Author Topic: What actually Causes Leapording?  (Read 4265 times)

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Offline Doughboy20

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What actually Causes Leapording?
« on: February 09, 2013, 01:29:54 AM »
Other then heat, what actual is the process, whats going on?   Yes, I know, a real pizza oven is hotter, etc, etc.  But some people here have managed to get this spotting with a home oven without running the cleaning cycle.  So that leads me to believe there are also some other things going on. 

Anyone who has achieved this care to elaborate?  Water droplets in the dough?  Blast of heat under the broiler?


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 08:22:00 AM »
From my own experience, extreme heat (over 800 degrees) and long, slow fermentation are the two key areas where you can almost guarantee leoparding. I do not know what the exact science is behind it though.

John

Offline Mangia Pizza

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 08:48:30 AM »
From my own experience, extreme heat (over 800 degrees) and long, slow fermentation are the two key areas where you can almost guarantee leoparding. I do not know what the exact science is behind it though.

John

John, could you please elaborate on long, slow fermentation? 

What is the minimum amount of time of fermentation to qualify for a long process?  24 -48 hours?

Thanks.
Paolo

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 08:59:49 AM »
John, could you please elaborate on long, slow fermentation? 

What is the minimum amount of time of fermentation to qualify for a long process?  24 -48 hours?

Thanks.

In my opinion, it's not the time per se, but rather the dough being well fermented that what matters. It might take 24 hours or it might take 72 hours depending on the flour, the fermentation temperature, and the size of spots you seek.

Pizza is not bread.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 09:29:47 AM »
In my opinion, it's not the time per se, but rather the dough being well fermented that what matters. It might take 24 hours or it might take 72 hours depending on the flour, the fermentation temperature, and the size of spots you seek.

Well said. Most of my doughs are 24 hours old when baked. I have sometimes gotten leoparding from high levels of levain in 10 hours, but not the kind you see with small amounts of yeast and 24 hours of fermentation at room temp.

John
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 09:31:25 AM by dellavecchia »

Offline David Deas

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »
Other then heat, what actual is the process, whats going on?   Yes, I know, a real pizza oven is hotter, etc, etc.  But some people here have managed to get this spotting with a home oven without running the cleaning cycle.  So that leads me to believe there are also some other things going on.  

Anyone who has achieved this care to elaborate?  Water droplets in the dough?  Blast of heat under the broiler?

Obviously the physical cause of leapording must have to do with bubbles forming beneath the dough surface.  That implies that heat is important, so I'm not sure how anyone could achieve leoparding in a home oven without the cleaning cycle?  Who got leoparding in a home oven without the appropriate modifications?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:39:06 AM by David Deas »

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 11:00:35 AM »
I'm not sure how anyone could achieve leoparding in a home oven without the cleaning cycle?  

We've seen it done with the broiler by several folks here.  I thought you did it by moving the thermocouple and using foil to reduce the oven volume?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 11:04:27 AM »
Who got leoparding in a home oven without the appropriate modifications?

Easy to do with a butane torch after baking.

Offline bakeshack

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 11:59:49 AM »
I look at leoparding as a naturally occurring phenomenon (or a by-product) which is achieved with the proper application of heat, dough-making skills, and fermentation.  You cannot force it out of the dough.  I have seen large leopard spots around the crust of a pizza which almost look fake.  I think there is too much emphasis on achieving leoparding especially here in the US, to the point where a lot of the focus is to achieve the leoparding over the other important qualities of a pizza (soft, tender, easy to digest, etc.)  IMHO, proper leoparding in a neapolitan pizza should be small, micro blisters around the crust, possibly with occasional large bubbles.  These micro bubbles must be protruding around the crust and can only be achieved with extreme heat properly applied to the surface of a well fermented dough.  That is what I am going after personally.  Some people may have their own definition of leoparding on a neapolitan pizza but, for me, if I get these micro blisters, I know I have done my job and the resulting pizza will let me experience the true qualities of a pizza napoletana, which I find so addicting.

Having a very hot oven and a 48-hr old dough, however, will not guarantee leoparding.  I have seen a lot of pizzas come out from a WFO (including authentic Neapolitan ovens) using a long rise dough with no leoparding whatsoever.  I think it all depends on what you want to accomplish so you can apply the right skills to achieve your desired result.  I have personally achieved some type of leoparding using my home oven with a long preheat of the stone using a jacket and just the broiler.  It looked like it came out of a WFO but I can assure you that the pizza is not even close.  It has leoparding but does not possess the other qualities that I am looking for in a Neapolitan pizza.  

Marlon







« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 12:12:52 PM by bakeshack »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 12:09:14 PM »
To me, leoparding is simply a cosmetic artifact. It is no way a cue for doneness or quality or authenticity. For my tastes and for the way I bake in my WFO, the best pizzas turn out to have a small amount of tiny leoparding with an occasional larger burnt spot from direct contact with the flames or a hotspot in the oven or my own lack of attention. I don't pull the pizza from the WFO based on the color of the crust.

Usually, when the edges have lots of large spots like I see in many photos, the crust is overbaked. Just my particular preference, but I think leoparding is a none issue.


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 02:03:56 PM »
Who got leoparding in a home oven without the appropriate modifications?

David I have.  This pizza crust tasted like crap, but that is besides the point.  This was bake in the home oven under the broiler without the use of any oven hacks.  

This is also not blisters or micro blisters.  These are Big Leopard spots.   It only happened once but it happened none the less.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.msg105390.html#msg105390

And if you look back to the beginning of that thread, there are many more beautiful examples of leoparding in an unmodified home oven.  

And I agree with the statements that leoparding does not necessarily equal great pizza or even NP for that matter.  It is a visually interesting phenomenon to see though.  
Chau

Offline David Deas

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 04:23:30 PM »
We've seen it done with the broiler by several folks here.  I thought you did it by moving the thermocouple and using foil to reduce the oven volume?

That's cheating.  I consider those things to be oven modifications.  Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 04:35:19 PM »
That's cheating.  I consider those things to be oven modifications.  Sorry if I wasn't clear.

I didn't realize there were rules that there were rules? I just thought we were trying to make charred spots  ???
Pizza is not bread.

Offline David Deas

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 04:39:38 PM »
"Appropriate modifications" was intended to be all encompassing.  Should have rephrased that.  I assume the OP has a standard unmodified home oven.

In any case, what I'm thinking is charring somehow at 550 degrees.  I think I'm pretty solid with a home oven, but I ain't *that* good.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 04:45:06 PM by David Deas »

Offline David Deas

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 04:44:31 PM »
David I have.  This pizza crust tasted like crap, but that is besides the point.  This was bake in the home oven under the broiler without the use of any oven hacks.  

This is also not blisters or micro blisters.  These are Big Leopard spots.   It only happened once but it happened none the less.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.msg105390.html#msg105390

And if you look back to the beginning of that thread, there are many more beautiful examples of leoparding in an unmodified home oven.  

And I agree with the statements that leoparding does not necessarily equal great pizza or even NP for that matter.  It is a visually interesting phenomenon to see though.  
Chau

Yes.  You called them warts.  I've seen those warts in my home oven once.  Never was able to nail down a cause, but those are definitely warts.  I had not considered that leapording though at the time.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 04:48:46 PM by David Deas »

Offline Pulcinella

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 05:18:58 PM »
Other then heat, what actual is the process, whats going on?   Yes, I know, a real pizza oven is hotter, etc, etc.  But some people here have managed to get this spotting with a home oven without running the cleaning cycle.  So that leads me to believe there are also some other things going on. 

Anyone who has achieved this care to elaborate?  Water droplets in the dough?  Blast of heat under the broiler?

I think Omid has touched on this issue of leoparding before

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.msg176207.html#msg176207

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.msg233161.html#msg233161 (last paragraph)

Maybe you find them useful

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2013, 07:30:13 PM »
David, you and I can call it warts or whatever.  It is a type of leoparding.  Also if you look at the beginning of that thread there are examples of smaller and more diffuse leoparding by member foolishpoolish.   But to answer your question, can leoparding be create at 550f?  I don't believe so.  IMO, it is a product of a well develped, well fermented, well proofed dough, and high even heating, about 750f and above.  There is also another factor that a friend shared with me.  Cooler doughs tend to leopard more than room temp doughs given the high even heat of a wfo.  I haven't personally tested this but I could definitely see that being a factor.

Offline bakeshack

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2013, 07:58:47 PM »
Cooler doughs tend to leopard more than room temp doughs given the high even heat of a wfo.  I haven't personally tested this but I could definitely see that being a factor.

There is some truth to this, Chau.  This is very similar to the surface blistering you get from a retarded Tartine loaf.  The cold environment, somehow, help degrade the gluten in the dough.  During baking, this allows the CO2 gasses to escape up to the surface of the crust and form blisters.  A cold fermented dough baked in a very hot WFO will form blistering much easier although they tend to be larger blisters compared to the micro blistering you get from RT fermentation.  Maybe, this is also part of the reason why most NP pizzerias here in the US prefer to do cold ferment than RT (aside from the ease of use).


Offline David Deas

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2013, 11:00:29 PM »
David, you and I can call it warts or whatever.  It is a type of leoparding.  Also if you look at the beginning of that thread there are examples of smaller and more diffuse leoparding by member foolishpoolish.   But to answer your question, can leoparding be create at 550f?  I don't believe so.  IMO, it is a product of a well develped, well fermented, well proofed dough, and high even heating, about 750f and above.  There is also another factor that a friend shared with me.  Cooler doughs tend to leopard more than room temp doughs given the high even heat of a wfo.  I haven't personally tested this but I could definitely see that being a factor.

I agree that cooler doughs tend to leopard more.  That has been my experience.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What actually Causes Leapording?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 08:15:34 AM »
To be clear, "cooler" does not mean retarded or cold fermented in this case. All other things being equal, it is simply the temperature of the surface of the dough when it is baked that matters.
Pizza is not bread.