Author Topic: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)  (Read 46557 times)

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Offline evilal

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Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« on: November 28, 2006, 04:06:18 PM »
Did anyone see the "In Search of Perfection" segment tonight on BBC2? Heston (owner of The fat Duck) takes on pizza napoletana, including a vist to the San Marzano tomato fields. He spends ages trying to get the cooking temerature up in a home setting (including a weird setup with a BBQ and a fan) and eventually does it like this:

He takes a cast-iron frying pan and heats it on the stove for 20 mins on high heat. Then he turns the grill on in his oven, flips the pan upside down, and puts it under the grill. He cooks the pizza on the upturned pan, which it gets grilled from the top. Awesome. Can't wait to try it!


Offline Shin

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2006, 04:33:32 PM »
yes i saw it

was very interesting, although a little controversial in terms of methods used!!

those who missed it can catch it here online

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/programmes/?id=heston_blumenthal

the link wont be live for long

does anyone know how to save the videos to disk??
« Last Edit: November 28, 2006, 05:05:04 PM by Shin »
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Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2006, 07:25:55 PM »
They must have takent it off the site...I can't access this video from the link provided... ???

Offline David

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 09:48:30 PM »
It's under the "Try at home " link I believe.Unfortunately I was unable to see it.i went to the help section and found the following message:


Why can't I watch the video from outside the UK?

For many programmes, there are broadcast rights restrictions, which do not allow us to show BBC Two programmes and content to people outside the UK. In addition, broadband content is expensive for the BBC to stream, so we have to give priority to people within the UK, who ultimately bear the cost of us doing this through their licence fee.

Some BBC programmes are available via our international services (see bbc.co.uk/info/channels) or through agreements with commercial broadcasters overseas.

Additionally if you use any web accelerator software, you may find that you can no longer access UK Only streams. This is because the software routes information via another country. We advise disabling these when trying to access video content on bbc.co.uk.

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Offline Shin

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 04:51:18 AM »
I've just again checked and your right mate its still there

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/programmes/?id=heston_blumenthal  - click on the try now

Not available outside the UK. 

Not sure if this would work but try setting your keyboard settings to english-uk - might fool the server? clutching at straws - but i know some web stat tools use this setting to determine the originating country - but think its an outside shot!

Back to the program - what was most interesting about the program was that it was about his quest to make the most perfect neo pizza in the home having been on pilgrimage to Naples.  Indeed the title of the show was 'In Search of Perfection'.

If there was ever a program made about this website and in particular the neo threads - that would be it!

Check youtube.com too  - someone may have been kind enough...

Caio

Ps.
Best London Pizza - theres a new kid on the block - Dean Street, W1, close to Oxford St. end - Spaigoli Napoli (think the spellngs right) - incredible lunch time deal £6.99 for 2 courses.  Spoke to the  chef downstairs, where the wood fired oven is on proud display. All ingreidients including the buffalo mozzi, are imported from Naples.

- and no, I have no connection with this establishment, other than as a (now) frequent customer.  ;D
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 05:07:02 AM »

Best London Pizza - theres a new kid on the block - Dean Street, W1, close to Oxford St. end - Spaigoli Napoli (think the spellngs right) - incredible lunch time deal £6.99 for 2 courses.  Spoke to the  chef downstairs, where the wood fired oven is on proud display. All ingreidients including the buffalo mozzi, are imported from Naples.

- and no, I have no connection with this establishment, other than as a (now) frequent customer.  ;D

It is not new!i BELIEVE IT IS ALSO CALLED "SPACCA NAPOLI" They are the same owner as Sarracino in Hampstead. I had their Pizza and could barely believe that they had a wood oven (I ate upstairs. I had to go downstairs to check after have spoken with the Manager..... The oven is not built in the Neapolitan way, it is actually a bread oven, not a pizza oven, made by a guy from Salerno.

If you want to try a better pizza, try Donna Margherita in Clapham. If I may add that would be better to wait after the 10th January as they will have their oven replaced with a proper one.

Ciao

Offline Shin

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2006, 06:04:46 AM »
Hola Chicos!

Here's Heston (not monsieur Charlton) Videos.  Its a 90 second home recipe 'neopolitan' type pizza - well his version anyway.

He achieves this by heating a copper pan and turning it over and using that instead of an oven stone! lateral thinking in the Varasano mode dare I say? - thats a compliment btw Varasano

The sauce preparation looks like over kill, but that attention to detail may be worth a try - he is an acclaimed chef.

Pizza Dough:



Sauce:



Toppings:



Give them the approriate 5 star rating it deserves!


Enjoy

Byeee

Ps. My stress counsellor made me add the following statement:

Please no negative comments about how he should conform to certain rituals and practices to be a 'true neopolitan' pizza - this is his personal quest of making the perfect pizza at home which is refreshingly different.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 10:30:39 AM by Shin »
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Offline evilal

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 08:05:10 AM »
To me at least, this underscores the need for a proper thermometer like Heston had (is it laser or infra-red)? I know my oven goes to 250c (I have an oven thermometer) but I have no idea of the heat the pizza stone gets to. I intend to try heating the stone further under the grill, but I don't know how much that will help.

Alex

Offline November

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 08:16:06 AM »
The man looks uncomfortable making pizzas.


Offline varasano

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006, 09:36:37 AM »
Shin, thanks for posting this. I was trying to load it for 2 days.

I worked out the percents - Pete, you let me beat you to it. What is the world coming to :-)

Bread Flour    365g (100%)
Water    195g (53.4%)
IDY    7g (1.95%)
Salt    4.50g (1.23%)
Malt   2g    (0.5%)

Ok, Shin, close your eyes:

All I can do is repeat what I've already said. These celebrity chef's, even one's I otherwise like, think they can just ask around about recipes then just jump into pizza and then teach us something.   It's just not the case. That pie looked ever bit like the average newbie pie on this board.

Also, I'm pretty sure he just flat out lied about the pie cooking in 2 minutes.  We've all seen that color of browning
 - that pie was probably 6 minutes or even 10.


Offline evilal

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2006, 10:28:58 AM »
Well, you more experienced pizza makers may sneer at his methods, but it gives encouragement to a newbie like me -- I am really struggling to obtain decent browning in my home oven with a stone, and he's given me some ideas to try.

I also like his roasted tomato topping, as well as the pressure cooker idea. Haven't tried them, but I do like his fresh approach to what can be achieved at home with ordinary tools.

Offline varasano

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2006, 10:35:55 AM »
Unfortunately, that encouragement will quickly turn to discouragement when mixed with misinformation.

click the little globe under my name for ideas on how to get browning at home. All the photos are from my regular home setup.

Jeff


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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2006, 12:41:19 PM »
I worked out the percents - Pete, you let me beat you to it. What is the world coming to :-)

Jeff,

I got off to a slow start this morning. Temperatures in the Dallas area dropped from about 80 degrees yesterday to 30 degrees this morning and I had to bring in my potted basil and thyme plants to salvage them. It also took me multiple viewings of the video to see exactly what Blumenthal was doing with the dough.

I believe you made an error in the amount of flour. Also, you did not account for the preferment in the total formula. The preferment represents about 1/3 of the basic dough as made in the video. If my math was correct, I get the following total formula after adding in the preferment and doing the conversions of volumes to grams:

100%, Flour (350 g. + 116.7 g. = 466.67 g.)
55.7%, Water (195 g. + 65 g. = 260 g.)
1%, Malt (1/2 t. + 0.17 t. = 0.67 t. = 4.69 g.)
1.59%, Salt (1 t. + 1/3 t. = 1.33 t. = 7.42 g.)
2%, Yeast (7 g. + 2.33 g. = 9.33 g.)
Total dough weight = 748.11 g.
Dough ball weight = 150 g.
Number of dough balls = 748.11/150 = 5

I assumed that the malt syrup is non-diastatic (because of the short fermentation times), that the salt used is regular table salt (not Kosher), and that the yeast is instant dry yeast (because it was not re-hydrated in water).

Actually, I think Blumenthal did a creditable job with the dough preparation. I am talking here onlly about his technique, not whether his dough captures the authentic Neapolitan experience. He uses a preferment that is similar to the dough into which it is to be incorporated, which ensures the same hydration in the final dough, and he uses an autolyse-like process by adding the salt and yeast after the rest period. What Blumenthal does not say is whether the preferment was allowed to sit at room temperature for about a day or whether it was kept in the refrigerator. At 2% yeast, which is very high and more characteristic of so-called "emergency" types of doughs, the preferment would be extremely active and rise very quickly at room temperature. In breadmaking circles, such a preferment would normally be kept in the refrigerator, either immediately after making or after a short room temperature rise.

I agree with you that 2 minutes total bake time is most likely too little if a standard home-type oven was used.

Peter

Offline evilal

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2006, 07:21:26 AM »
Unfortunately, that encouragement will quickly turn to discouragement when mixed with misinformation.

click the little globe under my name for ideas on how to get browning at home. All the photos are from my regular home setup.


Jeff,

I know your site well, and often turn to it for tips and excellent advice.

However, most of your browning tips seem to be based on your modified oven, which runs at commerical oven temperatures due to its cleaning cycle and your clever mods. My oven has no self-cleaning setting, so I find it very hard to get above 250c (480f). I do think Heston's "back of the frying pan" method might have some merit, although I have not tried it yet. Have you?

Alex

Offline Shin

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2006, 07:26:30 AM »
Evilal raises a good point about not having a modded oven

I'm just learning and dont have access to super duper equipment which is why i like inventive methods like hestons...like the home made 'basil spray' - basil what I hear you say?

I watched the clip around a mates house on dvd (if i can find a way of grabbing it, ill post it up to youtube) which isn't on the BBC site and I don't know if it was aired in the program either.

He believes the speed (120 secs - his claim boys) it takes to cook the pizza dosn't allow too much time for the basil to flavour the pizza.

Basically he takes fresh basil and adds it to VODKA(!) :-D.

He then blends the basil with the vodka in a blender and puts the liquid contents into an atomiser.

When the pizza comes out of the oven, he sprays the pizza. The alcohol evaporates before it hits the pizza.  He reckons you should only make the basil spray at the time of cooking since it loses its magic very quickly.  Not something ive tried....yet.


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Offline scpizza

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2006, 09:03:42 AM »
The man looks uncomfortable making pizzas.

Ha ha ha!  Yes!

And ditto varasano's comments.  Celeb chefs should stick to pan fried asparagus with salmon tartare and butter sauce - i.e. dishes where there is no standing body of experts to say boo about the dish.  I do like his enthusiasm and creativity, but that doesn't make up for his lack of awareness of his subject.


Offline NegativeSpace

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2006, 08:56:01 AM »

Celeb chefs should stick to pan fried asparagus with salmon tartare and butter sauce


Yeah, he's only a 3-star Michelin chef whose restaurant was voted best in the world of 2005 by a panel of over 600 professional chefs, food writers and restaurateurs. Man he sucks.

All I can do is repeat what I've already said. These celebrity chef's, even one's I otherwise like, think they can just ask around about recipes then just jump into pizza and then teach us something.   It's just not the case. That pie looked ever bit like the average newbie pie on this board.

Also, I'm pretty sure he just flat out lied about the pie cooking in 2 minutes.  We've all seen that color of browning
 - that pie was probably 6 minutes or even 10.

This programme was not intended for pizza experts; nor was he fastidious about the authenticity of the pizza's Neapolitan-ness. In fact, if I remember correctly, he decided against using the traditional tomatoes for his sauce because he wasn't particularly impressed with their flavour.

As for the browning -- why would he lie? If it WAS 6-10 minutes why wouldn't he just say so? Besides, that basil looked too fresh to have been in for longer than a couple of minutes.

Also, please don't tell us how average it was -- one man's perfect is another man's horrid. This was HIS interpretation of HIS perfect pizza. Not yours, and not a Neapolitan's.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 09:03:20 AM by NegativeSpace »


Offline scpizza

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2006, 09:36:23 AM »
Yeah, he's only a 3-star Michelin chef whose restaurant was voted best in the world of 2005 by a panel of over 600 professional chefs, food writers and restaurateurs. Man he sucks.

I didn't say he sucks as a chef.  I said he doesn't know pizza like the gurus on this board know it.  A casual watching of Top Chef will illustrate how a good chef is a very broad expert of food science able to intuitively craft good dishes from desserts to meats to drinks incorporating a panoply of foodstuffs.  That's what this guy is famous for.  Probably no one here could best him at it.

Instead, the people here have focused with laser-precision on not just pizza, but Neapolitan pizza, and spent years of their lives figuring out every conceivable aspect of combining flour, water, salt, and yeast.  This guy doesn't stand a chance against that.  He should stick to his combination-of-the-week of eclectic ingredients.  That's what he knows.  Not pizza.

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2006, 09:55:42 AM »
As I previously noted, I thought that Blumenthal did a creditable job with the dough preparation techniques. There are things that were not revealed in the videos I viewed, such as certain details of the preferment preparation and the sizes of pizzas made with with 150 grams of dough, but those are matters that can be resolved through a bit of experimentation. I was most intrigued by the short bake time, which I took to be an error in the instructions. But after thinking more about it, especially in the context of my cast-iron skillet which can get up to high temperatures, I am anxious to give the cast-iron skillet a try sometime to see what it delivers and in what timeframe.

Peter

Offline scpizza

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2006, 10:16:05 AM »
I was most intrigued by the short bake time, which I took to be an error in the instructions. But after thinking more about it, especially in the context of my cast-iron skillet which can get up to high temperatures, I am anxious to give the cast-iron skillet a try sometime to see what it delivers and in what timeframe.

The use of cast-iron for cooking pizza for those without hot ovens has great potential.  Some time ago after I noticed I can easily get my stovetop cast-iron grill up beyond 800 degrees, I explored getting a large cast-iron dutch oven, skillet, or flat griddle covered with a lid, but never tried it out on a pizza.

Offline NegativeSpace

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2006, 10:27:23 AM »
Instead, the people here have focused with laser-precision on not just pizza, but Neapolitan pizza, and spent years of their lives figuring out every conceivable aspect of combining flour, water, salt, and yeast.  This guy doesn't stand a chance against that.  He should stick to his combination-of-the-week of eclectic ingredients.  That's what he knows.  Not pizza.

He did not put on any pretense of being a pizza guru, nor did he claim his recipe was THE definitive Neapolitan. It's his recipe for HIS favourite pizza -- not yours, not mine.

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2006, 12:52:26 PM »
I did a quick search on the Blumenthal Neapolitan style pizza and found what appears to be relevant discussion at this blog:
http://brandoesq.blogspot.com/2006/12/in-search-of-pizza-perfection.html. To preserve the relevant content of that blog, I have copied and pasted it below, as follows:

The latest dough recipe I've been tinkering with comes from In Search of Perfection by Heston Blumenthal. If you're a huge fan of Family Food, you already know to expect that in order to follow one of his recipes you'll be jumping through hoops, but the results more often than not make the immense effort required worth the while. 8 classics (from roast chicken to steak) have been reinvented in the quest for perfection. Having tried his pizza dough recipe several times in the past month, I must say while it may not be everybody's idea of perfection, it sure brings you that much closer to understanding what perfection, if there is such a thing, might taste like. If you ask me, I think it tastes if not perfect - a term one hesitates to use given the stridently divergent schools of thought as to what constitutes a perfect pizza - then at least an instance of excellence.

Aside from good dough, the key to pizza greatness lies with heat - the EU pizza copyright proposal specifies an oven-surface temperature of 485°C and a cooking time of between 60 and 90 seconds! Your average domestic oven peaks at a far lower temperature (so the pizza takes longer to cook, which changes the character of the pizza, and not for the better), thus prompting Chef Blumenthal to amusingly recount the hoops he jumps through to buck his Gaggenau's top temperature, and how he manages to cut his baking time down to 90 seconds by inserting a cast iron pan (preheated over high heat for 20 minutes) into the preheated oven with the grill whacked on full, thus getting the heat above and below the pizza as hot and as even as possible. Which, of course, gives me yet another reason to lust after this top-of-the-line cooker - try as I might, my cantankerous oven peevishly refused to get sufficiently hot; my best baking time (with dutifully preheated cast iron pan in place) never got any speedier than 7 minutes.

While I can't vouch that my taste in pizza dovetails with yours, Heston Blumenthal's recipe certainly tasted like I am on the right path to pizza nirvana. The secret to its fantastic flavour is adding a proportion of pre-ferment - a small amount of dough left to ferment in the fridge for at least 12 hours - to a larger quantity of dough. The longer dough is left, the more its flavour develops. But the longer dough is left, the more the gluten relaxes and loses elasticity. The answer? Pre-ferment, prepared for flavour, mixed with dough that still possesses extensibility. Subject to the right heat conditions, the dough bakes into a light and crisp pizza crust with an airy, almost delicate interior structure, so full of creamy, bready, toasty flavour that you'll be eating that puffy, golden brown cornicione right down to the last crumb.


While the preferment question I had has been answered (the preferment is refrigerated), it is still not clear what size pizza is made with 150 grams of dough. That is a bit over 5 ¼ ounces, which is not a lot. I would guess that the pizza size is around 9”-10”, but it would be nice to know the precise size to replicate as closely as possible the conditions used by Chef Blumenthal.

Peter

Offline mister_c

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2006, 01:32:47 PM »

Also, I'm pretty sure he just flat out lied about the pie cooking in 2 minutes.  We've all seen that color of browning
 - that pie was probably 6 minutes or even 10.


I today tried making a pizza using the same method as Heston Blumenthal and mine took around 2 minutes.  A pic can be seen in the thread below

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4278.0.html

I'm fairly new to this pizza making malarky, and as you can see, I've yet to master making pizzas that are round  :)

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2006, 01:39:16 PM »
mister_c;
Your pizza does look nice and brown.....What type of oven, and what temperature, did you cook it at to get these results in 2 minutes? ???    Thanks...
Buffalo

Offline mister_c

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Re: Heston Blumenthal's pizza recipe (BBC TV)
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2006, 02:58:57 PM »
The oven is a standard electric UK oven (not a convection/fan oven). I heated the oven up to 250C, then when this was up to temperature I began to heat the cast iron frying pan on the gas hob at its max setting (see pic 1 below).  My oven is unable to have the grill and oven on at the same time so around 10 min later I turned the oven off and turned the grill on to its max setting.  After a further 10 mins I turned the gas hob off and carefully(!) turned the pan upside down.  Then (with even more care!) I transferred the pan into the oven so that the pan was around 1 inch (maybe a little more) below the grill.   I then waited a couple of min before pulling the rack out a little to make it easier to get the pizza onto the pan. See pic 2 for the pizza cooking under the grill.

This was the second pizza I made tonight.  As you can see from pic3 there are a couple of charred bubbles. This was due to the pizza being so close to the grill heating elements.  However, I got the crust spot on this time and was exactly like a Pizza Express restaurant pizza. The base was much thinner than my previous effort and prior to cooking I drizzled a lot more olive oil, not only in the centre, but I made sure the edges got a drizzling also.

Finally, see pic4 for a look underneath.

Hope this helps - happy new year to all