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Making Pizza at Home


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31 minutes ago, TdeV said:

Thanks @blue_dolphin, I'll look at that video again before I make the second pie.

Still, what do you do if the dough turns into the wrong shape? Smush it together and . . . ?

 

Oh, I totally misunderstood and thought your dough was pulling back and didn't want to be shaped.  Forgive me for going on so much 🙈

As long as the dough is elastic and happy to be shaped, I just keep working it in the direction I want. 

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once upon a time, I tried the dusted peel thing.... I suck at that....

so now I use a typical home kitchen oven, a baking stone, an aluminum cookie sheet, and . . . parchment paper!

bought some round sheets (Amazon) - cost worked out to about $0.05 more than the same "length" off the el-cheapo grocery store parchment.

it has one very convenient side-bennie - while the stone is in the oven getting to untouchable temps, one can see how big to make the pizza...

here is stone, here is parchment round

pizcom2.thumb.jpg.10090c9f7947dada83e0e329c01b0004.jpg

 

I put the dough on the paper, add toppings, use the cookie sheet "peel" in and out of oven.

this is my "I love black olives" pizza - always slide off paper to cooking rack - if left on paper the crust goes soggy....

pizcom1.thumb.jpg.76a4dbb2fae4efcf8e4fb0862643bf54.jpg

 

call me chicken, call me anything . . . don't care - parchment works for me!

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@blue_dolphin, the dough I was wondering about was willing to be stretched but it had turned into a long thin rectangle and I didn't know any way to rejoin it, other than folding it on top of itself (which didn't work).

 

The dough in Ken Forkish's video is much looser than the dough I am used to. My kitchen registers 72°F today. My usual dough workstation is a slab of granite which is quite cool to the touch (Termoworks Infrared also says 72°F on the granite, but there seems to be trouble getting the thermometer to read a surface which has no fat on it) .

 

The video does look like Ken Forkish is using a granite or marble counter top which might also be cool.

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1 minute ago, TdeV said:

@blue_dolphin, the dough I was wondering about was willing to be stretched but it had turned into a long thin rectangle and I didn't know any way to rejoin it, other than folding it on top of itself (which didn't work).

 

The dough in Ken Forkish's video is much looser than the dough I am used to. My kitchen registers 72°F today. My usual dough workstation is a slab of granite which is quite cool to the touch (Termoworks Infrared also says 72°F on the granite, but there seems to be trouble getting the thermometer to read a surface which has no fat on it) .

 

The video does look like Ken Forkish is using a granite or marble counter top which might also be cool.

 

Sounds like you have perfectly controlled conditions.  My kitchen can be anywhere from mid 80's on a summer afternoon to around 55°F on a cool morning.  I guess that's why I need to let the dough be my guide!

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19 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

once upon a time, I tried the dusted peel thing.... I suck at that....

so now I use a typical home kitchen oven, a baking stone, an aluminum cookie sheet, and . . . parchment paper!

bought some round sheets (Amazon) - cost worked out to about $0.05 more than the same "length" off the el-cheapo grocery store parchment.

it has one very convenient side-bennie - while the stone is in the oven getting to untouchable temps, one can see how big to make the pizza...

here is stone, here is parchment round

pizcom2.thumb.jpg.10090c9f7947dada83e0e329c01b0004.jpg

 

I put the dough on the paper, add toppings, use the cookie sheet "peel" in and out of oven.

this is my "I love black olives" pizza - always slide off paper to cooking rack - if left on paper the crust goes soggy....

pizcom1.thumb.jpg.76a4dbb2fae4efcf8e4fb0862643bf54.jpg

 

call me chicken, call me anything . . . don't care - parchment works for me!


I do exactly the same, but remove the parchment after about 50 sec., when the base has firmed up. Gives much better spotting on the base ...

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19 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

definitely an interesting "trick"

 

mine take about 8-9 minutes to finish.  it will be interesting to see how naked on the stone differs.

 

mfg

x-Gaienhofen

x-Schweinfurt

 

 


That is quite a long time for using a baking stone - and yet a pretty tasty looking pie! How do you preheat the stone, how long and what is your distance to the broiler element, if I may ask.

 

I was actually wondering why your paper at the uncovered parts was not burnt ☺️

 

My pizza cooks in about 3.5 min and the trick was actually also a necessity, because the excess paper would start to carbonize under „my“ conditions ...

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I preheat the oven to 450'F / 235'C with the stone, for about an hour.

I turn the heat back to 425' / 210'Cwhen I put the pizza in - it's typically 5-6" from the top elements.

 

the crust is nicely crisp - I give it 5 minutes to cool on the rack, cut with a 10" chef's knife and it 'snaps' as the cut is made on a wooden board...

 

in this pix you see the stone "protects" the paper - the square corners sticking out browned but not the stone area.

I think it also depends on the parchment paper - some seem to brown go crisp at lower temps.DSC_0711.thumb.JPG.71e11573aa1abfc922ea6e96d9179da3.JPG

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Since I rearranged the racks in my oven, and reinstalled the original baking steel I've had in the closet for like 2 years, it was time to try my hand at pizza again. So an evening or two ago I put together Jim Lahey's overnight pizza dough (practically no-knead) from his book (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), called strangely enough...

 

image.png.3e2b46b609db8dc754753f5b65ab714a.png

 

And I decided I'd also cheat a bit, with the parchment trick (I also use it with Dutch oven breads, so they don't stick to the proofing basket).

 

1617867018_Pizzaprebaked12-09.thumb.jpeg.03d76ba1d891834c471ba1164696ae64.jpeg

 

Believe me, I'll be working on getting a nice, round circle for the rest of my life.

 

2144209595_Pizzabaking12-09IMG_2973.thumb.jpeg.304d9836a230425e5faa0ab9ef72d9b9.jpeg

 

I also plan on moving the steel to the top shelf for future pizza bakes, but it was on a lower shelf and that's where it remained last night.

 

2029905283_Pizzaupskirt12-09.thumb.jpeg.524144f56613a070387d7e28f2f4d6b8.jpeg

 

Really the best results I've had at home so far. Then I made a pie with more toppings. No, not stupid toppings, just more sauce and cheese. Oh, and hyper-local basil, added to the cooked pie.

 

1168211599_Pizzamargherita12-09.thumb.jpeg.ee589c1a1f386c27bcbaf1f9c4f31eba.jpeg

 

We were happy. Even if I failed geometry.

 

1132557333_Pizzabaking12-09.thumb.jpeg.50cdec6ff8e26ff755e6e8bf3d443f14.jpeg

 

RoaSted romanesco alongside.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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@weinoo My 2 cents from using a similar method.

 

A) Place the baking steel in the top third of the oven. Turn on the top broiler before shaping the pizza. I then bake with it being on for 3 min and the pizzas is ready. But you can turn it off if the top chars too fast and the bottom does not get enough color. 

 

B) Either mix the cheese with a bit of water or milk before topping, or spray some water on top before baking. If possible, keep the cheese chilled until used.

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2 hours ago, shain said:

@weinoo My 2 cents from using a similar method.

 

A) Place the baking steel in the top third of the oven. Turn on the top broiler before shaping the pizza. I then bake with it being on for 3 min and the pizzas is ready. But you can turn it off if the top chars too fast and the bottom does not get enough color. 

 

B) Either mix the cheese with a bit of water or milk before topping, or spray some water on top before baking. If possible, keep the cheese chilled until used.

OK - next try!  I do have the steel in the top third of the oven now. (Though I'm tired of moving it around - sucker weighs 25 lbs.!)

 

I like the water spray idea.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On 12/17/2020 at 7:14 AM, weinoo said:

(Though I'm tired of moving it around - sucker weighs 25 lbs.!)

 

Thick aluminum plate can match (and exceed) steel at about half the weight.  Your goal of trimming another minute off the bake time- aluminum can achieve that- with one hand tied behind it's back.  

 

Another option for a less back breaking plate would be taking your existing steel to a distributor and getting it cut. Cuts are usually around $10.  Just make sure you run the seam from side to side. If the cut runs from front to back, it will contour to the bowing shelf and sag.

 

 

On 12/16/2020 at 6:38 PM, weinoo said:

Total cook time about 4.5 minutes, which I think may be as short as it can get, though I'll shoot to shave another minute off.

 

Paper is wood, and wood is an insulator.  It won't trim a minute, but, if you can launch without the parchment, you'll trim off about 30 seconds (and see a difference).  

 

Another way to trim off more time- and obtain a dough that's exponentially easier to stretch and launch, would be a more traditional pizza dough recipe.  High hydration doughs are great for bread, but, in pizza, they extend bake times, hinder oven spring and produce sticky slack doughs that are much harder to stretch- and launch.  This is why you won't find doughs much higher than about 62% water in both New York and Naples.

 

What flour are you using?

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11 minutes ago, scott123 said:

What flour are you using?

 

You mean I'm supposed to remember or write this stuff down?  That's harder than driving up to Patsy's or Louie & Ernie's!

 

I think I used 1/2 King Arthur Sir Galahad and half King Arthur Italian.  I have a number of different flours I am trying to use up, so I can then restock properly as I learn more!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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@scott123 - I think I'm using Lahey's no-knead pizza dough recipe, which calls for 70% hydration and an 18-hour room temp ferment (unfortunately nowhere in my apartment is it what most humans would call room temp - it's warm!). I will drop it down into the range you mention, knead slightly, and see what that does for me.

 

What easily purchased flours do you like most?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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2 hours ago, scott123 said:

Thick aluminum plate can match (and exceed) steel at about half the weight.  

 

Very true. The reason being aluminum is more conductive, which leads to faster heat transfer.

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3 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

half King Arthur Italian.  

 

I'm all about the waste not want not, but, at 8.5% protein, the KA Italian really has no place in pizza.  If any of the pies you posted here were 50% KA Italian AND 70% hydration, then I tip my hat to your impressive stretching skills. 50/50 Galahad/Italian and 70% water is bordering on completely unstretchable.

 

2 hours ago, weinoo said:

What easily purchased flours do you like most?

 

The short answer: outside of the pandemic, in your average oven, nothing touches King Arthur bread flour.  Right now, though, Restaurant Depot is open to the public, which makes getting bromated bread flour (like Full Strength) a much easier purchase.  A 50 lb. bag isn't an easy store, though, especially not in an apartment setting.

 

So, in your average oven, bromated bread flour is ideal, but bread flour (stick to KA, avoid other brands) is a close second.

 

But, that's an average oven- with an average broiler that can't come close to Neapolitan leoparding in 90 seconds.  With your oven, thick aluminum, a quality 00 and less water might flirt with a Neapolitan end result.  Personally, I think authentic Neapolitan dough baked for 3 minutes is pretty horrible (the texture suffers tremendously), but if you can hit 2, and you may have a broiler than can hit 2... it might be worth going down that rabbit hole.

 

That's pretty obsessive, though. Imo, in a home oven, with steel (or aluminum), you can't beat KABF, 61% hydration, a little oil and a little sugar.

 

Btw, any dough can become no knead if you have the patience.  Mix it until it comes together, then set it aside for 10-20 minutes, then give it a knead or two, and, if it isn't smooth, give it another 10-20 minutes and another knead.  Wetter doughs are a little easier to mix, but, if you mix the dough quickly (you get a second or two while the water starts to absorb), drier doughs can come together without too much perspiration. As long as the dough is smooth before it starts to proof, you're good to go- you can give it more/less rests or shorter/longer ones, and as long as you don't forget the dough completely, you're good. The trickiest part of this process is learning to recognize smoothness.  

 

Also, at room temp, yeast doubles about every hour.  This means that to hit the right level of fermentation at 18 hours, you need to start with a minuscule amount of yeast- and be incredibly precise about measuring it. I know overnight room temp proofing folks that build DIY proofing cabinets and weigh their yeast with jeweler scales, but, if you want to make your life a little easier, slowing down the yeast with refrigeration gives you a much bigger window on  the back end.  Just make sure the dough fully comes up to temp before you stretch it- maybe 4 hours, 3 if your room is above 75.

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10 minutes ago, shain said:

 

Very true. The reason being aluminum is more conductive, which leads to faster heat transfer.

 

Exactly.  Basically, conductivity is king (to a point).  Steel trumps stone, and aluminum trumps steel.  While my pizza related issues with Nathan, Chris and Heston are well documented within these walls, I have to give them props for bringing aluminum plate for pizza to the attention of the masses.  Why Kenji latched onto steel and completely ignored aluminum is a bit of a head scratcher, but, if anyone should be able to see the innate value of aluminum for pizza, it should be the Modernist Cuisinists here.

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  • 5 weeks later...

made pizza for lunch for the so. i’m a terrible planner so i made this dough about 90 minutes before i baked the pizza. 

 

took about five and a half minutes in my oven, probably could have gotten away with a little less but i put too much cheese on it since i didn’t want to put what i had left back in the fridge. 

 

pesto, chicken from some “stuffs” i baked last night, bowl of defrosted corn and peas that was in the fridge, sesame. i was out of pine nuts and parmesan so i subbed cashews and vegemite for the pesto. honestly it came out extremely well. 

 

 

E96DA0CD-5554-47FE-8190-F0741A253084.jpeg

B0430399-BA08-4538-BED2-52A5BECD91D2.jpeg

7E951E08-1FF5-4762-B07C-20C3EC746C51.jpeg

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