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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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On 11/17/2021 at 9:12 AM, weinoo said:

With such an expensive set of books, well-researched and documented, that is a bit disappointing, in my opinion.


Well researched? Really? ;)  All they had to do was to talk to any NY pizzeria owner to figure out that NY style pizza is never 70% water. Ever.  Even Gemignani (Pizza Bible), with all his shortcomings, knows this. They could have just given Tony a call. And when you get into weaker flours that are commonly available to the home baker, 70% water becomes even more silly. Good luck hand stretching 70% dough made with AP flour. You'd have better luck herding cats.  

From the very first pages of MC, by effectively ignoring centuries of Neapolitan knowledge, Nathan has made it clear that he values innovation more than tradition- and that's not entirely horrible. The innovation they've done has been unbelievably valuable- at least some of it (polydextrose and lecithin in Neapolitan pizza? ;) ).  They didn't invent steel and aluminum for pizza, but they put it on the map.  I would even go as far as to say that, without conveying the role that intense heat plays in the pizza, there would be no Ooni either.  No Nathan, no MC, no renaissance in home pizza making.

 

Kenji suffers from a similar malady.  Absolutely brilliant guy, but heavily blindered.  Pizza is science, but it is also artisanal.  An artisan is NOTHING without the knowledge that precedes them. The master bricklayer learned bricklaying from someone else- he or she didn't just lock themselves up in a lab.  Science can function well in a vacuum, but successful food is always collaborative.
 

I haven't read the book- nor have I read this entire thread, but, if they're getting something as simple as NY style hydration wrong, it's indicative of extremely poor research- that they weren't talking to the industry 10 years ago when MC came out, and they don't seem to be talking to them now either. 

Edited by scott123 (log)
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IMG_3968.thumb.jpeg.8758b1dde61b391b830acbfc9b79eb0d.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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Artisan dough -and after lugging in a 50 lb bag of Caputo Pizza flour - I may never make the Neopolitan dough again! This batch instead of poolish I used 150 grams of week old dough from the last batch. 

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Can someone weigh in on what they feel the difference is between the traditional artisan dough and the traditional new york dough?  They look similar enough to me to wonder what the difference the smaller amount of poolish would make.

 

 

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On 11/21/2021 at 11:01 AM, Kerry Beal said:

Can someone weigh in on what they feel the difference is between the traditional artisan dough and the traditional new york dough?  They look similar enough to me to wonder what the difference the smaller amount of poolish would make.

 

 

Good question and one I’m working on. I think the cornicione is where the difference is greatest. 
 

NY - 0AF3E7C1-7873-4365-860E-15E6133B7E8D.thumb.jpeg.ba7e2e9883f8f070cd3e1779c6b60841.jpeg

 

Artisan - 340709C1-FCEF-4621-AE7B-71C4F85A8D9F.thumb.jpeg.474da62a457cf98078138f09ca812ab8.jpeg

 

Artisan is going to puff up more with an airier cornicione. NY is going to be denser with not as large of a rise around the rim. 
 

I’m still learning and baking so that may be a very surface level of the differences, but it’s a start. 
 

edit: one more thing I just thought of. Artisan pizzas take their inspiration from bread making so Artisan pizzas will use a mix of single grain flours and whole wheat much more. Pizza like Dan Richer’s at Razza specifically comes to mind. So for the Artisan recipe I will definitely be messing around with flours much more than I would with the NY, as that isn’t in the style of NY. 

Edited by Robenco15 (log)
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Tex-Mex Pizza (KM p. 284)

 

I live in Oklahoma: I'm pretty sure there are laws here requiring you to leave the state if you don't like Tex-Mex food. And I do! On paper this pizza looked like a good option: classic thin crust, regular sauce and cheese, and topped with Mexican chorizo, black beans, corn, black olives, sour cream, pickled jalapenos (I used pickled serranos because I had them), and cilantro. Unfortunately the finished product was a bit underwhelming: I think they missed an opportunity by using the regular thin-crust pizza sauce. The oregano there was a bit too assertive, and non-Tex-Mex, and most of the toppings got sort of lost. Well, not the pickled serranos, they definitely made their presence known (and felt!), but otherwise it was sort of overly generic and non-descript. Which I guess describes an awful lot of Tex-Mex food, but it doesn't have to be that way! I think they should have doubled down on the Tex and made the sauce out of chili, or something stupid like that. At least it would have been memorable.

 

Oh yeah, and I don't really love the regular thin crust, I much prefer the Brazilian variant. The regular (in this case Modernist) isn't crispy, and that's my favorite thing in a thin crust pizza.

 

20211122-DSC_2629.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Genovese Pizza (Inspired by Pietro Parisi) (KM p. 290)

on

Artisan Pizza Dough (KM p. 54)

 

This is the first time I've made the "Artisan" pizza dough -- for them this style is a sort of catch-all for various cheffy non-Neapolitan, non-New York medium crust pizzas. The dough is 72% hydration, 3.2% fat, poolish-based, high-gluten flour dough with a one day cold proof: it's delicious, and quite easy to work with. I'll keep this one in the rotation.

 

The pizza toppings are basically French Onion soup (or a really fancy cheesesteak!). The "sauce" is browned onions deglazed with brandy, for the (optional) cheese I used Gruyere, and on top of that they call for shredded braised short ribs. I actually made this recipe specifically to use up some oxtail I had in the freezer, so I cooked it sous vide at 140°F for 100 hours (actually only 97, hopefully the 3% reduction didn't have a deleterious effect on the finished product :) ). It baked for five and a half minutes at 480°F with full convection. Overall it was successful: these toppings are probably not going in the regular rotation (I'm out of oxtail now), but if you're eyeing the recipe in the book and aren't too weirded out by its non-pizza-ness, I suggest giving it a go.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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43 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Genovese Pizza (Inspired by Pietro Parisi) (KM p. 290)

on

Artisan Pizza Dough (KM p. 54)

 

This is the first time I've made the "Artisan" pizza dough -- for them this style is a sort of catch-all for various cheffy non-Neapolitan, non-New York medium crust pizzas. The dough is 72% hydration, 3.2% fat, poolish-based, high-gluten flour dough with a one day cold proof: it's delicious, and quite easy to work with. I'll keep this one in the rotation.

 

The pizza toppings are basically French Onion soup (or a really fancy cheesesteak!). The "sauce" is browned onions deglazed with brandy, for the (optional) cheese I used Gruyere, and on top of that they call for shredded braised short ribs. I actually made this recipe specifically to use up some oxtail I had in the freezer, so I cooked it sous vide at 140°F for 100 hours (actually only 97, hopefully the 3% reduction didn't have a deleterious effect on the finished product :) ). It baked for five and a half minutes at 480°F with full convection. Overall it was successful: these toppings are probably not going in the regular rotation (I'm out of oxtail now), but if you're eyeing the recipe in the book and aren't too weirded out by its non-pizza-ness, I suggest giving it a go.

 

20211123-DSC_2631.jpg

 

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I really love their Artisan dough. Once these flours I ordered come in tomorrow and Thanksgiving is over I’m going to have a lot of fun with this dough. 
 

Pizza looks good! I may nees to try these toppings. 

Edited by Robenco15 (log)
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2 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Genovese Pizza (Inspired by Pietro Parisi) (KM p. 290)

on

Artisan Pizza Dough (KM p. 54)

 

This is the first time I've made the "Artisan" pizza dough -- for them this style is a sort of catch-all for various cheffy non-Neapolitan, non-New York medium crust pizzas. The dough is 72% hydration, 3.2% fat, poolish-based, high-gluten flour dough with a one day cold proof: it's delicious, and quite easy to work with. I'll keep this one in the rotation.

 

The pizza toppings are basically French Onion soup (or a really fancy cheesesteak!). The "sauce" is browned onions deglazed with brandy, for the (optional) cheese I used Gruyere, and on top of that they call for shredded braised short ribs. I actually made this recipe specifically to use up some oxtail I had in the freezer, so I cooked it sous vide at 140°F for 100 hours (actually only 97, hopefully the 3% reduction didn't have a deleterious effect on the finished product :) ). It baked for five and a half minutes at 480°F with full convection. Overall it was successful: these toppings are probably not going in the regular rotation (I'm out of oxtail now), but if you're eyeing the recipe in the book and aren't too weirded out by its non-pizza-ness, I suggest giving it a go.

 

20211123-DSC_2631.jpg

 

20211123-DSC_2636.jpg

 

I've had pizza in Genoa but it was more like Modernist Pizza's Neapolitan in the rest of Italy, or maybe somewhat like New York style.  OK, to be sure, but nothing exceptional to write home about.

 

Naples, I did not know better.  I would not touch Neapolitan pizza if you gave me a plane ticket and an expense paid trip.  Naples is the Calcutta of Europe, a culinary cesspit.  Not to denigrate the Calcutta of anywhere else.

 

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In defiance of my earlier assertion that I prefer pizza dough with only a day of age, today I was making a sort of typical Thanksgiving meal, but not planned for service until this evening, so I needed a lunch option. I had a piece of the artisan dough in the fridge that was leftover from Tuesday, so I baked it off today and it was excellent, with none of the texture problems I associate with older pizza doughs. I probably ended up with something relatively close to a New York-style pizza: I made it with the New York sauce, pizza cheese and pepperoni, and stretched it to 14" so it was pretty thin in the middle, but still with what I think is a more pronounced rim than New York. There was actually a better crispness to the crust than on Tuesday, but it stayed nice and fluffy inside the rim. It was a nice prelude to the upcoming turkey-stuffing-potatoes feast coming this evening.

 

20211125-DSC_2641.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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4 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

In defiance of my earlier assertion that I prefer pizza dough with only a day of age, today I was making a sort of typical Thanksgiving meal, but not planned for service until this evening, so I needed a lunch option. I had a piece of the artisan dough in the fridge that was leftover from Tuesday, so I baked it off today and it was excellent, with none of the texture problems I associate with older pizza doughs. I probably ended up with something relatively close to a New York-style pizza: I made it with the New York sauce, pizza cheese and pepperoni, and stretched it to 14" so it was pretty thin in the middle, but still with what I think is a more pronounced rim than New York. There was actually a better crispness to the crust than on Tuesday, but it stayed nice and fluffy inside the rim. It was a nice prelude to the upcoming turkey-stuffing-potatoes feast coming this evening.

 

20211125-DSC_2641.jpg

Yeah this dough is good for 3-5 days after their recommended time. Especially Artisan dough, it’s so good. 
 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On 11/25/2021 at 12:24 AM, Chris Hennes said:

Ceresota (actually not their high gluten variety, I added 2% gluten to their all purpose).

 

By the time vital wheat gluten has gone through all the processing involved in it's manufacture, it's no longer the equivalent of the native gluten found in high protein flour. It's a little difficult to store huge bags of flour, but the Restaurant Depot in Oklahoma City will have the kind of high gluten flour they use in NY pizzerias- and I believe RD is still open to the public. 

I don't know how nerve-racking your knuckle stretches currently are with this formula/hydration, but, I guarantee you that high gluten flour will make it much easier to handle.

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Cairnspring has wonderful high protein flour available online @Chris Hennesif you want to check it out. 

 

 

Host's note: for more discussion about sources and types of flour preferred for homemade pizza, see this topic: Preferred flours for homemade pizza dough

Edited by Smithy
Added host's note after topic split (log)
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18 hours ago, Robenco15 said:

Mod Pizza’s Neapolitan with Caputo Nuvola

D5C70F0A-080F-46E8-9CE3-007DF9831261.thumb.jpeg.9535a337516fe801347e8591c55c54bb.jpeg76BA9905-DE7A-4157-968E-ACE3F8F28F13.thumb.jpeg.8d62cdc805ac053e9450ad45f65f944a.jpegB9A427EB-9265-48A4-897A-C97226419EDD.thumb.jpeg.062a0d6d6ee2755af0774dd9c432632c.jpeg
 

I think next time I’m going to take this from 62% to 58% with this Nuvola. Touch chewy. Not unhappy with it at all though. Killer pizza. 

Cooking Temperature? I usually use the Nuvola with almost the same idratation and never had a chewy pizza.

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6 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

Cooking Temperature? I usually use the Nuvola with almost the same idratation and never had a chewy pizza.

850+? Cooked in my Ooni on high flame for 60 seconds. 
 

I think I may have overkneaded a touch in the machine. It felt a little “tight” when I tried to open the skins, even after 5 hours of proofing at RT in balls. 
 

Chewy may not have been the word as that may sound more negative than I mean it to be. The cornicione wasn’t as airy. 
 

It may be how it’s supposed to be. I wish I took a picture of it. It looked great and would better explain what I mean. 

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Modernist New York Square Pizza Dough (KM p. 66)

 

This dough is the Modernist variant of the thick-crust New York Square: it adds dough relaxer and pectin to the normal recipe. The texture is fluffy and soft, for better or worse: I'm not sure it's my favorite for a thick-crust pizza, which might benefit from either a bit of crispness, or just a bit more chew.

 

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Chris Hennes
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9 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

The texture is fluffy and soft

 

It looks as if the greens (spinach?) are blanched, but I'm wondering about the use of fresh tomatoes...do they weep a fair amount of liquid, which may also keep the finished product a little softer than preferred?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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19 hours ago, Robenco15 said:

I think I may have overkneaded a touch in the machine. It felt a little “tight” when I tried to open the skins, even after 5 hours of proofing at RT in balls. 
 

Chewy may not have been the word as that may sound more negative than I mean it to be. The cornicione wasn’t as airy.

 

FWIW, overkneading isn't going to produce tightness during opening.  At least, not with a flour with the Nuvola's strength (weaker flours tend to reach peak strength very quickly), and definitely not with a bulk/balled protocol (late agitation/balling after bulking for a time, will pretty much guarantee peak gluten development with just about any dough).  If you're seeing tightness, that could be one of a few different things.

 

Is RT a little lower than in previous doughs?  Even a couple degrees will make for tighter dough.

Is MP having you proof to a specific volume (double or triple the dough) or are they giving you exact times?

Are you stretching the dough with the same level of force every time?  There seems to be a common misconception that, as long as you don't deflate the dough during the stretch, the end product will be the same texture/level of chew, regardless of how rough or gentle you are. Some folks, like Chris Bianco, go a bit overboard with how gentle they are on the stretch. On the other end of the spectrum, you see the occasional Neapolitan pizzaiolo who's super slap happy. Any kind of impact will develop gluten and tighten the dough- and give you more chew- although you'll see less chew with weaker flours.  

This isn't impacting your tightness, but, if you're looking for the airiest possible rim, you might consider pressing out a smaller rim- and/or maybe reducing the size of your dough ball.  Basically, rim volume is almost entirely a function of rapidly expanding hot gas.  Sure, you do your best to load the dough with as much C02 as it can possible hold, but, it's the intense heat that sends the rim soaring.  By going with such a thick rim, you're increasing the time it takes for heat to penetrate it- and losing some of that explosivity. 

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9 hours ago, scott123 said:

it's the intense heat that sends the rim soaring.  By going with such a thick rim, you're increasing the time it takes for heat to penetrate it- and losing some of that explosivity

Thank you for this Scott. Very useful insight.

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I guess I should have expected this: the New York Square pizza is better reheated. I put last night's leftovers in a 500°F convection oven for five minutes for lunch today, and it was very good. The crust crisps up very nicely, which was my big complaint yesterday.

 

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Chris Hennes
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Neapolitan Pizza Dough with Poolish

 

In this variant of their Neapolitan dough they make a poolish, then add it to a dough that has much more yeast than their normal dough, which is then cold-fermented for a day. It was fine, but nothing spectacular, and was less convenient than their normal low-yeast 24-hr room temp Neapolitan dough. For the toppings I basically cleaned out the fridge. I wanted to improve upon the Tex-mex pizza I posted about last week, so I took their Neapolitan sauce and added quite a lot of dry chile to it, used both fresh mozzarella and chunks of cheddar cheese, and topped with taco meat, fire-roasted poblanos, corn, and black beans. I liked it, though it was over-topped for Neapolitan-style pizza.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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