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  1. Sorry, I missed where you said KA. One thing that I learned about re Detroit this week, is that a 13%ish flour, with a typical thin NY stretch, can be pretty tender, but when you start getting into a Detroit thickness, bread flours can get a bit chewy. When you get the thickness right, you should be able to compare it to your memory of IB, but, I would also test a strong AP, like Heckers. I'm pretty sure that KABF will be happy at around 72% water, and, I might try 66% with AP. At 14%, I would definitely avoid All Trumps, unless you're certain that IB was super chewy.
  2. Interesting Is this the hygluten version of the Sperry or the regular? There's a variety of substitutions for brick cheese, and the direction they like to take is cheddar-y. Personally, I've never worked with brick cheese, but, from the way it bakes up, it looks more like a quality mozzarella than cheddar. I do know that provel is not a part of the equation- unless you've spent time in S. Louis and that's your preference. I think you'll see a much better melt with mozzarella- if not 70/30 motz/jack, then 100% of a good aged mozzarella- look for yellow and firm, not white and soft- wholesale is ideal. The sauce for Detroit is always cooked separately and added post bake. I played around with Detroit for the first time this week (sshh... don't tell anyone). One conclusion that I came to is that if you add oil to your dough, it acts like a magnet and really ramps up the oiliness in the finished product. Detroit is typically not parbaked. I think you figured this out by the fact that you needed to broil it. Getting rid of the parbake will go a long way towards giving you a better cheese melt, as the rising steam from the dough as it cooks will help bubble and oil the cheese off. There's going to a be an oven shelf where the top and the bottom finish baking at the same time, but, until you figure it out, I'd go with the lower middle shelf, and start checking the color on the bottom after about 12 minutes. If the cheese starts taking on too much color, until you get the right shelf, you can slow down the cheese with a misting of water. Is 500 as hot as your oven will go? I preach quite a bit about the evils of excess water in pizza dough, but, for Detroit, there's a practical aspect regarding the water. Lower water doughs are going to take considerably more effort to stretch into the corners of the pan. Depending on which Sperry this is, I might kick the water up to 70%- or possibly even higher. Kenji does a thing on his pan pies where he gently lifts the dough just prior to topping so that the bubbles between the pan and the dough deflate. Edit: Oh, and I'm sure you're working towards this, and getting rid of the provel will help, but, it's essential that you build your cheese against the wall of the pan, so it fries and you end up with the characteristic 'frico' of Detroit. Get your frico on :)
  3. Kenji is a valuable resource in some areas, but he knows very little about pizza. If you're looking to do research, I"d hit up pizzamaking.com long before seriouseats. You'll most likely get some different opinions, but the net takeaway will be head and shoulders beyond seriouseats. Seriouseats is ONLY for people making their very first pizza. If you're trying to tackle Iron Born, you need both good intermediate and advanced direction. Pizzamaking.com member 'Hotsawce' helped develop Emmy Squared's recipe, one of the top Detroit places in NY. Whatever advice he gives you, follow it. Detroit and cast iron pan pizza are very different animals. Detroit is typically puffier because of the superior conductivity of the thinner steel (or aluminum). Trust me on this, you will never match Iron Born with a cast iron pan. I'm seeing articles mention Iron Born baking on steel decks as well. This isn't the steel plate that home pizza makers use, but it is a stone deck oven analog. You will most likely want to bake on a hearth, maybe stone, maybe steel. I would try stone first, if you have it, and see how the bottom turns out. Iron Born uses the traditional brick cheese, so you're going to want to track that down. They also use organic flour. Sperry flour (General Mills) is popular in the industry. That's what I'd put my money on. Central Milling is popular, but these don't feel like your typical Central Milling fan boys. If you track down Sperry, make sure it's the higher protein version (12%). If it is Sperry, you might be able to get away with Heckers (11.8% protein). You do NOT want Kenji's 73% hydration with Heckers. I would say 70%, maybe less. A video of Iron Born topping pizzas would be nice, but, I can't find one. Edit: Fixed incorrect reference regarding cheese.
  4. There's not a snowball's chance in hell that Iron Born is using iron pans. Detroit style is always made with either steel or aluminum. Cast iron would take way too long to heat up in the oven,and you'd never find kitchen staff willing to work for you. Can you imagine washing that many cast iron pans? Yeesh! This is what Iron Born is using: https://www.nextpittsburgh.com/eatdrink/the-detroit-style-pizza-wave-gains-momentum-in-the-citys-culinary-scene/ "Pittsburgh native chef Pete Tolman of Iron Born uses a two-day fermentation process to create his flavorful, cloud-like dough, but credits the same kind of small steel pans for getting the caramelization and crunch just right" https://theincline.com/2018/03/10/how-detroit-is-changing-pittsburgh-pizza-as-we-know-it/ "His process begins with mixing the dough, letting it rest for 24 hours, rounding the dough, and letting it rest again for 24 hours before pressing it into aluminum, non-stick pans." As you can see, he's using both aluminum and steel. If you watch this video carefully, you'll see a pan at the very beginning with a squared off edge- that's aluminum. Later, you'll see a group of pans with wired corners. That's steel. The two most popular brands of Detroit pans are https://www.detroitstylepizza.com/product/10-x-14-steel-dsp-pan/ (steel) https://lloydpans.com/landing-pages/detroit (anodized aluminum) If you look at the video carefully, you'll see that the first pan looks exactly like Lloyds and the later pans are perfect facsimiles of the Detroit Style Pizza Co. Based on their massive popularity within the industry, I guarantee you that these are the two brands that Iron Born is working with.
  5. scott123

    Drying chamber for cured meats

    For anyone who's interested, I gave my oven a shot at curing cheese. After heating and cooling, the number of microorganisms are lower than anywhere else in the house, and I was hoping the small vent would allow for some drying but, alas, I saw just about no drying at all. I might give desiccant a shot, but my underlying motivation is minimal cost, and the desiccant pushes that envelope.
  6. scott123

    Seasoning Carbon Steel

    Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa with linseed/flax oil based paint. He didn't bake it for even a second Given sufficient time, oil will polymerize at room temp. Heat accelerates the reaction, but, the higher you go, the more likely the oil will spatter, and the more acrid smoke you'll create. Cast iron, from the research that I've done, is not pure iron, but contains some carbon and is very close molecularly to steel. Other than the smoothness of the steel (which I addressed), steel should season exactly like cast iron. It might impact the final aesthetic a tiny bit, but, you don't need to start with a perfectly clean pan. Give it a light sanding, wash it (preferably with a fragrance free soap) and get to seasoning.
  7. scott123

    Seasoning Carbon Steel

    First, you're polymerizing oil. Oil polymerizes with heat, air, and time. You're not burning the oil, so anything above the oil's smoke point is completely counter productive. You're also seasoning the whole pan, not just the part above the flame, so stick to the oven- but keep it to below 400. Second, when heated, oil will liquify and have a tendency to run and spatter. The thicker the layer, the greater the propensity for spattering. Depending on how saturated the paper towel is, wiping out the pan can still leave too thick of a layer of oil. Seasoning woes are almost always a result of being heavy handed with the oil. Err on the side of too little oil, and, if you have to, go with more layers. You don' t have to let the pan completely cool between layers. I do 1 hour at 400, let it cool 2 hours, apply, then another hour and repeat this 6 times. Lastly, this is not universally agreed upon, but seasoning, like paint, greatly favors a surface it can grab on to. This is why sand blasted cast iron pans take seasoning so well. You don't have to go overboard, but a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper will give you a surface that the seasoning will be a bit happier sticking to.
  8. scott123

    Drying chamber for cured meats

    I come from a cheese background where the cleanliness of your curing environment is mostly like far more critical, but, outdoors feels a little dirty to me. Not that the caves or root cellars that have been historically used were clean, but, I don't know, it is the 21st century. I would sleep better after giving the insides of my mini fridge a nice sanitizing wash, but, that's me :) And, like I said, I'm much more cheese-y.
  9. scott123

    Drying chamber for cured meats

    5 dollar timer. Cycle the refrigerator on one hour and off for maybe 4 hours. It's not going to be super precise, but, imo, curing isn't sous vide- you're replicating a cellar environment and while cellar temps tend to be relatively stable, they fluctuate a bit. For 5 bucks, it's worth trying. Edit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F6XJXBB/ref=dp_prsubs_2 This will go down to 1 minute intervals. 1 minute will damage the compressor, but there will be a setting low enough to keep the temperature relatively stable that doesn't damage the refrigerator. 10, maybe 20 minutes might be a happy place.
  10. scott123

    Alkalizing Chocolate

    Perhaps it was the chocolate I was raised on, but I have developed a strong preference for alkalized chocolate/cocoa. Non alkalized chocolate tends to have a fruitiness that I just don't resonate with. At least some do. Scharffen Berger, for instance, is almost painfully fruity. I'm shopping for baking chocolate and I'm not coming up with too many alkalized options, so... I'm considering alkalizing the chocolate myself. Any thoughts? Baking soda? Washing soda? Heat (above melting temp)? Time? I'm just looking for pH neutral. Oreo level cocoa has no flavor to me whatsoever.
  11. I haven't bought unsweetened chocolate in about 5 years, but I noticed that my brand of choice, Nestle, is off the market. If memory serves me correctly, I could occasionally find it on sale for $2 for an 8oz. bar, $4/lb. I'm well aware that $4/lb is a pipe dream now, but I'd still like something in the $6/lb realm. I grew up with Baker's brand, and I'm just not a fan. The Nestle bar was alkalized though, and I definitely prefer alkalized chocolate, so that may be why I prefer the Nestle. On a recent trip to the store, I noticed that the Baker's brand isn't cheap any more either. Right now, TJs is the leading candidate. I'm going to have to convert all my recipes from unsweetened to sweetened chocolate, which is going to be a pain in the behind, but, at $5 for 500g, at 72% cocoa solids, that gives me about a $6/lb unsweetened equivalent (subtracting some for the value of the sugar). I made chocolate milk from some 54% TJs the other day, and was surprised by how fibrous it was (underconching, I'd presume), but that wouldn't impact cake or brownies.
  12. Breville is responsible for some of the worst pizza ovens in the history of pizza ovens. If they really wanted to appeal to the obsessive market- and, let's face it, the only people spending $800 OR $1200 on a pizza oven are going to be obsessives, if they wanted to market this in the best light possible, they should have removed their name. As far as the oven itself goes, a 2 minute bake isn't Neapolitan pizza, and, if you're going to spend $800, you had darn well better get Neapolitan capabilities. I'm not saying that this oven can't do Neapolitan, but, from the videos I've been able to track down, I haven't seen it, and, if the Uuni and the Roccbox are any indicators, it's going to be at least 8 months before this oven gets into the hands of someone that even knows how to make Neapolitan pizza. I'm not going to lie, the lifting action on the hearth as you close the door is pretty ingenious. In the prototype ovens that I've designed, I've had that feature- at least I've had the hearth down for launching and up for the bake. Having it come out- with a heavy-ish stone- I think the engineering gets a bit iffy on that. It's hard to tell, but I get the feeling that they may not use a stone, but, rather, use a metal sheet for the hearth. Depending on the thinness of the metal, that may be a bad idea, but I have to learn more to know for certain. The Blackstone is off the market, so, if this could do a 60 second bake, that would be a pretty big selling point. But it would have to be at most $800, not $800 on sale, but $800, period. When you get into the $1200 realm, that comes close to the cost of having an F1 shipped from Europe.
  13. As I said before, 10 bucks: https://www.amazon.com/Thermometer-58℉-1022℉-Non-Contact-Temperature-Adjustable/dp/B07C3SLMVN It's not the prettiest IR thermometer, but, should you ever get a Neapolitan capable oven, the peak temp on this model will play friendly with it. This will get to the bottom of your mystery. Guaranteed. You will need to, as previously discussed, season your aluminum for IR to work, but, you'll want to do that anyway to minimize the preheat time by maximizing absorptivity.
  14. As I mentioned before, with the temps your main oven can reach, aluminum isn't buying you anything in terms of a reduction in bake time, because you'll be limited by the strength of your broiler, but it will be considerably lighter to work with. Even at a whopping 1 inch, it should still be relatively easy to take in and out of the oven. What size did you get?
  15. https://youtu.be/itqTL3knVeM?t=139 This particular process uses sodium hydroxide to prep the surface, which basically corrodes it. I've seen sandblasting as a prep as well. https://i0.wp.com/img0.etsystatic.com/002/0/6262900/il_570xN.377462932_bkig.jpg I have this vintage sunbeam waffle iron with irons that swap out for flat griddles. For as long as I can remember, at least 40 years, the waffle iron has been seasoned dark black, without a single flake. I attribute this longevity to both the nooks and crannies of the iron itself and the surface imperfections of the cast aluminum. Ive tried seasoning the flat griddles with little success, but this was years ago, before I started watching videos on teflon pans. I may give them a try with sandpaper. I think the major issue with the griddles, though, is that they tend to give a bit. Flexibility is the kiss of death for seasoning.