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  • #1 by TXCraig1 on 14 Aug 2012
  • Here is the entire process I currently use to make my pies at The Garage

    Here is how I make my dough: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20477.msg202047.html#msg202047

    Here is how I bulk Ferment: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18509.msg179991.html#msg179991

    Getting the oven ready:
    First, I open a nice bottle of wine - red seems to work best. To get the most out of my WFO, I have to get it 1) hot and 2) saturated with heat. They are not the same thing. I can get the floor up to 800F and the dome to over 1000F in perhaps 3-4 hours. Maybe less, but the walls will only be 600-700F or so at the most. This is hot but not saturated.

    My best pies are baked with heat coming as evenly as possible from 1) the fire, 2) the ceiling, and 3) the walls. If the bulk of the heat is coming from the fire, the edges will burn before the top browns, and I probably wont get nice leoparding. This is because I will have to bake closer to the fire. I want to bake up near the wall that is farthest from the fire (I generally put the fire in the back left corner though it would probably be easier for me to work the peel if it was in the back right corner as Im right handed).

    I like to bake when the deck is about 875F and the walls are 925F+. The dome will be well in excess of 1200F. It will take me at least 10 hours of pre heating to achieve this or even close to it, and I usually stick a 500,000BTU torch in the door for 20 minutes at the beginning to kick things off. It would be so much simpler if I could use the oven every day starting the day with a hot oven. I use larger (4-6" wide logs for the warm-up and smaller 1-2" wide logs for the bake. The large logs burn longer, but the small logs burn hotter. Bake times are 55-65 seconds typically. Ideally, I have enough heat saturation in the walls and dome that I can run a fire that is not too big. The bigger the fire, the more heat coming from the fire, and the harder it is to get an even bake and avoid charred rims.  Notwithstanding, I ALWAYS have flames rolling across the top of the dome when I bake.  

    Making and baking the pie:
    When I open my dough balls, I am very gentle - no slapping or beating it - and, I always protect the cornice. The top of the dough ball becomes the top of the pizza skin. My dough is very easy to open.  I usually press it out with the underside of my fingers taking care not to use my fingertips. Using light pressure, I start inside of the cornice by about and work down protecting and forming the cornice all the way around. I flip it once and press again the same way. Then, I stretch it over my knuckles until it is about 12-13. To do this, I place the skin over my knuckles and turn it 360 degrees pulling slightly apart with my hands but mostly using gravity. This takes about 5 seconds. I never slap and stretch or anything like that. Slap for show, gentle for great dough.   I top the skin quickly (have everything ready and handy), slide the (lightly floured) peel under and stretch out the dough until it is just a bit over 13.  Be sure its not hanging over the back edge of your peel at all. Then its into the oven.

    I launch the pie to a spot near a wall farthest from the fire, after 20 seconds or so, I use my round turning peel to loosen it from the deck and then turn it about 1/3. I generally turn a pie about 3 times on the deck then for the last 10 seconds, I pick it up and dome it right under the flames for a couple seconds. I spin it about 1/3 as I lower it back down then dome it again and so on a couple more times.

    Here is how I prep my cheese: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20455.msg201652.html#msg201652

    Here is how I make Calabrian chili oil (indispensable): http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19368.msg189521.html#msg189521

    My sauce:
    My sauce is about as simple as it gets. It's a 35oz can of Cento Italian whole peeled tomatoes run through a food mill with the coarse plate (everything in the can except the basil leaf), a little less than 1Tbsp sugar (to taste based on the specific can of tomatoes - we generally start at ~1/2Tbs and work up if it needs it), and about 1tsp sea salt (again to taste - start with a little less and add more if it needs it). I always taste the tomatoes after they go through the food mill but before we add anything. Sometimes you get a really sweet can that doesn't need any sugar.

    Thats everything I think.

    I hope this helps. Im happy to help with any specific questions about what I wrote here or other things I might have left out.

    The Garage: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14249.msg182811.html#msg182811
  • #2 by Chicago Bob on 14 Aug 2012
  • Simply awesome....generosity at it's finest moment!
    Thank you sir.
  • #3 by weemis on 14 Aug 2012
  • Simply awesome....generosity at it's finest moment!
    Thank you sir.

    agreed! and to think the pizza joint i worked at in high school had a "secret dough recipe". times, they are a-changin!

    thanks for the openness, craig! open source all the way!
  • #4 by randyjohnsonhve on 14 Aug 2012

  • More great info from Craig...keep it coming!

    RJelli :chef:
  • #5 by pizzablogger on 14 Aug 2012
  • I see that Caleb Schiff is offering a pizza with Calabrian chiles on it at Pizzicletta tonight.

    Not sure if he got wind of them here, from one of Craig's MPM shots on Slice or if he discovered them himself somewhere and it is just coincidental. Either way, Calabrian chilis are hot, hot, hot right now!

    They transform/transcend a pizza, that's for sure
  • #6 by deb415611 on 14 Aug 2012
  • Simply awesome....generosity at it's finest moment!
    Thank you sir.

    yes, what Bob said
  • #7 by TXCraig1 on 14 Aug 2012
  • I see that Caleb Schiff is offering a pizza with Calabrian chiles on it at Pizzicletta tonight.

    Not sure if he got wind of them here, from one of Craig's MPM shots on Slice or if he discovered them himself somewhere and it is just coincidental. Either way, Calabrian chilis are hot, hot, hot right now!

    They transform/transcend a pizza, that's for sure

    I wish I was there. I would love to try his pizza.

    I got the idea of using mascarpone on a prosciutto and arugula pizza from him. Way better than mozz on that pie.

    CL
  • #8 by Pizza Rustica on 14 Aug 2012
  • Craig, thanks for your generosity in sharing your information. You have without doubt caused me to gain a few lbs, but its certainly worth it.

    Everyone at my house's new fav is your calabrian. I add jalapeno for a little extra kick!!!

    Russ
  • #9 by TXCraig1 on 14 Aug 2012
  • Craig, thanks for your generosity in sharing your information. You have without doubt caused me to gain a few lbs, but its certainly worth it.

    Everyone at my house's new fav is your calabrian. I add jalapeno for a little extra kick!!!

    Russ

    Thanks Russ. Calabrian chilies seem to go well with lots of different types of peppers. They pair very well with Aleppo Chili for example. I sprinkle a little Aleppo on the sauce and then add some Calabrians post bake to make a Margherita that will absolutely blow you away.

    http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/crushed-aleppo-pepper?utm_source=g-base&utm_medium=shp&utm_campaign=feed
  • #10 by Phar Lap on 14 Aug 2012
  • Craig,

    What an informative post...thank you!! 

    You must really love your day job, because there is just no doubt that you could turn your pizza talent, passion, and experience into a business juggernaut :pizza:!

    Adam     
    • Phar Lap
  • #11 by thezaman on 14 Aug 2012
  • craig,thanks for the great post. it is nice that you are willing to share you wonderful method. such a simple pizza gets it diversity by each persons individual creativity. thanks i learned a lot.!!!
  • #12 by TXCraig1 on 14 Aug 2012
  • craig,thanks for the great post. it is nice that you are willing to share you wonderful method. such a simple pizza gets it diversity by each persons individual creativity. thanks i learned a lot.!!!

    You're most welcome.
  • #13 by Mangia Pizza on 14 Aug 2012
  • Awesome Craig!

    Thanks for the great info.
  • #14 by Pizza Rustica on 15 Aug 2012
  • Craig, I was able to find some Aleppo pepper at a local international market. Its a killer combo with the Calabrian chiles. I initially could only find the " Hot spread Sauce" version of the Calabrian chiles by the same maker, but now have located the actual version you use. Have you tried the Hot Spread Sauce? Curious to know if you've tried and how they compare.

    I have to say that the "hot Spread Sauce' is great with just some freshly made bread.

    Russ
     
  • #15 by Don K on 15 Aug 2012
  • This thread should be a sticky.
  • #16 by Dieter01 on 15 Aug 2012
  • Thank you, this was really great and answers so many of my questions :-)
  • #17 by TXCraig1 on 15 Aug 2012
  • Craig, I was able to find some Aleppo pepper at a local international market. Its a killer combo with the Calabrian chiles. I initially could only find the " Hot spread Sauce" version of the Calabrian chiles by the same maker, but now have located the actual version you use. Have you tried the Hot Spread Sauce? Curious to know if you've tried and how they compare.

    I have to say that the "hot Spread Sauce' is great with just some freshly made bread.

    Russ
     

    I have not tried it. Next time I order the chilies, I get a bottle. Thanks!
  • #18 by TXCraig1 on 15 Aug 2012
  • Thank you, this was really great and answers so many of my questions :-)

     :)
  • #19 by Jackitup on 15 Aug 2012
  • Knuckles up there brother. You put more than a few minutes into all that, maybe even a few hours! Very generous indeed ;)

    Jon
  • #20 by norma427 on 15 Aug 2012
  • Craig,

    Thanks for your great post!  ;D 

    I have to read over it better for the next time I experiment with a Neapolitan dough.

    I also appreciate all that you share.  :P

    Hats off to you!!   :chef: :chef: :chef:

    Norma
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