Author Topic: My Way  (Read 2540 times)

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Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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Re: My Way
« Reply #75 on: August 26, 2016, 08:29:55 PM »
In case anyone wonders, here are a couple photos of my PG500 Pellet grill in action...

The first photo is showing where I put my baking steel when I'm preheating it.  As you can see, the baking steel sits about 12 inches or so , directly above the fire pot.   

 The second photo shows where I put the baking steel after it's been preheated , just before I put the pizza on.  In this photo, the auger that feeds pellets into the fire pot is running constantly. I currently do not know what the actual BTU output is, but I do know that if I close the doors on this and running it like that, the heat goes up, then flows to the right, across the top of the steel, then the heat flows downward, because the chimney outlet on the inside of the grill is in the bottom right hand side, just bellow the grate surface on the far right. I do not currently have a thermometer that will measure the actual air temperature up above that steel in this position, but I have to believe it can approach 800F.

Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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Re: My Way
« Reply #76 on: August 27, 2016, 05:38:24 PM »
Well, yesterday I had what can really only be described as a failure.  I was trying out a Caputo 00 flour formulation with a bit of Malted Milk Powder, and a lower amount of yeast then I had ever used before.   I did a RT ( 68F ) ferment that went for 24 hours, re-balled then went in the refrigerator for 8 hours , with a 4 hour room temperature temper ( 73F ).    The dough did not rise after the re-ball, not even during the 4 hour temper.  The dough was very weak, no elastiscity at all,  I was almost unable to actually get it formed it was so loose... 

 Baked at 620F, for 7.5 minutes, rotating once...   it browned up OK for Caputo 00, there was a tiny bit of spring on one area around the edge, but for the most part, it was just a crispy and kinda chewy hunk of crust.

The formulation was 100% Caputo 00, 62% water, 1.5% Malted Milk Powder, 1.5% salt, 0.25% IDY, the only oil that went on it was on the outside of the dough ball during fermentation.

  I had a second dough ball , that I ended up putting in with some new ingredients in a 'new' batch of dough that I have in the fridge now, but more on that later....

 Here are the photos of the pizza failure... ( fortunately I wasn't depending on this pizza for dinner , I mean it was technically edible, but not anything I'd actually want to serve to a guest )

« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 05:41:45 PM by PelletPizzaJoe »

Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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Re: My Way
« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2016, 09:36:56 AM »
OK, so after my last Pizza , which I felt was a failure, I took the remaining dough ball ( half of the original batch ) and used it in a new batch.  First time I ever incorporated old dough into a new batch of dough...  I calculated out amounts of new ingredients so that the new batch would have a formulation of of...  100% Caputo 00, 58% hydration, 2% salt, 2% Malted milk powder, 1% oil, 0.5% IDY.

I split the new batch into two new balls of dough equal in size, placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours, re-balled one of the dough balls and let the cold ferment continue for another 12 hours at which time I pulled the re-balled dough out to be used to make a pizza.  I let the re-balled dough temper at room temperature for 5 hours, then baked it as 620F for 7 minutes.

 The results were... better then the previously failed pizza, and if I do say so myself, the pizza looked quite nice.   However, I was not impressed with the texture of the crust, I would call it only slightly better then the 'failed' pizza crust , who's dough had been incorporated into this new dough.   The photos attached here are from this pizza... which I will say was a 'almost failed' pizza, certainly not a pizza I could brag about to my friends. Although given the pictures I'm sure I could tell you all it was great and you would have no real way to know it wasn't... but anyway, it wasn't that great really.  I'm not sure what to think about this whole batch of dough right now. ( I do have one remaining ball , that I'm going to use with additional cold ferment, if it isn't any good I may never attempt this type of formulation again, but honestly I don't know exactly what to think is causing it to be less then satisfactory ).


Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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Re: My Way
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2016, 08:36:24 PM »
Tonight I cooked my other dough ball that was created using old dough from the failed pizza.  This dough ball had been cold fermenting for 72 hours before re-balling, then another 19 hours cold fermenting followed by 2.5 hours temper to room temperature before forming.   This dough had a bit more strength then the last attempt to use this dough's sibling ball...

 The pizza was cooked at 620F for 7 minutes, the results were a very acceptable pizza, bordering on being very good.  The outer layer of the crust was crisp, perhaps a bit thicker then I would have liked, inside that the dough was soft and mostly airy.  Not the absolute best pizza I've made to date, but I would give it about a 7.5 out of 10.   I would not ever be ashamed to offer this pizza to a guest.

Why did this one work out better then the previous pizza?  Well, it did have another two days worth of cold ferment, but I think what really made it better was because the length of 'temper' used.  The previous pizza's dough ball had tempered for 5 hours , which was at least a hour longer then I had intended to let it temper, I think that the dough had rose a bit too far during that temper and I think that was the main reason that pizza didn't work so well.  Todays pizza, had just a 2.5 hour temper period, and at most it doubled in size from when i took it out of the refrigerator.  That previous dough had almost quadroopled in size during it's lengthy temper period. 

Overall formulation of this dough is 100% Caputo 00, 58% hydration, 2% salt, 2% Malted milk powder, 1% oil, 0.5% IDY

Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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Re: My Way
« Reply #79 on: September 02, 2016, 09:21:19 AM »
Last night, I cooked some pizza that had been cold fermenting for 5 days. The formulation was a 100% Caputo 00 flour, 58% water, 2% salt, 2% malted milk powder, 1% oil, 0.5% yeast.   Two dough balls roughly 330 grams each.  I re-balled one 43 hours in advance of making the pizza, and the other 19 hours in advance.  I did this, because I do believe that re-balling pizza dough can enhance the results of the final product, and in a home environment is actually pretty easy to do.  I wanted to test to see, if I could notice any difference between the crust that was re-balled 24 hours earlier then the other crust. I staggered the removal of the dough balls from the fridge by a hour, so that I could get the temper time the same on each pizza.  However, after that I deviated from what I had intended to be a relatively scientific approach to comparing these dough balls...

 The first pizza I cooked was the dough that had been re-balled 43 hours before using it, i had let it temper for a little more then 2 hours. The dough was very easy to work with , not to strong not too weak.  I topped it with Ham, Pepperoni, mushrooms and onions, very typical for me.  I spread the toppings out very close to the edge , which is more or less what I prefer, because I'm not overly fond of a huge cornicione and I find that pushing the topping out very close the edge helps to keep that small.  Pizza was cooked at 620F for 7 minutes, came out very good.

  The second pizzza, was made with the dough that had been re-balled  19 hours in advance of using.  But , well I guess it's not really fair to call this one a pizza, because of the way I deviated from my scientific procedures.  I didn't really want another pizza, but I did want to see how the crust would turn out.  Rather then putting real toppings on it, I decided to try out my new simulated pizza toppings instead. Pure science will have to wait another day , while I test out my new idea for cooking pizza without toppings...   but anyway, the second dough I think was a tiny bit easier to work with, but that may have been because I had shortened the temper time by about 15 minutes , for a total of about 2 hours of tempering.   Later I deviated again from my original plan, this time not so much intentionally, or from a conscious decision, but more by poor planning.  I had lowered the temperature in my pellet grill after I cooked the previous pizza, because I didn't want to run the darn thing for a hour at 620F while I waited for my other dough to temper  ( remember I staggered removal from the fridge by one hour )... I was pressed for time, because I had lawn to move... So anyway , I formed the crust, put my simulated pizza toppings on it, then went outside to bake it... only to realize my grill was no longer at 620F, but only about 500F.  Well, I decided to crank up the grill and try and get the  baking steel back up to 620F, but that meant waiting what I estimated to be around 30 minutes... So I left the simulated pizza sit there, in the relatively cool air while I let the grill warm back up.... So my scientific procedures were like all out the window at this point... and I'm sure glad I didn't actually put $3 or more worth of toppings on this pizza.

  Anyway, the results of the second pizza, was actually quite interesting, not exactly sure if it helps me understand the dough formulation , or compare it to the first pizza at all, but... the crust was actually quite good, my wife, who actually wants me to make her pizza with absolutely nothing on it, was very happy with the outcome of this pizza crust.   I came away from this fake pizza cook, with more new questions then answers, but all in all I'm actually glad this happened , because I do have some new things to think about....


The first 4 pictures are from the actual pizza I made, the one that used the dough that had been re-balled 43 hours prior to making the pizza.  The crust was very good, not great, not as good as I'd hoped for that's for sure. The cornicione did not puff up as much as I would have liked and the portions under the toppings was puffier then I would have liked.  I have a suspicion that this had more to do with my opening technique ( or lack there of ), then the length of ferment or length since the re-ball...   But I guess to know that for sure, is some sort of testing for another day, or at least for further observation on future pizza crusts that I make.

The last 3 photos are of my 'naked pizza'... baked at 620F for 7 minutes. Ok, I hope I don't get banned for showing these photos of a naked pizza...  but  I actually found this to be very interesting.  In need of further exploration, a exploration that is clearly going to need some refining to actually prove to be helpful in evaluating pizza dough using this method... and who knows, maybe the method will never be a perfect replacement for actually making a pizza with toppings on it.  None the less...  my simulated toppings, naked pizza...  12" pizza crust, 11" diameter silicone mat ( about 1/8" thick ) to simulate pizza toppings.   

 Final thoughts on my naked pizza...  Mmmm, I loved the crust, loved the texture, loved the taste...  I wish the silicone mat was thicker/heavier, to hold down the bubbles at the center of the crust a bit better. I will either seek out thicker silicone , double it up, or find other stuff to put on top of the silicone mat but I will be using this basic idea in the future, yet it clearly needs refining if it's actually going to come closer to simulating the weight of pizza toppings. For all the problems I had on this , I actually think I'm going in a interesting direction here.


« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 09:33:50 AM by PelletPizzaJoe »

Offline PelletPizzaJoe

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  • Location: southeastern Michigan
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Re: My Way
« Reply #80 on: September 24, 2016, 10:48:56 PM »
I've been playing a little with sourdough starter for a few weeks , my first attempts were not really worthy of sharing in any way, other then to say for a while I was pretty convinced sourdough was not for me... too sour.   I started out with some sourdough starter that was developed using whole grain rye flour.  Since then I've moved to a normal white flour based sourdough. Now, this sourdough starter was all developed using nothing but store bought flour and water, feeding it daily and all that...  It's kind of a pain , but then once it gets going, it's not that hard I guess.

   I've came to a point where I don't really try to use only sourdough starter for leavening, I take a hybrid approach, I find it much easier to deal with it all. No long waits, don't have to really worry about exactly how wonderful the sourdough is, in terms of peak leavening, etc...

   I've also moved my pizza making operations indoors now, the weather has cooled down , and I no longer have concerns about using my oven and heating the house up in the process of making pizza.    My oven goes up to 550 F, I'm using two baking steels each on it's own rack a few inches apart.  The pizza goes on one, the other supplying radiant heat from above.  I've only made two pizza's with this method so far, but it seems to work pretty well for me.   My first attempt in the oven had a bit of a launch issue, and it looked pretty bad, but tasted OK... I don't even remember the formulation used on that first pizza in the oven.   But the second....

   My sourdough hybrid pizza formulation...   ( sourdough starter I use  is 100% hydration )

200 grams All Trumps flour.
120 g water ( 60% ) ( 63% hydration after factoring in the sourdough starter )
 30 g sourdough starter ( recently fed ) ( 15% )
  4 g salt (2%)
  4 g sugar ( 2% )
  2 g Oil (1% )
  1 g IDY (0.5% )

  This dough was mixed in a KitchenAid 7 cup food processor I recently bought.   All dry ingredients were placed in the food processor and turn on high, all wet ingredients were mixed in a glass ( including the sourdough starter ), then poured slowly into the food processor.  I used 110F water, so the liquids were warm as they mixed with the dry...   Dough ball fermented at room temperature for about two hours, it had doubled in size, maybe tripled in size during that time.  I re-balled the dough and then cold fermented for 24 hours, re-balled again and cold fermented another 14 hours.   After a 3 hour temper the dough was formed into a roughly 12" crust. Then topped with pepperoni, ham, bacon, mushrooms, and onions, cooked for 8 minutes on steel that was reading 566F...

   This was one fine pizza... the crust was great...  eggshell like texture on the outside, airy on the inside... I'd be proud to serve this pizza to anyone.   Previously I'd never gotten results like this with anything less then 3 days cold ferment.  I don't know for sure, but  I do think the sourdough had something to do with how well this worked.  I know for sure I'll be making pizza this way again soon.

   More then anything, I'm happy to find out I can make pizza in my oven that's every bit as good as the stuff I had been making in my pellet grill ( which gets a lot hotter ).  I'll likely not be using my pellet grill for pizza again until next summer, I am grateful to be able to cook outdoors in the summer, but love the convenience of being able to cook a great pizza in my home oven too , when I'm not concerned about heating up the house .  All in all, I'm a happy pizza guy.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 10:53:20 PM by PelletPizzaJoe »