Author Topic: Article in Cooks Illustrated  (Read 7911 times)

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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2006, 09:24:21 AM »
I DID NOT READ THE MENTIONED ARTICLE!

However, from reading your discussion, I can conclude that it another misleading article. It will probably help inexperienced reader to bake a nice pizza in their oven setting but also create a wrong perception of what a pizza napoletana is!

.."straight from Naples"... or something like that??? probably the author has never been in Naples!

Ciao


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2006, 10:28:15 AM »
Thank you for the nice compliment, Bill.

gschwim,

I may be one of the last ones on this forum to ask about authentic Neapolitan pizzas. I have never been to Naples and the only “Neapolitan” pizzas I have eaten outside of my home were Americanized versions that were not baked in an authentic Neapolitan wood-fired oven. So, I don’t have a good frame of reference with which to compare the “simulated” versions made from combinations of all-purpose and other flours. However, the premise of the CI article is to offer the CI readership a way of making a pretty good “Neapolitan-style” pizza without much effort or requiring 00 flour or a very high-temperature oven. And, to that extent, the CI article accomplishes that goal. Before I found a reliable source of 00 flours, I used similar flour combinations as described in the CI article and was generally pleased with the results. But when I found the Bel Aria flour, which, at the time, was the only 00 flour I could find at the retail level, I switched to it because I wanted a more authentic dough making experience (even though I didn’t have the right oven).

My view is that if one cannot find a local source of 00 flour, or if one is unwilling or unable for any reason to order the flour from someone who will have to ship it to them, then using combinations of all-purpose and other flours is an acceptable alternative. But one shouldn’t think that they have exactly replicated a 00 flour or an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough.

To the extent that one decides to use a flour combination, I do not believe that it really matters which combination of flours is used. Pamela Sheldon Johns was one of the more prominent cookbook authors to recommend using combinations of flours, including all-purpose flour and pastry flour (at page 39 of her book Pizza Napoletana !), and all-purpose and cake flour. My personal favorite after trying several combinations was a combination of bread flour and pastry flour (2 parts all-purpose to 1 part pastry flour). I recently posted a link to a dough recipe that I used with good results, based on a combination of 3 parts all-purpose flour and 1 part cake flour, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,702.msg6358.html#msg6358. (I personally believe that one of the problem the CI author was having with the crust being too soft and “cakey” was because of the high ratio of cake flour to all-purpose flour and the use of a fair amount of sugar, along with a high hydration ratio.)

One experiment that might be tried is to substitute 00 flour for all of the flour in the CI dough recipe. I would only use the Bel Aria (or equivalent) 00 flour, and not the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour (although the Caputo Extra Blue 00 flour may work). In so doing, I would reduce the hydration to around 56% and either reduce the amount of sugar or eliminate it completely (although so doing may result in a light colored crust). I would also just add the IDY to the flour rather than hydrating it, which would be an unnecessary additional step. And, contrary to the oft recited instructions to knead the dough for a long time, I would knead the dough for the shortest time possible so as not to overly develop the gluten. The final formulation would be similar to the one I have used to make the Last-Minute pizzas that I discussed in an earlier post.

As for your remaining comments on the linking of posts, I have tried to do that—and also to provide Reply numbers--but unfortunately it was not until recently that, through a tip from fellow member enchant (Pat), that I learned how to create a link so that it would lead to the exact post in the thread in which it appeared. I plan to post on the Forum board soon on how this can be done. Your suggestion of having a recipes section is a good one at first blush, but there are literally hundreds of dough recipes on this forum, and to find them and organize them in some logical and useful manner (some are even scattered among several posts) would be a major undertaking—and one that would have to be maintained on a going-forward basis. Not many members are in a position to be able to volunteer to do this.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 05:50:19 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline gschwim

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2006, 12:54:52 PM »
Thanks, Pete.  I take your point about the difficulty of gathering up all the existing recipes to put them in one place.  But what about going forward?  Would it be possible to say never mind about current and past recipes, but start compiling new recipes in a dedicated thread or department beginning say, one week or one month from today?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2006, 01:39:45 PM »
gschwim,

What you suggest may be doable but it would be Steve's call, as administrator, and he would likely have to appoint someone with the capability to create, manage and maintain the new thread(s). And that person would have to be one who will be around for a while to do the job and not abandon it, as can easily happen in a community forum such as ours where members come and go all the time. As things now stand, our members typically post their new recipes under one of the many styles, such as New York, Chicago, Neapolitan, American, etc. Quite often, photos accompany the text materials and it may take several posts to cover a particular recipe. So, it would still be a lot of work to organize things. And the software would have to prevent people from posting in the recipes section instead of one of the aforementioned categories.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2006, 02:08:57 PM »
I have a little difficulty about the whole concept of "recipes" for pizza dough. Not that there is anything wrong with recipes and not that pizza dough is this mysterious art that requires magic skills beyind those of mere mortals. What I mean is that mastery of pizza is as much about process as it is about ingredients and simple directions. We could assign everyone on this forum the exact same recipe and ask them to bake up a pie and I can guarantee you that the results will vary widely. And that would even be the case with no preferments in the recipe.

So you post a recipe that works perfectly for you. It might serve as a good starting point for a newbie, but where do they go from there. I think we would serve the goal of advancing the art and science of pizza making much better if we placed less emphasis on formulas and more on important principles like:

1. Why pizza dough is NOT like bread? (the more I understand this one, the better my pies get)
2. What are the different kinds of flours available and how and why are they used in different kinds of pies and ovens.
3. What happens when you combine flour and water and how you can use this to your advantage (mixing, autolyzing, riposo, etc.)?
4. What is the effect of salt on leavening process.
5. What is the difference between a biga, poolish, preferment, starter, etc.?
6. What kinds of mixers are "best" for pizza and why?
etc., etc.

All of this information is covered in dribs and drabs throughout this forum and the glossary. I've lobbied before for a FAQ and have even volunteered to contribute to it. This effort seems more worthwhile than a collection of recipes.

my 2 cents.

Bill/SFNM


Offline bdcbbq

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2006, 07:48:04 PM »


So you post a recipe that works perfectly for you. It might serve as a good starting point for a newbie, but where do they go from there. I think we would serve the goal of advancing the art and science of pizza making much better if we placed less emphasis on formulas and more on important principles like:

1. Why pizza dough is NOT like bread? (the more I understand this one, the better my pies get)
2. What are the different kinds of flours available and how and why are they used in different kinds of pies and ovens.
3. What happens when you combine flour and water and how you can use this to your advantage (mixing, autolyzing, riposo, etc.)?
4. What is the effect of salt on leavening process.
5. What is the difference between a biga, poolish, preferment, starter, etc.?
6. What kinds of mixers are "best" for pizza and why?
etc., etc.

All of this information is covered in dribs and drabs throughout this forum and the glossary. I've lobbied before for a FAQ and have even volunteered to contribute to it. This effort seems more worthwhile than a collection of recipes.

my 2 cents.

Bill/SFNM



I'll add 2 more cents  :)

As a newbie trying to learn more, and FAQ would be a nice read. I know the work involved would sure tax the time of those who volunteer. Right now, I'm just reading current posts and reviewing historical threads on NY and Neapolitan styles so I can choose which one to have as my first project.


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Offline Lydia

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2006, 02:40:55 PM »
Bill, I agree to the list you prepose

I feel that there is a manageable set of "core recipes" that already exsist. These are "referenced" and "requested" often and have even developed there own names, usually referencing the initial or final developer and it's style ( e.g "Randy's Thin Crust"). We could easily attach a link to the orignating and any follow-up threads in the "core formula/recipe".

It also seems that newcomers do want to start reading the thread from it's conception.


******
I have been tempted to just start a thread and let Steve use what he wants. I assume other will just jump in and help once it gets going.

I have a couple things holding me back.

I primarily speak "female". This site is male dominate.
AND
Although I've been making pizza forever and a day, I don't have as much experience with many of the techniques covered within this forum.
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Offline gschwim

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2006, 03:07:24 PM »
Actually, Lydia has hit on the real problem, and the best solution.  As a newcomer, I can get along without a collection of all the recipes in one place.  The real -- and irritating -- problem is that, often, in a comment, someone will say something like, "I tried So-and-So's variation of the Lehman recipe.  Well, the Lehman recipe is easy to find at the Pizza Recipe link, but what on earth is "So-and-So's variation of the Lehman recipe?"  Where can I find that?  And by "find," I mean quickly and easily enough not to have to significantly interrupt my reading of the comment containing the reference.

Old hands on this site casually refer to recipes, and variations of recipes, as if everyone is familiar with them, but some of us -- newcomers -- are not.  For example, I occasionally come across references to a dough recipe by a poster named "Canadave."  After two several-minute tries, I've given up my search for the elusive Canadave dough recipe.

So... forget the separate recipe section.  But if posters, when referring to recipes, could provide a link to that recipe, it would be very helpful and much appreciated.  And (hate to sound like such a complainer) by recipe, I mean recipe, not the top of a thread of perhaps hundreds of comments though which I must search and not only find the recipe, but in the case of a thread containing more than one recipe, figure out which of them is the one being referred to.

Thanks.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2006, 04:51:26 PM »
It is difficult in a member-driven forum whose content evolves daily and in often-unexpected ways to maintain order in its content. As this forum, we rely on indexing, the use of a Pizza Glossary (http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html), a Recipe page of some of the best recipes (http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_recipes.html), a basic “search” feature (in the form of a button at the top of each page), an “Advanced search” feature (accessed through the search button), and other features under the Forum topics board. The Advanced search feature is one of my favorites. I use it every day to find things. I like it so much I even wrote a post on how to use it, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3101.0.html.

In addition, as a Moderator, one of my chores is to see that posts are in the right place, and to move them around (or delete them) if necessary. Also, both Steve and I and others have more than once reorganized the entire content of the forum from an indexing standpoint (and rearranged posts) to make it more user friendly and easier to access. I agree with you that it would be nice if posters were more explicit and thoughtful in their posts in referencing other threads, posts, etc., but not all posters do that. Also, much of what is written on this forum is truly evolutionary in nature and it is not at all uncommon to find a single recipe morph into something new and take several pages of a thread to cover. In fact, it is perhaps much more uncommon to find a given recipe with instructions, photos, etc., all in one place. Even all the recipes for 00 “clones”, such as the one in the CI article that lead to this digression, are scattered in different posts on the forum.

As for Canadave’s recipe, I did a search using the Advanced search feature and promptly found it. It is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html. If you are interested in a Lehmann recipe, the ones I have worked on are, by intention, pretty much in one place, starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.0.html. My work with the Lehmann recipe evolved over a long period of time and led to a long thread, which prompted me to create a “roadmap” to the more pertinent Lehmann recipes. The roadmap is updated and improved regularly to track the many variations of the basic Lehmann dough formulation. (See http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.0.html).

I think that you will get the hang of the forum and its organization and tools the more time you spend at the forum. When I first joined the forum, I read every post. That would be tougher to do today because of the increased number of posts, and I don’t necessarily recommend that others do so, but I suspect I would still do it, but in manageable chunks.

Peter

Offline Arizona Zip

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2006, 06:49:25 PM »
Regarding the Cook's Illustrated article: Although the official article is available on their website only via subscription, bloggers have posted the recipe, and their results:

http://bakingsheet.blogspot.com/2006/06/perfect-pizza-crust.html
http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/14/cooking-live-with-slashfood-pizza-margherita/

I think the above are from the same person, but the content is different. Good photos, and good comments from readers, too (in fact, that's where I learned of pizzamaking.com, woohoo!)


Cooksrecipes.com has a similar cake flour recipe, but with overnight rise:
http://www.cooksrecipes.com/bread/neopolitan-pizza-dough-recipe.html


I've learned not to discount Cook's Illustrated's recipes. They are often unconventional (sometimes absurdly so), but the results are often impressive.

-AZ





Offline Lydia

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2006, 01:51:40 PM »
Thanks AZ

Appreciate the links.  :)
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Offline Arizona Zip

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2006, 09:46:13 PM »
I tried the CI recipe last night. I think that if I were a first-time pizza maker I would have been thrilled with the results.

I followed the recipe pretty closely (with the exception of incorporating a measly 5 minute autolyse while, umm, beer was being located). The resulting dough was pretty easy to handle, although more elastic than I'd expected so I ended up with a thicker crust than I'd expected. It was less than 90 minutes from pulling the ingredients out of the cupboards to pulling a baked pie out of the oven.

In cross-section, the resulting crust is beautiful - light and airy, with lots of big pockets (photo). Flavor was OK, but certainly not very complex. But it was surprisingly tough, and didn't develop any lovely dark spots by the time the cheese was starting to burn (I think oven time was about 7 minutes). I suspect my preheat was insufficient, as it's in the high 90's out here and I wasn't crazy about warming up the kitchen any more than necessary. And the beer drinkers were demanding food, which may have been a distracting factor...

Regardless, the results were encouraging enough that I'm going try it again (I've been looking for some way to use up my cake flour anyway), possibly incorporating autolyse, certainly letting the dough rest  to relax as needed, and paying closer attention to the oven temperature. Maybe even an overnight rise. And less beer.

-AZ





Offline oldnewbie

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2006, 11:24:34 AM »
AZ

WOW. That looks wonderful. I'm going to play with this one. The only problem I have with it is that the idea of cleaning dough out of my food procceor makes me look longingly at Wonderbread and DiGiorno :)

Offline varasano

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2006, 12:51:36 PM »
I usually like CI, but this recipe, like so many pizza recipes out in the world, is strictly for amatuers with low expectations.

Jeff

Offline bakerbill

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2006, 04:12:54 PM »
Certainly the article in CI is much more sophisticated than the typical pizza article in popular magazines. And the author should be credited for going to such lengths to develop a better pizza, a goal that this web site is constantly trying to achieve. I read the article avidly looking for his formula for success. However, when all is said and done, I just wish the author would have said that the gold standard, or as close to it as one can get in this country, relies on Caputo flour and a brick oven. In brief, I thought the author was a bit over his head in trying to design the better Neapolitan.

Offline ralph

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2006, 08:44:20 PM »
OK folks, I need help.  I'm a rookie that has a wood-fired oven.  When my chef trained wife and I read the CI article, the question was "We do have one, how do we tweak the dough?".  I run other peoples money for a living, so pardon my question that's probably way to elementary for this forum, but is there a 900 degree recipe that is better than the standard recipe we got with our oven?  FYI, now we tend to use a bosch and grind our own

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2006, 09:03:02 PM »
What is the "standard" recipe that came with your oven?

Bill/SFNM

Offline varasano

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2006, 11:50:05 PM »
Hey ralph,

click the globe under my name an read my high temp recipe.

Jeff

Offline ralph

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Re: Article in Cooks Illustrated
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2006, 08:29:23 PM »
Jeff, That is like getting a free PhD. in high temp.  Thanks tons.  RCE


 

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