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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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Compleat Wheat New York Square

 

Again playing around with inclusions. This is based on their "compleat wheat" method from Modernist Bread, where you reconstruct a "whole wheat" flour by adding in the correct ratios of wheat germ and wheat bran to white flour: the advantage being that you can toast the germ and bran, and then soak them in water, while meanwhile mixing a white flour dough to medium gluten formation. You add the bran and germ as an inclusion into the dough at that point and basically have the texture of a white bread, with the flavor of whole wheat. Actually, better than most whole wheat I've had, since the bran is toasted. The pizza is otherwise pretty normal, and everything worked well: I enjoyed the additional flavor in the crust here. I wouldn't want it all the time, but as an occasional change I think it's a winner.

 

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Chris Hennes
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Artisan Dough with Pressure-Caramelized Rye Berries

 

Continuing on with randomly-selected inclusions, tonight I made the Modernist Artisan dough and added my favorite inclusion from Modernist Bread: pressure-caramelized rye berries. I omitted the olive oil from the dough, since the rye is cooked with a significant quantity of butter and I figured that was enough fat to cover it. The whole rye berries made the dough quite a bit more difficult to work with, since they decreased the integrity of the dough during stretching. In bread this is a non-issue, but in a medium-crust pizza like this it required more care than usual to avoid tearing the dough. Pizza also has enough textural variation already that the pop of the rye berries got a bit lost: you had the flavor, but not really the texture. I'll give it another go tomorrow night and see if I can do a simpler pizza (tonight's had the raw cherry tomato sauce, pizza cheese, and roasted red bell peppers).

 

DSC_3683.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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Take two on the pressure caramelized rye berry inclusion: this time being more patient, and more gentle. This gave me a significantly puffier rim, and a much better showcase for the inclusion. It's still not an inclusion I'll try again, but really only because in pizza form an inclusion like this is really lost unless you have a huge puffy rim, and I don't always, or even usually, want a rim quite that large. Maybe in a thick crust pizza it would make better sense.

 

I know I said I'd make a simpler pizza to showcase the flavor... I lied. Along with the rye berries, I had also pressure caramelized several other things (may as well fill up the pressure cooker), including brussels sprouts. So tonight's pizza was a white pizza with ricotta and pizza cheese, topped with pressure-caramelized brussels sprouts. Which are delicious.

 

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Chris Hennes
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OK, last go at the pressure-caramelized rye inclusion. The dough is now three days old, normally the point at which I've gone too far, and it's started to get worse, not better. But not today! This was actually far and away the best of the three rye-inclusion pizzas. Part of that was the added age, which flavor-wise really worked well with the inclusion. But part of it was that this time I really did make a simpler pizza: basically just a pizza marinara, with a few extra dollops of ricotta (but not that much, it was still mostly marinara). For the sauce I used an heirloom tomato sent through a food mill on the largest holes, seasoned with 1% salt (in the book this is the "Raw Tomato Sauce"). Some sliced garlic, a spiral of olive oil, and into a hotter oven, cranked all the way up to 550°F. I normally don't go that high for artisan crust, I don't like how quickly the cheese browns. But of course in this case I didn't have to worry about it, I could focus entirely on ensuring the crust got to the doneness I prefer. That more than anything was probably the secret to tonight's success. The flavor and texture of the crust were excellent, and worked well with the sauce, which was flavorful but still left room for the crust to be a real part of the equation. So once again, bad scientist! ... I changed too many variables... but the pizza was very good.

 

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Chris Hennes
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Rotisserie Chicken Pizza (KM p. 317)

 

I normally stay out of the pizza taxonomy battle: if you want to call a thing "pizza", go to town. But I do maintain a sort of internal "is this pizza?" rating scale, and I have to say, this "pizza" does not meet my criteria. This is an open-faced chicken sandwich. It tastes pretty good, and has some nice touches, but in my book this isn't a pizza. I'll let you all decide for yourselves, given the following specs:

  • This is a thick crust, Al Taglio pizza
  • There is 40g of cheese for a 12"x16" pizza (the normal amount in MP is 200g)
  • There is 50g of thickened chicken jus (a.k.a. gravy) as pizza sauce, 100% of which is applied by tossing the chicken in it (the normal amount is 300g)
  • Post-baking the pizza is topped with a salad (it's supposed to be frisee dressed in Green Goddess dressing, but I couldn't get frisee so I used arugula)

Here's what that amount of cheese looks like on the crust:

DSC_3697.jpg

 

And here is the pizza after baking, but before the salad is applied:

DSC_3700.jpg

 

Finally, here's a finished slice (that's crispy chicken skin on top, which was a nice touch):

DSC_3707.jpg

 

I'm not arguing that it was bad tasting: I think it needed more gravy sauce, but was otherwise a pretty good open-faced chicken sandwich.

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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31 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Rotisserie Chicken Pizza (KM p. 317)

 

I normally stay out of the pizza taxonomy battle: if you want to call a thing "pizza", go to town. But I do maintain a sort of internal "is this pizza?" rating scale, and I have to say, this "pizza" does not meet my criteria. This is an open-faced chicken sandwich. It tastes pretty good, and has some nice touches, but in my book this isn't a pizza. I'll let you all decide for yourselves, given the following specs:

  • This is a thick crust, Al Taglio pizza
  • There is 40g of cheese for a 12"x16" pizza (the normal amount in MP is 200g)
  • There is 50g of thickened chicken jus (a.k.a. gravy) as pizza sauce, 100% of which is applied by tossing the chicken in it (the normal amount is 300g)
  • Post-baking the pizza is topped with a salad (it's supposed to be frisee dressed in Green Goddess dressing, but I couldn't get frisee so I used arugula)

Here's what that amount of cheese looks like on the crust:

DSC_3697.jpg

 

And here is the pizza after baking, but before the salad is applied:

DSC_3700.jpg

 

Finally, here's a finished slice (that's crispy chicken skin on top, which was a nice touch):

DSC_3707.jpg

 

I'm not arguing that it was bad tasting: I think it needed more gravy sauce, but was otherwise a pretty good open-faced chicken sandwich.

That looks really nice though. I’d call it pizza. Al Taglio stuff can definitely fall into this “Open Face Sandwich” feeling. 

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Since I was making bread today I took the opportunity afforded by the hot oven to properly re-heat my leftover al taglio pizza from yesterday, and adjust the topping to be more to my taste. I added significantly more of the thickened jus sauce (just drizzled over before baking), and also added more of the arugula and green goddess topping. While I did enjoy yesterday's entry, this one's proportions were better, IMO (I also like the crispy edge bits you get when you reheat single slices...).

 

DSC_3708.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amatriciana Sauce (KM p. 113)

 

This is a straightforward variation on their "New York/Artisan Pizza Tomato Sauce" -- you just add sauteed guanciale (or pancetta, or bacon) at the first step, the proceed as normal. I really love the base sauce, so no surprise that I also loved this one. It's intensely-flavored, I think they are right to suggest using it to make a cheese pizza, since most toppings won't stand up to it. The sauce was excellent with pizza cheese on a Direct Artisan crust.

 

DSC_3818.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Direct Artisan Crust, Aged One Day

 

One of my best pizzas to date -- this is getting pretty close to optimal flavor and texture for this style of pizza, in my opinion. No Modernist innovations, just the Direct Artisan dough with a one day cold proof. Baked convection at 480°F for six minutes on a pizza steel that had been preheated for an hour.

 

DSC_3821.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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33 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Direct Artisan Crust, Aged One Day

 

One of my best pizzas to date -- this is getting pretty close to optimal flavor and texture for this style of pizza, in my opinion. No Modernist innovations, just the Direct Artisan dough with a one day cold proof. Baked convection at 480°F for six minutes on a pizza steel that had been preheated for an hour.

 

DSC_3821.jpg

Yeah that looks incredible. 

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Last time I made the Barbecue Chicken pizza, I used the Brazilian thin crust. This time I went for the artisan crust:

 

DSC_3824.jpg

 

Other changes: I made a lightly-smoked rotisserie chicken instead of cooking it sous vide, I used shallots instead of red onions (I'm out of red onions), and I left off the cilantro (because I'm lazy). I think actually that pickled red onions would be great here, added after baking. And I could have applied even more smoke to the chicken, it's still getting a little lost in the sauce.

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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On 4/15/2022 at 6:16 AM, Chris Hennes said:

Direct Artisan Crust, Aged One Day

 

One of my best pizzas to date -- this is getting pretty close to optimal flavor and texture for this style of pizza, in my opinion. No Modernist innovations, just the Direct Artisan dough with a one day cold proof. Baked convection at 480°F for six minutes on a pizza steel that had been preheated for an hour.

 

DSC_3821.jpg

 

Very nice. It seems like you have sauced it almost to the edge, and the rise resulted in sauced rind?

~ Shai N.

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Made a batch of artisan dough with poolish yesterday and realize I forgot the add the extra yeast in the second stage. So it's in it's little containers and I expect in a couple of days it will have reached the point it needs to - but it isn't there yet! Which is probably not a bad thing since I have no mushrooms and it's Easter Sunday and the grocery stores are closed and can't drive with this damn boot on my foot.

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8 hours ago, shain said:

It seems like you have sauced it almost to the edge, and the rise resulted in sauced rind?

With the artisan crust I'm leaving a deliberate rim that's about 1/2" of uncompressed dough: I sauce up to that (with the occasional sloppy spoon work resulting in the getting on the rim in a few places). When it rises, the untouched part of the rim expands to the outer edge of the pizza, pulling some of the sauced portion up with it as it puffs up.

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/17/2022 at 9:22 AM, Duvel said:


I wonder when they will come up with an autonomous camera-equipped indoor drone for us cooking aficionados. I mean, cooking is at least as dynamic as mountain biking or kite surfing …

Want to see the results of filming your cooking process! I was wondering whether there are some indoor drones and found these ones. So interested in having one of this! Sure that filming it is a great idea for saving recipes without writing it down. But using GoPro is not so bad too:D

Edited by Teronms (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's another classic, delcious NY slice (in the Joe's, Luigi's realm), for those trying to emulate using Modernist Pizza.

 

We took a ride out to Jersey yesterday, early, and drove back home via the Bronx, where we stopped for lunch...

 

image.thumb.jpeg.efa76db7a4abbbf3c156bea76c6f5c73.jpeg

 

at Louie & Ernie's. And they now sell frozen par-baked pies, of which I am now the proud owner of two - barely squeezing them into my freezer!

 

image.png.a1d7067ce4e182a02686e62b6c19e9e2.png

 

https://louieanderniespizza.com/

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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At @weinoo‘s recommendation I made a “research expedition” to Marta in Manhattan last night. They are using wood fired ovens:

F2236EBB-F913-4756-A8C8-95083A79C486.jpeg
 

40BCBC32-1E23-43F6-8032-BDF30B6B14F1.jpeg

 

The pizza is a cracker-like crust that reminds me of the Argentinian style from the book, though it is undocked, and seems to cook at a higher temp (lower than Neapolitan I think, but hotter than the 550F I baked mine at). 
 

A71FE1E5-B71F-422F-BEA2-4E0E6BD75DA3.jpeg

 

The margherita was pretty good, but the asparagus was excellent.

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Chris Hennes
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19 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

At @weinoo‘s recommendation I made a “research expedition” to Marta in Manhattan last night. They are using wood fired ovens:

F2236EBB-F913-4756-A8C8-95083A79C486.jpeg
 

40BCBC32-1E23-43F6-8032-BDF30B6B14F1.jpeg

 

The pizza is a cracker-like crust that reminds me of the Argentinian style from the book, though it is undocked, and seems to cook at a higher temp (lower than Neapolitan I think, but hotter than the 550F I baked mine at). 
 

A71FE1E5-B71F-422F-BEA2-4E0E6BD75DA3.jpeg

 

The margherita was pretty good, but the asparagus was excellent.

I used to live in that neighborhood - and years ago, my wife and I would go there pretty frequently - I haven't been back in a long time, but we used to really like the mushroom pizza - 4 different types of mushrooms.  I also liked to sit at the bar so you could watch the action.

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