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#41 Nostrana

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:22 PM

Nick,

I have experimented with at least 15 different formulas before deciding upon the one that we use at Apizza. The levain method (sourdough) gave me too much chew for what I was looking for. I have tried using high gluten, which is the standard for American pizzerias, even the classic coal oven pizzas that were my inspiration, but again, I found too much chew detracted from the overall balance. I use low gluten winter wheat flour as it has better texture components as well as better fermentation tolerence. My dough is very wet, which makes it very difficult to work with if enough acidity has not been developed, but that is why we use a 14 hour poolish in the final dough. The acidity will not only bring flavor, but also tenacidy (sp?), so the dough is not too extensible, which helps in the stretching process. The acidity also allows the dough to crisp up enough in the final bake so you get the full spectrum of texture without too much of any one aspect.

We use high gluten Shepherd's grain flour for our dough, but the levain eats Bob's Red Mill Organic, AP. I am sure some of our problems, when we had them could be due to flour spec changes, but all of that is a little beyond my baking knowledge. That is really interesting Brian in what you said about acidity. Our dough rises overnight in the walk in before being formed and is very extensible.

#42 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:22 PM

Ken,

My target is for a freh, bright tomato flavor. I actually changed the sauce recipe so many times and at the beginning were very... busy, I guess, would be the best word to describe. The sauce now is about as basic as can be. Tomatoes, sicillian sea salt and a little herbs. Some people like it to be more flavorful and bold, but for my taste it throughs of the balance of our product.
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#43 Nostrana

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:23 PM

Brian and Cathy: I was in Rome in January and ate several pizzas, although I'm nor certain I hit the best places. While I generally enjoyed them, I found the sauce to be a little on the bland side for my palate. What's your target for the perfect sauce for your pizzas?

For the sauce, great quality canned tomatoes and salt.

#44 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:24 PM

btw, I know we're over the original time for this, though we started a little late. I think I will just leave this topic open for the week so that you three can respond, if you wish. You're welcome to continue for as long as you wish, though. I'm eager to hear about the sauce, because I think you three are most different in the sauces and then secondarily in how you approach toppings.

I'm loving hearing you three discuss your pizza from a professional standpoint. It's obvious you all care deeply about what you produce and are constantly thinking about your produce and continually working to produce a better product.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#45 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:29 PM

Cathy,

You are going to expereince more radical changes from lot to lot with Organic flours then conventional, but no matter what type of flour you use, they are going to come. The most significant changes you will see will be in the hydration and the flour's enzyme activity or what bakers call falling number.

Each flour acts differently to different preferments. I experimented with Shepherd's grain years ago and found it was very good for levain, but not good for poolish. The ciabatta that I made from it was not very good. I also found it to be flavorless, even with a 14 hour poolish with 40% included in the final dough. I have heard that the flour has improved in the flavor profile, but my flour distributor (GloryBee) does not carry it.
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#46 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:34 PM

Nick,

What are you eating there?

The best food in the world has passion behind it and I think that is why each of us are getting so much attention for our pizza. As Peter Reinhart told me, he felt a "connection" with me just from eating my pizza.
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#47 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:35 PM

Ken,

What is your sauce like? What is your target?
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#48 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:44 PM

I find Ken's sauce to be the sweetest, deepest, and most complex, whereas I find Cathy's to be the lightest and simplest. Then Brian's somewhere between. One isn't better than the other. I think each makes sense on their pies.

(btw, I'm eating a BBQ sandwich from LC's in KC.)

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#49 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:45 PM

All this talk about food has made me hungry. I am going to get a taco and a beer.

All members of PF.org, feel free to ask any questions you might have about 'za.

Brian Spangler
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#50 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:46 PM

Mmmmmmmmm... BBQ! Now I am even hungrier.
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#51 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:47 PM

I'm going to head out. (Sushi at Murata tonight, I hope, maybe some pizza after all this talk...) I'll leave this topic open and you guys can continue on. For all those reading this, feel free to post your questions in this forum here:

http://portlandfood....hp?showforum=15

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#52 Nostrana

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:59 PM

All this talk about food has made me hungry. I am going to get a taco and a beer.

All members of PF.org, feel free to ask any questions you might have about 'za.

Brian Spangler

Brian, Ken, Nick
Thanks for letting a Luddite like me into this discussion. I need to go separate pizza dough. Bye.

#53 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:00 PM

Thanks again, everyone. I'll leave this topic at the top of the forum. Check in occasionally to see if people have questions.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#54 sfspanky

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 08:32 PM

Thank you, Nick. I had a lot of fun and I look forward to any questions about baking pizza at home, my own operation or why I am such a "Pizza Nazi".
Brian Spangler
Apizza Scholls

#55 kforkish

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:22 AM

Ken,

What is your sauce like? What is your target?


We put a little bit of fennel seed and some chili flakes in the sauce. I like assertive flavors and we wanted a little bit of zip in it. The sauce credits go to Alan Maniscalco and our pizza cooks, not me. We also make what we refer to as a 'kid's sauce', with just tomatoes and salt, since most smaller children don't like spice. We also leave the basil off our kid's pizza.

#56 kforkish

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:07 PM


All this talk about food has made me hungry. I am going to get a taco and a beer.

All members of PF.org, feel free to ask any questions you might have about 'za.

Brian Spangler

Brian, Ken, Nick
Thanks for letting a Luddite like me into this discussion. I need to go separate pizza dough. Bye.


Congratulations Cathy. You're the first ever Luddite to win Restaurant of the Year!

#57 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 03:38 PM

Thanks everyone. And congratulations, Cathy. I'm going to close all topics now. I think this was a good start to the Q&A thanks to your great conversation.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's