Author Topic: How about a new section?  (Read 3504 times)

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Offline pondoro

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How about a new section?
« on: June 10, 2006, 01:12:49 PM »
How about a page here with easy (hard to ruin) examples of each major crust style for newbies?Or maybe they exist but I cannot find them?

Thanks


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2006, 02:15:15 PM »
pondoro,

This request comes up quite often but is difficult to comply with because many beginners do not have all or much of the basic equipment and access to a broad range of pizza ingredients that the more experienced members have and use. If you tell me the style of pizza(s) you are interested in, what pizza making ingredients you have on hand or can reasonably procure, what dough making equipment you have (e.g., stand mixer, food processor, bread machine, or none), and what baking tools you have or can reasonably procure (e.g., pizza peel, pizza stone/tiles, pizza screens, pans, etc.), then I think we may be able to steer you to some recipes for you to try. It would also help to know if you want to make a pizza within a few hours total or whether you are willing to wait over a period of a day or more to make it.

I might add that there is a move afoot on another thread to come up with recipes that can be practiced using pizza ingredients that can be readily found at the typical Wal-Mart’s and be used to make doughs by hand. But, even there, one has to have the basics in the way of baking equipment and related tools to be able to properly use the recipes.

As an example of what I am talking about, you may want to take a look at Replies 15 and 24  at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3146.0.html, and the thread http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2790.0.html, both of which describe recipes that I think are fairly easy to make. Those are both for NY styles (two different versions), but if you are interested in a deep-dish style, see this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2314.0.html, and this one http://www.pizzamaking.com/dkm_chicago.php . For a typical American style (thin version), see Reply 20 (and related posts) at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.20.html. After looking at these examples, you may be able to tell us whether they are what you have in mind. 

Peter



Offline pondoro

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 01:31:05 PM »
Peter
I am awed by the detailed discussions and the lengths that people will go to here. But it takes some dedicated searching to find specific recipes and they sometimes are aimed at the advanced users. I was thinking of four or five hard-to-ruin recipes for the complete beginner, along with appropriate warnings that they are compromises.


Offline pondoro

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2006, 01:33:37 PM »
Peter I also tried one of your versions of the Lehman recipe (it seems to be in a state of continuous improvement) and it worked well for the thin crust that I wanted (simulating pizza that I ate in Florence, Italy, not NYC).

Thanks

Mike

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2006, 02:40:19 PM »
Mike,

Even with the most detailed recipes and instructions and lots of photos, failure is quite common, especially among inexperienced pizza makers. Unlike the beginning pizza maker, the more experienced pizza makers understand all the nuances of recipes, ingredients, equipment and processes and know where all the potholes and pitfalls are to be able to avoid them. The failure rate would be much lower, of course, if the instructions were given in person. When I first taught my daughter-in-law to make pizza dough--in person--it took about 10 minutes, which was the total time it took to make the dough. I simply explained what was happening as she followed the steps of a Lehmann dough recipe I had given to her.

I personally think that all of the recipes I referenced in my last post are easy to make. To me, they are among the easiest on the forum, which is why I listed them. I intentionally did not include any Lehmann dough recipes because the Lehmann dough is not one of the easiest to make in my opinion. (I and others tried, however, to address this issue by contributing to a thread devoted solely to the beginning pizza maker wishing to make a Lehmann dough in the home, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html) .

Undoubtedly, other members--even beginning pizza makers--may be able to offer up their own "failure-proof" candidates for the beginning pizza maker. And, perhaps the Wally World endeavor may yield some failure-proof recipes for the beginner.

As you work your way through the forum, you will see that the members range from beginners to professionals. That accounts in part for the wide diversity and complexity of recipes. But that shouldn't be viewed as a deterrent. If a beginning pizza maker/member tells the membership what kind or style of pizza they want to make, and what ingredients and equipment they have available to them, the membership should be able to suggest a recipe to try. New members should also avail themselves of the Pizza Glossary at the forum at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html. It’s a good source of information for new pizza makers.

Peter

Offline bdcbbq

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2006, 03:44:09 PM »
After recently finding this forum throught my good friend, Bill/SFNM, (when he writes, I read), I have decided to take on the challenge of developing a great pizza. I'm wanting a thin crust and/or a neapolitan style dough. While collecting information I purchased Caputo 00 flour, 6 in 1 tomatoes, and some pizza cheese from the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. Herbs are no problem when the time comes. I have ceramic tiles, a KA  mixer, and a couple of pizza peels for equipment.

Since I know I high heat is necessary, I plan to use my Big Jim BBQ pit which is propane operated. I can crank up a very high heat without any problem. I will use the vertical side of the pit, by placing 9 tiles on a rack, with 9 tiles on the rack above. preheat for 30 minutes. I can also add some wood smoke flavor by building a small fire in the fire box.  With the picture of the pit, the above description of my plan, ingredients, and equipment. What would be the first 2 recipes and techniques you would recommend I try?  I'm hoping to take this project on in 2 weeks. Thanks. :chef:

Bruce
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2006, 07:13:38 PM »
Bruce,

You definitely have the proper wardrobe! The Dalmatian is a great accessory. Bottom of your crust should look a little like his coat.  :)

Seriously, first thing you want to do is to fire up the pit to the max and see what temps you can maintain - specifically what is the surface temp of the tiles and the surrounding air temp. For true Neapolitan-style, you also want a source of radiant heat on the top of the pie to cook the toppings. The name of the game is to cook the pizza as quickly as possible. You don't want the crust to overcook waiting for the toppings to be done.

If Neapolitan-style is what you're after, we should continue over on the Neapolitan forum.

Your good friend,

Bill/SFNM


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2006, 07:28:31 PM »
Bruce,

I have a few thoughts on the matter but can you tell us the highest temperature you can get out of your oven and what the temperatures would be at the tiles level and also the ambient air surrounding the tiles after one-half hour pre-heat?

Peter

Offline bdcbbq

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 07:32:41 AM »
The burner is a high pressure burner. I can spit a large flame out 2 foot tall and turn the grates bright red  >:D I'm sure I can hit up to 1000º, maybe higher. I do plan to put tiles on the rack above. I can adjust the space between racks to about 4 inches so cooking the top should work.
Bruce
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Offline enchant

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006, 09:10:40 AM »
How about this...  A thread or page dedicated to troubleshooting failed dough.  If we beginners truly believe that we've followed the instructions to the letter but we're still having problems, it would be nice to have a section that might offer solutions without having to pester you guys with the same questions over and over.

For example:
Too elasticky (won't stay stretched)
Tears too easily
Lumpy

Suggestions to common problems could be given.
--pat--


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2006, 09:35:56 AM »
Bruce,

Do you have an IR thermometer? I'd really want to do a dry run by firing up the pit and seeing exactly what the surface temp of the lower and upper tiles are. I've been aiming for a deck temp of 900F-950F. I'm not sure that the upper tiles are going to radiate down as much heat as you'll need.

Here's the dilemma: Are you going to keep the door closed while baking to reduce heat loss?  How will you know when the pizza is done? Visual cues are available: amount of charring on the bottom of the crust, charring on the rim, melting/bubbling/charring of the toppings. But you need to open the door to get this info. And none of these cues really tell you whether the crust is done to perfection. You will only know that when you bite into it. The only way is just practice, practice, practice. I always make a few extra dough balls so I can get a little more practice with each firing of the oven. IMO, the best approach, especially for someone like you with so much experience with your pit, it to quickly get to the point where you have complete control over the baking environment so that that variable is fixed and then you can play around with different dough formulas, kneading/fermenting regimens, and baking times.

It is worth the effort. I still have a long way to go, but am nailing it more often than not.

Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 09:37:29 AM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline bdcbbq

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2006, 09:56:17 AM »
I don't have an IR thermometer. I've never had the need for one. Learning the pit temperature won't be that much of a problem once I can measure it a couple of times. I know that opening will cause some heat loss and the day I begin experimenting I can easily make a bunch of dough. I do have lots of room to add tiles/bricks for heat. Where can I get an IR thermometer that is reasonably inexpensive. I did a quick google and found some, but they are more than I would prefer to spend.
Bruce
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2006, 10:17:27 AM »
Yeah, the good ones aren't cheap, but the price has come down a lot since I bought mine 5 years ago. I checked out Ebay and saw some real cheap ones, but the temp range is too low. You want something that will read to at least 1000F.

Sounds like you have a plan. Keep us informed, please.

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2006, 10:30:14 AM »
I've been happy with this one.Not quite a 1000 deg.+,but adequate enough.The price is good.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Raytek-NEW-MiniTemp-Laser-Thermometer-MT6_W0QQitemZ4468130246QQihZ001QQcategoryZ42291QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2006, 10:38:15 AM »
Bruce,

I am not a grill/outdoor oven specialist but there are several members who are, and hopefully more of them will step forward to help you in your pizza project. However, I believe that you have many options available to you. You not only should be able to use the tiles you mentioned but you should also be able to use the racks without the tiles. There are likely to be many more tile options open to you in terms of dough formulations because almost any good dough should work on tiles. What is more likely to be the factor that governs success is the oven itself and the skill and experience of the oven tender. By contrast, doughs intended to be baked directly on racks are often designed for that specific purpose, as by the selection of flours and/or hydration levels that will facilitate ease of handling when working with the doughs on the grill. For example, if a dough is too thin, soft and overly hydrated, it can droop between the spacings of the grill rods.

As a start, you may want to take a look at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,556.msg5127/topicseen.html#msg5127. In particular, you may want to look at the post on the Al Forno grilled pizza, at Reply 5. I noticed today that the link in Reply 5 to the Scotto-Gonzo grilled pizza recipe is no longer active, but I did a Google search and was able to find the Scotto dough recipe at http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Fresco%20pizza%20crust%20(grill) (you will have to cut and paste this one in your address bar top get it to work properly) and also at http://www.pizzatoday.com/makeline_articles.shtml?article=MTNzdXBlcjEwc2VjcmV0MTc=. If you would like to grill a pizza directly on a rack, I would recommend one of the two abovementioned recipes because of their specific application to the grill environment and because of the stature of Al Forno (the Germonds) and the disciple Scotto in that specialty. I’m sure that there are many other possible recipes and manbe some of our members who have successfully grilled pizzas directly on racks may offer up their favorite dough recipes, but this is where I would start. Through experimentation, you will have to determine how workable the recipes are with your particular oven arrangement and management.

To grill pizzas directly on the tiles, I think there are many possible choices for dough recipes, but since you have the Caputo Pizzeria flour, I would perhaps consider a Caputo dough recipe. I assume that you do not wish to use a natural preferment at this juncture so you may want to limit yourself to using commercial yeast until you are ready to advance to using preferments. You may even be able to experiment with the dough recipe that Bill/SFNM is using but substitute commercial yeast for the natural preferment he uses. Otherwise, the two logical choices are a same-day Caputo dough (which is the classical approach used by pizzaioli in Naples) or a cold fermented Caputo dough. Since there are so many possibilities, I will do some checking of the recipes on the forum and recommend a couple that you might want to play around with. Of course, you don't have to be limited to a 00 dough. NY styles and many others should work also.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2006, 03:03:52 PM »
Bruce,

Following up on my last post, I have come up with a few possible candidates for a Caputo 00 Pizzeria dough. I will forewarn you, however, that the proposed recipes are primarily for use in connection with a standard home oven. The Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour is specifically intended for use with a high-temperature oven (preferably a Neapolitan wood-fired oven) and is not particularly well adapted to the standard home oven. This has not deterred the folks on this forum with standard home ovens from trying to adapt the Caputo flour to their humble kitchen ovens but to do so has necessitated changes to the formulation (mainly in hydration levels and the use of oil in the dough) to get acceptable results. With your oven temperatures, I would rather see you attempt a standard Neapolitan Caputo 00 Pizzeria dough formulation, such as I believe Bill/SFNM is using, but substituting commercial yeast for the natural preferment Bill uses. In Naples, the most common commercial yeast used is fresh yeast. You can use that if it is reasonably available to you or you can substitute IDY for fresh yeast (at one-third of the weight of the fresh yeast).

To get your feet wet, you might take a look at the same-day dough formulation at Reply 51 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2088.40.html. You can use the ingredient sequencing procedures outlined in the preceding posts (water, yeast, flour/salt and oil), although my preferred sequencing method, fashioned along the lines of Neapolitan practice, is described in detail in Reply 94 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.new.html#new. In your case, with your oven temperatures and with proper oven management, you should be able to omit the oil from the formulation. The oil is primarily intended for home oven use. You may also be able to increase the amount of water a bit, to, say, 61%, as set forth in Reply 94. In fact, if you’d like, you can use the formulation set forth in Reply 94 and substitute commercial yeast for the natural preferment. You will have to adjust the fermentation times, however, to accommodate the substitution of the commercial yeast. In Naples, for example, a total fermentation time of about 7-8 hours is common, with a 2-4 hour initial rise and a second 4-6 hours rise, both at room temperature (preferably around 65 degrees F), with a punchdown in between.

In terms of a cold-fermented Caputo 00 dough, which some U.S. pizza establishments use, such as A16 in San Francisco, you might consider the dough formulation set forth at the A16 thread at Reply 62 at page 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.60.html. For instructions, you may want to use those set forth at Reply 71, at page 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.60.html, as later modified at Reply 265, at page 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.260.html

Whichever dough formulation you use, for best results, you may want to plan on making enough dough at a single time, for several pizzas, rather than an amount for just a single pizza, as I usually do for my experiments. This is the advice given to me by pizzanapoletana (Marco), our member expert on authentic Neapolitan dough, and also by member pieguy, the author of the dough formulation set forth at Reply 62 referenced above.

Once you read the above posts, I think you will come to at least two conclusions. One, that we are all crazy. And, two, there is no such thing as a “Caputo 00 Pizzeria Dough Recipe for Dummies”.

Peter

Offline bdcbbq

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2006, 04:49:28 PM »
Quote from: Pete zza
Once you read the above posts, I think you will come to at least two conclusions. One, that we are all crazy.


I don't need to read the posts to know this. I'm on 5 BBQ lists, 2 sausage-making list, home-butchering, LTH Forum, Chili, Mexican Cooking, and 5 other sites and lists not associated with food. Besides, according to my wife, anything I'm involved in is crazy.  :o ;D

Bruce
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Offline enchant

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2006, 05:10:31 PM »
I'm on 5 BBQ lists, 2 sausage-making list, home-butchering, LTH Forum, Chili, Mexican Cooking, and 5 other sites and lists not associated with food.

Where do you live?  I want to move next door.
;)
--pat--

Offline bdcbbq

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2006, 06:40:41 PM »
South Bend, IN, The land of restaurant chains and mediocrity in everything except Notre Dame.   :)
Bruce
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Offline billneild

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Re: How about a new section?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2006, 09:52:04 PM »
I have to pass right by South Bend on my way from Roch. NY to Wisconsin in a few weeks.  I'll wave to you.

Not that it will make much difference, but if you have any trouble with the crusts not coming out quite right remember that propane combustion gives off water vapor.  This may or may not have an impact on reproducing the results of an electric oven.  At least some people seem to be able to turn out nice looking pies on a plain old gas grill.

Good luck!

Bill