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Offline stef

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Project Complete…2y
« on: November 19, 2019, 09:52:08 AM »
Overview

I am sharing our pizza processes and experience having followed this forum for 4 years. 

This is the story of a girl who ate pizza and stayed awake at night trying to work out why my fermentation times were different to everybody else's.

I started a Pizza Project 2 years ago called “Stephie’s Next Generation Pizza”.  I told everybody I knew there was going to be a step change in my pizzas because they were hopeless.  I set expectations and there was no going back: like Hernan Cortes and his ships.

These notes are about the Project which is now completed and written up.  It will take me a while to upload what looks like 14 sections.  My background was science and engineering, I live in semi desert Spain, which influences methods and ingredients.

My ambition was:

Simple and predictable process
Understanding cause and effect
Data collection for improvements
Work with the climate: south east Spain
To use ingredients from Spain and Internationally
Use precise measurement: especially temperature and weight
Reduce costs: I am retired

Climate Challenge 

The temperature inside our indoor and outdoor kitchens is similar to the temperature outside.  No aircon or heating, with a range between 16C to 30C (60- 86F) through the year. Short periods up to 42C, (107F) and nights as low as 10C (50F).  Low humidity, maybe 4-10 rainfalls a year.  The official climate is Mediterranean, here it is closer to semi-desert.   In comparison with Napoli, there it’s cooler and rains 5 times as much.  I guess our climate is like parts of the south west USA, without aircon.

Between April and December we live outdoors, with the outside kitchen in shade.  Two sides of the kitchen are open, the ceiling is solid.  All pizza forming and topping is done here, on granite surfaces which are typically 32C (90F) in Summer and 15C (59F) in Winter. The indoor kitchen is used for dough preparation.

Al of this affects my dough fermentation options which have been to use a:

Wine Cooler outside: reliable at 17C +/- 2C over 24h. It has coped in the Summer with 6 dough balls for 24h fermentation.  It can't be used overnight when the outside temperature drops below 17C: it's a cooler not heater.  If the Cooler is set below 17C in the Summer, it struggles to hold this.  Not an ideal solution... its usually full of wine and fizzy drinks.  A few times it failed to deliver dough at the planned time.

Refrigerator indoors: this has big swings in Summer temperature where it struggles with heavy use,  it’s usually being filled or emptied of food. 

Portable Cool Box: with refrigeration unit built in, an aquarium heater added to it and an external temperature controller.  It works throughout the year at 24C accurate to +/- 0.3C, and can hold up to 4 dough balls.  Ideal for one day ferments with high accuracy.  It struggles when ambient is 29C or more, and when it is 18C or less.  8 balls are possible with the heater removed.

Basement: mainly below ground level and for any one month the temperature is stable.  Annual range of 19C to 25C, it is not very accessible.

The detail above is given here as it took a lot of trial and error to get a reliable fermentation system which could adapt to these temperature changes: and get pizza on time every time.  So why not fermentation periods of 24 hours or more?  Because I need my pizza and cannot wait.  However, the “elephant in the room” is that 9-13h fermentation gives the best tasting pizzas all round, and my eaters agree.    24h plus is different, you get pretty leoparding though.

I guess reading this is boring, where’s the pizza ?

I’ll sign off for now with a recipe and a picture.   

The recipe will be explained later, as the story develops.  Particularly with ingredients you may not be familiar with but certainly will have access to in North America.  For now, the recipe is using a 200g dough ball at 62% hydration. 

This recipe was chosen as most of the ingredients are self explanatory: the weights are approximate to give some idea of the balance of flavours.  The picture fits the recipe, but sometimes I don’t have a picture of the exact recipe …

Stephie

Langostinos Pizza Recipe

This is an overloaded pizza by design.  Best with well developed cornicione.

Base of tomato sauce: a regular base but not much, 40g (most recipes with a ball of this size are made with 70g of sauce, which fills my ladle)
Tierno cheese: irregular small clumps, cut into pieces around 2 x 0.5 x 0.5cm, 30g
(later I will explain why the approximate size matters)  For the moment, use Mozzarella cheese: reasonably de-watered, small clumps cut, 40g
Courgette: sprinkle all over, matchstick cut, salted, water removed,  100g
Langostinos / large prawns: whole not halved, spread all over, 15pcs, shelled, de veined, pre fried for a few seconds in lots of coarse cut garlic and butter, use with or without the garlic pieces
Capers: 8 pc spaced evenly, brine drained, stood in water, halved / quartered based on their size
Anchovies (optional, may be too much !): 1 - 2 anchovies in 6 pcs, place regularly
Sour Cream: 6 teaspoon sized blobs wherever it looks right
EVOO spiral   
Big twist black pepper.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:03:23 AM by stef »

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 10:00:15 AM »
A few more langostinos ...

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 12:04:46 PM »
Sounds and looks delicious!

Offline scott r

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 12:46:04 PM »
WOW!   thats my kind of pizza.   I want some. 

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 05:17:01 PM »
Whew.

I am a bit overcome right now: I have been planning to post here for so long but rather intimidated by all of the expertise here. 

At last I have started to share.  Did it.  12 - 14 more posts to go.  A signing off picture is attached, it was extremely tasty.  Not the best, as I like more Char.

Stephie.

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Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2019, 07:49:16 AM »
Part two of the Pizza Project:

Errors and Assumptions

I struggled with making pizzas:. too many different opinions and experiences are out there to learn from.  Here are some of the assumptions I have made with subtle to dramatic effect:

Different yeast types: assuming they have the same pizza “gassing” ability, but they are made using different strains of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (SC) by different manufacturers using different processes for specific purposes and conditions.  I assumed that yeast type conversions are correct and sacrosanct, they are not, and what they mean is just a starting point: there is a big difference between 0.7 and 0.78 for instance.  Also in my experience, difference in IDY power from different vendors.  More detail on this later.

Using yeast the wrong way: adding IDY to my salt and water mix then letting it stand for 10m.  Ok for CY and ADY, but after 10m there is not much usable IDY left after leaching, definitely around 10% effective.  How do I know 10% effective ?  I did the wrong way for 9 months and it was hidden by a decimal point error in my spreadsheet …. I was using 10x the amount of yeast I should have, but the IDY yeast cell leaching offset it: almost exactly.  For 9 months.

Adding IDY to very cold water, but never to water of the correct temperature to minimise leaching.

I thought published yeast Growth Rates were helpful, as I eventually got better at estimating the amount of yeast to use.  But they are about laboratory situations referring to the exponential part of the yeast Growth Rate curve.  They often use unrealistic temperatures and other interesting things covered later: such as does yeast growth rate equate to dough growth rate …..  No.

Assuming recipes from different countries are comparable, when the international flour measurement baselines are different (even within European countries they mean different things - such as in Spain, Germany, France and Italy).  Theartisan.net made some comparisons between Italy and USA (called "Flour: a treatise") which alerts you to the tip of the iceberg.  But that is a starting point only: you have to be careful comparing  flours internationally: more on this to come later. 

Mixing dough.  What fun this one has been.  What is mixing achieving ?  Is technique X better than Technique Y ?  etc.  Then doing doughs using different mix methods and times….  How can you achieve consistency by hand ?

I thought tap water was ok….  but locally water quality varies throughout the year depending on rainfall, agricultural water quotas, also if there is a drought 300km away (we are part of the Tajo Segura system, a Spanish version of the USA supply from the Colorado River to California, all quota driven.  Then the big variations in chlorination and taste of the water.  When it rains heavily you can taste the soil in the water, just like in Dallas.  Eventually I remembered how important water chemistry was to the taste of beer.

Temperature control: why were some pizza ball batches ready to go, and others just starting to rise ?

Flour: well, you just put it in the trolley in the supermarket: wrong: there are threads on this forum about flour storage and the implications of the “upstream process”.  How many of my failed doughs have been due to this ?  I do not know.

For example a medium size wheat / flour business has had a bad crop: where do they make up the shortfall in contracted tonnage, from where and with what ?  With a good year, how long do they take to run off the excess wheat from last year: until January, but the new crop came in during September ?  What does this do to pizzas ?  I am not sure. 

What pizza measures are important, does reliable and repeatable measurement matter ?  In documents I read there are errors and assumptions (books: unexpected, online: expected).  This includes miscalculations and mistranslations, including in some “authoritative” sources.  Even refereed works fail occasionally and can be evasively written…

Stuff can be wrong.  Being retired I had forgotten my training and made the cardinal error; accepting without question: rather than “never accept without question”.  But that means hard work, often it’s too much to bother.

I will leave my oven errors off this list: but rice flour on the peel does work.  Brilliant.

Looking at the above list, my worst disasters have been due to making assumptions.
However, we developed a view on some Pizza things we like ….
Four pizzas eaten in one evening between the two of us. Four very large pizzas do not work given our preference for balance between cornicione and topping.  We have settled on 200g dough balls and diameter of 28cm  (approx 11 inches), with and without a substantial cornicione depending on the topping recipe.

Topping recipes: frequently we overload the pizza, especially with guests who think more is better....  I'm a minimalist and believe some of the recipes to come are over the top,  but you only live once.  We vary the topping across the surface of a single pizza so each slice and bite give a different "surprise": sometimes you get the jalapeno, the alcaparrone, the Jamon Serrano. We deliberately have very different pizza toppings in an evening.  We continually experiment with toppings, a few favourites of ours and our guests have survived.  But the basic ones give you nowhere to hide, they set the standards.

Texture: we consider food texture in general to be a special part of eating.  If there is a langostino on a pizza, there is a particular sensation when your teeth go through it.  Likewise a pulled pork topping, or turkey.  So whilst “its all about the dough”….  We expect more.

Colour / char:   We aim for significant char, but are at the mercy of  oven temperature as the evening goes on, the blend of flours and the Fermentation Time (we find 9-13h at 24C takes on more colour overall than 24h at 17C, the latter giving more leoparding).  Oven time is 75 - 105s, generally at 80-90s.  Perhaps this point needs more emphasis: our guests always enjoy the most charred pizzas.  No char, no enjoyment.  Pizza not pancake.

Now the Project Context is set.  From here on, the remaining 11 posts will get a bit more exciting.
Time for a recipe with an introduction and a few pictures.

Stephie

El Caliente Chorizo Dulce Pizza Introduction

The Arabian Empire brought goats to Spain, thence goats cheese: sheeps cheese had been brought by the Roman Empire or earlier, then eventually blends of goat / sheep / cow milk cheese which are universally available in Spain today.  You may have heard of Manchego cheese (sheep), and from France, Roquefort cheese (sheep; again France was in the Arabian and Roman Empires). 

In the recipe below “Oveja Viejo” is mature Spanish sheeps cheese.  It is hard and is best compared with Grano Padano, of which Parmigiano is a variant (but cow milk based).   We started to use it as an alternative to Parmigiano, but it is local, lower cost, and we now realise that the many different blends of goat / sheep / cow milk cheeses can be "tuned" as an umami feature.  (Feta is also from sheep milk but does not work for us, we have not had the chance to experiment with Peccorino)

More useful however are the young Spanish cheese blends, very young, very soft, low in fat: such as Tierno, used in the recipe below and most of the others.  Tierno typically uses goat (>15%) sheep (>20%) and cow (>50%) milk, with up to 30% total fat content.  Most visitors doing blind tasting on adjacent areas of a single pizza cannot tell the difference from a cow milk Mozzarella (15% fat).  Those who can tell the difference prefer the Tierno, it is creamier with a slight tang.  Very subtle. 

So a recommendation is for readers to find some old hard goat / sheep cheeses and play with blends, also the young versions.  (BTW,  Monterrey Jack has been compared as a cow milk version of Manchego: no it is not.  I enjoyed it when in the USA, it is nothing like Manchego.) 

Emmental cheese is also used below: you may know this as Swiss Cheese, it is also native to Germany and France, and very cheap here.  I use both, and cannot tell the difference.  This has comparable fat (less than 30%) melts well and gives a tangy edge when more of a distinct cheese flavour is needed.

El Caliente Chorizo Dulce Pizza Recipe

Base of tomato: the regular base, 70g
Tierno cheese: irregular small clumps, cut as before small bits, 70% of cheese total
Emmental cheese: irregular small clumps cut, 30% of cheese total.  Cheese proportions adjusted to either get a “tangy” or “creamy” character, both work.
Red pepper: uniformly spread cut fine strips, dry fried to sweet taste and partially blackened skin, 20g
Sweet white onion: uniformly spread cut lengthwise fine strips, fry in Jerez vinegar (added half way through fry), 15g
Guindilla (green jalapeno like chilli preserved in salted wine vinegar): one medium size spread irregularly all over, fine chop, deseeded and deveined, we want surprise “parcels of heat” but not too much, depends on your chilli tolerance.
Chorizo Pimienta: (not hot, sweet Spanish Pimiento sausage, rather than an added chilli version) irregular clumps 20 pc sliced as thinly as posssible cut into small rectangles (2cm x 3cm) and crunched up, 25g
Lacon: (at this point substitute coarse cut york ham instead) irregular spread 6 pc cut to medium size, 10g
“Oveja Viejo” hard mature sheeps cheese: irregular sprinkle, medium / fine chop, 10g.

Offline Icelandr

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 10:14:02 PM »
Come on Stef, you didn’t work for 2 years to stop there . . . .
Next!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 09:28:03 AM »
Looking good.

As you're learning, the secret to great pizza is experience.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 12:36:45 PM »
Thankyou !!

Here is Part 3... Part 4 will be better ....

Part three of the Pizza Project:

How the Errors and Assumptions were “Managed Out”

The “Window of Consumption”…. this is a pizza law you remember when opening each dough ball -

“ Is this dough ball ready yet ?”

“ Will the dough still be usable in 3 pizzas time ?”  (or worse, by the next pizza)

“ This one is at the end of the Window !”

“ This was a very short fermentation so is the Window only 1h ?” 

We usually eat our pizzas over a 1.5 to 3h period.  As we make one day high hydration NP’s fermented in individual tubs, the Window of Consumption is a major constraint: it has been a big issue in trying to improve the process.

With a short fermentation timing has to be accurate, together with the oven being ready at temperature.  Too many times the oven was not ready but the Window was coming to its end, the opposite, and guests may arrive early or late, we get chatting, or they keep eating over a three hour period.  You do not relax.

We have constrained, or set boundaries or limits within which we made pizza during the Project:  a bit like a Rulebook, often applied ruthlessly.

One day fermentation:  This is up to 13h from the point of adding IDY onto the mix to first pizza ball on the floured granite work surface.  10-11h is favourite as it fits within the retired day.  A reliable Window of 2 hours is needed within which the balls are highly usable.  Very short fermentations are not used (9h or less) as the Window when balls are usable is too short, and any error impact increases with time reduction (more on this later).
 
Room temperature fermentation: settled as 24C.  It can be achieved throughout the year here with the fermenting equipment.  There is no variation from this: temperature is constant in the entire process.  Ruthless in getting this accurate end to end, a lot of work.

Use IDY% as the master variable to control fermentation duration.  This requires consistency and accuracy in yeast management, including sourcing  (Note IDY is widely available here: unlike CY and ADY).

62% hydration.  This parameter can be managed accurately: we varied +/- 3%, and always came back to 62%.  Hydration is a constant in the process (see flour below).  Flour blends change, but hydration does not.

2.5% salt.   As above, a constant.  Again varied up and down, but as salt is a killer we looked to reduce levels, whilst key to dough taste and consistency.  This will be revisited in a future project incorporating a topping context.

Water: The same bottled spring water supplier, it is a constant. 

Flour: Caputo Pizzeria brand for Type 00 flour;  13, 12.2 and 9.5 % protein German Type 810 (straight and fine milling) and Spanish T-45 and T-55 flours.  Maintain overall declared protein level of flour blend between 12.2 and 12.5%.  The German and Spanish flours are also very familiar from breadmaking. 

Accept there is some variability here, such as wetter / drier doughs due to different water absorptions in blends, but we have enough experience to handle the odd sticky or dry dough at scaling time, likewise on the floured granito.  For the controlled experiments later the blend was held constant with 90 % 00 and 10% T-55 13%.  We are using less and less Pizzeria these days, more Type 810, and will not re-order 00 when the current bag runs out.  More on this later.

Mixing: exactly the same method, irrespective of pro’s and con’s, a constant: so similar air entrainment and a similar state of gluten with each dough.

So the master variable, IDY%.  How much yeast to get to the start of my “Window of Consumption”, when the dough is ready to become the first pizza ?

I had used and followed the “Craig TX” blog tabulating hours, yeast % and time, (thank you sir for your commitment) but my numbers never worked out.  Likewise the AVPN numbers. 

I found the Golden Chalice model blog from november (thank you sir, you opened Pandora’s Box), and those numbers worked a bit better.

More importantly these blogs started me off on managing out yeast issues.  I started investigating, using the brain a bit to keep old age mental degeneration away.

This is what was keeping me awake at night.  I was consistently finding that .065% IDY gave me a 11-13h Window at 24C.  Why so long compared to other reported experiences ?  So, let’s look a bit more closely at what these apparently innocent parameters really mean. 


24C temperature – Yes, I think I understand that... but I assume this is 24C end to end.  If we were to have variations in temperature, such as between process steps (ie FDT to chiller / fridge bulk cooling, ball to counter top warming) that is more challenging to address: more on that later in the “ruthless” temperature discussion.  But nevertheless, what are we measuring ?  And are measurements being made of the right thing ?

11-13h Window – No, I was not happy with that at all.  What are the Start (zero hour) and End Times (Window period) ?  How are they defined ?  Even if they are identified, can they be consistently and accurately measured ?  Does this all work out when you have guests, the first "few" bottles of wine are gone and the dough balls have not grown ? 

Reading through the forum and elsewhere, Start and End Times appear an issue: especially when the total Fermentation Time is short.  It’s not so much an issue when you have a heated oven already available “on demand”, and your guests are happy to drink the wine rather than eat, and there aren’t other pressing things to do.  But my guests are expecting a next generation pizza.

Firstly, Start Time: I define that as the point yeast comes into contact with flour and water.  Easily determined: its when you stick the yeast in, or on top in my case.  All doughs straight, no biga or poolish used.

Then End Time: what is it ?  How do we get to it ?  How much has the yeast grown ?

This requires a bit of background study.  It is worthwhile, as it provides insight into the whole dough life cycle, to the point of End Time.  We have to start with yeast: Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (SC) yeast strains, of which there are very many identified and documented as measurably different.  We are interested in the science and engineering of industrial scale provision of CY, ADY, IDY, liquid, pelletised etc. yeast: it is big business.  So there is a massive volume of high quality research out there, which is difficult to find,  highly specialised, not easy to digest, but gives you (highly) qualified even evasive answers.  (We avoid the biological and evolutionary study of yeast stuff). 

It is especially relevant to get to the background understanding of yeast and dough as the pizza and bread communities "cross pollinate" between industry / laboratory / home kitchen systems: there are consequences of doing this. 

Well as it is starting to warm up, where’s the pizza you say ?  Time for a recipe, its introduction and a few pictures.

Stephie


Casa Rosado Pizza Introduction

The recipe below also needs a background on the toppings.   

Salsa rosado is the base sauce, a blend tuned to personal preference: it tastes very different when on a cooked pizza.  You want a “sour but not quite” sauce mix which crucially has to balance with the courgette. 

Courgette matchsticks have to be dryish else the pizza topping is too wet.  The matchsticks are salted, stood in a sieve, squeezed vigorously a few times to remove water  during an 8h to 24h preparation period.  They are good slightly chewy, but take care with the salt levels.

Jamon Serrano (Serrano ham)...  the classic Spanish dry cured ham (European white / pink pig), second only to the superior Jamon Iberico (Black Iberico pig, direct mountain boar descendent, pigs free running feeding on oak acorns, very serious prices).  Some may compare Serrano with Parma ham: no.  The Spanish jamon is a very different product on another planet.   You could use Jamon Iberico but it would not be appropriate to waste this melt in the mouth delicacy on even the best pizza.  But you could try. 

Please, if you find one, do not use a Jamon Iberico de Bellota for this.  That is the finest ham in the world.  Irrespective of what you use, you must “crunch up” the pieces so you get exposed edges to take char: do not let pieces lay flat on the pizza.

Lacon, or more precisely Lacon Gallego.  This is dried brined shoulder pork from north west Spain.  The regulated version, Gallego, can only be produced in Galicia.  This is hand cut coarsely.  "York ham" the generic boiled ham is a comparison (poor) given the preparation differences and that only the shoulder can be used for Lacon. 

Preserved lemon, a true Arabian treat: a way of preserving lemons in brine (Spain was part of the Arabian Empire for hundreds of years, later Columbus brought lemons to Haiti then the USA).  Most only use the preserved lemon peel chopped, we use the flesh too but be careful with the strength.  We make our own, very easy and they last for a couple of years. 

EVOO: we use a local Extra Virgin Olive Oil cooperative brand which is consumed at home by the bucketful.  We have tried more exclusive EVOO’s from specific olive varieties and mills, the subject here in Spain is a lifelong study which people get too passionate about.  Many oils never leave the region where the olives were grown as the volumes available may not be sufficient to interest a niche or certainly large buyer.  The range of tastes is substantial within Spain where 40% of the worlds oil originates from over a huge geographic area.  Yearly variations in the crop are noticeable.  We do know everybody thinks their oil is best, and likewise in different Mediterranean climate countries.  We have not experimented with the more distinctive EVOO flavours on a pizza.  We may do that in the future.  For sure, it could be a noticeable taste component.

The attached photos give some idea of the variation you can create with this base recipe with different blends of ingredients.  Sadly I am not very good at taking pics, and the best pizzas were always after vino.

Casa Rosado Pizza Recipe

Base of salsa rosado (rose sauce): 50g tomato base mixed with sour cream, 20g
Tierno cheese: irregular small clumps, cut into pieces around 2cm x0.5cm x0.5cm, 30g (at this point substitute mozzarella instead)
White sweet onion: sprinkled uniformly, raw fine chop,  30g
Green pepper: sprinkle uniformly, raw fine chop, 10g
Courgette: irregular clumps, matchstick cut, salted, water removed, 70g
Jamon Serrano: irregular spread, 20 pcs,  fat removed, cut to medium pieces 2cm x2cm, and “crunched up”
Variable mix of lacon (at this point substitute coarse cut york ham instead and reduce the Jamon Serrano), mushrooms (chopped and precooked) and / or artichoke hearts (quarter cut air dried after cooking/ removal from jar / tin), added to an amount that seems fine for you, 30g total.
Preserved lemon: sprinkle irregularly, v fine chop, 10g
Optionally, a few teaspoons of sour cream “blobbed” across the pizza, 15g
Grano Padano / Parmigiano: irregular sprinkle, medium / fine chop, 10g
EVOO spiral

Offline Icelandr

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 12:59:17 PM »
Thank you for the read. We are so different you and I and from an non scientific, throw it at the wall to see what sticks and hope to remember it next time, I appreciate the time and effort you have put in, and I hope it is still fun. It is an interesting quest this pizzamaking, there are so many variables, given so few ingredients and somehow one gets hooked on just trying to constantly improve. Some as yourself, want to know the science and variables, some try it a few times and feel they have nailed it, some like myself hope that it is a street food and that experience will improve the product. That theory is still out there, as it has only been a few years, they are getting better but there is so much to change.
The toppings available to you, the environment you work in makes a huge difference to the final product as does our difference in amounts of toppings, I curse myself when I have added too many, wanting to keep it light but flavourful, and yours look a feast for eye and palette.


I enjoyed you posts, thank you! All the best in your future pursuits!
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Offline Yael

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 06:24:49 AM »
Hola,

I didn't read everything (I apologize) but because I'm preparing my travel to France next Monday so I'm quite busy at home, but when I hear some threads about Spain I can't help but loving it! Hopefully I'll have time to go there for a couple of days during my holiday (maybe only Catalunya though), and enjoy food!!

Thank you for sharing. It's long, but it's definitely interesting. I'll read it correctly when I have time (I posted this message so I don't forget!).
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 10:41:56 PM »
A few more langostinos ...
Personally, I cannot abide prawns. However, I think my wife just experienced some sort of "moment" when looking at these pizzas.
I shall be following this recipe.

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2019, 11:49:07 AM »
Icelandr,

Hello and thank you for your comments !

Most important of all, two years later I enjoy my pizza much more; the fun has not gone, it's become a bit of a "dedicated hobby". The trouble is, once you lift one stone, there is another below it.

I will post the fourth part of the story soon.  Yes, it does become a bit more analystical but anybody can do what I will share.

I found another few stones and now it looks like there will be a part fourteen....

Stephie

(many many years ago I used to visit Vancouver and mountain bike on the North Shore, but those days are gone)

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2019, 11:59:24 AM »
Bonjour Yael,

Thank you for your interest .....  my first serious NP was in a restaurant in Barcelona !

The best toppings are saved for the later parts.  We threw ourselves at Spanish cuisine and ingredients.  So many of the best meals here are with the simplest of understated ingredients.  But the way they are used is usually beyond my experience of cooking.

(many many years ago I used to live in France and did a job in Shanghai,  but those days are gone)

Stephie

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2019, 12:02:40 PM »
Hello Wotavidone,

I hope your summer weather is brill.

I am absolutely distraught to hear of your experience.  By way of minor compensation, I offer a picture of a Marinara.

Bet you enjoy the langostinos....

Stephie

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2019, 12:08:02 PM »
Craig,

Thank you for your encouragement !

I apologise in advance for referring to you as Craig TX in later parts of the story.  You will have to wait and see.  Parts 5 and onward may provide some entertainment.  At least that's the plan.

Stephie

(many many years ago I used to do work in Texas, mainly the Dallas metropolis, I got as far as Austin, but those days are gone)

Offline Icelandr

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2019, 02:44:25 PM »
Stef, non pizza related, sounds like you have travelled a bit! We lived in Deep Cove North Vancouver until 2004, up the street from the bike shop . . . Last time I was in Spain was 1967!


Look forward to your posts
PizzaParty 70x70, saputo floor

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2019, 02:45:17 PM »
I offer a picture of a Marinara.
That's really pretty!
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2019, 04:14:54 PM »
Hello Wotavidone,

I hope your summer weather is brill.

I am absolutely distraught to hear of your experience.  By way of minor compensation, I offer a picture of a Marinara.

Bet you enjoy the langostinos....

Stephie
Absolutely distraught?  :o
Fear not, I always make at least 1/2 dozen whenever I fire the oven, one prawn pizza won't tax me too much.
Nice Marinara.
Summer officially started yesterday. So I awoke this morning to drizzling rain and the missus saying she might take a sweater to work.
We are in the grip of the worst drought for many years. I'm praying for the rain to continue.
Ideally, it will be cool and damp until 20th December, since my brother-in-law who has to work over Christmas is keen for a pizza night.

Offline stef

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Re: Project Complete…2y
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 02:46:25 PM »
Part four of the Pizza Project:

Getting to End Time: Dough Growth

What knowledge of yeast is relevant to us ?  Some of the “snippets of information” that have helped me to improve pizzas during the project are given below, but are more for the enthusiastic reader. 

I’ve tried to make the content accessible to a range of readers’ expertise.  I’ll give examples and walk through them to clarify: I am happy to take advice and explain any parts of the post that you would like.  Apologies for the occasional technology drivel, but it needs to be shared.

There is a lot more to Growth than written here, the text has been edited down an awful lot.  So I also apologise in advance to the pizza experts, including wherever I have taken liberties: if you want the references most of them will be picked up by Google Scholar if you enter the name and year.

Over the last 30 years substantial research into bread yeast has taken place at the Delft University of Technology.  See for instance Braga da Cruz (2013). It includes yeast growth in producing bakers yeast and bread dough (see Van Hoek et al (1998)), and yeast growth in exotic laboratory conditions (see Verduyn et al (1990)).  The discussion below is primarily based on the Delft work, also material from Australia and Sweden.

As an early warning, watch out for the use of the word “dough” as opposed to “yeast”.  They are not interchangeable here.

Some of the useful information is “condensed” into an attached graph.  We'll walk through this graph to get a shared view of what is going on with yeast between the Start Time and and End Time of a pizza dough.  The graph covers yeast fermentation and is called “Useful (x2) versus Theoretical (maximum) Rate of Growth”.

The graph shows Yeast Growth on the vertical axis and Fermentation Time on the horizontal axis.  At time zero (bottom left hand corner red dot) yeast is combined with with water and flour: Start Time.  We take this as a Reference point.  The first phase of yeast fermentation follows: called the Lag Phase.  The graph “curve” is horizontal: meaning no measurable growth occurs.  It is yeast fermentation without growth: the yeast and its environment are reacting, the dough metabolic processes are under way.

The Lag Phase is mathematically and process wise very difficult to model (see for example, Salvado et al (2011), Barford and Hall (1979), Asaduzzaman (2007), Rolfe et al (2012).  It is loosely defined as the point from which yeast is fed (Start Time) to the point at which yeast cells start to multiply through budding: yeast growth.  This phase is extremely important to our pizzas, the reason why becomes apparent later.

The second phase of fermentation development follows Lag Phase: called the Growth Phase.  Here the yeast cells multiply, making new yeast cells and releasing carbon dioxide and alcohol. 

The rate at which the yeast multiplies is exponential (meaning the speed of multiplication is accelerating faster and faster, rather than, say, increasing at a constant rate).  This is marked on the graph as Exponential Growth Phase. The “transition” between Lag and Growth Phases varies, likely due to nutrients, environment and yeast strain variations.

The Growth Phase has been studied more than the Lag Phase.  It has been exhaustively modeled mathematically and process-wise.  It fits biologically meaningful growth formulae (such as Ratkowsky for temperature, Gompaerts for population growth) using the three variable growth model based on inception, maxima and expiration.  Yeast strains are generally described by the Growth Phase section of the curve: see for example Pylvanainen (2005) and Asaduzzaman (2007).

On the graph the Growth Phase can be made to look like a straight line section because the graph vertical axis (Yeast Growth) typically uses a logarithmic scale: purely for viewing convenience, because the yeast is growing so fast.

The term “Growth Rate” is often used to describe the gradient (steepness) of the curve: sometimes it’s called Maximum Growth Rate, or Theoretical Growth Rate, Critical Growth Rate, Biomass Productivity or the Generation Period.  And so on.  A real example would be a SC Growth Rate of 0.28h-1   The “ h-1  “ units do not matter to us, but the size of the number does:  but ONLY if we know the conditions under which it was measured (such as say, a temperature of 30C versus 17C).

On the graph, the green lines and dots show a section of the curve used to measure Growth Rate: it looks a straight line, which is an approximation.

Examples of Growth Rate for baking yeast and brewing yeasts are routinely measured in the 28-30C range - too warm for us - typically achieving 0.28 - 0.3h-1, with 0.25 to 0.4h-1 being reasonable lower and upper limits (Barford and Hall ibid).  With these types of yeast Growth Rate changes by around 6 - 7% per degree C, with higher reductions at lower temperatures.  In the range of temperatures we use, it doesn’t matter much.

We are interested in yeast Growth Rate for our pizzas because it drives dough growth.  A lot of laboratory and industry information about Growth Rates has cascaded down to enthusiast pizza and artisanal bread making circles, many people on this forum have a wide range of understanding of this.

Hold on though: BUT who talks about Lag Phase: surely it is relevant as well, especially with short fermentations ?  But where is there information on this ?  ….We have to look elsewhere.
 
Many businesses want to prevent yeast growth: such as to increase the shelf life of food.  A large part of Predictive Microbiology is about this, also looking at harmful organisms.  The people who want growth and those who want to stop growth, use the same working concepts and techniques.  For instance, E coli and Salmonella growth occurs under very similar conditions to SC: one you want the other two you definitely don’t.  SC yeast manufacturing quality control processes can include measuring salmonella and E coli levels in yeast samples for instance. 

Why raise this with a pizza ?  Because you stop bad bacteria from growing by keeping them in the Lag Phase: preventing them from entering the the Growth Phase. 

So if you want to understand Lag Phase, look at food infection and preservation.  Recommend looking at Rolfe et al (2012 a & b): who also extend their work to compare with SC.  The bottom line on Lag Phase appears to be… it is very complex:

1.  Lag duration varies with nutrients, temperature, pH and initial yeast concentration: anecdotally, “halve the yeast and double the duration”
2.  If the environment changes during the Lag Phase, yeast pauses to adapt: but with Growth Phase a change has little effect on growth
3.  If the temperature changes during Lag, this results in an increase in Lag Time by around 25% at the rate applicable to the new temperature when it is reached.  Hmm.
4.  Lag Phase is also dependent upon the environment in which the yeast cells were created (the yeast factory): it has inherited traits
5.  Within 4m of start of the Lag Phase more than 400 genes in the SC genome change: it starts fast.
6.  There is no known regulatory mechanism to explain its duration and no physiological or biochemical criteria that define Lag Phase
7.  In a professional bread baking environment (lots of yeast) Lag Phase is commonly taken as 1h, and duration increases with lower yeast amounts.  Up to 2 – 4 hours is reported, but I cannot find data for fermentation with very low yeast quantities.
 
Clearly, Lag Phase duration can vary.  So we need to take note of Lag Phase for at least short fermentation periods.  We will also check out what happens with long fermentations.

The third phase of fermentation is the Stationary Phase where a steady state is achieved, the yeast stops multiplying: we won’t get to this Phase and expiration beyond.

All SC yeast variants have the growth curve shape on the graph, it’s often called a sigmoidal shape.  Many efforts have been made to predictably estimate the shape of the curve and standardise it (see for example Pylvanainen (ibid) and Asaduzzaman (ibid)).   

But note: All of this is in laboratories.  Lab people are using specific SC yeast strains immersed in a laboratory specific nutrient blend or “soup” with a closely controlled often exotic environment: an optimised system.  For us the nutrient blend is initially the flour, water and salt, and the environment primarily the temperature, which all dynamically vary as the yeast, and other changing flour based chemicals, react in the dough. 

Ah, the dough word at last.  So far I have shared information on yeast.  But surely yeast growth is the same as dough growth ?  NO.  There lies an error, covered later.

One more step to go: End Time. 

Let's define End Time as the point when the “Window of Consumption” starts, the time when a dough ball has doubled in volume: x2.  This is a Reference point for me.  We already have one Reference point: Start Time. 

(Aside: why mention Reference points: A Reference point is very important, as it is a point used to describe a location which is taken as accurate, likewise Reference standard in the Pharmaceutical industry for exact chemical standard, and Reference statement made to support a person, upon which a professional judgment may be made. Etc.  Also, a Reference is often used repeatedly for different purposes.  We can share Reference points.  They are not loose and subjective.) 

The point at which a dough ball has doubled, x2.  We have a challenge here.  Firstly it has to be repeatably measurable, ideally for sharing to the benefit of others, and secondly is x2 the most useful value ?

We could say x2 is when we know we will consistently be able to form a pizza disc and also say it is the best time to start eating.  But one persons’ best time is not another ones.  Also, one persons x2 is not anothers’, unless you are measuring the same thing.  By the end of the Window, we will be beyond x2, possibly at more than x2.5. 

The number of photos of the bottom of dough tubs on this website suggests there is some variance at play here.

As it’s used it as a Reference, I measured x2 dough volume at home.  Firstly you need to know dough density at Start Time.

I did five measurments using two different methods for my standard dough at Start Time, straight out of the mixer. 

Firstly I measured the volume of my dough ball tubs using the weight of water needed to fill them up: the weight is equivalent to volume, 1g = 1cc. 

Then measured dough ball initial volume with a home made Archimedes Eureka can for a weighed dough ball coated in EVOO (water displacement, 1g = 1cc, photos attached)

Not liking the Eureka can I also filled four large glasses with dough, weighed the glass and dough together, then the glass, and the weight of water to fill it. 

Having done the above, you calculate dough density as ( weight of dough ) / (weight of water) for the measured volumes. 

My dough has a start density 1.19 g/cc. 

(This is towards the top end of typical dough values ( 1.1 – 1.2 g/cc ), a bit on the high side to some degree expected with the hydration of 62%.  The maximum theoretical dough density for my dough is 1.36g/cc (calculated for no air content and flour density of 0.59 g/cc).  My density equates to 11% porosity (air space / total volume).  This is very low: for instance a density of 1.1g/cc equates to 19% porosity.  It begs a question of what my mixing is achieving: air removal rather than air entrainment.  I'll cover that elsewhere. )

From this,

Start volume of dough =  200g dough ball / 1.18g/cc = 200 / 1.18 = 170 cc.

170 cc of my dough weighs 200g, so when the volume has doubled to x2 it is now 340 cc. 

So start volume for me is 170 cc and x2 volume is 360 cc.  As 1g = 1cc of water, pour 360g of water into the dough tub.  The level of the surface of the water is the volume level for the dough at x2.  Mark it: the x2 level mark. 

Different tub shapes and materials result in different dough surface convexity, so the risen dough top will curve both above and below the level mark: the dough top has to be ultimately eyeballed ( at this stage of the project).  Secondly, I suspect some readers will be surprised at how little a volume increase x2 is: I suspect many are actually taking dough balls to x2.2 to x2.4.

The biggest problem I have is estimating when the dough ball reaches x2.  I am not confident of being able to visually estimate with accuracy to closer than half an hour.  No matter how hard I eyeball the tubs……

I’m sure the above has caused confusion, so for anybody who wants to have a go, do this a few times:

Weigh a glass (say a straight sided half pint beer glass). 
With the glass on the weighing scales, fill it with water, viewing from the side at the level of the glass top while the water level comes up to the top of the glass, and then slightly above.  Weigh it.

Coat the inside of the dried glass with EVOO.  Make a cylinder of your mixed dough narrower than the glass, push it in along the side of the glass and press it into the corners of the glass base, leaving a channel against the side of the glass to let the air come up, next to your finger.  Not as easy as it sounds.  Progressively push more dough in whilst leaving an air channel until the glass is full, with extra dough mounded up. 

Now the tricky bit, smoothly flattening the dough at the top.  I use a steel scraper coated in EVOO to try to level the dough flat against the glass lip.  I guess impossible: BUT as the glass volume is big compared with the “smoothing error” at the top, it will not grossly affect the result.  Now weigh the glassful of dough.

Then:

(glassful of dough weight) – (glass weight) = (dough weight)

(glassful of water weight) – (glass weight) = (water weight)

Dough Density = (dough weight) / (water weight)

Example: glassful of dough = 572g, glass weight = 260g, glassful of water weight = 520g.

Dough Density = 312 / 260 = 1.2 g/cc

Now divide your dough ball weight, say 220g, by 1.2 = 183cc

You now have a start volume = 183cc and x2 volume = 366cc

Pour 366g of water into your tub, that gives the x2 level mark.

If x2.5 is your upper limit, the end volume = 183 * 2.5 = 458cc.

A Reference.  So I now understand what I mean when I say Start Time, End Time, and x2 at the start of the Window of Consumption.

So now we know what x2 looks like, can we confidently predict End Time and not need to look at the dough balls at all ?  Cue up the “Lost in Space” end credits.

Stephie

Jamon y Cebolla Pizza Recipe

Nice and simple, this always delivers.  Just one new ingredient -

Capers: or alcaparrones as they are known here.  Capers grow pretty much anywhere in Mediterranean climates on very poor often rocky soil.  They are the unopened flower bud of the plant, varying in size, the smallest are the most expensive.  I guess because there are more to pick for a given weight.  Larger ones, say 1 - 1.5cm across, need to be cut into halves or quarters.  Depending on how they are preserved, either in brine or vinegar, the tartness of the taste varies: they must be stood in water for a while before use to help reduce the preservative taste.   They provide a special edge to a mouthful of pizza: an acquired taste.  They are found in every store here, in at least two sizes.  We have a packet of seeds but have not sown them yet.  I’m sure you can find them in jars anywhere in the world too, they are what make tartare sauce worth eating.

Base of tomato: the regular base, 70g
Tierno cheese: irregular small clumps, cut as before small bits, 50% of cheese (20g)
Emmental cheese: irregular small clumps cut, 50% of cheese (20g)
Type of cheese & blend noticeably changes the character overall.  Please no New Jersey cheddar variants.
Raw white onion: v v thin slices quartered   spread in clumps (not uniform), 15g
Lacon: irregular spread 12 pc pieces cut to medium size, (2x2 cm) 20g
Jamon Serrano: irregular spread, 15 pcs, 2cm x2cm, fat removed, cut to medium pieces and “crunched up”, 20g
Capers: 12 pc place regularly, brine drained, stood in water, halved / quartered based on size: approx 3 medium size
EVOO spiral
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 04:57:29 AM by stef »

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