Author Topic: My Neapolitan Progress  (Read 29758 times)

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Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #160 on: February 18, 2012, 02:16:57 AM »
Nice looking pies Jordan.  How did they eat? How was the texture compared to your long bulked pies?

My best pies yet. They tasted incredible with the fresh mozz. Unfortunately I do not like the 'Cento Italian Whole' tomatoes anywhere near as much as I like the Cento San Marzanos, and this batch of pies had the Italian style tomato; which I basically got because a couple of people recommended it in this thread. It just doesnt have the "pop" of flavor in your mouth like the san marzanos have in my opinion. But, overall the crumb was great. I should be getting my WFO around this time next month, so by april hopefully Ill be able to produce the "real" thing. I will try this same recipe for next experiment but use the dough earlier, instead of 39 hours, Ill bring it down to 30-32 hours and see my results with a less fermented dough; these last pies where showing serious signs of fermentation by the time I was ready to bake them.
-Jordan


Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #161 on: February 18, 2012, 01:33:34 PM »
Jordan,

Very nice.  From the looks of the third picture, it appears the middle of the pizza stayed very soft and tender.  What was your bake time?

Grazie,
Salvatore

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #162 on: February 25, 2012, 09:30:29 AM »
Jordan,

Very nice.  From the looks of the third picture, it appears the middle of the pizza stayed very soft and tender.  What was your bake time?

Grazie,
Salvatore

These pies cooked in 2 min. Note that my oven has broke recently, so all of these pies are made with the broiler only. The broiler is left on for an hour to heat up the oven, then the pies are cooked directly under the broiled for 2 min.

So, for whats new in my pizza making journey, I have started to activate a culture. The culture is from Ischia Island off the coast of Naples, Italy. I have fed it about 5 times so far over the past 3-4 days, keeping up with a strict feeding schedule and have started to dump the culture after each feeding to keep the ratio of bacteria and yeast stable. Apparently it takes 5-7 days for this culture to be fully activated, and months for it to become stable. I will keep reading more about it as I feed it and when I determine when it is ready I will start making some breads and pizza with it eventually. When I ordered the culture, it also came with another one called Camoldoni, I will keep that in my fridge until I plan to active that one, probably after I get a hang of whats going on with the Ischia culture.

Below is a recent 2 min bake. Garlic, pecorino, fresh mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil.
-Jordan

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #163 on: February 25, 2012, 09:55:14 AM »
Jordan - Your pies keep getting better and better. Very nice broiler work. So how was the crumb, texture and flavor on these?

John

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #164 on: February 26, 2012, 09:26:35 PM »
Jordan,

Your starter, if taken care of properly, will be very stable in much less time than a month.  Figure out a schedule and ratio that it likes best and just stick to it.  I feed mine first thing every morning and keep it at 100%.  Along with pizza, I use it for most of my breads, so I would never think of refrigerating it.  It stays at room temperature.

Salvatore

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #165 on: February 26, 2012, 10:26:08 PM »
Jordan - Your pies keep getting better and better. Very nice broiler work. So how was the crumb, texture and flavor on these?

The crumb was similar to the others due to the mixing/kneading regiment and form of bake. The pie had a slightly crispy cornicione due to the broiler being the only way of cooking the pie and the rest of the pie stayed soft and supple; especially in the middle since im using cheese now. Flavor was incredible. But, from baking with my oven it seems as if the flavor comes mostly from toppings, the crust/crumb are still similar through out most experiments which makes me cross my fingers that the WFO Im getting will change all of that for my doughs flavor.

Your starter, if taken care of properly, will be very stable in much less time than a month.  Figure out a schedule and ratio that it likes best and just stick to it.  I feed mine first thing every morning and keep it at 100%.  Along with pizza, I use it for most of my breads, so I would never think of refrigerating it.  It stays at room temperature.

Salvatore, from what I have read and have been told that it could take some time for a starter to be truly stable. Meaning its controlled rather than you having to be the puppet master. I would say that time period cannot be marked, I say this due to myself being unexperienced with cultures and due to what I have read/been told. I said "months" because I feel as if a culture takes 5 days to a week to only be activated; then it could take some time for it to gain stability, but sure theres many variables (ambient temperature, humidity, cross contamination, poisoning, several "washes", incorrect amounts to feed to the culture, ect...) Im sure the listed can change and better or worsen a culture to provide more or less stability given the scenario. I hope that provided some clarification.

I feed mine when I wake up as well, 1 cup flour - 3/4 cup water (im sure that makes it over 100% hydration, I will start scaling out my water/flour starting the next feed) I've been feeding it between 10-13 hour intervals and dumping all but about a cup (as directed by Mr. Wood in the instructions) and it seems as if it is doing well, has a beautiful aroma. Almost a buttery beer aroma, I enjoy it. Cant wait to see how it does with pizza. I leave mine at room temperature as well which is about 69-72F.

What amounts of flour and water do you use? I have read about 200g or 300g at 100% hydration is pretty standard for feeding. Let me know.
-Jordan

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #166 on: February 27, 2012, 06:42:48 AM »
Jordan - If you are keeping your starter out at room temp, you do not need to keep such a large amount. I discard all but one large tablespoon, then add two heaping tablespoons of flour and enough water to get it to a stiff levain consistency. If you wanted to, you could even use teaspoon measures instead.

John

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #167 on: February 27, 2012, 09:15:22 AM »
Jordan,

I try to maintain approximately 100g of starter.  Each morning I discard 80g, and replace it with 40g Flour and 40g H20.  Of course, on days where I use the starter, I increase the amounts the following day to get back up to my 100g.  I generally try to take a portion for baking (which is, of course, very small) around 3 hours after feeding.  I also use AP flour for my feedings.  For a long time I was feeding with 00, but find the AP to be much more to my liking.

I truly hope you can continue to keep it at room temperature.  I separated mine at one point and refrigerated a portion.  I would occasionally pull it out to compare with my room temp culture, and I never cared for the refrigerated version as much.  Also, as I said, I use it quite often, so for me to refrigerate it would be counter-productive.  I have frozen a small, dried-out sample, however, for "doomsday" situations!

Salute!
Salvatore

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #168 on: February 27, 2012, 03:24:44 PM »
Jordan - If you are keeping your starter out at room temp, you do not need to keep such a large amount. I discard all but one large tablespoon, then add two heaping tablespoons of flour and enough water to get it to a stiff levain consistency. If you wanted to, you could even use teaspoon measures instead.

Thanks for this information. May I ask where you obtain information like this? Is there a link you could point me too so I can learn more about it. Thank you!

I try to maintain approximately 100g of starter.  Each morning I discard 80g, and replace it with 40g Flour and 40g H20.  Of course, on days where I use the starter, I increase the amounts the following day to get back up to my 100g.  I generally try to take a portion for baking (which is, of course, very small) around 3 hours after feeding.  I also use AP flour for my feedings.  For a long time I was feeding with 00, but find the AP to be much more to my liking.

I truly hope you can continue to keep it at room temperature.  I separated mine at one point and refrigerated a portion.  I would occasionally pull it out to compare with my room temp culture, and I never cared for the refrigerated version as much.  Also, as I said, I use it quite often, so for me to refrigerate it would be counter-productive.  I have frozen a small, dried-out sample, however, for "doomsday" situations!

Salvatore, also, may you link me to somewhere were I can read information on this? So since your starter is activated, you feed it every morning since you started, since youre only using 40g of flour a day I suppose you dont worry about costs of flour since thats so little. But, is that only one feeding a day you use? How do you determine it is active? When do you feed the refrigerated portion? Also, for clarification, when you plan to make pizza and you wake up, you feed it and then 3 hours after you feed it you start to make your dough, did I read that correctly?
-Jordan

Offline tscaife

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #169 on: February 27, 2012, 03:59:10 PM »
Jordan,

The following is from Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread book. http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/tartine-country-bread#slide_1

"With each feeding, remove 75 grams; discard remainder of starter. Feed with 150 grams reserved flour blend and 150 grams warm water. Mix, using your hands, until mixture is the consistency of a thick, lump-free batter."
 

It is stable and ready for use when it rises and falls predictably with each feeding. You will also see bubbles popping at the surface. This took about a week for me if I recall correctly. The ischia starter is very resilient and easy to manage once activated. I keep mine refrigerated and feed it once or twice a week. I make dough using the starter right from the fridge. Most people bring it to room temp and feed it prior to use but, I find it unnecessary as long as I feed it at least once a week.

Ed Wood's book is OK but, I learned far more from this forum and the Tartine Bread book.

Just my 2 cents.

Todd
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 04:10:55 PM by tscaife »


Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #170 on: February 27, 2012, 09:37:16 PM »
Jordan,

You are correct... if you were to continue with a daily feeding schedule consisting of 200ish grams of flour, that would get expensive.  I've gone as low as 25g/day, but have settled on 40g for the time being.  Of course, remember that is coupled with an equal weight of flour for a 100% hydration level. 

You will get different signs of activation depending on whether you are maintaining a liquid culture or a stiff culture.  You will also develop a different flavor profile and acidity.  It is fairly easy to convert from one to the other, so I believe it is merely personal preference.  I no longer maintain a culture in the refrigerator since the one I had there was only part of an experiment to compare it to the constant-room-temp sample.  I was curious how they would differ, and after several months, and not using the refrigerated version a single time, I discarded it.  I found it to be overly acidic.

Every morning my culture is fed.  If I am making pizza, I generally begin in the afternoon (for a next-day dough), so it allows perfectly for a few hours to pass from the feeding.  If I am making bread, I begin my levain in the evening.  I don't really worry a whole lot about the power in the culture because it is headed for a 12-17 hour fermentation anyway.  Also, remember that now by making my levain it is in essence "feeding" the culture again.   

I think you need to realize a little bit of culture goes a long way!  Most home recipes are easily made with very small amounts of culture, and if for some reason you need an excessive amount, all you have to do is build a larger quantity.  For example, take 25g starter, add 50g flour, 50g H20, ferment 3 hours.  Take 50g of that, discard the rest, and again add equal parts flour and H20 and allow to ferment.  Can you see where this is going?  You can continue to build, discarding some each time, until you have the quantity you need.  But, as I mentioned, you are generally going to be using small amounts.

The book I generally refer back to is Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman.  He is one of America's foremost breadmakers, and was also a student of Prof. Calvel.  His book gives excellent information on everything, but specifically contains some great detail about autolyse and culture maintenance.  It is focused on bread, obviously, but I have found it provides a good basis to venture out.  Technique, after all, is EVERYTHING.  Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

Salute,
Salvatore

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #171 on: February 27, 2012, 11:00:14 PM »
You guys are so very helpful. Some questions based off the information you provided.

Do you feed your culture, then dump? Or the other way around?

I would love to only use 40g of flour a day, also, not sure if you answered my question Salvatore, but, since you only feed once a day, on the days you want to make pizza are you still feeding it only once (when you wake up, ferment 3 hours and make pizza?) also, when you say levian and you "feed the culture again" are you feeding it twice before you use it? Some clarification on that would be great!

Also, how do you determine the culture is at a level in flavor for pizza? Too sour could be a bad thing and Im sure the consistency of you culture and many other variables come into play, but one I am concerned with most is the amount of flour and water you put in. Some people say 150, 200, 300g.. You and John use a very little amount, does the amount create a different flavor? Or as long as the hydration of the feedings are 100% you will have similar results?

Can someone take a picture or video of their culture after they feed it (so I can see the consistency of the batter) and after its been fermenting a while so I can see how the "bubble" formation on top looks?

My most recent feeding, I dumped a larger portion than usual out and I am working on getting it smaller and smaller until its about 100g. I feel like the smaller amounts would obviously be more cost effective and easier to maintain (for me at least).
-Jordan

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #172 on: February 28, 2012, 04:13:10 PM »
Jordan,

Ok, here we go:

1. Dump, then feed. 
2. Correct.  Only one feeding/day, regardless of whether or not I use a portion of the culture to bake.  I use it anywhere from 2-8 hours after feeding.
3. A levain is used to make bread.  A portion of starter (in my case 28g) is mixed with a larger portion of flour and H20 (136g and 170g, respectively), then fermented for 12-17 hours.  That is then combined with additional flour and H20 to make the final dough. 
4. Ripeness in a stiff-textured culture (50-60% hydration) is indicated by a domed surface where the center has just stared to recede again, and in a liquid culture (100-125%) ripeness is indicated by the presence of "soap bubbles" on the surface.

You can see from the above numbers, when I bake baguettes, 28g of culture is enough for me to produce 6 loaves.  That's as many as I want to produce at one time.  A little goes a long way.  When I make pizza, I'm only using 10-20g of culture.  That is why, even when I use a portion, I don't need to do anything special.  I simply adjust the following day by removing a touch less and adding just a hair more.  It will even itself out back to my 100g goal over a day or two.

I think one of the reasons you see people throwing around big numbers concerning feedings is the majority keep their culture refrigerated.  Therefore, once they return it to room temperature they want to give it a big boost in order to re-activate it.  They feed it several times, use a portion, then return it to a semi-dormant state in the cooler.  If you keep it at room temperature you won't have to worry about that.  Remember, in just a teaspoon of culture there are billions of living organisms.  They will happily mutiply and reproduce as long as you give them food and water. 

The flavor that develops is going to depend a lot on what YOU want.  You can adjust the acidity of the culture by tweaking hydration, storage temperature, and the type of flour you are using.  Play around with it and see what you prefer.  You can maintain your "mother-culture" and just use a portion to start another for experimentation.  You can keep the original going, then have several going with 00 flour, rye flour, different levels of H20, etc., and then have direct comparisons.  That is how I came about with what I have now.  I had a sort of "competition" to pick a winner.  I'm very happy with the result. 

Jordan, this isn't rocket-science.  Truthfully, it's just nature.  You could just as easily start your own culture out of thin air!  Leave out some flour and H20 and see what happens.  You'll get something, especially if you bake a lot in your home.  There's a lot of yeast floating around.  You might not always get what you were looking for the first time, but eventually you will.  In the end, your nose will tell you when things are right... or wrong.  Trust your senses.  If it smells good, all is well.  If it smells bad, time to do a wash and get back to square one.

Ciao,
Salvatore

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #173 on: March 01, 2012, 07:06:18 PM »
Dear Omid,

450g (Mixture of leftover Caputo and AP Flour)
279g Tap Water (62%)
13.5g Salt (3%)
8.37g Ischia Culture (3%)

7+22 Hours @ 70-75F
Total Fermentation = 29 Hours
All Baked under broiler ~3 min

Toppings In Order
1st Pie - Sauce, Salt, Garlic, Basil, Parm, Fresh Mozz, Oil
2nd Pie - Sauce, Salt, Garlic, Tomatoes, Parm, Fresh Mozz, Oil
3rd Pie - Garlic, Tomatoes, Salt, Basil, Parm, Double Fresh Mozz, Oil

Pics In Order
Work Area, Dough Balls right before bake, 1st Pie Pre-Bake, 1st Pie Finished, 2nd Pie Close-up
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 07:09:32 PM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #174 on: March 01, 2012, 07:07:38 PM »
Continued...

2nd Pie, 3rd Pie, All.
-Jordan

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #175 on: March 01, 2012, 09:08:39 PM »
Dear Omid. . . .

Dear Jordan, great work with making the leap from commercial yeast to starter culture, not easy! You keep making steady progress. You should pat yourself on the back!
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #176 on: March 01, 2012, 09:47:14 PM »
Jordan,

Bravo!  They look great.  How did you feel about the taste?  Was it to your liking?

Salvatore

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #177 on: March 02, 2012, 06:23:17 AM »
Excellent work Jordan! Just wait until you pop those pies into the fornax when it arrives - you will be a neapolitan super hero.

John

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #178 on: March 02, 2012, 10:29:09 PM »
No kidding. Those pies of yours are really looking great!

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline BurntFingers

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #179 on: March 05, 2012, 08:34:33 PM »
Jordan,
Your pies look great.  We keep our sour dough from Ischia in the fridge between baking after we got it going full force.  Just take it out a couple of days before baking and it is back to normal.  No need to waste lots of flour on it in between.  We've baked all our breads with it,  ciabatta, pain levan, artisan niche and foccacia.  You should have great results.  Take a look at http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f48/garden-state-wfo-group-10795.html next time you are online.
Bill