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Author Topic: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing(s) you have learned  (Read 899 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Make a pizza that demonstrates the most important thing(s) you have learned on this forum. 

Offline norma427

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 08:40:27 PM »
A few of the important things I have learned on this forum:

Always be willing to try something new and learn from the results.  Might need to change some things, or start all over again. 

Learn from other members and read everything you can here on the forum.

This pizza was an accumulated learning of a long while.  First how to use IDY, ADY, and Cake Yeast.  Move on to sourdough and don't get discouraged if things don't work out ok.

Dough was made with an ischia biga and cold fermented for almost 3 days. 

Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 08:43:25 PM »
Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 08:45:00 PM »
Norma

Offline parallei

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 10:14:56 PM »
A few of the important things I have learned on this forum:

Always be willing to try something new and learn from the results.  Might need to change some things, or start all over again. 

Learn from other members and read everything you can here on the forum.

This pizza was an accumulated learning of a long while.  First how to use IDY, ADY, and Cake Yeast.  Move on to sourdough and don't get discouraged if things don't work out ok.

Dough was made with an ischia biga and cold fermented for almost 3 days. 

Norma

Great looking pie, Norma.  Happy to see the Ischia CF worked out for you!

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Offline norma427

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 07:45:11 AM »
Great looking pie, Norma.  Happy to see the Ischia CF worked out for you!

Thanks Paul!  Kinda surprised the the ischia CF worked so well.

Norma

Offline bigMoose

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing you have learned
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 09:16:17 AM »
A bit under the weather, and can't make a pie right now...

But the most important thing I learned here was from the members who graciously let me into their kitchens to observe and take part in the way professional/experienced artisans make pies and bread!  I treasure those memories every day!

I basically learned that work flow is likely more important than the basic recipe and that consistency comes from the practice of doing the same thing to perfection each and every time!  I also learned how much hard work it is to run a consistent and successful pizza "joint."  With all due respect to my mentors.  :)  Thank you very much!

All the best, Dave

Offline artvandelay

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I spent the first half of the year lurking on the forum and admiring everyone's pizzas. Frustrated by living in an apartment and not being able to make the kind of pizza I wanted in my home oven, I decided to focus on bread until I could have an outdoor oven. Eventually all of your pictures got to me, and a few months ago I broke down and bought a Breville.

The most important things I've gained from the forum so far have been finding a starting place for a dough workflows and recipe using a starter from TXCraig1's threads and learning my way around the Breville thanks to all the amazing information from thezaman, Bill/SFNM, parallei, and others contributing in the Breville thread.

There will always be plenty to learn, but many thanks to the countless people on the forum I've been able to gain insight from so far. :pizza:

Nate


Offline Bill/SFNM

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This challenge was easy for me. Nothing I've learned here comes close to the importance of wild starter cultures.

When I joined this forum in 2005, member pizzanapoletana (Marco Parente), was the big Neapolitan dog at the time. I enthusiastically absorbed everything he wrote here (much of it, sadly, deleted). If he had said to use rat droppings in the dough, I probably would have tried it (once!). When he posted about the Ischia and Camaldoli cultures he had captured and contributed to Ed Wood's product line, I immediately ordered them from sourdo.com. Even with over 20 years capturing and baking with wild cultures, I was stunned at how much better all my baked goods tasted with these cultures - pizzas, breads, pastries. I went a little overboard (me?) eventually maintaining a stable of 6 cultures. I've thinned the herd down to three, but continue to derive surprise and joy at their diverse characters. Nothing ever comes out the same way twice. One one hand, you can look at them as highly temperamental and unpredictable spirits that laugh in the face of precision. Or you can look at them as complex biochemical systems reacting to immutable laws that are far beyond our understanding. Regardless, I can't imagine baking any kind of pizza without one of my cultures.

Photo below: 2-day 62F dough made with French starter from sourdo.com, baked in the Breville:

Quote
The French sourdough is from a small bakery on the outskirts of Paris that has been in business for over 150 years. The starter rises very well and the dough has one of the mildest sourdough flavors.


Offline TXCraig1

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Photo below: 2-day 62F dough made with French starter from sourdo.com, baked in the Breville:

There are certainly times when B&W adds to an image. In the case of pizza, I'd say it removes valuable information.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing(s) you have learned
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2019, 03:42:24 PM »
There are certainly times when B&W adds to an image. In the case of pizza, I'd say it removes valuable information.

Fair point.

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing(s) you have learned
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2019, 10:15:03 PM »
I have been thinking about this since the topic was posted. And then I didn't get the chance to bake. Tonight was the first time I fired up the oven since the November challenge. Coming up with THE most important thing I've learned on this forum is tough. So much valuable information is exchanged here. I got help with the design, dimensions and masonry tips for my oven build. From techniques to ingredients to recipes to science. It is all being shared on this forum.

Iím going to go with the stretch and fold technique for one of the most important lessons I learned on the forum. I hand mix my dough and I feel that one (or sometimes a few depending on the hydration) stretch and fold really helps make the dough easy to ball. If I am cold fermenting, most of the gluten development will take place in the fridge anyway.

More often than not, Iím buying my flour at restaurant depot and it is pretty cheap (about $15 for 50 pounds). So when I make dough, I make a lot of dough. When I fire the oven, I bake 8 to 10 pizzas Ė depends on who is over and which neighbors are home. Leftover dough typically becomes bread or a Stromboli. When mixing, I make 12, about 450 gram doughs. At 63% hydration, there is about 3300g of flour and 2100g of water going into a big stainless steel bowl. I combine the ingredients Ė flour, water, salt, yeast Ė until everything is combined and all the flour is incorporated. Itís a lumpy mess (1st photo).

Cover everything with plastic wrap and wait 20 minutes. I take the lumpy mess and stretch it into a log (2nd pic). It kind of looks like if I knew what I was doing, I could pull noodles. I fold this up in thirds (3nd photo), spin the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the log stretch (4rd photo). It wonít stretch as easy this time. Do the same folding into thirds and then knead by hand for about 30 seconds. Thatís it (5th photo). Divide, ball and put them in the fridge. Iíve been using a plastic bag for each dough lately. But with not much effort, a little over 11.5 pounds of dough got mixed.

One other big thing Iíve learned here is to experiment. A good example is the yeast prediction chart. It is an amazing tool that can really get you close. But youíve got to try a few things to dial it in on your own. For todayís, I tried to formalize a sauce recipe instead of eyeing it. I hated it. Maybe Iíll get closer next time. On the flip side, I lsten to a podcast regularly and they had a football player on promoting something with Pizza Hut. He said he didnít like pizza sauce. His favorite pi was cheese with sausage pepperoni and banana peppers. I tried it. It was good, but not great to my tastes. I tried it again but added a hot honey drizzle post bake. Now itís one of my favorites (6th pic).

Offline parallei

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Re: December 2019 Monthly Challenge: Most important thing(s) you have learned
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2019, 08:33:31 PM »
I guess I'm just under the wire. :o

Like many, I couldn't think of any particular most important thing(s) I've learned here on the forum.  Everything I've learned about pizza has been here on the forum.  So this morning I said screw it, I'll just make a pie. Stretch and folds, rests, and not worrying are all things I learned here. Not a bad pie.  At least according to the 13 and 14 year old males across the street!

Happy New Year everybody.

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