Author Topic: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie  (Read 5067 times)

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Offline zelichan

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Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« on: September 17, 2012, 12:43:24 PM »
Hey everyone,

I'm really new to the pizza making game. I'm trying to improve and hope to with the wonderful help of everyone here. I've been using a bread machine to make the dough so far. I've got a pizza stone, paddle and some pans. I've made pizza on the stone, on pans or in a cast iron skillet. I'm at a point where my pies are edible. I want them to be off the charts good. I have a long way to go.

Here's where I'm at right now:

(http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/pizza4.jpg)
(http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/pizza2-1.jpg)
(http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/ICPizza.jpg)



Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 01:14:20 PM »
Here you go. 

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/pizza4.jpg

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/pizza2-1.jpg

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/zelichan2008/ICPizza.jpg


Thanks. Normally I can just post the photos into the thread no problems. I'm currently trying to learn why it's not working on this particular forum.  :-[


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 01:22:29 PM »
Thanks. Normally I can just post the photos into the thread no problems. I'm currently trying to learn why it's not working on this particular forum.  :-[

Because in-line links to photos on other hosts are not supported on this particular forum. The only way is use the "Attach" feature on the Post dialog.

 

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 02:51:50 PM »
Here you go:

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline rcbaughn

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 05:11:47 PM »
Are you wanting to get more color on the top of the crust? I had to move my stone up really high to the top to achieve that. Gave me a little bit of charring too.
More is better..... and too much is just right.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 04:10:59 PM »


Thanks a million Jet_deck. I appreciate you sorting out my pictures for me. I think I have it figured out for the next go around. 



Are you wanting to get more color on the top of the crust? I had to move my stone up really high to the top to achieve that. Gave me a little bit of charring too.

Thanks for the tip. I have been placing it in the oven at about mid height. I'll move it all towards the top on the next batch.

I also have to work on making a better dough as well.

Thanks again for the tip.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:06:55 PM »

Okay made a couple of pies this weekend. I raised the stone up like rcbaughn suggested. It seems to help tremendously. I still have to get the dough better but I felt good to get this far.


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 08:19:22 PM »
Comparing how done the cheese is on top of the pizza with how pale the color of the crust is, it would lead me to think you are not fermenting your dough for very long. Is it only fermenting for a few hours? What is your dough recipe and method? With that info I think we could get those pies even better.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 08:44:14 AM »
Comparing how done the cheese is on top of the pizza with how pale the color of the crust is, it would lead me to think you are not fermenting your dough for very long. Is it only fermenting for a few hours? What is your dough recipe and method? With that info I think we could get those pies even better.

Thanks for your post. I'm so new to all this I'm still  using the bread machine I got as a gift and the recipe that came with it. I know it's probably not the best recipe ever.

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL Sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TBL dry milk
4 1/2 cup of KA bread flour
1 1/4 active dry yeast

I put in the bread machine on dough cycle at 10:00 am. I got a call and had to step out. I got back at 3:00pm. I took the dough out and put it in a oiled plastic container. I left it alone until around 5:00pm. I made the pizzas.

I put the remaining dough in the fridge. It's been in there since Sunday. I will make pizza tonight with it.


I do have a kitchen aid mixer. I want to get a kitchen scale and thermometer try to make some the good recipes here in the future.


Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 08:16:42 AM »
Okay, So last nite I used up the rest of the dough I made last Sunday. It seemed to be a whole lot better. I made the pizza super thin and crispy as I only had a small amount of dough to work with.

Critique and comments are welcome. I need any help I can get.

 

Offline scott123

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 05:35:48 PM »
Z, a few thoughts.

Until you get a wood fired oven and start making Neapolitan pizza, always grate the cheese.

As I think you're figuring out, a digital scale is critical.  If you want any kind of consistency, you should purchase one before your next batch of dough.  If you want to put in some time researching a good one, that's great, but, imo, it's way better to have a cheap Walmart one than no scale at all. Once you get a digital scale, come back and we'll have a much better recipe for you.

Are your containers round?  A round container goes a long way in helping you to shape a round pizza. Practice also helps.  Here's a good video on stretching (ignore the rolling pin stuff):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA&amp;noredirect=1" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA&amp;noredirect=1</a>


Make an extra sacrificial dough ball just to practice stretching with and stretch it as far as you possibly can.

How hot does your oven get? Are you pre-heating the stone as high as your oven will go? How long are you pre-heating the stone for? Does this oven have a broiler in the main compartment?

"Off the charts" pizza needs consistently measured ingredients as well as consistently fermented dough.  You might run across dough recipes where the dough is made one day and either used that day or 3 days later, but an "off the chart" recipe will have a much smaller window of usability.  You want to pick a time frame that works for your schedule, preferably 2 or 3 days, use enough yeast so the dough doubles in that time frame, and stick to that schedule every time.  In other words, develop a 2 day dough and always, if possible, make it 2 days in advance.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 08:01:03 AM »
Z, a few thoughts.

Until you get a wood fired oven and start making Neapolitan pizza, always grate the cheese.


Okay I'll stick to the grated cheese.

As I think you're figuring out, a digital scale is critical.  If you want any kind of consistency, you should purchase one before your next batch of dough.  If you want to put in some time researching a good one, that's great, but, imo, it's way better to have a cheap Walmart one than no scale at all. Once you get a digital scale, come back and we'll have a much better recipe for you.


I'm going to look for one today on amazon. I saw a few within my price range the other day.

Are your containers round?  A round container goes a long way in helping you to shape a round pizza. Practice also helps.  Here's a good video on stretching (ignore the rolling pin stuff):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA&noredirect=1


Yes they are round. Thanks for the video I'll check it out at lunch time.

Make an extra sacrificial dough ball just to practice stretching with and stretch it as far as you possibly can.


Good idea. I didn't think of that.

How hot does your oven get? Are you pre-heating the stone as high as your oven will go? How long are you pre-heating the stone for? Does this oven have a broiler in the main compartment?


My oven max. temp is 550 degrees. I pre-heat the stone for an hour. It has a broiler.

"Off the charts" pizza needs consistently measured ingredients as well as consistently fermented dough.  You might run across dough recipes where the dough is made one day and either used that day or 3 days later, but an "off the chart" recipe will have a much smaller window of usability.  You want to pick a time frame that works for your schedule, preferably 2 or 3 days, use enough yeast so the dough doubles in that time frame, and stick to that schedule every time.  In other words, develop a 2 day dough and always, if possible, make it 2 days in advance.


That makes sense. I usually make the dough and cook it that day. I've been reading here of fridging it for a couple of days. I can work with any time frame that involves days. I can make it the night or couple of nights before I plan to cook.

Thanks for you input. I appreciate the help. :)


Offline scott123

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 02:51:22 AM »
Sounds good, Z.  Pick up that scale and you'll be ready to take it to the next level.

While we're on the topic of new purchases, you've got an infrared thermometer, right?

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2012, 12:43:22 PM »
Sounds good, Z.  Pick up that scale and you'll be ready to take it to the next level.

While we're on the topic of new purchases, you've got an infrared thermometer, right?

no I don't. I guess I'll need one of those as well? ???

Offline scott123

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2012, 01:01:52 PM »
It helps.

Below are some good deals on an infrared thermometer.  IR thermometers are generally cheap/made in China, but, for the most part, are rarely defective. One brand is generally not any better than another.  I'm not including these models because they're the best, but because they're the cheapest.  If you can find something cheaper, go for it.

For NY style temps:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/1-2-lcd-digital-infrared-thermometer-orange-black-123695?item=8

If you think you might ever get into Neapolitan pizza making and purchase/build your own wood fired oven, this model can handle dome temps in that environment:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/gm700-1-5-lcd-non-contact-infrared-thermometer-yellow-black-1-x-9v-104614?item=32

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2012, 05:45:08 PM »
Zelichan , Looking at all your pies I like the pepperoni ones the best. From a pictorial point of view they are the cleaner looking pictures. The toppings are distinct and separate. They look nice.
I agree with Scott about the round proofing containers. It also helped me to draw a circle or at least 4 spots N,S,E,W, on my board in order to stretch the dough into a circle. Not that circles make it taste any better , but may be more pleasing to the eye.
Is there a particular reason why you are not mixing your dough ingredients either by hand or in a mixer? I find one of the most pleasing parts of making the dough for pizza or pasta is the hand feel, the kneading is fun! Try it, you may like it.
Learning new stuff is great, especially when you can eat it. Keep up the good work.

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2012, 10:07:07 AM »
It helps.

Below are some good deals on an infrared thermometer.  IR thermometers are generally cheap/made in China, but, for the most part, are rarely defective. One brand is generally not any better than another.  I'm not including these models because they're the best, but because they're the cheapest.  If you can find something cheaper, go for it.

For NY style temps:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/1-2-lcd-digital-infrared-thermometer-orange-black-123695?item=8

If you think you might ever get into Neapolitan pizza making and purchase/build your own wood fired oven, this model can handle dome temps in that environment:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/gm700-1-5-lcd-non-contact-infrared-thermometer-yellow-black-1-x-9v-104614?item=32




Thanks, I'm looking into them right now.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2012, 10:17:54 AM »
Zelichan , Looking at all your pies I like the pepperoni ones the best. From a pictorial point of view they are the cleaner looking pictures. The toppings are distinct and separate. They look nice.
I agree with Scott about the round proofing containers. It also helped me to draw a circle or at least 4 spots N,S,E,W, on my board in order to stretch the dough into a circle. Not that circles make it taste any better , but may be more pleasing to the eye.
Is there a particular reason why you are not mixing your dough ingredients either by hand or in a mixer? I find one of the most pleasing parts of making the dough for pizza or pasta is the hand feel, the kneading is fun! Try it, you may like it.
Learning new stuff is great, especially when you can eat it. Keep up the good work.

Mark

Thanks for the reply. I have been using the bread machine as I got it as a gift and felt I should use it sometimes. Of course I posted the obligatory thank you with the pictures to the gifter. I will be more "hands on" on the next batch.

I'm going to pull the trigger on a scale this week. I will hopefully improve greatly as a result.

Offline zelichan

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Re: Zelichan-Noobie's pies A journey to making a great pie
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2012, 08:54:47 AM »
Okay I pulled the trigger on these yesterday. I should be receiving them shortly. I'm sure they aren't the best pieces of equipment but I'm hoping that they'll work well enough.

Epica TM Accupro Digital Kitchen Scale 11 lbs Capacity,Stylish Silver/Chrome-Electronic Food Scale
$15.95

http://www.amazon.com/Epica-Accupro-Digital-Capacity-Chrome-Electronic/dp/B005OSUIYG/?tag=pizzamaking-20

 
Etekcity Temperature Gun Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight
$15.39

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Temperature-Non-Contact-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B00837ZGRY/?tag=pizzamaking-20



 

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