Author Topic: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco  (Read 37745 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2007, 03:56:00 PM »
Quick note about the Giustos bread flour. The retail website shows 2 kinds: Artisan ($4.50) and Organic ($5.50). I use those both for bread, not pizza, but they seem to give very different results.

I think the Artisan has some malt. I was using it to make some of the best baguettes in my life when I ran out and WorldPantry was temporarily out. So I used the Organic one instead and the results were not nearly as good. This has nothing to do with which one is best for pizza - just make sure you know which one you want.

Scott, do you know which of these is being used for the pizzas you describe?

Bill/SFNM

P.S. The Artisan flour makes the best pancake batter also.


Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2007, 05:02:37 PM »
Bill, I actually didn't ask Chris any specifics about his flour, and he may very well have a custom grind/blend going on, but I think that the Artisan Bread flour can get you very close to what he is making.  King arthur special, or bread flour would also not be too far off.

By investigating the crumb of his bread and pizza it was very clear that there was no bromate involved, and the mixing was definitely on the minimal side of the window of usability.  If I had to guess a hydration amount I would say probaly 64-65% with a typical giusto or KA american bread flour, or something like 61-62% with caputo pizzeria flour.  The salt level was not as high as a typical Neapolitan dough, again, more along the lines of a NY style.

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2007, 02:41:18 AM »
I've used the guisto organic here with my Tom L. recipe.  I didn't get very good results. That was one of the first flours that I used so my inexperience may have also been a factor.  I might try again with some of the knowledge I have gained.

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2007, 03:07:21 AM »
I did a test today to see if I could come close to the Bianco dough without the addition of old dough.   I wanted to try this experiment for those of you that want to reverse engineer his crust, but find the task somewhat daunting. I think that the old dough is going to add a bunch of variables that are going to slow you down at first.  Also, it occurred to me that many of us home pizza makers just don't have old dough around all the time, since for most of us it is a weekend type of activity.  I am not saying to forget all about it, since he obviously does it for a reason (he told me it was probably for more superstitious reasons than anything), but I think that the basics are much more important than the old dough/biga.  I feel like I succeeded at getting 90% to where he is,  and definitely recommend fine tuning the basic straight dough method first before trying any of the crazy stuff. I even wonder if just having his same flour blend and oven would have taken me all the way there. 

One thing is for sure,  as good as this pizza was it left me longing for my favorite creation of chris', the wiseguy!  Now that is one serious pizza.  I think I am going to have to figure out a way to smoke mozzarella once the weather warms up around here.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 03:32:27 AM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2007, 01:33:22 PM »
I think I am going to have to figure out a way to smoke mozzarella once the weather warms up around here.


scott,

I have a Camerons stovetop smoker that I bought some time ago to play around with small briskets and ribs (before I moved away from most meat products in my diet), and I recalled after reading about Chris Bianco’s smoked mozzarella cheese that the smoker can be used to smoke cheeses. I couldn’t quickly find the instruction booklet but if you go to the Camerons website, at http://www.cameronscookware.com/Smokers.aspx, you will find the instructions for smoking cheeses (e.g., in the pdf instruction manual document linked at the top of the page).

To be on the safe side before posting this morning, I called the 888 number at the website and spoke to a customer service rep at Camerons to get the specific details on how one would smoke mozzarella cheese using the Camerons smoker. The woman I spoke to said to put a couple of tablespoons of the desired wood chips in the bottom of the smoker, put the drip tray and rack in place over the chips and slide the top cover into place on the smoker (leave the cover open a crack), turn on the stove heat until wisps of smoke become visible (about 4 minutes at medium heat), put the cheese to be smoked on the rack (preferably in an aluminum foil “boat”), and allow the smoker to cook for about 5 minutes--but no longer than 7 minutes (which may produce too strong a flavor). I was told that the cheese can go in as a single piece or, for stronger flavor, the cheese can be cut into cubes. She recommended that maple wood chips be used, because they impart a sweet flavor to the cheese, and she said that the unused cheese can be refrigerated and actually become stronger in flavor once it cools down. You will note from the website that pecan chips are available from Camerons, as well as many other kinds of wood chips. If you look at the video at the Camerons site you will see the basic steps for using the smoker.

I also asked the Camerons rep which smoker one would use if the only use is for smoking cheese. She suggested the Gourmet Mini Cooker, which is shown at http://www.cameronscookware.com/Gourmet%20Mini%20Smoker.aspx. With a little bit of searching, you may be able to find a lower price than quoted by Camerons and also possibly get free shipping. Getting only pecan chips may be more difficult at other sites, but easy at the Camerons site.

Peter

EDIT (9/4/13): The following may be the same document as referenced above but is no longer at the Camerons website: http://fantes.com/manuals/camerons-smokerguide.pdf
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 11:14:23 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2007, 03:08:09 AM »
peter, thank you so much for all this information.  I am definitely going to do it.  That Wiseguy was totally addictive.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2007, 08:08:42 AM »
scott,

Yesterday I located a small ball of Mozzarella Fresca "fresh" mozzarella in the back of my freezer so I decided to see if I could smoke it using my Camerons smoker (I have the larger unit). After defrosting the ball of mozzarella cheese, I cut it in half and I also cut cubes out of the other half for comparison purposes. I found that the recommended times did not work particularly well with my setup because I have a cooktop with cast iron heating elements, which is not the best arrangement according to the people at Camerons. What I learned from past experience is that I get better results, and shorter cooking times, by bridging the smoker across two adjacent heating elements. Doing this yesterday with the cheese worked better and the smoker worked to lightly brown the cheese pieces. I might note, however, that water was expelled from the cheeses and the smaller cubes melted and flattened out. But, for both forms--large piece and chunks--there was definitely a smoky flavor. In my case, I used cherry wood chips (my other choices would have been alder and hickory).

While I was at it, I decided to see if I could impart a smoky, woody flavor to some leftover slices of pizza that I had preheated in my countertop toaster oven and on which I had placed a few melted cubes of smoked mozzarella. I found that I could definitely taste the smokiness of the cheese but I couldn't specifically pick out a smoky flavor on the rest of the slices although the slices tasted very good. Someone with better taste buds and a better nose might have detected a flavor contribution to the crust itself. If so, a roughly 9 1/2" pizza will fit in the smoker.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 07:54:47 AM »
I recalled reading somewhere how Chris Bianco smokes his mozzarella cheese, so I did some searching. The article I had in mind is this one, toward the bottom: http://pizzatoday.com/makeline_articles.shtml?article=NTQzOHN1cGVyNTQzNXNlY3JldDU0NDI=. The rest of the article has some nice topping ideas for those who like smoked cheese.

Peter

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2007, 09:11:45 AM »
wow.. such a useful article, thanks for the link Pete. Smoking the slices is an interesting idea also.

grove.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 09:14:06 AM by grovemonkey »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2007, 08:20:37 AM »

....The key is to not try to make a neapolitan pie here, what you are duplicating is a NY elite style pie. My opinion is that this thread is in the wrong place.
...

I agree with Scott. This thread should be moved to the NYC style section.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2007, 09:46:27 AM »
scott and Marco,

I don't mean to be argumentative on this point or to derail the direction of this thread, but I think a case can be made either way and, in reality, maybe Chris Bianco's style is a fusion of the two styles, with influences from both the Bronx and Naples. Chris may use flours similar to the "elite" NY pizzerias, but he uses a wood-fired oven rather than a coal-fired oven, and his toppings and their quality and purity are more emblematic of the Neapolitan style, which is not surprising given that Chris spent time in Naples honing his craft. I realize that Peter Reinhart is not the last word on this subject, but in his book American Pie he does not lump Chris Bianco's work in with the NY elite (or New Haven) pizzerias or other NY pizzerias. He treats Chris' work as more Neapolitan and, in fact, Chris' Rosa pizza is included in the "Napoletana Style Pizzas" section of Reinhart's book, at page 186. Reinhart's own recipe for "Napoletana Pizza Dough", at page 107, calls for all-purpose flour, rather than 00 flour, and his notes at page 109 suggest the possible use of bread flour and high-gluten flour. In a similar vein, Pamela Sheldon Johns, in her book Pizza Napoletana!, presents a "Classic Pizza Dough DOC" dough recipe at page 89 that calls for a combination of all-purpose flour and pastry flour rather than 00 flour. Both Reinhart and Ms. Johns were well aware of 00 flours when they wrote their books.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2007, 12:12:01 PM »
I was just trying to make a point to all the people in our forum that are trying to figure out what the heck this guy is doing.  I am only saying this to continue that idea, not to actually make you move the thread, but chris told me that he lived in Rome, not Naples.  It could be that his dough methodology is Neapolitan, but that is where the similarity ends.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2007, 12:29:39 PM »
scott,

Thans for clarifying your position. I was relying on a sentence I read at page 5 of Peter Reinhart's book in which he described his first meeting with Chris Bianco at his pizzeria. The statement was: We learned that as a young man with cooking talent he had gone to Naples from the Bronx, his hometown, to learn how to make true Neapolitan pizza.

Of course, is is possible that the statement is incorrect.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »
Going to Naples to visit pizzeria and eating pizza is not exactly learning how to make it......

For his own admission he's trying to make good pizza and not neapolitan and the use of american ingredients (not only flour) would take him away from making Neapolitan pizza (even some NYC pizzeria use italian tomatoes and olive oil...)

{amended: let's not talk then for the use of biga that would probably take him away from both styles}

The arguement about the oven doesn't count in my book (he doesn't have a neapolitan oven capable of cooking in 30-45 seconds).

In this respect Luzzo is more Neapolitan and Bianco is more NYC even thought the ovens would suggest otherwise.


The recomandations of flours to use for the average home cook (not even remotely addressed to someone reading this forum) on both Reinhart and Johns books doesn't make a case for it either IMO.

regards

Marco
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 05:09:01 PM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2007, 06:30:58 PM »
A new catagory of pizza making on the forum might have some merit.  Here are a few ideas:   

Artisian
Fusion
Neo-Neopolitan
New World


Grove

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2007, 07:19:44 PM »
Neo-Neopolitan

..and the mascot for the Neo-Neapolitan section could be "Neo" who's stuck in the Gluten Matrix.

Offline David

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2007, 10:17:53 PM »
A new catagory of pizza making on the forum might have some merit.  Here are a few ideas:   

Artisian
Fusion
Neo-Neopolitan
New World


Grove

Ameripolitan.......Please God No! ...No more derivatives :'(
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Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2007, 10:41:56 PM »
Artisan seemed the most interesting, I thought.  Fusion was a bit too out there, imho.  Ameripolitan seems to have an interesting ring and I thought of using the term Japolitan for the types of Neopolitan styled pizza coming out of Japan.  I mean, who puts macha (a type of green tea) in the dough and calls it Neopolitan pizza but it happens over here.   To me, a new catagory might add some breathing room to the forums.  Personally, doesn't matter either way, but I thought it was a good enough idea to mention. 



 

Offline addicted

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2007, 10:44:34 PM »
It is entertaining to read how such an archaic way of preparing a poor mans food  is so heavenly defended. I am interested if anyone here drives a Model A or lives in a log home with a mud roof and no electricity.

Back to the topic at hand, I smoke cheese at about 225 for 3 minutes with pecan and hickory in my barrel smoker. Any longer than that and I have found  it changes the cheese's melting properties substantially. Believe it or not, around thanksgiving last year, Costco had smoked mozz balls that were excellent, perfect balnce of smoke and melted perfectly. Unfortunately thay only stocked it for a very short time.  .02$
Well....okay,then.

Offline artigiano

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Re: Reverse Engineer Pizza Bianco
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2007, 02:31:42 PM »
I know this may not be the right spot fot this post but I was reading about C. Bianco's biga method.  How much of the yesterday's dough would he use?  Is there a ratio to go by?  I have also wondered if he puts that Wise Guy sausage on completely raw or if he cooks it a little first?