Friday night's practice bake. This is the 2nd attempt at neapolitan pies. Two doughs were mixed Thursday evening from the 2 little red bags of Caputo. One used the home made starter (I'll refer to it as the Atlanta starter) and the other IDY. The flour weight 987. For the IDY, 2% IDY was used. 3% Atlanta starter was used for the other. Hydration was 57%. Mixed for 5 minutes on the KA and then let to rest for 1hr. Took it out of the bowl and then did 2 folds and placed in the container and cooler. The IDY bulk fermented for 24 hours but it was quickly obvious at the end of it that 2% is too much for that length of time--the dough almost spilled out of the container. Probably less than 1% should have been used. In order to rescue the dough, they were balled (280g each) and placed in the fridge which was reset to 38 degrees. They stayed there 13 hours until a couple hours or so before baking. The IDY doughballs opened ok. They were easier to work with and could be opened using the slap technique. Sliding them to the peel was easy; there was no worry about tearing. There was a moderate amount of resistance when stretched (ala da Michele) on the wooden peel.
After last week's attempt, I spent some time practicing managing the heat in the oven. The top-down firing method did indeed work better. The oven was saturated with heat for 1.5 hours. After pushing the coals to the side, it took 15-20 minutes for the floor to even out. After that, it took a log or two (small ones split from the standard 16-18' firewood) to get a rolling fire. The floor stabilized to 850F and a bit above and keeping oven fed with small logs maintained that. After a pie, the floor took 1-2 minutes to recover as long as there is a rolling fire across the dome.
As with the pies, they were a lot better than last week's. The dough was SWEET. It had a crispy exterior and a much softer and pillowy inside. It became tough after it cooled down though. However, when I reheated a slice this morning, the crust came back alive.
The Atlanta starter based dough was just taken out bulk fermentation and balled this morning. I'm looking forward to more practice tonight.
Below are pictures.