Author Topic: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)  (Read 1327 times)

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Offline Reep

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Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:07:06 AM »
Prepping dough tonight for the first bake.  I'm trying a simple 00 dough, my Chicago-based whole wheat cheese dough, and a new Frankendough.  My first time working with 00 and it is so smooth compared to my Chicago dough.  I thought how nice it would be to have a dough that is wheaty and cheesy, but has some of the smoothness of the 00.  So, I'm trying my first experiment.  I have a cord of oak by the oven and it is cured and ready to go.  First bake is set for Saturday evening.  Pictures of pizzas and unintentional calzones will appear after. 

Prep:
dough is  bulk proofing;
watched a bunch of GI metal videos on loading pizzas--they make it look so simple;
bough cactus burner like TXCraig because his methods look so effective;

to do:
pick up fresh mozzerella;
form dough balls tomorrow night;
open a good wine Saturday and go for it! (waiting until after first pizza is baked to have third glass)


Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 05:52:17 PM »
First bake is complete.  I learned a lot from the first attempt.  I'm coming from Chicago style in an electric oven, to NP style and wood fired, so lots of variables changing at once.

I checked my oven and right now the deck is 52" from the ground, but that will be reduced by about 2" when the pavers are installed for a final deck height of 50".  I'm 6'1" for reference.  Here is a picture of me doing absolutely nothing with my new peel (just posing).

First pie was the standard.  First mistakes: I made the crust too thin and it ended up with a very thin section in the middle that ruptured and destroyed the middle of my first attempt.  I also think I made the sauce wrong (too runny).  I used the whole can of tomatoes, and I think I should have just pulled out the whole tomatoes and left the liquid in.  The result was the toping was runny.  Mozzerella may have  been the problem too as the middle of seemed unusually soft.  It was Mozzerela di bufulo campana imported, but it seemed less firm than it should have been.  Crust seemed nice, except for too much liquid.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 05:58:24 PM by Reep »

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 05:56:38 PM »
Second attempt was better, but the sauce got spread out too much.  But, things started to feel more natural.  One shot was the flame at night.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 06:08:48 PM by Reep »

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 06:03:15 PM »
The oven worked like a charm.  Heating it up was easier than I thought and it kept the heat evenly all night.  I was 1000+ on the dome and 900 on the deck at the start.  This morning at 9:00 it was 620 on the dome and 580 on the deck. 

I am really happy with my oven choice.  Thanks to Antoine and all those here who helped, especially John and Robyn.  The raised height seemed perfect and gives you a bit more flexibility.  I didn't need it last night, but I like the deeper shape of my 1500 too.  When cooking I can put a nice row of logs on the left long side and it leaves a very large cooking area to the right.

Finished the night by making John's nutella/banana pizza.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 06:09:17 PM by Reep »

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 06:32:55 PM »
There are so many variables, it's just a matter of experience to control everything and get it how you want it (or close to it anyway) on a consistent basis.

You will want to learn how to work with dough that is very thin in the center. That's NP. I doubt your sauce was too thin. That's how I make it, and it looks OK in the pictures. Most fresh mozz (water packed) can benefit from a little draining - buffalo mozz is almost always really wet and generally needs several hours - often 6-8 - of draining. I like to drain mine on paper towels. I usually slice it, let it drain, then tear it into pieces, but you can tear it and then drain it too. If it's really wet, tearing first can be more difficult and messy.

You've got a great oven. Do it proud!
Pizza is not bread.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 06:35:38 PM »
Whats your dough Formula ? Drain the cheese for sure. a food mill gives you consistent results everytime on the tomatoes ;) liked the nutella pie !
ps how did the  tools work out ?
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline RobynB

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 06:37:23 PM »
The oven looks great, and your first night's pizzas look fantastic!!  Way better than mine did  ::)  Dialing everything in takes time, and there will be good nights and less good nights.  But it looks like you've hit the ground running.  Keep sharing photos and let us know how the oven feels over time.  I'm so curious to try a raised FGM.  I'm glad you are happy with yours!! 

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 07:25:20 PM »
Whats your dough Formula ? Drain the cheese for sure. a food mill gives you consistent results everytime on the tomatoes ;) liked the nutella pie !
ps how did the  tools work out ?
John

Tools worked great John.  I watched some GI videos on launching and launching went very well.  I forgot to shake off the extra flour twice and ended up with some extra char on the bottom.  I must say I did like my home made coal hook.  It was very nice for spreading coals around on the floor and then getting them back quickly.

Sounds like draining the mozzarella was the downfall.  Next time.  I must say that coming from my cheesy wheat dough, I was prepared to not really like the simple NP style dough.  I was wrong.  I really liked it.  My first NP dough was out of a book, but it was pretty much the standard formula.  I probably had a bit too much ADY too. 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 07:29:23 PM by Reep »

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 12:18:00 PM »
Last night (24 hours from pizza baking) the oven was the perfect temp for bread.  So, I cleaned it out and tossed in a couple loaves of French break.  Turned out very nice

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 12:50:51 PM »
The oven looks great, and your first night's pizzas look fantastic!!  Way better than mine did  ::)  Dialing everything in takes time, and there will be good nights and less good nights.  But it looks like you've hit the ground running.  Keep sharing photos and let us know how the oven feels over time.  I'm so curious to try a raised FGM.  I'm glad you are happy with yours!!

Thanks Robyn.  This forum helps soooo much.  I remembered reading in one of your posts about a learning curve with the GI loading peel, which lead me to watching videos of the technique.  Hopefully other newbies will read about drying the fresh mozzarella and won't make my mistake.


Offline Pizzaddict

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 07:54:29 PM »
Reep, thanks for another great thread!  I'm probably just as excited reading about your experience as you were with the actual experience.  Can't wait to start my FGM Raised Door install.

Just curious, how long did it take you to heat your oven?

Also, I almost quit using fresh mozzarella after my first time using it because it was so watery.  I've learned to squeeze dry it in a paper towel if I don't have time to let it drain and dry a bit.  I'm also amazed at the difference between brands and the different amount of water they contain.

I recently tried fresh mozzarella from Alleva in "Little Italy" NYC and it had very little water requiring no draining at all.  I've been told you can freeze fresh mozzarella and it won't have the same consistency after you thaw it so it isn't great for a caprese salad, but it will still melt the same - haven't tried it to confirm.

I also drain the juice from the cans of Italian tomatoes and use this device (more expensive than a food mill, but I really like it) to "process" the tomatoes:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/italian-tomato-press/

I still drain some liquid after processing and most of the time I get much more sauce from actual San Marzano tomatoes than the "San Marzano Style" tomatoes.

So back to your oven...congratulations on your beautiful first pies!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 08:17:12 PM by Pizzaddict »

Offline derricktung

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 08:17:04 PM »
Gorgeous pies!  I'm looking forward to eventually getting my own oven, and being able to have half the success you did with your pies! 

Congrats on the oven, and some great early test runs!

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 10:37:58 PM »
I am really happy with my oven choice.  Thanks to Antoine and all those here who helped, especially John and Robyn.  The raised height seemed perfect and gives you a bit more flexibility.  I didn't need it last night, but I like the deeper shape of my 1500 too.  When cooking I can put a nice row of logs on the left long side and it leaves a very large cooking area to the right.
It is my pleasure, very glad you like it.

You first pizzas and bread look great, congratulations.

I am actually jealous, I never got to cook in that oven  :drool:

Will have to pay a visit to someone in CA  ::)

Antoine
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 10:39:59 PM by breadstoneovens »
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline z-man

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 12:09:37 PM »
Thats one darn nice lookin oven!  How long did it take you to get up to those temps and how long did it take to cook the pies? I would have made the same mistake as you (being a newbie) with the mozz so thanks for taking one for the team :P

Offline Reep

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Re: Reep's First Bake (the prequil)
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2013, 08:31:08 PM »
I planned on a 4 hour heat up just to be safe. It was ready in plenty of time. I'm sure I could have done it faster if needed.

I also did not use the door insert yet.  Wanted to try it first wide open.