Author Topic: So many variables.....  (Read 736 times)

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Offline San Jose Dale

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So many variables.....
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:09:50 AM »
I am a newbie pizza maker here, armed with a WFO now for the past 4 months. I have been experimenting with different kinds of styles, and seem to be settling in on Neopolitan style. So far, my results have been inconsistent at best. Sometimes I get a crispier crust (which I like) sometimes it's tough. Sometimes I get a nice airy crumb, sometimes not. At least the one constant is the oven, aprox. 800 degrees floor temps and the pie is cooking in 75-90 seconds. I have now invested in gram scales (both fine and coarse) and am setting about trying to figure this out, but I have a few basic questions...

What is the effect of hydration, does this determine the crispiness of the crust?
What is the effect of the amount of yeast? I have recipes that seem to vary quite a bit, perhaps this determines the crumb and/or air bubbles?

I am using 00 flour, with  IDY, Usually I cold ferment for at least 24 hours with the following formulation, but the another recipe I tried (instructions form the WFO manufacturer) had 3 times this amount of yeast.

500g Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour.
325g water (65% hydration).
10g salt
3g active dry yeast.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dale


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: So many variables.....
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 10:54:43 AM »
At least the one constant is the oven, aprox. 800 degrees floor temps and the pie is cooking in 75-90 seconds.
500g Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour.

One thing to consider:

Among the most critical factors for this kind of pizza is heat. It may be a mistake to assume the because you have measured it at a certain point on the deck that you have nailed this down. Is enough heat stored in the deck so that it can deliver a consistent amount of heat throughout the bake? What about the heat radiated from the coals and the fire? From my standpoint, balancing the amount of heat from all sources to get all parts of the pie done at the same moment is the biggest challenge. A few seconds either side of perfection can make a tremendous difference.   

Offline shuboyje

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Re: So many variables.....
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 12:17:30 PM »
In my opinion your goals of Neapolitan style and crisp crust contradict each other.  By design Neapolitan pizza is supposed to be floppy soft and pliable.  Don't be fooled by the vast majority of pizzerias in the us that sell crisp pizzas cooked in 650-700F ovens as neapolitan.

I'd you want a crisp crust I'd drop the temp to 700F and work on a coal oven style dough using something closer to bread flour.
-Jeff

Offline San Jose Dale

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Re: So many variables.....
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 12:44:16 PM »
I didn't meant to imply a "crisp" crust, was just trying to distinguish between one that was tough, and too floppy, if that makes sense? I know a Neopolitan pizza won't be cracker crust crisp. I have actually had pretty good luck with a NY style dough, at 700 ish, using KASL or bread flour.

I have definitively had some success, but just wondered are the characteristics of varying the hydration and yeast content.

I also understand there are all three kinds of heat in a WFO, radiant, convective and conductive, so balancing all these is certainly a challenge, as Bill SFNM points out.

Thanks,

Dale