Author Topic: Lightest, tastiest crust yet  (Read 19887 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« on: December 07, 2006, 02:11:55 PM »
I was forced to change several variables at the same time, so I can't be sure which were responsible for the best crust I've made to date in terms of both texture and flavor.

1. The oven was overfired to around 1050-1100 (vs. around 950F)
2. I sifted the flour per November, Pete-zza, and pftaylor
3. All fermenting and proofing was done at room temp for a total of 16 hours vs. multi-day in the refrigerator

I also used Milagro de San Gennaro tomatoes  (see review here) for the first time, but this had nothing to do with the crust.

Here are pictures of two of the pies a Margherita and a white pizza, both baked in about 50 seconds. The white one had sauteed porcinis, caramelized onions, truffle oil, and mozzarella and was a home run.

 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 08:03:42 PM by Bill/SFNM »


Offline rende

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 03:50:07 PM »
Wow!  Great looking pies! Thanks for giving us new  guys something to aspire to   :D

Offline scott r

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 07:15:44 PM »
bill, they are beautiful!  How long did they cook for?

Also, wondering at what point you formed the dough balls.  Right after the mix, or with an initial rise in bulk.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 08:03:23 PM »
bill, they are beautiful!  How long did they cook for?

Also, wondering at what point you formed the dough balls.  Right after the mix, or with an initial rise in bulk.

Thanks, Scott.

These were fully cooked in about 50 seconds.

After mixing, I did a bulk ferment for about 12 hours, then scaled into individual balls which proofed at room temp for 4 hours.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Peteg

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 08:34:54 PM »
Bill,
      They both look great!  I've been using that same rising schedule for a while now and have been pleased with the results.  It appears that it is working out well for you too.  What kind of flour and hydration are you using these days?  Did the dough seem to handle any differently with the sifting regimen?  Again, nice job.  Peteg

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 08:50:10 PM »
Bill,
      They both look great!  I've been using that same rising schedule for a while now and have been pleased with the results.  It appears that it is working out well for you too.  What kind of flour and hydration are you using these days?  Did the dough seem to handle any differently with the sifting regimen?  Again, nice job.  Peteg

Thanks, Peteg. My recipe remains:

300g balls
Caputo 00 pizzeria flour
64% hydration including starter
10% starter as a % of the total dough weight (starter is 54% flour)
2.5% salt

I did not notice a difference in handling as a result of sifting, but that doesn't mean it  didn't help.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Peteg

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 09:39:44 PM »
Bill,
      Just out of curiosity, do you feed your starter with caputo or another type of flour?  I typically feed mine with a store bought bread flour as opposed to the more expensive caputo.  Lately I've been feeding it with giusto's high gluten as I've got a stock pile and I wanted to try a giusto's caputo mix.  Just wondering if there is a case for feeding the starter with caputo.  thanks, peteg

Offline David

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2006, 09:42:35 PM »
Nice Bill.Were the pies cooked through to your satisfaction at  this bake time?Do yo always add your basil after cooking ?Personally I prefer to put it on before as I find the flavor really gets infused into the EVOO during cooking.I've grown my own in the past ,but to be honest the best I've had was purchased  at a local farmers market.I've never been able to measure temps above about 900 in my oven and unfortunately seriously doubt that I could attain them consistently.I believe Marco has recommended the use of 3-5% starter in the past with the view that it is one of the fundamental things that makes pizza and bread significantly differ, and yet I see you going for 10% and others up to 30% ??? ?maybe I'm not reading this right,and I haven't experimented as much as I probably should myself.(See ref. Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 07:26:41 AM »
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 09:51:32 PM by David »
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2006, 10:19:05 PM »
Bill,
      Just out of curiosity, do you feed your starter with caputo or another type of flour?  I typically feed mine with a store bought bread flour as opposed to the more expensive caputo.  Lately I've been feeding it with giusto's high gluten as I've got a stock pile and I wanted to try a giusto's caputo mix.  Just wondering if there is a case for feeding the starter with caputo.  thanks, peteg

Peteg,

My Camaldoli starter is always fed with Caputo 00. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but one thing I have no desire to do is to start messing around with my trusty starter.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 10:33:06 PM »
Nice Bill.Were the pies cooked through to your satisfaction at  this bake time?Do yo always add your basil after cooking ?Personally I prefer to put it on before as I find the flavor really gets infused into the EVOO during cooking.I've grown my own in the past ,but to be honest the best I've had was purchased  at a local farmers market.I've never been able to measure temps above about 900 in my oven and unfortunately seriously doubt that I could attain them consistently.I believe Marco has recommended the use of 3-5% starter in the past with the view that it is one of the fundamental things that makes pizza and bread significantly differ, and yet I see you going for 10% and others up to 30% ??? ?maybe I'm not reading this right,and I haven't experimented as much as I probably should myself.(See ref. Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 07:26:41 AM »

Thanks, David. The pies were perfectly cooked through. I prefer to put the basil on the moment the pie comes out of the oven which partially cooks it, but doesn't burn it like it will after a few seconds in the oven at these temps. I've buried the basil under the other toppings or dredged the leaves in sauce, but this is how I prefer it.

Regarding starter %: It may seem like a minor distinction, but I always report starter amount as a % of the total dough weight, not as percentage of the flour as I do with the other ingredients. Since starter contains flour, it is problematic to express it as a percentage of the total flour. If you ignore the flour in the starter, then I actually have around 18% in terms of baker's percentage. I may very well be using more starter than the pro's use. If you look at the photos of my pies vs. those of pro's, I have a much bigger and airier edge with big bubbles. This is the way I like my pies.

Bill/SFNM



Offline David

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 10:42:28 PM »
If you look at the photos of my pies vs. those of pro's, I have a much bigger and airier edge with big bubbles. This is the way I like my pies.
Bill/SFNM
Me too!Thanks Bill ;)Just not that bright at the whole bakers % fomulas and get easily confused i'm afraid,especially as many it seems use different methods and as sometimes they seem as confused as I am !!
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Offline abatardi

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2006, 01:18:27 AM »
Damn Bill those look amazing.  Very nice work.  Enough to make me come out of stalk/stealth mode and post for the first time in like... 10 months?  haha  :-)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2006, 03:03:32 PM »
Bill,

I have studied quite a few dough recipes that call for the use of preferments. It can be quite confusing, especially with all of the bastardization of classic preferment rules that frequently takes place. But where there is a proven recipe, such as yours as noted above, where the preferment quantity is known and works, it is possible to express the preferment as a percentage of flour (a common approach among bread makers) or as a percentage of water (the Neapolitan method). If I did my math correctly, in your case the preferment is about 16.7% by weight of flour and about 26% by weight of water. Depending on how a spreadsheet or calculating tool is set up, any one of the three numbers--10% of total dough weight, 16.7% by weight of flour, or 26% by weight of water--should produce the same set of numbers.

When I first started using natural preferments, I used about 15-20% by weight of flour, as was recommended by member bakerboy. When I learned about Marco's methods for the Neapolitan style, I started using 1-5% by weight of water (but usually much closer to the 5% figure). In the latter case, the preferment acts as a leavening agent rather than as a preferment in the classic sense.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2006, 04:09:29 PM »
bill, that's a fast  bake!

I am just curious what type of pre heating regimen you have to go through for something like that.   How many refreshments of wood up until baking, and how often.


A 14 hour rest at room temp must have given the dough much more rise than a typical Neapolitan method.  I know your results may be impossible to duplicate at a lower elevation, but  would you share with us roughly how much the dough expanded in both stages?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2006, 04:17:38 PM »
Peter,

I understand what you are saying. There are many ways to look at the relationship between the different ingredients. In advancing my skills, it has been most useful for me to view the starter as composed of several different ingredients: water, flour, leavening organisms, flavoring organisms.   The varasano-derived spreadsheet that has played a big role in my education separates out the water and flour in the starter and their contribution to the final dough. I know their are other ways to view the composition of the dough, but this way seems to best match my current skill level. I guess the bottom line is that any framework that helps you understand why a certain pie is the way it is and shows a path to making the next one better is a good one.   

Bill/SFNM

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2006, 04:27:52 PM »
bill, that's a fast  bake!

I am just curious what type of pre heating regimen you have to go through for something like that.   How many refreshments of wood up until baking, and how often.


A 14 hour rest at room temp must have given the dough much more rise than a typical Neapolitan method.  I know your results may be impossible to duplicate at a lower elevation, but  would you share with us roughly how much the dough expanded in both stages?

Scott,

When I started the oven up yesterday at 6AM, it must have been around 12F outside so I needed more wood than usual to get up the entire thermal mass to temp. I didn't keep track of how much fuel I used since I was pretty busy with other things, but I started out with 6 small-to-medium half-logs and probably added 2-3 more logs every hour or so until 11AM at which time I started baking.

With respect to rising, the kitchen was around 68F and the dough had roughly doubled after 12 hours. During the 4-hour proofing, I guess it rose about 30%-40%.

I will pay closer attention next time and take pictures.

Bill/SFNM


Offline mivler

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2006, 04:41:49 PM »
Wow, that is really making me hungry. Do you have a picure of the bottom or side view?

Michael

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2006, 04:52:52 PM »
Wow, that is really making me hungry. Do you have a picure of the bottom or side view?

Michael

Sorry, not this time. Family wanted me to put down the camera and put the pie on the table. Next time, I promise.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2006, 04:58:50 PM »
I understand what you are saying. There are many ways to look at the relationship between the different ingredients. In advancing my skills, it has been most useful for me to view the starter as composed of several different ingredients: water, flour, leavening organisms, flavoring organisms.   The varasano-derived spreadsheet that has played a big role in my education separates out the water and flour in the starter and their contribution to the final dough. I know their are other ways to view the composition of the dough, but this way seems to best match my current skill level. I guess the bottom line is that any framework that helps you understand why a certain pie is the way it is and shows a path to making the next one better is a good one.

Bill,

I agree with your position and wouldn't advocate switching gears to other approaches once you feel comfortable with your own approach. In my post I was also trying to address David's earlier post questioning the percent of preferment--to emphasize that there are several possible approaches with different percents involved. Fortunately, when dealing with a natural preferment using only flour, salt, water and natural yeast, or one also using commercial yeast, the math is fairly straightforward no matter which approach is used. It is when sponge, poolish and biga versions of dough recipes are created that matters--including the math--get more complicated, because of the number of ingredients involved and the ways the ingredients are split up and ultimately recombined to produce a final dough.

Peter

Offline scpizza

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Re: Lightest, tastiest crust yet
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2006, 10:17:52 PM »
I was forced to change several variables at the same time, so I can't be sure which were responsible for the best crust I've made to date in terms of both texture and flavor.

1. The oven was overfired to around 1050-1100 (vs. around 950F)
2. I sifted the flour per November, Pete-zza, and pftaylor
3. All fermenting and proofing was done at room temp for a total of 16 hours vs. multi-day in the refrigerator

Coming from an accomplished baker like you, "best crust ever" is a strong statement.  I wonder what factor it was.

1.  This fascinates me.  It seems the hotter these ovens go, the better the crust tastes.  Would love to have an experimental set up with oven temp the only variable, everything else the same, and test at 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200 and see which yields the best crust.
2. I can't imagine how sifting could make the slightest difference.
3. I've been doing all fermenting and proofing at "room temp" (62F, aka "cellar temp") for 16-20 hours with very good results for some time now so this jives

300g balls seem big.  I use 275g and feel mine are too big.  I know Neapolitan pizza should have a bigger cornicione than say Roman, but how much bigger I wonder.

Your 64% hydration also jives with recent tests I've done where going wetter than 62% has clearly helped me.  A recent 68% was too wet to handle but created a fantastic crust.  Optimal hydration may exist between 62% - 68%.