Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Robenco15

  1. @Chris Young


    So this has been interesting me more and more. I don’t use thermometers a lot to cook apart from smoking in my BGE. For that I have multiple Thermoworks thermometers. Are you guys finding this to be so amazing that if you owned other Thermowork thermometers you’d still want it? 

    I’m planning on doing a massive prime rib for Christmas and this thermometer would be the first time I’d probably really use it apart from a few things just to play with. Is it worth waiting until December to order? Better version coming out? Thanks for any input!

  2. 2 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

    Compress vodka or tequila into watermelon. Be sure to peel it first.


    This recipe should be in the owner's manual for every chamber vac as a required method to "break it in."

    I’m making a watermelon feta salad tomorrow and compressing half of the watermelon for a variety of texture and color. Compressing fruit and making pizza dough has been a lot of fun with it. 

    • Like 3
  3. 25 minutes ago, scott123 said:


    How long did the 4 cycles take?


    You can't completely match the cheese bubble you achieve with raw dough, but, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the impact.


    1. Try to get your hands on a well aged mozzarella.  Fresh mozzarella has a higher water content, and water is an effective insulator.  Fresh mozzarella also has a stronger protein structure, which, in turn, resists melting. It's a little more expensive, and can be hard to track down, but unsmoked scamorza is mozzarella that's seen a bit more aging. As mozzarella ages, it turns yellow.  Look for the yellowest cheese you can find.


    2. The final shape of the mozzarella can either promote or resist melting- the larger/thicker it is, the more resistance, the less likely it will bubble..  Assuming you're going with what appears to be the same pre-sliced cheese... that may be okay, although you might get a slightly better melt with grating.  

    3. Fat is a good heat distributor and goes a long way to help cheese bubble.  Some folks turn to fattier aged cheeses like cheddar, but, I don't think the sharpness of cheddar works on pizza.  I've grated mozzarella, spread it out and then misted it with oil.  I've also frozen butter and microplaned it on the top of the cheese before it goes in the oven.  I've also taken grated mozzarella, put it in a plastic bag, added some water (not too much) and some oilive oil and massaged it to distribute the oil.  Try to keep the oil/fat localized to the cheese, since it won't do much for you melt wise if it's in the sauce- other than turn the sauce orange.


    4. Water helps- not in the cheese, but, water on the cheese helps delay the skin that wants to form and keeps the cheese liquid longer.  Your sauce-on-top approach is a step in that direction, although you want to be careful, as too much sauce on top of the cheese will insulate the cheese too much.  Case in point, Chicago deep dish- but that's obviously a different animal.


    If you're looking at these workarounds and scratching your head as to why i go to such great lengths to make cheese bubble, it's because I grew up with mozzarella that was aged longer then the mozzarella is aged now, so achieving a good melt, even with raw dough, is very difficult.

    Wow, thanks so much! Will read through this a few times and decide how best I want to go about it. 

    It takes 30-40 seconds for a cycle so approximately 2 minutes to run 4 cycles? I just did it for a back up sheet pan pizza. Mixed water, yeast, SD discard, salt, oil, and flour by hand until it was all together, threw it in the loaf pan and into the vac chamber. Took it out after 4 cycles, balled it, and put it back in a cambro to bulk. 

    • Like 1
  4. 6 minutes ago, scott123 said:


    4 rises (without a vacuum, just using the yeast to inflate) will have the same effect.  Movement/friction develops gluten, and a rising dough is a moving dough.  Beyond gluten development, time hydrates the flour particles in dough. This is the foundation for no knead breads.



    It's easy to look at pizza and assume that the cheese is being melted by the heat raining down on it from above.  The reality, though, is that as the dough cooks, steam rises, and that steam cooks the cheese from below.  The end results is the difference between fried cheese (bubbled, umami rich, buttery, flavorful) and broiled cheese (typically just browned on the top with a white milky, less flavorful layer underneath).  When you fail to bubble cheese, you're burying potentially delicious butterfat inside milky undermelted cheese.

    Now, there are styles that promote milky unbubbled cheese, like Neapolitan, but, Al Taglio is not one of those styles. For Al Taglio, you want the cheese bubbled from the steam that the raw dough gives off during baking.  If you parbake the dough in advance, that steam is gone, and instead of being a bottom heat source, the airy baked crust becomes a powerful insulator and the cheese gets almost no heat from below.


    This is what tends to happen when you try to melt cheese on a parbaked crust:


    Oh I absolutely understand the concept of no knead. Was amazed how quickly and efficiently the chamber vac method worked. Was my first time trying it. 

    In terms of the Al Taglio, the pizza dough just went in the oven. Your comment was 5 minutes too late haha! No worries though, will proceed as planned and tomorrow brings what it brings. All a learning opportunity. 

    Hell, if this pizza dough doesn’t come out of the pan today I’m making sheet pan pizzas tomorrow I guess and this was just a massive waste of flour. 

  5. So I bought a 10x5x3 loaf pan that fits in my chamber vac perfectly. I mixed 1kg of the Mod Pizza neapolitan pizza dough in my cambro (dissolving the salt into the water before adding the flour), took the shaggy dough and put it in the loaf pan and into the vac chamber. 4 cycles at max vacuum and I was pulling a window pane and fully developed the gluten. No need to get the kitchenaid out at all and run it for 10-12 minutes and stress the motor. Holy shit. This is a game changer.

    • Like 3
  6. Just now, chromedome said:

    I doubt it.


    The whole point of seasoning a pan is to coat it with a layer of polymerized lipids. There just aren't any in salt. It's a great tool for cleaning a pan once seasoned, but... it just makes no sense to push that as a seasoning method. So strange.

    (Please understand, I'm not dunking on you. Given two methods for a specific task, one of which is messy and smelly and one of which is not, I might also have opted for the cleaner, simpler option.)

    Oh you’re good. I was just following the instructions that came with it. Either way, it’s seasoned now. Going to have another go at a pizza today. 

    • Like 1
  7. 21 hours ago, scott123 said:

    The flax oil in fine art goes through the identical polymerization as pan seasoning. Granted,it takes days for the oil to set up, but, it's proof that seasoning a pan need not be smoky. If you have time- and are willing to deal with a hot house, you can season an oil at slightly below the oil's smoke point.  It will take hours- I would give it a minimum of 6 hours, but the oil will polymerize. Once the oil has solidified, you can then ramp up the heat briefly to give it the characteristic black color and it shouldn't smoke at all.  The biggest downside to this approach is that you will want to repeat it about 3 times.  But the high heat/smoky approach will take a few coatings as well.  Good seasoning will always involve multiple coats.

    I seasoned the pan 3 times today at 550F for an hour. Each time with a 2 hour cool down before coating again and baking. Going to make another pizza tomorrow. Will see how it goes. 

    • Like 2
  8. On 10/23/2021 at 11:11 AM, Chris Hennes said:

    Yeah, it's something they wrote about in Modernist Bread -- what you're really trying to do is hydrate the flour, that's what's causing the gluten formation, not the mechanical mixing action. You can basically instantly hydrate it by putting it in a chamber vacuum and running a cycle. With a dough like this one, it's hard to get the mixer to grab it, even running at 100% speed, so I don't bother. Get it mixed, and then into the chamber.

    Have an Avid Armor USVX chamber vacuum arriving tomorrow. Going to have to figure out how to best fit the dough in it, but looking forward to trying it out. 

    Could I put the dough in a bag? Chamber is too small for any bowl/cambro, but I can fit a 10x13 bag. 

    • Like 1
  9. Moved into a new home (well I bought my childhood home) and got a 30” GE Monogram range. It’s awesome. To my delight it also fits a full size blue steel Al Taglio pan (24”x16”)!


    The pan arrived unseasoned in its raw blue steel form. Two choices to season it. The normal way with oil (smells up the house) or put 4lbs of course sea salt in it and bake at 500+ for 5 minutes off and on 4 times. I went with the salt method as that seemed easiest. 


    Then I made the Direct High Hydration Al Taglio dough. Pretty straightforward, but @Chris Hennes, how did it go when you added the additional water? I had to stop the mixer and knead the dough by hand in the bowl for a few minutes to help the water absorb. Then after adding the oil and allowing it to absorb, I put the mixer on high, but it never really came together in a ball. High hydration is annoying with a dumb stand mixer. The 2.5 hour bulk with folding every 30 minutes helped a ton though and everything else proceeded fine.




    I decided to top it how I do a Grandma

    pie as my wife really likes that and I think it would go over well for an upcoming party so it was oil, romano cheese, provolone, sauce, romano cheese, and oil. 



    After 15 minutes of baking while sitting on my new 16”x16” 3/8” thick baking steel (love this thicker one!) it came out looking great. 


    Unfortunately, the salt seasoning was a complete bust and the thing stuck like crazy. I had to slide a spatula underneath all of it to get it to release. Was pretty miserable after spending 6.5 hours on this (and I started at 4pm! Ha! I’m an idiot!)




    All that said, the pizza I salvaged was actually pretty unbelievable. I’ve never had a pizza with such a crispy and crunchy bottom and light and airy crumb (obviously the parts that didn’t stick to the pan). The Al Taglio blue steel pan really made a difference compared to sheet pan pizzas I’ve done in the past. Tomorrow I’m going to clean the pan and season it with a light coating of oil and bake at 550 convection for an hour. Smell be damned, I’m going to get this right. 

    • Like 1
  10. 9 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

    Tonight's pizza combined ideas from the previous two nights: I made the smoked oyster sauce from the first pizza, baked an artisan crust with shallots and olive oil like the second, and topped it after baking with what started out as a pound and a half of mushrooms (I used king trumpet, maitake, and shiitake, and roasted with olive oil and salt). And a "little bit" of black truffle for good measure.



    I really need to bite the bullet and get a truffle so I can have a 3-5 days or just amazing meals no matter what I make as I’d just shave truffles all over it. 

    • Like 2
  11. On 2/24/2023 at 9:24 PM, Chris Hennes said:

    I finally got around to making a couple of "Old Forge" pizzas last week. This is not a style that MC is enamored with, though they give a recipe anyway, calling it "our take" on Old Forge pizza. It's basically the Wonder Bread of pizza: a bland, slightly sweet, overly thick crust. The basic recipe only has a scattering of onions as a topping. Don't get me wrong, I stand by my belief that even bad pizza is still good. But this is sort of bottom of the barrel for a homemade pizza, in my opinion. No reason to make it again...









    As an elementary school teacher, I may prefer the cafeteria pizza over this (not a judgement on you, just the style). The cheese pizza doesn’t look bad honestly, just bready af. I may make this though just to check it our for myself. 

  12. 13 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

    Continuing with the Deep Dish, but trying to make it somewhat less ridiculous, last night's entry had much less cheese, and much more vegetation. It's again the Modernist crust variant, which I think is very good, and then filled with braised collards, sausage crumbles, roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and roasted green peppers. The bottom cheese is a sliced sharp cheddar of indeterminate brand (Imperfect Foods), and the top cheese is pizza cheese. I used about half as much cheese as the standard recipe called for, and probably went a bit over the filling. I also added the tomato sauce to the top midway through baking in an attempt to get it to thicken just a bit to give a nicer slice presentation. My best deep dish entry so far.



    Chris, that’s really nice. Congrats on that bake and a beautiful pic!

    • Thanks 1
  13. High Hydration Artisan Dough made with a tangzhong



    This was tricky to work with, as all high hydrations are. Unfortunately it stuck on launch and I got an amoeba, but I have two more dough balls to get it sorted out. The cornichione was incredible. Pornographic. The crust had a great crisp and then a fluffy interior. The flours were incredible in this. Nutty and complex. Red onion and fennel sausage with mozzarella cheese. This may be my favorite dough I’ve done from Mod Pizza. 

    NY Style cheese pizza with Central Milling Hi Protein Flour




    This was at 65% hydration and a dream to work with. Couldn’t tear it if I tried. Love making this style. Was stellar.

    • Like 11
    • Delicious 1
  14. Tonight I’m making two pizzas in my oven on my baking steel. 

    One NY Style cheese pizza with the Mod Pizza recipe adjusted down to 65% hydration. 400g dough ball for a 14” pizza. 

    The other one is their High Hydration Artisan (84% hydration). I didn’t think the recipe would come together as is so I borrowed their technique from their High Hydration Neapolitan and made a tangzhong using 60g of flour and 240g of water and then using 150g of that mixture, so basically 15%. Then I cut 30g of flour from the recipe and 120g of water from the recipe and proceeded from there. I ended up needing to still use the paddle attachment because kitchenaid mixers aren’t really made to do too well with high hydration dough, but once it comes together with the paddle I switched to the dough hook and it was perfect. Really beautiful and supple ball of dough. 

    Instead of dividing out and refrigerating (where the dough balls would go completely flat) I left it bulk and put in the refrigerator. At noon I’ll cut off 330g and ball that and proof and allow the rest to continue bulking in the fridge until I want another dough ball for Saturday and then for Sunday. 

    • Like 3
  15. It sucks Mod Pizza doesn’t do anything with Biga. I really prefer Biga over poolish. This was 20% Biga made with Cairnspring Mills Sequoia and then the rest with their Glacier Peaks



    I wanted a pan pizza last minute for tonight’s game (go Birds!) so I’m making Mod Pizza emergency Artisan dough with 1/3 of Central Mills Hi Protein and 2/3 with Cairnspriny Trailblazer flour. I cut the recipe in half to fit my 12” cast iron skillet and seems to be look perfect so far as it proofs. Will send pictures. 

    • Like 6
  • Create New...