Author Topic: NY with steel plate  (Read 3807 times)

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Offline bfguilford

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NY with steel plate
« on: August 02, 2012, 05:27:52 PM »
After messing around with trying to source a 3/4" silicon carbide shelf, I finally got a 1/2" steel plate from a local supplier. It had a LOT of mill scale on it, and after much sanding and cleaning with Barkeepers Friend followed by soap and water, I gave it a try.

I decided to use the same dough and toppings as my last bakes on cordierite, and let the steel (and time) be the variable. I use a modified Glutenboy dough (I use 1/3 Type 85 flour in it, with 61 percent hydration), and a 7 day ferment. White pie, with tomatoes (sliced Big Beef from the garden) on half, quartered cherry (local farm) and Sungold (from the garden) on the other half, basil from the garden, and garlic. Cheese was 1/2 Dragone; 1/2 Sorrento (both part-skim... cholesterol issues), sprayed with EVOO to assist in cheese melting.

Temperature of the steel was 435 at 45 minutes, 485 at 60 minutes (when I finally remembered to turn on the pseudo-convection fan... in center of back wall), and 550 degrees at 75 minutes, using only bottom element. I actually expected a quicker pre-heat (note to self... turn on the convection fan right from the start).

Baked 4 minutes with fan on. Got good oven spring starting at a little under 2 minutes, and top browning began to become noticeable at around 3 minutes.

Observations... Crust was more noticeably more tender, and droop was more evident than baking on cordierite for 5.5 minutes (what I had expected). Inconsistent charring on the bottom, and inconsistent color on the rim (more at the front of the pie, closer to the door). Picture below shows the best underside of the pie... other pieces were more charred, with some burning evident in places around the bottom of the rim, as well as a few other places. Strangely(?), I didn't really notice a burnt flavor to it. I think part of the burning was due to excess flour on the bottom of the pie. The dough is pretty sticky, and I use a Superpeel to launch my pies, so I need to make sure that I don't pick up as much of the bench flour.

Observation from almost-12-year-old son... Hey Dad, it's ROUND :-D (well it's round-ish... I had to bake oval pies before because of 12x20 kiln shelf).

All in all, a decent first attempt, and I will continue to experiment with the steel, and to find the best location for it in the oven (maybe too low this time). What feedback/suggestions/recommendations do you have?

Barry
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 12:41:46 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline Tampa

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Re: NY steel plate experience
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 05:45:10 PM »
I'd like a slice.
Dave

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY steel plate experience
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 01:50:42 PM »
I'd like a slice.
Dave

Thanks, Dave. I'll put your order in with the next bake.

Anybody have any suggestions to improve the results???

Barry
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 02:03:36 PM »
What did YOU not like about it?
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 02:12:28 PM »
What did YOU not like about it?

Good question. The major thing was the burning (well beyond charring) in places around the bottom of the rim (and in other places on the bottom). The photo of the underside was of the best slice of the pie (I realize that I should have posted a photo of the worst slice, too, to give a better idea of what happened). I think it might be because of excess bench flour, but not sure. Do you think that using semolina or a 50/50 semolina/AP mix for the bench flour would help (I launch with a Superpeel)?

Also wondering if I should rotate the pie in the last minute or so to even out the color, or if I'd just lose too much heat (and the 4 minute bake) by doing that.

Barry
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 04:53:45 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: Steel plate...HELP!
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 08:12:30 PM »
I feel like I'm going backward. Same Glutenboy dough formulation with 7 day cold ferment.

Tried a couple of different things. Dropped the steel plate down one notch in the oven, so that it was completely below the convection fan. Shortened the bake to 3 min 40 sec to try to avoid burning on the bottom. Used a 50/50 semolina/AP mix for bench flour. Launch temperature of steel was 563 degrees.

2 pies. One red with cheese and basil (this was a first for me, and the tomato sauce turned out pretty darned well... 8 oz of canned organic Del Monte tomatoes run through my food mill, supplemented by 2 oz of tomato paste, with a pinch of sugar, oregano, and lots of minced garlic). The other was bianca with garlic, Sungold cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden.

Crust was very tender, with good oven spring (both on a par with last time). Good droop again. No issues with excess bench flour this time, but even worse results on the underside (beyond charred, all the way to burnt). Top was a little more pale than the last bake.

I'm a little frustrated with the burning on the bottom. I thought the lack of excess bench flour and having the convection fan blowing the air over the pie would help, but it was worse this way (of course that meant the steel plate was closer to the bottom burner). Should I try moving the steel plate up higher in the oven, so that it is above the fan? Should I stop using the convection fan (after preheat) and just use the broiler for the last 2 minutes? Should I just get used to burnt bottoms? Should I go back to using my cordierite and a longer bake time?

Thanks.

Barry

« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 08:15:52 PM by bfguilford »
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scott123

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 08:47:19 PM »
Alright, Barry, chin up, my man. We'll get you through this.

In the past, I've attempted to gently try and dissuade people from doing extremely long ferments, but I've been so enamored with some of Glutenboy's recent posts that I'm making a conscious decision to stop doing that. There's many pathways to pizza bliss  ;D

This being said, extremely long ferments produce a boatload of residual sugar, and, since you're having burning issues, this sugar might be a contributing factor.  I'm not saying toss the 7 day ferment permanently, but, for now, until you get past this bump in the road, I'd go with a 3 day recipe.

Pre-heat the stone to 525- max.  Continue to use the convection during the pre-heat, but set the temp lower.  If you've got digital entry, plug in 520.  If, after an hour of pre-heating, the plate is hotter than 520, wait until it drops to 520 (and go with a lower setting next time).

If the pseudo convection fan has been running for the entire bake and that's all the rim coloring you're getting, then you absolutely need some broiling.  Ideally, 5-6" from the broiler is great, but if your plate doesn't fit on that shelf, go closer- 3".  The steel plate, at 520 should give you appropriate browning on the undercrust in 4 minutes. I would try broiling during the last 3 minutes, watching to make sure the rim doesn't get too dark. If you see the top picking up a bit too much color, you can turn the broiler off and let the bottom continue to cook.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 09:40:43 PM »
Alright, Barry, chin up, my man. We'll get you through this.

In the past, I've attempted to gently try and dissuade people from doing extremely long ferments, but I've been so enamored with some of Glutenboy's recent posts that I'm making a conscious decision to stop doing that. There's many pathways to pizza bliss  ;D

This being said, extremely long ferments produce a boatload of residual sugar, and, since you're having burning issues, this sugar might be a contributing factor.  I'm not saying toss the 7 day ferment permanently, but, for now, until you get past this bump in the road, I'd go with a 3 day recipe.

Pre-heat the stone to 525- max.  Continue to use the convection during the pre-heat, but set the temp lower.  If you've got digital entry, plug in 520.  If, after an hour of pre-heating, the plate is hotter than 520, wait until it drops to 520 (and go with a lower setting next time).

If the pseudo convection fan has been running for the entire bake and that's all the rim coloring you're getting, then you absolutely need some broiling.  Ideally, 5-6" from the broiler is great, but if your plate doesn't fit on that shelf, go closer- 3".  The steel plate, at 520 should give you appropriate browning on the undercrust in 4 minutes. I would try broiling during the last 3 minutes, watching to make sure the rim doesn't get too dark. If you see the top picking up a bit too much color, you can turn the broiler off and let the bottom continue to cook.

Thanks for the quick reply, Scott. I'll make those changes and see what happens. Do you have any suggestions for a 3 day recipe? I have a Bosch compact mixer coming this week, and decided to delay the next batch of dough until it arrives. Pizza night will be either Sunday or Monday.
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 05:50:25 PM »
Something occurred to me, and I'm wondering if they may have an impact on the burning. In my 6-7 day ferment Glutenboy dough, I am using malted flour (no added sugar). That's what I used in my 5 to 5:30 bakes on a stone with pretty good results. I would have expected that to help the browning on top, but not burn the bottom... I got the reverse. So maybe nothing there.

After a lot of time searching for a 3-day dough (per Scott's recommendation), I found a couple of options:

Peet-za's Lehmann
Flour: 100%
Water: 63%
Salt: 1.75%
Oil: 1%
IDY: 0.25%
(Question if I need a little sugar for a 3-day ferment)

I forget who posted this one (sorry)
Flour: 100%
Water: 61%
Salt: 2.5%
Oil: 2.5%
IDY: 0.5%
Sugar: 2%

Any preference on this? Is there another dough formulation that I should consider. My flour has a protein level of 12%, and I have some 13.5% on the way.

Thanks.

Barry
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 06:17:20 PM »
Barry,

If you are using flour with a protein content of 12%, you might want to use a hydration of 60% in the Lehmann recipe. For a 3-day cold fermented Lehmann dough, I think you should be able to use 1% sugar if you will be using a steel plate.

Peter


Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 12:17:54 PM »
Barry,

If you are using flour with a protein content of 12%, you might want to use a hydration of 60% in the Lehmann recipe. For a 3-day cold fermented Lehmann dough, I think you should be able to use 1% sugar if you will be using a steel plate.

Peter

Thanks, Peter.
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 10:00:33 PM »
Tonight's bake was a great experiment. I used a 3-day Lehmann dough. Flour was 50/50 organic KABF/Central Milling Type 85, 61% hydration, 1% oil, 1.75% salt, 0.25% IDY, 1% sugar (apparently the sugar was too much, because both balls blew the lids off my containers... tripled or quadrupled in volume). Dough opened well and I made a couple of mistakes in stretching (too much rim in one area of the first pie; a little thin in a couple of spots of the second, which led to a few areas of buckled, burned cheese).

Both were white pies topped with fresh tomato (Big Beef and Sungolds), basil, and minced garlic. Dragone part-skim mozz and a little Pecorino sprayed with olive oil.

Steel plate placed 6 inches below broiler.

First pie launched at 497 degrees with pseudo-convection fan for 4 minutes. Not much top browning at that point, so I turned the broiler on for 1:30. Nice color after that, top and bottom. Not bad, except for the 5:30 bake time.

...continued in next post of second pie.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:03:47 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 10:03:01 PM »
Second pie launched at 520 degrees. 1:30 seconds on convection, and 2:30 with broiler on high. A little too much top browning, and uneven undercrust (photo is of little browning; other pieces were dark brown throughout).

Here's what I'm thinking for next time. Cut the sugar down to 0.5% for 3-day dough. Keep steel plate in same location. Go for 515 degrees for launch. Convection for 2:30. Broiler for 1:30.

How does that sound?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:05:45 PM by bfguilford »
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scott123

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 11:38:44 PM »
Interesting...

As far as baking times go, 5:30 can still kick butt. After much experimentation, I know Chau ended up there. What did you think of the first one? Was it well received? I get the feeling that it probably ate pretty well.

As you move forward, start becoming more aware of your lighting. Fluorescent lighting is NOT your friend.  It seems like, on the close-ups, I'm seeing more nice natural toasty brown hues, but the top shot is skewing quite a bit yellow/green.  If at all possible, I think daylight gives you the best color representation.

Something's a little off with the dough. The crumb looks great, but the exterior feels a little off.  When it overflowed the container, did it form a skin?  The 1% sugar wasn't the culprit, btw.  You were probably just dealing with slightly warmer ingredients because of the weather we've been having.  Just scale back on the yeast next time.  Next time, could you post photos of the pre-stretch dough, in the container- one shot of the top of the dough ball and one underneath?

What's the protein content of these flours?

On the first bake, did the fan stay on for all 4 minutes?

I've never seen a white pie in a pizzeria that didn't have ricotta.  Ricotta is essential because it provides the water you would normally find in the tomato sauce.  That water helps the cheese from cooking too fast.  Without it, you get browning on the cheese.  The olive oil, as we've discussed, helps, but you need some moisture in the equation. If you're dead set on not using ricotta, then you might want to consider just misting the cheese area on the skin with some water prior to applying the cheese. Unless, of course, you like your cheese to take on some color.

It looks like your plate is heating up unevenly. You're using only bake (with convection) for the pre-heat, right?  Normally a convection fan is made to avoid uneven heating, but, it seems like your fan is anything but normal. I would take the steel plate to 520, then turn the oven off and give it 10 minutes for the heat in the plate to even out a bit. A ten minute cool down should give you an evenly heated 515 plate.

Also, you might want to start thinking about a mid bake turn (180 deg.).  Maybe.  First see where the cool down gets you.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 07:25:01 AM »
Barry,

I agree with scott123 that the sugar was not the cause of your dough doubling and tripling. I also have my doubts that 0.25% IDY was the culprit for a cold fermented dough. It would take a lot of heat or a long room temperature warmup for that amount of IDY to cause a doubling or tripling in volume. My best guess is a yeast measurement error.

Peter

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 10:57:14 AM »
Good catch, Peter. Yes, .25% yeast is not a lot of yeast, even with a high ambient temp.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 12:05:29 PM »
Interesting...

As far as baking times go, 5:30 can still kick butt. After much experimentation, I know Chau ended up there. What did you think of the first one? Was it well received? I get the feeling that it probably ate pretty well.

As you move forward, start becoming more aware of your lighting. Fluorescent lighting is NOT your friend.  It seems like, on the close-ups, I'm seeing more nice natural toasty brown hues, but the top shot is skewing quite a bit yellow/green.  If at all possible, I think daylight gives you the best color representation.

Something's a little off with the dough. The crumb looks great, but the exterior feels a little off.  When it overflowed the container, did it form a skin?  The 1% sugar wasn't the culprit, btw.  You were probably just dealing with slightly warmer ingredients because of the weather we've been having.  Just scale back on the yeast next time.  Next time, could you post photos of the pre-stretch dough, in the container- one shot of the top of the dough ball and one underneath?

What's the protein content of these flours?

On the first bake, did the fan stay on for all 4 minutes?

I've never seen a white pie in a pizzeria that didn't have ricotta.  Ricotta is essential because it provides the water you would normally find in the tomato sauce.  That water helps the cheese from cooking too fast.  Without it, you get browning on the cheese.  The olive oil, as we've discussed, helps, but you need some moisture in the equation. If you're dead set on not using ricotta, then you might want to consider just misting the cheese area on the skin with some water prior to applying the cheese. Unless, of course, you like your cheese to take on some color.

It looks like your plate is heating up unevenly. You're using only bake (with convection) for the pre-heat, right?  Normally a convection fan is made to avoid uneven heating, but, it seems like your fan is anything but normal. I would take the steel plate to 520, then turn the oven off and give it 10 minutes for the heat in the plate to even out a bit. A ten minute cool down should give you an evenly heated 515 plate.

Also, you might want to start thinking about a mid bake turn (180 deg.).  Maybe.  First see where the cool down gets you.

Scott: Ah... the "interesting" word.

The first one was pretty well received (12 year old critic thought it could use a little more salt... probably right for just a little). Had a fair bit of crispness on the surface, with a pretty good crumb and chew inside. Not much droop to the slice.

Barry,

I agree with scott123 that the sugar was not the cause of your dough doubling and tripling. I also have my doubts that 0.25% IDY was the culprit for a cold fermented dough. It would take a lot of heat or a long room temperature warmup for that amount of IDY to cause a doubling or tripling in volume. My best guess is a yeast measurement error.

Peter

Peter: I used the Lehmann Dough Calculator for the ingredients and rounded down to 0.5 tsp (from 0.54 tsp indicated) yeast, and I'm pretty sure that I measured it out correctly (I don't own a small volume digital scale, so it may have been off by a bit). I use SAF Red IDY (which some people claim is more active than other brands).

The finished temperature of the dough was exactly 80%, and I balled and put it into the fridge withing 5 minutes. It stayed in the fridge from there on, and I started to notice pretty rapid expansion from the 20 hour mark. The dough did form a skin, and felt OK to work with. I'm not sure what to make of the overflowing container (maybe get bigger containers :D). I didn't get as much of a rise with the previous Glutenboy dough at 6-7 days. The differences from the Glutenboy dough: (1) The addition of 1% sugar; (2) The addition of 1% oil; (3) I used my new Bosch Compact mixer instead of my food processor; (4) No 2 hour room temperature bulk rise before balling. I'll post photos of the dough in the container next time.

I think that a lot of the unevenness of bottom browning may come from the unevenness of the bottom. I had a bit of trouble getting the dough out of the oiled pyrex containers (again, a change from Glad containers... they were on sale at the local outlet mall, and fir easier into the fridge), and probably manhandled it too much, which may have carried through to the skin.

BTW, please remind me again why EVOO is not advised?

I went with a 50/50 combo of KABF (12.7%) and Central Milling Type 85 (12.5%) flours. I used 1/3 Type 85 combined with 2/3 Central Milling ABC (11.5%) in the past. Could there be something in the KABF/Type 85 that gave the yeast more to munch on?

I am using only bake with the mischievous fan assist for pre-heat, and the fan did stay on for the full bake at 500 degrees. I'll try the cool down strategy next time.

As far as the browning of the cheese goes, I'll probably need to live with it because of the part-skim mozz (I think the oil helps, Scott, so thanks for that recommendation a while back, I'll try misting the skin with water down the road, once we can dial in the rest). I guess could also using the low setting for the broiler for half or all of the broil period.

I wasn't displeased with how these pies turned out (with the exception of losing control of the top browning on the second pie through a lapse in attention :-[), and I'm confident (OK, hoping) that the more tweaking I do with your help, the better they will get. Thanks.

Barry
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 12:14:57 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 05:11:23 PM »
BTW, please remind me again why EVOO is not advised?

Barry,

It just dawned on me that no one answered the above question.

There is nothing wrong with using extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), especially at the low levels you are using. If you were using a lot more oil, say, 6% or more, the EVOO might impart too robust a flavor to the crust. Most professionals do not use EVOO because of its higher cost, although some use pomace olive oil because of flavor plus low cost. Many pizza operators use olive oil/canola oil blends, again mainly because of cost but also to have some of the olive oil flavor. The major chains rarely use olive oil. They use cheap oils like soybean oil.

Peter

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 05:16:09 PM »
Thanks, Peter. I like the taste of the EVOO I've been using (I use it for dipping, too). It's the Kirkland Signature (Costco) Organic Filippe Berio. We blind taste tested it against some pretty expensive competition, and it compared very favorably.

Barry
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with steel plate
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 08:39:22 PM »
Tonight, a single pie. Lehmann 3-day dough (same as above). I think discovered the issue with last week's overblown dough.

In my zeal to try out my new Bosch Compact mixer last week, I used the "dump everything in and mix it" approach. But after a short mix to incorporate all the ingredients, I decided to give it a 25 minute rest, before kneading for another 7 minutes.

I changed that this time, just combining all the water with around 75 percent of the flour, and let it autolyze for 20 minutes. Then I added the rest of the dry ingredients and kneaded for 4 minutes, and finally added the oil and kneaded for another 3 minutes. I also reduced the yeast and sugar slightly, and increased the salt slightly.

Flour: 100%
Water: 61%
Yeast: 0.2%
Sugar: 0.7%
Salt: 2%
Oil: 1%

Including 2 dough photos as requested. Nothing really to see this time. The "speckles" are from the Type 85 flour.

I wanted to keep everything else the same, so I topped it the same way.

2:00 on bake at 505
1:00 on low broil
1:00 on high broil

Checked the undercrust and rotated, and then domed it for 1:00.

The crust was definitely better than the last bake. It was crispy on the outside and had really nice crumb structure, and tender inside. Pretty good undercrust, too (I think that getting it off the steel at 4:00 and doming it helped a lot). The cheese... not so good because I'm using part-skim mozz.

Now for the bad news. Both last week and this week, I wrecked my back putting the 40+ lb steel plate into the oven (nobody around to help, and on a tight schedule). Given my history with back surgeries, I think I'm going to have to stop using the steel plate and go back to kiln shelving. I will try to find a cordierite/mullite 17x17 shelf, and sacrifice a little tenderness in the crust for a lot less pain and strain on my back.

Getting old... sucks! Thanks for your help, Scott. I think I was finally getting it. Sigh...

Barry
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 08:50:30 PM by bfguilford »
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