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Posts posted by JoNorvelleWalker

  1. Well, if I so chose I could place two 10 inch baking steels side by side in the big oven.  But try as I might I couldn't fit half a 20 inch steel in the CSO -- at least with the metal working tools at my disposal.*


    *Though with my carbide bits I could sure poke a lot of holes in it!


  2. 1 hour ago, scott123 said:

    I don't really enjoy paying 14.99 a pound for Parmigiano Reggiano, but I am unbelievably grateful that the Reggio Emilians went to/are going to such great lengths to make sure that I get to experience their cultural treasure.


    Wow, I pay $53 a pound for Parmigiano Reggiano on sale.


  3. 15 hours ago, scott123 said:


    I'm sure I don't have to explain to you the amount of energy it takes to heat water, but, for those that may not know, it takes a lot.  In the same sauce pan, try timing how long it takes to boil 1/2"  of water and how long it takes to boil 2" of water. One is a matter of seconds, the other minutes.  I can't speak for bread, but the rate at which pizza dough heats up in the oven is a big part of it's leavening.  The water in the base of the dough quickly boils and turns to steam. This rapidly expanding steam is driven upward, which heats the rest of the dough and expands the gas that was formed during proofing. If you load the dough with water, it takes what should be a quick rise in temperature in the dough, a somewhat explosive reaction, and slows it way down. If dough doesn't get hot quickly, oven spring is sacrificed.


    Gluten needs water to form.  Every flour has a fairly exact amount of water that it can absorb which professionals call it's absorption value.  Any water you add beyond that is just adding free water to the dough.  And this water that the gluten has no use for, this excess water, takes considerably more energy to heat, and that kills the oven spring.


    Beyond impairing volume, excess water impairs the texture of pizza crusts in other ways. Cooler ovens have issues with pizza because, as they extend the bake time, the dough dries out and gets hard.  You might think that you're adding moisture and softness to the final product by adding water to the dough, but, in reality, by adding water, you're just increasing the bake time, and, in order to get the crust to eventually brown, you're drying it out just as much. 


    Excess water is not your friend.  Up until the point you reach the absorption value, it's your best buddy, playing the ultra critical role of hydrating the gluten, but beyond that, it's just a literal and a figurative wet blanket.


    Those are my thoughts on water :) I don't know exactly what kind of pizza you're striving for, and, perhaps, with a considerable amount of extra oil and sugar, you can do something American-ish or maybe something foccacia-ish, but if you want pizza that's soft, chewy, puffy, and has good color, I just don't see it happening in the Cuisinart.


    10" x 10" x .375" steel has the same surface area- and the same weight, as 7" x 14" x .375".  If you're willing to work with 10" x 10", just get two pieces of 7" x 14" steel to make a 14" x 14" surface for your main oven.   If 7 x 14 is too heavy/too unwieldy for you, you can even break it down into three pieces- maybe three 5 x 15 pieces.


    Like I said, I'm not really sure what you're striving for, but, from your description of your DeLonghi pizza, it certainly sounds like you want puffy.  If that's the case, I strongly recommend using your main oven.


    How hot does your main oven get?  Does it have a broiler in the main compartment?



    The idea of higher hydration was not my own.  I saw it in Modernist Bread:


    "We bake our Neapolitan pizza at a lower temperatures than some pizza makers.  When you change a product's baking temperature, though, you also have to adjust your hydration.  Why?  Because water is a very good conductor of heat, so if you have too much of it in a very hot oven, your pizza is probably going to burn.  The hydration should be low if the oven is going to be really hot.  Decrease the oven temperature, and the pizza dough requires more water."


    My main oven can be set up to 550F and there is a broiler in the main compartment, but I have not measured at this setting.  For baking baguettes I use a temperature of 470F.


    And, yes thanks, chewy and puffy is what I'm after.  I confess I don't make pizza dough, I just use leftover bread dough.  (Though I am not above trying.)  I bake bread at least once a week, as I am doing at the moment.


  4. 34 minutes ago, weinoo said:

    My take is that in Italy, the cultural ramifications will amount to zero for Romans, Perugians, Genovese, Florentines, Milanese, et al. They'll all do it there own way, caring not a wit what a Neapolitan might think.



    Worst pizza I remember was in Genoa.


  5. Not of interest to me personally but I see the Fire 7 Tablet is $29.99.  I know US is not Canada but I wondered if a Fire tablet would let @Anna N use eGullet with the desktop view so she could search in topics?  If not, $29.99 is not a huge investment.



    Edit:  the larger Fire tablets are deal of the day also.  The 10 inch is $99.99.


  6. 2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

    The only thing was that it was set at 135.5F and after 3 hours it was only 130F. by my Thermapen.  But it was an inexpensive piece of pork from Kroger and not some rockstar pork from the butcher and it was so GOOD and juicy - that part was a huge success!


    Hard to tell how thick the roast was from the pictures.  But from Baldwin's tables, if it was 2 inches or more thick, three hours was not enough cooking time to heat it through.





  7. 6 hours ago, TicTac said:

    Your figures seem off, otherwise I am sure many would flock down that path as well...


    Here one can purchase 5,000 of said seeds for $830




    Google suggest that there are roughly 120,000 - 190,000 cherry tomato seeds per pound.


    Which puts it roughly at $25-30K/lb


    Still a nice chunk of change!


    If you want an amazingly sweet and fairly low acid cherry, check out 'Sweet Orange Cherry tomatos' - I grow them every year and they are the nearest thing to candy grown on a vine.



    Weren't my figures, the price was from Wikipedia citing NPR:



    My guess is the that the price has gone down a bit over time since the variety was introduced.


    In addition to Mountain Magic this year I am growing Ramapo and Atlas.  I must say Atlas has huge tomatoes for a smallish plant.  None red yet though.


  8. Following a lovely zombie, @Wolfert's chicken mechoui from Food of Morocco.  A favored dish that requires I drag out my Farberware rotisserie.  Baked potato and ken cut cabbage which some may denigrate as coleslaw.  Picture was intended but it didn't happen.


    • Like 4

  9. 1 hour ago, scott123 said:


    Could it be this?


    As Paul pointed out, if you're the right candidate (hot enough oven, broiler in the main compartment), steel is better than iron or stone. Here is my guide to sourcing steel locally.




    @scott123 thank you for the link!  However you have me confused with someone who knows what they are doing.  My desire is to bake pizza (as well as bread) in my Cuisinart Steam Oven, a small toaster oven.  A small toaster oven with steam and convection bake.  Forgive me if you are familiar with this miraculous device.


    I've achieved almost acceptable pizza from my DeLonghi griddle but the crust ends up crisper than I'd like.  For better or worse the CSO heats only to 450 deg F.  But the broiler goes higher.  Pizza stones don't thrill me (I have one) and I am thinking of purchasing a 10 inch by 10 inch steel sheet which will fit the CSO.


    My main oven goes much higher than the CSO but I am an old woman turning 70 this summer and the idea of thick steel much larger than 10 by 10 inch turns me off exceedingly, gender bias or no gender bias.


    The plan is that I can compensate for lower oven temperatures by higher hydration dough.  Thoughts?


  10. 4 hours ago, Smithy said:

    That just looks like good food. Have you had the Kumatos before? I have been disappointed in them the once or twice I've tried them, but they're popular enough that I may have gotten bad batches. I go for Camparis whenever possible, except during Fresh Real Local Tomato Season (coming soon to these north woods, I hope). 


    I have a couple Kumatos in my bedroom at the moment. They are usually OK.  I may have them for dinner.  I only recall one container of Kumatos that didn't have much flavor.


    But I'm with you.  For supermarket tomatoes my favorite are Campari.  I just read on Wikipedia that Campari is a trademark in the US and "can be produced from different varieties, such as Mountain Magic."  Strange coincidence -- Mountain Magic is what I've been growing on my balcony the past several years.  I am in the wrong business.  Mountain Magic seeds sell for $150,000 per pound.


    • Like 3

  11. My downstairs neighbor has had stuff drying out on his balcony the last two nights so I thought it would be impolite to water.  Except for a bit.


    The little red tomato is still there and has been joined by a sister.  I thought my arm had healed but I pulled the wound open stepping out of the shower.  Fortunately my towels are brown.


  12. 8 hours ago, m61376 said:

    Bought the PolyScience 300,, and loving it! Thanks to all your posts have just watched closely and hit the seal bar when boiling liquid appeared problematic (when making rum infused pineapple for grilling-wow): my decision was made based on dimensions; these units are too heavy for me to lift and too bulky to take up counter space, but a location I haven’t seemed mentioned, which works great for us, is on the pull out shelf of a pantry cabinet. I called the cabinet manufacturer and they rec. stabilizers under the bottom of the pullout to strengthen the base, but said the glides could support the 50 pound weight extended while in use. So that’s a great hidden kitchen option; just sorry I didn’t think of it 2 years ago when redoing the kitchen, or I would have had a plug installed. But I can live with using an extension cord to have this unit easily accessible but out of sight. Mentioning it because others may not have considered this storage option:


    on on another note- I ordered Ultrasource bags from Amazon since I could get those fastest and I needed them for July 4th Sous Vide prep, but the 3mm are kinda thin. Are other brands better and/or are most people opting for 4 or 5 mm bags?


    Having a Polyscience 300 on a pullout shelf frightens me almost as much as kale.


    I use Polyscience bags in mine.


    • Haha 2

  13. 45 minutes ago, rotuts said:



    very nice


    on those glasses :


    look just right for a Nagroni Sampler




    do they ' sing ' when you move your finger around the rim ?


    I have not done this for a time


    so Ive forgotten the particulars :  dry finger or Slightly moist ?


    Ah, Franklin's armonica, hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica if you will.  From wikipedia:  "Franklin also advocated the use of a small amount of powdered chalk on the fingers, which under some acidic water conditions helped produce a clear tone."


    Not sure powdered chalk helps with Campari.