Author Topic: My Neapolitan Progress  (Read 36290 times)

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Offline BurntFingers

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #150 on: February 07, 2012, 04:04:52 PM »
To those of you looking to modify a standard electric self cleaning oven or any oven temp control.  Please remember that wood ignition takes place at around 525 degrees F.  Sometimes as low as 400 degrees F when the conditions are right.  Most stoves are built into cabinetry or adjacent to cabinetry.  Close enough that the outside of the oven could reach the ignition point of the surrounding wood or composite material.  The inside might be 900 to 1000 degrees and after significant time the outside could reach ignition temperatures.  I could see the plastic parts of the stove melting or burning up when that happens.  The smell of the melting, burning plastic could result in toxic fumes.  No pizza is worth the burning down you house or breathing in those fumes or the fumes from the wiring insulation melting.  Please we need all the pizzaioli we can get don't kill yourself or get sick.

That is why wood burning cook stoves or wood fired heating appliances & their chimney stacks must be a significant distance from any flammable/combustable surface.  Over time the material will dry out and catch fire. Make sure your stove has the clearance all around if you are going to heat it up to over max ratings.  You don't want the studs behind the sheet rock to start to smolder after you go to bed and burn your house down.  Move the stove far from the wall or place enough thermal insulation behind the stove.   Just be very careful. 

I learned my lesson when I was a kid and decided to mix my own rocket fuel  for my model airplanes' afterburner in my mom's kitchen.  It ended up that we had to evacuate a 12 story apartment building in NYC.  Fortunately no one got hurt (boy was she pissed off when she came home).  That is another story with many more details. BTW I never got it off the ground.


Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #151 on: February 09, 2012, 08:50:57 PM »
The last couple of days have been pure confusion for me..

After a conversation with Omid I rushed to the kitchen to make a batch of dough in despair of experimenting with new techniques.

The recipe was..

450g 00 Caputo Pizzeria
279g h2o (62% hy @ 55F)
12.6g salt (2.8%)
.10g (.023%)

So, as you can see, this is the same recipe I have been using in my last couple of experiments, but this time, my results have been extremely different.

My mixing/kneading technique was...

-Dissolve salt in water
-Dissolve yeast in salt water
-Slowly add small amounts of flour until lumps are gone, "fluffing" my fingers through the dough quickly every so often to incorporate more air
-Mixed in all flour until homogenous
-Rested 5 min
-Kneaded 5 min
-Rested 5 min
-Kneaded until passing test for "point of pasta"
-Rested 20 min after kneading (I think this is called a riposo?)
-20 or so, tiny stretch and folds until a smooth skin was formed

The different things I did in the routine was, I decreased my modified autolyse time from 10 min each to 5 min, for a total of 10 min of rest; and the addition of a riposo.

This new method created the smoothest dough skin I have ever experienced and it was also the first time I tested dough for "point of pasta", needless to say, this changed everything.

The dough was bulk fermented for 2 hours, which is way less time than my usual 20-24 hour bulk time. It made such a difference balling so quickly in the fermentation process. The dough balls stayed extremely round and they didnt show any signs of "hydration" (basically, the dough was 62% hydration but it felt like it was under 60%) Everything about this experiment was so different than usual.

I checked up on the dough after 24 hours and there was no signs of fermentation at all.. The balls slightly flattened out, but they seemed a lot smaller than usual even being 240g (which is what I usually weigh my dough balls out to) The dough balls seemed a lot more dense then usual.

I baked the first dough ball at 36 hours which is a little longer than Im used to fermenting. The results were so strange.. When I pushed the dough out it had no gas in it at all... The dough ball was very easy to work with, and probably the best I have worked with in the sense of slapping out the dough. There was no air to push into the cornicione, but I got a lot of even leoparding! It was incredible!

The second ball was baked a couple hours ago at 46 hours fermentation. The dough finally got some air in it and the cornicione had some character, but, still not enough gas in the dough... Although it had beautiful leoparding!

I have another dough ball left that I will bake tomorrow at 58 hours fermentation. Which is the most I have ever let my dough ferment for, but I have a good feeling with this little amount of yeast and new method, I might be able to get the results I am looking for.

I will try this same technique with my next batch of dough, accept I will up my yeast from .10g to .20g and see if it will be ready at that 36 hour mark I am shooting for!

I am very very intrigued with this new method of making dough. I think my next experiment will be 2 batches with the same recipe using .20g of yeast and the other using .30g of yeast. Also I want to mess around with using the traditional balling technique. So much to experiment with!!!!

I love pizza.
-Jordan

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #152 on: February 09, 2012, 09:04:27 PM »
Jordan - I am glad to see you are getting better results with your mixing. The dough ball looks like it should - nice and smooth and lively.

John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #153 on: February 09, 2012, 09:28:52 PM »
Jordan aside from making a smoother dough that developed little air and demonstrated more leoparding, how was the texture of the finished crust and crumb compared to before, using the other method?

Chau

Offline othafa9

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #154 on: February 09, 2012, 11:38:53 PM »
That is the look of a dough that is a long way from being ready....something definately went wrong somewhere....perhaps the yeast was misweighed?  Perhaps it was too cold?

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #155 on: February 11, 2012, 12:53:21 AM »
Jordan - I am glad to see you are getting better results with your mixing. The dough ball looks like it should - nice and smooth and lively.

Thanks John, its always nice getting compliments from you. I still owe you some pre-bake dough pictures, but unfortunately I abandoned my last dough ball due to work issues and when I was ready, the dough was a little too ready. Interestingly, I tasted the raw dough which was the first time I ever tasted dough and it was somewhat "gummy" in flavor. Just for your information, the dough was at 74 hours of fermentation when I tried it. Do you think tasting the dough at different stages is necessary? Whats your opinion on this?

Jordan aside from making a smoother dough that developed little air and demonstrated more leoparding, how was the texture of the finished crust and crumb compared to before, using the other method?

Chau, my oven did not work this morning when the dough was at its prime.. I pre-heated it 3 times and nothing happened.. I really hope my oven isnt broken due to the high temps I have been putting it through, and how old the oven is. I baked up 2 balls of the 3 but they were not ready in terms of fermentation, so I cant really answer your question. But, I am sure with my next batch using the same method and more yeast, I will be making a superior pizza to the ones previous.

That is the look of a dough that is a long way from being ready....something definately went wrong somewhere....perhaps the yeast was misweighed?  Perhaps it was too cold?

I agree, and it was weighed properly for sure. My ambient temp was around 69-71F through out the fermentation. The dough was ready around 55 hours of fermentation, but my oven did not pre-heat at all when I went to turn it on. The dough at 60 hours was filled with air and had much tinier air bubbles than usual, but unfortunately I was not able to bake it up..

I am making another batch tomorrow morning and hopefully I can see some changes with the fermentation being more on point.

Why do you guys think I had smaller air bubbles than usual and was able to create a cornicione with more leoparding? I even fermented longer and still had tiny air bubbles. What could be the cause of this if my recipe and ambient temp stayed the same?

Was it the short bulk and extended balled fermentation? Was it because I formed more gluten strength in the dough by kneading it to a point where it past my "test"? Was it because of the soft skin I formed around the dough flesh?

I am very curious to hear everyones thoughts on this.

Thank you.
-Jordan

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #156 on: February 11, 2012, 06:37:23 AM »
Why do you guys think I had smaller air bubbles than usual and was able to create a cornicione with more leoparding? I even fermented longer and still had tiny air bubbles. What could be the cause of this if my recipe and ambient temp stayed the same?

Jordan - The answer in my mind is very simple: you are developing the gluten better in your mixing regimen. Your previous attempts, the ones where the dough melts into a pancake, were severely underdeveloped. This allows the gas built up during fermentation to escape the weak gluten pockets and form into large bubbles. If you look at the crumb of your previous attempts, you see a dense, flat bottom layer and huge air packets above. Your use of minuscule amounts of yeast was masked by what you considered excessive air bubbles, leading to even lower amounts of yeast. Omid's help has gotten you exponentially better results, so now you understand what good gluten development looks like and how that plays a role in the final product.

When you develop the gluten correctly the pockets will trap and hold the gas, which translates into what you consider smaller bubbles. This will lead to an airy crumb throughout the crust.

Also, the longer you ferment the better chance of leoparding. Now understand that you can produce leoparding on an 18 hour dough - or even less time - so don't think you need to go 72 hours to make perfect pizza.

John

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #157 on: February 15, 2012, 01:47:02 AM »
During a recent attempt, I tried to time my kneading and see how long it takes for me to reach the point of pasta, and surprisingly it took longer than I thought. I will keep tinkering around with different kneading regiments.

It seems like resting your dough after you mix (modified autolyse) could definitely shorten your kneading time. I am just curious as to what times produce the quickest and best results. I have messed around with doing one 20 min rest, two 10 min rests, two five min rests, it seems like there is no real specific time for any given amount of dough. Something I have been getting great results with is the 20 min rest after kneading (I think they call this a riposo?) For some reason if I let the dough sit 20 min, then stretch and fold to form my dough flesh, it produces an extremely silky dough which I adore.

So, what would anyone recommend for a modified "autolyse"? I didnt get great results by only doing a 5 min 1st rest, but the 10 min 1st rest I have done a lot in the past really seems like it gets the dough hydrated thoroughly. Maybe I will try a 10 min rest then a 5 min rest and see how that works with getting my dough to where it needs to be. Possibly?

Also, I am using the same test to figure out when the dough is ready that the Japanese Pizzaioli uses. I tear off some dough and stretch it to see if it doesnt tear immediately. I think with my recent dough I might have been stretching my dough too much during the test and it resulted in my over kneading the dough till it passed a "test". I should of really payed attention to the video to see how he is looking for proper gluten formation and strength, not over working the dough, and being subtle with it as much as possible. I also like the way he balls his dough, which I will try soon. It seems with my way of balling dough it traps larger bubbles and I do enjoy the smaller bubbles that creates leoparding with my newer methods.

Also, the longer you ferment the better chance of leoparding. Now understand that you can produce leoparding on an 18 hour dough - or even less time - so don't think you need to go 72 hours to make perfect pizza.

John, thanks for the help! And trust me, I am very aware that a extremely long fermented dough does not produce "perfect" results, I simply had an interruption in my day that caused the dough to be neglected till it became an abandoned child.. It was over fermented near this 72 hour mark and by no means was I saying anything positive about this in my previous post. And I am not interested in making dough that takes 70+ hours to get to its optimal point because of the inconveniences it would have on my daily life. A 30-40 hour dough fits well into my schedule and thats what I plan to perfect, given my 69-72F ambient temp where I keep my dough.

The experimentation will continue!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:55:06 AM by Jordan »
-Jordan

Offline Jordan

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #158 on: February 16, 2012, 11:05:50 PM »
Tonights bake:

64% hydration, 2.8% salt, .30g fresh yeast, 2 + 37 Hours fermentation @ 70-71F

All I used was the broiler...
-Jordan


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Neapolitan Progress
« Reply #159 on: February 16, 2012, 11:14:57 PM »
Nice looking pies Jordan.  How did they eat? How was the texture compared to your long bulked pies?

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