Author Topic: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)  (Read 44915 times)

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Offline Buffalo

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2006, 09:24:33 PM »
mister_c;
Thanks for the information........Your pizza crust (both top and bottom) appear to have browned nicely using this method......
Buffalo


Offline ebpizza

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2007, 09:37:35 PM »
A preheat of 20-30 minutes on the cast iron pan seems excessive. Does it really need to be that long?

Offline mister_c

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2007, 05:48:13 AM »
Don't know -- I heated my pan for 20 min and this did the job so can't see any need to try and reduce the pre-heat time.  After all, we do want it as hot as possible ;)  I must admit I was a little apprehensive beforehand but I've found that the cast iron pan is able to take the heat so I'm no longer hesitant.  However, I would say it has to be cast iron (the cast iron pans with the enamel finishes are suitable also) - no way I would attempt this with any other kind of frying pan...

Perhaps somebody with the right temperature measuring devices could see how hot the pan gets and whether 20 min is overkill?

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2007, 08:01:30 AM »
more info are available on the book that support the tv series.

Ciao

PS, He (HB) was not so impressed with the tomatoes available in England , not with San Marzano tomatoes in General. His other observation was that that type of tomatoes need to be processed (tinned) to be enanched, which is in my opinion very true and that is also the reason why I do not see the point to use fresh tomatoes on Pizza Napoletana. The only one I would use kind of fresh, is the piennolo type, I have previously mentioned and which is kind of semi-dried on the vine.

Offline NegativeSpace

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2007, 04:27:46 PM »
PS, He (HB) was not so impressed with the tomatoes available in England , not with San Marzano tomatoes in General. His other observation was that that type of tomatoes need to be processed (tinned) to be enanched, which is in my opinion very true and that is also the reason why I do not see the point to use fresh tomatoes on Pizza Napoletana. The only one I would use kind of fresh, is the piennolo type, I have previously mentioned and which is kind of semi-dried on the vine.

On the contrary, from his book, Heston comments on the raw San Marzano tomato:

Quote from: Heston Blumenthal
But the taste? It wasn't what I'd hoped for -- it was fresh-tasting, sure, but I've had more sweetness and complexity from a cherry tomato. (And before you start thinking I'm just a fussy chef who's spoilt for choice, that wasn't only my opinion. I took a bunch of San Marzano back to my restaurant and everybody felt the same. ... )

However, he does indeed go on to comment that the canned San Marzano's are the most superior:

Quote from: Heston Blumenthal
The San Marzano definitely had the best balance: the canning had concentrated its taste (the heat involved in the canning process effectively cooks the tomatoes, giving them some of the flavour dimensions of oven-roasted tomatoes) to produce something sharp but sweet. It was the taste I remembered from Neapolitan pizzas.

On an amusing note, in his list of Restaurants, Suppliers and Other Useful Addresses is none other than www.pizzamaking.com

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2007, 08:36:16 AM »
Negativespace,

I think it depend how you interpret this. San Marzano is a tomato that needs to be processed to extract all the potential from it. So yes, HB said that fresh wasn't the best, he did recognized that the quality one, canned, did not have comparatives available in the UK supermarket product. From that point he then start the idea to manipulate fresh tomatoes so to take them to a flavor similar or better then the one he remembered from Naples.

I am not arguing about his version, which was indeed a good one for the average UK viewer, but he arguably went to the right places to find perfection in Naples..... (no extra comment here), as indeed he did for the fish & chips in Paddington; however, who knows Blumenthal is well aware of his idea of "memory" and how that affects his recipe development...)


Offline jasonmolinari

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2007, 12:22:52 PM »
this method seems very interesting to me. I'll definitely give it a try.

Offline pdc

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2007, 08:23:48 AM »
Well, it definitely works. Now I just need to find a bigger cast iron pan to do full-sized pies. I heated the pan for about 15 minutes, used half of a regular dough, and it cooked in 2 minutes. The bottom started to burn a little bit at the thin lip around the perimeter of the pan, so i had to pull it off a little earlier than I would have liked. A larger pan would solve this problem. Here are some pics of the results:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pcarpen/350327613/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pcarpen/350327828

Offline shango

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2007, 02:24:35 PM »
After watching this video I felt insulted and underestimated. 

I am not to say if this man is "the best chef in the world", but, I can say that he is truly disrespectful to the Neapolitan pizze and pizzaioli by even mentioning the them in this show.

Stick to Sous Vide,
-E
pizza, pizza, pizza


Offline jasonmolinari

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2007, 02:43:54 PM »
I tried it this weekend was while the crust browned nicely, it was lacking crunch since the cast iron pan does not absorb the excess moisture from the dough.
I was disappointed

Offline pdc

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2007, 09:08:30 AM »
While I have to admit to the inauthenticity of this method, I can't deny the end results. With some modifications and a little cheating at the end, I came as close as I've ever come to what's produced from a high-temp wood burning oven. I use Jeff V's dough recipe with Caputo flour, about 62% hydration, IDY, and sea salt.

Using a 15 inch cast iron pan, heated for about 15 minutes over high heat, and then placed about 6 inches from the broiler, the pie puffed up, toppings melted, nicely charred in spots and beautifully brown in others in 2 minutes flat. As Jason stated, the pie lacks crispiness on the bottom as the pan doesn't absorb the moisture like a stone does. A couple more minutes on the stone in my oven didn't do much good as it wasn't heated thoroughly. A little floppy on the bottom, but great hole structure, flavor, and char. A reheat of leftovers the next day in a non-stick pan gave me a new idea. After a couple of minutes, the bottom crisped up nicely and the rest heated nicely while remaining tender.

A ha! Ok, another attempt this past weekend, with 2 minutes on the cast iron followed by another 2 minutes back on the stovetop in a 15 inch non-stick pan, solely to crisp the bottom.   Authentic? Hell no. Effective? Yup. The bottom crisped beatuifully, while keeping the rest puffy and charred and perfectly cooked.

I did 6 pies over the course of an hour, keeping the cast iron under the broiler the entire time. It remained super-hot, which the last pie just as nice as the first. A margherita, a finnocchiona salami and olive, wild mushroom and thyme, shaved fennel and pecorino, Chris Bianco's Rosa (red onion, parm, rosemary, pistachios), and another margherita.

I yearn for a wood fired oven in my backyard or I wish I had the balls to modify my oven to bake on the cleaning cycle. I've always felt limited by my oven, and I was always unsure if my dough was to blame for my unsatisfying results, or if it was the oven's fault. This is as close to my idea of a perfect pie as I've ever come, and while I'm a bit embarrassed that it took this method to achieve it, I can't argue with the results.

Offline jasonmolinari

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2007, 09:33:49 AM »
Interesting idea. So you took it out of the oven, and put it in a nonstick pan on high flame? I might try that!

Offline pdc

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2007, 11:15:59 AM »
Yes, once the top was fully cooked, I pull it out and slide it right into a preheated non-stick pan to finish up. I think a normal pan would work fine too. Hope it works out!

Offline RichT

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2007, 09:16:57 AM »
I am not to say if this man is "the best chef in the world", but, I can say that he is truly disrespectful to the Neapolitan pizze and pizzaioli by even mentioning the them in this show.

Oh, come on.  ::) That's so dramatic, and verges on absolute snobbery!

The TV show is meant for the general public. It is meant to be easily accessible and, as has been said throughout the thread, the results speak for themselves. Seriously, the show (and book) is about getting as close as possible to perfection in a home kitchen. I think disregarding the Neapolitan pizzaioli would be the greater disrespect.

I could definitely understand the offence caused if he claimed to be some kind of pizza expert - but he didn't. In his own words, "I could never hope to emulate the lengthy apprenticeship of the pizzaiolo." The whole series was about experimentation and exploration in the quest for great food. It achieved exactly what it set out to do.

I know I for one have made my best pizza yet after seeing this show and reading the book. Actually, that's exactly how I found this forum - as I'm now on a quest to learn more and take things a step further.  :) So, it's worked for me and probably thousands of others alike. I don't see what the problem is.

Offline mister_c

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2007, 04:39:25 AM »
Here is my latest. A much wetter dough was used, as per the information on Varasano's excellent website, and this had a big impact on creating a thinner, more elastic dough.

jasonmolinari said a few posts back that he was disappointed with the frying pan method, and I agree it does have its shortcomings. However, its all good fun experimenting and my goal is try and achieve as close as I can get to pizza Napoletana. When funds permit, I hope to pick up a Raytek IR thermometer to see the temps being achieved both on the pan and in and around the oven/grill.

Good post, pdc. I'd be interested to see some pics of your results.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 05:00:52 AM by mister_c »

Offline pdc

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2007, 11:38:14 AM »
Another recent attempt. At this point, this has become my go-to technique. It just plain works.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 11:41:37 AM by pdc »

Offline Entropy

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2008, 01:56:39 AM »
At this point, this has become my go-to technique. It just plain works.

As opposed to what?

Varasano's technique just plain works, too. 

As does my technique, which is similar to Jeff's but which I've never bothered to document, since making pizza every night doesn't leave me much time for posting.  (My solution to the oven problem was an ancient Kenmore gas stove with two mercury thermostats inside.  Its broiler ran continuously and after a few hours was actually a bit too hot for pizza.  Sadly, it died a few years ago and I haven't found another one yet.)

Don't be lazy or cut corners; hack your oven and learn to make real dough.  Pizza is worth the trouble of getting right.

~ Kiran <entropy@io.com>


Offline RichT

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2008, 05:40:36 AM »
As opposed to what?
Don't be lazy or cut corners; hack your oven and learn to make real dough.  Pizza is worth the trouble of getting right.

It really amuses me how some people oppose (and almost mock) this technique. I can only think that they haven't actually tried it.

Fact is, as pdc says, if you get this right - it works extremely well. The beauty is, there's no need to "hack your oven".

Perhaps some other methods do get slightly better results. But not everyone has an oven that can be "hacked", or wants to go to the lengths of buying a new oven etc. By comparison, this method uses 1 cheap item - an iron pan.

I've been using this technique for a long time now (all be it with a different dough recipe), and the simple reason is that it produces some great tasting pizza that I haven't been able to achieve in any other way to date. Do I want to strive to get an even better pizza? Of course. In fact, I'm planning to build a brick oven in the new year. But for now, this technique serves its purpose very well indeed.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2008, 03:43:56 PM »
I wonder whether any of the cast iron pizza pans shown at the following sites will work with the Blumenthal method:

https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefront/product1_new.asp?menu=prologic&idProduct=3984

http://www.cheftools.com/prodinfo-new.asp?number=07%2D0390

http://www.barbecues.com//web/catalog/product_detail.aspx?pid=237117

The pans seem to be shallow enough to heat on the stove and to slide an unbaked pizza onto them, either before or after placing in the oven (with the broiler on)

Peter
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 02:18:27 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2008, 08:08:33 PM »
Or you guys could try member Grog's technique. I used it before in my home oven and it went actually very well.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6291.0.html
Mike

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Offline hammy

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2009, 11:33:01 PM »
Well - here I go again, trying to remember all that I typed before the site ungraciously wiped out all of my text because of Pete-zza's hyperlinks in the quote.

Boy, that was annoying. In any event, I learnt my lesson...

We use a Centro cast iron BBQ griddle (cost $C25.00 at Canadian Tire)and preheat it an hour on the bottom rack with the oven set full whack, and then we move it up under the broiler for about 20 minutes before cooking if we cook directly on the griddle. I can get 2'30" timings that way, but my better half doesn't like sliding the pizzas on and off the griddle so close to the broiler.

When we cook in a pan, like tonight, we cook for 6 minutes on the bottom rack, followed by two minutes with the broiler on (pan and pizza still on bottom rack) and get beautiful browning, top and bottom. We used the Little Caesar's clone dough recipe, simply because we lucked into a 27 pound bag of their proprietary hi-gluten pizza flour. We use Aurora brand "pezzettoni di pomodoro" Italian diced tomatoes for the sauce base. I don't know if our pizzas are up to the standards of this site, but we definitely beat all the local pizza shops around here hands down with our homemade.

Thanks for all the tips, folks, and Pete-zza in particular. You've been a great help and have taken us to a new world of pizza appreciation. :):)

Cheers,

Greg

I wonder whether any of the cast iron pizza pans shown at the following sites will work with the Blumenthal method:

<hyperlinks deleted as evidently I cannot post any as a new user - now if the site design hadn't deleted all of my text in telling me not to post hyperlinks, I'd be a happy camper... FUME!>

The pans seem to be shallow enough to heat on the stove and to slide an unbaked pizza onto them, either before or after placing in the oven (with the broiler on)

Peter

Offline Corbs

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2009, 02:58:20 PM »
I haven't made pizza at home for a good long while so I used a similar method, with an upturned baking tray. It worked well, much better than just a grill. I placed the tray in upside down for about 3/4 of an hour. I oiled the surface just before putting the pie on and it worked very well. I overdid the tomatoes though. But I like to have a lot of them.
(http://i436.photobucket.com/albums/qq83/C0RB5/HPIM1441-Copy.jpg)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:17:11 AM by Corbs »

Offline guysnape

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2009, 03:04:42 PM »
Well - here I go again, trying to remember all that I typed before the site ungraciously wiped out all of my text because of Pete-zza's hyperlinks in the quote.

Boy, that was annoying. In any event, I learnt my lesson...


I got caught out by that too - however if you just use your browser's back button, you may well find your text there unscathed.

- guy

Offline PizzaEater

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2010, 03:25:04 PM »
I just saw and read this thread. Very surprised at the negative comments, though I have yet to try Heston's method I plan too. The idea of using the bottom of a cast iron skillet heated on a stove top burned for 20 minutes will he a heck of a lot hotter than you will ever get in any home oven with or without a stone. Then placing the pizza on the inverted skillet only a couple inches from the broiler will I thing will most certainly cook the pizza in 2 min. If you notice he leaves the oven door open so the broiler element remains on.

Further this was meant for the home cook and the ability to cook at a high temperature. I also never heard him claim it was Neapolitan pizza, at worst he may have alluded to it being his version of a Neapolitan pizza.

Regardless the pizza he produced looks outstanding.