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heliman 04-21-2010 05:00 AM

The Party Begins...
Just started the biga (1.2 kg of it) in preparation for tomorrow lunch time pizza party.

Catering for about 20 people and it has all got be be ready and delivered within 2 hrs. Should be doable, but as I am on my own and need to set up the venue, arrange the booze and tidy the house ... quite a bit to do.

So far the biga is busy proofing (4 hrs total) on the bench before going into the fridge for an overnight fermentation....

Updates to follow...

heliman 04-22-2010 04:03 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
4 Attachment(s)
Party was a great success....

I was a bit nervous catering for so many people but it all turned out OK. I had an Italian colleague suggest some plain type pizzas with olive oil, chilli, mixed herbs and rock salt which went down particularly well. Will definitely do them again in the future. One of the most notable aspects of today's bake was that I created some leaoparding - something that I haven't managed to do up until now.

Dough preparation was a breeze and I made 5 kg in the 20 QT and it didn't even notice that it had dough in the machine. It handled it effortlessly. After about 5 hours room the dough seemed to be a bit puffy in spots with quite large air bubbles (is this normal?) I used 0.5% yeast in the biga and I'm thinking of dropping it down to 0.1% to try and minimise the bubbles (will it make a difference?).

On the texture of the dough - it was very rubbery and sprang back quite a bit. Could this be attributable to the lenght of time that I kneaded the dough for? I am using 11% protein Baker's flour so it is not very high as flours go. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

By far the highlight of the day was the caramel, banana and cinnamon dessert pizza. The people came back for second helpings on that one in a stampede.

At the end of the day I had 4 doughs left and I decided to work on my "neighbour relations". I dropped off pizzas to both sides and they were very well received.

lwood 04-22-2010 04:35 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Beautiful Heliman, you have to give us the recipe for that caramel/banana pizza.

heliman 04-22-2010 05:15 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Thanks lwood ...

Regular dough to start with.

Par cook the base with nothing on it, then remove from the oven.

Use a tin of pre-made caramel (cake section of the supermarket) and spread it thickly over the base.

Slice a banana onto the caramel and distribute it evenly over the whole pizza.

Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.

Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the whole pizza.

Cook and you will notice the bananas caramelising and a bit of black developing which is normal.


nissanneill 04-23-2010 03:42 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Good on ya Rossco, see it wasn't as bad or threatening as you thought.
I have n Anzac pizza day for 19 adults on Sunday, already preparing and will do a similar mix in the Hobart.
I might also try your banana caramel just to add to the huge amount of sweets that are coming.


heliman 04-23-2010 03:59 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Thanks Neill ... it really kept me on the hop that's for sure. I definitely would not have been possible without the monster mixer. I was pumping out 2 x pizzas at a time but that is only enough for a small piece for each person if you have got around 16 attendees.

How many do you bake at a time? What is the biggest group that you've catered for in one go?

Hope you party goes well. Keen to get your feedback on the banana caramel ones!

PS: I'm definitely off duty this weekend as there is some holiday preparation to do before we head off to Italy in 2 weeks time.

texassourdough 04-23-2010 04:18 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Hi Rossco!

After I host 20 people I am ready for a break (or only a small party) also.

WRT big bubbles, when do you add the salt. In my experience adding it after forming the dough tends to cause more uneven bubble formation than when added at the beginning.

Look forward to hearing from you on your trip to Italy!

heliman 04-23-2010 07:11 AM

Re: The Party Begins...
Hi Jay...

I add all the ingredients at the start.

Just been watching the "slapping" technique which looks to be used by quite a few pizza makers. I will definitely be attempting it during the next bake-off.

Taking the iPhone along for the trip so will keep posting (daily if I can) via the free MacDonalds wireless connections. Have also booked hotels with free wireless so should be able to stay in touch.

texassourdough 04-23-2010 01:39 PM

Re: The Party Begins...
The Japanese video used dough that was somewhat drier and less sticky than many of us aspire to. The technique was pretty good, very similar to what I have been taught/learned at our local primo WFO pizzaria. Note how he mostly goes around the center, leaving a bit of a bulge there. That is the dough that will allow the pie to expand without getting too thin. With wet doughs you need more flour on the counter than he uses. But when you slap/spread it the excess gets knocked off. With superwet doughs I actually use a pan with flour in it for the flattening/pressing part. Also with really wet doughs it usually only takes a slap or two and it is done. (and thinner than in the video).

Fly safely!

egalecki 04-23-2010 03:51 PM

Re: The Party Begins...
Where did you decide to go in Italy? We've always had a wonderful time there. I'm ready to go again, but Mr. Wiley ( my darling husband) says we have to try somewhere new first. We'll probably end up in Ireland and England, which is fine, but the food won't be the same..... ;)

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