Author Topic: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management  (Read 495 times)

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Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2014, 12:20:05 PM »
I think the problem might have been too much ADY, but I'm not sure. I am still waiting for my new scale that weighs in 1/10ths of a gram (last one broke), so I had to convert to tsp. At first I thought the converter I found online (converting 3.5g to 1.23 tsp) was inaccurate, as the forno bravo recipe claims that 1/2 tsp is 3g, see:

http://www.fornobravo.com/pizza/pizza_dough.html

But this website, which is the one I used, says 3.5g is 1.23tsp (I used just shy of 1 1/4 tsp):

http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/yeast_converter.html

Anyway, I put the yeast in 14g of warm (110F-->95F) water (it dropped in temp fast because the yeast was from the refrigerator) along with a dash of flour. Stirred and left for 10  mins.

I used 630g of cold water (with melted ice), less the 14g for the yeast. Mixed the salt (2.75%) into the water, then 1/2 the flour into the water. Stirred by hand. Added the yeast mixture. Stirred more and then stirred in the rest of the flour. When I had a ball, I kneaded by hand for awhile, let it rest for about 8 mins. Repeated 3 times or so. Stretched and folded. Dough never really was beautifully silky. Put it in a glass bowl,  very slightly oiled, with plastic wrap on top.

Could it be that I over kneaded the dough because it was not smooth and silky? I think I might have kneaded/rested about 4 times. Maybe I should stick to the KitchenAid!

Thanks again!!


Offline mitchjg

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2014, 01:30:49 PM »
According the label on the jar (Fleischman's - the others will be the same):

1 envelope = 1/4 ounce = 2.25 teaspoons.

There are 28.35 grams per ounce.  So, yes, 1 teaspoon is about 7 grams.

So, 0.35 grams = 3.5 g X 1 oz/28.35 g X 2.25 tsp/0.25 oz = (3.5 X 2.25)/(28.35 X 0.25) = 1.11 tsp.

So, it sounds like you measured fine (leveled, measuring spoon approach, not heaping teaspoon, right?  No tablespoon by accident? You used 1000 grams of flour, right?)

I also do not jump to the kneading.  For a cold ferment, many people put the balls away looking like "cottage cheese."

My guess it is temperature management (which I am certainly not sure about since you used ice water).    Sounds like the yeast was activated and not in the fridge for about an hour.  What is your room temperature?  Did you happen to measure the temperature of the dough when you were finished kneading?

Unless someone else has a better idea, I am going to stick to the dough being too warm because you (perhaps) had it out too long before putting in the fridge and then the fridge was way too warm. 

The other choice is to fly me down to the party and have me help you!  Then you can blame me when I make a mess and you order Dominoes............. :P


Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2014, 03:15:44 PM »
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I also do not jump to the kneading.  For a cold ferment, many people put the balls away looking like "cottage cheese."

You're saying you ball the dough immediately, virtually no kneading, and leave them balled for 3 days?

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My guess it is temperature management (which I am certainly not sure about since you used ice water).    Sounds like the yeast was activated and not in the fridge for about an hour.  What is your room temperature?  Did you happen to measure the temperature of the dough when you were finished kneading?

Dough temp was about 78F when I was done kneading, IIRC. I did take the temp. Yeast was out of the fridge for about 30 mins, but it sure seems to have activated!

Room temp is probably about 74F.

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Unless someone else has a better idea, I am going to stick to the dough being too warm because you (perhaps) had it out too long before putting in the fridge and then the fridge was way too warm.

OK, so next time (tonight, I think), I will use a mixer and ball the dough immediately for a 2-3 day rise, then remove balls 4 hrs or so in advance and fire away?

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The other choice is to fly me down to the party and have me help you!  Then you can blame me when I make a mess and you order Dominoes............. :P

Careful what you wish for!

Offline mitchjg

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2014, 04:15:12 PM »
1. You should still knead.  But, you do not have to keep doing a lot of stretch and folds to try to get it really smooth.  If it is little bit between cottage cheese and really smooth, then just ball it and put in the fridge.  The lengthy fermentation will take care of it.  Surf the forum, you will see lots of instructions like that for NY pizza.   I do not think it makes a diff whether it is NY or not.  It is more about the fact  that you are doing a cold ferment.

Btw, I am not telling you that is what you must do.  I only do that myself once in a while.  If you want a room temperature ferment, go for it.  But, I would it is harder to manage in terms of timing and you have a lot of moving parts.  With a cold ferment, you have a lot more flexibility and control over timing.  If it is ready early, another few hours at 38 will not matter much.  And, it is not looking ready, taking it out of the fridge sooner will accelerate.

2. Those temps all seem just fine.

3. 2 hours in advance is ok too.  If they really look ready!, then 1 or 2 hours because all you want to do is get them warmed up.   If they do not look ready enough, then 4 hours will help them ferment at room temperature.  For many pizzas, like a party, you can "stage" them.  A few out now, a few out in an hour, etc.

4. Hah, I will stay here in NCal but we all expect a full report.  And, if there are no pictures, it did not happen.  8)


Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2014, 04:40:29 PM »
Did not realize you were up North. Love it up there; I graduated from Cal.

Tonight I'll try balling after kneading--no bulk ferment.

I definitely realize that there is no silver bullet; if there were, it would not be so lively here!

I'll have to study the TXCraig "dough is ready" pictures next. Plenty of pictures will come, regardless of outcome.

And, once again, thank you!!

Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 07:17:37 PM »
Well, I would say I had moderate success the last two firings. I had a test-run on Thursday and then made about a couple-dozen pies on Sunday night, I'd guess.

Leading up to the two firings, I had about 7 different dough variations. For me, the Forno Bravo recipe continued to be the most successful all around.  I am sure that I am sacrificing flavor by not having a longer rise, but each of the batches I made that had a longer rise (2-3 days balled in 38 deg fridge) did not turn out well. They were very sticky and were tearing, and the flavor/consistency of the finished product wasn't noticeably better than the FB recipe. I wonder whether I should have used a KitchenAid rather than hand mixing, but I'm not entirely sure. The other issue with my experimentation is with my wife, who cannot understand why I am trying to improve the dough. I even had guests asking, "is this the dough from Day Two," which is a reference to the firing that my wife seems to think was the most successful.

Anyway, for the first firing, on 9/25, I made only 8 pies or so. I got the oven up to about 650 and it dropped to about 625 by the time I was done. The floor temp didn't seem hot enough for the 00 pizzas and the 70%KAAP/30%Caputo cornice was a bit puffy, for lack of a better word. Also, at the lower temps, I wasn't getting the leoparding that I was striving for.

Last night, I got the oven to about 750 core, moved the coals over, and let it sit for a good 20 mins or so. I used 00 flour on the peel rather than semolina and I still think I got some burning on the bottom as the 00 burned, but I'm not 100% sure the burning was from the added 00 or simply because the floor was too hot (or both). Either way, the bottom was cooking faster than the top. I increased the fire a bit on the side to try to get the flames larger, and that ended up increasing the core temp to about 800.

In short, I still have to find the optimal floor/core temps for 00 pies.

At the end of the night, when everyone was gone, the oven had dropped to about 675 and I used 50/50 dough, without a licking flame, on a longer bake. Again, no leoparding, but the pies seemed to turn out ok.

Now, onto pictures (sorry for the poor quality!).

First 4 pics are from 9/25, with the last being an experimental s'mores pizza that the kids liked. I think I needed to prebake the dough before adding chocolate (and later marshmallow), because the chocolate burned a bit.

Second 4 pics are from 9/28. Unfortunately, I didn't have the mental wherewithal to take more pictures. The third pic is the 50/50 dough, which clearly has a puffier cornice.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:22:01 PM by h8stn4d »

Offline mitchjg

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 09:49:44 PM »
Glad to see you back.  Seems like you have been pretty busy!

FWIW, here are some comments I can offer:

First of all, great start!!!!!  Getting the hang of making pizza in general is hard.  Making it in a new WFO is that much more.  Very nice.

7 different dough variations in this short a period of time is over the top, IMO.  Even if you stuck with one recipe for dough and made it 7 times in a row, you would probably find many differences.   I am saying that because consistency is a challenge.  With this many variations, the number of variables you are trying to track, with attributions to cause and effect, in this space of time makes it horribly difficult to understand "What's what."  You then have the variation in the temperature / oven management sitting on top of all of this.  Pick one.  Or two.  Work with them for awhile.  Then start making some adjustments.  I know that if you throw enough stuff, some of it will stick.  But, you can be more methodical.

You are right, there is no chance that a 100% 00 dough will do well in the 600s.  Totally correct.

Although I do not really know what leoparding you are striving for, you will probably not get much of that in the 600s either.  You will get more "browning" than leoparding.  Having said that, what is it about the leoparding that you are want?  Is it the looks? The taste (char)?

The optimal temperatures for the 00 will be well over 800 on the floor.  850 is nice.  Are you measuring the floor?  (you need an infrared temperature gun for that).  As we discussed, going by the core can give you different indicators.  For example, you may have been at 800 in the core and 875 on the floor.

If you use a lot of flour (00, semolina, whatever) on the peel, you can not only get more burning on the bottom but it will very bitter and make you very unhappy. 

Generally for 00 and good leoparding, etc. (Neapolitan), you need the floor really hot, a good flame going (bigger!?) and you have to move fast.  The whole event is over in no more than 90 seconds.  Could be 60.

If the bottom is burning and the top is not done, then "dome" the pie.  Get it off the floor before it burns and hold the peel up near the ceiling to cook the top.  Go on youtube and look at some Neapolitan pies being made and you will see many examples.

When you said "moderate" and "ok" in your descriptions, it is hard to know what was disappointing.  On the pictures, some observations for you:

maybe a little too much sauce, especially the first one.
If it is too "puffy" (picture 3?), then make sure you get the toppings more evenly distributed and closer to the edge.  Anything uncovered on the edge is going to rise up.
What in the heck was in number 4?  :o  Didn't look so good....(the topping).  And again, it is so puffy because you kept the toppings clumped more in the center and not spread around.  Leave something like 1/2 inch on the edge.
Maybe take it easy on the toppings/cheese.  The last 2 look pretty cheesy, so to speak.  Beside that, though, those last 2 look pretty darn good!

You are on the road.  And, you must be very, very full.   :-X

- Mitch

Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #27 on: Today at 11:46:14 AM »
Thanks again!

I kept pretty good notes with all of the various doughs that I made and there were not significant variations among them. Just slight tweaks here and there, so as to see what impact they might have. For better or worse, nothing came close to the formulation that was the most successful, so at least for now, I think I will concentrate my efforts on other things (such as fire management, finding the optimal temp, locating calabrian chiles for chile oil, and maximixing the use of post-pizza heat).

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Having said that, what is it about the leoparding that you are want?  Is it the looks? The taste (char)?

I definitely prefer a bit of char on the cornice, as opposed to simply browning. Look is nice, but taste is far more important to me.

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If you use a lot of flour (00, semolina, whatever) on the peel, you can not only get more burning on the bottom but it will very bitter and make you very unhappy. 

This is helpful; I am going to try to nearly eliminate, if not completely eliminate, the lubrication under the peel. If I use the right dough and get the pizza into the oven fast enough, then hopefully that will be successful. I also think that I have residual flour on the floor of the oven, which blackens and doesn't seem to burn off. That probably doesn't help the cooking process either.

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If the bottom is burning and the top is not done, then "dome" the pie.  Get it off the floor before it burns and hold the peel up near the ceiling to cook the top.  Go on youtube and look at some Neapolitan pies being made and you will see many examples.

Yes...I definitely did that, although I ended up doing it too late; bottom was already burned (might have been the flour, which instantly burned on the bottom). Next time, I keep the dough recipe constant and try to minimize flour on peel.

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What in the heck was in number 4?

This was my experimental s'mores pizza. Worked out pretty well, except that the chocolate burned. Need to pre-bake the dough, perhaps, before adding chocolate. Cornice was rubbed with a bit of oil and then sugar, so it was tasty, albeit puffy.

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You are on the road.  And, you must be very, very full.

Loving every minute of it! And hugely, hugely (pun intended) appreciate your help!

Jeff

Offline mitchjg

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #28 on: Today at 12:09:17 PM »
Sounds like great progress, etc.   A couple of more thoughts:

If you know you want real char, you need the temperature up.  Stay, at the minimum, in the 700s.  A real Neapolitan, cooked with 00 in the 800s will get you char.  Harder to manage, but you can do it and so can your oven.

Don't completely eliminate flour on the peel.  The dough will be more likely to stick upon launch.  You are especially at risk with the Forno Bravo recipe, which you seem to like.  The hydration is 65% which is pretty high and takes more "finesse" to launch.  BTW, I could not tell if you did or did not like the "puffiness."  The higher the hydration, the more airiness you will likely get in the dough. 

You might want to try rice flour.  I use a mix of rice flour and semolina.  The semolina is in there because I read someone suggesting it and I never tested with or without, so it is habit.  The rice flour is the key.  Very "lubricating" and less like to burn and leave bitter flavor.  You want little ball bearings.

- Mitch

Online h8stn4d

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Re: FGM (Four Grand Mere) Fire Management
« Reply #29 on: Today at 12:29:04 PM »
Thanks. I have been making the FornoBravo recipe at 63% hydration, which vastly improved the dough handling.

I definitely am aware of the need for high temps for 100% 00 and leoparding...which brings us back to full circle: When folks refer to 800-900 degree ovens, is that floor temp, temp on the dome (inside the oven), core temp or all of the above?

I think I read somewhere that semolina is used because it has a high burn temp and it is tasteless. That is what I used until the last firing, when the oven was so hot that the semolina burst into flames on contact. It was like 4th of July in there when the semolina spread out around the pizza as it shook off the peel.

I had read about rice flour--I'll have to try that. Thanks for reminding me!