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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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Direct Focaccia

 

I'm always a little suspicious of direct dough: I know many of you are enamored of it, but I always find the flavor somewhat lackluster. But, I was traveling all weekend and when I got home I looked at the state of the fridge, and the trumpet mushrooms in it, and decided I needed to do something with them. So I made the direct variant of the MP Focaccia. Putting sauteed trumpet and shiitake mushrooms on there is a little like cheating though: of course it was delicious!! Actually, I underbaked the dough a bit here. I figured it would have the same problems I found with their NY Square and Detroit doughs, so I pulled it well ahead of schedule, and that turned out to be a mistake. Toppings here are sea salt, rosemary, sauteed mushrooms (a la Dave Arnold), and Asiago cheese. No real rhyme or reason, that's just what was in the fridge.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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9 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Does Bianco use mozzarella on this pizza?

No.

And the funny thing about the parm, in the online recipes I've seen it says use shredded parm.  I could swear everytime I've had it, large thin shavings of parm were used and shingled over the surface.  

 

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15 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Does Bianco use mozzarella on this pizza?

 

6 hours ago, lemniscate said:

No.

 

D'oh!  I forget that the Rosa was mozzarella-less.  

Now, would a quality fresh mozzarella add to the Rosa equation? Maybe ;) Imo, sauce-less pies are really the only place where fresh mozzarella shines, but... that's another conversation.  Everyone deserves to experience an unadulterated, mozzarella-less, charred Rosa at least once.

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7 hours ago, lemniscate said:

in the online recipes I've seen it says use shredded parm. 

That's what I did, which made the pizza very hard to work with: the fluffy parm did NOT want to stay on the pizza during loading! I actually had to assemble it twice 🙄...the cheese went everywhere the first time.

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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1 hour ago, Chris Hennes said:

That's what I did, which made the pizza very hard to work with: the fluffy parm did NOT want to stay on the pizza during loading! I actually had to assemble it twice 🙄...the cheese went everywhere the first time.

I still think the Rosa's I had were covered in fairly wide, fairly thin parm shavings, not shredded.   But memory is a funny thing, and it was before we all took pictures of our food.

 

Would it be worth another try with shaved parm?

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Pizza Rossa (Take Two)

 

OK, I made two changes (bad scientist!) First, instead of microplaning the parmesan, I shredded it much more coarsely (not shaved, still shredded): this made the pizza much easier to manage. Second, instead of the artisan crust I used a Neapolitan crust: the one I've been the happiest with is the most basic, not the high hydration, or Modernist variants. And of course I then baked it in the Ooni:

 

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Finished pie:

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I was happy with the way the crust turned out, both flavor- and texture-wise, it was better than the anemic crust on the previous artisan pie: I probably let the cheese brown a little more, but the combination of the larger shreds, and the fundamentally different thermodynamics of the Ooni results in what I felt was a properly cooked crust and properly cooked cheese. However... I did not find these changes to result in a transformation into something that I would rave about. I enjoyed it, but I'm not going to start waxing rhapsodical about it, and I was still totally done with it after three slices. It therefore remains true so far that I prefer pizza with sauce on it. To each their own.

 

Fortunately, I always make two pizzas when I'm making Neapolitan, so the situation was easily remedied:

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The sauce is hand-crushed grape tomatoes, 1% salt, and a splash of olive oil, topped with air-dried fresh mozzarella. Not exactly my roundest pizza 🤷‍♂️

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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So this Rossa is no joke. Absolutely LOVED it. My God. Used the Neapolitan dough and it was perfect, maybe a little too charred on the section I cropped out of the photo 😆. I did mostly shredded Parmesan and then reserved some slices and put them on with the pistachios so I got a little of both. Looking forward to making this one again and again. 
 

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New York Cheese Pizza

 

Overall it is a stellar pizza, now whether it is correctly New York style is something that has been discussed here plenty. It isn’t Neapolitan and it isn’t an Artisan pizza, so it’s an American pizza? 😆

 

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Anyway, this is a 14” pizza and I cooked it at 550F convection for 8 minutes on my baking steel (preheated for an hour) and I think that was perfect. Maybe 7 minutes next time. I put too much cheese on it so that’s on me. I may experiment reducing the dough weight to 300g like @Chris Henneshas done. Also think I’ll bring the hydration down to 65% @scott123? The Central Milling High Protein bread flour was a dream to work with and the smell is just out of this world.
 

It’s a really good pizza, whatever you want to call it. 

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Bolognese Pizza (KM. p. 274)

 

Another one that's not really a full recipe, just an idea for a sauce and topping combination. Its failure was entirely my fault, due to shear laziness. I used commercial meatballs. Bad cook! BAD! I don't remember the brand, something that Imperfect Foods has a lot of the time so they were an easy option. But they weren't really meatballs, they were really Italian sausage, left uncased and rolled into balls. The texture and flavor were wrong, I didn't care for them in this application. I did make the bolognese sauce per the recipe in the book, and though it's got much more tomato that my normal bolognese, it was still delicious (in fact, I've served it on pasta the past two nights). The cheese is pizza cheese, and I put this on the Direct New York Square crust, which is fine, but not my favorite.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Bolognese Pizza (Take Two)

 

Well, now I feel doubly bad about the meatball incident. This pizza was really quite delicious! I used the direct high-hydration al taglio dough, and baked it with a pretty thick layer of bolognese on top. As I found out with previous attempts at this type of dough, their recommended bake times for a home convection oven are bonkers. I baked for 11 minutes at 480°F (rather than the 20 the recipe calls for), and got this:

 

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I let it cool, then hit it with just a bit of cheese and some red pepper flakes, and reheated per the book's instructions (3 minutes):

 

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Bolognese is an unconventional pizza sauce, but all told I was very happy with the result. It lacks the brightness of the less-cooked tomato sauces, but makes up for it with a serious umami punch from the combination of the pork and the powdered mushrooms. On a frigid winter evening this hearty pizza hit all the right notes.

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Modernist high-hydration al taglio dough with poolish

 

Their normal al taglio dough uses levain as a flavoring agent: this variant replaces the levain with poolish, but is otherwise identical. It's a nicely textured thick-crust pizza that I served with crushed cherry tomato sauce and buffalo-milk mozzarella. Not as good as the levain version, but still a good dough.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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8 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Modernist high-hydration al taglio dough with poolish

 

Their normal al taglio dough uses levain as a flavoring agent: this variant replaces the levain with poolish, but is otherwise identical. It's a nicely textured thick-crust pizza that I served with crushed cherry tomato sauce and buffalo-milk mozzarella. Not as good as the levain version, but still a good dough.

 

DSC_3055.jpg

Nice! This is the only main style I haven’t done yet. I need to season my al taglio pans. What kind of pan is in your pic?

 

Today I made the direct Artisan dough. 50% Cairnspring Sequoia AP flour, 25% Central Milling Old World Bread Flour, and 25% Central Milling High Protein Bread Flour. Going to cook one or two tomorrow on my baking steel. 

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Direct Artisan Dough is the GOAT. 
 

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Made these on my baking steel, 550F convection, hour preheat. 
 

I used 50% Cairnspring Sequoia AP Flour, 25% Central Milling Old World Bread Flour, and 25% Central Milling High Protein Bread Flour.
 

Was stellar.

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22 hours ago, Robenco15 said:

Direct Artisan Dough is the GOAT. 

That is super. Congratulations. I can't get an edge that high but agree direct artisan is great: simple, quick.

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52 minutes ago, FlashJack said:

That is super. Congratulations. I can't get an edge that high but agree direct artisan is great: simple, quick.

Thanks! Going to make the Artisan Sourdough tonight and treat it like a sourdough bread for the fermentation. Excited to see how it turns out. 

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1 hour ago, FlashJack said:

@Robenco15 I'm thinking of increasing the diastatic malt in the artisan. Have you played with that or have thoughts?

Have not played with that yet. I have done a few grams more by mistake more than on purpose. No complaints. But increasing by a substantial amount isn’t something I’ve done. 
 

I have multiplied the dough relaxer amount in the Master Neapolitan Dough by 3 and had great results. 

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One in Ten is Spicy Pizza (KM p. 327)

 

The name is in reference to the Padrón peppers, which are mostly mild, but occasionally fairly spicy. One in ten was about the ratio that I encountered on this pizza, so that much is reasonable. The pizza itself is a thin crust topped with garlic confit aioli, pizza cheese, blistered peppers, almonds, and manchego curls. Yes: aioli as a pizza sauce. And not some ultra stable Modernist variant, just plain aioli. Unsurprisingly,  what you end up with is a pool of olive oil, since the sauce breaks about ten seconds after it hits the oven. For the first pizza I was diligent and used the exact quantity of sauce the recipe calls for. That was crazy. So for the second I just gave the crust a very thin skim coat. Really, I don't know the point, I could have just brushed it with olive oil and garlic confit. So while the flavors all worked and taste-wise it was pretty good, the very, very oily texture was a big problem.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Modernist Hawaiian Pizza (KM p. 313)

 

Obviously if you are morally opposed to pineapple on pizza this isn't one for you. That said, while Hawaiian is not my favorite pizza, I'll eat it if you put it in front of me, and this is far and away the best Hawaiian pizza I've had. First, it calls for fresh pineapple, and has you grill it, which is far superior to the canned variety. Second, the 14" pizza only has 40g of pineapple on it, so it's not dumped on in huge quantities. Third, instead of ham or Canadian bacon, the recipe calls for a braised banana-leaf-wrapped pork shoulder. I cheated there and cooked mine sous vide, but I used a Red Wattle shoulder from Heritage Foods, which is spectacular. Which is good, because there is a LOT of pork shoulder on the pizza: 120g. Last, the NY-style dough subs half the water with pineapple juice. In a crust as thin as this one it is a pretty subtle effect, but I was surprised to find that it worked. I admit that I am almost shocked to say that I will probably make this again.

 

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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