Author Topic: Best Yet  (Read 12121 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2006, 12:47:08 AM »
Scott:

Where in Boston can you purchase the "fresh" ricotta from calabro?

Also, Purity Cheese in the North End makes a very good ricotta.





My favorite store , Salumeria italiana.  Just about every single item they sell seems to be the best product of that type that I can find.

http://www.salumeriaitaliana.com/

Sicilian oregano, La Regina San Marzano's, Buffalo mozzarella that is always fresh, Grande mozzarella, Prosciutto that never has that funny taste, high quality olive oil, the list goes on and on.  Any pizza maker would love it there!  I get the feeling that the buyer for that place has really good taste.  You do pay top dollar, but it is the only Italian specialty store that I have found that really has the freshest of the fresh ingredients all the time.  I think it really helps them to be in Little Italy where the products are always moving.

At one point in time I was buying the ricotta from Purity, and yes, it was excellent.  I think it was very close to the quality of the calabro fresh ricotta.  Before I became fully addicted to buffalo mozzarella I did a fresh mozzarella shootout and I actually preferred their mozzarella to calabro.  I think Grande won that shootout if I remember correctly.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 01:27:29 AM by scott r »


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2006, 04:20:54 AM »
About Forno Napoletano:

These are professionally built oven for commercial pizzeria. The small model (105cm) is ideal for serious home user.

The important thing to remeber is the Forno Napoletano's ovesn are built without compromises and are not like cheaper models, (prefabricated ones- with 3-4 cast pieces dome glued together). Their three models are the best ever Pizza Oven on the market, no context with a self built one or other makers.

Ciao

Offline josteh

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2006, 05:13:06 PM »
Thanks alot for your responses. I have been checking out the www.sfallestimenti.it site and I am awaiting information on the mobile version.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 I thought I had pretty good knowlegde of the pizza napoletana history and pizza making in general, but after reading a lot of the comments posted in this forum (especially from Marco) I understand I am not even a rookie ;D Anyway, this is definately a good resource for learning more (which I obviously need if I am lucky enough to realize my napoli oven plans).

Ciao da Norvegia

j.

Offline David

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2006, 07:33:08 PM »
Followed your lead tonight Bill!Fist pic is of 90 sec pizza after 41/2 hrs heat up.The other is a 90 sec after 5 hr heat up.Deck was approx 775 deg.Frst pie needed a little more time IMO.Still nowhere near where I want to be with my cell structure in the crust though.Decent spring,but maybe my camadoli could have needed a couple more days of feeding?This was the same regime as you Bill with a room temp. rise.
Regards,
                           David

Still trying to slap my dough without the video instructions !
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2006, 07:55:43 PM »
David,

Looks good!

What is the deal with the barrier between the fire and the pies? I use one of those (iron) when baking bread when I don't want radiated heat from the coals. When baking a pie, I want as much heat as possible from all sources.

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2006, 09:13:50 PM »
It's a piece of stainless steel angle Bill,left over from when I was building my oven.As I rarely cook more than four Pizzas at any given time i leave i in the oven as i've got lots of room and it makes keeping the cooking area clean easier.I've never considered that it may affect the heat flows?I know some of the Oven manufacturers sell something similar in cast iron to do the same job,so i just asumed it wouldn't be a negative.Playing around with some of the extra dough I had tonight and moving it from one room to another,I believe the subtle changes in room temperatures had some play on the outcome of some pizzas I made later on.I know it has been said before about using three different rooms / times for room temp rises,and this is an area that I think should be exploring further.Like I believe Marco has said about Salvo,"he takes extra care of the little things" and that is what has made the difference.For us it's often a matter of discovering what the elements are!! ;)
                                           Regards,
                                                         David
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline scott r

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2006, 01:44:37 AM »
david, I have also read marco's comments about different phases of room temps and have experimented.  I could be crazy but I have found that the pies do seem to turn out somewhat better if I start cool, and get gradually warmer as the dough sits, but I have no idea about any actual scientific background related to this .  I am sure Marco knows why this might be better (or not).  This is why I have commented to bill many times about his good luck with room temp to fridge proofing with surprise.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2006, 06:19:37 AM »
This is why I have commented to bill many times about his good luck with room temp to fridge proofing with surprise.
Scott,

I'm sure there are many things I am doing wrong (little and big). Therefore, there is potential for great improvement in my pies. I can't wait to see where this path of acquiring more skill and less luck will lead.  :chef:

Bill/SFNM

Offline zandonatti

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flaccid dough using caputo and camaldoli
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2007, 07:23:49 PM »
Bill,

   I've tried the recipe listed (hydration 62-64, caputo flour 100%, camaldoli starter 10%, salt 2.5%) and each time the dough turns out flaccid and hard to handle.  It actually tastes ok (not great), but it is nearly impossible to stretch with.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?  My starter is very alive: I take it out of the fridge, feed it, and in about 1.5 hours it's practically jumping out of the jar.

I tried much shorter ferment times: 2 hours after kneading at room temp, then 18 hours in fridge, then 2 more at room temp, and same problem.  (Of course I also tried it using the hours you recommend with the same results).

I'd be grateful if you can set me straight.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2007, 07:43:51 PM »
Could you please elaborate on "flaccid". With regard to "hard to handle", I would agree that it can be a little sticky, but the way you mix your ingredients could make a big difference. What is your kneading procedure? At the point it is time to shape the dough, my dough is very soft and light and is easily shaped with a minimum of pressure. What is yours like?

I'll try to help in any way I can.

Bill/SFNM


Offline scpizza

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Re: flaccid dough using caputo and camaldoli
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2007, 08:01:52 PM »
   I've tried the recipe listed (hydration 62-64, caputo flour 100%, camaldoli starter 10%, salt 2.5%) and each time the dough turns out flaccid and hard to handle.  It actually tastes ok (not great), but it is nearly impossible to stretch with.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?  My starter is very alive: I take it out of the fridge, feed it, and in about 1.5 hours it's practically jumping out of the jar.

In addition to proper mixing as Bill points out, I see some other potential problems with what you are doing:

- With starter percentages in the double digits, you need to be mindful of your starter hydration and factor that in so your overall hydration is correct.  If you don't your final dough could be much wetter than 62-64 and you wouldn't know it.
- One should never use a starter right out of the fridge.  Wash/feed several times.
- 1.5 hours is not enough time for a starter to get fully active and consume all the food you've given it.  Think more like 6 hours.

Offline zandonatti

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2007, 08:20:09 PM »
Bill,

   By flaccid I mean very, very relaxed.  It is vey soft, and stretches so easily that I find I cannot form it without making one or two spots that are so thin that they often tear on the peel or in the oven.  And getting it off the floured surface onto the peel is often a real ordeal--the dough is so loose I can't really pick up any portion of it without risking a tear.

  I am pretty naive about these things, but is it possible my environment is a problem.  I live in the wine country in California, surrounded by vineyards.  It is usually very, very dry here, and we are at 1400 feet.

The pie almost always cooks up very well; my wood oven is usually aound 900+, and the thing cooks in under a minute.  The crust comes out nice and puffy on the outside and thinner in the center.

A couple of other details:  I'm using a Hobart 3 speed mixer.  I run it on the lowest speed with the dough hook.  When I'm done with mixing, the dough is pretty wet and just shy of sticky.

Thanks very much for your help.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2007, 08:27:07 PM »
Based on the great points by scpizza, I think we should look closer at the weight of eachof your ingredients. When I say 10% starter, I mean 10% of the total dough weight. So, for example, if I'm going to make 6 pies of 300g per pie, that would be a total dough weight of 1800 grams, giving a starter weight of 180g. All other ingredients are specified as a percentage of the flour weight. The total hydration amount includes the amount of water in the starter.

Bill/SFNM

Offline zandonatti

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2007, 08:47:42 PM »
Bill,

  I've been thinking more about my problem, and am now remembering that I do not have this problem if I use the same recipe but use commercial yeast instead of my starter.  So this must be where my problem is.

   I am confident that I have everything right in terms of percentages EXCEPT the composition of the starter.  I originally tried to keep track of flour vs water, but had to give up on that when the thing got too dry or too wet.  It has the consistency of thick batter, so I've been guessing and using 50/50 (water/flour) as my starter composition numbers.   But if I were off one way or the other, wouldn't the dough be either too wet or too dry after mixing?

  The other thing that caught my attention from scpizza is his assertion that I should wait 6 hours after feeding to use the starter.  I take it out of the fridge, feed it, and am then using it an hour or two laterr.  So I'm using a starter that has not yet "consumed all the food I've given it".

BTW, this whole process is very similar to winemaking.  The theoretical is almost always trumped by the empirical, and the empirical is a moving target!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2007, 10:15:20 PM »
I am confident that I have everything right in terms of percentages EXCEPT the composition of the starter.  I originally tried to keep track of flour vs water, but had to give up on that when the thing got too dry or too wet.  It has the consistency of thick batter, so I've been guessing and using 50/50 (water/flour) as my starter composition numbers.   But if I were off one way or the other, wouldn't the dough be either too wet or too dry after mixing?

scpizza makes a good point about the hydration of the starter and its possible effects on the overall dough. My observation from reading posts on the forum is that many members use volume measurements of the flour and water when preparing and refreshing their preferments. As an example, the refreshment might be a half a cup of water and a half a cup of flour. Some may think of that as being a 50/50 mix. It is by volume, but because water weighs quite a bit more than flour, the actual hydration (the weight of water divided by the weight of flour) is around 174%. A 50/50 mix by weight is 100% hydration. Like Bill, I prefer to use the percent water because it is easier for me (and, I suspect for most people) to grasp conceptually. For example, Bill often uses a 46/54 mix, meaning that his mix is 46% water and 54% flour. He also uses an amount of starter expressed in relation to total dough weight. I usually express my preferment as a percent of total formular flour. It doesn't really matter whether one uses volume or weight measurements in starting and refreshing starters or how one expresses the preferment so long as one is consistent and knows the quantities used. Otherwise it will be difficult to achieve consistency and reproducibility of doughs under any method.

If perchance one doesn't know what the precise makeup of the starter is, then it will be necessary to make adjustments in the bowl, by adding more or less flour or water.

Peter

Offline scpizza

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2007, 09:46:05 AM »
   By flaccid I mean very, very relaxed.  It is vey soft, and stretches so easily that I find I cannot form it without making one or two spots that are so thin that they often tear on the peel or in the oven.

A word of caution here to caveat my own advice.  The suggestions I made in regard to starter handling are for maximum yeast activity which is needed for the low % starter procedure I use for my dough.

For the high % starter procedure you are aiming toward if you have fully active yeast I suspect you'll need to keep the dough well refrigerated with little room temp time or it will over-rise.  In fact the symptoms you are describing could indicate over-risen dough.

You really need to take into account the whole picture of starter management (times, temperatures, and concentrations) along with dough management (times, temperatures, and concentrations) because it is all interrelated.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2007, 10:40:36 AM »
Another word of caution here: it can be tricky to generalize about how much time it takes for a starter to be active after feeding and how to recognize it. Different starters exhibit behavior. As my Ischia starter has matured, it has become one of the most interesting in terms of activation. After feeding, it seems quite dead for at least 6 hours, then the volume increases suddenly. Few if any bubbles are visible on the  surface. Rather, the entire starter has become uniformly light and fluffy. Likewise, during fermentation, dough made with this starter doesn't show any activity for a long time, sometimes as long as 8 hours, but then the volume dramatically increases. Other starters are much more linear. Also, if I put a fermented dough in the refrigerator, most other starters continue to rise for a bit as they cool down. For some reason, the Ischia seems to almost immediately cease it's rapid rise.

All very interesting.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2007, 06:03:46 PM »
Less is More

So I've been going back and forth and up and down trying to nail down the interdependencies between hydration, mixing protocol, starter amount, fermenting/proofing times, etc. One thing is certain - very small changes at this point can make a big difference in the final texture and taste. Although I still have a long way to go, I have to withdraw my original statement in this thread (and my tagline) that wetter is better. After a few dozen pies at different hydration levels, It seems that for my methods and tastes, that around 62% is optimal. Of course, there are all kinds of things that effect the absorption of water by the flour (sifting, resting periods, etc.), but I have been able to achieve the most consistent results with the 62% hydration, no sifting, 75%/25% addition of flour after 5 minute rest, 20 minute riposo at the end of kneading. An added benefit is that the drier dough is easier to handle.

I have also had success in improving the flavor by reducing the amount of starter allowing for longer fermentation/proofing. Before I was using 10% starter by total weight. I slowly cranked that down to 5% with a 18 hour room temp ferment and 6 hour proof.

This picture of a slice of Lolita is from today: 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 06:06:02 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2007, 06:26:28 PM »
I have been able to achieve the most consistent results with the 62% hydration, no sifting, 75%/25% addition of flour after 5 minute rest, 20 minute riposo at the end of kneading.

Bill,

As a point of clarification, in the statement quoted above do you mean that you add 75% of the flour before the 5 minute rest and the remaining 25% after the 5 minute rest?

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Best Yet
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2007, 06:54:13 PM »
Bill,

As a point of clarification, in the statement quoted above do you mean that you add 75% of the flour before the 5 minute rest and the remaining 25% after the 5 minute rest?

Peter

Peter,

To clarify:

1. Put water in bowl of mixer
2. Dissolve salt in water
3. Dump in 75% of flour
4. Mix until combined
5. Rest for 5 minutes
6. Mix in starter
7. Slowly sprinkle in remaining 25% of flour
8. Knead for about 7 minutes until desired texture is reached
9. Rest of 20 minutes
10. Mix for 2 turns

Bill/SFNM