Author Topic: Leoparding  (Read 3513 times)

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Offline jamieg

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Leoparding
« on: April 05, 2012, 04:10:08 PM »
Hello everybody,

This is my first post - I run a cafe in South America and this forum has totally transformed the pizza we sell - I love this forum.

This post may be more appropriate for the pizza ovens section - that said it may not - and in any case - I would really appreciate some feedback from the Neapolitan pŪzza community - hence my posting it here.

Iíve been using a small clay oven to cook Neapolitan style pizza. The oven is gas powered - though resembles a WFO in that the flame sits inside the oven.

I have been able to get some nice leoparding on the borders.  I love the look - perfectly illustrated in TXCraig1's amazing pizzas here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14249.200.html

Iím about to switch to a modern gas oven - because I need higher temperatures (my clay gas oven never got beyond 300 c) - yet donít want the hassle of a WFO.  I will probably buy something like this: http://www.citalsa.com/files/horno_pizza_pr-212_06001051.pdf

I have tested the oven in the store - with only 2 factors in mind - is it hot enough - will it maintain its heat during peak hours.

The oven easily reached 450 c - and Iím confident will easily maintain its heat - as it is heated both from below and above the floor.

However, I noticed that while the base of the pizza cooked very quickly - there was little colour and no leoparding on the borders.

So my question is...

Is it the case that you can only get leoparding on WFOs or ovens which have heat hitting the sides of the pizza and not just from the ceiling and floor?

What other factors might affect leoparding?

Many thanks in advance,

jamie


Offline David Deas

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 05:00:18 PM »
You will get a whole list of replies coming at you, but I'll start first.

Your post isn't entirely clear, but I'm assuming you're getting a white top, white sides and a done bottom?  Do you have pictures?

The biggest thing you have to remember about WFO's is that the temperature of the deck is not the same as the temperature of the dome.  While the deck temperature for a 120 second bake is probably between 700F-800F, the dome temp can be around 1500F.  The high dome temps relative to deck temps are the key to your problem here.

Some of this will depend on your recipe as well.  Thickness factor and that sort of thing.  But all of that sort of thing is of secondary importance to the oven.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 05:17:24 PM by David Deas »

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 05:19:43 PM »
Hi Jamie, i also live in S. America (S„o Paulo, Brasil). Leoparding as David said needs xtra heat from above, and wen you dont move the pizza (like in the WFO) you can burn the bottom before the the top is done.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 05:20:44 PM »
The oven you linked says max temp is 400C. That won't get you where you want to be. I think the main thing you will hear is that if you really want neapolitan pizza you should just do it right from the start with the oven.

Also pics are crucial, make sure you post some of your oven and pizzas

Offline bakeshack

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 06:23:12 PM »
Oven is the key!  (with the right balance of heat from the bottom and top).  You can achieve this with a properly designed WFO, LBE, or a home oven setup.  That being said, even with the right oven but without the proper dough maturation and fermentation regimen, leoparding will still be very difficult to achieve. 

Kindly tell us more about your workflow so we can get a better idea of what you are currently doing.

Marlon

scott123

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 06:42:23 PM »
Quote
POTENCIA:
0.12 KW

Unless I'm missing something, this has to be a typo.  .12KW = 120W.  120W is a light bulb.

Jamie, you need to get the correct wattage for this, because the wattage will tell you broiler element strength, which, in turn, will tell you if Neapolitan top browning is a possibility.

If the decimal point is wrong and this oven is 12KW, then there might be hope, depending on how much of that 12KW is allocated to the broiler and if you're willing to modify the oven and move the hearth closer to the ceiling.

Bear in mind, I've seen home ovens with strong enough broilers to be able to do Neapolitan bakes, but I've never seen a deck oven that can achieve this feat. I'm not saying they don't exist (I'm sure a $6,000 salamander broiler could do it), but I think the odds are against you.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 07:46:38 PM »
I'm not saying they don't exist (I'm sure a $6,000 salamander broiler could do it), but I think the odds are against you.

When I'm at a steak house with those awesome salamanders I always want to throw a pizza in there. Have you ever seen it done?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 07:55:26 PM »
When I'm at a steak house with those awesome salamanders I always want to throw a pizza in there. Have you ever seen it done?

It gets messy when you flip the pizza to cook the bottom.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 08:03:38 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

Actually, when I say Neapolitan - i'm referring to style above cooking time - although I appreciate that that might not make complete sense.

I will post some photos tomorrow.

At the moment, in my gas clay oven - I have to pre-cook the masa for less than 2 minutes and then another 2 minutes with the toppings. If I don't pre-cook the masa - the cheese will completely dry out before the masa is cooked or has developed leopard spots.

This is not a strategy I would recommend to anybody - although the final appearance of the pizza is actually quite good.

I want to replace my existing oven - so that I don't have to pre-cook the base - but I don't want to lose the leoparding.

The point of interest is... given that my current gas clay oven isn't that hot - why is it i'm still able to develop some high quality leopard spots? They develop on the side of the pizza closest to the flame and so I turn the pizza to get the affect all over. Surely, this is because of sideways heat and not so much the top heat.

For example, compare TXCraig1's amazing pizzas here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14249.200.html with Varasanoís amazing pizzas here. http://www.varasanos.com/Photos950/

The latter pizzas are cooked at a very high temperature - but there is no sideways heat (as far as I know) and while they are charred they do not have leoparding on the borders.

For reference here's a summary of my setup:

ingredients:
- water 1350 gr
- flour (wholemeal) 1650 gr
- IDY ľ teaspoon
- sourdough 100 gr
- salt 62 gr

process
- mix sourdough, IDY, salt, water and flour for 5 minutes by hand
- leave to rest for 30 minutes
- stretch and fold for 5 minutes
- leave to rest for 15 minutes
- stretch and fold for 5 minutes
- ball and refrigerate

scott123

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 09:04:36 PM »
Jamie, Varasano doesn't make Neapolitan pizza, so if you're attempting to recreate his pies, then that's a different ball game from an oven perspective. You still need above 400C, but there may be deck ovens out there that can do a Varasano pie circa 2007 (but not a Varasano pie du jour- at least not more than one brand that I know of).

If, on the other hand, you want to do something along the line of Craig, then you absolutely cannot avoid cooking time considerations. You're only going to do that in 60ish seconds, no par bake.

Thanks to countless unscrupulous pizzeria owners around the world, we get tremendous numbers of new members that don't know what Neapolitan pizza is.  Twice you've linked to Craigs pizzas, though, so you can't play that "I'm not sure what Neapolitan pizza is" card. If you're looking at his pies and salivating (as you should be ;) ), then there's no way you can play down the importance of bake time.


Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 09:14:32 PM »
I concede in advance that I won't be able to cook my pizzas in 60s.  Maybe it will be more like 3 minutes.

My apologies for being very relaxed with the reference to the Neapolitan concept.

While, there may be implications in terms of taste - surely I can still achieve the Neapolitan 'look', i.e. thin base with charred, spotted borders and knobbly bits without the 60s cook time requirement.

Yes, I am in love with Craig's pizzas - I can't find a better benchmark anywhere online - they're faultless.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 10:06:49 PM »
Yes, I am in love with Craig's pizzas - I can't find a better benchmark anywhere online - they're faultless.

Wow. I'm honored.

Thank you.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 10:39:50 PM »
Jamie, if you're in love with a 60 second pizza, and there's a chance you can buy/make an oven and achieve that end, why settle for the ugly 3 minute stepsister?  You can do it without a WFO, so don't get caught up in the "I'm not ready to build a WFO" thing.  It isn't easy, but it can be done.

Jeff Varasano's Pizza Master oven is the closest I've seen a deck oven come to producing 60 second bakes.  If you don't want to spend that kind of money, a Little Black Egg (LBE) has the potential to do 2 minute Neapolitan-ish bakes and can be very inexpensive.

How many pizzas are you selling a day?  Forum member Bakeshack (Marlon- above) owns an electric home oven with the necessary broiling ability to do Neapolitan bakes.  You might not be able to crank out too many pies, but, being a home appliance, it probably won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Somewhere, there should be a $1000 oven that can reliably do 60 second bakes.  Just because we haven't found it yet doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or that it's not worth looking for.  We also, at this point, don't have an LBE schematic for building an LBE that can guarantee 60 second bakes, but we are approaching that time.

The Neapolitan 'look' is defined by what we call 'Leoparding'- small black spots, both on the rim and on the undercrust.  You will never achieve this in 3 minutes.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 09:09:14 PM by scott123 »

Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 10:57:40 PM »
On a big day - we can sell 100 pizzas in the space of 6 hours. The current oven only has space for 2 pizzas - and I have to pre-cook the bases because the top always cooks before the bottom. We also use the oven for pita bread. It's a nightmare.

I'm in Colombia, South America - the oven I intend to buy is the best available here. It cost about 2,000 USD and there's easily space for 6 pizzas.

When I tested the new oven - I set the floor to 450c and the ceiling to about 350c - I did not pre-cook the base.

The base burnt, the cheese was about 90% cooked - while the borders were probably 50% cooked.  Very odd indeed.

Based on some of the comments so far, perhaps, I need to increase the ceiling temp for the borders - and buy a better cheese that doesn't dry out?

If I can produce a 'Neapolitan' style pizza in 2 to 3 minutes - without pre-cooking the base - people will be over the moon - including myself.

Will post pics tomorrow of my fake neapolitans :-) - they have the black spots, etc - but it takes 3 to 4 minutes.

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 06:59:27 AM »
Jamie,

you should try to bake with 330-350C on the base and 400+ on the top.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2012, 05:46:02 PM »
We also, at this point, don't have an LBE schematic for building an LBE that can guarantee 60 minute bakes, but we are approaching that time.



Holy crap that's quite the bake time. That will seriously affect your sales volume.

Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2012, 12:10:04 PM »
Here's some photos. Not ideal - my camera has an exaggerated depth of focus.

Also, by photographing my pizzas - I've realised I wasn't getting as much leoparding as I had being imagining in my head.

Btw, the flour is wholemeal.

Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2012, 12:11:03 PM »
basil...
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 12:17:45 PM by jamieg »

Offline jamieg

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2012, 12:18:27 PM »
cuatro quesos

Offline RobynB

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Re: Leoparding
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2012, 04:23:49 PM »
Wow, that looks wonderful for wholemeal!!  Is it a fine wholemeal or ???  Nice!


 

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