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Author Topic: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.  (Read 10441 times)

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Offline eric22

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He says alot what the experts here are saying is wrong.  He goes into great detail with excellent photos about NY style pizza.  Myths he proves  wrong ; Flour  and water are no big deal.

http://www.think2020.com/jv/Recipe.htm  ;D

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2005, 08:56:26 PM »
Yuppers, we've seen it,  ;D

he's a member here, and has given some very valueable info,
but thanks posting his website link, great info there, and any new members
can benefit from it, Jeff makes some damn good pies !  ;D
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline bicster

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2005, 09:33:47 PM »
I am nowhere near where jeff is with pizza making (getting close though) but I am completely unconvinced that flour types do not matter.

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2005, 09:41:18 PM »
We chat about flour types all the time, and indeed they DO matter.... high gluten flour is what the industry uses,
even here in Canada .. high gluten flour is much different than all purpose flour, I watch a lot of FoodTV and many chefs talk about this when making breads, and pastries.

I guess everyone is welcome to their own opinions, and that's what makes the world a wonderful place.

My dough is indeed better using bread flour ( we just can't get high gluten flour up here like you  guys can down there. )

We need a King Arthur in Canada  :P

I am completely unconvinced that flour types do not matter.
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline elsegundo

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2005, 11:02:34 PM »
Reading his web site, he does say water is a big deal.  Flour is too, but as CB says everyone has an opinion. My only concern is with the hydration. I believe you have to measure exactly especially for us who make dough in small batches. Two ounce of water difference with one pound of flour is a BIG difference.  I do like his site and hope he posts more.


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Offline chiguy

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2005, 11:08:53 PM »
 Hi all,
 Jeff's website is very detailed. I have used some of his techniques myself. The only problem is that he is baking his pie's at like 850F. After he rigged his home oven by cutting off the lock with garden shears. I think it is out of passion or madness, but either way it is ultimately what sets his pizza's apart from alot of our members. I think our families might wonder why we are trying to prune our ovens?? Not that i have not thought about doing so myself? My hat's off to you Jeff and thanks for sharing all the great info.  Chiguy

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2005, 11:29:27 PM »
What I like most about Jeff's site is the spreadsheet:

http://www.think2020.com/jv/Dough/PizzaRecipe.xls

I have made some mods to it and now use it for different kinds of breads. Extremely useful way via bakers' percentages of tweaking and analyzing your dough recipes and yields. For example, say I want to make 4 pizzas, each weighing 300 grams with a 64% hydration level including the amount of flour and water in the starter, I just enter these values and it tells me the exact amount of each ingredient. I never use the exact amount of flour since conditions change, so there is a place to enter the exact amount of flour used and it calculates the actual baker's percentages. So after I make a batch of pizzas, I consider what I might change to make it better (e.g. slightly increase the salt). So I just enter the new percentage(s) and use that to guide my next batch. You can record every batch you've ever made so you can backtrack in case you start going down the wrong path. This is a real boon when you get to be my age and you can't remember much  ???

Bill/SFNM


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2005, 09:05:33 AM »
Since I don't specialize in the thin Patsy's style and have only a basic KitchenAid mixer and a standard, unmodified home oven, I can't directly relate to Jeff's experiences. However, in the sandbox in which I play, my experience has been that flour does matter. For example, for the Lehmann NY style dough, with which I have had the most experience and conducted the most experiments, I have concluded that high gluten flour, and particularly the KASL, works the best and that there is not the general interchangeability of flours that Jeff has experienced with his Patsy's style. My sense is that that is also the case with other styles that I have played around with, such as the deep-dish, Randy's American style, Neapolitan, and cracker crusts. Each style seems to have its own set of rules and procedures that have to be mastered to produce the best end product. As much as I might wish it, there is not a "one size fits all" kind of framework or methodology to fall back on.

Where Jeff is to be commended--and pftaylor as well, I might add--is their willingness to tackle head on what I deem to be the two weakest links of pizza making in the home--the mixer and the oven. I'm sure that many of our members have changed their equipment and practices after having read and studied what Jeff and pftaylor have done with the Patsy's style pizza. I think they have also changed our thinking on creating the proper balance between the crust, the sauce and the cheese, and how best to accomplish this. I learn something new every time I read the material at Jeff's site and at the Patsy's reengineering thread.

Peter

Offline pietradoro

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2005, 12:37:51 PM »
If different flours are milled to varying degrees of fineness, varying protein content, etc., how can flour not make a difference?  Otherwise, very interesting read.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2005, 12:58:52 PM »
pietradoro,

I think part of the answer to your question is that under some circumstances a fairly low protein flour, such as an all-purpose flour, can produce above average results. Usually, a very high temperature oven is involved. More than once, our members who have such ovens but do not have high protein flours available to them (usually they are outside of the U.S.) have reported very good results using an all-purpose flour or something like it. Likewise, many of our members have reported being surprised by the high quality of pizzas served to them by pizza operators who use all-purpose flour. Of course, such operators will usually have a high quality dough to work with because of their commercial mixers. So, the combination of a well constructed dough and high oven temperatures is a potent one and can make up for some of the inherent shortcomings of the flours themselves. I think also that a very thin crust, such as that used for a Patsy's pizza (it's quite a bit thinner in the center than even a thin NY style), may tolerate a wider range of flour types.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 01:04:09 PM by Pete-zza »

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Offline pietradoro

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2005, 01:23:11 PM »
Peter,

Understood.  And thanks for the comment. My question was at least a bit rhetorical and in agreement with your previous post.  I guess my point was that flour is a key ingredient (obviously) and that the fineness and content of a particular flour will make a difference, however subtle perhaps, in spite of the perfect mixer or oven.  I, for one, cannot make a super thin, pizza classica style crust, like the kind I've had in Rome or Tuscany (or the best restaurants in Los Angeles), with anything but a 00 flour.  Maybe it's perfectly possible to use KASL or some other flour, but the Pizzaioli/Chefs (Italians) I've asked insist on 00 flours, and would probably scoff at the flour-doesn't-matter notion.

BTW, I really did find the read terrific and, as always, learned quite a lot from it.

Offline canadave

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2005, 01:49:39 PM »
Quote
He says alot what the experts here are saying is wrong.  He goes into great detail with excellent photos about NY style pizza.  Myths he proves  wrong ; Flour  and water are no big deal.
Just to be clear on this: he doesn't "prove" anything.  His statements are his own opinion, as someone else pointed out earlier in this thread.  I've learned a lot from his site, and use many of his techniques in my own NY style pizza, but I disagree with a number of his opinions, including his opinion that flour doesn't matter.  Here's a test for you to try: try making identical pizzas.  In one pizza use 00 flour.  In the other pizza use a good high-gluten flour.  If you can't detect any taste or texture difference in the finished pizzas, then I'll change my stance and agree that it's a myth.  Personally, having tried that test, I can tell you that there is a marked difference indeed.

Dave

Offline eric22

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Re: Have you guys seen Jeffs Famous pizza recipe site ? Blows up some myths.
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2006, 03:55:30 PM »
Reading his web site, he does say water is a big deal.  Flour is too, but as CB says everyone has an opinion. My only concern is with the hydration. I believe you have to measure exactly especially for us who make dough in small batches. Two ounce of water difference with one pound of flour is a BIG difference.  I do like his site and hope he posts more.



Your right. the water part was mistake on my part.   Water is very important : Sticky dough is good.

Offline varasano

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Ok, Let me clarify a few things, as I think that I've been misunderstood slightly. Here's what I meant about 'flour not making a difference':

If you make 2 identical batches using identical technique, varying just the flour, then OF COURSE, there will be a difference in the result. This is not what I meant at all.  What I meant was that you'd better know more about that technique part FIRST.

When I came on the board last year, the conversation regarding dough was all about the ingredients and about techniques that made no difference. Flour type, how much oil, how much malt, how much sugar, what temp the water is to proof the yeast, etc. People were looking for increased browning by adding sugar, looking for more chewiness by going to Hi gluten, more flavor by varying the mixing temp of the dough. Using cornmeal. Etc. No offense to anyone, but the photos being posted did not look good. Most of this conversation was frankly WAY off base, at least as it pertained to Neopolitan/ elite NY places.

What I meant on my site is that it's 95% technique and 5% the flour type.  It's like playing tennis. Have you ever seen a beginner go out and spend $1,000 on a racket that some pro uses?  Then he goes out and misses the ball by 10 feet.  Andy Roddick is going to kick my ass with $10 racket, I promise you.

Now, does Andy Roddick use a $10 racket? No. He uses a $1000 racket. But that's because he's at a different level and he's looking for that extra edge so he can go from the 99.9th percentile to the 99.99th percentile.  The $1000 racket is going to make a difference to his game, but not to mine. I had to learn technique. People on this board where 'blaming their racket' for missing the ball. They were chalking it up to the flour. THIS was the myth.

And that was my point. Making a low hydration dough with oil, sugar and tons of IDY and watching it spin uselessly to a Kitchen Aid hook was not going to improve just because you switched over to hi gluten or because you switched from Gold medal high gluten to KA high gluten. This was the type of debate that was raging and this is what I was trying to correct. The windowpaning photo that you see on my site, which is a dough with amazing gluten development, was made with Bread flour, not high gluten and you can even do this with AP (and should learn how to as part of your training).  I'm pretty positive that most doughs that were posted at the time that were made with Hi gluten came no where near this level of gluten development.

When I came on the board, there was a lot of talk about what the elites places do for a more Neopolitan pie. Not to brag, but I was the first to spell it out:

- Dough is just flour, water, salt, yeast. No malt, sugar, oil, cornmeal, vitamin c. etc.
- IDY is very limited and you have to use a natural starter
- Super wet mix, with gradual flour add only near the end
- Very wet final dough
- Autolyze before and after
- Limited rise, no more than 50% by volume
- Understanding warm and cold rise techniques
- Super hot oven, with higher temp from above than below
- Brick ovens are great, but at the wrong temp they are 90% useless because heat and not stone cooks a pizza
- Don't precook or overspice the sauce, strain rather than precook
- Rinse the acid out of the tomatoes, rather than add a lot of sugar
- Balance the ingredients

THESE are the fundamentals. Many of these are now considered standard, but when I came on the board, I fought with members over many of these. I had a full day argument with a 'professional' baker who said that you could make San Francisco sourdough out of IDY. Pure alchemy. No one was autolyzing before my site. Wet kneading was unknown. Natural starters were not being used. Low temp was the order of the day. My purpose was to shift the whole conversation 180 degrees - to shift focus to a new set of more important variables.

Flour type IS a factor, but not to the LEVEL of this list of a dozen points.  If you want to improve, then work on the game, and worry less about the racket. Then later worry about the racket.

Currently I use about 40% Caputo and about 10% KASL and 50% KA Bread. And my results are off the chart great, as good as any NY place.  Caputo definitly adds bigger bubbles and spring than Bread alone.  But 100% Caputo has a nutty flavor I don't love.  But regardless, my money is on the guy using AP who knows my dozen points, before the guy obsessing about KASL who doesn't know how to use it. The first photo on my site is AP! These are ALL pretty good flours. Some refer to Hi gluten as 'higher quality'. The truth is that they are ALL high quality. They vary in spec, not quality. And they are what you make of them.  I promise that few NY places use KASL.  They use Gold Medal All Trumps or whatever their restaurant supplier has at a good price. Even Patsy's. But their pies are great.  Technique, technique, technique. I went last year with my Grandma to learn how to make her amazing pasta sauce. Does she special order escalon from the west coast? Or spend $5 a can for DOP San Marzano?  No.  She buys Red Pack from the A & P and makes a killer sauce everytime that probably blows away what most people have ever tried in their life. Technique. Even after watching her 3 times, mine tastes lame next to hers.

Similarly, with the water, I keep hearing the excuse that pizza & bagels down here (Altanta) suck because of the water.   That's a lame excuse. That doesn't mean I use bad water. I wouldn't touch Atlanta Tap water, but filtered water or Dasani bottled water is all you need.

I hope that clarifies my point.

Jeff
« Last Edit: April 01, 2006, 10:29:02 PM by varasano »

Offline Wazza McG

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Hiya Vars,

You must be applauded for your valued input, standing ovation even  - full stop.  It is a good thing that you have clarified some members concerns.  I will always appreciate anyones time when they explain to me about a passion they have.  I have always enjoyed reading your threads and re-reading your site many times.

Regards,

Wazza McG
Fair Dinkum - you want more Pizza!  Crikey ! I've run out out them prawny thingymebobs again!

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Offline Randy

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Jeff, Delta is ready when you are.

Randy

Offline Pete-zza

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As forum member ilpizzaiolo (Ron), a true pizzaiolo himself, pointed out some time ago at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg9384.html#msg9384, the Patsy’s pizza has its origins in Neapolitan tradition. And as Jeff and pftaylor were zeroing in on the Patsy’s style of pizza with laser-like focus and with great passion and dedication, others were trying to do the same with the authentic Neapolitan style. And for this, the contributions of Marco (pizzanapoletana) also deserve acknowledgment and high praise. Having recently reread all of Marco’s posts on the forum (twice, actually), I feel even more strongly than ever before about his contributions to the forum on the art and science of Neapolitan pizza making. I only wish Marco would get his book published so that I can learn even more than I already have about the authentic Neapolitan style and its remaining secrets that I suspect Marco is saving for his book.

For several months before Jeff and Marco joined the forum, a new passion was starting to grow on the forum for the classic, authentic Neapolitan style pizzas based on the use of imported 00 flours--starting with the Bel Aria and Delverde 00 flours (the early retail-level 00 flours), and ultimately the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour that was theretofore available to only professional pizza operators. Although a great deal was already known about authentic Neapolitan pizzas and much had been written on the subject on the forum going back to the spring or summer of 2004, it wasn’t until Marco joined the forum in early 2005 that most of the mysteries that surrounded the Neapolitan style were solved for our members—from proper recipe selection, formulation and management, to proper 00 flour selection, to the selection, preparation and use of entirely natural preferments (such as the Ischia and Camaldoli starters), to the complexities and nuances of chemistry and biochemical activity, to the use of high hydration, to proper kneading machine selection and kneading technique and use of rest periods (riposo), to long room-temperature fermentation/ripening, and to proper oven design, construction and operation. Together, properly applied, these provided the roadmap to successful Neapolitan pizza production.

Drawing on the work of Marco, and also influenced by Jeff’s and pftaylor’s work on the Patsy’s style pizza (and pftaylor’s collateral work with the Raquel formulation), several of our members have gone on to become solid, passionate and credible practitioners of the Neapolitan style and its variants, including scott r and Bill/SFNM, and undoubtedly many others learning, being inspired and toiling in anonymity. To Marco, to Jeff and to pftaylor and to scott and Bill, I say thank you for all of your efforts.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 09:43:44 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline DKM

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Just to add my own thought.

As with most things in life, this is a matter of balance.  With the right technique and ingredients you won’t win.

No offense, Jeff but you were not the first one to talk technique or spell it out.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Peter,

Thanks for the kind words (these are always appreciated as well as proper references to my scripts).

I would also like to clarify that my writing on Pizza Napoletana were not exclusive, and my expertise do not end there. Pizza baking and technology is similar to bread's but also vary considerably. The missing link is that it has never been written anything scientifically about Pizza specifically so I had to draw the theory behind it (with the thankfull help of various University professors) and see how it applied to pizzamaking...

With no offense, Jeff has recently talk about is conclusion that bacteria in a starter work faster then yeast at cold temperature. Well, this may apply to his starter due to an unbalanced acidity and bacteria/yeast ratio, but the science prove him wrong. If anyone start studying microbiology and see how temperature affects bacteria and how bacteria react to incremental temperature, you may see what I am talking about.

This forum may be a good medium to talk about those subject, but from a scientific point of view, I believe advise should be weighted carefully when is only based on Web search and/or basic reading materials instead of more scientific text. I believe Steve has recently posted a link to a very good website (which I have myself come across 2 years ago) on baking science and reference. Unfortunately it is only a summary of quite a few books, including Mr P 2x 300plus pages work, Mr Q's 2 books and not last Mr G's work (since then he has published 2 more works).

I hope to have not offended anyone, but I often think about the above when I read some post that then start a whole sequence of misleading information and understanding...

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 09:31:04 AM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline Randy

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My pizza hunt was always in vain until I understood that  quantity, ingredients and procedure must be in balance as DKM pointed out.  More than that, pizza was first an art before it was a science.   Pizza nuance is increadably complicated considering the variations around the world.  No Jeff, you were not the first.

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