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Everything posted by scott123

  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

    Understanding Besan

    Which of the beans below is used for making Besan? 1. Channa dal 2. Chickpeas Besan is made from #2 correct? Is channa dal made into flour and, if so, what is the flour called? Are yellow split peas ground into flour? And the name of that? Is channa dal soft enough to be ground into a flour with a food processor or is something sturdier required? Will a blender do a better job?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. Nathan and Chris's mistreatment of Neapolitan pizza in MC has been the focus of my attention for many years. I focused so much on the misinformation, I lost sight of the useful information in the book. I was doing some digging today, and remembered this: From Volume 2, Page 26 of Modernist Cuisine: "Buy a metal plate (not shown). A piece of metal 2cm/3/4 in thick and large enough to just fit in the oven is ideal- and surprisingly inexpensive. Either steel or aluminum works, but the latter is much easier to lift." So, as you can see, the Modernist folks have already recommended 3/4" aluminum plate for pizza. I do not agree with their blanket recommendation for all ovens and all types of pizza, but, as I've said, in the right setting and the right application, thick aluminum can be invaluable. Here's some experimentation with aluminum: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51228.0 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21951.0 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=25758.0 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30572.0 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21951.0 https://forums.egullet.org/topic/152882-diy-crispy-pizza-crust/?tab=comments#comment-2048144 https://stefangourmet.com/2012/06/27/real-pizza-in-a-domestic-oven-using-an-aluminum-plate/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Pizza/comments/190jhp/pizza_cooked_on_a_200mm_thick_aluminium_slab_in_2/ It took a few years, but the pizza community figured out that 3/4" steel couldn't produce a faster bake than 1/2". Basically, the heat can't travel from the bottom 1/4" during the time the pizza bakes. Aluminum, though, is different. We haven't determined the thickness of aluminum that produces the fastest bake- and with it's incredibly high conductivity and cost, we may never reach that point. With this in mind, if you are dead set for getting aluminum for your CSO, I'd go with an inch- or even thicker. 1" aluminum at 450 might actually give you the coveted 4 minute bake. And don't worry about a special alloy. 6061 is the cheapest, it's what everyone uses for pizza, and it's perfectly fine to use at the temps you'll be using it at. As has been mentioned, you will want to season it. I would take a page out of the teflon coating handbook and rough up the surface a bit with sandpaper prior to seasoning. That will help the seasoning stick (aluminum is a bit harder to season).
  18. I resonate a bit more with the comment from this guy "I’m betting the steel just got hotter than the copper. Most of the heating in an oven is by radiant heat, and materials that absorb more IR will heat up much faster." I'm sure you recognize that comment, but, just in case you don't, it's your comment from the comment section of Kenji's post. I guarantee you that the copper was at a lower temp than the steel. It's mind boggling that Kenji would compare two different materials for baking pizza without an infrared thermometer. While I think that emissivity plays a role with shiny materials like aluminum and copper, I don't think radiation is the 'primary' player over conduction. https://forums.egullet.org/topic/136959-cooking-with-modernist-cuisine-part-1/?page=6&tab=comments#comment-1791987 "3. Once the pizza is in contact with the metal plate, heat will be primarily by conduction, not radiation, so the heat transfer to the pizza will be pretty much the same regardless of whether the aluminum is shiny or not." Nathan is erring in the other direction by downplaying radiation completely, but I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Radiation does play a trivial role, and this impact typically results in greater contrast in longer bakes with shiny aluminum. Contrast isn't necessarily a bad thing (see Neapolitan), but, to level the playing field, I do feel that seasoning aluminum is important. So I agree 100% about the need for seasoning, but I feel very strongly that it's primarily a conduction game, not a radiative one.
  19. It's all about conductivity. Steel plate is able to transfer heat at a faster rate than stone, and aluminum is able to transfer heat at a faster rate than steel. So, while the bottom of the pizza might cook in about 11 minutes on a stone @ 500, and 7 minutes on steel plate @ 500, aluminum plate can, at that same 500 degree temp, achieve a 4 minute bake. Aluminum is considerably less dense than steel, but it has a higher specific heat. A little less than 1/2" of steel plate (.47) matches the heat capacity of 3/4" aluminum. This is why I generally recommend 3/4" aluminum. It's low density is a big plus. 16" x 16" x .5" of steel weighs 30 pounds, where 16" x 16" x .75" of aluminum weighs 10 pounds. That's going to be a lot easier to get in and out of the oven. Lastly, I should point out that I was recommending aluminum to Katie in the context of her 500F oven, as well as European ovens that can reach 250C/482F. It was not in the context of 450F, so aluminum is not the answer to your Cuisinart Steam Oven. It also wouldn't be buying you anything in your main oven either, since, although it might very well take you down to 90 seconds @ 585 on the base of the pizza, it's almost guaranteed that you won't have the necessary broiler strength to bake the top of the pizza at the same rate. Aluminum plate, right now, is extremely application specific- 4-5 minute NY style pizza @ 482-500F. You're not in this group. You might be able to hit 6 minutes with the CSO, maybe, but that's completely uncharted territory.
  20. While I fiercely disagreed/disagree with Nathan and Kenji on particular aspects regarding steel, we all agree on one thing. Steel's primary purpose for the home pizza maker is reducing bake times. Heat is leavening, so a faster bake produces a puffier crust. Within this paradigm, 7-8 minutes is really not that fast. I used to talk about how, out of the (at the time) hundreds of people I knew who had used steel, not one, when they successfully achieved a 4-5 minute bake, ever went back to the 7 minute bakes they were getting on stone. And then a couple people went back Still, though, 99% of the folks that achieved that elusive 4-5 minute bake continued on that path. You sound extraordinarily pleased with your current pizzas, but, should you ever get the itch and ask yourself "where do I go from here?", assuming you have a broiler in the main compartment of your oven, you can hit that magic 4-5 minute bake with thick aluminum plate. Aluminum is going to be the next stage in home pizza making. The modernist team's days of trailblazing faster bakes appear to be over, and without their stamp of approval, Kenji won't go anywhere near it, so it might take as long as a decade to match steel's ubiquity, but any entrepreneurs reading this might want to get their hands on the bakingaluminum.com domain now Also, the bakingaluminum.uk and bakingaluminum.de addresses as well, as aluminum is poised to explode in Europe where 250C (482F) is a very common peak temp- and where interest in making better pizza at home is on the rise.
  21. When Raffaele Esposito made the first Margherita for the Queen consort in 1889, he certainly didn't take surface readings of his hearth with an in IR thermometer but, since IR thermometers became affordable to home and professional pizza makers in the early aughts, they have served this purpose valiantly. While I'm a little intrigued by the use of a surface thermocouple for this purpose, the track record for an IR thermometer in this role is so untarnished, I'm going to have to cast my vote in the 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it' column. Are $10 (on Amazon) Chinese IR thermometers sexy? No. Are they super precise? Not really. But for this particular job, you cant' find a better tool, imo.
  22. It looks like your infrared thermometer isn't working properly. 477F can't blacken the bottom of a pizza in 4 minutes. 585F- now that will produce what you're experiencing. Have you tested your IR thermometer with boiling water?
  23. scott123

    Pizza Dough

    My reference to oven temperature had nothing to do with ambient temps. I was referring to the temperature of the ceiling of the oven and how a 700 degree ceiling isn't going to have that much more radiative impact than a 550 ceiling. Temperature, in this context- not a bed of coals vs. a gas flame, but, rather, the exact same ceiling at two different temps- in that context, temperature dictates radiative impact. Perhaps if the broiler wasn't present, and the pizza was in far greater proximity, you could detect a difference between the radiative impact of a 550 ceiling and a 700 one, but you'd still fall incredibly short for the necessary top heat for Neapolitan. The radiative impact of a 700 degree ceiling in a self cleaning hacked oven is, from a Neapolitan perspective, completely inconsequential. For Neapolitan in a home oven, everything hinges on broiler strength- and a self cleaning hack doesn't increase broiler strength. Undercrust leoparding can be achieved with aluminum plate at 600. Undercrust leoparding in a home oven is feasible. It's not the easiest to achieve, but when there's a will, there's a way (and it need not be a self cleaning cleaning cycle). But that's all for naught if you can't leopard the top of the pizza- and to achieve that, you're completely at the mercy of your broiler. A 1 in 1000 broiler, and you're all set. A 999 in 1000 broiler, and, if you're smart, you're making something else. For the record, I've never seen a high powered infrared broiler produce a Neapolitan bake time. I've seen literature that talks a good game, but I have yet to see results. It might be possible, but, if someone is reading this conversation, I'd hate to see them spend a huge amount of money on this kind of oven, only to have it fall short. Time should help clear this up- unless you can point me towards a success story that you're aware of. My thoughts on water can be found here (cliff notes; extra water won't compensate for lower heat), but, if you extend the bake clock and switch to malted flour, you're clearly making NY style pizza, not Neapolitan. Up until yesterday, I hadn't heard the term 'Brooklyn Neapolitan.' I like it, and, with your permission, I'm going to start using it. I'm especially impressed by the fact that you recognized the innate difference, and, rather than just boorishly expanding the Neapolitan definition (like so many people feel oddly compelled to do) you graciously created a unique substyle. Now, if you're going to try to shoehorn 4 minute malted flour pizza into the Neapolitan spectrum, then all that good will is going to evaporate quickly. And, no 4 minute malted flour pizza is not a hybrid.
  24. scott123

    Pizza Dough

    Well, New Haven pizza can get pretty oval, but I think 10 x 20 (two 10 x 10 plates) isn't really viable. Unless you bought four 10 x 10 plates. I grew up on 21" slice pies, and, if someone asked me what the perfect sized pizza is, I might say 21" (the slices really are perfectly shaped), but, with the bow of the shelf, you'd have to remove the shelf from the equation entirely and suspend the plates on bars- which is probably way more involved than you want to get. Steam does some pretty amazing things to melting cheese, and I've always been curious about adding steam to the pizza equation, but, bottom line, 450 is the death of puffy. There's nothing you can do with the ingredients, process or the formula that will counteract the effects of that cool of an oven.
  25. scott123

    Pizza Dough

    Imagine how a Christian would feel if you told them you were considering worshiping satan. That's about how I feel about a 10" baking surface I'm going to do my best to try and save you, but, if a 10" steel is your pathway to bliss, so be it.