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Author Topic: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!  (Read 5471 times)

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Offline dmcavanagh

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Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« on: June 02, 2012, 08:49:14 AM »
I made a dough yesterday for last nights pizza dinner. OK, I have a confession to make.....I broke all the rules. I didn't use a scale, just a cheap plastic measuring cup and spoons. I used ADY but I didn't use warm water, as a matter of fact I didn't hydrate it at all, just threw it in with the flour. And then i threw the salt right on top of the yeast. I didn't even "feed" it any sugar. Guess what, the dough turned out great! The salt must not have killed the yeast because the dough actually rose too fast because of the warm temperatures. Apparently the yeast didn't need any sugar to feed on. I didn't use baker's percentages, I relied on my eyes, my hands and past experience. I didn't even relie on a machine, I mixed by hand. Warning: don't attempt this at home unless you have over 40 years experience!  :-D
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 09:30:24 AM »
Dave,

Hahaha. That is really funny. I am even amused that you thought to single me out in the heading for your thread. That tells me a lot about how others must also perceive me :-D.

You'd be surprised how much you internalize things after years of experience. In my case, I know most of the principles involved in what I do, and I also have most of the conversion factors memorized, that I don't even need a measuring cup or measuring spoons or any equipment other than my hands to make a pizza dough. I also have a lot of dough formulations memorized, in baker's percent format, and can change them in my head if need be, although using a calculator comes in handy. But, to be honest, doing what you did wouldn't be any fun for me. I like to orchestrate and create things, right down to the smallest details, and then test my creations, whether they are for me or for someone else (think Norma), to see if the results turn out as I anticipated and validate my thought processes. Others may see me as a bot or a machine but I can assure you that there is always a method to my madness :-D. Query: What would this forum be like if the members were required to use only volume measurements or if the dough calculating and other tools did not exist?

Peter

Offline DannyG

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 09:33:57 AM »
Lately I've been tossing all the ingredients in together with the exception of dissolving the salt in the water. So it's water, salt, oil (if using), flour, starter (or yeast) all in the mixing bowl at the same time. Mix for 5 - 7 minutes. Bench rest for an hour, ball and in the refrigerator. After years of experimenting with different procedures and times I am finding it doesn't really make much of a difference. While it's fun to experiment, I don't think the dough really cares!

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 09:38:19 AM »
Pete

I fully appreciate all the knowledge you dispense to the forum and I know how valuable tools are to the masses. Sometimes I just like to stir the pot a little and hear what others have to say. Don't take me too seriously, I love pizza and anything related to pizza. Keep up the great work you do here! :angel:
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 09:46:37 AM »
Lately I've been tossing all the ingredients in together with the exception of dissolving the salt in the water. So it's water, salt, oil (if using), flour, starter (or yeast) all in the mixing bowl at the same time. Mix for 5 - 7 minutes. Bench rest for an hour, ball and in the refrigerator. After years of experimenting with different procedures and times I am finding it doesn't really make much of a difference. While it's fun to experiment, I don't think the dough really cares!

+1.  Same here.  I have my routine, but truely it matters not much once you have learned to make those automatic adjustments based on the condition of the dough.  The interesting thing is how pervasive techniques can become.  For example, take autolyse.  When it comes to pizza making, Jeff Varasano has introduce more ppl to the concept of autolyse through his website than prof. Calvel will ever know.   He's got all the newbies doing it without ever explaining it's function or role.   Or  the concept of window paning, or baking pies at blistering temps.    We get a lot of newbies that think they need to autolyse and window pane their dough, and bake at 800F plus.  When it comes to pizza making, these ideas and concepts aren't that important and more or less perferential.  

Chau

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 10:00:14 AM »
Chau,

Technically, Jeff did not use autolyse. He referred to what he did as autolyse but it was really fermentation. They are two different things. But that does not detract from what Jeff did or his influence on others.

Peter

Offline Don K

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 10:01:19 AM »
There are rules?

Until I came to this forum, the only thing that I ever measured was yeast. Then I decided to experiment a little based on some of the recipes here, so I measured up my "recipe" and used it as a baseline.

But now I'm pretty much back to just using sight and feel. Does my crust always end up exactly the same?...No, but IMO that's OK.

Without weights and measures though, it would be kind of hard to talk about our pizza on the forum. Saying, "Add water until it looks about right" doesn't mean much to someone else.

Pete-zaa is a computer. He has to be.

The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline norma427

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2012, 10:09:44 AM »
Dave,

You really gave me a good chuckle from your post.  >:D Congrats on your pie!  :chef: Stir up the pot, it is fun!  :-D

I donít think I have ever just used baking cups and spoons to make a dough.  I am usually worried that if something goes wrong it would be my fault for not weighing ingredients out right.  I donít know what I would do without the dough calculating tools because of my math skills.  I like to experiment, but want to know if something goes wrong how I might go about changing what went wrong.

Norma

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2012, 10:26:50 AM »
The one thing I always weigh out are the individual dough balls. Just something I can't do well by feel. And one you've stretched and topped the dough, the only thing you can really adjust is the temperature and baking time - not something you can easily do in a WFO without affecting everything else.   

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 12:48:20 PM »
Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one.  I was making dough for years without a scale until I found this forum.  The forum's helped me immensely- the scale, not so much.  Damned thing keeps turning off while I'm adding ingredients until I get frustrated, say f**k it and go back to my usual method.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 04:07:15 PM »
Warning: don't attempt this at home unless you have over 40 years experience!  :-D
Or at least a couple 40 ouncers in ya!  :-D ...hey, sometimes you get lucky!! 
Dave's skill don't come easy newbies...so please ignore my suggestion.  ;)

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 04:38:19 PM »
Once you learn to break the rules, you can start making your own.

Offline petef

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 05:19:31 PM »
I made a dough yesterday for last nights pizza dinner. OK, I have a confession to make.....I broke all the rules. I didn't use a scale, just a cheap plastic measuring cup and spoons.

I play guitar by ear. I can't read music and i can't even tell you which notes I'm playing. I hear it and then I play it.

I make my pizza dough using a basic recipe of ingredients measured in cups, teaspoons, etc, and mix & knead by hand. Each time, it requires a different amount of flour. I do it by feel.

So there you go, I break the rules of music and pizza making and still get the job done to play a song and bake a pizza. HOWEVER, I can't communicate effectively with other musicians or other pizza makers due to my methods that break the rules. And THAT, is what makes the rules so valuable. Having precise methods to measure and exact procedures allows you to communicate with others so that they too can duplicate what you are doing to a T.

Yeah, i'm a rule breaker too but i'm getting closer to measuring everything by weight like most others here do. I just haven't made that leap yet. :)

---pete---


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 06:14:57 PM »
petef

I've never once had a guest say "boy this pizza tastes crappy, you must not have used a scale when you made it"! :-D
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 06:33:56 PM »
petef,

You ever had anyone say " Man, that music sounds crappy...you must not know your musical scales!"   :-D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

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Offline Ev

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2012, 07:42:19 PM »
I play a few instruments myself.
One time a lady came up to me and asked "Is that a real song, or did you make it up?
Another guy said " I wish you'd play something I know, so I'd know if you're any good or not".   ;):-D
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2012, 07:44:35 PM »
I made a dough yesterday for last nights pizza dinner. OK, I have a confession to make.....I broke all the rules. I

You are fiesty lately.  :-D
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Don K

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2012, 08:25:47 PM »
Once you learn to break the rules, you can start making your own.
Spoken like a true anarchist!
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Offline petef

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2012, 01:49:23 AM »
petef,

You ever had anyone say " Man, that music sounds crappy...you must not know your musical scales!"   :-D

Naaaaaaaaaay. They usually throw tomatoes at me when I play.
Then I use the tomatoes to make more pizza. LOL :)

---pete---

Offline petef

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Re: Pete-zaa......I Broke ALL the rules!
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 01:57:16 AM »
I play a few instruments myself.
One time a lady came up to me and asked "Is that a real song, or did you make it up?
Another guy said " I wish you'd play something I know, so I'd know if you're any good or not".   ;):-D

Yeah, I hear you. It took me years to develop the skills but now one of my favorite things to do is create my own tunes on the guitar. I do it mostly for my own enjoyment but it would be interesting to post on youtube to see if anyone actually liked it. Hey, I like it, and that's all that really matters. Same with my home made pizza.
:)



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