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Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

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  • Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

    I am looking at getting some info together about developing leoparding on the crust. Below is a quick explanation on the term (called leopard spotting).

    Word Coinage: 'leopard spotting' | Slice Pizza Blog

    I am interested to hear from anyone who can suggest ways of making this happen when cooking pizza in the WFO. It definitely seems to be temperature related, but could also have to do with yeast/fermentation...

    Rossco
    / Rossco

  • #2
    Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

    I think you should check this page out Jeff Varasano's NY Pizza Recipe
    Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/g...land-8759.html

    Member WFOAMBA

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    • #3
      Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

      Wow, leoparding seems to be similar to the caramelization of the complex sugars I've gotten on long retarded sour dough breads? My pizza and bread worlds are colliding faster than I'd imagined. Cool -Dino
      "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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      http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...BF19875Rnp84Uw


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      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...arts-5883.html

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      • #4
        Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

        I thought that was how a pizza is supposed to look. I have stayed pretty close to the FB dough recipe (with Caputo flour) since day 1, and unless I do something stupid (like run to get another beer) while the pizza is in the oven, mine look pretty similar to the photo on the link provided. Dumb luck, I guess.

        RT

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        • #5
          Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

          RT
          I thought that was how a pizza is supposed to look.
          I think pizza's are supposed to look like whatever I take out of my oven, and as long as it tastes good they look good,,, Ok not always,, as blue cheese and hot dog pizza's arent that pretty but I love the way they taste (sorry, But I really like them) If it tastes good eat it... if it looks good, take a picture, then eat it ..
          Cheers
          Mark

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          • #6
            Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

            Just want to pose a question here to try to narrow do this phenomenon a bit...

            Has anyone created leoparding using flour that is NOT Molino Caputo?

            Rossco
            / Rossco

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            • #7
              Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

              My long fermintation doughs reg or sour always look like that. I always thought it was because of a well developed sponge (millions of holes) and the "spots" tend to be on the surface of the bubble or thinner surface of dough stretched by the expanding gas bubble. I am no bread expert so may not be stating correctly, but just noting my observations.
              Wade Lively

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              • #8
                Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                Originally posted by heliman View Post
                Just want to pose a question here to try to narrow do this phenomenon a bit...

                Has anyone created leoparding using flour that is NOT Molino Caputo?

                Rossco
                Yes. I've got spotting with KA all purpose at 65%+ hydration, hot oven, and a good fire. I also never took my eyes off it once it was in the oven. Cooked in under 90 seconds, so it was a pretty hot oven.

                Stan

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                • #9
                  Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                  Good point Stan. There is a fine line between Leopard spotting and severe char (some would call it burned). I prefer the 800-850 F range, just 5-10 seconds can make a HUGE difference, my eyes never leave the oven (learned the hard way).
                  As for flour, sorry to say that every pizza that has come from my WFO has been made with Caputo. Indoors in the electric oven I just use all purpose, usually only making a med-thick sheet pizza or deep dish (which is an entirely different type of dough). The 2 times I tried Caputo in the electric oven resulted in crust that just wouldn't brown. The first time I cooked it so long the crust was hard as a rock all the way through and was barely browned anywhere. Using a stone may help, but in my opinion Caputo stinks when made in a pizza pan at such a low temp (my oven only goes to 500 F).

                  RT

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                  • #10
                    Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                    I will admit there's something to Caputo when it comes to browning. I've also never had Caputo brown in my electric oven at 550+, but it always spots and browns in the WFO. Anybody know the Caputo secret as to why it browns at 700+ degrees?

                    Stan

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                    • #11
                      Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                      I think you are right on, Wade. It is IMO far more a function of hydration of the dough and bubble structure than flour. It is, I think (from a VPN mindset), part of the identity of a proper dough (though their cooler ovens tend to not leopard so much).

                      I think proper oven temp contributes as does proper radiant heat from the flames and dome. I don't strive for the bottom look of the pizza at the site Rossco referred too (I consider that hearth too hot). I do strive for a cornicione like the one in the upper picture and (I think like many of us) do so reliably.

                      And I agree with RT and Stan that in an oven with the right radiant heat the timing is tight - often no more than 10 seconds from what I want.... to toast!
                      Jay

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                      • #12
                        Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                        Thanks Jay, nice to hear confirmation by an expert.

                        Sorry, forgot to note that I see no difference in browning between 100% Caputo and 50-50 Caputo and KA white AP. I find that 33% Caputo, 33% KA white, and 33% KA whole wheat, browns a bit more even and the crumb is heavier. I never use 100% Caputo anymore as I don't see any difference and like to stretch my Caputo supply.
                        Wade Lively

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                        • #13
                          Re: Leoparding (Leopard Spotting)

                          Hi Wade!

                          Maybe it has to do with location as well!

                          Like you, I have mixed emotions about Caputo. I love the tactile qualities of the dough but I find the resulting pizza more "different" (and not necessarily much different) than "better". I primarily do three doughs depending on my mood - Neo-Neopolitan with KA bread flour, Neopolitan with KA AP, and Caputo (and occasionally a KA Bread/AP blend...). I like the Neo-Neopolitan for big groups cause it is tougher and I see very little difference between my Neopolitan and Caputo in actual results. I get very similar cornicione coloring in all (unless they are overproofed which is also a factor I inadvertently omitted on leoparding - if it is overproofed it will be sugar-short and won't caramelize as much).

                          And...finally, I have a slight preference for the flavor of KA flour over Caputo. Perhaps it is because I use KA for all my bread? It isn't a big preference, but Caputo seems just a bit "bland" to me - even when treated as identically as possible.

                          All of that is obviously, just me...or is it? The question is partially a joke, I think it is me, but water could certainly be a factor as well as my personal mixing and proofing habits.

                          Bake On!

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