#21  
Old 08-03-2006, 06:14 AM
Fio Fio is offline
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Location: Virginia
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Default You probably know this already, but. . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by james
I guress we are pushing the edge of the envelope here. I have been able to get that high hydration and still have the dough ball hold together to throwing -- but it's right on the edge. You can try letting the dough sit for 5-10 minutes after everything is mixed, before you start kneading. It let's the dough hydrate.

You might want to cut back on the water -- but only a little. A previous version of the recipe called for 1 1/2, plus 2 tblspoons of water, but I thought there was room for a sckosh more water. But definitely the dough ball should form a ball, and not be a puddle.

Now that I have a scale, I am going to experiment with percentages, which will be more accurate. I did a 64-65% hydration earlier, and it held together nicely.

Fun, fun.
James
On pizzamaking.com, there is a vast treasure trove of good information and discussion about hydration levels, autolysis, dough retardation, etc. There is even a really nifty spreadsheet for calculating dough formulas for any size pizza (NY style dough, that is. . . )

I have found that my usual 63% hydration is too wet for the humidity outdoors these days. My most recent pies were 60% and worked great.

Yes - a tiny 3% difference makes quite an impact.
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2006, 04:09 PM
tgm tgm is offline
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Fio,

I have read all the info I could glean prior to setting out on this wood fired pizza adventure and I was boggled at all the info on percentages, hydration levels etc. I figured I would learn from a master who has done this all his life from Naples to the US, so how could I go wrong? We have a simple recipe that is as basic as it gets that he had learned in school in Naples and has used all his life. We are following it to the letter and our pizzas come out perfect every time and they are as good as his. We mix the ingredients by hand, let rest slightly, knead for 17-20 min and then form our 9.5oz balls. After 3-4 hours at room temp it forms flawlessly, holds its shape and makes what we consider the perfect pizza. Our guests over the last 3 weeks have raved about the crust and we have had not one negative comment.
Why do I see all the recipe variations in both qty and times for various doughs??
Great forum by the way,

Thanks,

Tom in PA
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2006, 05:48 PM
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Tom,

First, thanks for all your input. Excellent and very useful.

I think at the core, you are touching a something very fundamental. Great pizza ins't complicated, but it takes some basics. A few ingredients -- a brick oven, Italian pizza flour, great tomatoes and great olive oil, plus good methods -- oven management, dough prep, dough handling, pizza prep. It isn't like singing Opera or playing world-class tennis (although Mike, who took classes from Enzo in Naples and at the VPN restaurant in LA, says throwing a great pizza base is as hard as hitting a great topspin backhand). It's something we all can learn.

There does seem to be some room for variation -- within the general guidelines of Italian pizza (or even VPN). How much yeast; fresh or freeze dried yeast; hydration plus or minus a few %; olive oil in the dough; bulk fermenting overnight or in the morning; making dough balls early and putting them in the refrigerator or putting them out to rest first thing are all smaller things that everyone seems to do differently.

Heck, I've talk with many Italian pizzaiolos and asked them each of those questions, and I get a different answer each time -- including different VPN pizzerias in Naples.

The good news is that before forums like this existed, you could put in years of experimenting and not be sure what you were doing. Now, we can all share from each other's experience, and collectively push the ball forward. Not all of us have a friend who was a Naples trained pizzaiolo.

There is only one fixed rule. Don't use a rolling pin.

Saluti,
James
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  #24  
Old 09-02-2006, 06:03 PM
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Default

From what i learned , the same recipe done in two diffent places in the world, cooked at the same heat will still result result in two diffent tasting pies. Something that seems so easy or basic can result in so many many varations.
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  #25  
Old 03-28-2007, 06:51 PM
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Location: Paradise, CA
Posts: 36
Default Re: caputo flour report

Hi all,
Just a quick report to say we had the opportunity to drop by at Forno Bravo on Monday. There we met Peter who gave us the royal tour and listened to my prattle. While we were there we purchased some Caputo flour and a copper brush. I am happy to report that the brush works at least 5 times better than the two row one I have been using and that the crust of the pizza we made with the Caputo flour was wonderful. The dough was more flavorful, easier to work, and crispier than any we have made from various mixtures of semolina (we prefer this to corn meal as a "lubricant" under the pizza), bread flour, and pastry flour.
Thanks Forno Braco!
Earl
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2007, 03:35 PM
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Default Caputo flour weight?

Could someone with a digital scale do an experiment for me? My accurate scale only goes up to 18 oz. Could you weigh a 1000 gram bag of Caputo and tell me how much it weighs? The bag weighs 8.2 grams. I did a weight based recipe and it's way dryer than I think it should be. It's occured to me after the fact that caputo may be upping the weight to be on the safe side.

Thanks for your help.
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  #27  
Old 09-20-2007, 07:07 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: caputo flour report

Very possible they are. Have not heard of any US name brands doing it in recent yrs, but many manufacturers have in years past to avoid conflicts with weights and measures departments. Modern automation (and calibration) has for the most part eliminated this practice.

I deal with the two major big box home improvement retailers; I know this is an example of a completely different product category, but it shows the problems that can be created by a nut who is given a bit of authority - shortly after I started (about 10 yrs ago), an overzealous county weights and measures inspector actually made the 2 HD stores in the county pull all of the bulk (we call hand drive) screws and nails as well as the products of 2 of my competitors in the pneumatic fasteners.....simply because the boxes read "contains approximately 1000, or 2500 (whatever the quantity was dependeing on the fastener). Keep in mind, the bulk (hand drive) fasteners are actually sold by weight (1 lb, 5 lb, etc) and the approximate count was provided as a courtesy, to give the customer an idea of how many equaled 1lb or 5 lb.
That was a tremendous amount of product pulled off the shelves, and took about a week for the stores to get it worked out with the county and the manufacturers. A lot of lost sales.

I'm sure there are still manufacturers who practice the old way (throwing in an exra scoop or handful) to be on the safe side.....Caputo may be one of them.
Great flour, don't you think? I doubt I will ever use anything else, sorry I can't help with the scale. Maybe my next gadget purchase.

RT
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:05 PM
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Les Les is offline
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Default Re: Caputo flour weight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmun View Post
Could you weigh a 1000 gram bag of Caputo and tell me how much it weighs? The bag weighs 8.2 grams.
Thanks for your help.
I'm confused by these numbers. Your scale cannot be off by that factor. I haven't got close to the flour part of this endeavor, so I cannot help you as well. David, what are you doing with a scale that only goes to 18 oz.?

Les...
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2007, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: caputo flour report

I am really enjoying my Escali scale. We even thinking of selling it on the FB Store. It's fast, which is very helpful when you bake a lot at smaller weights, as I do.

Anyway, I just plopped a 1kg bag on my scale, in the paper -- and my scale reads 1009g. Not bad.

I am into a rhythm of baking 500gr batches 4-5 times a week. That gives the family fresh bread for dinner, bruschetta and toast. I've been doing more baguettes than boules, using my 15"x20" stone.

James
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  #30  
Old 09-21-2007, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: caputo flour report

This turned out to be a false alarm. The dough was plenty wet after it's 20 minute rest period, I just was not used to handling that much dough at once.



This is the scale that I'm using at the moment. The center scale is in ounces from 1 to 16. The front and rear scales are in fractional and digital divisions of one ounce. In it's bloom of youth (like mine, long gone) it no doubt had auxiliary weights to weigh more than a pound. I use it for small measurements in the workshop. Note that it's set to my 7.3 inch dough ball weight target. The front scale is set to the 3/16 ounce weight of the takeout container lid I was using as a container. By the way, my dough balls all ended up within the travel of the end scale, so I know that the flour bag was accurate within a gram or two.

After my first batch blew up like a balloon I cut way down on yeast. Here's the formula I'm using at the moment, from the dough calculator at PizzaMaking.com - Pizza Making, Pizza Recipes, and More!

Flour (100%): 1000.98 g | 35.31 oz | 2.21 lbs
Water (63%): 630.62 g | 22.24 oz | 1.39 lbs
IDY (.5%): 5 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.66 tsp | 0.55 tbsp
Salt (2%): 20.02 g | 0.71 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.17 tsp | 1.39 tbsp
Total (165.5%): 1656.62 g | 58.43 oz | 3.65 lbs | TF = 0.06
Single Ball: 207.08 g | 7.3 oz | 0.46 lbs

My scale may be awkward for measuring flour and water, but it's brilliant for portioning yeast and salt to decimal ounces.

So now my eight dough balls are in the fridge in their individual rubbermaid containers with a hole poked in the top, in a three day cold retardation for Sunday. Sombody asked what's next. Maybe a walk-in box?
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