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First Spring Pies

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First outdoor pies of spring!  Made with Bay State Milling Contadino "00" flour and my home grown sourdough starter. The starter is VERY mild.  The dough fermented for about 24 hours @ 65 deg and the pies were cooked about 90 sec @ about 850 deg.  Doing it again tonight!

Oh well, I used to be able to post photos from picasa.  If I figure it out will post!  Got it, I think....

Contadino.jpg

and an Easter pizza.  Fresh ricotta, ham and asparagus:

Ham.jpg

Recipe:

100% Flour

63% Water

2.3% Salt

8% Starter

250g balls @ 12-inch diameter

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Escopeton
Nice!

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Ben Hong
I love the look of the crust. What temps and what kind of oven?

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Guest

Ben,

It is a pretty classical Neapolitan dough.  Except very few places use starters anymore.  The flour type is a "00", like Caputo brand.  So it is fine, almost like cake flour, but with a protein content closer to bread flour.  Also the flour is not malted.  It really only works well at high temps (above say 750 deg).

As I noted above, the pie was cooked at about 850F.  850F was on the bottom stone, the top stone was pushing 1000F.  The pie cooked in 90 sec.  The oven I used is a 2Stone Pizza Pro.  It is propane fired and you can get a pretty good balance between top and bottom heat.   Though it lacks the charm of a real wood fired oven, it does a pretty good job.  Also, it comes to temp in 15 - 20 min.!  Obviously, you could run it at lower temps for New York style pizza.

One day I'll build or purchase a wood fired oven.

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Ben Hong
Thanks for the info, Paul. Good to hear from people who know the way to a good pie. I personally use a Big Green Egg, and I have to admit that it does a superb job with pizza (I cook at around 600degrees) and all kinds of breads and other baking.

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tmoneysju
damn! they look good

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Guest

Thanks for the kind words everyone.  I became obsessed with pizza a few years back.

Ben - I've seen many fine pies come off a BGE.  The true nut cases tend to keep trying to raise the stone closer to the top in an attempt to get a more balanced heat. At 600F ish you can get a fine pie.  There are some methods (that you might already know) to get a more open and airy rim.  These would include higher hydration doughs and very gentle handing of the dough.  Extended fermentations and the use of preferments (like in bread making) can also do a lot for flavor and texture.

If you'd like to experiment, I'd be happy to provide you with some recipes to try out.  Also, there are many Canadians on the pizzamaking.com forum.  They have insights into the different kinds of flour available up there.  Bake on!

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tmoneysju
Thanks for the kind words everyone.  I became obsessed with pizza a few years back.

Ben - I've seen many fine pies come off a BGE.  The true nut cases tend to keep trying to raise the stone closer to the top in an attempt to get a more balanced heat. At 600F ish you can get a fine pie.  There are some methods (that you might already know) to get a more open and airy rim.  These would include higher hydration doughs and very gentle handing of the dough.  Extended fermentations and the use of preferments (like in bread making) can also do a lot for flavor and texture.

If you'd like to experiment, I'd be happy to provide you with some recipes to try out.  Also, there are many Canadians on the pizzamaking.com forum.  They have insights into the different kinds of flour available up there.  Bake on!

I sense you were saying there is a difference b/w NY style and Neapolitan, care to expand on that?

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Ben Hong
I sense you were saying there is a difference b/w NY style and Neapolitan, care to expand on that?

I will let paralleli answer more fully, but I believe that the NY variety has thinner crust, crispier on the bottom but still pliable enough to bend when picking up a slice. Some say that the NYC water (!!!) gives a much better taste to the crust... so much so that non NY pizzerias in other parts of the country will import water from NYC. Believe it or don't ???  :<img src=:'>

I am not a pizza freak, only learning to really like it a few years ago when I got my BGE.

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tmoneysju
I sense you were saying there is a difference b/w NY style and Neapolitan, care to expand on that?

I will let paralleli answer more fully, but I believe that the NY variety has thinner crust, crispier on the bottom but still pliable enough to bend when picking up a slice. Some say that the NYC water (!!!) gives a much better taste to the crust... so much so that non NY pizzerias in other parts of the country will import water from NYC. Believe it or don't ???  :<img src=:'>

I am not a pizza freak, only learning to really like it a few years ago when I got my BGE.

I have heard the same thing about NY pertaining to bagels as well

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123
That looks REALLY good!

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Guest

Thanks 123.....

I sense you were saying there is a difference b/w NY style and Neapolitan, care to expand on that?

Never ask an obsessive, they'll start obsessing on you!

True Neapolitan style doughs are made with Italian "00" flour, water, salt and yeast.  They are cooked in a wood fired oven, typically at temperatures above 800 deg.  The cook in 60 to 90 sec.  They are only 10 to 12 inches in diameter, and topped lightly.  One classic pie is the Margherita.  It has just San Marzano tomatoes (no spices), fresh buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte and fresh basil.

Because the cook so fast, they can be folded up whole and eaten.  In Italy, they are eaten with a knife and fork.  Folks who are used to "America" style pies often find the soupy. Because of the high temperatures and lack of malt or added sugar in the dough, they don't really brown too much.  Instead, the crust stays a bit pale and, if done right, has small bits of a char on the rim and bottom.  Below is a photo of maybe not the best example in the world as it is one I made.  Sometimes a fellow just needs some pepperoni....

Contadino%25204-13.jpg

So, the Italians came to New York and had to work with different flours, different tomatoes, different cheeses and different ovens (originally coal fired).  Eventually NY pies became what they are today.  The doughs are typically made with high gluten flours, sauce from California tomatoes with herbs and spices and low-moisture aged mozzarella (like polly-o or the other types you see in the grocery store).  As Ben pointed out, NY styles pies are crisper (they cook longer) and browner because of the malt and often added sugar. Typical NY doughs also have some oil added.  The dough is chewier because of the higher gluten flours.  

Now, there subsets of NY pies including the basic slice joint pie (larger, thinner and not much rim) and what are sometimes referred to as Neapolitan-American pies.  The Ameri-politan piesare cooked at higher temps (600 ish) and more resemble the old coal fired pies.  In my opinion, these types of pies are what can be most successfully cooked in your basic kitchen oven (other than pan type pies).  Below is one I did in my home oven.  It was baked on a 1/2-inch plate of A36 steel instead of the usual stone.

pep.jpg

I like to make detroit style pies too.....

Detroit%252012-7.jpg

A link to more regional pizza styles can be fund here:

Slice - Regional Pizza Styles

More than you ever wanted to know about pizza making including methods, ingredients, ovens, tools and recipes can be found at the pizza maker's version of the Double Gun Journal Forum here:

Pizzamaking.com Forum

I'm tired now!  Hope that answers some questions.  Hopefully, I'll soon have a bunch of bird dog related questions myself.

Bake on.....

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Briarscratch
Damn!  I just drooled.

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12ette
My goodness.  I have a busy week this week, but I would like to get back to you on this topic.

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tmoneysju

awesome reply, keep the pics coming, giving me some inspiration

margherita pizzas are probably my fav style

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