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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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And speaking of dough quantities... this week I'm making the "Artisan" pizza a few times. I'm using the Modernist dough variant, which adds pectin to the base recipe for added rise. This is a relatively high-hydration dough, clocking in at 72%. The quantity of dough they suggest for a 14" Artisan pie is 360 grams: contrast this with the 400 grams they suggest of the New York style, and the 300 grams I personally use for a 14" NY-style. Tonight I stuck to the basics, and made a 14" Artisan pizza with 360g of dough as instructed -- toppings were crushed tomatoes, calabrese, pizza cheese, and arugula.

 

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Between the high hydration, the pectin, and the extra 60g of dough, this is a fairly thick medium crust pizza -- however, the crust was quite light and airy, with a comparatively open crumb, so I didn't think it was objectionable, just quite different from the NY style I was working on last week.

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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On 1/23/2022 at 8:39 PM, Chris Hennes said:

And day three of that batch of All Trumps dough -- texturally, starting to show its age, but still a good pizza. I went with just canned crushed tomatoes and salt as the sauce, which is also delicious, though I am still quite fond of the (more) cooked tomato sauce. I'm going to take a brief break from NY style this week, I've got an Artisan pie queued up for Tuesday, before returning to this exploration.

 

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I want this!!  Wow! Well done! 

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Caramelized Carrot Pizza (KM p. 326)

 

Shield your eyes once again, @weinoo, there is green on top of this pizza as well. (I'm sure that's your only objection, right? 😜) The green in question is a hot coconut chutney foam. Sauce is pressure-caramelized vegetable puree (kubota squash in this case -- the recipe calls for carrot, obviously, but I needed to use up the squash). Other toppings are pizza cheese and roasted carrots.

 

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Honestly, the foam was the highlight of this pizza -- without it I fear the pizza would have actually been inedible, and I don't say that about many pizzas! The pressure-caramelized puree is an overwhelming flavor bomb, and only the sharp mint-and-cilantro pop from the foam prevented the pizza from being terminally over-sweet. I can imagine this working with some curry spices, and a thinner layer of sauce, but for me it was not quite there. However, I'm keeping that foam recipe in the repertoire. I can think of a number of curries that would be delicious on.

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Chris Hennes
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A couple of recent Modernist Artisan-crust pizzas, at two different dough ages.

 

In this one (topped with crumbled sausage and black olives), I made the dough in the morning and baked it in the evening: it was incredibly easy to work with, the dough-relaxer let me shape the pizza very quickly, and overall it was very good texturally. I do find that I missed the flavor development of older dough, though:

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In tonight's pizza (fire-roasted poblanos and a 50/50 blend of pizza cheese and extra sharp cheddar) I used the same dough, so it had 24 more hours of age on it. Better flavor, and still a very good texture. Nowhere near as easy to work with, I had to stretch and rest several times.

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The rim was really very nice on this one, among my better-textured final products:

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Chris Hennes
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I made 5 sourdough Neapolitans ranging from 60% hydration to 70% hydration and the high hydration (84%) Artisan dough leavened with sourdough starter. All came out well. The 60% Neapolitans were better than the 70% and the Artisan dough is still king. No pics because I was busy making them all, but none were that photogenic anyway. I may experiment with the amount of dough relaxer for the Neapolitans as I’m not finding it as easy as I’d like to work with. Also trying to dial in the sourdough. Did a mix of Forkish and Mod Pizza and that’s probably why the results weren’t stellar. 
 

Really liking the Artisan results with the Ooni Koda 16. 

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My cheese order has been delayed by the weather, so I'm still just throwing random toppings on before I resume testing the actual recipes from the book. Tonight I had another poblano, and added an onion to the mix. The sauce is pureed canned whole tomatoes and salt, and the cheese is a 50/50 blend of pizza cheese and Cabot extra sharp cheddar. The cheddar doesn't have as nice a texture as the pizza cheese, but it makes up for it in flavor; I love it with the poblanos. This is the last of this batch of Artisan dough. Baked at 480°F for three minutes, cooled on a rack for 20, and reheated for three minutes at 550°F. This results in a fluffy rim and crisp center, and is probably my favorite baking technique for this crust.

 

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Chris Hennes
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"Favorite" is a tough call -- if I'm in the mood for a "normal American pizza" that's the one that delivers. I really like the Modernist version, with one day of age on it. It's still good at zero days and at two days, though, so I just make full batches and get three nights of pizza out of it. Like any medium-crust pizza it's versatile, and can take either minimal or maximal toppings. Not that you'd ever go max, mind you :) .

 

But I also like a couple of their thick crust variants (with modified cooking times because I think the listed times are simply wrong). And of course Neapolitan-style pizza is its own animal. As is the crispy Brazilian thin crust, which I also think is a great exemplar of that style.

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Chris Hennes
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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

@Chris Hennes @Robenco15  Has the Artisan Dough turned out to be your favorite of the doughs so far? And if so, which version of the Artisan dough?

Yes, that one is definitely my favorite, but because I made Neapolitan pizzas only, for over a year, it’s a nice change of pace. I also use bread baking techniques I’ve learned and single variety flours in making it so it’s a lot of fun. Compare that to NY Style and Neapolitan that have so many rules governing them.

 

So I’ve done the direct dought the most and it is great. Their master recipe uses Poolish and while it definitely adds some complexity and a beautiful cornicione, if I’m going to do their Master recipe I’m just going to use my sourdough starter. 
 

The high hydration was great, but can’t say I noticed a huge difference (only have done it once though so sample size is small) and given the hassle of working with a high hydration dough, I probably won’t do it again anytime soon. 

Edited by Robenco15 (log)
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Artisan Dough made with my rye sourdough starter. 80% Glacier Peak, 20% Trailblazer. For the first time in over a year I used my baking steel instead of Koda 16. Remembered quickly the drawbacks of an oven and steel. Browning of the crust was not where it needed to be. Koda 16 does such a better job (and it obviously should). 
 

Everything else was great! This was pesto chicken and onion. 0EC71871-F4DC-41E4-950C-9FD81B5CAAA7.thumb.jpeg.cca9ad8a828aed7964f889d3cad4267c.jpeg

 

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On 2/7/2022 at 7:04 AM, weinoo said:

Has the Artisan Dough turned out to be your favorite of the doughs so far?

If I may chime in here, I've been making the direct artisan with good results.

 

It's simple, reliable and fast. It actually takes me back pretty much to the dough I was making 20 years ago (except for the addition of diastatic malt).

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Cal-Italia Pizza (inspired by Tony Gemignani) (KM p. 295)

 

Asiago cheese and pizza cheese baked on an artisan crust, topped at the final minute with gorgonzola, and after baking with fig jam, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar glaze. I made a serious tactical error in this pizza, forgetting to take the dough out of the fridge early. So it was baked too soon and too cold: the crust was not great, but that was 100% my fault. That said... I actually didn't like this topping combo. On paper I thought it sounded good, but the fig jam just didn't do anything for me, and only served to detract from a spectacular prosciutto, applied in great abundance. I also am not really a fan of pizza without sauce. This isn't a repeater for me.

 

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Chris Hennes
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35 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Cal-Italia Pizza (inspired by Tony Gemignani) (KM p. 295)

 

Asiago cheese and pizza cheese baked on an artisan crust, topped at the final minute with gorgonzola, and after baking with fig jam, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar glaze. I made a serious tactical error in this pizza, forgetting to take the dough out of the fridge early. So it was baked too soon and too cold: the crust was not great, but that was 100% my fault. That said... I actually didn't like this topping combo. On paper I thought it sounded good, but the fig jam just didn't do anything for me, and only served to detract from a spectacular prosciutto, applied in great abundance. I also am not really a fan of pizza without sauce. This isn't a repeater for me.

 

DSC_3003.jpg

 

Sad, it sounds so good.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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8 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Asiago cheese and pizza cheese baked on an artisan crust, topped at the final minute with gorgonzola, and after baking with fig jam, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar glaze.

 

Paging Wolfgang Puck!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Pizza Rossa (inspired by Chris Bianco) (KM p. 294)

 

The pizza uses the artisan crust, and is topped with Parmigiano, rosemary, red onions, pistachios and olive oil. This time I remembered to take the dough out of the fridge in time :). As I mentioned above, sauce-free pizzas aren't my favorite, but in this case I think it was more successful than the previous go. It's absolutely the sort of pizza where if you were out with friends and you'd ordered a half dozen pizzas, you should make sure to snag a slice of this one. On its own, though, by slice three I'd had enough. Still, that first slice was great. I did struggle to get the crust dark enough -- without the sauce to slow things down, the cheese browns pretty early, I would have liked the crust a bit darker.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Pizza Rossa (inspired by Chris Bianco) (KM p. 294)

 

The pizza uses the artisan crust, and is topped with Parmigiano, rosemary, red onions, pistachios and olive oil. This time I remembered to take the dough out of the fridge in time :). As I mentioned above, sauce-free pizzas aren't my favorite, but in this case I think it was more successful than the previous go. It's absolutely the sort of pizza where if you were out with friends and you'd ordered a half dozen pizzas, you should make sure to snag a slice of this one. On its own, though, by slice three I'd had enough. Still, that first slice was great. I did struggle to get the crust dark enough -- without the sauce to slow things down, the cheese browns pretty early, I would have liked the crust a bit darker.DSC_3011.jpg

 

I've had this pizza at Bianco's  a few times.  In fact it's the only pizza I covet.  I have no problem eating the whole thing and dreaming about the next time I can have it.   Pizza is never my "gotta have" comfort food.  I rarely order it and pass it over if at get togethers if there are other things to eat.  But THIS version is in my top 5 foods desired.

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Direct Artisan dough is probably the best. All three of these were made with 80% Cairnspring Mills Glacier Peak and 20% Cairnspring Mills Trailblazer. 
 

43B5A132-1374-4A01-A069-A51F6EC50E98.thumb.jpeg.ae65ad608bfbe4d57ce1248c80919469.jpeg
Prosciutto with Manchego and Goat CheeseB5024E8C-8BB8-4BBD-AA27-364CC4786908.thumb.jpeg.6de1bcf5f9a54841b6c2244b5a5d4358.jpeg

Topped with Arugula and a Fig Balsamic Glaze06D2779F-89FC-406C-AE6F-EDEB471B9057.thumb.jpeg.48e2a724adb2510a50872f600c932e9b.jpeg

Potato, Shallot, and Rosemary with Ricotta9D31B93C-6541-45C5-98CA-8C749A3CA5E7.thumb.jpeg.dd1ff10353a371e513a0a5f19e254dc0.jpeg

Inspired by Sally’sC70A4D44-84A6-46EA-8283-A200FA8A39CB.thumb.jpeg.721d3b3b3572008e0ada60e3197bf79f.jpeg

3 cheese pizza, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Manchego

 

Getting the Koda 16 finely dialed in for these was a touch of a challenge but not too bad. MUCH better than a baking steel in an oven. The Potato pie needs some salt sprinkled over the ricotta and the three cheese needs something else. Probably red pepper flakes. The Prosciutto was awesome. The direct Artisan dough does not disappoint. Next I’ll do it with sourdough and not over proof it. 

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On 2/10/2022 at 7:50 PM, Chris Hennes said:

On its own, though, by slice three I'd had enough. Still, that first slice was great. I did struggle to get the crust dark enough -- without the sauce to slow things down, the cheese browns pretty early, I would have liked the crust a bit darker.

 

When it comes to pizza, Bon Appetit are generally idiots, so when they anointed Pizzeria Bianco the best in the U.S. I rolled my eyes just as robustly as when they later crowned Beddia.  This being said, Bianco is a legit talent, and the Rosa is widely accepted to be his magnum opus.

But the Rosa is SO much more than just a pizza topped with Parmigiano, rosemary, red onions, pistachios and olive oil- and for MP to reduce it to merely that and avoid the best element... it's criminal.  What's next, chocolate chip cookies without any chocolate? ;)

 

Chris Bianco is one a few well known American pizzamakers who will boast about the uniqueness of their approach/ingredients, but, when you start scratching the surface, you'll find some incredibly Neapolitan-ish components.  This is where the magic of the Rosa resides.  It's the char, the leoparding, the crispy rigid undercrust that you see on sauceless Neapolitan pizza. Sure, the topping combination is brilliant, but, when you take away the char, it goes from a pizza you want to devour, to merely being okay with three slices.

Break out the ooni, an authentic Neapolitan dough and these toppings.  It will be a transformative experience.

Oh, and you definitely want fresh mozzarella on this.  If you can get it, fresh mozzarella recently hand stretched from curd.  In my experience, hand stretched mootz tends to be more stable, and, in a white pie like this, where the cheese, without the sauce, will bubble, you need that extra stability.

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