Author Topic: Flour and tomatoes  (Read 3903 times)

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Offline Steve

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Flour and tomatoes
« on: May 28, 2004, 02:39:46 PM »
Whoo Hoo!

I was able to buy a case of Stanislaus 7/11 tomatoes and a 25# bag of General Mills "All Trumps" high-gluten flour from the cafeteria at work! I'm paying cost with no S&H charges. ;D
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Offline Pierre

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2004, 03:29:34 PM »
looks like you can start a big Pizza Party!  :D


Are we invited too?!! :o

Pierre

Offline Steve

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2004, 06:17:54 PM »
Yeah, those #10 cans are ~6 pounds!!

Don't know how I'm going to preserve the remaing sauce. Was thinking of using mason jars and freezing it, but not sure how that's going to affect the taste and texture.
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Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2004, 09:06:09 PM »
Don't know if it is true or not, but I was speaking with the owner of a local Italian market in St. Paul about the 6  in 1 they carry. They only had the #10 cans that day and she told me that if I was to immediately freeze the unused portion I should notice no difference. :)
I hope its true, because come to think about it I still have a 6lbs can sitting upstairs right now.
(the day I bought it, my order of 28 oz cans came from escalon.) Isn't that the way it always goes. Well at least I have enough of the 6 in 1 now.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2004, 09:08:05 PM by Foccaciaman »
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 03:58:58 PM »
In a recent post I indicated that I would follow up with the PennMac company about a bad experience that Randy had with a bag of Bel Aria 00 flour he bought from PennMac.  I felt obligated since I had recommended PennMac to Foccaciaman.

I called PennMac today and spoke to Rose, the gal who handles all orders from PennMac.  When I mentioned Randy's experience, she said she vaguely recalled an incident with a bad bag of Bel Aria flour.  She went offline for a minute to discuss the matter with one of the PennMac owners and, when she came back on the line, said that she and the owner could only recall one instance in which someone called them about a bad experience with the Bel Aria flour.  She made it clear that PennMac would stand behind any product sold by it, and admitted that it was possible--although an infrequent occurrence--for one of their products to go bad (e.g., water getting into a bag of flour, bugs, or improper storage).    

Noting that the PennMac website does not allow for volume discounts, I asked her if PennMac was prepared to offer such discounts to members of our forum.  She said that they would if one were to call the 800 number (1-800-223-5928) and ask to speak with her.   I asked her specifically about the Bel Aria flour, and, after doing some checking, she said PennMac would sell it to us for $1.79 per bag in a 10-bag lot, or a total of $17.90.  The regular price is $2.29 a bag.  A bag weighs 1000g, or 2.2 pounds.   Of course, shipping is extra.

Since I had Rose on the line, I also asked her about similar discounts for tomatoes, especially San Marzano tomatoes.  I also took the opportunity to ask her about the Escalon and Stanislaus tomatoes, and about the Grande cheese.  To my surprise, she said that they carried all three brands.  I pointed out to her that none of the three brands was on the PennMac website, and she said that she was going to try to get them on as soon as she can (apparently this is a job that had been assigned to the son of one of the owners).  In the meantime, she is willing to quote prices and to ship those products to those of us who are interested.   Again, it will be necessary to call her at the 800 number.   I know we have other places to go to get the Escalon tomatoes, but few, if any, to go for Stanislaus tomatoes (which I have yet to try).   Rose says that PennMac buys canned tomatoes by railroad car lots, and moves a lot of them, especially to restaurants in the Pittsburg and Philadelphia areas as part of the company's wholesale business.   Of course, you will have to compare prices and shipping costs, especially with cheese, which usually won't ship by ground.  Hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano will, as I can personally attest, having bought some recently from PennMac.  Rose says they cut the cheese fresh from the wheel at the time the order is to ship.  

If anyone is interested in purchasing in volume, then I suggest that you call Rose and try to strike the best deal you can.  It might be a good idea to tell her that "Peter from Texas" referred you, since I have now spoken to her on several occasions and she knows who I am and the existence of our forum.  If you have other products in mind that aren't on the PennMac website, you might also ask her about them since apparently a fair amount of what PennMac sells is not on their website--at least not yet.  It's also possible that they may not carry every line of a particular vendor in which you have interest.

Peter

Offline Steve

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 04:27:14 PM »
In a recent post I indicated that I would follow up with the PennMac company about a bad experience that Randy had with a bag of Bel Aria 00 flour he bought from PennMac.  I felt obligated since I had recommended PennMac to Foccaciaman.

I was the one who had the rancid flour from Pennmac. They sent a bag of unlabelled flour as replacement (it was in a clear plastic bag with no markings), but I did not use it since I was unsure as to what it actually was.  :(
« Last Edit: August 09, 2004, 04:27:35 PM by Steve »
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Online Pete-zza

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2004, 07:32:21 PM »
Steve,

My apologies to you and Randy for the name mixup.  I used neither in my discussions with PennMac.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2004, 03:59:47 PM »
I've recently been working with different variations of Giusto's flour.  First with their bread flour, and now with their high gluten.  I know that Chris Bianco mixes Giusto's, and I don't believe that the reason is only to achieve certain protein levels.  

I notice that Giusto's, in general, is a very dry feeling flour, compared to other flours such as KA, Gold Medal Specialty, and the incredibly cream-like Arrowhead, regardless of protein levels.  I seem to get a very light crust when I work with Giusto's and other similar dry flours.

Outside of my own experiences with dry vs. more enriched feeling flours, I'm wondering if their are any technical explanations that one can expect from their resulting doughs.  
« Last Edit: August 21, 2004, 04:06:03 PM by giotto »

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2004, 06:59:04 PM »
Giotto,

Lately I have been trying to get my mind around the issue of protein versus gluten content, particularly with respect to 00 flour, where data on protein and gluten content is either unreliable or available only by going to the millers that mill the flour--and they are all in Italy.  To give you an example, 00 flours are very fine in texture, actually talcum powder-like.  This can mislead one into thinking that 00 flours are low in protein.  In some cases, that is true, with some (including King Arthur's 00 "clone") coming in at around 8.5-9% (and the jury is still out on the Bel Aria brand of 00 flour).  But, there are other instances, as with the Caputo brand of 00 flour, that have protein contents of around 11.5-12.5%, hardly a low-protein flour.  I have been in discussions with the importer of the Caputo 00 flour (which, BTW, is widely used by pizzaioli throughout Italy and is considered to be the Cadillac of 00 flours), and part of the explanation appears to relate to the type of wheat, the quality of the wheat (which is often beyond the control of the miller, because of Mother Nature), and the milling of that wheat into what is called 00 flour.  In Italy, flours are graded based on the degree of milling--with designations from 00, 0, 1, 2, etc.,--and not on protein content as it is in the U.S.  So a 00 flour can have almost any amount of protein (within some prescribed limits under Italian law, I'm sure).  Also, a good part of Italian flour comes from soft wheat.  When Italian wheat is milled, the result is a weaker flour with elevated starch content and a diminished insoluble protein content (aka gluten).  The fiber content is also among the lowest for all flours and the ash content, which seems to be of greater interest to European millers than U.S. millers, is similarly low.  It is because of the low protein content generally--and possibly supply/demand issues--that Italian millers import flour from the U.S. and Canada, and combine the imported flours with their own to boost the protein and gluten content.

I think you are likely to find that the nature of the Giusto flour turns on the type of wheat being used, the tightness of the specifications dictated by Giusto to its millers as to the types and quality of the wheat it wants for its flours, and the milling processing used to achieve the desired end product--in terms of protein and starch content, ash content, fiber content, etc.  If it has a lot of starch and little fiber, it will feel something like the 00 flour.  If that is in fact the case (and I am only speculating here), the dough made from the flour should have extensibility but not a great deal of elasticity and will produce a soft and tender crust, and will be light in color as is also the case with the 00 flours.  If I had to guess, that is what Chris Bianco may be striving for in combining flours, since he wants to replicate Neapolitan style doughs without having to import 00 flour from Italy.  If it turns out that the Giusto flours you are testing have both extensibility and elasticity to a significant degree, they wlll likely have a higher protein/starch ratio and will be like most other bread and high-gluten flours in terms of the final product.  

I hope soon to take delivery of some Caputo 00 flour and some flours produced by Keith Giusto to play around with.  So I think (and hope) that there will be ample opportunity to speak with Keith Giusto and the Caputo importer to ask the kind of questions you are asking and I have been thinking about as well.  

Peter


Offline giotto

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2004, 08:13:55 PM »
Pete-zza:

Thanks for sharing on this topic.  I'd say that Giusto's dough elasticity makes it very easy to work with-- so easy, it's tough to toss.  I've used these 2 organic flours from Giusto's, both have very dry feel (these stats are from vendor):

- Baker's flour, 11.5% protein, 23g carbs w/less than 1 g sugar.  Made from hard Red Winter Wheat.

- Ultimate Performer 13.5% protein, *21g carbs w/less than 1 g sugar.  Made from Dark Northern Spring Wheat.

* These carbs are from another 13.5% protein flour they have specs on.

With or without added sugar, I get an average browning.   Here's a recent example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=524;start=msg4604#msg4604
« Last Edit: August 22, 2004, 12:30:27 AM by giotto »


Offline giotto

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2004, 03:53:41 PM »
Pete-zza:

Any news from Keith or on the other flours?

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2004, 07:08:42 PM »
Giotto,

I was asked by Keith to call a fellow at Giusto's who would, in turn, call back Keith and get marching orders from Keith on the flours to send me.  The contact at Giusto's was out of the office for a few days and when I finally reached him, he said it would take him a few days before he could get back with Keith.  If I don't hear by tomorrow or Wednesday from the Giusto contact, I plan to follow up.  

I am somewhat perplexed by the softness of the crust you are getting from the Giusto high-protein flours, and the lightness of the crust color, although from your photos you seem to be getting a modest amount of coloration--which is characteristic of high-protein doughs (the effects of the Maillard reactions).  

I don't recall whether you are adding any sugar or other sweetener (such as honey) to your dough.  If not, and you are letting your dough go several days in the refrigerator (say, above 3 days), you run the risk of running out of natural sugar.  In such a case, it is not unusual for the dough to become too soft and hard to shape and toss and not to have a dark coloration in the finished crust.   I made a pizza not too long ago from a dough (New York style) that had set in the refrigerator about one day too long, and, after lettting it rise for an hour or two at room temperature, it was soft and a little too extensible and not as elastic as usual, making it difficult to toss.  Final shaping was done on the peel by pressing down on the dough to keep it from moving on the peel and gently pulling the dough outwardly from the edges.  The pizza turned out very well, but I noticed that the crust was lighter in color than usual.  One day later and I might have been out of luck.  

In your case, you might consider adding a little bit of sugar or other sweetener to your dough if you aren't already doing so, and this should increase the browning of the crust because of caramelization of the sugar or other sweetener.   You have to be a bit careful with the amount of sweetener you use, since the enhanced browning (the bottom of the crust will be quite dark) might lead you to think that your pizza is finished baking when in fact it isn't.  Since you bake on screens, this is less likely to be as much a problem because there is metal to shield the unbaked pizza from the bottom heat source (unlike a pizza baked directly on a very hot stone or tiles).  You can also try putting a little bit of olive oil on the rim of the unbaked dough to increase coloration.  Or, if available to you, you can also use a little bit of baker's grade dry milk or dairy whey, both of which contain lactose.  As you may know, lactose, a form of sugar, is not metabolized by yeast (the only reducing sugar that isn't) but contributes to browning.  It is also very low on the sweetness scale so you won't detect it in the finished crust.

Peter

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2004, 07:19:51 PM »
Giotto,

I re-read one of your recent postings on the Giusto high-protein flours and see that you have tried adding sugar to the doughs you make.  This perplexes me even more why the coloration isn't greater than average.  I took notes on the two Giusto flours you have been testing and will see if I can get possible explanations for the various observations you have made: dryness, softness of the dough, and color.  

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2004, 09:06:25 PM »
Pete-zza:

Sorry for the confusion.  When I said that I am getting average browning, I was suggesting that I am getting the level of browning that I am used to getting, which is very good.   Although I have had little issue with other flours when going over 24 hours, I am cooking the Giusto's within 12 - 24 hours.

As for softness, the term "light" may be more appropriate, with less of the leathery appeal that you describe in the sourdough session.  I am trying adjustments to the amount of water used.  

I started with over 1/3 cup of water per cup of flour, and have toned it down to exactly 1/3 cup of water per cup of flour and a TBL of olive oil per pizza dough.  I noticed that Giusto's high gluten ranges from 13 - 13.5% protein; so I am testing it against a 12.7% protein flour, same ingredients and process.  

I am getting great shiny color when I take the Giusto's dough out of the refrigerator, as I recently posted in the sourdough discussion.  And the color and overall cooking of the dough is quite good.  It's the leathery part that is missing, which I've achieved with similar protein flours that feel more rich in texture.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2004, 09:29:12 PM by giotto »

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Re:Flour and tomatoes
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2004, 04:18:39 PM »
I previously reported on the availability of the Bel Aria brand of "00" flour at Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. (PennMac), a food products/foodservice company in Pittsburgh that sells to pizzerias and other restaurants in and around Pittsburgh.  Recently, I received a list of all the products sold by PennMac.  In addition to the 00 flour, I noticed that PennMac also sells many other flours.  In the high-gluten flour arena are the All-Trumps flour (in 25 and 50 pound bags), and the Pillsbury Balancer Hi Gluten flour (in a 50 pound bag).  Other high-gluten flour choices are Savoy, Gold Lion and Hummer (in 50 pound bags).  Although the above brands are not listed at the PennMac website at pennmac.com, I was told that PennMac will sell those items (as well as most other items on their product list) at the retail level by calling PennMac (at 1-800-223-5928 or 412-471-8330) and asking to speak with Rose McNeill.  While Rose is not directly responsible for pricing, she will speak with the person who is and provide a quote.  For those who are in the vicinity of PennMac, at 2010 Penn Avenue, in Pittsburgh, it may be possible to save on shipping charges by going to the retail part of their operation.  To be on the safe side, I would call and check first to confirm that and to be sure they have the desired products in inventory.

With further reference to 00 flour, I have identified a few other potential sources beside PennMac.  Chefs Warehouse, at chefswarehous.com, also sells the Bel Aria brand of 00 flour (at a price per unit that is even lower than PennMac's best discounted price for buying in volume), as well as the Molino Caputo brand of 00 flour.  Chefs Warehouse also sells other flours, including a couple of KA flours, but not the Sir Lancelot.  The flours sold by Chefs Warehouse are in large sizes, so that fact should be kept in mind.

Another potential source for the Caputo 00 flour (in a 25-pound bag) is International Gourmet Foods in Springfield, VA (1-800-522-0377), but since IGF doesn't sell directly to the public, I am told that one would have to piggyback on an order placed with the company by a qualified purchaser, such as a restaurant, pizzeria, etc.  That may or not be a viable option, and will be most applicable to those who are in or around Springfield, VA.  

A still further source of the Bel Aria 00 flour for those who live in certain sections of New York City is Fresh Direct, at freshdirect.com.  Fresh Direct is a food delivery service that delivers a wide range of fresh and branded foods directly to customers who place their orders via the Fresh Direct website.  The Bel Aria 00 flour sells for about $1 a bag (less than half of everyone else's price).  Unfortunately, Fresh Direct operates in a very narrow geographical area, and one has to be within one of the zip code areas they serve to be a customer.  I tried to find the list of those zip codes but the site wouldn't provide it.  To even access the product offerings at the website, one must first enter one of the zip codes.  I was able to find an old list (as of 2002) through a Google search, and it is 10013 10016 10044 10280 10281 10282 11101 11109 11357 11360 11361.

Peter