Author Topic: Guess what? Pizza.....  (Read 4501 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Guess what? Pizza.....
« on: June 11, 2013, 09:05:20 AM »
I thought I would start my own Pizza making thread to document my journey as I learn how to make good pizza. Actually - hopefully better than good. Hopefully great pizza. Pizza that makes men weep and women sing.

Over the last few weeks I have really gotten into the whole idea of learning this art. I've always enjoyed eating pizza of course and have been baking bread for some years now with pretty good success, however the whole "proper" pizza idea is only very recent. It got kicked off when I bought a "Weber Charcoal Pizza Oven" accessory on a whim, thinking that making pies in the backyard would be a lot of fun. I've posted a bit about this on the thread here:
 
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24677.20.html

So now I figured it's time to start my own thread about pizza itself, rather than any particular oven type. The first couple of pics shows where I am currently at using the Weber. I am pretty pleased with the results so far and they will hopefully only get better. Lots of learning to do and lots of fun to be had along the way.

I also plan to build a wood fired oven in the backyard this year, so that should also help results.

In terms of style, I don't really have on in mind. I just know I like a thin crispy pizza crust with a nicely puffed cornice, crisp on the outside, chewy and tasty on the inside. So probably toward the Neapolitan end of the scale or maybe somewhere between there and New York. Who knows...

Anyway.....today I am working from home and it's raining. I had some mozz left over though, so thought as a baseline experiment, I would do a quick pie in my home oven just to see what the results would be.

I have previously been using sourdough starters and long ferment times for my dough, but today I went with an emergency type. I just used the Lehman dough calculator for a 300g dough ball, used a 50/50 mix of Caputo 00 and regular strong bread flour. 0.5% ADY, 2.5% salt, 2% oil and 1% sugar just to see what would happen.

As I wanted pizza for lunch, I left the dough ball for three hours, then went for it. My oven is an electric convection oven and doesn't get very hot. I have a 1" thick granite stone so heated it up with that inside for an hour. The stone temperature measured 480F  :(

The pie used an uncooked tomato sauce I made from a couple of vine ripened tomatoes I found in the fridge, a clove of garlic, a glug of EVOO, a sprinkle of dried oregano and some salt and pepper. I also added some black olives and some wild boar salami that I had in. One ball (125g) of buffalo mozzarella.

9 minutes cooking time in the oven.....and out came a pretty crappy looking pie. Sorry about the quality of the whole pie shot. But you get the general idea.

So - what about the taste? Well, the crust was bland and uninspiring, more bready than anything with none of the flavour I have found from a long ferment and/or sourdough starter. Hardly surprising though. It was crisp on the outside though, and the base held the topping well. Browning underneath was a bit "meh"...

The tomato sauce was surprisingly tasty. Not as nice as the ones I have made with San Marzanos though.  The Cheese, olives and salami were of course good and saved me from throwing the whole thing away. There's half of it left for the kids when they get home. I think they'll be pretty disappointed as they love the pizzas from the Weber, but I am sure they will still eat it. Failing that, there's the dog...

So why did I post such a lousy pie? Bottom line is I thought I'd start off with a regular "home oven" attempt and then try to document progress from there - it should inspire me to always do better.

What I have learned today is that the long ferments definitely make a big difference to the dough. Also that Caputo flour definitely doesn't brown well at home oven temperatures and that my home oven is rubbish for cooking pizza - just doesn't get hot enough and I have no option to turn the broiler part on while the oven is running it's usual convection thing.

Learning is good. Learning and using that learning to do better is my goal here though.





Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10399
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 02:31:43 PM »
Nice post and beginning to your new thread....I wish you many great pizzas to be posted here.  :chef:
Your home oven gets plenty hot enough for Chicago thin crust pizza.  ;D   Take a look-see.... :)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22946.0.html
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 04:56:28 AM »
Nice looking pies there Bob!

Yesterday I made a few more pies in the Weber. This time I used a dough recipe from Ken Forkish's book "Flour Water Salt Yeast". I was a bit wary about it as it specifies 10% levain - which is waaaaaaaaaay more than Craig's recipe I used the other week. Plus it has a room temperature overnight bulk fermentation. I chickened out of the overnight room temp bulk and went for a cooler temp of 50F.

As you'd expect, the dough was very well proofed the next day, but got knocked back a bit and balled easily enough and went into the fridge to proof again for eight hours at 55F. I used a 50/50 blend of Caputo "00" and Shipton Mill "Type 55" flours. The dough was OK to work with - I'm still getting squarish pies though so I think I need circular dough ball containers as there's definitely some spring back.

Anyway.....knocked out a few pies with a stone temperature of about 700F. Bakes were all in the 4 minute range. It was very windy outside and I think that made the oven dome temperature a bit lower than normal. Also, with cooking outside and eating inside, I was doing a lot of running back and forward, so wasn't turning the pies enough - hence some rather uneven charring! Pies were all about 12" diameter from 280g dough balls. The crust came out really nice - great sourdough flavour, blistery and chewy.  Sauce was San Marzanos with EVOO, S&P, dried oregano. Cheese was balls of fresh buffalo mozz.

Next time, I think slightly smaller dough balls for the same size pie. I liked this dough recipe, but I think I will probably go back to Craig's process, but with this same four blend. I think I also need a larger, wooden peel for loading. The one I have is a 12" aluminium version which is inclined to stick a bit. I'd also like a bit more room to make bigger pies....

Anyway - these all got eaten! As normal, the kids favourite was crispy duck with mozz and hoi-sin sauce. My favourite was mozz, parma ham, gorgonzola dolce and fresh sliced jalapeņo. I ate all of that one myself.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 05:21:34 AM by adm »

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 07:05:48 AM »
Yesterday, I forgot to take pictures until the pizza was almost all gone! The weather wasn't very good, so I was prepping inside, cooking outside and generally running about feeding 8 people with pizza.....

Anyway,  I used Craig's dough method, but had to push it out for an extra day as we ended up eating pizza on Sunday instead of Saturday due to unforeseen circumstances. I think the dough was a bit overproofed. Still tasted good though - plenty of lovely sourdough tang and chew to the crust.

8 pies in the Weber and it was still going strong - could have done a few more. I used some really good quality restaurant lumpwood charcoal.

I have a pizza party for my 10 year old son's birthday next week, so it's the perfect excuse to order myself a nice new woodedn peel or two so the kids can be making pies while I am cooking. Here's hoping the weather improves a bit though....


Offline jeffereynelson

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 02:22:26 PM »
Well done. Looks like everyone loved it.

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2013, 05:08:41 PM »
A few pies from today's session. 10 pies total for a bunch of 10 year olds. This was taxing the Weber's longevity - the heat was definitely going down by the end. It was still about 600 on the stone, so if I was using a different dough formulation it probably would have been OK. As it was, using Caputo, the last few just didn't brown well. I still have half a bag of Caputo to get through.

I'd better get my ass in gear and build that WFO.

Anyway - I used "cheap" mozz today. None of the normal DOP Buffalo Mozz I have been using, and it made a big difference. Texture and cook of the cheese was way different, despite it still being balls in water and looking pretty OK. I was surprised. Back to the DOP Buffalo stuff tomorrow.

The kid's requests were pretty much based around peperoni, pineapple and ham. Fair enough. They enjoyed them. Plus a couple of crispy duck with hoisin sauce.

The second last photo is of the last pie, which I made for myself. Same crappy mozz, but with schiachatta, nduja and japaleno. Finished up with Aleppo chilli, EVOO and arugula (although none of that is in the pic) Nice and spicy, although the lower heat and longer cook meaning the Caputo wan't best choice. Crust was bit crackery. Tasted good though, and was still way better than almost all pizza i have bought in the last few years.


Offline slybarman

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1029
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2013, 05:53:18 PM »
Oh H to the ell yeah.

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 06:07:08 AM »
A few more pies from yesterday on the Weber grill.

I have ordered myself one of the Effeuno P134H electric ovens for use once the summer weather stops, but that won't be here until late August.

Anyway....yesterday was a bit of a rush job as I only came back from a business trip around mid morning Saturday. So I made a 24 hour dough using 1Kg flour (50% Caputo "00", 50% Type 55), 63% HR, 2.5% salt and 0.2% IDY. Fermented in bulk overnight at 9C, then balled up and left in the fridge again for 6 hours before taking out 2 hours prior to use.

San Marzano tomato sauce (w/ garlic, EVOO, S&P), DOP Buffalo Mozzarella.

The first one is straight pepperoni, the second is a fennel salami, the third is prosciutto and arugula and the last one is spicy schiachatta, nduja and jalapeno with Aleppo and arugula. Finally a crust shot from the prosciutto one.

These tasted pretty good considering the short dough and IDY. Not as good as a sourdough crust, but tasty nonetheless. The dough was also very forgiving and easy to work. Stretched out almost see through without ripping. I need a bigger (perforated?) peel, and I need to work on my shaping and loading as they still aren't coming out very round. Also need to pay more attention as they keep getting burned in places while I talk with the family and drink wine or beer.....I have also discovered it's difficult to turn them easily with a square peel, so maybe a small round one is on the shopping list too.....

« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 06:08:40 AM by adm »

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 11:56:37 AM »
A bit of a delay in adding to this thread.....but I have been on vacation.

Sadly, there will no more Weber Grill pizza for a while as my backyard is all dug up as we start the build for a new patio, outdoor kitchen and WFO.

Anyway - the Effeuno P134H electric oven got delivered today! I have some TXCraig style Neo dough underway for Sunday, and I have a couple of dough balls of IDY based dough also on the go to give myself something to play with tomorrow.

I plugged the oven in, let it heat up for 30 minutes and measure the temperature at 485C - or 905F - so it should be plenty hot enough!

Fingers crossed.....


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 11:02:00 AM »
I fired up the new oven today...not really happy with the results, but I think I know what my main problems were, so it's all good pointers to improvement!

I made two pies. One Margherita and one Pepperoni. The dough was an overnight IDY dough - 100% Caputo, 63% HR, 2.5% salt, cant remember the yeast amount. Dough balls were a little bit overdone by the time I got to use them. I used them straight from the fridge with no warmup time.

The first pie was a classic Marg - I thought that should be the ideal thing for the christening! I used cheap cow's milk mozz, and didn't really have time to let it drain properly. Sauce was San Marzano, garlic, oregano, S&P and EVOO.

The oven was at full power on both bottom and top and was left to heat for 30 minutes. Stone temp was about 460C/860F by my IR gun when I launched the first pie.

So.....that was a mistake. The base was cooking too fast. I had to pull the pie after 90 seconds to avoid the base bursting into flames! The top had puffed nicely, but wasn't blistering yet. No leoparding - but that might be from the dough, or just not being able to leave it long enough. Another 30 seconds might have done it.

Second pie was a pepperoni. I turned the base element down prior to this, but there was no way there was enough time for the stone heat to reduce much. Again, I pulled this pie at 90 seconds to avoid buring the base. Base was better, top not so much.

The upskirt shot is of the second pie. I didn't get one of he first pie, but it was way overdone.

I have learned that this oven does not need the stone set so hot! Tomorrow, I will try leaving it at a much lower temperature and also letting the oven heat up a little longer - I was in a rush today. Today's pies were certainly tasty (and disappeared), were foldable like good Neo should be but need less bottom heat and more top! Also, I now know I need to buy a perforated metal peel for launching so as not to get flour on the stone, and also a small round peel for turning. It's very difficult to turn a pie in this oven with my big square metal peel.

Still - I also know this oven is pretty powerful and there is no reason I will not be able to learn how to make pies like Seb, Sub and Gsans!

Onwards and upwards....
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 11:05:17 AM by adm »


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 11:17:45 AM »
Some really lousy photography today - not sure what's up with the phone camera....

Anyway. TXCraig dough recipe (but with my current culture, not Ischia. Ischis still activating....), 40 hours total at 65C - could have maybe gone a bit longer.

Getting a little better with this oven - now I think I had too little bottom heat, but rather that than too much. I even tried a brussel sprout and pancetta pie, which tasted excellent. The saltiness of the pancetta, plus the bite of the sprouts was great.

I also made an undercooked margherita, a totally messed up salami and pineapple pie that stuck on the peel, and a regular pepperoni. 90-120 seconds cooking time on all.

I still have two dough balls left in the fridge, so will try those tomorrow and see how that goes. A little more bottom heat too. I still can't turn pies worth a damn in this oven though...

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 09:19:13 AM »
A little experimental pie this lunchtime. I had two balls of TXCraig method dough left over from yesterday, so put them in the fridge overnight and took one out for lunch. We seem to be getting there. Apart from the shaping bit....but I guess that will come with time.

This was a Milano salami and Jalapeņo pie, using cows milk mozz. Pretty tasty and I am beginning to get the temperatures dialed in on the oven now. Leoparding is looking better too and the base was about right for my taste. Maybe a tiny tad more base heat tomorrow, and I will use the last dough ball to see what difference 2, 3 and 4 days make. I still can't turn the pies very well, hence the uneven browning.

I also made up another 6 ball batch of dough using (finally) Ischia starter to gsans' proportions. I'll ball that in a couple of hours and put the balls in the fridge taking one out daily and try and make up a pie each day to see how the fermentation time effects the dough.


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 09:31:21 AM »
Weeeelllll.....today's planned trial with the last dough ball didn't go exactly to plan!

The dough was very soft - probably about as far as you'd want to go with this formula....2 days at 65F and 2 days in the fridge.

I made up a brussel sprout and dolcellate pie. It looking great. Then I went to launch it into the oven and it stuck in the peel, ripped, fell all over itself and ended up mainly upside down, in a heap in the oven.

%$#.

Lots of smoke......no pizza! And a fair bit of cleaning the oven.....

Offline breadstoneovens

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 536
  • Location: Dallas, TX
    • Bread Stone Ovens
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 07:59:25 PM »
Great looking pies. Very inspiring!
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2013, 08:35:01 AM »
Today's pie - still experimenting with different dough ages. This was an Ischai based dough at 72 hours cold ferment.

Chorizo pie. Pretty tasty even if pretty ugly due to bad shaping and being in a hurry....





Offline gsans

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 127
  • Location: FRANCE
  • Just Neapolitan !
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2013, 09:30:44 AM »
ADM  :chef:

Nice pizza !

Do not hesitate to lower well your dough on edges, it will make less swollen edges, I think that you can make pizzas of 30 in 33cm. But perhaps you like the well inflated edges !  :)

Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2013, 10:13:35 AM »
ADM  :chef:

Nice pizza !

Do not hesitate to lower well your dough on edges, it will make less swollen edges, I think that you can make pizzas of 30 in 33cm. But perhaps you like the well inflated edges !  :)

That's a good point - every time I have been opening dough balls, I have been making sure to keep a ring of dough around the edge that doesn't get flattened. However - this dough does puff up very well, so maybe I don't need to do that....will try next time and see.

Offline Seb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 83
  • Location: Paris, France
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2013, 07:28:52 AM »
EffeUno is now invading the UK ;)
I hope one day they will thank us for all the free advertisement they get thanks to us !


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2013, 11:11:07 AM »
A few more pics from last weekend. Pizzas all a bit off in shaping and launching due to a) different flour and b) drunkeness!

First one is pereroni, and the second is schiacatta - although strangely shaped as the guy at the market I buy it from had no slicer due to an electrical fault. I had to buy a chunk then shave bits off.

There were other pies, but the cameraman was bit worse for wear by that time.


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Guess what? Pizza.....
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 03:47:42 AM »
Some pies from yesterday. One red onion and parma ham, one chorizo and one Napoli salami. Lehman dough with overnight cold ferment. I have decided that my 270g dough balls are too big for the 12" pies I am trying to make. I think I will go down to 240 or 250g in future.

I got a cheap wooden peel as well - wow, what a difference between that and my aluminium one for launching pizza. A sprinkle of rice flour rubbed into the wood and the dough just slips around perfectly.

I also have a different flour type - Marriage's "Bella" pizza flour. I don't think I like it. It's much more "bread" than the Caputo 00. Oh well.


 

pizzapan