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Offline onemsmom

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my very very first pie
« on: August 17, 2010, 05:22:37 PM »
This is the first of 3.  How can I improve the next two?  The crust is too wide, but I had been trying to hit the 13" I had planned for.  I'm thinking I neet to press it out bigger & with a smaller crust area.  It sure was not that big before cooking.  It greatly expanded in the oven.  This took almost exactly 6 minutes to cook at 550.

Jenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 05:37:57 PM »
Jenn,

I think you did very well for the first try. How did the pizza taste and how did it go over with your kids? Or are you waiting until you think they will eat your pizzas? Any other observations or comments?

For the next pizzas, I think you only need to make the rim smaller and make the pizza size larger if it was less than 13". You might even go a bit more than 13", maybe between 13" and 14", to see if you like a thinner crust. But, overall, practice and experience are what you should be after at this point.

For those who want to know more about the background for this pizza, see the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11621.0.html. The dough recipe itself is at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11621.msg106857.html#msg106857.

Most of our members love crumb shots. Maybe you can post some photos of the crumb structure with the next pizzas.

Peter

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 05:50:35 PM »
It was awesome!  The crust was amazing & looked like all of yours from the side.  I'll take a pic next time.  Daughter said, "it's not just good, it's delicious!".  Son didn't like the sauce, but liked the crust - I have to agree it needed something.  I used Lucia brand San Marzano tomatoes - I drained & then very slightly processed them & added a little salt.  I strained them again.  Then, I added salt & a little OO.  Tasted sweet & yummy by the spoon full, but lacked something on the pizza.  Hubby agreed.  I did sprinkle a little oregano on it prior to the cheese, but didn't want to put too much spice on the kids' pizza.  I'll add some more stuff to mine, which is next.  I will make the rim smaller, too.

This is fun!

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 06:36:52 PM »
Nice job!  wish my forst try went that well.  before I found this site,  learning was a nightmare..... -marc

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 06:39:33 PM »
Well the rim still blew up.  This dough had tons of air in it for sure.  Did I let it rise too much, maybe?  Anyway, here are the pics of pizza #2 (and, yes, I did learn that I should have put the basil on AFTER I baked it).  I've also learned I don't love this brand of tomatoes - they were too thin - got a little soupy in the middle of the pie.  I've learned the more I load on the pizza, the harder they are to get off the peel.  I've learned that making pizza makes a god awful mess in my kitchen, and I've learned my husband will happily clean it up because he loved the pizzas so much.

This was a wonderful experience & I'm thrilled with the pizzas!

Thanks so much for all of your information!  I've learned so much & will continue to do so!

I would love any critique of the pies so I can improve them in the future....

for example....my husband's (loaded with lots of meat/peppers/onions) crust did not hold up in the middle - toppings slid off (not soggy, though, thankfully)  - how to improve this?

Jennifer

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 06:46:36 PM »
Nice job!  wish my forst try went that well.  before I found this site,  learning was a nightmare..... -marc

I agree.  Very nice first and 2nd bake.  My first pies outside this site were terrible.  They didn't rise at all & peel problems galore.   If I had pictures I would post them but take my word, they were awful. 

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 06:49:35 PM »
The last pie.  Definately the prettiest.

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 06:52:00 PM »
Here's another question.  When I was pressing out the dough, I was trying to do that press & turn thingy & all I was getting was press & wrinkle.  (You can see the wrinkles in the 1st pic).  How can I do this better?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 07:15:53 PM »
Jenn,

Also very nice pizzas. I don't work with bromated flours but if the rims of the pizza skins were not large before you baked the pizzas I think that the use of the bromated Sam's high gluten flour with a hydration of 63% was most likely responsible for the good sized baked rims that you got. I think also that the Bosch mixer did a very good job making a dough with a well-developed gluten structure that is able to capture and retain the gases of fermentation. When I want to reduce the likelihood of the rim of a pizza being too large, I intentionally press the rim flat. That seems to work pretty well. Most NY style pizzas that I have seen in NYC tend to have fairly small rims. However, our members prefer large rims that are open and airy.

In my experience, the Lehmann dough skins can tolerate a fair amount of cheese and toppings. However, it there is too much cheese and too many toppings it will affect the bake. If you extend the bake time to reduce the soupiness, then the crust portion of the pizza can brown too much and maybe make the crust too chewy and crispy. Professional pizza operators learn how much of each topping to use for each pizza, from a single topping to multiple toppings. Even they can't load up their pizzas indiscriminately. They use all kinds of charts for their pizza assemblers to use to make sure they don't overdo it. You could increase the crust thickness a bit to tolerate more cheese and toppings, but then you start to move away from the classic NY style pizza. The formulation I gave you is more in line with a NY "street" style pizza. An "elite" NY style would have a lower thickness factor, which translates into a thinner crust. Consequently, an elite pizza can get soupy if too much cheese and too many toppings are used.

I am very impressed with your results, especially right out of the starting box. You apparently have prepared yourself well and paid attention to the details that go into making a successful pizza.

BTW, what kind of oven are you using and does it have a convection feature?

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 07:29:04 PM »
WOW! I think all three look great! I've been served plenty of pies in pizzerias that don't look as good as those. I love the big rim with the beautiful open crumb, but I'm a crust guy. Don't leave any pieces of your crust near me, or they will dissapear.

Good work!

Craig
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 07:30:36 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline kross

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 07:31:50 PM »
This is fun!

Uh oh, another addict is born.

 :-D

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2010, 07:32:33 PM »
Thanks, Peter.  I have been reading like crazy (even thought I thought I wouldn't have time to - who needs sleep?!).  You and the others are great teachers.  

Also, the Bosch is awesome.  It kneads 6+ loaves worth of freshly ground 100% whole wheat bread dough in 3 1/2 minutes & produces bread so light & airy, you'd swear it was white bread,  so I'm sure it was a big part of why these tasted so good!

I have an Amana.  The front just says "The Big Oven"  capacity 5.14.  No convection.  I was happy to see it went up to 550.  (And I'm glad my stone did not break at that temp).

I will try to flatten the rims next time.  I was getting HUGE air bubbles while pressing outwards!  I do think I made the 2nd 2 pizzas a little too big to compensate for the large rims.  That's probably why they were thinner & dumped the toppings.

I'm going to put the other 3 balls in the freezer now.  I'll post back when we cook them up.  I'll be interested to see how they compare to tonight's bake.

"See" you soon!

Thanks for everything. You are awesome!

Jenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2010, 07:55:52 PM »
Jenn,

I looked for an example to show you what can happen when you use a lot of cheese and toppings on a pizza. One of the better examples I found is the one at Reply 30 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59762.html#msg59762. The pizza described in that post was a clone of a Papa John's "Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza". The crust for such a pizza was quite a bit thicker that what you have been using, and held quite a lot of stuff, but there is a limit as to how far you can go. In my PJ clone, the weight of the pizza before baking was 47 ounces (and 43 ounces after baking). It took about seven minutes to bake the pizza (using a pizza screen) and another couple of minutes at a higher oven rack position to get the toppings to bake more completely, especially the fresh tomato slices. In the process, the crust was browner than usual. The pizza was so good that I don't think that I would change anything the next time, but you have to be somewhat cautious and be prepared to make mid-course adjustments in case the pizza doesn't bake quite like you expect it to.

Out of curiosity, I checked the Papa John's website tonight to see what one of their large (14") Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizzas weighs. Unfortunately, it is no longer being offered in my area. The closest specialty pizza is a BBQ Chicken & Bacon Pizza (http://www.papajohns.com/menu/pza_bbq_ckn_bacon.shtm and http://www.papajohns.com/menu/popup_bbq_ckn_bacon.shtm), which, according to the PJ nutrition data, should weigh around 42 ounces. I had forgotten but I tried one of those specialty pizzas also, as I described at Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg60197.html#msg60197. That pizza weighed the same as a real PJ BBQ Chicken & Bacon Pizza (42 ounces)

BTW, the rims of Papa John's pizzas are not large, and when I have made my PJ clones I press the rims down so that they don't get too large. However, the last pizza I purchased from Papa John's had a very large rim. When I saw the racks of undressed skins waiting to be made into pizzas, I understood why. It has been over 100 degrees F for over the past few weeks and the skins were proofing like crazy as they sat in the racks. That ensured that the rims would bake up much larger than normal.

Ir will be interesting to see how the frozen dough balls work out. I look forward to your results.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 08:36:45 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 09:59:58 PM »
Jenn,

Welcome to the world of pizza making.  You did a fantastic job on your 3 pies.  ;D  They look delicious.  You have learned really fast.

Congrats,

Norma

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2010, 10:22:47 PM »
Your "very, very" first pizzas?

I'd say you have come out of the gate in a roaring fashion. My first three pizzas looked like a train wreck.

Great beginnings for damned certain! Keep going.  :)
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2010, 10:47:36 PM »
We've got a hot one folks! I can seen an improvement between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pie. Good job Jenn.

Offline onemsmom

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2010, 10:51:26 PM »
Yes, my very, very first......unless you count the Boboli's, a few Publix's crusts that I had to fight with with a rolling pin to stay flat (and tasted like cardboard when I was done with them), and a "let's make pizza's!" family night at a friend's house who's husband used to own a pizzaria.  Oh, and we've heated up quite a few Kashi's on my stone.

Those days are over......

You guys are so sweet!  I thought you'd be making fun of me for the shriveled basil & the not quite round shapes!

Jenn

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 12:19:30 AM »

I would love any critique of the pies so I can improve them in the future....

Jennifer

Jennifer your pies looked like hell. Sorry, what I meant to say was hell, send me a slice! ;D  ;D ;D Nice job for staying with your program. I probably missed it but what type of sauce did you use ? 
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Offline jever4321

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 08:09:58 AM »
Nice looking pies. You obviously know your way around the kitchen to be able to knock your first three pizza attempt out of the park like that. I wish I snapped a few photos of my first three attempts. Everyone could have had a nice laugh. It wasn't pretty, heck it wasn't even edible. Anyway, keep up the good work.
Jay
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Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: my very very first pie
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2010, 09:01:13 AM »
Great lookin 1st pie! Good job, and ain't it fun!?

Ok so I'd say you have some good tips here, and it seems you are already utilizing them. As to wrinkles id say lose 10% of the dough balls volume. I say this only based on it being a bit thick, hence a smaller ball would stretch thinner and less wrinkly.

As to the sauce, well, I've gone on and on about sauce and how the best pizza places use raw tomatoes and add sugar an a spice or 2,  and call it a day. Because of this many pizza aficionados think this is the way to make a good pizza sauce, so they go through their entire lives making fabulous crusts and topping them with ketchup. Taste ok, I suppose, as they never tried better. Don't take this personally, I have ranted about this and tried to make people convert before, lol. I also posted a sauce recipe when I joined to make this point, but it was all a pinch of this and that, as Italians like me don't usually measure.

As a result of this I am now going to post a new thread, yours inspired me, with actual measurements and great details. It will be called "Authentic Sauce", and wil be here within minutes in this NY section... as most Northern Italian families like mine landed in NY. Try it, ask q's if you have any, and all my best.

Jim
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