Author Topic: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death  (Read 5411 times)

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Offline jeff v

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Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:07:28 PM »
Latest in a series on YouTube.
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.


Offline apizza

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 07:21:30 PM »
Wow, that told me things I didn't want to hear. Looking forward to the comments from our experts on this video. Thanks for the post jeff v.
Marty

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 07:28:33 PM »
I am pretty sure that the blurred out bag of flour in the video is this one, with the code 50111 as shown at 3:18 in the video: http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/all-trumps-enriched-flour-50-lb/50111000?mct=Flour&ct=high-gluten&typ=Type.

I hope that this thread doesn't turn into another debate between bromates and no bromates. There are already several threads on the forum that can be searched and studied on this subject.

Peter

Offline jeff v

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 07:34:38 PM »
I am pretty sure that the blurred out bag of flour in the video is this one, with the code 50111 as shown at 3:18 in the video: http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/all-trumps-enriched-flour-50-lb/50111000?mct=Flour&ct=high-gluten&typ=Type.

I hope that this thread doesn't turn into another debate between bromates and no bromates. There are already several threads on the forum that can be searched and studied on this subject.

Peter

Agree. He comes off a little tongue in cheek to me in these.
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

scott123

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 08:12:21 PM »
 ;D

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 08:47:24 PM »
ROFL
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Online TXCraig1

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 09:26:32 PM »
Some of the newer folks may not have see this special product from KA inspired by one of our very own.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 09:37:02 PM »
That cracks me up everytime I see it Craig.  As far as bromated flours or stronger flours being easier to use and requiring less skill is hog wash.   Stronger flours are just as difficult to make a good pizza with as a weaker flour, you just have to know how to make the adjustments.  Same with bromated flours versus non bromated flours.   He also makes it sound like only the big chain guys like Domino's and PH are using bromated flours.  I'm not sure that is true either.

Offline David Deas

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 09:50:59 PM »
That cracks me up everytime I see it Craig.  As far as bromated flours or stronger flours being easier to use and requiring less skill is hog wash.   Stronger flours are just as difficult to make a good pizza with as a weaker flour, you just have to know how to make the adjustments.  Same with bromated flours versus non bromated flours.   He also makes it sound like only the big chain guys like Domino's and PH are using bromated flours.  I'm not sure that is true either.


Actually, I would say it is most definitely is easier to work with stronger flours versus weaker flours.  It is possible to achieve satisfactory characteristics at fairly low temperatures without having to be able to manage a real oven.

Regarding the potassium bromate, I would also say that the purpose of any dough enhancer/enhancement (bromate or otherwise) is to make something easier.  It's not just that it's different.  We're talking about *enhancers* here.  The dough equivalent of steroids, IMO.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 10:04:55 PM by David Deas »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 10:07:27 PM »
David, it does take a bit more skill to make a good (great) NP pizza in a 900F wfo than a NY pie in a 500F, but my point is this.  Dough is dough.  Each dough made from it's respective flours requires a different touch, kneading, fermentation protocol, and bake.  Each style of pizza requires it's own unique set of difficulties and equipment to make.  Generally speaking it's not more difficult to make a cohesive dough using caputo versus HG bromated flour.  You just have to know how to adjust the hydration (among other ingredients) and the amount of gluten development.   It doesn't take more skill to handle a dough made with caputo vs HG flour.  The specific flour is relative.  If I gave you a 100% hydrated HG bromated dough to work with alongside a 60% caputo dough, guess which one is harder to work with?  Not the caputo dough.  

Chau


Offline David Deas

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 10:22:25 PM »
I think Jeff's overall point was that pizza started out being a high quality something that dedicated professionals made.  Pizza ended up being a low quality something that anybody with a business plan could sell.  Chemically sterioded flours were a part of that whole transition, among other things.  And I think that's really all the video is saying.  The overall point, I find, is hard to disagree with.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 10:30:07 PM by David Deas »

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 10:30:41 PM »
And I think that's really all the video is saying.

That and it's the flour of death... remember, the video is just a propaganda piece for his employees - nothing more.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 10:34:03 PM »
I agree with you David.  I did get the basic gist of the video.  I was just pointing out that he says at 2:42-2:45 that BF is easier to use than the caputo.  It really isn't.  It's relative.  Relative to what one's experience is.  While it's true that HG flours require less kneading and is easier to develop the gluten, it's also easier to over develop the gluten in a HG flour dough and get a tough crumb (assuming no oil or other dough softening agent is used).   Just saying each flour has it's own unique challenges.  I don't think it's right to say that pizza has devolved into crap.  Yes it's changed, but if Jeff really believes what he is saying, then why isn't he making NP pizza?  

Does anyone know if Jeff uses strictly caputo 00 flour or if he is blending flours.

If he is joking, then it went over my head...

Chau

Offline David Deas

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 10:36:13 PM »
A 50/50 blend last I checked.  Don't know what it is these days.

scott123

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 10:51:17 PM »
I think Jeff's overall point was that pizza started out being a high quality something that dedicated professionals made.  Pizza ended up being a low quality something that anybody with a business plan could sell.  Chemically sterioded flours were a part of that whole transition, among other things.

http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm

Quote
So Finally, here is the list of what I consider to be the best pizzerias in the world
(bromated flours in bold):

1   Johnny's
2   Luzzo's Coal Oven Pizza
3   Modern Apizza
4   Una Pizza Napoletana
5   Jeff Varasano's House
6   Sally's
7   Patsy's

8   Franny's
9   Totonno's
10   Pepe's
11   Sal's
12   Sac's
13   Di Fara
14   Denino's
15   Louie & Ernie's
16   Grimaldi's
17   Joe's

18   Isabella's Oven

Since bromated flour makes such low quality pizza, I'm surprised to see Jeff's best pizzerias in the world list riddled with it.

Mal

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 10:58:45 PM »
To be fair, Jeff doesn't say bromated flour makes low quality pizza. He's saying that makers of low-quality pizza are relying on bromated flour.

scott123

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 11:49:16 PM »
To be fair, Jeff doesn't say bromated flour makes low quality pizza. He's saying that makers of low-quality pizza are relying on bromated flour.

Mal, are you and I watching the same video?

Quote
This is the Twinkie of flours

Quote
The quality of the (NY street) pizza is maybe not quite as high

Quote
"We went from super high end [pointing to Caputo] to super low end [pointing to All Trumps], from super natural, to super chemically..."

Jeff clearly lays out the progression from high quality flour 'pure' Neapolitan pizza to low quality chemically enhanced pizza. There's no way anyone could watch that video and come off with the impression that bromated flour can make some of the best pizza in the world.

This is the typical knee jerk reaction to bromate.  No facts, no research- just emotion. He's in a bubble.

Inside the bubble:
Hearsay
Paranoia

Outside the bubble:
Bromate's proven safety record
It's rock solid connection to his favorite pizza/the best pizzerias in the world
It's tenuous ties to chain pizza, who, because of their national/Californian presence, have generally been moving away from bromate for years

Jeff makes some of the best pizza in the nation, but the guy needs a good pair of glasses. This kind of misguided tunnel vision is up there with his age old quest for Patsy's starter.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 11:54:24 PM by scott123 »

Mal

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2013, 12:07:05 AM »
Jeff isn't saying you can't make good pizza from bromated flour. He's explaining why he doesn't use it as an ingredient. I guess you could interpret that as hearsay and paranoia.  :-\

scott123

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2013, 12:11:07 AM »
Jeff isn't saying you can't make good pizza from bromated flour.

Yes, he is. The video looks at bromate from a safety perspective as well as a quality one. It is crystal clear that he feels bromated flour is low quality flour.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 12:36:49 AM by scott123 »

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Jeff Varasano and the flour of death
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2013, 04:29:55 AM »
Yes, he is. The video looks at bromate from a safety perspective as well as a quality one. It is crystal clear that he feels bromated flour is low quality flour.

I think in "some" cases he is right but not all. Just as in coffee, often the "flavored" beans are of lesser quality because the artificial flavors cover up the short comings of the cheaper beans and allows them to use the 2nd, 3rd etc grade beans and charge as much. The really good coffee beans are therefore used on their own higher quality merit. Same could be said for some bromated flours. But rarely does it mean ALL. I'm sure many bromated flours as well as flavored coffees use high quality ingredients. Rarely is anything so black and white.

jon
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