"The fall from grace is steep and swift, and when you land, it does not make a sound, because you are alone."
So I've been lurking on the forum since June 2013 and got the Blackstone in July 2013. I began using Glutenboy's recipe and modified it to the the Blackstone using two thirds 00 and one third high gluten flour. My typical composition was:
66% 00 (Penn Mac)
34% High Gluten (Penn Mac)
2.5% Morton's kosher
I religiously follow the mixing instruction for Glutenboy's dough and have great results. I use Kenji's NY pizza sauce recipe and Bel Giosso mozz, that I really prefer, and dabble with Mike's Hot Honey and hot prosciutto. Although I live in Maryland we go "home" to Pittsburgh at least four times a year and I have access to some fantastic pepperoni and other meats from Parma Sausage Co. Eventually we move to Sclafani tomatoes with a pinch or two of salt. The pies look fantastic and taste (well below fantastic, but) really good. Everybody is happy! The family and friends are continually impressed. I am a pizza God! Or maybe a pizza god-like creature? Nearly three years (and two BS paint jobs) later, I am starting to feel my oats about the pizzas. It is time to step-up. I figure I have nearly all the skills needed to attempt a Craig. I've seen vandev do it (props bro). How hard can it be?
I get the Ischia and (other, can't remember) cultures for Christmas and start to get it ready in February. By mid-month the culture is regularly doubling and has a relatively nice smell. I put in in the fridge until about two weeks ago. A week before my bake I take it back out and started feeding until it is doubling with regularity. I jump on the Forum and go straight to "The Entire Pizza Making Process I use at the Garage." Oh, did I forget to mention that I got that I also got the Kitchenmaid 7-quart Pro-line mixer in anticipation my upcoming pizza domination?
Following the instructions, I used:
100% 00 (Penn Mac)
3% Morton's kosher
1.3 Ischia Culture
I used this formula as my measuring point for 6 250-gram balls. I did a twenty-four hour RT bulk and twenty-four hour balled RT rise, both at about 66 degrees.... turned on the BS and let it get up to about 840 bottom and 860 top for at least 20 minutes (BTW I do not have a Chauflector and do not have bearings).
"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."
I totally screwed up my first Neo bake and I don't know how or why.
As I begin opening the balls I notice that I do not have the consistency of dough anywhere near that I regularly see at I see at 2 Amys, Don Antonio Starita, Pupatella's, or Bufalina (I travel for work a lot). I know that I cannot expect anything near their level of dough but I hoped that there would be the ease of opening that I constantly see. I can also tell from years of pizzamaking.com browsing that my dough is nowhere near the easy opening dough of others on the forum. The dough is harder to open than my normal balls and I can't get the uniformity of thickness that I usually do. I used the craptastic "fresh" mozz from Costco and "San Marzano" brand tomatoes and all of the pizzas taste like wet paper. I know the toppings weren't optimal but that cannot account for the thiness and lack of taste in the dough.
Why am I a failure? Please let me know what additional information you may need to provide help you would be so kind to give.
Here are some pics. Please do not chastise me for orientation if they are wrong. I spent a half hour practicing in the orientation post before I began.
1. Underdone pepperoni
2. Malformed mushroom (my wife loves canned mushrooms)
3. My dough balls
4. Blackstone launch
Tomorrow is attempt No. 2 with 3% culture and, I have to confess, about a quarter teaspoon of IDY. I was so worried about the oven spring that I couldn't help myself. Any suggestions for opening? Any tips for next dough?