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Everything posted by scott123

  1. Your intestines, my kidneys I'm in the exact same camp. It works too damn well not to play around with- in moderation and in combination with other things, of course. In this instance, the solution to pollution might be dilution.
  2. So GI issues? That's interesting. Was this in any quantity? On paper, erythritol, like allulose, is suppose to largely bypass the intestines and cause no distress, but, I've known the occasional person who can't tolerate it. Not many, but, one or two.
  3. +1 for polydextrose and erythritol, although I highly recommend making a syrup with them first, or the erythritol won't dissolve and, beyond not providing any sweetening, it will give you a super odd, somewhat minty cooling effect. 8:1:1 polydextrose:erythritol:water (by weight) will give you something pourable at just below egg-cooking temps (140Fish). It will be super thick and unwieldy when refrigerated, and after a few days, the erythritol will crystallize and turn it cloudy, but, as long as you nuke it a bit before you work with it, it will be manageable. Whatever liquids you add to it (in this instance, eggs), whisk one into the other while drizzling it. Not only will this syrup keep the erythritol dissolved, it will prevent the polydextrose from clumping, which can also be problematic (polyd is super clumpy/hygroscopic). Be aware, both polydextrose and erythritol can cause gastric distress- not nearly as bad as maltitol, but, you want to keep this in mind when considering the audience you're serving it to. Ideally, you'll want to serve this to someone who can build up a tolerance to the polydextrose by consuming a little bit each day. FWIW, polydextrose is a prebiotic, and is supposedly quite healthy. Allulose is the new kid on the sweetening block and is both very low calorie (1/10th sugar) and seems to act extremely sugar-ishly. Unfortunately, studies have shown it to enlarge rat kidney and livers. When I was hitting allulose the hardest, before I was even aware of the studies, I was experiencing some kidney discomfort. I do feel like dose makes a difference, though, and when it comes to sweeteners, the greater the variety, the better the quality of sweetening. As mentioned, sucralose is a good candidate to fill in the missing sweetness, but, I highly recommend adding at least one more high intensity sweetener to the mix. Like I said, the more the merrier. In small amounts I'm a fan of monkfruit extract. Make sure it's the pure extract and not the erythritol/monkfruit blend.
  4. As @Duvel alludes to, Neapolitan pizza was born out of necessity. Poor aspiring pizzeria owners couldn't afford hulking 70,000+ lb. bread ovens. Smaller ovens at lower temps = less output, so, if Neapolitans wanted to make money, the only option was to run the oven hotter. This is still a reality with wood fired ovens today. It doesn't hurt that Naples has been quite industrial/bustling/fast paced for hundreds of years. What's the translation for espresso? This was fast food centuries before Ray Kroc had a glint in his eye. Taste is relative, so 'tastes good' causes me to bristle a bit, but if you wanted to say something along the lines of "less crowd pleasing," I can absolutely agree that Neapolitan pizza is less crowd pleasing than American. Not if the crowd is in Italy, obviously, but, as you move into neutral areas without much of a pizza history, longer baked pizza is generally favored. Speaking of espresso... I might go as far as to say it most likely breaks down like espresso does vs lighter roasts. The intense char, the wetness- Neapolitan pizza is not for everyone. But any conversation about the polarizing aspects of Neapolitan pizza, as I said before, is off topic. 1 minute Neapolitan pizza is polarizing, niche, obsessive, an acquired taste, etc. etc. 7 minute NY vs 10 minute NY- for everyone that I've ever met 7 tastes better- dramatically better- like "Oh my God, I just tried steel for the first time and my life will never be the same" better.
  5. Not to split hairs, but semi Neapolitan and wok hei are, for the most part, realms of the obsessive. Steel plate was cutting edge a decade ago, but now it's pretty much become the defacto method for making pizza at home. It's everywhere. Every major book on pizza mentions steel. I've even seen Chris Bianco talking about it on Jimmy Kimmel. In the course of my travels, I've probably run across 3000 people who've purchased steel plates. I do spend a lot of time with obsessives, but I also brush shoulders with plenty of folks that just want have fun making pizzas with their families and not make a big thing out of it. Out of all these thousands of steel adopters, obsessive or not, young or old, beginner or master, not a single one has ever preferred the 10+ minute bakes they were getting on stone to the sub 7 minute bakes on steel. Now, out of this group, a handful of people had have odd broiler configurations that didn't play well with steel, so not everyone that buys steel is grinning ear from ear, but, that's the oven's fault (and the steel plate manufacturer's fault for fraudulent marketing), not the steel itself.
  6. I think the citizens of Naples would have an answer for you Just to be clear, though, I'm not advocating sub 2 minute Neapolitan pizza. None of the materials being discussed can achieve that in a home oven.
  7. Better is relative. For pizza, heat is leavening and char. You proof your dough to (ideally) load it up with as much carbon dioxide as possible, but, it's the heat of the oven that's responsible for both expanding that gas and boiling the water in the dough into rapidly expanding steam. As you bake cooler, as you bake longer, you lose puff, you lose volume. Some styles, like Chicago thin and American/chain style favor longer, cooler bakes, but, when you get into NY style, a 4-6 minute bake on steel/aluminum is almost universally favored over a 9+ minute bake on stone.
  8. https://www.chooseenergy.com/electricity-rates-by-state/ "the U.S. average is 13.6 cents per kilowatt hour" My oven is 5.7 kW total (bake and broil), so the bake element is probably around 2.8 kW. As the steel preheats, the oven cycles off and on- my best guess would be that it's on about 50% of the time. If my math is correct, that's about 20 cents worth of electricity. A gas oven should be even less.
  9. You set it to 550 and it ends up at 470? Yeesh. May I ask what you're using to read the temp? Is this a keypad oven or dial?
  10. If you're baking cookies on steel, with an oven set to, say, 300, then the bottom browning you see with a 10 minute preheat will be drastically different to a 20 minute one. Now, if you time your preheat exactly every time, then that will give you consistency, but, baking on steel, with varying preheat times, is a complete crap shoot. If you bake without contacting the steel, then the temperature evens out a bit, and things that don't require much precision, like chicken thighs, tend to be okay, but for things that need to be precise, like custards, pie crusts or cookies, you're going to have to end up checking them much more frequently, since the timing will be altered based on how much heat the core of the steel is soaking up.
  11. My steel is 41 lb, so I spent a great deal of effort trying to make leaving it in the oven work for other baked goods. I couldn't do it. Tall pots, like dutch ovens, stockpots, or large roasts wouldn't fit vertically with where my steel is placed. For things that could fit, like pies, cookies or lasagna, I could usually modify the baking technique to get the results I wanted, but, for every success, it would take at least 2 bakes to dial it in. At the end of the day, it changes the thermodynamics so dramatically the futzing that it requires is not worth the trouble. And there is no single trick to making every baked good work. Every item I baked required different tweaks to get it to bake the way I wanted. Another important facet to this equation is, until the steel is completely preheated, the cooler core is going to be actively drawing heat away from the hotter exterior, effectively acting like a heat sink and lowering the temp of the oven faster than normally. Because of this, unless you fully preheat the steel every time you bake, your oven temp won't be consistent. This turns (for me) a typical 12 minute preheat into an hour. For thinner steels, you're still talking 40+ minutes. A few caveats. First, I'm working with an oven without convection. If all your recipes utilize convection, and you're willing to live with the 40+ minute preheat, as long as you don't bake directly on the steel, you shouldn't have to alter your approach for existing recipes. Second, this is for existing recipes, not new ones. By their nature, new recipes tend to require some trial and error with regard to how they're baked. Within that context, compensating for the steel is probably not that much extra bother. But again, that 40+ minute preheat is brutal. Not to sound like a broken record, but this is the beauty of aluminum. Besides producing better bottom color and superior oven spring, aluminum with comparable heat capacity is a little more than 1/2 the weight of steel. Better pizza, and your back breaking 23 lb plate becomes a much more manageable 14 lb piece of aluminum. I don't normally recommend less than .75" aluminum, but that's for folks with cooler ovens. I'm also not a fan of anything less than 16" square (size is a huge factor in proper NY style pies). This all being said, your oven is really not that weak. If you wanted to approach aluminum from primarily a back saving perspective, a 15" x 15" x .625" plate from the link I posted above would match the heat capacity you have now (with a slightly faster bake time), weigh 14 lb and run you $60 shipped. If you wanted to approach the weight savings even more aggressively and increase performance, two 16" x 8" x .75" aluminum plates would blow your current steel out of the water, weigh 9 lb a piece, and run you about $75 shipped. Considerably better pizza AND lugging around 9 lb plates rather than 23 lb. You have to be at least a little bit tempted
  12. https://www.midweststeelsupply.com/store/6061aluminumplate The link @JoNorvelleWalker provided is more than triple the price of Midwest. Midwest isn't anodized, and while the right anodization can just about guarantee immortality, not all types of anodization are food safe, and just plain seasoning gives you plenty of durability. I've tracked probably close to 2K heavy steel plates in a vast variety of ovens, and I've never heard of an oven rack failing. I'm sure that the Anova probably incorporates a very weak, lightweight shelf, but, because you're filling the oven with aluminum plate, you're putting the bulk of the weight on the shelf supports, not the shelf itself. I've seen photos of pretty large birds in the Anova literature. If it can handle a large chicken, it'll be perfectly fine with 1" aluminum. This being said, a 250C peak temp, even with aluminum, is super sketchy for great pizza. Now, I've recommended 1" aluminum to countless Europeans with 250C home ovens, but that was the best they could get their hands on. If there's any chance you have a traditional oven that gets hotter, I second @JoNorvelleWalker's recommendation to use your aluminum plate in that. The Anova's dimensions are also far from ideal. An 11.5" pizza, the max you'd want to go in an Anova, is a postage stamp. Adding insult to injury, with the wattage the Anova provides, you're talking about both very long preheats- easily 2 hours, and long recovery times between pizzas, effectively limiting you to one tiny pie per meal.
  13. Exactly. Basically, conductivity is king (to a point). Steel trumps stone, and aluminum trumps steel. While my pizza related issues with Nathan, Chris and Heston are well documented within these walls, I have to give them props for bringing aluminum plate for pizza to the attention of the masses. Why Kenji latched onto steel and completely ignored aluminum is a bit of a head scratcher, but, if anyone should be able to see the innate value of aluminum for pizza, it should be the Modernist Cuisinists here.
  14. I'm all about the waste not want not, but, at 8.5% protein, the KA Italian really has no place in pizza. If any of the pies you posted here were 50% KA Italian AND 70% hydration, then I tip my hat to your impressive stretching skills. 50/50 Galahad/Italian and 70% water is bordering on completely unstretchable. The short answer: outside of the pandemic, in your average oven, nothing touches King Arthur bread flour. Right now, though, Restaurant Depot is open to the public, which makes getting bromated bread flour (like Full Strength) a much easier purchase. A 50 lb. bag isn't an easy store, though, especially not in an apartment setting. So, in your average oven, bromated bread flour is ideal, but bread flour (stick to KA, avoid other brands) is a close second. But, that's an average oven- with an average broiler that can't come close to Neapolitan leoparding in 90 seconds. With your oven, thick aluminum, a quality 00 and less water might flirt with a Neapolitan end result. Personally, I think authentic Neapolitan dough baked for 3 minutes is pretty horrible (the texture suffers tremendously), but if you can hit 2, and you may have a broiler than can hit 2... it might be worth going down that rabbit hole. That's pretty obsessive, though. Imo, in a home oven, with steel (or aluminum), you can't beat KABF, 61% hydration, a little oil and a little sugar. Btw, any dough can become no knead if you have the patience. Mix it until it comes together, then set it aside for 10-20 minutes, then give it a knead or two, and, if it isn't smooth, give it another 10-20 minutes and another knead. Wetter doughs are a little easier to mix, but, if you mix the dough quickly (you get a second or two while the water starts to absorb), drier doughs can come together without too much perspiration. As long as the dough is smooth before it starts to proof, you're good to go- you can give it more/less rests or shorter/longer ones, and as long as you don't forget the dough completely, you're good. The trickiest part of this process is learning to recognize smoothness. Also, at room temp, yeast doubles about every hour. This means that to hit the right level of fermentation at 18 hours, you need to start with a minuscule amount of yeast- and be incredibly precise about measuring it. I know overnight room temp proofing folks that build DIY proofing cabinets and weigh their yeast with jeweler scales, but, if you want to make your life a little easier, slowing down the yeast with refrigeration gives you a much bigger window on the back end. Just make sure the dough fully comes up to temp before you stretch it- maybe 4 hours, 3 if your room is above 75.
  15. Thick aluminum plate can match (and exceed) steel at about half the weight. Your goal of trimming another minute off the bake time- aluminum can achieve that- with one hand tied behind it's back. Another option for a less back breaking plate would be taking your existing steel to a distributor and getting it cut. Cuts are usually around $10. Just make sure you run the seam from side to side. If the cut runs from front to back, it will contour to the bowing shelf and sag. Paper is wood, and wood is an insulator. It won't trim a minute, but, if you can launch without the parchment, you'll trim off about 30 seconds (and see a difference). Another way to trim off more time- and obtain a dough that's exponentially easier to stretch and launch, would be a more traditional pizza dough recipe. High hydration doughs are great for bread, but, in pizza, they extend bake times, hinder oven spring and produce sticky slack doughs that are much harder to stretch- and launch. This is why you won't find doughs much higher than about 62% water in both New York and Naples. What flour are you using?
  16. I get the feeling that, if I could find this, it might be within my budget. Yesterday, I pulled the trigger on 1 lb. of kelp flakes for $11 (on Amazon). I don't expect it to taste as good as nori, but, I'm hoping it will be good in soups.
  17. Haha. They are kind of addictive. My Taiwanese grocer has about half an aisle of the snack sized bulk packs. When you get into the multi snack packs, though, the markup goes through the roof. They can be nice for portion control, though.
  18. I was kind of hoping to find someone here who was familiar with Mitsuwa's pricing so I wouldn't have to devote the time and gas for a trip to Edgewater This being said, while Mitsuwa doesn't list prices online for everything, they do have an online sales circular hawking a 2.2 oz bag of nori for $6.99 ($50/lb). What's the advantage of Japanese nori over other countries?
  19. I've been spending a great deal of money on Trader Joe's seaweed snacks. At $1 for a .4 oz. container, that comes out to $40/lb. Considering that they're about 2/5ths very inexpensive seed oil, that drives the price of the actual nori component even higher. While I like the taste, what I really love is just the nori itself, so I'm looking into buying nori sheets. Amazon has $20/lb roasted nori sheets, which isn't horrible, but, I'm hoping I can find a better online deal. I'm in Northern NJ, so if anyone has local recommendations, I'm open to those as well. My Taiwanese grocer in Parsippany sells nori for between $45 and $80/lb.
  20. The Gold Medal is only a titch stronger than the Stone Buhr- probably about .3% more. Every little bit helps, but, if you want to match the author's crumb (which I think is a fairly worthy goal) then you need to match the strength of his flour. And if you want this open of a crumb with an extra day, then you'll need even stronger flour than that. The first photo in this thread is quite impressive. The crumb is not quit as open as the recipe, but, for the flour you're using, it's an amazing achievement. Do you have to refrigerate the dough one more night? If you can't get your hands on stronger flour, sticking to the recipe could be the ideal approach. There's no free lunch here. If the flour is weak, your crumb will suffer (evidenced even further by your AP results). It's kind of hard to describe the effect that DM has. Flaky, crunchy, perhaps brittle. While I'm sure it's not a traditional ingredient, I agree with the recipe author that it elevates the end product. So I wouldn't omit it entirely, just play around with a little less. I would reach out to local pizzerias and see if they'll sell you some pizza flour. For instance, I'm reasonably certain that this is considerably stronger flour than what you're using: https://www.facebook.com/CPKGuam/videos/1788620021155405/?v=1788620021155405 Generally speaking, if you try to toss bread flour or AP flour dough like this, it will tear. If you can get your hands on flour that's too strong, you can always dilute it with some weak flour. The tricky part about this is that if a pizzeria is using high gluten/strong flour, then it means that they're importing it by the container/half container, which means that they're doing very high volume. When you get into high volume, that means a corporate structure/red tape, so it's not like befriending a small pizza shop owner and getting them to sell you flour. But, if you want a more open crumb and/or a longer ferment, you'll want to turn over every stone. I also see that Guam has a Neapolitan pizzeria or two. They won't be using a w370 or higher flour, but, they might be able to order you a bag.
  21. The recipe, as it stands, is about a 19 hour dough. By refrigerating the finished dough overnight, you're at least doubling that. For dough, time is atrophy. Most of the time, with strong North American flours, an extra day in the fridge is not a big deal, but you're using a recipe and a flour that is inherently fragile. By giving the dough more time than it can handle, it's giving up the ghost and causing the defects that you're witnessing. I'm a little befuddled as to why the author of that recipe would go to such great lengths to talk about the importance of strong flour and yet recommend a weak flour next to a strong one. It's even more of a head scratcher that he's making a quality of crumb with the strong flour that he could never produce with the weak flour- especially with how well the recipe appears to be thought out. Comparing European and American flours is exceptionally difficult. I've been studying and comparing results for years, and while I'd like to be at a point where I can take an American flour with x protein and tell you it has x W value, I'm not there yet. These estimates, though, placed in context with the flours recommended in the recipe, should be close enough to give you an idea of where you're at, and where you want to be: Molino Pasini Sfoglia (W300-320) Stone Buhr bread flour (11.5-12.1% protein) (W335) Molino Pasini Lievitati flour (W350-370) King Arthur bread flour (12.7% protein) (W370) Basically, the Stone Buhr is a little stronger than his weak flour, but not by much. Even if you stick to his overnight schedule and nix the extra day, I'd still, if possible, try to track down something stronger, such as a real bread flour like King Arthur (the Stone Buhr is really just AP posing as bread). I can't guarantee you that King Arthur will thrive with the extra day, but I'm fairly confident it should be fine. I wouldn't push it past a day, though. Now, beyond the flour strength, I would also look at the diastatic malt (DM) supplementation. DM is an agent of atrophy, ie, it's hastening the dough's demise. The Italian flours have no DM, while the American flours have a little. To confuse matters even further, DM potency isn't standardized among the different brands. The DM in the recipe could be either weaker or stronger than the DM that you're using. Perhaps you could reach out to the author and get the strength of the DM he's using (expressed in Lintner), compare that to the 60 lintner DM you're using, and subtract maybe .1 or .2% for the DM that's already present in your flour. Regardless, should you go that extra day, the DM might require some tweaking. Can you score King Arthur bread flour in Guam?
  22. 1. What brand of bread flour are you using? 2. How long are you letting the dough warm up before you cut and shape it? 3. What brand of diastatic malt powder are you using?
  23. +1 for Trader Joe's, although it's probably about the same price as Phillie. I've been making quite a few cheesecakes recently, and have been working extensively with the cheaper brands, especially Walmart, which I believe is about 85 cents in the 2 pack. The Walmart cheese is definitely softer/wetter and sticks to the packaging more. For my cheesecake, I soften the cheese in the microwave to be able to incorporate it into the other ingredients. The Walmart cheese curdles about 40 degrees lower than Trader Joe's. TJ's is much more stable at higher temps. As far as taste goes, I've tasted the cheap cheeses and the non cheap ones on bagels, and, while the cheap were still pretty good, I could taste a slight difference. The cheap cream cheese might not be worse, but it's not the same. At some point I need to blind taste them side by side.. If you're anywhere near a Wegmans, their private label might be a middle ground in terms of quality and price. I haven't tested it that much, but they seem to a do a really nice job with private label dairy.
  24. Ardent makes my favorite flour for pizza and bread, Spring King. For pizza, Full Strength (General Mills) comes close, but, otherwise, nothing can touch it. This being said... https://www.ardentmills.com/products/traditional-flours/hotel-and-restaurant-hr-all-purpose/ "Flour Protein: 9.0-13.0%" While it's fairly normal for flours to vary a bit in specs from bag to bag, ranging from 9% to 13% protein is absolutely insane. If you're incredibly motivated, you could, in theory, test each bag and get a ballpark of how strong it is, but it'll just be a ballpark and will involve a lot of trial and error to dial in.
  25. Chocolate liquor and erythritol, on their own, will not work. And this isn't a case of it'll-be-okay-but-not-great. It will be inedible. This is because erythritol has very little sweetness, and, undissolved, it has a notoriously unnerving cooling effect (almost like mint), and, in a water free environment like a chocolate bar, it's almost impossible to dissolve (on it's own). Erythritol really doesn't work as a sole sweetener, ever. This is why you'll never find a commercial product sweetened only with erythritol. You'll always find it with other things- like polydextrose and inulin (sometimes called 'dietary fiber' - these help keep the erythritol dissolved) and high intensity sweeteners. Erythritol plays a role- desserts typically are better with it, than without, but it's not the star, it's not even a supporting actor. It's an extra. And if you try to shoehorn it into a larger role, it's incredibly unforgiving. This is a slightly more knowledgeable attempt at low carb chocolate than most, https://www.wholesomeyum.com/low-carb-keto-chocolate-bar-recipe/ but they really don't grok the concept of dissolving the erythritol and the inulin. Heat is not enough. This is why you see little white specks of undissolved sweeteners in the chocolate. They also don't add a high intensity sweetener. I think, with the inulin and the cocoa butter, this might be edible, but I doubt many people would find it good. And the texture, as you can see, is pretty far from ideal. But the bottom line is that, unless you can keep erythritol dissolved, it's going to taste horrible. How do sf chocolate bar manufacturers dissolve erythritol and keep it dissolved? I don't know. My best guess is that they melt the erythritol and inulin in water and cook it into a hard ball glass, then pulverize it and add that to the chocolate. But that's just a guess. Whatever it is, it serious food chemistry that you might want to avoid. If you have the erythritol and the chocolate liquor... I'd probably go the ganache route. Get yourself some polydextrose or inulin, some heavy cream and a high intensity sweetener. On the topic of high intensity sweeteners... stevia is okay for tea, but the strong sweetening requirements of dark chocolate are too much for it. It's not going to taste right. If you score some cocoa butter and go with a milk chocolate ganache, you'll lessen the amount of sweetener you'll require and maybe move in a more stevia friendly direction (or maybe monk fruit), but, if you truly want a decent quality of sweetness, nothing's going to touch artificial sweeteners. Splenda will take you a huge distance, but splenda and something else (like acesulfame potassium or possibly aspartame) will take your quality of sweetness even further. One caveat. Polysaccharides (inulin/poydextrose) can be laxating. But they typically aren't as laxating as maltitol and, imo, more importantly, they don't spike GI like maltitol does. But, if you're going to work with erythritol, you can't avoid them. They're just about the only thing that keeps erythritol from crystallizing into a cooling nightmare.
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