Author Topic: Pizza, Passion and Pride  (Read 11034 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #60 on: May 25, 2012, 10:29:34 AM »
Kermit,

In the U.S., for specification purposes, millers tend to use 115 grams for a cup of flour. I do a lot of number crunching and that is the value I use.

Peter


Offline toddster63

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #61 on: May 25, 2012, 10:30:22 AM »
I received my dried sourdoughs from Sourdo.com a couple of days ago, and got to activating the Ischia starter 2 days ago. Being a metric kind of guy, I was a bit put off by the instructions using cup as a measure. I googled it and found out that a cup was about 200 grams. What I forgot was that it's a measure that relies on volume, and not weight  :-[ So I mixed up a 50/50 portion of water and flour, and found it a bit thick. It wasn't until I today read the instructions on the webpage that I figured out that it should have been something like 110 grams flour, and 220 grams water. I guess I'll thin it out eventually.

It's not crucial one way or the other, Kermit. The thicker you formulate it, the longer it will take to rise. Conversely, the thinner the faster. You'll find what works best for you and your culture and your home. Sometimes when Ischia starts to get really active (requiring as much attention as my dog!) and kinda ticks me off, I'll make it almost biga thick and that slows it down a bit. The best description I ever heard was to mix to a thick pancake batter consistency—thick enough so that when you tilt the container the "batter" will move, but s-l-o-w-l-y...

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #62 on: May 28, 2012, 10:25:32 AM »
My Ischia starter is fully active now. Now I'm just wondering how I should use it. Should i be fed, let it rise for a couple of hours and then incorporate it into a recipe, or should I use it after it has fallen again and use it in a recipe?

Offline toddster63

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #63 on: May 28, 2012, 01:01:48 PM »
My Ischia starter is fully active now. Now I'm just wondering how I should use it. Should i be fed, let it rise for a couple of hours and then incorporate it into a recipe, or should I use it after it has fallen again and use it in a recipe?

Try to use it right before it falls, when it's at it's peak. When fully active like this, it should be a head of frothy bubbles standing on top of a column of very large and open bubbles. IME, Ischia gets very frothy. It should about triple when really active, and be very frothy all way through out.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #64 on: May 30, 2012, 08:42:34 AM »
Try to use it right before it falls, when it's at it's peak. When fully active like this, it should be a head of frothy bubbles standing on top of a column of very large and open bubbles. IME, Ischia gets very frothy. It should about triple when really active, and be very frothy all way through out.
Cool, I'm going to try that out  :)

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #65 on: May 30, 2012, 09:08:18 AM »
After reading a couple of threads in here about mobile pizza ovens, from Wheelman and John, I'm actually looking into starting a small business like Johns. Just something for the weekends when the sun's shining, and for smaller parties. It will definately let me keep my current job, while getting some insight on the whole business of making pizzas. Unfortunately there are a lot of laws I need to look into, take some courses on hygiene and then there's also the financial part of it that's the barrier before setting up the shop. I'll take it step by step, try to figure out how much profit it can turn out. No doubt that I will doing this a lot for my own pleasure, but definately also to make some extra money - there are some heavy costs before setting up shop that needs to be paid.

Denmark is a country of pretty good wealth, but a lot of taxes. That make cars about 3 times more expensive than they really are. For instance, a Ford Focus is around $35000, whereas list in the US is about $18000. That also means that used cars are pretty expensive, but a neccesity if I want to drive a trailer around. So a car alone could probably be found for around $5000.

I've been looking at different ovens, and actually really wanted the Neapolitan oven from Forno Bravo - at least until I saw the price  :D It would actually be cheaper for me to buy a Stefano Ferrara oven  :-[ So I'm in the process of looking at other alternatives. I've read a bit about the Valoriani GR ovens, and they're not that expensive, and doesn't weigh as much as the larger SF oven. Will definately be fun to look into, and maybe be the start of a great adventure that'll hopefully lead to a real restaurant - La Maglia Rosa with a Stefano Ferrara oven.

On a different note, I ate at my inlaws' restaurant on Monday, and when the shop closed down one of the pizzaiols asked me if I wanted to make a pizza? Silly question really. Their dough is not like the neapolitan dough, but a lot stronger and with less air in it. I showed the neapolitan slap, and then put the pizza into the WFO. It's SUCH a nice oven that can fit around 8 pizzas at the time. I had no idea of how hot the oven was, to the bottom got a bit burned, as I thought it was a bit cooler than it really was. But my girlfriend was pleased with the result, and ate the pizza with joy  ;D As Francesco - a neapolitan pizzaoil said - "This is real pizza - Pizza l'amore"

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #66 on: June 02, 2012, 05:33:42 AM »
Yesterday I went to the restaurant again, and this time with my first ever dough made with the Ischia starter. The recipe looked something like this:
00 flour - 100%
Water - 59%
Salt - 3%
Ischia - 3%(of total flour)

Mixed water, ischia and flour for a couple of minutes, and then added the salt. Mixed for 3-4 minutes before given 50 minutes rest. Then put in a container and set to proof at RT for about 10 hours. After the 12 hours, I balled it, and let it rest for 12-14 hours. Unfortunately my RT temperature was on the low side - around 18 degrees celsius which is around 64 F. So it meant that there wasn't that much of a rise when I got home. When I got to the restaurant I placed the balls on top of the oven to see if I could give it a last boost.

When I took the balls out they were very warm and sticky. Francesco - the pizzaoil from Naples, actually thought that they could not be used as they were too sticky. I just put some more flour on the balls before removing them from the container. The pizza almost shaped itself, but didn't stick to the prep-table or anything. I baked it and it came out great.

Next time I will need to either proof it longer at the same temperature, or up the temperature it proofs at.

It was a bit fun to talk with Francesco because we share different philosophies. He thinks that a pizza is the best when it has been cooked for 4-5 minutes at a lower temp, and get's crispy. Whereas I'm more into the neapolitan method with a short bake, and a soft inside.

On the upside, when I was talking with Francesco, my brother in law came in. He's been working as a pizzaiol for many years, and is really skilled. Francesco told him that he should teach me some things about pizzas and such, and he just replied "I can't. Kenneth is a very skilled pizzaoil already"  :-[ I still have a lot LOT to learn, but it's always nice when people who are skilled actually compliments your work.

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #67 on: June 02, 2012, 06:05:10 AM »
I hate to say this, but since we are not all in Naples, well, look at some videos and use the knowledge you acquire from this site plus other resources.  This site is full great people that are willing to help us all.  Do not feel bad if your stuff is not to par, but from what I have seen your are traveling in a good direction.  What really makes me laugh is when other members post pictures of their first pizzas, regardless of style and feel bad about them.  I am fortunate (including other members) that I am unable to post the pictures of my first pizzas because I cannot find them.  My pizzas were the worst looking and tasting you could ever have and to this day I have not seen anything as bad as mine.  So of course feel good and great on compliments, but foremost on your advancements. Enjoy

Offline toddster63

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #68 on: June 02, 2012, 08:55:15 PM »
Kermit--

Did you find your first Ischia pie noticeably better or different tasting than your previous pies with commercial yeast? I really like my Ischia pies, and they almost always have better flavor than commercial yeast. But they are not as flavorful (but not tart) and spongy and GREAT as my loaves of sourdough bread I make with the Ischia...! You will find working with, and in particular proofing, with the wild starters much trickier. Temperature seems a lot more critical with Ischia in my experience. Doughs made with it hate the cold, in particularly in the fridge, and sometimes it rises great and makes wonderful pies for me, but every once in a while the pies are flat (but tasty) and have no oven spring... Sigh...!

Redshirt--

GREAT post! I would never have posted pics of my first pies either. AWFUL! In fact I was so ashamed I went onto the Net and found this great site where I have learned so much. It was several months of decent pies before I posted any pics, I'll tell ya...!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 09:02:29 PM by toddster63 »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #69 on: June 03, 2012, 03:11:37 PM »
Here is my first margherita and one made last weekend.

I think this was my first pie anyway; not 100% sure, but I can't find a picture of anything older.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #70 on: June 03, 2012, 03:18:11 PM »
Here is a pepperoni then and now.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #71 on: June 04, 2012, 08:58:45 AM »
Kermit--

Did you find your first Ischia pie noticeably better or different tasting than your previous pies with commercial yeast? I really like my Ischia pies, and they almost always have better flavor than commercial yeast. But they are not as flavorful (but not tart) and spongy and GREAT as my loaves of sourdough bread I make with the Ischia...! You will find working with, and in particular proofing, with the wild starters much trickier. Temperature seems a lot more critical with Ischia in my experience. Doughs made with it hate the cold, in particularly in the fridge, and sometimes it rises great and makes wonderful pies for me, but every once in a while the pies are flat (but tasty) and have no oven spring... Sigh...!

Redshirt--

GREAT post! I would never have posted pics of my first pies either. AWFUL! In fact I was so ashamed I went onto the Net and found this great site where I have learned so much. It was several months of decent pies before I posted any pics, I'll tell ya...!

Well, the Ischia pie tasted great, but I might have something else in mind. I will definately have to experiment with the amount and fermentation time, to see how the flavour differs. I think I might have to ferment it longer or with a higher temp. But this is just part of the reason why I love pizzamaking. It's so simple to make a pizza, but so extremely difficult to master. Every little detail really matters when it comes to fermentation time, hydration, temperature etc. It's really a mystery how everything reacts.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #72 on: June 12, 2012, 05:34:10 PM »
Just an update live from Sorrento - just across the coast from Naples. We went to Naples today, and of course had lunch at Da Michele. Will bring a full description of the visit at a later time.

We walked a bit about in Naples before heading towards Da Michele, and from a coincidence we walked down a street and I looked up to see a huge sign saying "Brandi". I stopped my girlfriend and we headed down this very narrow alley, and inside was the most beautiful Ferrara oven and the plate from the 100 anniversary of the Margherita pie.

What I can say is that fresh buffalo mozzarella tastes NOTHING like the products we have at home in Denmark. Here it's fresh!

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #73 on: June 12, 2012, 06:00:09 PM »
Just an update live from Sorrento. . . .

I am sure that you are cherishing the moments being there!

Best Regards,
Omid
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2012, 05:31:07 AM »
Good luck and do us all a favor, eat plenty of pizza for all of us!  Enjoy and have fun!

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2012, 08:21:52 AM »
Alrighty, I came home from Italy a couple of days ago, and now I had the time to just post an update.

I ate A LOT of pizza while we were in Italy. Unfortunately I only had 1 in Naples, but what a treat anyway. We walked around in Naples for a couple of hours before going to Da Michele. There was already a huge crowd infront of the small shop, and there were about 20 numbers in front of us. This resulted in a 45 minute wait, but it was alright. The weather was really nice, so we didn't mind sitting outside on the curb and just observe the people waiting in line with us.

When we got in it was like stepping into something completely different. It was very cold because of the aircondition, and it was all but impressive. Boring white and green tile on the walls, white plastic cups to drink from, and cheap tables. But the walls were decorated with old pictures, newspaper articles and much more. What really stood out was the classic picture of Michele that hung on the wall. We were seated in the room next to the oven, and as we walked up the steps, we passed one of Micheles sons - the one you once in a while see in Youtube videos.

We ordered, and a few minutes later the Margherita arrived. We only ordered 1 pizza, as the plan was to go across the street afterwards to taste the pizza at Trianon. The first thing I noticed about the pie was the inregularity. It wasn't round, nor square, but a mix inbetween. The next thing was the sheer softness of the pizza. One could easily imagine how to fold this pizza to eat it. As we digged in the flavours were just ridiculous. I've always been a bit cheap with the amount of topping, especially the sauce, but at Da Michele there was a lot of sauce on the pizza. It made the tomate taste stand out a lot more, and it just tasted really good. For my taste, there could have been a tad more mozza on the pizza, without reaching the levels of the Doppia.

The amount of sauce was the first thing I noticed, and as I took a bite off the cornicione I noticed the weird sense of texture that the crust  had. This was my first impression with "Vera Pizza Napoletana", and it was very soft, and almost melted in my mouth. A tad different than the pies I make myself, but not that far off when everything boiled down. The pie was eaten in no time by me and my girlfriend, and for me it was the best pizza I've had.

But having tasted this pizza, I don't think it would be that difficult to get somewhere near the same flavour and texture. The secret in the sauce is just to use more of it. The dough is more of a puzzle, but as the geek I am, I ordered 25 kgs of Caputo pizzeria flour to try to see how close I can get to the same result. But it made me realize just what Anthony Mangiery says in one of his videos, when he calls the pizza from Naples from "wet and covered in oil"  ;D

When we got out of Da Michele and headed towards Trianon, we were stopped by the pizzaoil in the door, who told us that they were closed because of the siesta. Too bad.

Wednesday I made a batch of dough with my new Caputo flour using the Ischia starter(1.3%), 58% hydration and 2.5% salt. It bulk rose at about 60-65F for 24 hours, and this morning it was balled and set to rise at about 75-80F for 12-14 hours. Tonight I will be going to the restaurant and test it in their oven. Hopefully it's a success  :D

I also spent quite some time looking in on different pizzerias and other restaurants on how they had designed the place. I have made a lot of mental notes that I will hopefully put to use when I open my own place.

In Rome we ate at Rosso Pomodore, which I found out later was a chainstore. But they did make a very good neapolitan styled pizza, although not near the thing we had at Da Michele. But their ovens were beautiful. I couldn't see the maker, but maybe you guys now??

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #76 on: June 22, 2012, 08:23:59 AM »
The ovens

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #77 on: June 22, 2012, 08:53:18 AM »
Nice write up Kermit, wen in Naples, i did not have the opportunity to go to Da Michele, but i went to Vesi, Mattozzi (where i had my training), Di Matteo, Umberto and Vuolo. the Dough at Di Matteo was very good, soft and digested very easy, the Toppings at Vuolo where the best in quality.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #78 on: June 22, 2012, 09:56:40 AM »
Very nice, thank you.

I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #79 on: June 23, 2012, 10:22:53 AM »
I made the pizzas yesterday in the restaurant's WFO. It was ok and the taste was really nice. But one thing bothered me, and that was the fact that the balls had flattened quite a bit. So they were already rather large when I took them out of the container, which made it a tad difficult with the spatula. I wonder what would happen if I had reballed the balls halfway through the 12 hour last fermantation.

Anybody have tried this? And will a 6 hour rise with an Ischia Starter dough be sufficient for it to be airy?

Will definately have to experiment with this.

But here's a picture of last nights bake in the restaurant  :chef:


 

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