Thanks for the kind words. I still feel like I'm cheating using a Blackstone. I've posted scraps of information about my process across the forum of late, but I'll repeat/consolidate it here.
A quick disclaimer... Invariably I vary things from one bake to the next, either subtly or radically. As an example, I'm nearly out of flour right now, and I don't intend to buy more of the same, so I'll experiment with something else... which means I also expect to alter hydration ratios, ferment times, etc. so it could be that my next bake is nothing like this one. I'm also very much learning, seeking advice, and adapting what I do based on curiosity/opportunity/optimizing/whim/advice. I don't consider myself an authority on anything, but very happy to share what works for me. I'm also a poor note taker and instruction follower... sometimes what I write isn't exactly what happened... it's just the best that I can recall.
Anyway... as at November 24 2013, this is what I do:Starter:
My starter is one I made back in 2008 using this method over on Breadtopia
I keep my starter in the fridge all week until about 10 hours before I'm going to make dough. I take it out of the fridge, feed it, and leave it at room temp (60f-70f) during the day. After 10 hours it is very active, I take what I need to make dough, and put the rest back in the fridge for another week.Dough formula:
Formula for this batch (3 pizzas) was:
Flour: 340.65 g | 12.02 oz | 0.75 lbs
Water: 220.75 g | 7.79 oz | 0.49 lbs
Salt: 6.81 g | 0.24 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.22 tsp | 0.41 tbsp
Starter: 7.48 g | 0.26 oz | 0.02 lbs
Single Ball: 191.9 g | 6.77 oz | 0.42 lbs
Total: 575.7 g | 20.31 oz | 1.27 lbs | TF = N/A Flour:
for this batch was "Elfin Home Life" pure flour. It's a standard NZ supermarket brand, nothing exotic. 11% protein.Dough workflow:
Combine everything in a bowl, mix until a shaggy mass. Leave to rest for 15 minutes. Knead for about 5 minutes. Rest for about 15 minutes, and the stretch & fold. Repeat 15 minute rest and stretch & fold 4 times (I think). Then leave the dough in a covered bowl for 24 hours. After 24 hours, divide and ball, putting the balls into rectangular airtight plastic box, 3 to a box. Leave the balls for another 24 hours - or in this case about 20 hours until bake time]. They flatten out and touch the edges and each other, but that's all part of the fun.Oven:
Blackstone 1575 patio oven, with the 10PSI regulator (I gather some models now come with a 5PSI). Using standard "swap a bottle" gas which in New Zealand I gather is a Propane/Butane mix, quite a high % of butane, but can't find anything definitive to confirm this.Oven Mods:
note I'm not mechanically minded, so if I can do these mods, anyone can. 1) raised platter so it sits about 1/2" above the body. 2) aftermarket bearing
installed below the collar. 3) 8x washers placed under the stone separating it from the platter 4) "Chauflector" installed - in my case it's a bent $3 cheese grater.Bake workflow:
I'm running the regulator one turn back from completely open. I get the stone to about 750f (a little more near the perimeter of the stone) for launch. At launch crank the flame up a lot (makes a good noise and temps rise very quickly a fair bit (haven't measured how much). During the bake I've taken to shuffling the pie to the back/center of the stone every 1/4 rotation, so the cornicione is always coming through the hot zone. It takes constant attention, but seems to help a lot with the 10" pies. I bring the flame back down to "idling" in between bakes.
I haven't timed my bakes... I think it's 1:30 - 2:00 but I'm not sure!Making fresh mozzarella:
I'm very lucky to commute past a farm that sells small quantities of raw milk from a herd of grass grazing jersey cows. Milk is unskimmed high fat. My process is: put 2.4l milk into a double-boiler, add 1tsp citric acid dissolved in 10ml water. Bring it all up to 34c. Stir in 2.5ml vegetarian liquid rennet and leave to set for about 30 minutes. Cut the curd, bring up to 42c while slowly bringing the curd mass together. Strain curds through cheese cloth and hang to drain for an hour. Fill a saucepan with water and heat to 75c. Cut the drained curd mass into manaeable chunks, lower a curd chunk into water, let it warm up, then work it carefully by hand. Repeat this about 4-5 times until the curd is silky and stretching easily, then ball and put into ice water. Then store in water (no salt! made this mistake once and you get slimy mozz!).