Author Topic: Critique this pie  (Read 2190 times)

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Offline f.montoya

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Critique this pie
« on: September 27, 2013, 12:24:14 PM »
This is quite possibly the best pie I've seen anywhere.  Beautiful leoparding, without leopard spots that are too blackened or scorched(deeper black spots on a white canvas often give that "overcharred" flavor, in my opinion).  A cornicione that has life and irregular lift, which I love, without huge black balloons(which I can't seem to get rid of sometimes!). Anyway, I would pay extra at a pizza place for a pie like this.

What do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xArJ2dISOjo


Offline mbrulato

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 12:30:18 PM »
Thanks for sharing!  Looks great to me  :drool:
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Offline iRobertO

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 12:59:31 PM »
Very nice looking pie. I personally like slightly more contrast having the smaller air bubbles darker with some of them black.

I found it interesting at 3:10 when he domes it and says "to give it flavour" when the general consensus on here seems to be that the short bake time of a napoletana pizza wouldn't allow enough time to impart any additional smoke flavour on the pizza.

Any thoughts on that?

iRobertO

Offline barkonbutts

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 01:51:37 PM »
Very nice looking pie. I personally like slightly more contrast having the smaller air bubbles darker with some of them black.

I found it interesting at 3:10 when he domes it and says "to give it flavour" when the general consensus on here seems to be that the short bake time of a napoletana pizza wouldn't allow enough time to impart any additional smoke flavour on the pizza.

Any thoughts on that?

iRobertO

I can tell you that once meat reaches 145* it really does not take on that much smoke flavor, that is why you will see many people "foil" their meat after this temp because there is not that great of a difference.  they take the foil off at the end just to firm up the bark (outer layer). So by the time the pie is being domed that pie is above 145* and thus not take on that much smoke if any at all.

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Online TXCraig1

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 02:40:42 PM »
I can tell you that once meat reaches 145* it really does not take on that much smoke flavor, that is why you will see many people "foil" their meat after this temp because there is not that great of a difference.  they take the foil off at the end just to firm up the bark (outer layer). So by the time the pie is being domed that pie is above 145* and thus not take on that much smoke if any at all.

I agree that doming the pie for a couple seconds isn't going to add a noticeable smoke flavor but it's not because the temp of the pie is over 145F.

I think you may be confusing the pink "smoke ring" in meat with smoke flavor. The two are not necessarily related.  You can make a brisket with no pink ring that is so smoky you won't want to eat it, and you can make one with a 3/8" pink ring and no smoke flavor whatsoever. The pink color comes from the NO2 in the smoke (flavorless and colorless) reacting with the myoglobin in the meat. It'as the same reaction that turns cured ham pink. At about 140F, the myoglobin starts to denature which is why the "smoke ring" stops forming when the meat reaches 145F or so. The smoke flavor, on the other hand, is not a function of the color and does not stop accumulating at this temperature.
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Offline iRobertO

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 02:47:17 PM »
Sorry for derailing. Very curious to get your take on the pizza in the video Craig..

iRobertO

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 03:34:00 PM »
I think it's a good looking pie. I can only see so much in the video. Notwithstanding, I'm not sure it's the best looking I've ever seen.
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Offline Mangia Pizza

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 03:43:20 PM »
If my pizzas looked like that I would be happy......

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is taste.....
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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 03:51:15 PM »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is taste.....

And beauty and taste (and texture) are not necessarily correlated.
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Offline Mangia Pizza

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 04:11:28 PM »
And beauty and taste (and texture) are not necessarily correlated.
You are much more eloquent than I..... totally agree with you! 8)
Paolo


Offline stonecutter

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 06:57:38 PM »
I think it looks fantastic.
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Offline andreguidon

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 08:05:59 PM »
It looks like a cold fermented dough, room temp fermented dough has smaller black spots (leoparding). I like the uneven rise also Fidel, but any Ciro Salvo pie looks way better than the one on the video, IMO.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-krkQYjRvgs" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-krkQYjRvgs</a>


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« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 08:10:56 PM by andreguidon »
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 08:14:38 PM »
I personally do not like the look of the bottom of the pie very early in the bake, and really wonder what it looked like in the end.  When we see it pretty early on it is already very splotchy and contrasty, not even and leoparded like my ideal of a neapolitan undercrust.  It reminds me of the neapolitan pies I make on steel when the temperature gets too high.  I'm also not crazy about the look of the leoparding on the top side.  To me it the result of the radiant heat off the coals and proximity to the fire, in my experience leoparding achieved that way has a very different look from leoparding that evenly forms in an extremely hot oven with well made dough.  Craigs pies are a great example of the style of leoparding I'm talking about, it looks totally different, and I would bet on Craigs pies the leoparding begins to form on the side away from the fire as well as the side towards it(Care to chime in Craig?).

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Offline thezaman

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2013, 09:20:20 PM »
nice video i loved the way he opened the dough. that method gives a very light rim on the pizza. the training done by roberto at keste's stresses that exact technique. keste's dough is a bitch to work with but they make it look easy and accomplish that nice light rim.

Offline f.montoya

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 07:28:01 AM »
It looks like a cold fermented dough, room temp fermented dough has smaller black spots (leoparding). I like the uneven rise also Fidel, but any Ciro Salvo pie looks way better than the one on the video, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-krkQYjRvgs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpglOCRHMFo


I really like the life in the cornicione in that first video you posted. The second pie disappeared when the video abruptly ended so I couldn't really judge it much, if any. In the first video, it appears that Salvo gets more "browning" mixed in with the leoparding. Not sure if that's intentional or what others think about adding browning to an NP cornicione, or whether or not it matters. But I would not complain if I had one of Ciro Salvo's pies on a plate in front of me, that's for sure!

Offline f.montoya

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2013, 08:11:26 AM »
And beauty and taste (and texture) are not necessarily correlated.

110% in agreement.

One of the main reasons that I started this thread is because I have had/tasted some truly beautiful looking Neapolitan pies in many restaurants. Some were good. Some were chewy. Some were dry.

One of the visual characteristics that, so far in my experience of "eating", seems to consistently show up in moist and tender Neapolitan pizza, is the "lift" in the cornicione, not too much, but enough to show "life" and evidence that steam has done it's thing. Whenever I see this, I can tell there is moisture.

The uneven "lift" seems to be a product of a sufficiently relaxed dough ball. While the lift and bubbles promise me moisture, the uneven lift promises tenderness...at least in my restaurant eating experience. In my own pies, I've had 30 out of 32 pies in a pizza party miss this. Then the last two will be unbelievably tender. Not that the others weren't tender, but the last two will almost melt in my mouth. The video in my OP just seemed to characterize this quite well, without an overly soft or over-fermented looking dough.

As for dominantly black leopard spots vs. dark brown leopard spots, well, so far I have NEVER had the former in an NP restaurant. The first Ciro Salvo video above looks like it has some, but it also includes some browning. I have produced, quite by accident in the early days of my WFO experience, beautiful black leopard spots on a near white canvas of a cornicione. I've since done this with a starter, IDY, ADY, Caputo 00, standard bread flour, room temp ferment, a refrigerator ferment, 24 hour dough, 48 hour dough, and even 96 hour dough. The common denominator is not ingredients and not mixing techniques. It was simply temperature of the dough just before bake. All of these were baked in the Winter or colder Spring evenings. The only thing that I can surmise is that is going on here is that the cooler dough ball's tightness restricts/allows only the thinner skinned bubbles near the surface to expand under extreme heat...thus many, many black leopard spots before the the pie is finished baking. One other thing that produced multiple, very small black leopard spots was an under-fermented dough...or at least one that left my cornicione somewhat lifeless and lacking texture. Beautiful? Yes. But I didn't think it warranted a photo to share with you all because I was unimpressed with the texture, moisture, lack of tenderness...and it just didn't excite my taste-buds like the pie I had in Nagoya(you can see it on my YouTube channel).

I'm not knocking beauty at all. It's just that my notebook is filling up with stuff I didn't know and notes regarding common, tell-tale signs of a pie that is "probably" going to be delicious and I now find myself, after a year, as well as over 600 pies baked, in my books, questioning what is a visually "great" pie. Not a visually "beautiful" pie.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 08:15:10 AM by f.montoya »

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2013, 09:00:35 AM »
I agree about the role of dough temperature in leoparding. If you want stark black on white leoparding, try sticking an already cool dough ball in the freezer for 15 minutes before making a pie and baking it.
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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2013, 09:18:10 AM »
I'm also not crazy about the look of the leoparding on the top side.  To me it the result of the radiant heat off the coals and proximity to the fire, in my experience leoparding achieved that way has a very different look from leoparding that evenly forms in an extremely hot oven with well made dough.  Craigs pies are a great example of the style of leoparding I'm talking about, it looks totally different, and I would bet on Craigs pies the leoparding begins to form on the side away from the fire as well as the side towards it(Care to chime in Craig?).


Yes, I see spots forming all around the pie when I bake, but they do still favor the side facing the fire. I know what you are saying about the different varieties of leoparding. I'm a bit partial to the generally smaller spots with an even browning around. I agree it's a higher-temperature thing. My pies tend to get more browning in 0:55 than this one did in 1:24.

I do think that pie - and that style of look in general is attractive though I don't think it yields the best tasting or textured pie - maybe it can but in general, I don't think it does. That's why I made the comment about taste and texture not necessarily being correlated to appearance. It's one thing to think a pie looks good, it's a very different thing to know a pie is good.
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Offline f.montoya

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2013, 10:17:21 AM »

...My pies tend to get more browning in 0:55 than this one did in 1:24.

I do think that pie - and that style of look in general is attractive though I don't think it yields the best tasting or textured pie - maybe it can but in general, I don't think it does. That's why I made the comment about taste and texture not necessarily being correlated to appearance. It's one thing to think a pie looks good, it's a very different thing to know a pie is good.

This is an interesting comment. Thanks, Craig. I personally didn't think it was "beautiful" or even "pleasing to the eye", yet you appear to opine that it was "attractive". I thought it lacked contrast and continuity, visually. In my opening post, I thought is was one of the best pies I've seen, only based on what I had notes for on characteristics that seemed to be consistent with what I could bank on to be delicious, moist with a tender cornice.

If you don't mind, please share your ideas on what you define as visual evidence of a pie that is going to have flavor, moisture, tenderness and great texture.

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Re: Critique this pie
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2013, 11:32:36 AM »
This is an interesting comment. Thanks, Craig. I personally didn't think it was "beautiful" or even "pleasing to the eye", yet you appear to opine that it was "attractive". I thought it lacked contrast and continuity, visually. In my opening post, I thought is was one of the best pies I've seen, only based on what I had notes for on characteristics that seemed to be consistent with what I could bank on to be delicious, moist with a tender cornice.

If you don't mind, please share your ideas on what you define as visual evidence of a pie that is going to have flavor, moisture, tenderness and great texture.


Wow. I totally misunderstood your original post. I probably wouldn’t describe a pie I didn’t think to be beautiful or pleasing to the eye as “quite possibly the best pie I've seen anywhere.  Beautiful leoparding…”

Notwithstanding, I do think it is an attractive pie. If it was served to me, I would be excited to taste it. I do think the look of a pie is important. Regardless of how good the other sensory qualities are, we first taste with our eyes.

Certainly there are some cues to quality. We discussed leoparding as a possible cue here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24897.0.html I don't, however, think there many (or any) things that are definitive visual evidence other than the obvious (burnt is going to be bad, for example). That is exactly the point of the comment I've now made three times here - taste and texture are not necessarily correlated to appearance.

Do I have some thoughts, yes – When I’m served a pie with a flat-ish cornice – maybe kind of smooth and lifeless – maybe dry looking – maybe with the big sunken black “big cat” spots, my expectations sink. I start thinking about a dense chewy, probably flavorless, crumb before I taste it. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised though.

Over time and having eaten enough pies, I’m sure we all develop a mental picture of what the pie we like looks like. I’m sure you could look through the Garage thread and get a pretty good understanding of my mental picture of that pie. But we have to be cautious of our mental picture. Like I said above, it's one thing to think a pie looks good or not, it's a very different thing to know if it’s good.

Here is an example, Pizzeria Bianco pies don’t really fit my mental picture of what a great pie looks like. I’ve never tried his pies, but I have to assume they are great based on the nearly unanimous comments to that effect. Even though it’s not the look I strive for when making pizza, I’ll be very surprised if I don’t love his pies when I get the opportunity to try them.
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