Author Topic: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO  (Read 27004 times)

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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2012, 02:56:58 PM »
Thanks Craig, I'll take a look at it. I really don't have much experience with them. From the example you cite it might be well worth another $10.
Michael


Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2012, 03:13:40 PM »
Cool spreadsheet! It appears I stand corrected. Thanks Craig, I think I will get another length of chimney when I get a chance.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2012, 04:58:50 PM »
Can you get a 3' clay chimney liner?  Since you're working with a small diameter, every little bit of thermal mass helps.  If you do go the metal route, I hope you find a way of insulating it.

As you probably expect, I'm not in love with the chimney diameter (or the opening), but, I understand you've got to work with the materials you have access to.

How does the door to ceiling height ratio compare from the old oven to this one?

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2012, 07:32:24 PM »
Scott, i knew you would be disappointed. I actually walked around the brickyard in the heat, half delirious thinking if I don't find this flue liner I'm going to hear about it. I thought about the metal route and wondered if it would be necessary to insulate it. Probably going to stick with clay. I don't know if I can get a 3' liner, I am going to look for one though. I suppose I am not near the limit, but there must be an upper limit on chimney size and height at which you are decreasing the efficiency of your oven. For now it is easy to replace the chimney so I will do some test runs and keep looking.

The ratio of door height to ceiling height is the same in the old and new oven and is a coincidence. It just worked out that way. By traditional standards it is way to high, 78%. However, I made it as low as I could and still feel comfortable that I could see and reach into the oven. I could probably lower it if I find that I want to. Are there many pizza ovens with doors lower than 7 inches? I like the look and feel of the offset door. I did a dry run of trying to simulate launching a pie with a 16 inch peel and it seemed to work ok. It is almost a straight shot to what I think will be the sweet spot, far away enough from the coals but not up against the wall.

Just got a cord and a half of seasoned oak delivered today. If it wasn't so hot I'd be doing a trial burn now.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2012, 08:19:55 PM »
Michael, I'll live  ;D

You really don't have that far to go. One might argue that your last incarnation of this oven was enough for Neapolitan pizza.  I'm just trying to get you that little bit more. The addition of a chimney, even it's it's not an ideal chimney, should help combustion.

Btw, this is a little late, and I think I might have steered you wrong by suggesting the chimney be placed at the ceiling height, but Shuboyje (Jeff) recently posted a very useful diagram relating to chimney/door positioning:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19857.msg195826.html#msg195826

Based on this, I think that maybe your stepped ceiling concept might have been preferable. Sorry.

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2012, 04:47:03 PM »
It's not too late until I encase the whole thing in insulating cement. Not going to do that until I am satisfied that it is as good as it can get.

It would be really easy to try out the stepped roof. If I can find a day without thundershowers I will cook a few pies with this configuration and see how things work out first.

Thanks for all the ideas and feedback, thats what makes this fun!
Michael

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2012, 11:23:38 AM »
I Fired up the new oven for the first time yesterday. Preheated for 3 hours but didn't really get blazing until last hour only because I was doing other things. I probably didn't get it hot enough. Ceiling was too hot to measure. Floor was 800F initially but settled down to the 700's during cooking. Some of that might have been moisture in the vermiculcrete. However I think I just didn't heat up the oven enough. I located the chimney in the back center of the throat/doorway. I extended it to 2 feet. It drafted nicely but spilled some smoke out the door. The location had a lot to do with it but it could certainly have been a bit larger. For the next firing which I won't get to for a couple of weeks, I am going to step down the front third of the oven ceiling to a height of 7.5 inches and locate it at the side opposite the fire in that front third of the ceiling. The door will be lowered to 6.5 inches to try and encourage the smoke to go up the chimney and not spill out the door. I am also going to search for the 4.5 by 8.5 inch chimney that Scott suggested.

The 9 inch ceiling height is a nice height and by no means feels low or confining when you are working with it.

The pictures below are of a 60% hydration Caputo Pizzeria dough. Unfortunately I could only let it ferment overnight and sit on counter 3 hours. I would have liked another day in the fridge.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2012, 02:22:53 AM »
For the next firing which I won't get to for a couple of weeks, I am going to step down the front third of the oven ceiling to a height of 7.5 inches and locate it at the side opposite the fire in that front third of the ceiling. The door will be lowered to 6.5 inches to try and encourage the smoke to go up the chimney and not spill out the door.

Sounds excellent, Michael. Just to clarify, the chimney will be on the 7.5" step and be located the furthest possible from the fire, correct?  If that's the case, then I'm very curious to see how this works, as I think, for this setup, that could be ideal.

I wouldn't normally say this, but, because you've built what could be the best mortarless pizza oven the internet (and possibly the world) has ever seen, you a have special duty to hone your pizzamaking skills to the highest level.  You've made some phenomenal looking pies in the past, and I think you're pretty much there, but I just want to be absolutely certain everything is in order. Could you describe your doughmaking/fermentation process?

Ratio of ingredients?
This is red or blue 00 caputo, correct? It's got a photo of pizza on the front?
How long are you kneading for?
Are you kneading until smooth?
What size dough balls are you making?
Are you still using sourdough or switching between SD and IDY?

Do you have a cool place to ferment the dough?  Craig is a big advocate of not refrigerating Neapolitan dough, and, while I've seen some good looking refrigerated dough Neapolitan pizzas,  mirroring Craig, for now, wouldn't be a  bad idea- if you can find a cool place or set up a cooler.

Btw, are you still blocking/partially blocking the door during the pre-heat?

Edit: I've also been meaning to ask- on the used angle iron- any signs of warping?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 02:31:32 AM by scott123 »

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2012, 08:59:05 AM »
Thanks for the kind and encouraging words Scott. I have been changing my mind alot lately about the chimney and continue to look for a source for the 4X8 chimney. But the setup you describe is my current planned modification.

I have definitely been paying less attention than I would like to my dough lately.  I admire Craig's pies greatly and strive towards them as my standard.

My most recent dough for the oven was inspired by John's "Back to Basics" post. I got my Caputo flour from a store that repackages it in clear bags. The girl at the counter told me it was the pizzeria flour from the blue bag but I didn't get the feeling she was too sure. I plan on picking up a 50lb bag from a restraunt supplier when I get a chance. The last dough was a 60% hydration with 0.6% ADY and 2.8% Salt. I dissolve salt in water, add yeast, add half of flour let sit for 20 min. Knead with paddle on KA Mixer for 5 min, gradually add rest of flour and switch to dough hook when to firm to mix with paddle. Rest 20 minutes. Slap and fold for few minutes. Divide and ball 300g. Rest 30 min on counter. Put in fridge over night. Reball in morning. Take out and place on counter 3 hours before use. I plan on trying Craig's method in the near future but I don't like to change the oven and the dough at the same time.

I block the door during firing by placing a two bricks length wise at the entrace with a space in between and then place two bricks on top of the those to block the top of the door. With the chimney, that setup gets the fire roaring as combustion air is sucked in at the bottom of the door.

Surprisingly, even the 1/8th inch iron seems unaffected by either the heat or brick weight. The 1/4 inch just makes me feel good looking at it.
Michael


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #59 on: July 27, 2012, 08:22:54 PM »
I'm very impressed with the pies you're getting from your homemade WFO. I like the gentle, even charring on the cornice. Very nice.

How did you prepare the cheese on the margherita? What sort of cheese is it?

Craig
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2012, 09:29:07 AM »
Thanks Craig, I have a long ways to go though. The cheese is bel gioioso cut with an egg slicer. I use it mainly because it is widely available. The sauce is made with 6 in 1. I look forward to focusing more on ingredients and dough making as I finish building the oven!
Michael

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2012, 09:46:30 AM »
Sometime you might try cutting it a little thicker and maybe not whole slices - more like cubes and rectangles - and maybe 2X as thick as the egg slicer is cutting it. This should help stop the cheese from breaking down as much on the pie as it bakes.

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

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #62 on: July 28, 2012, 10:04:46 AM »
Michael,
How is the taste of the bel gioioso, I also see that alot at the stores I go to...good price.

Craig,
He is very close isn't he....a bit more top convection to get closer to your pies? The heat number seems to be there,no?
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2012, 12:25:15 PM »
It is funny I bought the bel gioioso and another store brand for my last bake and was pleasantly surprise at the superior taste of the gioioso raw. It has a good milk flavor. The other cheese was very bland. As far as cooked goes I am undecided. I appreciate Craig's advice and completely agree that I need bigger sized chunks of cheese to avoid too much break down. Sometimes the cheese feels too rubbery when I leave it larger though. That may be because I need to use a fresher softer more local cheese.

For my next bake I definitely need the oven a bit hotter. Just didn't preheat it long or hot enough, never pays to be in a rush, someday I will learn. Next time I will shoot for at least a 4-5 hour preheat. Need the floor 900F instead of 800F. The ceiling is tough to know because my thermometer only goes to 1000F but I assume in that environment if the floor is hotter the ceiling will be too. I don't think it truly reached equilibrium last time. I should get better airflow next time too as after many phone calls and a long drive ahead I have located the 4.5 by 8.5 by 24 inch clay flue liner and a 50lb bag of caputo pizzeria. :P.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #64 on: July 29, 2012, 12:05:02 AM »
YES!!!!  ;D

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2012, 03:08:03 PM »
Finally was able to pick up my chimney and a bag of Caputo. Chimney fit perfectly into place. Great idea Scott! Tomorrow doing a bake with the new chimney and Craig's workflow. Tried his recipe with 0.02%ADY in place of the ischia. I may have to deviate from his routine if it rises too fast.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 03:10:17 PM by Michael130207 »
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2012, 10:24:53 PM »
Very nice, Michael.  Between the new chimney and Craig's tutorials, I'm expecting great things from this next bake. No pressure  ;D


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2012, 10:34:32 PM »
Speaking of no pressure....maybe Scott could drop by an take of few pics of your next pies Michael.... :-D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #68 on: August 21, 2012, 10:20:01 PM »
So as advertised I tried to follow Craig's workflow today, complete with Calabrian chili oil and Allepo pepper flakes. Let me just say those two products are all they are cracked up to be. Really nice flavors! Thank you Craig for sharing your process in such detail.

I used 0.02% ADY and found it to work pretty well. Below is a picture of my dough just prior to baking in its container. The temperature profile was varied between 60F and 65F for the bulk rise of 26 hours. Balled then about 65F for 12 hours and 74F for 4 hours prior to baking. The amount of rise was good but the dough balls lacked enough structure. I couldn't really even manipulate them on the backs of my hands. I removed them from their plastic container and pressed and pulled them with my finger tips. Dragged them to the peel and dressed them on the peel. I am not sure why this happened. I did stretch and fold four cycles of 5 stretch and folds and the dough was smooth by the last one. The hydration was 62.5%. Perhaps I didn't work it enough initially. Next time I will try a lower hydration and work it a little more. The pies were tasty and tender, 90s bakes.

The new chimney worked great, enough draw to capture almost all the smoke during firing and certainly all the smoke during baking. Current oven configuration worked well with the door offset to the right. It does make it a little harder to tend to the fire on the left. I definitely need longer tongs or longer gloves. Ouch! See picture of arm below. Lower door opening of 6.5 inches with ceiling of 9 inches worked well but definitely limits access somewhat see picture of arm below. :'( . Deck temp was about 800F and so were the walls. Fired the oven for about 7 hours prior to bake. I think with the limited insulation I currently have those are the highest temps I will see. Although they did stay nice and stable over a couple hour bake. I think it should improve once I encase the whole thing in perlcrete.

Started to develop a gummy brown film on my turning peel, not sure why. Thought It might be related to the dough being so delicate. Anyone have similar experience or ideas? Shortly thereafter I tore a pie and made a big mess on oven floor. Now I keep turning peel clean. Well, not as good as I had hope for but with some more dough making and fire management practice I hope to get there. I'm enjoying the journey anyway.

I think I am done making changes to the oven. I plan on encasing it in perlcrete when I find the time. Thank you Scott for your many suggestions along the way.



« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 10:22:21 PM by Michael130207 »
Michael

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #69 on: August 21, 2012, 11:00:48 PM »
Boy Michael, those are some really top notch looking pies...congratulations. Sorry 'bout the arm...you certainly are paying your dues eh? !!   >:(
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #70 on: August 21, 2012, 11:04:32 PM »
Ouch. Just looking at that photo makes my arm hurt.

But the pizzas should have distracted you from the pain a little bit, right?  ;D

Those are looking really good.  I like the thickness factor. I never thought I'd say this, but I sort of like the hyperpuffiness the KABF gives you in the first photo of this thread.  Still, these are a lot more Craig-ish.  I think, for the most part, you have the right tool for the job, it's just a matter of becoming a dough master.

I'm sure Craig will chime in, but I think he might take his dough just a tiny bit further, based upon the bubble structure underneath the proofing container.

When you burn dough, the burned areas will liquefy. That's where the gumminess is coming from.  Also, I don't have the link right now, but I remember Marco telling Omid that the yellowing of the undercrust relates in some way to bench flour- or something to that effect. The hearth is definitely a bit too high.  I would move the fire to the side a little sooner and the let the hearth drop a bit.

Looking at your arm, and thinking back to the reasoning I was using for recommending the offset door (which is escaping me at the moment), I think, before you perlcrete over it, it's time to lose the offset.  I might have been going with an offset with some sort of offset chimney arrangement in mind, I'm not sure. Whatever the case may be, I'm not sure what it's buying you.  You really need equal access to fire and pizza.

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #71 on: August 21, 2012, 11:21:54 PM »
I think the offset was my idea. It allows me to use a bigger peel as it is a straight shot to the prime spot on the oven floor. With a small oven if you have to go in at an angle to launch your pie it decreases the maximum peel size. I can easily launch a 16 inch pie on the 27 inch deep by 31.5 inch floor. If I had to angle it I would be limited to a 14 inch pie. Or keep banging into the arch with the corner of the peel. Anyway, its not that hard to reach the fire on the left. The other thought was that it would help draw the fire across the oven ceiling better. I actually burnt my arm as I was reaching deep into the oven to clean the floor before launching my first pie.

The liquefaction of burnt dough makes sense as it was worsening as I developed more char. I think Craig actually uses a deck temp above what I was but he  has shorter bakes. 90 secs at 800F was too long, too much char.  I think my bakes will shorten once I increase insulation over my ceiling and my fire management gets better.

I definitely had too much bench flour too. I think as my dough improves that will be easier to decrease and it is also time to invest in a perforated peel.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #72 on: August 21, 2012, 11:37:17 PM »
Michael, are you doming these much?

I think it's time for proper oven tools, like a long handled brush. No more arms inside the oven, capisce?  ;D

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #73 on: August 21, 2012, 11:40:59 PM »
Scotty, he is a tough one.  When you see that the exhaust is held up with wire, then you realize that no mistake is made without love. :-D
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #74 on: August 21, 2012, 11:43:03 PM »
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends