Author Topic: eJomby's Pizza Thread  (Read 2179 times)

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Offline ejomby

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eJomby's Pizza Thread
« on: December 13, 2013, 10:59:43 AM »
I was hoping to start a thread so that I can keep track of my pizzas and the progress I make.  I don't remember exactly when I found this forum, or when I started making my own pizzas but it was only a month or 2 ago.  I've read up a lot since then, and my pizzas are infinitely better than the way they used to be.  But I'm always looking to make improvements.  Generally I cook pizza for the kids every Thursday night.  Here's what we had last night (made from Randy's American pizza recipe).  I made them using a poolish which I incorporated on Thursday morning.  The first pizza was a bit too chewy for my liking, while the second had a nice crunch to it.  Made from the same dough, so I must have baked them differently.  These pizzas also represent my last ones that I eye-ball my ingredients. My kitchen scale arrives in the mail today. :)

Notes: Couple things I did differently.  I used canned cherry tomatoes (Cento) as sauce that I strained and lightly crushed.  The taste was good, but it still was a little bit too wet.  The dough also was a bit wetter this time, so I tried using "stretch and fold" to help form the dough and that worked well.  Photo's were taken with my DSLR with the telephoto lens. :) I couldn't find my smaller lens-- so I was unable to get a better picture of the pizza.  I had to stand about 10 feet away. :)  Next time.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 11:15:43 AM by ejomby »


Offline mkevenson

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 11:12:58 AM »
The pies look great! I am sure the kids love your efforts. Let us know how things work out with ther scales. :chef:
 
Mark
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 11:25:29 AM »
Tasty looking pizzas!

Offline Musky

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 02:00:03 PM »
Looks good.  Did you use a poolish?  I read your poolish thread, and used the links Pete gave you to my own advantage.  Unfortunately I think I screwed up some poolish math, and used way too much poolish yeast.  I'll know for sure tomorrow.  I feel like I'm drowning in poolish I have so many poolish thoughts in my head.

Dang poolish.

Kevin


Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 06:49:13 PM »
@musky-- I think the key for a poolish is just to get some of those enzymes working to create some good pizza flavor.  I wouldn't worry too much.  Mine was a bit active for 2 days, and then I just threw it in.  Just make sure you subtract the ingredients you already used from the original recipe.  I can say that the flavor of the crust was better than an emergency dough because of the poolish.  Better than a 2 day cold ferment?  I don't know that my palate is that well developed to make such a call from memory. :)  I was more concerned about the mouthfeel of crunch vs. chew on this last round.

@mark and Tscar-- Thanks. :)  I was a little disappointed with a lack of spring.  Maybe after forming the shells I should have let them proof for a while.  I might experiment with rack placement in the oven and try a little broiler action.  (Though last time I used the broiler, I burnt the pizza b/c I had to handle the kids fighting-- and then I got way too emotional about killing the pizza.  All the cheese was black.  But I fixed it.  I pulled the layer of black cheese off, and put more on and cooked it again.  Turned out good, although with a few notes of carbon.)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 06:56:02 PM by ejomby »

Offline Musky

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 06:58:24 PM »
@musky-- I think the key for a poolish is just to get some of those enzymes working to create some good pizza flavor.  I wouldn't worry too much.  Mine was a bit active for 2 days, and then I just threw it in.  Just make sure you subtract the ingredients you already used from the original recipe.  I can say that the flavor of the crust was better than an emergency dough because of the poolish.  Better than a 2 day cold ferment?  I don't know that my palate is that well developed to make such a call from memory. :) I was more concerned about the mouthfeel of crunch vs. chew on this last round.

This is where I've struggled with this style.  Unfortunately before I made some dough yesterday with a poolish, I had not seen your poolish thread with the links from Pete, especially that chart.  So the yeast in the NY style poolish was like 1/4 teaspoon when the link said 1/32 teaspoon.  those three balls are in the fridge after a 4 hour bulk rise after mixing.

I have one going right now for a Sicilian dough I'll be mixing tonight.  I used about 1/16 teaspoon in that one.  It's been percolating since about 8:30 this morning.  I'll mix that dough about 10:00 or 11:00, and leave it to ferment on the counter until early tomorrow evening.

I made the NY poolish to be 30% of the total dough weight and did remember to subtract that from the flour, water, and yeast amounts.  I fear I started with too high a yeast percentage in the dough calculator after further research. 

Kevin


Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 08:39:46 PM »
Quote
I fear I started with too high a yeast percentage in the dough calculator after further research.

I wouldn't.  What you want primarily from that preferment is flavor.  Not for yeast activity.  You'll still add yeast to your final dough, right? If you get scared that the yeast is getting close to being done eating, then stick him in the fridge.  Or add more flour (and remember to subtract from final formula).  Play around with it. :)

Offline Musky

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 08:59:36 PM »
Oh, those are all balled up and in the fridge.

Kevin

Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 08:57:06 PM »
Tonight's Pizza's.

We have family that's coming in for the next 3 weeks, so we have to up our pizza production.  My sister, her husband and their little one were here, so we made 4 12"s.  I thought I'd take this opportunity to experiment with the dough.  Up to this point, I've only used Randy's American, and I think I've done a pretty good job with it.  But for today I decided to experiment.  Actually, Tuesday, I made the decision.  I went with a version of Lehman's Pizza, but put about 1 tsp of yeast for 2 12" inches and ran a cold ferment for 2 days.  I did 2 batches and let them sit in the fridge till today.

The result?  Unbelievable!  They had a subtle sour dough taste to them, the perfect combination of crunch and chew, and a good cornice.  These were 10xs better than the pizzas I made before.  They didn't have the color, but they were wonderful!  I still have a long way to go, but this one represents a big step up for me.  Everyone thought they were fantastic. Here's the pics:

Notes: The doughs both had big bubbles at day 2.  When I popped them, they had a milky smell about them.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 11:48:08 PM by ejomby »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2013, 09:32:45 PM »
Tonight's Pizza's.

We have family that's coming in for the next 3 weeks, so we have to up our pizza production.  My sister, her husband and their little one were here, so we made 4 12"s.  I thought I'd take this opportunity to experiment with the dough.  Up to this point, I've only used Randy's American, and I think I've done a pretty good job with it.  But for today I decided to experiment.  Actually, Tuesday, I made the decision.  I went with a version of Lehman's Pizza, but put about 1 tsp of yeast for 2 12" inches and ran a cold ferment for 2 days.  I did 2 batches and let them sit in the fridge till today.

The result?  Unbelievable!  They had a subtle sour dough taste to them, the perfect combination of crunch and chew, and a good cornice.  These were 10xs better than the pizzas I made before.  They didn't have the color, but they were wonderful!  I still have a long way to go, but this one represents a big step up for me.  Everyone thought they were fantastic. Here's the pics:
Looking good man...I see you found your lens.  :)
Was there any sugar in your dough recipe....what temp are you baking at?
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Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2013, 09:50:51 PM »
Hi Bob,

I did find my lens. :)

No sugar.  Will that give me some color?  I'd hate to compromise the flavor at this point for the sake of color.  But I'm willing to experiment. They do look undercooked, even though they clearly weren't when you bit into them.

I was cooking at 550, preheated for an hour, but with 2 stones at the same time.  The last one I turned to High Broil, but it didn't do much for it. (I cooked with 2 stones before, but there was plenty of honey and sugar in the recipe.)

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2013, 10:41:51 PM »
Hi Bob,

I did find my lens. :)

No sugar.  Will that give me some color?  I'd hate to compromise the flavor at this point for the sake of color.  But I'm willing to experiment. They do look undercooked, even though they clearly weren't when you bit into them.

I was cooking at 550, preheated for an hour, but with 2 stones at the same time.  The last one I turned to High Broil, but it didn't do much for it. (I cooked with 2 stones before, but there was plenty of honey and sugar in the recipe.)
Yes, sugar aids in browning.
If you have 2 stones set-up, turning broiler on last minute is not going to get you anything....top stone is blocking radiant heat. This is an electric oven with heating element up top, correct? If so, put just one stone up near top to bake pizza on and then you can manage extra browning (if needed) by apply top element"broiler" heat towards end of bake.
Hope this helps... :chef:
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2013, 08:11:47 AM »
ejomby,

For some basic oven tips for a home electric oven, you might take a look at Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg20965.html#msg20965. In your case, all you may need to do is to bake the pizza on the preheated stone (the only stone) at a low oven position and move the pizza to the top oven rack position toward the end of the bake to get more top heat.

Peter

Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2013, 11:45:20 AM »
Peter,

Thank you for that link.  That's very helpful.  I may have to invest in a screen now.   I'm still scared to use the broiler, though.  You can see a little evidence on the black olive pizza-- at least the upper part of the crust shows a little more color to it.  That was only 1 minute of the broiler on high.  But I'll changing the way I cook it to see if I can get some good color.

For practical purposes, I had to do 2 pizzas at a time because everyone was hungry and no one was going to wait. :)

Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2013, 08:36:25 PM »
So, we had to do pizza emergency style tonight.  We had to feed 4 adults and 2 kids on short notice.  So at 4pm, I needed to try to put something together.  I judged by eye just to get it out of the way-- no time for weighing.  Dropped about 4 1/2 cups of flour and added enough water until it looked right. LIttle salt and oil here and there. 2 tsp of Instant Yeast.  And roughly 1 TBP honey to make sure I got color. After I kneaded them in the Kitchenaid with the C hook until it looked smooth. Then,  I did 2 stretch and folds spaced by 5 minutes.  Then I cut and balled them pretty hard into 3 pieces.

Opening them: they opened great-- in fact, these guys got closer to a NY style than any others.  They stretched super thin and maintained their cornice.

We had no real toppings to speak of, just spinach, mushrooms and parm.  Also tried the box of Pomi tomatoes (not impressed). 2 of them turned out very well, crispy and airy, but no sour-dough flavor.  One was just too soft and bready. (I don't think I cooked it long enough) They all definitely had good color-- they all had treatment from the broiler for a minute. Mostly good, but not as good as last time. Here's how they looked:

Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2013, 08:48:49 PM »
But which one looks the best? :-\

Offline norma427

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2013, 09:00:45 PM »
But which one looks the best? :-\

ejomby,

They all look very tasty to me!

Norma
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Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2013, 09:08:51 PM »
Norma,

Coming from you, that means a lot!

ejomby

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2013, 02:31:15 PM »
But which one looks the best? :-\

Third one.

Offline ejomby

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Re: eJomby's Pizza Thread
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2013, 08:34:56 PM »
And the 3rd one tasted great as well. :) The 2nd one was the soft one.  I'm not sure why.  I didn't time any of them, I just judged by eye.  Maybe the stone lost heat?  Maybe I didn't bake it long enough?  I guess I should incorporate a timer.  I also have an infrared thermometer; maybe I should bring that into the mix.

What I'm curious about are the ridges that developed on pizza 1 and 2. (On the top of pizza 1 and the bottom of pizza 2: The cornice shot up on a ridge.  I don't know why.)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 08:39:41 PM by ejomby »


 

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