Author Topic: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?  (Read 2329 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« on: May 03, 2013, 02:45:39 PM »
Hi all,

I’ve started a Pizza of the Month competition with my employees.

Each pizza is rated according to 17 factors and given 1 to 3 points:

3 pts - excellent
2 pts - ok
1 pts - bad

I can post the 17 factors if anybody wants to know.

Anyway, we would love to gets some feedback from this forum.

Here’s one of the videos:



Thanks ;-)


Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15094
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 03:04:06 PM »
I'd be curious to know the 17 factors. I'm not sure how we can give much feedback without knowing them? Notwithstanding, that sounds like a lot to try to consider when making a single pie. Too many might be counterproductive.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 03:26:16 PM »
It's definately a lot to remember - and some of the criteria is already determined by the state of the dough - which isn't always optimal.

The goal is to drum into the employees - if the perfect pizza exists - what that pizza would look like - of course - we'll always fall short somewhere.

Here's the criteria - which I've hastily translated from spanish to english - so excuse me if there are basic errors:

PADDLE - the dough is dry before going on the paddle - and not much flour is used on the paddle?
SPEED - less than 100 seconds to put on all the ingredients?
PORTIONS - good sized portions - not too much or too little?
ORDER - the order in which ingredients are placed is as per the guide?
PRESENTACIÓN - minimal overlapping? cheese is torn/placed randomly? basil leaves are not squashed?
SIZE   - size of pizza is neither too big or too little?
PROPORTION - good proportion between border size and rest of pizza?
SHAPE - more or less round? not rectangular or some other shape?
SAUCE - sauce is wet and shiney?
CHEESE - cheese is melted so it fuses with the tomato - but not until is begins to dry out?
LEOPARDING - leoparding and good contrast between light regions and the leoparding?
RISE   - good rise - not flat and boring?
EXTERIOR - thin like paper - makes a crunchy sounds when cutting?
CRUMB - air bubbles of different sizes?
UPSKIRT - leoparding and good contrast between light regions and the leoparding? no yellow burning which leaves burnt taste?
TIP SAG - not too much tip sag / ingredients do no slide off when holding a porcion vertically?
CUT - each portion cut the same size?

Anyway, feel free to give me some feedback - if it's not relevant to the above criteria that's fine.

Online tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1373
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 04:04:53 PM »
The pizza in the video looks very good.  The dough is very high hydration I think, correct?  I could tell based on how long it took to get the dough out of its container.  It looks like Ana is a skilled pizza maker. She didn't seem to have any trouble working with that dough.  Maybe should could learn to stretch the dough a bit quicker, but she seems to have good skills. 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 04:23:39 PM »
The hydration is 67.71%.

Actually, the reason the ball didn't come out of the container is because we've been having problems with the fermentation. Normally, the ball drops out easily. This is also why the borders didn't rise very much - and why the crumb was very disappointing.

Offline oknewell

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 34
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 04:41:49 PM »
jamieg thanks for sharing the video!  So using your scale and the 17 grading points what did you give the pizza in the video?

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 05:01:19 PM »
Well, it got 92% - which might sound quite high.

She dropped points on:

Presentation - the cheese is supposed to be torn and placed inconsistently - so that it melts with the sauce to differing degrees - creating a milky way of white, orange, yellow and red - as opposed to jet white against a backdrop of jet red.

The rise, exterior and crumb - all scored 2 points instead of 3 - this - I think - is simply because we have had a bad week with the fermentation. The crumb in particular was very bad.

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 05:03:11 PM »
Actually - the crumb should have scored 1 point - but I was generous as that's basically my fault for not fixing the fermentation issue.

Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15094
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 05:55:04 PM »
Actually - the crumb should have scored 1 point - but I was generous as that's basically my fault for not fixing the fermentation issue.

Who is responsible for the dough? Formula, mixing, fermentation protocol, etc.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage


Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12464
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 06:08:34 PM »
Who is responsible for the dough? Formula, mixing, fermentation protocol, etc.
I feel that poor Ana got rooked man.... ::)
And she should get extra points for being cute too...where's that consideration/factor...huh?
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013, 06:20:25 PM »
I am responsible for directing everything - but they carry out the execution.

I'm English... what does rooked mean?

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12464
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 06:22:11 PM »
I am responsible for directing everything - but they carry out the execution.

I'm English... what does rooked mean?
gypped
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2013, 12:01:49 AM »
Here's another video - this time of me attempting a Marinana.

This is how our dough normally looks - if the dough balls are 100% ready when we open at 5pm.

Unfortunately, I didn't put enough sauce on - so the final pizza was way to dry for my taste.


Offline jeffereynelson

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2013, 12:40:05 AM »
Thanks for sharing your videos, I watched them both. Next time I'm in Medellin I'll have to stop by lol. I'm curious for your list of qualities, where did you get those determining factors? Do those just make up your favorite pizza?

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 02:02:19 AM »
Thanks Jefferey,

I think the qualities are mostly common sense (at least to me). There's a few personal preferences - like how the cheese should melt - and a few that seem to come up frequently in this forum - like leoparding - and some are purely practical - like making sure the dough is dry before placing it on the paddle.

I use them because - it's not realistic to have 6 different employees making pizza - and for those employees to go online and read about pizza or look at images (they don't speak english or italian) - so it's just a way of communicating a concept and having a form of quality control.

The list could be improved - the descriptions could be more specific - and probably some criteria is more important than others. So, if it proves to be a useful tool - it will need tweaking.

Does anybody disagree with the criteria? Or, perhaps there is something missing? Can anybody tell me where the pizza is lacking - regardless of the criteria? Or, perhaps, you think I'm insane for using a list of 17 criteria?

I think - the danger with evaluating your own pizza is that - it can become a bit like looking at your own holiday photos - somehow you are blind to the imperfections because you are so emotionally tied the image - and so what seems like a work of art to you - is hidiously boring to someone else. Hence, my plea for feedback... ;-)

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12464
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2013, 01:28:20 PM »
I think your list is a good training tool. Looking at the list; it's sort of eyeopening to see how many things we actually do and how when it becomes habit you are doing/checking many things quickly without hardly realizing it. If that makes sense.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15094
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2013, 01:56:11 PM »
Does anybody disagree with the criteria?

Unless the person making the pie is also responsible for making the dough from start to finish and for the fire, I'm not sure it's fair to evaluate them on LEOPARDING, RISE, EXTERIOR, and CRUMB.

TIP SAG? not too much tip sag? Isn't this Neapolitan pizza? Unless you fold the slice, the tip and much of the pie should pretty much hang straight down.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage


Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2013, 02:33:41 PM »
Unless the person making the pie is also responsible for making the dough from start to finish and for the fire, I'm not sure it's fair to evaluate them on LEOPARDING, RISE, EXTERIOR, and CRUMB.

I agree - those criteria are unfair insofar as a different employee might have made the dough or balled the dough that day. There are other factors they can't control - the weather being the most obvious - but I included the criteria as a reminder that these are fundemental issues - and so when I have to talk to them about fermentation - they understand how this ties in to the end goal.

That said - they do have some control over these factors even if a different employee fermented the dough. For example, do they take the time to select a dough ball that is perfectly fermented? They can contol the heat of the oven - so do they take any steps to maximise leoparding if it's lacking - both in terms of getting the heat right before cooking - and the placement of the pizza whilst it's being cooked?

Anyway - who wins is kind of a side issue / bit of fun - the bigger goal at the moment is - to accumulate video examples of pizzas - and for each pizza - to be very clear what is good or bad - which we can later use as training material.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 02:45:59 PM by jamieg »

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2013, 02:36:41 PM »
TIP SAG? not too much tip sag? Isn't this Neapolitan pizza? Unless you fold the slice, the tip and much of the pie should pretty much hang straight down.

Yes... haha. Well, I can't say this is Neapolitan 100%. Perhaps, the main deviation is that all our customers insist on eating with their hands and have made it clear that they like the pizza to have a bit of a crunch. So - we have a preference to control the tip sag at least a little and to have a slight crunch on the border - but never at the cost of drying out the cheese/sauce.

Looking at other restaurants on the radar - I think Bianco's is a good example of what we would like to achieve - although I have seen many photos where his cheese has dried out presumably to add crunch to the border. Also - adding 30 seconds to the cooking time - with slightly less heat - significantly reduces the chance of leoparding - so it's a nightmare mix of variables to control.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 02:40:07 PM by jamieg »

Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15094
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2013, 02:55:06 PM »
Looking at other restaurants on the radar - I think Bianco's is a good example of what we would like to achieve

That's a slower, lower temp bake with no leoparding to speak of. Closer to NY than NP.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2013, 03:07:50 PM »
To be honest, I'm not totally clear on how to separate the 2 styles.

On a good day - we can get leoparding / and a bit of a crunch. Though it is not easy to get the balance right.

I feel closer to Neapolitan for the following reasons (some of which are probably not relevant):

- the dough is only flour, water, yeast, salt (ok, a little sugar - I'm still not sure if we should be doing that)
- we ferment our dough for 50 hours
- we unpack the dough balls by hand - instead of rolling pin
- the oven floor is 370 c / 698 f
- the pizza cooks in 85 to 115 seconds
- we use fresh bufalo mozzarella
- we use the cheese sparingly
- it is never allowed to dry out
- generally we use very few ingredients
- we place the basil pre-bake

Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15094
  • Location: Houston, TX
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2013, 04:51:40 PM »
My thoughts in red.

To be honest, I'm not totally clear on how to separate the 2 styles.

On a good day - we can get leoparding / and a bit of a crunch. Though it is not easy to get the balance right.

I feel closer to Neapolitan for the following reasons (some of which are probably not relevant):

- the dough is only flour, water, yeast, salt (ok, a little sugar - I'm still not sure if we should be doing that) You won't find sugar in many NP doughs, but I wouldn't blacklist you for it
- we ferment our dough for 50 hours could be either style
- we unpack the dough balls by hand - instead of rolling pin nor should you - ever! - for NY or NP anyway
- the oven floor is 370 c / 698 f somewhere in the grey area between the two styles but closer to NP than NY
- the pizza cooks in 85 to 115 seconds 90 or less is solidly in the NP range. >120 starts to get hard to consider NP. I'd say 150 is about the max for NP
- we use fresh bufalo mozzarella could be either style but not all that common on NY - my preference for NP but not NY
- we use the cheese sparingly could be either style
- it is never allowed to dry out probably more associated with NP
- generally we use very few ingredients could be either style
- we place the basil pre-bake probably more closely associated with NP
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2013, 06:19:29 PM »
I agree with all your points.

So, does anybody have any feedback - positive or negative - that I can give to the employees - and be able to say - look this isn't just my opinion - but this is information from a community of specialised pizza obsessives... ?


Offline jamieg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Medellin, Colombia
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2013, 02:04:38 PM »
That's a slower, lower temp bake with no leoparding to speak of. Closer to NY than NP.

We've been experimenting with cooking the pizza in 2 phases to embrace both aspects of NY and NP. So, we cook the pizza at a high temp closer to the flame until we have some good rise and leoparding - and then move it to the point furthest from the flame to focus on getting crunch. In about 130 seconds we can get both leopard spots and some major crunch on the borders. Of course - the ingredients tend to dry out a little and the contrast between the leoparding and the rest of the dough is not so apparent. This is particularly annoying with a red pizza like a margarita - where I really don't want the sauce to dry out - and there are so few ingredients to protect the sauce from the heat of the oven.

It seems that the pursuit of crunch is the main reason (perhaps the only reason) that people who love NP - tend to deviate from the protcol. I definately prefer the look of a NP - but the eating experience (at least if eating by hand) seems to be enhanced with a little crunch.

Anyway, is not the NY and NP debate not riddled with confusion. Especially - as within each genre there seems to be quite significant - and presumably intentional variation. A pizza from Sorbillo in Napoli looks like quite a different product to Una Pizza Napolitana in SF.

Whatever the case, I'm more comfortable hanging out in the Neapolitan forum.

Offline thezaman

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2014
  • Age: 61
  • Location: ohio
  • I Love Pizza!
    • lorenzos pizza
Re: Pizza of the Month - Any feedback?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2013, 10:19:27 AM »
 this is just my opinion. i worry about my pies being doughy. i would have cooked that pie a little longer.i do not know if it was cooked thru by looking at it, but i worry when my pies are cooked too blond. the only other thing i noticed was oregano in the sauce. that is not a Neapolitan ingredient in the sauce prep. no big deal i think you are striving for a hybrid pie,but i think the oregano is too heavy in a few spots. oregano is great in small doses,too much and it is overpowering. overall that young lady did a great job with that high hydrated dough!!!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 05:45:00 PM by thezaman »