Author Topic: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage  (Read 55388 times)

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Online Chicago Bob

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #240 on: July 01, 2014, 07:51:19 PM »
No keys for me.
This joint is asleep at the wheel.
Oh well...
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


Offline DenaliPete

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #241 on: July 07, 2014, 10:33:29 PM »
Craig several questions...

First, are you still utilizing italian tomatoes, and if so, what draws your preference to that instead of San Marzanos?

Secondly, how coarse would you describe your sauce?  I goofed the other night and turned my tomatoes into puree in my vitamix.  I also feel like I didn't season it correctly because the taste seemed a little too much like spaghetti sauce, but maybe its just the consistency of the sauce at that point that was throwing me off.

Thanks,

Pete

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #242 on: July 07, 2014, 10:47:21 PM »
Yes, I still use the Cento Italian in the 35oz can. ROA1 Pelati printed on the end. I think they taste every bit as good if not better at 1/2 the price.

My sauce has a fair bit of texture. I use an OXO food mill with the coarse plate. I've had more than one very smooth (and thin) sauce that I liked however.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #243 on: July 15, 2014, 09:36:38 AM »
Thank you for the response, sorry for not replying sooner.

I am curious...aside from your neo pies, do you venture much into other types?  I'd be curious to know if you get cravings for other styles often.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #244 on: July 16, 2014, 09:35:54 AM »
Thank you for the response, sorry for not replying sooner.

I am curious...aside from your neo pies, do you venture much into other types?  I'd be curious to know if you get cravings for other styles often.

Other than NP, the occasional Detroit Style and pizza al taglio is about it.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #245 on: August 29, 2014, 10:00:10 AM »
Hi Craig

As you know (because you have replied to my posts) I have just completed my oven construction. After a couple years of baking in a regular gas oven I now have what I think is a really good, and very attractive, WFO. Ironically, I too use my garage - to prep and serve - I run acoss the driveway to get to the oven which is outdoors. 

This aside, I have moved on from being obsessed with the construction to focusing on what goes in, and comes out of it. I have been very frustrated by the variability in results, even when I follow the same recipe and work flow.

So, I started reading your string, and made it though 36 of 86 pages, and about 50 screen shots, before A) my wife made comments about me not paying attention to the kids and b) thinking wouldn't it be great if you had summed up all your experience in a single post.  Well, it appears you did that here some time ago.  Now I will print this out and study it. So, thank you for this.

You had made a comment on one of my posts about the oven, and then said "especially if your pizza is any good". I thought my pizza was very good, but it is clear that I have a long way to go, not just with the recipe but with managing the oven. The problem I have now is that I built the oven at my vacation place up in Canada, which I just returned from and can only get to occasionally.  I think it'd be a bit nutty to build a second one......

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #246 on: August 29, 2014, 10:08:35 AM »
Obviously you are going to need to build an oven at your principal residence!  Very funny comment about time and attention with the kids. I can relate!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #247 on: August 29, 2014, 10:16:58 AM »
I think you oven came out absolutely beautiful. It's way way more than I expected when you first showed up here with the pieces of the oven's engine, and we were speculating on how they went together. I hope you know that the comment you referenced was not about your pizza but rather that you were concerned about some aspect of the oven's aesthetics, and I was saying that nobody was going to notice because they would be focused on eating pizza. As for having two ovens, I can't say it's nutty - impractical maybe? You can't practice oven management without an oven, but you can practice everything else with a Blackstone. That's a fairly practical solution. With respect to oven management, if Neapolitan pizza is the goal, error on the side of getting it too hot rather than too cool. Keep an open flame when you bake. Be sure you have a proper round head turning peel to turn and dome the pie. From there it's just a matter of practice and learning from experience.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #248 on: September 01, 2014, 11:46:25 AM »
Thanks as always Craig for the reply. You have great recall as we were speculating about how the oven went together last fall just after my neighbor unexpectedly delivered it to my driveway!  As for the finished product even the local contractors were stopping by to say how much they like the oven. I am actually quite missing having the project to look forward to each day - so maybe a second one is in the books for me!

Also, as for working on my recipe, technique and oven management , I have been reading many posts and am starting to understand a lot of principles a bit better.  For example, I have never tried "doming" the pizza and it took me a while to figure out what it meant. I do have a round turning peel, so I am anxious to try the doming technique as i have noticed the bottom is cooking faster than the top. Also, I had settled on waiting till the flames went down and cooking with just the coals, but that now seems to be the wrong thing to do. And, I was heading towards using a cooler, rather than hotter oven.  All wrong directions to be going based on your advice.

I will have to wait till I am back in Canada in October :'(.  I will have to check out the strings on the Blackstone. 

Offline dylandylan

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #249 on: September 04, 2014, 04:19:25 AM »
Craig - I think you're now mandolining cheese instead of tearing it?  Certainly looks that way most of the time.  Is there a post where you've described specifically what you're using?


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #250 on: September 04, 2014, 08:58:22 AM »
Craig - I think you're now mandolining cheese instead of tearing it?  Certainly looks that way most of the time.  Is there a post where you've described specifically what you're using?

I use this device Wheelman (Bill) made. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22294.msg227298#msg227298
If you scroll down a few posts, you can see the back side.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #251 on: September 04, 2014, 02:51:30 PM »
Thanks   :)

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #252 on: September 08, 2014, 09:03:56 AM »
Craig:

After building my oven i have been reading your pizza making and baking techniques and I am ready to retool my whole pizza making process.

I am going to try your calculator with a bulk cold ferment etc etc.

I looked around for an answer to this question but can't find one.

There is a lot of talk about ischia starters.

I'd like to get your sense for how important the specific sourdough starter is - both for a lower temperature home oven technique using regular KA bread flour, and the higher temps with a WFO using Caputo 00.

I have used the KA sourdough starter in the past and also have some dried Oregon Trail (Fiends of Carl) store in my cupboard that I have yet to try.

More recently, I have been using a homemade sourdough starter. I keep it in the fridge and reactivate it before use.  It seems to me to be quite active - usually bubbly within 8 hours.

I understood from the reading I did that even if you start with purchased starters the natural organisms in your home environment eventually take over - so you lose whatever taste the purchased starter might have had over time. Is this true?

My specific question is regarding ischia - which seems to be the go-to standard on this forum. On a scale from one to ten, where one means not important and ten means most important, how much difference does an ischia starter make vis a vis a home-made starter? Does this vary for a low temp, home oven technique, KA bread flour technique, versus a high temp, Caputo 00, WFO technique?


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #253 on: September 08, 2014, 09:29:12 AM »
The question about cultures getting taken over has been beaten to death here several times. Some people believe they do, some people don't.  I've seen nothing to make me believe that a healthy culture will get taken over. Note the emphasis on healthy.

I don't know how to answer the questions about how important it is to use Ischia. Overall, it's probably not very important. While it makes a good pizza, I suspect much of it's popularity is just a 'follow the crowd' thing. I think a lot of other things are more important than your choice of culture. If you have a culture you like, my suggestion would be to use it unless you are not getting the flavor profile you want - too acidic, for example.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #254 on: September 08, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
Thank you Craig. It is good to know what is fact and what is opinion. For me, the biggest variation/wild card is the dough consistency when it is time to stretch it out. Nothing is more frustrating to me than the dough developing holes and tears. I am hoping that by following your techniques closely I can eliminate, or greatly reduce this problem.

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #255 on: September 13, 2014, 12:25:49 AM »
So I got my ischia starter in the mail today so I will find out shortly how different it tastes (or not) vs my homegrown.

Craig, I have been studying  your posts on your spreadsheets (percent starter, temp, time). It is very interesting stuff. The thing is though, it takes a lot of effort to manage the temperature, the time, especially if you are starting low temp and finishing high, having to use a cooler etc. i know there exists a passion for this stuff for lots of people, and a willingness to babysit the dough over multiple days, but there is a significant hassle factor right?. I usually know that I want to eat pizza at say 6 pm tomorrow night. So, knowing the ambient temperature in my kitchen, I can select the correct starter percentage from your chart to have the dough ready in time. But, there are likely fluctuations in temperature overnight, and the dough sometimes goes faster, or slower than predicted. If it goes faster I can cool it down in the fridge. If it goes slower I can warm it up in the oven. But I can't predict how long to make these adjustments because I don't know what fluctuations the ambient temperature went through up to that point. My point being I suppose, that a calculator, while very helpful, isn't the ultimate answer for me and sadly, my eye is not trained enough to know when looking at the dough whether the dough is at its prime (doubled in size with some bubbles in it is pretty imprecise). As I have said before, it really sucks after all the anticipation, and getting the oven heated, when I go to stretch out a pizza and the dough doesn't perform well.

Given your obvious analytical/engineering abilities why don't you create an app that uses a temperature probe. Temperature probe goes into the dough, other end into the phone. You input the starter percentage you used. The phone or ipad can then give you a countdown, based on the current temperature inside the dough, as to what time the dough is expected to be ready to ball, and what time it is expected to be at peak.  So, if it is telling me the dough is going to be ready at 4 pm I know to put it in the fridge, or basement for a spell. If it tells me it is going to be ready at 8 pm I put it in a warm place.  Perhaps the app can even tell me, once it senses the new ambient temp, how much time the dough needs to be in that new environment before returning to  a room temperature environment. It could beep when it is ready to be returned to room temp. Maybe the probe doesn't even need to go into the dough, just measure ambient temp and calculate internal dough temp based on the size of the dough ball.....

Sell the probe and give away the app for free (with paid ads for Cento, Caputo ....)


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #256 on: September 13, 2014, 11:12:24 AM »
Craig, I have been studying  your posts on your spreadsheets (percent starter, temp, time). It is very interesting stuff. The thing is though, it takes a lot of effort to manage the temperature, the time, especially if you are starting low temp and finishing high, having to use a cooler etc. i know there exists a passion for this stuff for lots of people, and a willingness to babysit the dough over multiple days, but there is a significant hassle factor right?.

Sourdough is not for everyone - largely for the reasons you mentioned. Maybe you would be better off with a 24 hour IDY CF formula - something that is very controlled, repeatable, and forgiving of small changes in the schedule? There is no shame in making pizza with baker's yeast. 
Pizza is not bread.

Offline cupcake

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #257 on: September 13, 2014, 11:33:41 AM »
Sounds like someone wants to make pizza on easy mode..? JFK's moon speech comes to mind. Seriously though, the cons of sourdough are pretty obvious and well covered. If you can't be bothered to deal with them then sourdough is probably not for you.

And if the cooler method requires too much effort, then buy a wine cooler or something. I think that's more reasonable than requesting someone write an app that needs you to buy a thermometer add-on and sacrifice a smart phone to sit next to the dough at all times.

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #258 on: September 13, 2014, 12:57:37 PM »
My comments about hassle with dough prep might have come across as laziness but that wasn't what I intended. It had more to do with a desire to improve the spontaneity of being able to serve good (optimal) sourdough tasting pizza without having to plan two days in advance. 

I love the taste of sourdough, and I actually like the process of maintaining and preparing the culture itself. I actually have two different cultures on the go and a third (dried) in my cupboard - much to my wife's chagrin. So I would like to stick with it.

However, perhaps a 24 hour ferment is insufficient to get a real sourdough flavour and I am just kidding myself?  If that is the case then maybe I should use yeast when I want pizza the next day, and save the sourdough when I can plan two days out? However, my personal view is that even in 24 hours I can pick up a distinct sour dough taste, so given that, I would like to figure out how to improve the consistency.

I know Craig you seem to do most of yours at 24 + 24, with a cool ferment, so you have zeroed in on an optimal time for best taste and handling.  I don't doubt this for a minute. The spreadsheet however shows that a less than 24 hour lead time is achievable and at pretty close to room temperatures, with a 9 percent or so starter. I assume because this range remains within the green cells that it performs to an acceptable standard. I assume it is subpar relative to lower starter percentages, longer cooler ferments, but as long as it still tastes like sourdough I am cool with that.

Given the already subopimal performance of a short ferment, high starter percentage relative to Craig's ideal protocol, the idea for the app was really centered on how I might fine tune control over the dough rather than having the dough control me. I don't think it is such a dumb idea, who doesn't have an "old" smartphone or iPod laying around, and a temp probe would be a minimal cost. I can probably get one of my kids to write the code as a science fair project......

Offline SC

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Re: The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage
« Reply #259 on: September 13, 2014, 01:01:06 PM »
Oh, and PS.  I actually do have one of those single bottle electric wine coolers sitting unused in my cupboard. Thanks for the idea! If the temp is right, I can connect that to a timer it could be just the ticket.....