Author Topic: Sourdough at Roberta's  (Read 1869 times)

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Offline stephent

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Sourdough at Roberta's
« on: November 04, 2013, 03:09:12 PM »
I just read the new cookbook from Roberta's in Brooklyn, in which it states that they use Ischia starter and cake yeast at the restaurant.  The book didn't go into any more details.   I was surprised to see the use of the natural yeast.   


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 03:20:48 PM »
Chau and I asked when we were in there a couple years ago. He could taste it. I wasn't so sure. The confirmed that they did use a natural culture.

I'm not a big fan of the belt and suspenders approach. If you want the best possible pizza, I think you need to trust your culture.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 05:22:06 PM »
They actually have two different recipes in the book (I just got it last week - my wife's name is Roberta and she was born in Brooklyn - seemed like a natural).  One recipe is yeast only.  The other is natural starter only.  No "mix" of the two in the recipes.

Btw, Craig, the starter recipe calls for a cold ferment..............(I know you are not a fan).

- Mitch

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 06:19:41 PM »
They actually have two different recipes in the book (I just got it last week - my wife's name is Roberta and she was born in Brooklyn - seemed like a natural).  One recipe is yeast only.  The other is natural starter only.  No "mix" of the two in the recipes.

Btw, Craig, the starter recipe calls for a cold ferment..............(I know you are not a fan).

- Mitch

Particularly not with SD.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline pizza dr

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 07:19:19 AM »
They actually have two different recipes in the book   One recipe is yeast only.  The other is natural starter only.  No "mix" of the two in the recipes.


Correct.  They were giving another alternative for folks that did not want to dive into natural starters. 

One thing that was interesting to me was their oven.  They went through this big hassle of getting it imported from Italy ( took months) but from the photos it looks like refractory concrete.  Is that correct?  If so, I would have given them mine for way cheaper :-D

Scot

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 11:42:41 AM »
One thing that was interesting to me was their oven.  They went through this big hassle of getting it imported from Italy ( took months) but from the photos it looks like refractory concrete.  Is that correct?  If so, I would have given them mine for way cheaper :-D

I wouldn't have thought it was a big hassle to get a Pavesi oven? Definitely refractory.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline TonyK

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 06:40:37 PM »
I just read the new cookbook from Roberta's in Brooklyn, in which it states that they use Ischia starter and cake yeast at the restaurant.  The book didn't go into any more details.   I was surprised to see the use of the natural yeast.

Bizarre - the brewers yeast will destroy the bacteria in the natural starter they are using making the whole process a waste of time.

I'm not sure I really agree with using natural starters for pizza in a commercial setting anyhow. Bread - sure, you can time it perfectly as you bake the loaves all at once. But pizza? It's made fresh to order over at least a 4-5 hour serving period if not longer - some of those customers will be getting bad pizzas with some not so nice bacterias compared to others. Lousy consistency IMO.

Offline Pulcinella

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2013, 07:38:52 PM »
Bizarre - the brewers yeast will destroy the bacteria in the natural starter they are using making the whole process a waste of time.

Tony, please explain how brewers yeast destroy the bacteria in the natural starter. Thank you

Offline TonyK

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 08:02:34 AM »
Yes, sorry a bit of a misnomer. I should have said that the bakers yeast will in most cases be the most dominant strain over a wild yeast.

Offline Pulcinella

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 06:41:39 PM »
Yes, sorry a bit of a misnomer. I should have said that the bakers yeast will in most cases be the most dominant strain over a wild yeast.

Thank you for the clarification. Let me ask you one more question please. what's wrong with bakers yeast dominating the wild yeast? Will it negatively affect the texture and flavor of bread or pizza dough? If yes how? Thanks alot.


Offline misterschu

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 02:17:02 PM »
I just read the new cookbook from Roberta's in Brooklyn, in which it states that they use Ischia starter and cake yeast at the restaurant.  The book didn't go into any more details.   I was surprised to see the use of the natural yeast.

I think you misread it. They say they use Ischia starter.  They don't say anywhere that they use cake yeast. They do mention commercial yeast on that same page but don't say they use it. They then give two recipes for dough, one with starter, one with commercial yeast. 

What I found interesting about their sourdough recipe is that they "tightly wrap" their dough balls in plastic, right after kneading and put in the fridge to proof.  There's no rising time at any point in their process.

Both of these pages can be seen by going to Amazon and clicking on "Look Inside" for the cookbook.  The dough recipe is on p. 32, the page about pizza dough is right before it (unmarked p.31).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 02:26:32 PM by misterschu »

Offline TonyK

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Re: Sourdough at Roberta's
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 07:22:49 PM »
Thank you for the clarification. Let me ask you one more question please. what's wrong with bakers yeast dominating the wild yeast? Will it negatively affect the texture and flavor of bread or pizza dough? If yes how? Thanks alot.

Nothing wrong but it will ferment as if you only used the bakers yeast - making the natural starter moot.