Author Topic: So much to learn...  (Read 6882 times)

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scott123

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2012, 05:43:36 PM »
Salvatore, yes, that's what I'm talking about.  You're shielding the thermostat now, with all the stones at the bottom. What I'm proposing is some sort of thermostat sleeve that take's it out of the picture- like the frozen towel that Marlon is using or an insulating firebrick with a hole drilled in it.


Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »
Made a few changes tonight:  one minor and one major. 

I added some aluminum foil on the front of my setup, leaving just enough space to load the pizza.  The difference seemed small, but proved monumental.  The temperature on the baking stone was 775deg @ 60min, and 817deg @ 75min.  I decided to load the first pizza at this point, although I know the temperature could have gone much higher since the oven had only "registered" 530 out of a possible 550.  I went ahead with the bake because frankly this is the highest temperature I've seen so far, and in all honesty was a touch nervous. 

The second change was regarding my Ischia starter.  I felt it was possibly too acidic, which after much research I've come to understand can affect crust color.  I not only was having trouble with pizza coloration, but also with my baguettes.  That is what actually convinced me it wasn't completely a temperature problem.  I took a small amount of my starter, "cleaned" it, and then decided to go out on a limb and begin refreshing the new batch with AP flour instead of 00.  After two days, the difference between the culture fed with AP vs. 00 is astounding!  (I will continue feeding both and monitor the differences)  I baked bread yesterday with fantastic results, and then made my pizza dough with the AP culture, as well.

The dough handled much, much better than I had anticipated.  It had so much more strength, to the point my wife was watching me shape the pizza and she remarked, "Wow, that looks different!  It seems much easier to work with!"  (BTW, how great is it when you find out they ACTUALLY pay attention!)  The bake turned out well.  Great taste, texture, and I'm very happy with the results.  As far as oven setup, I need to learn the hotspots, and I'm also considering having a smaller soapstone cut to take the place as my bottom baking stone. 

Grazie per leggendo!
Salvatore

Offline wheelman

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2012, 11:53:56 PM »
Nice work Salvatore! I always feed my iscia starter with AP flour. It seems to like KA the best.
Bill

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2012, 12:42:52 PM »
Thanks Bill.  I expected some difference, but nothing close to what I've seen... or smelled.  The AP seems to create a milder, sweeter aroma, and definitely more "lift."  You can really smell the yeast at work and the alcohol by-product.  With the 00 flour, the starter leans more in the direction of sour.  I think I may go completely with AP for now since trying to maintain both is a bit of a pain.  Then I can try the occasional addition of 00 to bring in some more tang when necessary.

Grazie,
Salvatore

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2012, 01:18:53 AM »
Made a few changes tonight

Dear Salvatore, thank you for the nice pizza and the bonus: the baguettes. Both you and dear Bill (Wheelman) bake great baguettes. If you were my neighbor, one of those baguettes would have ended up on my table, plus whatever brie I could find inside your refrigerator! Good night.

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

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

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2012, 09:31:22 AM »
Gentile Omid,

Of course!  I am constantly giving bread away.  I derive great pleasure from baking it, but could never have enough room to store it all.  I typically freeze a few loaves, but it is never quite the same as the day it is made. 

After the pizza we enjoyed some of my homemade gelato.  I am working hard at perfecting my recipe, and can proudly state I am very close!  I am fortunate to have a tremendous love of baking, therefore I produce all of my desserts by hand.  Tonight is rice pudding, tomorrow Brown-Butter Pecan Tart!

Salvatore

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2012, 06:06:06 PM »
Well, I feel as though an anchor has been lifted from around my neck.  I decided to stop focusing on the top-coloration of my pizza, and instead to concentrate on texture and taste.  In order to accomplish this, I felt it was necessary to keep my bake inside of the 90 second window.  Tonight, I forced myself to pull both pies out after only 75 seconds.  The results were outstanding!  By far, these were the pies most representative of what I experienced in Napoli.  The color, obviously, was not apparent on the top.  The flavor, however, was wonderful.  The tomatoes just seem to "pop" when the bake time is so short.  As for the texture, I hope you can see from the photos exactly how supple and light it was.  I could not have lifted slices of this pizza, because they would have literally fell apart. 

I have come to the conclusion for my setup, this is perhaps the best I can do.  Both pies were baked @830degrees in 75 seconds.  (Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of pie #1 Margherita.)

Grazie,
Salvatore


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2012, 05:46:28 PM »
Suppose you had a pizza that was what you were looking for in every way except that the top coloration was too light. Could you not use a handheld propane torch to quickly brown the cornice much like you would caramelize creme brulee?

Just a thought.

Craig
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2012, 07:56:12 PM »

You and I are a lot alike.

CL

Believe me... the thought has crossed my mind!!

Ultimately, that is the issue at hand.  I don't believe I would change anything else about the pizza except to include some leopard spots.  Everytime I go back and look at the last two pictures I posted of the underside I'm very satisfied. 

We will be moving at the end of the year, and I'm hoping it will be somewhere semi-permanent where I could seriously consider installing a wfo.  In the meantime, I need to befriend someone the way Omid has so I can try my dough in their oven!!

Grazie,
Salvatore


Offline toddster63

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Re: So much to learn...
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2012, 08:33:29 PM »
Suppose you had a pizza that was what you were looking for in every way except that the top coloration was too light. Could you not use a handheld propane torch to quickly brown the cornice much like you would caramelize creme brulee?

Just a thought.

Craig

I'm with Craig here... This is what I did when I cooked with my modded Deni 2100 that could get my stone to 900F. Top coloration was always an issue I fought, like Salvatore. A blowtorch from the hardware store, that uses disposable fuel canisters, solved my problems.

Below are two pics—the pale pie as it came out of the my little Deni oven, and another pie with my "retouching" done with the torch.

'Nuff said? Get a torch and don't look back, unless you want to construct a LBE, which I hightly recommend—LOVE mine...

« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 08:35:12 PM by toddster63 »