Author Topic: Very satisfied - please comment  (Read 4292 times)

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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2013, 10:33:50 PM »
Using a screen with a red hot element, you do not need to preheat the oven at all, and it may, in fact, work to your advantage.


Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2013, 10:40:15 PM »
Sorry, I'm just not quite sure what you mean.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2013, 11:13:11 PM »
The element alone will provide enough radiant heat to cook the pizza, and the lack of ambient heat will prevent your cheese from burning before the crust is ready.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2013, 11:16:45 PM »
I think by "preheat" he means to bring your oven to temperature and then leave it on for a while (which you have to do when using a stone). You still need to preheat the oven when you don't use a stone. You just don't have to preheat it for any longer than it takes to reach your baking temperature.

Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2013, 04:35:44 AM »
GarlicLover,

Nice work on your latest pizzas.  I thought I might mention another thread that may be of interest to you.  We have a member here, TomN,  that cranks out beautiful pizzas using a screen and baking at 425 F for 15 minutes.  He uses beer in his pizza dough and I thought you might like to see his results and his recipe.  His thread is located here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17415.0.html  and his current recipe/method is found here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17415.msg245184.html#msg245184

Looking forward to seeing more of your pies.

--Tim


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
I know what you're saying, but my problem is this: I heard I would have to preheat the stone for at least two hours. Is this true? That just seems like a long time... because right now I only preheat my oven for 30 minutes to achieve the 482 degrees Fahrenheit. Secondly, if it doesn't make a HUGE difference, I don't know if it's worth the time and the electricity costs. :D I mean here's my question... how much better is a pizza cooked on a stone at 482F versus a pizza cooked on a screen at this exact same temperature? In this case I mean NY-style pizza, or something very close to NY-style.

Now, if the pizza overlaps the stone... this means that one part of the pizza is being cooked through the stone, and the overlapping parts aren't being cooked through the stone. I'm not sure if this has the same effect as if I had a larger stone with space for the whole pizza? To clarify... I know that the pizza would already be firm enough from cooking on the screen, but I just feel like I wouldn't be using the effect of the stone to the fullest, since the stone is not covering the whole pizza. Am I wrong?
GarlicLover,

I am not familiar with your particular stone and oven but I was thinking of a preheat of your stone at the oven's highest temperature for about an hour. That would consume less energy and electricity than preheating the stone for an hour at a higher temperature if you were able to achieve that higher temperature. But the advantage of using a stone over a pizza screen is that a screen will tend to produce a softer, less crispy bottom crust. With a stone, especially if you can get it hot enough, you get a searing effect once the unbaked pizza hits the stone. Of course, if that scenario is not doable in your case, you may have to be satisfied with using a screen. But, if I were in your shoes, and having already invested in buying the stone, I would want to know if the stone can play some positive role in producing pizzas that are better than using a screen alone. Not knowing the answer to that question would nag me to the point of distraction.

As for a large pizza overlapping the stone on which it is placed, there will of course be some difference in the way the bottom of the pizza bakes. Part will be baked through heat transferred to and stored in the stone and part (the overlapping portions) will be baked by direct heat from your lower heating element. Naturally, you don't want the size of the pizza to overwhelm the size of the stone (for example, you may not want to make an 18" on a 10" stone), but in my experience I did not encounter any problems baking an 18" pizza on my 14" x 16" stone. Ideally, it would be preferable to bake a pizza entirely on the stone without any overlap but that isn't always an option. In my case, I wanted to see how I could use my screen and stone to make an 18" pizza, which is a standard and almost universal size for a NY style pizza in the U.S. In my opinion, making an 18" NY style pizza is a rite of passage for anyone wanting to make that style of pizza.

Peter

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2013, 01:13:19 PM »
Nice work on your latest pizzas.  I thought I might mention another thread that may be of interest to you.  We have a member here, TomN,  that cranks out beautiful pizzas using a screen and baking at 425 F for 15 minutes.  He uses beer in his pizza dough and I thought you might like to see his results and his recipe.  His thread is located here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17415.0.html  and his current recipe/method is found here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17415.msg245184.html#msg245184
Alright, I'll check out the links. :)

I am not familiar with your particular stone and oven but I was thinking of a preheat of your stone at the oven's highest temperature for about an hour. That would consume less energy and electricity than preheating the stone for an hour at a higher temperature if you were able to achieve that higher temperature.
The stone is 3 cm (1.18 in) thick, and the material is schamotte. Dimensions 30 cm x 40 cm (11.8 in x 15.7 in).

Quote
As for a large pizza overlapping the stone on which it is placed, there will of course be some difference in the way the bottom of the pizza bakes. Part will be baked through heat transferred to and stored in the stone and part (the overlapping portions) will be baked by direct heat from your lower heating element. Naturally, you don't want the size of the pizza to overwhelm the size of the stone (for example, you may not want to make an 18" on a 10" stone), but in my experience I did not encounter any problems baking an 18" pizza on my 14" x 16" stone.
In my case it would be baking a 14" pizza on a 11.8" stone... with max temperature of 482 degrees Fahrenheit.

I don't know... is it worth it?

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2013, 01:16:56 PM »
I definitely feel like I progressed from "newbie" to "novice" in the past few weeks. ;D

Thoughts? :D Am I really ready to call myself a novice pizza maker?

Oops! I must correct myself here. English being my third language I kind of forgot that "newbie" and "novice" are synonyms.

What I meant to say was: I feel like I progressed from newbie/novice to intermediate in the past few weeks.

Sorry for the confusion.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »
English being my third language...

All this time I thought you were an American living in Germany. What's your first language?

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2013, 02:35:07 PM »
All this time I thought you were an American living in Germany. What's your first language?

I am a naturalized American. My first language is Serbo-Croatian.


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2013, 02:58:30 PM »
Your English is much better than most natural-born Americans. Also, I never even would have thought twice about your misuse of the word 'novice.' To me it actually seemed like the right word, although I guess it may not have been. (I raced BMX when I was a kid, and the different competetive levels were designated "Beginner," "Novice," "Expert," and "Pro." As you surely already figured out, Beginner was the lowest level, followed by Novice, Expert, and Pro. Consequently, I never interpret "novice" as meaning the same thing as "beginner.")

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2013, 08:05:33 PM »
Ok, so I managed to get some more temp out of my oven. The thermostat lists the max temp as 250 (482 Fahrenheit), but there is a little above that which isn't labeled. Now I have a max temp of about 265 Celsius (509 Fahrenheit). The pizza now seems to be cooked about 2 minutes earlier if that makes sense, and the crust also seems to be a bit more thoroughly cooked.

Unfortunately I didn't take many pics. The bottom was nicely and evenly browned.

The first two pics are made with a flash, and the third one without a flash. The flash makes the crust seem extremely white... but it isn't like that all.

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2013, 08:11:18 PM »
Things to note:

1.) I think I topped the pizza with too much cheese. I used about 200 grams for a 14" almost-NY-style pizza. Isn't this too much cheese?

2.) While making the dough, I completely left the oil out by mistake. To be honest, I didn't notice much (if any) difference in the taste. Perhaps it would have made the dough a bit easier to stretch/form... but I didn't notice a difference in taste.

3.) I think I will use just a bit less yeast the next time.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2013, 11:33:23 PM »
My most recent 14" NY style pizzas had 220 grams of cheese. (Yes, I almost always weigh my cheese.) I thought that was about the right amount of cheese at the time, but now I think maybe it was a little light. It's a tough call because I baked these pizzas in a grill, where I don't get much top heat, which kinda requires me to go a little light on the cheese. You can see a couple of them here (Reply #54): http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26286.msg275274.html#msg275274.

Also, your latest pizza looks great.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 11:35:23 PM by Aimless Ryan »

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2013, 03:00:41 PM »
My most recent 14" NY style pizzas had 220 grams of cheese. (Yes, I almost always weigh my cheese.)

Do you also weigh the sauce? How much sauce do you use for 14" NY-style?

Quote
Also, your latest pizza looks great.

Thanks. I'm improving. ;D

Here's another pic from today:

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2013, 03:49:06 PM »
Do you also weigh the sauce? How much sauce do you use for 14" NY-style?

Not with NY style, because I always assemble NY style pizzas on a peel. But I sometimes weigh sauce when I make styles of pizza that bake on a pan (or in a pan). I would probably give it a try with NY style if I had a scale that could easily accommodate a peel (and still be readable), but I don't have such a scale. Besides, unlike with cheese, having a specific intended sauce weight isn't such a big deal. Also, it's pretty easy to measure sauce accurately without weighing it.

I have a ladle that I use for NY style sauce (when I make several pizzas). I think it's a 4 oz ladle (by volume), which I think ends up being just about right for 14" NY style. (It's been a few months, so my memory is a little hazy right now.) However, I believe I tend to dip it so it ends up with more sauce than its intended capacity. So I'd say I probably do about 5 or 5-1/2 oz of sauce for a 14" NY style. Since sauce has about the same density (or specific gravity?) as water, that means 5-1/2 oz of sauce weighs about 157 grams.

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2013, 03:55:33 PM »
Besides, unlike with cheese, having a specific intended sauce weight isn't such a big deal. Also, it's pretty easy to measure sauce accurately without weighing it.

Oh okay.

BTW, does the crumb in my last pic look alright?

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2013, 04:28:25 PM »
I like your crumb because while there is a little bit of noticeable structure to it, it doesn't look like the complex, open, irregular, wet-looking crumb many of this site's members seem to prefer. I'd say your outer crust (or rim) is probably a little thicker than a true NY style pizza, just as mine is, but you're still close.

There's one weird thing that I've begun to notice about your crusts: All of your crusts have some kind of slightly strange-looking characteristic to them (paleness or something, and/or a caky-looking texture), which I suspect probably comes from the type of flour you use. It would be cool if you could get your hands on a specific brand of flour that other members are familiar with. I'm willing to bet that if you were using one of the flours on scott123's list of acceptable NY style flours, your crust would not have this characteristic.

Offline GarlicLover

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2013, 05:57:47 PM »
I like your crumb because while there is a little bit of noticeable structure to it, it doesn't look like the complex, open, irregular, wet-looking crumb many of this site's members seem to prefer. I'd say your outer crust (or rim) is probably a little thicker than a true NY style pizza, just as mine is, but you're still close.

I'll try to make the rim a little thinner the next time.

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There's one weird thing that I've begun to notice about your crusts: All of your crusts have some kind of slightly strange-looking characteristic to them (paleness or something, and/or a caky-looking texture), which I suspect probably comes from the type of flour you use.

I believe three factors might be involved:

1.) When stretching/forming the skin, I use more flour than I should. This flour stays on the crust and makes it look somewhat more white.

2.) The brand/type of flour.

3.) Kneading technique? I only have a hand mixer... so I use the hand mixer with dough hooks to combine all the dough ingredients together and then mix them for about a minute or two. After that, I knead by hand for about 10 minutes, divide the balls, knead each dough ball individually for about 1 minute, coat them with oil and store them in the fridge. I use this dough after at least 15 hours of cold fermentation.


In any case, I noticed that when I brush the crust with oil before baking, it seems to solve this "problem", but I haven't done that in a while.

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It would be cool if you could get your hands on a specific brand of flour that other members are familiar with. I'm willing to bet that if you were using one of the flours on scott123's list of acceptable NY style flours, your crust would not have this characteristic.

The problem is that these brands of flour aren't available here in Germany. I'm sure there are adequate brands here as well that would be suitable for NY-style, but until someone here on the forum who also lives in Germany gives me some insight, I'm stuck with the flour I currently use.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Very satisfied - please comment
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2013, 06:46:19 PM »
I believe three factors might be involved:

1.) When stretching/forming the skin, I use more flour than I should. This flour stays on the crust and makes it look somewhat more white.

I guess I was a little unclear in my previous post. I was talking about the inside of your crust; the crumb, I guess. It kinda has a muffin-like appearance to me, both in texture and in color. I don't think it's the result of anything you're doing. Rather, I suspect it's something about your flour. But I don't know enough about flour to really say anything more than I've already said.

The problem is that these brands of flour aren't available here in Germany. I'm sure there are adequate brands here as well that would be suitable for NY-style, but until someone here on the forum who also lives in Germany gives me some insight, I'm stuck with the flour I currently use.

Yeah, I know. I was just saying it would be great if at least one of the popular brands of flour in the United States was available to you. I mean, even when you mentioned specific flour types that are available to you, I had no idea how any of these flour types may compare to the types of flour that are available to me. For example, I identify flour by terms such as "high gluten flour," "bread flour," "all-purpose flour," and "pastry flour." For all I know, flour in Germany may be separated into the same types of flour, but they just use different terminology. Conversely, maybe the kinds of flour that are available to you are completely different than the types of flour that are available to me, which is why they're not identified with similar terms. I don't know, and I don't really feel like doing any homework right now.