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  • #101 by scott123 on 22 Jun 2010
  • Terry is heavily influenced by DiFara's, which is NY style with high end toppings (with some theatrics thrown in), but he also brings sourdough and a high temp coal-ish oven into the mix, which puts him pretty firmly in the Patsy's/Neo realm.

    As far as neo places go, Patsy's definitely leans a bit toward the Neapolitan end with it's occasional leoparding while places like John's on Bleecker are a little more on the NY side of things.  Terry's DiFara influence puts him closer to John's than Patsy's, but it's still all firmly in the Neo-Neapolitan style, imo. But don't tell Terry he's making 'Neo-Neapolitan' pies, though. As far as he's concerned he's emulating 'True' NY Style.  It's an endearing delusion- when you live in NY for a while, it's easy to get like that, so I can completely understand :P

    As far as Jeff's journey goes, take a look at his most recent pies in the gallery section of his site.  He may have started out trying to re-engineer Patsy's, but presently, he's about as Neapolitan as you can get with a deck oven.  TBH, I didn't know you could GET a pie as Neapolitan looking as that with that kind of oven. From seeing those photos and some of his recent videos, he's in a different universe than he was 5 years ago.  5 years ago he was a guy futzing around in his kitchen.  Now he's one of the top pizza makers in the U.S.

    I think there's a dirth of neo-Neapolitan home pizza bakers for two reasons

    1. There's not a lot of neo-Neapolitan pizzerias for people to go to and say 'wow, I have to make this.'

    2. It's almost impossible to recreate the necessary oven environment without tricky oven mods or broiling pizza stones.

    As far as Jeff's recipe goes, I think the most glaring omission is stone brand/size/material. Temperature is only one part of the pizza baking puzzle. Without being aware of the conductivity of your stone, it's a big guessing game. 700 with firebrick is not the same thing as 700 for fibrament, which, in turn, is not the same thing as 700 for cordierite. There's lot's of other little things that he misses the mark on, but, for me, that's the biggest.
  • #102 by hotsawce on 22 Jun 2010
  • I wasn't aware 700 degrees on different stones were different....can you explain that a little more? What stone would be best?
  • #103 by Jackie Tran on 22 Jun 2010
  • Thanks for the explanation Scott, it's helpful to know who leans which way.  Some day, I'll have to make the pilgrimage and try the different pizzerias myself.

    As far as Jeff's recent pies, are these the photos you are referring to?
    http://www.varasanos.com/Photos950/

    If so, I do see what you mean.  There is more leoparding than his past pies.  More burnt spots.  He says the Da Michelle pie is the authentic target.  IMO, some of his recent stuff looks more like Toby's pies.  >:D

    I also hope no one takes this the wrong way, but when I first visited his website I was blown away by the pictures.  I'm now making pies with a similar look.  Nice crunchy outside and soft on the inside.  Ofcourse I'm using a variation of his recipe and methods, but still it's achievable (with some forum help  :angel:).

    I'm not so blown away by his pics anymore but I would definitely love to taste any one of the 8 or 9 elite pies in the country.  It must really be something. 

    Also on his recipe site, and as hotsawce posted before, there are pictures of famous pies around the world.  The Trianon and Da Michelle.  I've posted this before without any response so I hope someone has wondered the same or has a good explanation.  Both are world famous, so I'm wondering why the deflated rims?  What is that from?  Overfermentation?   I would think that if you are world famous that everything should be spot on including a puffy (and perhaps crunchy) rim.  Am I wrong in saying this?

    HS, I'm not sure that 700 degrees are different on different stones, but maybe a clearer way to state this is that different stones bake differently at the same temps due to the different properties.  A pie will burn much faster on my Primo glazed ceramic stone at 700 than it will on firebricks.  I like baking pizza on firebricks.   

    Any feedback is much appreciated. 

  • #104 by scott123 on 23 Jun 2010
  • I wasn't aware 700 degrees on different stones were different....can you explain that a little more? What stone would be best?

    Because of the differing conductivities and heat capacities, you can produce almost identical classic, slightly charred, NY style pizzas in the same amount of time (4-6 min.) with the following materials/temps

    1/2" iron slab- 450
    1 1/2" cordierite (commercial deck oven) 500
    1 1/4" soapstone - 525
    1" cordierite kiln shelves - 550
    1 1/8" split firebrick - 600
    1/2" cordierite (with feet/old stone/pampered chef, etc) - 625
    1/2" dense quarry tiles* - 625
    3/4" fibrament - 625
    1/4" porous quarry tiles* - 700

    *Quarry tiles can vary in composition (as can firebrick, but that varies less).  Density/heft and lack of porosity are good indicators of a more conductive tile. Note: these are, for the most part very rough figures and most likely have a decent margin of error (+/- 25 deg.).  The order of the list, though, from most conductive, to least conductive- that shouldn't change. Also, this is just from a hearth perspective. Dome temps and top browning is another discussion.

    If you really want to expand your understanding of conductivity and heat capacity, here's one of the best lessons that I've found on the subject:

    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/25717-understanding-stovetop-cookware/

    That's conductivity with a focus on cookware. If you want to put traditional stone hearth materials in the mix, here's the specs for fibrament and cordierite:

    http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5645.0.html

    And here's the numbers for soapstone:

    http://www.tulikivi.com/www/kotien.nsf/WWWTakka/The%20characteristics%20of%20soapstone

    As far as the 'best' stone is concerned, I'm a huge proponent of 1 1/4"  soapstone slab.  With the exception of iron/steel, which, to be honest, isn't all that viable as a pizza stone, there's nothing more conductive and there's nothing with a higher heat capacity.   It's conductive enough to pre-heat quickly/evenly and transfer a substantial amount of heat to the crust, while not being so conductive that it loses heat when you open the oven door. It's also incredibly resistant to thermal shock and lasts through years of heat/cold cycles. Soapstone and cordierite kiln shelves are the only two stones that, without oven modification or broiler technique, give you a quick baking time/proper amount of puffiness in a typical 550 deg. home oven. Everything else extends the baking clock, which in turn, decreases quality.

  • #105 by hotsawce on 24 Jun 2010
  • That was ridiculously helpful. It should be stickied!

    I suppose that's why those using the broiler method with a cast iron pizza pan...not a skillet, are getting beautifully charred bottoms and pies cooked in 3 minutes.

    Great, great stuff...now I need to find where I can get soapstone....
  • #106 by vbinnc on 27 Jun 2010
  • Can anyone advise me as to where I might find a slab of soapstone, 15"x 21"x 1 1/4" and what it would cost?  Any help is greatly appreciated.
    • vbinnc
  • #107 by hotsawce on 27 Jun 2010
  • I thought this would be a great post to follow Scott's explanation of conduction.

    Check out this Margherita pie made under the broiler using a Cast Iron Pizza Pan....not a skillet. This would support the data he provided, and boy does the pie look awesome.

    http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/05/my-pie-monday-adam-lindsleys-cast-iron-margherita-pizza.html

    Does anyone else have a cast iron pizza pan that would be willing to try this under the broiler to see if we can achieve consistent results? perhaps the flatness of the pan puts it at the perfect distance from the top of the broiler, where the cast iron pan upside down may raise it too far upward?

    ***Does anyone have a cast iron pizza pan that we can measure the thickness of? Perhaps we could all collaborate and make a push for a cast iron pizza stone to be made....I'm not sure if the 1/2" thickness is the best, but maybe we could have a few samples made by a reputable company and test them out?
  • #108 by Jackie Tran on 02 Aug 2010
  • Made a light and airy crumb using caputo tonight.  Pie was purdy good. 
  • #109 by jever4321 on 02 Aug 2010
  • Those Look AWESOME JT!
  • #110 by norma427 on 02 Aug 2010
  • Jackie Tran,

    Your light and airy crumb look great with Caputo!  ;D

    Norma
  • #111 by Jackie Tran on 02 Aug 2010
  • Thx Jever and Norma.  I'm glad I was able to do it.  ;D If you look at the very first pie of this thread, that was with caputo flour as well.  If you look closely at the crumb, eventhough it looks airy, that crumb was leathery and dry where as this one is moist.  Big difference. 

    JT
  • #112 by Jackie Tran on 19 Aug 2010
  • Still working on that almostpolitan pie.  Tell me what you guys think.

  • #113 by norma427 on 19 Aug 2010
  • Jackie Tran,

    Looks great to me!  ;D  How did you bake that pie and how did you go about the mix?

    Norma
  • #114 by jever4321 on 19 Aug 2010
  • I think you nailed it. Looks AWESOME!
  • #115 by Jackie Tran on 19 Aug 2010
  • Thanks Norma and Jev.   I actually just realized that I posted this in the wrong section.  This was made with AP flour and not caputo.  I've been running low on caputo and started experimenting with AP flour. 

    The mix was 69% HR, 1.5% salt, and 0.1% IDY.  It was hand kneaded and left to ferment at 76F for 8 hours, then divided and balled & fridge for 9 hrs, and proof again at room temps for 3 hours.  Bake under the broiler in the home oven.  The crumb was doughier than i like. 

    Let me know if you have anymore questions.  Feedback from the WFO crowd would be cool.  Come on guys... 8)

    Chau
  • #116 by TXCraig1 on 20 Aug 2010
  • JT,

    I think they look sweet - in a savory kind of way. Seriously, nice work - some of the best pies I've seen come out of a home oven.

    What was the cook time? From the pictures, it looks like you lost a good bit of the water in your sauce during the cooking process. I noticed that when I was able to get my cook time down from 2:30-2:45 to 2:00-2:15, my sauce has a much "wetter" look which I was trying to achieve.

    The crust looks great. Sorry it was "doughier" than you like. Do you think it would be better if you knocked the hydration down a couple turns? 64-65% maybe?

    Craig
  • #117 by gtsum2 on 08 Sep 2010
  • those pies look nice! ;D ;D ;D
  • #118 by NY pizzastriver on 10 Sep 2010
  • Fabuloso! Magnifico!
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