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Everything posted by scott123

  1. I'm a little late to this discussion, but I have a few things to add. First, charcoal in a gas grill is not a good idea. It's not a question of if the ash will clog up your burners, but when. Sure, if your burners do get clogged, you can clean them, but it will be a major hassle to do so. Charcoal also represents very intense localized heat. A gas grill isn't manufactured with this kind of heat in mind. You could end up warping the grate or, if the coals are near a wall, you could warp the wall. Even if you can keep ash out of the burners and prevent damage to the grill, as has been mentioned, the extra heat from the charcoal is the wrong kind of heat, since fast baked pizza requires intense top heat. Even if you put the charcoal to the side of the pizza, with the way the charcoal burns, and the height of the ceiling, you still won't get the top heat that you need for a balanced fast bake. Your average gas grill, out of the box, is a horrible tool when it comes to fast baked pizza. You've got the top/bottom heat balance issue and the peak temp problem. An insert can resolve the top/bottom heat balance, but, you're still severely handicapped by the grill's peak temp. Not to mention, your average insert is typically going to cost you about half of what you'd pay for a real, Neapolitan capable, propane pizza oven. If someone wanted to match their home oven results with a grill, sure, a $150+ insert is a perfectly fine option (I'd probably recommend this one here). But 600 degree pizza is obviously not what you're looking for. If you want fast baked pizza, you want the right tool for the job. $300 will get you an Ooni Koda (gas). You don't want the Karu or the Ooni 3, since the Karu is still too untested, and the pellets of the 3 are a huge, messy hassle. I would also dissuade you from the Ooni Pro, since the thermodynamics of the larger Pro don't seem to be on par with the smaller Koda. If your pockets are considerably deeper, the Pizza Party Ardore is a step up. https://www.pizzapartyshop.com/en/portable-gas-fired-pizza-ovens-ardore-spacesaving/outdoor-gas-pizza-oven-pizza-party-ardore.html The pricing for the Ardore has been all over the map. At one point, it was as low as $600 shipped, but then it crept up to around $1100, and now it's showing a waiting list without any price listed. The Ardore has three advantages. First, a Koda can do authentic 60 second Neapolitan pizza, but an Ardore has the BTUs to do 45 second bakes. 45 second pizza is very advanced, since, at that bake time, it's pretty easy to end up with raw dough in the middle of your crust. If you do it right, though, 45 second pizza can be pretty breathtaking (45 second naan is also otherworldly). The Ardore's second advantage is it's real estate. With a 15.75" x 15.75" stone, it's exponentially easier to turn the pizza in the oven (with a good turning peel). Lastly, the Ardore puts the burner on the side, rather than on the back like the Koda. Having the burner on the side allows you to watch the pizza as it bakes and turn it a bit more effectively. 45 second pizza is not really a dragon that many folks are chasing, and with a sizable learning curve, you can master turning in a Koda. At $600, I think an Ardore is a viable upgrade for the truly obsessed, but, I think $1100 for an Ardore is a bit steep. It depends on how deep your pockets are. If you want to compare some of the specs for the popular brands of outdoor gas ovens, I compiled a spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RkK7rmQMJWUYxp0zHhVLCcjQ1cLIJpUuTMOaOr2iEDk/edit#gid=0
  2. Since it's already Christmas morning, I'm guessing this answer won't be much help, but, for future reference, because of their additional ingredients, enriched doughs have a tendency towards a somewhat weak gluten structure. Fermentation weakens dough. A good enriched dough recipe will give the dough just enough proofing to make it light and airy, and no more. For this reason, I wouldn't add additional fermentation to an existing enriched dough recipe.
  3. What are you proofing in?
  4. This is all fascinating stuff, but it doesn't explain how sugar becomes amorphous in chocolate. A smaller and smaller crystal is still just a crystal. What's causing the sugar to glass? The heat? The trace amount of water in the chocolate? The electron microscope doesn't lie, so if it's saying the sugar is amorphous, it's amorphous. This may be one of those 'not fully understood' areas, but it would be really nice to know, since whatever it is that causes sugar to glass, might be helpful in getting erythritol to glass as well, although keeping erythritol amorphous, as I said, is exponentially more difficult. Freeze drying definitely sounds intriguing. But, yes, the equipment may not be practical here. Come to think of it, I have made inulin caramels where I added the cream too quickly to the caramelized inulin, and I ended up with a thin hard layer of inulin on the base of the pan that took a very long time to dissolve. If you took this and poured it on a silpat like brittle, Inulin is most likely too hygroscopic to be ground, but perhaps this 'brittle' might be pulverized and then melanged. I'm not sure I'd put this in a blender or a melanger I'd value, though, since inulin in this cohesed, concentrated form is going to be far harder than sugar. I've had old chunks of conglomerated polydrextrose (a close cousin to inulin) that were very stressful to the hammer that I was using to break them down into smaller pieces.
  5. As far as I know, sugar/erythritol crystallization occurs on the molecular level. Because of this, no amount of physical grinding will ever mitigate erythritol's cooling effect. In order to lose the effect, erythritol has to be dissolved, and it has to be kept dissolved, which is extraordinarily difficult to do. I've made at least a few hundred inulin/erythritol/water syrups, and I can tell you exactly how much inulin it takes to keep erythritol dissolved at various concentrations, but, achieving this without the water? Yeesh. I've never tried this, but, it might be possible to make an inulin/erythritol solution and cook it to a stage where the water is boiled off and the erythritol is still a glass. You could then powder that and have no cooling effect. I don't even know if inulin can even be taken to a hard stage, though. Inulin is basically very low sweetness dried corn syrup. Is there such a thing as corn syrup only hard candy? My guess is no. I'm guessing that, since you're reverse engineering stevia based candy, sucralose is most likely your big bad wolf, correct? Erythritol provides almost no sugary texture. It's not in this formula for the bulk. It's being used to help improved the quality of sweetness that you get from the Stevia, which is very poor on it's own with the bitterness of chocolate. If you were open to another high intensity sweetener, you could achieve a very high quality of sweetening, lose the erythritol and, with it, all it's crystallization woes. You could then treat this like real chocolate, and with the help of the talented chocolatiers here, grind the ingredients down, temper it, and end up with an actual chocolate bar.
  6. Are you certain that as sugar particles become smaller they become amorphous? They don't just become smaller and smaller crystals? Doesn't crystallization occur on the molecular level? I've powdered erythritol to incredibly fine textures in the past, and, no matter how small I go, the cooling effect is always there.
  7. The inherent bitterness of chocolate requires a great deal of sugar to balance it. Because of this substantial requirement, It's a confection that, from a perspective of quality of sweetening, separates the wheat from the chaff. Stevia tends to work well when very little is required of it- tea, cheesecake, vanilla confections, etc., but as you use more of it, even high quality extracts, you're going to see an aftertaste that impairs the quality of sweetening. For true sugar free chocolate, not this maltitol silliness, you need a sweetener combination that's indistinguishable from sugar- even in large amounts. This is why you see splenda combined so frequently with acesulfame potassium- and not just in chocolate. Carbsmart is very far from the best ice cream, and the overrun in this recent decade has been downright criminal, but they, for the most part, get the sweetening right: http://smartlabel.breyers.com/product/4019261/ingredients?locale=en-US Sorbitol (bad, but not quite as bad as maltitol), splenda and acesulfame potassium. For years, it was polydextrose, but I'm guessing sorbitol is cheaper. The beverage companies have figured it out as well. Any time you find splenda, you'll see acesulfame potassium and anything with aspartame is going to have acesulfame potassium as well. Synergy (more than one sweetener) = far better quality of sweetness and less overall sweetener used (cost savings).
  8. One thing to consider regarding maltitol. Out of all the sugar substitutes, maltitol acts the most like sugar, which is great if you're working with a maltitol based chocolate. Unfortunately, though, maltitol has a glycemic index that's very close to sugar, and it can be laxating. Out of all the alternatives to sugar, it's the absolute best to work with, but it's also the absolute worst to eat (if you're watching your blood sugar, eating low carb, or avoiding sugar for other reasons). Now, not everyone knows the evils of maltitol, so if someone asks you to make something sugar free for them, and you use maltitol based chocolate, they might be perfectly content. But you won't be doing them any favors- and, if they do end up being laxated- or eventually figure out how horrible maltitol really is, it could damage your reputation- professionally or personally. There is no free lunch when it comes to replacing sugar. You either have easy to work with substitutes like maltitol that spike blood sugar and/or laxate or you have the high intensity sweeteners that are nutritionally sound, but are exceptionally difficult to have to work with because of their lack of bulk/sugary texture. Polysaccharides like polydextrose and inulin don't spike blood sugar, but they can be laxating. Combined with high intensity sweeteners, they're far preferable to maltitol, though, especially in conjunction with erythritol, a sugar alcohol, that, unlike maltitol, is neither laxating nor does it spike blood sugar- but can only be used in small amounts because of it's cooling effect. Other than the stevia, which is an especially horrible sweetener for chocolate, these are fairly well formulated sugar free chocolates: https://www4.netrition.com/kiss-my-keto-ketogenic-chocolate.html but, even with the bulking properties of the inulin, the texture is going to be way off.
  9. I don't know how long you plan on keeping it around for, but, in the future, if you want to prolong the shelf life, it's best to keep it in the packaging until you need it. Also, brick mozzarella is only as good as it's melt, and slices melt especially poorly- it's super easy to end up with rubbery tasteless cheese. Even if you can't grate them by hand, I might put them back in the food processor for a handful of pulses on the chop setting. I tend to have a lot mozzarella around and use it for any Mexican dishes that require melted cheese, like enchiladas. It also fries up really well in a non stick pan. Take it until golden brown and you'll get crunchy crackers when it cools.
  10. The Koda is a very hot oven right now (no pun intended). I know at least 20 people who have pulled the trigger. With these types of ovens, early adoption is generally not a good idea- and it's an especially poor idea with a company like Ooni, who, for years, until they got their act together, were selling what were basically door stops to unsuspecting beta testers. They eventually got it right with the Ooni 3, but versions 1 and 2 should never have been sold to the public. I'm not necessarily saying that the Koda is half baked, but until it's in the hands of someone who knows how to make pizza, and we can clearly see what it's capable of dong, my advice would be to wait. With these types of ovens, there's usually longevity concerns, but Ooni, so far, hasn't had problems with that. Normally it takes about a year before we know how well an oven truly performs, but, there's so much interest here, we might see results as quickly as 6 months. For those interested, here's further information on the leading sub $1k outdoor pizza ovens, along with a spreadsheet containing their perspective specs. https://www.reddit.com/r/Cooking/comments/avglku/is_there_actually_a_taste_difference_in_woodfired/ehfv6yr/
  11. 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.
  12. 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 :)
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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.
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