon, or is it optimal to achieve a smoother dough surface?

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #81 on: January 08, 2012, 10:36:15 PM »
I should clarify that my top element was on, but the only way I could get it to turn on was via the "roast"setting.  My guess is that the roast setting puts out less heat than the broil setting of my oven even though they both involve the top element. 

The frustrating thing is that the 35 degree oven calibration registers for the bake and roast settings but not the auto shutoff for the "broil" setting, it remains fixed at 550 regardless of calibration.  Either way, the temp probe mod should resolve this issue.

-John

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2012, 01:29:57 AM »
Well, look on the bright side, the only way to go is up.  :)

I'm curious, how long of a pre-heat are you doing?

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2012, 08:11:41 AM »
This time I did a 2.5 hour preheat. A bit of overkill but I wanted to make sure that insufficient preheat time wasn't an issue.


Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2012, 08:20:33 AM »
What I was forced to do was leave the door open during baking in order to keep the broiler on.  That is why the soapstone is nice... It retains so much heat leaving the door open wasn't detrimental to bottom heat.  After a 90min preheat it would be around 570deg.  That was good enough for a 2min bake.  Unfortunately, as i've discovered, 2min is too long for true Neapolitan.  It results in too crisp a crust. 

Salvatore

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2012, 08:34:06 AM »
Bottom heat wasn't an issue for me this time; my infrared gun showed a plate temp of 650 when I launched the pie.  I'd guess that the bottom of the pizza was completely baked at the 2 minute mark, but the top of the pie was still rawish.  I'm really hoping that the probe cover will solve my top-heat issue.

If it doesn't ;D, then soapstone might be my next hearth substitute.  I'd use it as the hearth in an oven-within-an-oven setup that has gotten Omid some simply amazing results.

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2012, 08:43:23 AM »
Omid's setup is a perfect example of what needs to be done. He also shows what I believe is the defining factor of pizza napoletana: suppleness.  Too many people are hung up on charring the top, when tenderness is the key.  Of course, putting the two together in a home oven is a real challenge.  I believe in order to get it right, bake times have to be sub-90sec at the least. 


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2012, 12:24:00 PM »
He also shows what I believe is the defining factor of pizza napoletana: suppleness.  Too many people are hung up on charring the top, when tenderness is the key.

Salvatore - One of the great characteristics of a perfectly cooked NP pie, in my opinion, is the contrast in a charred, slightly crispy outer rim and a supple, tender interior and middle. The middle of the pie becomes naturally supple from the toppings and sauce, and the inside of the crust is light as a feather. Cook times for such a pie varies from 40-60 seconds in a very hot oven. But this is just my ideal. I agree though, it is much harder to achieve overall suppleness as they covet in Naples.

John

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2012, 12:29:15 PM »
John,

I am in complete agreement with you.  The charred, ever so slightly crisp top crust has just a tiny bit of "bite," and this does contrast perfectly with such a soft interior.  And yes, most definitely, featherweight!  I remember sitting in Gino Sorbillo and remarking to my wife how light the pizza was. 

Thanks for expounding on what I was trying to convey.

Grazie,
Salvatore