Old 12-04-2009, 04:07 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default 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!
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:16 AM
wlively's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Spring Branch, TX 78070
Posts: 384
Default 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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Old 12-04-2009, 07:51 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default 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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