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Cooking with Myhrvold and Migoya's Modernist Pizza


Chris Hennes
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44 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Chris, what is your opinion of the flours?  I have a few kilos of Caputo Chef's but I have not yet tried it for pizza.

 

The Chef and Pizzeria are both great. If you’re working in a home oven at 550F tops Chef is what you want, if you don’t want bread flour. Pizzeria works better than Chef at the high heat a pizza oven like the Ooni puts out. Both are good though and using one instead of the other isn’t a huge deal. 
 

Home ovens I’d stick with bread flour and other artisanal flours like the stuff from Cairnspring or Central Milling. I’ve been really enjoying the Artisan pizza dough more than the Neapolitan and have some fun flours coming to me from Cairnspring. I don’t love Dan Richer’s new pizza book, but it did show me how finding a really good and different flour can make for an exceptional pizza experience. 
 

Meanwhile I’m currently bulk fermenting the Mod Pizza Neapolitan dough with Caputo Nuvola for the first time so definitely curious to see how it goes tomorrow night. Pretty sure my Levain dough is a dud. No reason to put it in a refrigerator. Basically kills it. 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Chris, what is your opinion of the flours?

I like the Caputo flours for the Neapolitan pizzas (actually those are the only ones I use Caputo for, I've been using Ceresota All-Purpose for my other pizzas) -- I'm not sure I could actually tell the difference between the Chef's and the Pizzeria in a blind tasting. They both form a great gluten network and result in a strong dough that stretches beautifully. I think they both bake similarly, but that's likely a limitation of my own skill with the oven as much as anything else. I still have a pretty large variability pizza-to-pizza in terms of the exact finished product, so I can't really comment usefully on the subtle differences between those two flours. Maybe in a few thousand more pizzas I'll get back to you on it :) .

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Chris Hennes
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23 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Why are you reballing?

 

Went flat as the fermentation never really took off. Reballing gives it a chance to get its shit together, for lack of a better term. But in this case it was a lost cause. None of them worked. Recipe just isn’t good. No need to put them in a 39F fridge after such a short bulk. Next time I’ll just follow the Master Recipe fermentation schedule and it’ll come out perfectly. 
 

Luckily I did make the Master Recipe last night just in case this happened and it was fantastic. Nuvola flour is great.
 

Marinara and Margarita

 

AB2CAE91-EB96-42D2-AD4D-21ACCB2F6552.thumb.jpeg.c674b8d2ee9d403f08375e38370e9856.jpeg31636DAB-57B8-441B-BA36-9DD83F08FCF6.thumb.jpeg.34d29d38e7457523aad58ed7fb03d373.jpeg

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While your pizza (and @Chris Hennes's) look good, many of the recipes appear (or sound to) work better when both of you have played around with them.

 

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

 

It also (to me, at least) means they're full of baloney about what pizza is good and what pizza isn't, on their taste tour of America.

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5 hours ago, weinoo said:

While your pizza (and @Chris Hennes's) look good, many of the recipes appear (or sound to) work better when both of you have played around with them.

 

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

 

It also (to me, at least) means they're full of baloney about what pizza is good and what pizza isn't, on their taste tour of America.

 

First, I don't disagree with what you think. Totally valid opinion.

 

I can't speak for @Chris Hennes, but apart from using my previous knowledge of sourdough pizzas, I haven't played around with any other of their recipes (apart from messing around with flour choices which one time actually screwed me because I went against the book). The two pizzas above is their Neapolitan Dough Master Recipe to the letter and they were fantastic.

 

The Artisan Dough and NY Dough are PERFECT. I'm not sure I'll ever need another dough recipe for those styles. They've also converted me away from Neapolitan I think. I'm looking forward to going deep into the Artisan pizza making game.

 

The only thing I find that can be different is possibly the RT proof times. My kitchen runs cold so I need to go a few hours longer than what they recommend.

 

With so many variables in baking it's tough to follow any recipe exactly and get proper results unless you are in a professional kitchen. Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery would suffer from the same problem. Just gotta use your intuition. Fortunately it's usually just a matter of extending a proof time here or there.

 

In terms regards to their pizza rankings, I mean, who cares? It's just one more list of pizza rankings. I really appreciate their thoughts as a starting point, but whatever. I live in CT. I've had New Haven pizza a lot. They are completely right about the burnt crust they complained about. It's still awesome pizza.

 

Aren't you the guy who said nothing green belongs on a pizza? ; )

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15 hours ago, weinoo said:

While your pizza (and @Chris Hennes's) look good, many of the recipes appear (or sound to) work better when both of you have played around with them.

 

Yes, it turns out that just reading about making pizza isn't good enough: you actually have to practice! :P

 

In all seriousness, there is some manual dexterity required both for stretching, en-peeling, and navigating a 900°F oven that's definitely going to take practice. But for other things, I think they could have done better: the cooking times for the thick crust simply seem too long, and I don't see how I could be misunderstanding things to the extent that a 20 minute stated bake time turns into 8 minutes in my oven. (In my house we obey the laws of thermodynamics.)

 

Other things are a matter of taste: I'd prefer a thicker sauce for Neapolitan pizza, but not everyone agrees with me there. Yet other things, Modernist Pizza gets really weird about... almost anthropological. They flat out state that they don't like some of the recipes they include (e.g. the Argentinean cheese quantities, and some questionable ingredient decisions). They make fun of midwestern "taco" pizza, then proceed to include a recipe for it!

 

All that said, be careful passing judgement on any book based on how well I personally make its recipes! I'm a strictly amateur home cook, and it's always going to take me a few tries to get things dialed in. I think I'm getting better at all of these pizzas, across the board, and since that's why I bought the books they've been valuable to me. I'm even going to make that taco pizza!! (Maybe.)

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Chris Hennes
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7 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Sort of: I bought some long, skinny pans to use for al taglio, but they are much smaller than the real thing.

I’m going to get two quarter al taglio pans (13x6) and just cut the recipe in half. I’m also going to buy an 18x13 sheet pan dedicated for focaccia and NY square pizza. Was considering a Lloyd Grandma Pan at 16x12 but I think the size isn’t where I want it to be.

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6 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Sort of: I bought some long, skinny pans to use for al taglio, but they are much smaller than the real thing.

 

Isn't a quarter or half or full-sized sheet pan good for al taglio, which in essence means by the slice (or weight)?

 

5 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

But for other things, I think they could have done better: the cooking times for the thick crust simply seem too long, and I don't see how I could be misunderstanding things to the extent that a 20 minute stated bake time turns into 8 minutes in my oven. (In my house we obey the laws of thermodynamics.)

 

6 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Other things are a matter of taste: I'd prefer a thicker sauce for Neapolitan pizza, but not everyone agrees with me there. Yet other things, Modernist Pizza gets really weird about... almost anthropological. They flat out state that they don't like some of the recipes they include (e.g. the Argentinean cheese quantities, and some questionable ingredient decisions). They make fun of midwestern "taco" pizza, then proceed to include a recipe for it!

 

I'm sure that when all is said and done, you'll be making great pizza (and I'm sure the Ooni will be part of the reason for that, just as the steel and how best to use it helped up many peoples' games).

 

But - when all is said and done, my guess is your focus will be on the crust recipes that work best for you, as well as a sauce or two...your toppings will end up being the topping YOU like best, not some Silicon Valley Washington State geek.

 

6 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

All that said, be careful passing judgement on any book based on how well I personally make its recipes!

 

Oh, trust me, I'm not judging the books based on your pizze or your pizza making skills - they appear fine to me!  I'm judging it based on the fact the authors think they fucking know everything. 

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13 hours ago, Robenco15 said:

@weinoothey’d work, but an al taglio pan made specifically for that style is better. 

I don't really buy that -- I wanted a long, skinny rectangle purely for the aesthetics of the thing, I highly doubt that my 10x14 Detroit pan would have any problems producing a respectable (shorter) Al Taglio pizza.

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Chris Hennes
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On 11/15/2021 at 10:08 PM, Chris Hennes said:

Raw Cherry Tomato Sauce (KM p. 121)

 

The dough is their basic Neapolitan (though at long last made with the Caputo Pizzeria flour, I finished off the last of my Chef's flour on the last pizza -- I was very happy with the texture of the crust, and the workability of the dough). The sauce is one I hadn't tried yet: hand-crushed cherry tomatoes with olive oil, sugar, and salt. This would have benefited from the Modernist treatment, it could have used a little xanthan gum to thicken it just slightly, it was pretty difficult to keep it on the pizza when transferring to the oven. It was delicious, though, so I'll certainly make it again.

 

20211115-DSC_2616.jpg

Do you do mail order? That looks delicious. 

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20 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

 

All that said, be careful passing judgement on any book based on how well I personally make its recipes!

 Your posts are indicative of your competence.   Whether or not you use (their) recipes or your own incrementally experienced revelations, the prove is what comes out of the oven.  

eGullet member #80.

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Barbecue Chicken Pizza (Inspired by Ed LaDou) (KM p. 277)

on

Modernist Brazilian Thin-Crust Pizza Dough (KM p. 32)

 

Until I started cooking from this book, I never really had chicken on pizza: I mean, I'm sure I must have had it someplace, but it's not something I ever ordered myself. Truthfully, I didn't really have high hopes for this pizza, whose sauce is barbecue sauce. I was imagining one of those saccharine concoctions like Sweet Baby Rays. Actually, this is the "house barbecue sauce" from the original Modernist Cuisine, unaltered in the intervening years. It's not particularly sweet, and has a good sharp acidity to it. I'd never made it before, but it's definitely staying in my BBQ sauce repertoire, it's great. And it actually works fine as a pizza sauce. Other toppings are chicken thighs (I cooked mine sous vide at 62°C for 15 hours with a dry rub of smoked paprika, salt, and pepper), red onions (I decided to put them on before baking, rather than after), smoked gouda, and cilantro. All told, a successful pizza. Not the sort if thing I'd make frequently, but overall I was happy with the flavors and textures.

 

The crust was perfect, exactly what I want in a thin-crust pizza: solid enough to hold a good amount of toppings, cracker-crisp, and easy to work with. Certainly the best thin crust I've ever made.

 

20211118-DSC_2622.jpg

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Chris Hennes
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2 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Why?  Or more specifically, in what ways?

The most noticeable difference would be the height of the sides being taller in an al taglio pan then a sheet pan. The al taglio pan being made of steel vs. an aluminum sheet pan also affects the results when making an al taglio pizza. 
 

Would a sheet pan produce a serviceable pizza? Of course, but would a steel al taglio pan made for al taglio pizzas produce a better result? I’d say so. I’m going to be making al taglio pizza in two quarter al taglio pans and a sheet pan at some point. I’ll definitely post results. 
 

@Chris HennesI’m sure a detroit pan works well enough for when you want a longer pizza. 

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20 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Barbecue Chicken Pizza (Inspired by Ed LaDou) (KM p. 277)

on

Modernist Brazilian Thin-Crust Pizza Dough (KM p. 32)

 

Until I started cooking from this book, I never really had chicken on pizza: I mean, I'm sure I must have had it someplace, but it's not something I ever ordered myself. Truthfully, I didn't really have high hopes for this pizza, whose sauce is barbecue sauce. I was imagining one of those saccharine concoctions like Sweet Baby Rays. Actually, this is the "house barbecue sauce" from the original Modernist Cuisine, unaltered in the intervening years. It's not particularly sweet, and has a good sharp acidity to it. I'd never made it before, but it's definitely staying in my BBQ sauce repertoire, it's great. And it actually works fine as a pizza sauce. Other toppings are chicken thighs (I cooked mine sous vide at 62°C for 15 hours with a dry rub of smoked paprika, salt, and pepper), red onions (I decided to put them on before baking, rather than after), smoked gouda, and cilantro. All told, a successful pizza. Not the sort if thing I'd make frequently, but overall I was happy with the flavors and textures.

 

The crust was perfect, exactly what I want in a thin-crust pizza: solid enough to hold a good amount of toppings, cracker-crisp, and easy to work with. Certainly the best thin crust I've ever made.

 

 

That would be similar to the California Pizza Kitchen's grilled chicken pizza - had one 20+ years ago - it made enough of impression that the ingredients are in my MacGourmet and I've made it a time or two. They used Bullseye BBQ sauce. 

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