Author Topic: First NP pizzas in WFO  (Read 3337 times)

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Offline PizzaioloCow

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First NP pizzas in WFO
« on: January 28, 2013, 05:31:40 PM »
Hi there!

These are some NP pies cooked in a WFO with a deck temp of 840F.  The only thing that differentiates these from a normal NP is high-gluten flour in place of 00, but everything else was pretty much the norm.  Oh, and no sourdough; just IDY (still learning).

Dough recipe was 100% HG flour, .4% IDY, 3% salt, and 65% hydration.

Pictures in order:
1) Pre-bake Margherita
2) Margerita slice
3) Undercrust from Margerita
4) Pre-bake Pepperoni w/ extra mozzarella
5) Baked Pepperoni w/ extra mozzarella
6) Undercrust from Pepperoni w/ extra mozzarella
7) Baked Cheese

The pepperoni was just Hormel, nothing special.  The mozz was from two different brands; Galbani and Belgioiso.  The Galbani was cut into cubes and the Belgioiso was torn into pieces.  You can definitely see the difference in the pre-baked pizzas.

Eventually I want to use 00 but I have to get through this massive bag of HG first.  Next time I'll stretch them even thinner; I was afraid that they wouldn't slide of the peel if I went too far, but these ones didn't have any problems.  Sauce was just crushed tomatoes with nothing added.

Thanks!
-Jake


scott123

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 05:49:11 PM »
Looking good, Jake.

A few thoughts:

This boils down to personal preference, but you might get a better melt with smaller cubes of cheese (or tearing all the cheese). You also might want to play around with tearing the fresh and grating the aged, since the aged brick mozz takes longer to melt.

Are your parents doing the baking?  Turning the pizza can be difficult and turning HG dough can be even more difficult because of the smaller window between leoparded and burnt. With practice it should come.

For 800+ temps you should really have a metal peel for launching.

It could just be the light, but the tomatoes aren't cooked, right?

For your first NP pizzas in a WFO, these are looking really good and I think you can kick up your game even higher with a few more tweaks (such as going thinner), but I think, for HG flour, you might want to try dialing down the heat a bit and going with something a bit more NYish- just until you get the 00.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 05:53:09 PM by scott123 »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 06:00:59 PM »
Nice Job Jake.  I agree with everything Scott posted.  I would emphasize that it is possible to bake malted American flours at high temps without burning.  I think this has been (yet another) long held misconception on the forum.  I'm glad you posted your results.  If you are going to stick with high temp bakes and NP style, caputo 00 is better suited.   For HG flour I would stay below 700f, closer to 650f.

Offline PizzaioloCow

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 06:04:59 PM »
@scott123

There wasn't aged mozz any of the pizzas; everything was fresh.  All of it, though, was pretty thoroughly dried on paper towels for about an hour prior to baking, so that might be why the Galbani looks so dry pre-bake.

My dad is doing the baking.  He said that the reason some of them got so done on one side is because of his tendency to cook too close to the fire.

The tomatoes definitely aren't cooked.  They were crushed tomatoes straight from the can without any modifications.

Quick question - what's the advantage of having a metal peel for launching?  I've always seen a metal peel used in the videos on Neapolitan pizza but I've never understood why they're preferred over wooden ones for high temps.  Thanks for the compliments!

@Jackie Tran

I didn't take pictures of all the pizzas; there was one that baked up just about perfectly.  I definitely intend to stick with something that err's toward NP.  The problem isn't getting Caputo 00; it's pretty easy to get locally.  I just want to get through this bag of HG first.  Thank you very much for the reply!

Again, thanks for the replies and all of the tips!  I'll use as many of them as I can next time I bake.
-Jake

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 06:14:23 PM »
Jake, not sure if you know this already but Craig uses Galbani fresh mozz and gets a beautiful melt.  Hopefully he will chime in about how he specifically preps his cheese.  I think he's posted a thread about it as well.  

Also dont be in a hurry to get rid of that HG flour just yet.  You can make some really awesome NY pies in a wfo.  Save it for that.  You may also want to try blending it with 00 for hybrid pies.  Ive used 75/25 00/Hg with great results.  Bake about 750f.

scott123

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 06:27:04 PM »
Sorry, Jake, the slightly yellow tinge and dry appearance of the diced Galbani (and stark contrast with the very white/wet looking Belgioso) made me think brick aged. If Craig is using Galbani, do what he does.  You can't get better looking NP cheese than that.

Are you drizzling the pie with olive oil pre-bake? That can help with the melt.

Are you 14 yet? :) 13, as I said before, is too young for tending a WFO, but 14... maybe >:D Regardless of whether or not you're ready to take the peel, you are watching your dad closely as he tends the oven, right?  He may be baking them, but, keep in mind that these are your pizzas, and don't be afraid to coach him on what he needs to do.  You know, a little armchair quarterbaking  :-D

I'm not sure why all the Neapolitan folks use metal for launching.  The perforated metal peel does a great job of removing excess bench flour, but I'm not sure of any other reason beyond the wooden peel having a tendency to burn.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 07:47:25 PM »
Scott,  personally,  I was done with my metal peel years ago.  Wood all the way for me,  its only in the oven for a second if everything is going right,  and it goes right more often with less flour for me with wood.  Just my thoughts on the subject,  now turning peel...  different story.  -Marc

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 07:50:09 PM »
Scott,  personally,  I was done with my metal peel years ago.  Wood all the way for me,  its only in the oven for a second if everything is going right,  and it goes right more often with less flour for me with wood.  Just my thoughts on the subject,  now turning peel...  different story.  -Marc

+1.  Can't tell you how many pies I fudged up with the metal peel, especially since I often make high hydration doughs.

scott123

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 08:06:41 PM »
I would never go with anything other than wood for NY, so I can understand we're you're coming from.  Jake, until one of the metal peel owners chime in, I'll defer to Marc and Chau.

Offline David Deas

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 08:11:56 PM »
Quick question - what's the advantage of having a metal peel for launching?  I've always seen a metal peel used in the videos on Neapolitan pizza but I've never understood why they're preferred over wooden ones for high temps.  Thanks for the compliments!

Typically you want to use a wooden peel for launching and a metal peel for pulling.  That is normally the way it's done.  The reason for that is because you can rub flour into the grains of the wood, which is best for a non-stick launch.  But for loading wood, manipulating and retrieving pies you will want some sort of a metal peel because it won't burn or char.

There are some places that use perforated metal peels but this is the exception I believe.  The hole pattern allows the skin to be launched without sticking so much.  But the performance is still inferior to wood, IMO.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 08:15:39 PM by David Deas »


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 08:32:23 PM »
There are some places that use perforated metal peels but this is the exception I believe.  The hole pattern allows the skin to be launched without sticking so much.  But the performance is still inferior to wood, IMO.

I would have agreed 100%, until I saw the G.I perforated metal peel used at craig's.  He showed me once how to do it, and I have not had the troubles I did before.  Wood or perforated metal to launch, steel to turn and pickup. (and load wood.)
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Offline PizzaioloCow

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 09:39:12 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for all the replies!

@Jackie Tran

I've never thought about doing a hybrid!  I forgot that TXCraig1 uses Galbani.  You're right; his cheese melt is the best I've ever seen.  TXCraig1, if you do read this, will you please tell us if and how you dry out your mozz once you've torn it?

@scott123

The probable reason the cheese looks so dried out is that it was in the refrigerator for a couple days before I used it.  I was surprised when a opened it; it was much less wet than I remembered it being.  I do give some pies a little bit of olive oil, specifically ones that don't have toppings that tend to grease up a pizza.  I turned 14 in November, thanks for asking.  It's pretty rare that I actually get to watch a pizza bake.  I'm not that great at opening dough skins quickly, but I've improved since I started to use the traditional NY method of stretching over the knuckles as opposed to slapping it out.  My dad was the one who told me that he has a tendency to cook too close to the fire, so I trust that he'll start to cook a little farther away.

@widespreadpizza

That's what I'm curious about; it would seem like it would take more bench flour to make the pizzas not stick to the metal than the wood, but as someone who's only used wood to launch, I could be dead wrong.  Thank you for the advice.

@David Deas

Do you have experience with a perforated metal peel?  If so, have you ever had issues with the dough slipping into the holes and getting stuck?  Thank you for taking the time to help me out.

@Jet_deck

What kind of troubles did you have before eating at TXCraig1's?  Since it sounds like you've tried both metal and wooden peels, is there a clear choice for which one you prefer?  Thanks.

Anyone who has used a G.I. Metal perforated peel, do you build your pizzas on the peel or build it on the counter and slide the peel under it when it's time to bake?

Thank you again for being so helpful!
-Jake

Offline Qarl

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 09:40:07 PM »
I'm just learning myself, but I'd devour those pies.  Great job!

:)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 06:39:30 AM »
I recently stumbled across this Pizza Today article on peels by Tom Lehmann: http://www.pizzatoday.com/magazine/2011-august-dough-doctor?A=SearchResult&SearchID=3539293&ObjectID=5654447&ObjectType=35#.UQeynWt5mSM. The article is not with respect to high temperature wood-fired ovens or Neapolitan style pizzas where metal peels are more frequently used for loading pizzas, but Jake might benefit nonetheless from the general advice that Tom dispenses on the subject.

Peter

Offline pizza dr

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 09:01:18 AM »
I started off with a wood peel but once I purchased a perforated metal peel I have never looked back.  The biggest difference for me was I had less bench flour on the bottom of the pie that would char and sometimes have an unpleasant bitter taste.  

So the way I build a pie is to first put the unopened dough in some flour and turn.  Then I move it to the counter with out much flour and open it to the desired size/thickness.  I do more of a gently opening on the counter and some over the knuckles as I'm not to good at the stretch and slap thing to get rid of some of the excess flour.  Top it and slide it onto the perforated metal peel.  At this point I carry it out to the oven and before launching, I shake the peel a bit  (there is quite a bit of flour that you can see fall through the holes).  I then launch it immediately.  I've had a few "roll-ups" but for the most part this works pretty nicely.  

Good job on those pies!  Love it!!'

Scot

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 09:41:29 AM »
Looking good Jake.

Here is how I prep my cheese: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20455.msg201652.html#msg201652

I let it drain for a few hours (4-8) on paper towels. The fresher it is, the less it needs to drain. I usually use about 2-3 layers of paper towels below and 1 above. I don't think you can over-drain it, but if it's not really fresh, you can certainly under-drain it. The faster your bake the more critical this is. If your bake is over 90 seconds, it's probably not a big issue. If it is under 60 seconds, it's really important.

I think a pie launches easier off a wood peel, and I don't think wood is a problem even in the hottest NP ovens. Some darkness on the peel looks good. One major benefit of a metal peel is that you can easily shoot it under under a topped skin. My dough is usually way too supple to be dragged onto the peel. If you prep on the peel, I'd go with wood for sure.

I've never had a problem with dough sagging into the holes on the peel. I don't think that is a concern. Some excess flour will come out the holes, and that's a good thing. I'd say the bottom line is that If you are going to buy your first metal peel, get a perforated one, but don't go out an buy a new one just to get the perforations.

CL
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Offline David Deas

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2013, 12:23:40 AM »
Looking good Jake.

Here is how I prep my cheese: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20455.msg201652.html#msg201652

My dough is usually way too supple to be dragged onto the peel. If you prep on the peel, I'd go with wood for sure.

CL

Are you using a higher hydration than most?

Offline f.montoya

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2013, 07:39:05 AM »
...

My dad is doing the baking.  He said that the reason some of them got so done on one side is because of his tendency to cook too close to the fire.

I just want to say that those pizzas look yummy!! I've burnt a few much worse than the ones in your pics! Anyway, my question is, where is the fire situated in your wood fired oven? Left? Left back corner? All the way to the back? And, another question, where is the pizza launched in relation to the fire?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 11:23:43 PM »
@Jet_deck

What kind of troubles did you have before eating at TXCraig1's?  Since it sounds like you've tried both metal and wooden peels, is there a clear choice for which one you prefer?  Thanks.

Anyone who has used a G.I. Metal perforated peel, do you build your pizzas on the peel or build it on the counter and slide the peel under it when it's time to bake?

Thank you again for being so helpful!
-Jake


The trouble I had was trying to be a big shot and swoop up the entire topped skin in one motion.  I think the prep surface has alot to do with this.  My prep surface would be rated 0 on a scale of 1 to 10.  I have become comfortable with the GI perf. peel to launch. A wood peel.   (more) why the hell cant I type a longer reply???????
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: First NP pizzas in WFO
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 11:28:06 PM »
Excuse me... A wood peel is more forgiving to launch.

I would not recommend the practice of topping the skin on a peel (any peel) A pizza veteran could do it, but it comes down to the handling of the dough from the time you mix it.  (Long story). Just get in there and get dirty and have fun.

My $.02
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