Author Topic: Pizza, Passion and Pride  (Read 12408 times)

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Offline Kermit

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Pizza, Passion and Pride
« on: April 09, 2012, 04:42:36 PM »
I'll use this thread to talk about my passion for pizzas, mainly the neapolitan style, and hopefully I will learn and evolve my skills thanks to this great community. No doubt that the resources are here, so it's just up to me to suck everything in, and go by the much tried trial and error. I've written and read quite a bit on this forum, and recently took the plunge and bought a small WFO. Unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to get a brick oven WFO, so I had to settle for a smaller one made from metal with a stone floor. It works pretty good, and hopefully it will be a good start.

A bit about my self: My name is Kenneth, I'm 26 years old, live in a country called Denmark, and have a passion for pizzas and cycling. My girlfriend's family owns one of the most famous pizzerias in Denmark, La Vecchia Signora - the old lady, and the nickname of Italian football club Juventus. So they're quite thrilled about my passion for pizzas as well.

Anyhow, my oven is currently set up at my inlaws, and had a small pizza party a couple of days ago. I made 6 pizzas of 3 different types of dough. All had the same hydration and same flour. What was different was the preferment type. The first was sourdough and fresh yeast. The second was sourdough, and the third was using a motherdough. I made the motherdough from water, fresh yeast and flour, and let it rest for 8-10 hours at room temperature before mixing it into the final dough. The doughs bulk rose in 2-3 hours, and was balled and cold fermented for 21 hours. Brought out 2 hours before use.

The sourdough wasn't as dominating as I wanted it to, but I guess that this was due to the cold fermentation? Anybody have experience with this?

Well, enough talk, now some pictures.


Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 04:45:08 PM »
A bit more pics

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 05:02:04 PM »
The sourdough wasn't as dominating as I wanted it to, but I guess that this was due to the cold fermentation? Anybody have experience with this?

Very good looking pies Kenneth.

When you say the SD wasn't as "dominating" as you would like, are you looking for a very pronounced sour flavor? Personally, I like to ferment SD at around 65F. To me, this seems to be the optimum temperature to develop flavor. I think the fridge is way too cold. If you want more flavor, you might try fermenting at 95F as I discuss here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14627.0.html My other suggestion to try would be 70ish hours at 65F. You will need very little starter for a ferment this long. I did a batch like this a couple months ago that came out way too sour for my taste: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14249.msg170880.html#msg170880

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 05:07:04 PM »
Dear Kermit, very impressive! With all the limitations that you are facing, the pizzas look alive and inviting. Have a great day!  
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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

Offline thezaman

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 07:35:23 PM »
keneth, nice looking pizzas. that is an interesting oven.looks like you worked it to produce some good pizza. which dough did you prefer? have you tried putting your pizzas up in the dome to increase the top heat? all of your pictures look real good, but the black and white of your hands stretching the dough could be a framed picture hanging on a pizzeria wall. can i steal it? :chef: :chef:

Offline RobynB

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 08:45:38 PM »
Very nice!  Looks like a potato & rosemary white pizza - what did you use for sauce/base?  It looks delicious. 

Offline wheelman

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 12:15:32 AM »
Nice pizzas and great pictures!  How much do your dough balls weigh? 
Bill

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 05:42:51 AM »
Wow, overwhelming warm response  :-[

Craig - Exactly, it wasn't as sour as I wanted it to be. I'll try your way to see if I can get a bit more sourness out of the dough, and maybe use a bit less starter. Always good to experiment a bit with different fermentation ways/times.

Pizza Napoletana - Thanks a million  :)

Thezaman - Of the three, I prefered the motherdough. It was more airy and easy to work with. I am working on doming it, but still have to master it a bit more so that the flames won't burn the crust  ;D And the picture, steal away  ;) I'm thinking of having it printed  ;D

RobynB - again thanks, and you're quite right. It's a potato and rosemary pizza. I used ricotta as the base. I first tried with buffalo mozzarella, but it lacked a bit of fulness. The ricotta makes it very creamy and full. Also, we garnished the pizza with arugula and a bit of olive oil and balsamico, and also some pesto. The arugula with the dressing gives it a bit sourness and contrast to the rich cheese and potatoes.

Wheelman - Thanks Bill. They were around 275-280 grams per ball. The final pizzas were around 32-33 cm's in diameter - roughly 12-13".

Offline David Deas

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 07:14:33 AM »
Nice job Kermit.  Really nice.

I'm guessing your fridge is around 40 degrees F, give or take?  21 hours at those temps isn't enough time to achieve what you're looking for.  48 to 72 hours at minimum might be more ideal.  21 hours is closer to a room temperature ferment type of deal.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 07:20:34 AM by David Deas »

Offline Ev

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 08:00:18 AM »
Very very nice! And that's a neat little oven too.


Offline Bigfoot21075

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 08:02:22 AM »
OW! The pies look terrific. I am going to watch this thread close, I am in a similar beginner position and will most likely have a similar sized oven to work with....

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 08:41:47 AM »
Nice job Kermit.  Really nice.

I'm guessing your fridge is around 40 degrees F, give or take?  21 hours at those temps isn't enough time to achieve what you're looking for.  48 to 72 hours at minimum might be more ideal.  21 hours is closer to a room temperature ferment type of deal.

Thanks, and noted  :)

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 12:06:13 PM »
Awesome! What were your bake times? Was your pizza family thrilled by the pizza you made? What type of pizzeria is the one they currently own?

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 04:40:18 AM »
Awesome! What were your bake times? Was your pizza family thrilled by the pizza you made? What type of pizzeria is the one they currently own?

Baking times varied from 45 seconds to about 1 min 15 seconds or there about. They were actually quite thrilled about the pizzas. My mother in law wanted to pizzas to be baked a tad longer, but was fully understandable about the fact that neapolitan pizzas are soft and foldable. They make classic italian pizzas. Not neapolitan, but a thinner crust, and maybe something like a 3-4 minute bake in a stone oven. Not really leoparding, but more of an even browning. You can see some pictures here
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/La%20Vecchia%20Signora/IMG_6073.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/La%20Vecchia%20Signora/IMG_6054.jpg

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 05:07:21 AM »
When everything just goes wrong

Yesterday i was up for making pizzas. Unfortunately it was one of those days when everything just seems to go against you. It all started when I was 10 minutes late for an appointment and stressed through the town. When I got home my girlfriend had been there for about 30 minutes, so that was actually not so bad, but as I packed the bag with all the stuff I needed for the pizzas I ran the items through my mind and concluded that I had it all.

I had made some dough 48 hours before that had gone bad. When I was mixing it up, I added as much water as flour because I had read the wrong line. Great. So after adding a bit of flour to get it to the right feel, I let it rise for 48 hours at room temperature. What I had forgotten was that I had put a bit of sourdough starter in it as well as fresh yeast. So when the 48 hours had gone, the dough had indeed overproofed. Fortunately I had some dough that I had made the day before only with a bit of fresh yeast in it, so we took the SD dough with us just to see if it would work.

We stopped to buy some things for the pizzas, and then we got to my in laws. Then I figured out that I had forgotten my pizza sauce spoon(it really works wonders), I had forgotten rosemary and oregano. We worked our way around it though. Then I started to light the fire in the WFO, came back 10 minutes later and it was out  ??? This was the first time ever that the fire had gone out on me. Lighted it again, and then it was on.

Then we found out that we had actually forgotten to buy mushrooms that should've been our test yesterday, and then I remembered that I had forgotten the parmigiano.

I tried using the SD dough, but the overproofing meant that there was no, and i mean NO strength in the dough whatsoever. I just had to look at it and it fell apart. So we just slapped it a bit together and put it in the oven to absorb some of the heat from the floor.

So we were back at the yeast doughs. They were extremely soft, and I just stretched them a tad more than they should have been, resulting in some really thin spots. Normally it wouldn't have been a problem, but we needed to put ricotta on as a base for the potato pies. Ricotta is a bit hard to put on, but we managed to do it without tearing the dough. Phew.

Out in the oven, and it worked wonders. It could have used a bit more flame, but oven management is not so easy as it seems. Still have a ton to learn.

Then we reached the last 3 pies. The first pie was pretty good, but I was for some weird reason a bit annoyed about the earlier fiasco with the SD. So the pie I had made was again on the thin side, and I was a bit careless and that meant that I tore the bottom at the end. The next pie was already lying ready in the kitchen, again on the thin side, and that meant that some of the sauce had gone through. I got it on the peel, but it was hard to get it off again. So I slid it on and off a couple of times in the kitchen, but the final time it stuck. I was SO annoyed at this time, that I turned the peel upside down so and threw the pie off with the bottom side up.

We thrashed it, and after some internal screaming I got around to the last pie. It actually turned out quite good, although there wasn't enough flame in the oven. No tears or anything.

We talked about it afterwards and I told them that it wasn't that I was embarrassed of flopping, but annoyed with the fact that it didn't go my way. Just like when you're doing some sort of sport and having a bad day.

So what did I learn from this day?
- Don't stretch the pies too thin
- Use the turning peel with ease - don't force it under the pie
- Room temperature proofing should be less than 24 hours
- Always have a bit of flour under the pie when it's on the table

Of course I have already planned a new pizza night to redeem myself on Sunday!  :)

Offline wheelman

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2012, 09:45:48 AM »
Trial by Fire!  it happens to me too.  i still learn something every time.
or as homer simpson says DOUGH!
bill

Offline weemis

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2012, 10:57:29 AM »
I feel the frustration! It's easy to get sucked into. to quote marcellus wallace "... that's pride, f**kin with you".
as you pointed out, you learned plenty, and failure is the stepping stone to wisdom!

CHEERS TO LEARNING!
no pain, no gain!
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline Kermit

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2012, 03:43:49 AM »
I tried to redeem myself from the Wednesday failure, by making pizzas again last Sunday. It went a whole lot better! I don't have any pictures here, but will post later when I get home on my own computer. What I noticed this time was that it was easier not to burn the bottom when the floor was around 400 celsius, compared to the 500 it is to begin with. Will have to experiment a bit with that as well.

I made 3 types of doughs.

Type 1:
Type 00 flour
58% H2O
2% salt
0.1% fresh yeast
10% sourdough starter

Type 2:
Type 00 flour
58% H2O
2% salt
0.1% fresh yeast

Type 3:
Type 00 flour
58% H2O
2% salt
2% EVOO
0.1% fresh yeast

Bulk rose for 3 hours @ RT, then balled and fermented for about 21-22 hours @ RT.

All 3 doughs turned out great. What was really great about this pizza night was the attendance of my brother in law who runs the family restaurant and has been working as a pizzaiol for many years. He was very impressed with the little oven, and showed me some tricks. The first 5 pies we made were neapolitan styled, and then we made 2 in the style of the restaurant. This meant a lower temperature - around 350 celsius, and not that much flame. When the bottom was good he throwed a papertowel into the fire to get some instant flame, and the pie was really nice. Very interesting to see. He also taught me how to make a Calzone. It sounds very simple, but there's a lot of technique to it. The two secrets are to work the sides thinner than the middle, and to put sauce on the top when you have closed it. The sauce on the top makes the dough rise during the bake. Something about the protein not getting burnt, but heating up.

So it was a very good day, and I can't wait for next time. What I'm looking for now is more oven spring, at least if I have understood the term oven spring correctly? Oven spring is the "spring" the dough get's in the oven. It's what gives us this great puffy crust with big airholes in it? Right?

The flour I'm using is Riscossa 00 which has a wopping 12,7% protein levels. From my modest amount of research, it seems that a higher protein level is not what you want when it comes to oven spring, as the protein is too strong and won't let it rise. I also have some Molino Grassi flour at home which have about 11,2% protein. Would this be better for oven spring?

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2012, 10:41:37 AM »
Nice test!! congrats on the result.

what is very important to know beside the protein level, is the W factor and the P/L, these numbers also influence allot on the oven spring...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline David Deas

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Re: Pizza, Passion and Pride
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2012, 12:18:19 PM »
Caputo 00 Chef's flour is around 12.5% or more protein.  Seems to work great for pizza.  

What using Chef's flour (or any high protein 00 flour) means is that you can go for a longer, more sour fermentation without damaging the gluten to an unacceptable level.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 12:21:55 PM by David Deas »


 

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