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Author Topic: Blackstone in Palo Alto  (Read 766 times)

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Offline DoouBall

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Blackstone in Palo Alto
« on: April 10, 2017, 01:26:49 AM »
Dear pizzamaking.com friends, I've been a long time member of the forum although most of that time was spent reading and learning from others. In this thread, I'd like to document my progress towards making Neapolitan and Neo-Neapolitan style pizza. Most of these pictures and logs will be based on my unmodified Blackstone oven and I will contribute both the recipes used and the learnings from each night.

Current recipe is 100% Central Milling 00 Central Flour, 65% Water, 2.7% Salt and 1.75% Ischia Starter (TxCraig1's method), matured for 48h at 65F in my new 20 bottle wine fridge from Costco (a great deal right now):

https://www.costco.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Evolution-20-Bottle-Wine-Cooler.product.100312782.html

Pizzas
1)Margherita with Buffalo Mozzarella (Buf)
2)Mozza inspired Sausage and Panna (Cream, Mild Italian Sausage, Scallion, Red Onion, Fennel Pollen, Parm)
3)Arugula, Prosciutto, Shaved Parm
4)Margherita with Calabrese Salami (Milk Mozz)
5)Cheesus Christ (Cream, Milk Mozz, Taleggio, Parm, Black Pepper, Honey)
6)Bianca with Rosemary, Sea Salt and EVOO

What I learned tonight:

1) Cutting up mozzarella into slices and then cutting each slice into 4-5 thin strips produced a great even coverage of cheese over the whole pizza and minimized browning on the surface of the cheese. This was an awesome improvement, and I'm surprised that I preferred this to even hand torn mozzarella. Cheese was only slightly chilled before baking.

2) The dough flavor was particularly amazing tonight. I believe that the reason is that the dough balls matured 5 hours early, and I had to reduce wine cooler temp to 45F to hold them without over-fermenting for the last 5 hours before letting it warm up at room temp for 1.5 hours. In my experience, a lot of starter flavor develops during holding time and the starter flavor really came through in the dough.

3)Central Milling 00 Normal is a great substitute for Caputo 00. It seems to taste fresher and it allows for higher hydrations that Caputo resulting in a moister rim. However, the doughs made with it so far are much less elastic, so I may have to try balling for longer, or letting dough warm up more before stretching.

4)Baking at a stone temp of 670-710 and blasting the heat only after the pizza goes onto the Blackstone allowed for great baking without charring the bottom.

What didn't go so well and could be improved:

1)I sliced the Calabrese salami too thick and it became somewhat hard during the bake. Next time, try slicing thinner.
2)When baking cheese and white sauce pizzas, reduce the heat a bit to prevent burning the cheese.
3)Need to find a way to make Central Milling 00 doughs less elastic. Any ideas?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
Pizza is looking good.

65% HR +24 hours bulk + 24 hours in balls, and it was still elastic? No reballing, right? That's surprising. I'm not sure what else you could do except try even longer time in balls.

Sometime try cutting the mozz with something dull like a dough cutter or the back of a knife. I generally use a wire mesh, but it gives the same feathered effect on the cut edges. I find I get a better melt that way.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline StateofMind

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 10:34:11 AM »
Nice pies! Are you in Palo Alto, CA? That's where I live.

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 10:35:17 AM »
TxCraig1: Great idea - I will try using my dough cutter for the mozz next time! The elastic dough is very surprising because I have followed your standard 48 hour method for the last several sessions switching from Caputo 00 to Central Milling 00 Normal and upping the hydration from 63% to 65%. Actually, I believe I had balled it for about 17 hours this time so maybe I'll try something like 28 next time.  Either way, the taste and texture of the Central Milling 00 dough was excellent, so it's not really that big of a deal.

StateOfMind: Technically, I'm in Los Altos, but I figured I'd call this thread Palo Alto since Los Altos isn't as well known outside the bay area :)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 10:39:13 AM by DoouBall »

Offline StateofMind

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 02:54:48 PM »
TxCraig1: Great idea - I will try using my dough cutter for the mozz next time! The elastic dough is very surprising because I have followed your standard 48 hour method for the last several sessions switching from Caputo 00 to Central Milling 00 Normal and upping the hydration from 63% to 65%. Actually, I believe I had balled it for about 17 hours this time so maybe I'll try something like 28 next time.  Either way, the taste and texture of the Central Milling 00 dough was excellent, so it's not really that big of a deal.

StateOfMind: Technically, I'm in Los Altos, but I figured I'd call this thread Palo Alto since Los Altos isn't as well known outside the bay area :)
Awesome. I'm opening a pub and Pizzeria in Los Altos this summer.

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Offline DoouBall

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 03:29:52 PM »
Awesome. I'm opening a pub and Pizzeria in Los Altos this summer.

That's great! Let me know if you need any help.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 09:52:02 AM »
Those sure look great...any bottom pix?  If I may ask, What was your approximate bake time...and as far as blasting heat, where was your BS regulator position..ie, full, down one  turn,     etc?    I'd say these look really amazing for a first time..and they do, but you're a pro on a busman's holiday with these, right? ( Yeah, dating myself with that expression, but oh well  :-D )

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 03:42:26 PM »
Thanks JerseyPieBoy! I don't usually take bottom pics - do you think it's important to do so?

Approximate baking time is 90-100 seconds for the tomato based pies with BS regulator from 20% at the start to full blast towards the end. Approximate baking time for the white pies is 3-4 minutes and heat was kept around 20% the whole time. This was done to prevent burning the cheese and white sauce with the flame on top. Since the edges don't brown as well at 20%, I used the peel to push the pies forward so that they would spin right next to the flame. This way, about 1/4 of the pie spins 1" from the flame. After it emerges, I push the pizza again so that the next 1/4 of the pie spins 1" away from the flame. Hope that makes sense. After 4-5 pushes, it's done.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 06:52:09 PM »
Sure does..you're essentially "rim-doming" with the burner...Good idea


Bottom pix..not essential, but kind of nice to see sometimes to understand how the heat affects the bottom as well as the top. I tend to like my undersides fairly well-browned, but not a fan of large amount of char..some is fine.

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Blackstone in Palo Alto
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 01:26:24 PM »
This time, I decided to change up the mixing procedure to reduce elasticity in the dough balls. I used the same dough proportions from my first post. I added all the water into the KA bowl and all the salt, and swirled to dissolve. I then added the starter and stirred with a spoon for a few seconds. Then I set the bowl into the mixer and used the Paddle attachment for about 60 seconds to bring the dough together. I then rested for 10 minutes and did 2 sets of stretch folds on the counter - it was already smooth. I did a bulk rise for 12 hours at 65F and a ball rise for 36. I also formed the dough balls more gently. The balls were over risen at the end of the 36 hours. Unlike last time, the over risen dough balls were very sticky to the inside of the Ziploc containers - I'm guessing this is mostly because they were over risen but could also be because I used less oil in the containers. The pizzas tasted great however - very flavorful and tender. Dough balls were also much much easier to open.

1)Tomato, Castelvestrano Olives, Fresno Chile, Mozz Cheese, Asiago Cheese, Rosemary
2)Half Half, Mozz, Taleggio, Parmesan and sliced black truffles.
3)Olive Oil, Trapani Sea Salt, Rosemary - the Trapani Sea Salt was worth every penny!

Main lessons: mixing with a paddle hook followed by stretch folds resulted in easier to open balls and a more tender melt in your mouth pizza dough texture with Central Milling 00 flour compared to using Craig's original method with spiral hook.. However, it didn't rise as well in the oven.
Next time: reduce Ischia from 1.75% to 1.3%, reduce cooler temp slightly and add one more set of stretch folds. If the dough threatens to over rise, move it to the fridge rather than letting it blow out. The cooler doesn't work very well to retard already risen dough, even if I lower the temperature.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 04:54:21 PM by DoouBall »

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