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Trying to will summer in today with this #pizza

Olive oil base
Shredded mozz
Goat cheese
Finished with Cilanto
Would have been even better with a squeeze of lime 🤌

All on #sourdough duh

In my podcast interview with @whatsgooddough recently I said the future of pizza is tomato free. He asked if I thought this was a sustainability thing and I said no, I think people are just opening their minds to all the possibilities with pizza and they’ll soon learn that some of the best ones don’t have tomato sauce.

I’d say 8/10 pizzas I make don’t have tomato but rather olive oil or a garlic olive oil base. This really allows the other ingredients to shine instead of having to compete with the heavy acidic and/or sweet that comes from the tomato.

Open your mind and make your next pizza tomato free!

Oh and, is it summer yet?
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Just a tad overproofed.

You can tell because the bubbles popped and the volume dropped a bit after dimpling.

If your #sourdough #focaccia looks like this after dimpling, shorten the ferment time or cool the water down a bit, or use a bit less water.

Flavor is still great don’t worry, but it won’t bake as tall as it would if it was proofed a tiny bit less.

Splitting hairs at this point 😂

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this is wheatgrass

the same stuff your best friend’s mom always used to get shots of at Jamba Juice in the 90’s

wheatgrass is just sprouted wheat berries

wheat berries are milled to become the flour you make bread with

When I planted this wheatgrass, I grabbed an old mug, some soil, tossed in a few wheat berries (wheat seeds), and added water.

I didn’t baby anything. I didn’t put it in a special contraption. I just added water.

This is the same process that is happening when you mix flour and water. Nature takes over. The enzymes in the seed start to break down the stored energy, just like they do when you mix flour and water, converting complex sugars into simpler one, and the structure of the roots and stalk start to form, just like the gluten structure forms in dough.

Some times we overthink this stuff. Do I autolyse or not? How long do I mix? How many folds? How long do I proof? At what temp do I proof? Do I need a special proofing setting on my oven? Am I building enough tension? Do I cold proof?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about this #sourdough stuff, just remember you have nature on your side. There is literally nothing more natural. You got this 👏
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#autolyse #experiment

I was pretty confident about this experiment. I thought FOR SURE this was going to go according to plan.

And then, well, I learned I have a lot more learning to do 😂

The autolyse.

Pronounced auto-lease (like leasing a car 😂) but I always say auto-lice because I learned about it through reading and that’s how I said it in my head and I can’t shake it 🤷‍♂️

In most basic terms a mix of just flour and water. No salt. No sourdough.

At a beginner’s level your taught that the purpose of an autolyse is to hydrate the the flour without the presence of salt. Salt moves water through osmosis to balance salinity so it can actually pull water from the flour as its hydrating. So for high hydration doughs, we’re taught to autolyse.

As you get more advanced in #sourdough , you learn the autolyse is so much more than that and it plays a huge role in kicking off enzymatic reaction.

The first enzymatic reaction we learn about breaking starch into sugar. That sugar is then accessible to the yeast and bacteria. These enzymes are Amylase (which break down starch into complex sugars (maltose and sucrose)), Maltase (which breaks maltose into glucose), and Invertase (which breaks sucrose into glucose and fructose). (See Bread Science by Emily Buehler)

This is what I was focused on in this experiment. Could I extract enough sugar from the autolyse to act like the jar I spiked with 10% sucrose?

No. I couldn’t. Because I forgot about Proteases, enzymes that break gluten.

You can clearly see that the control jar on the left and the one with even just a one hour autolyse acted differently. The autolyse couldn’t hold the gas because it was less strong.

Don’t worry! This isn’t happening like this in your bread. Proteases help break up the gluten to allow it to build more strength during mixing and folding, creating new, stronger bonds.

Some will argue this is actually the true point of the autolyse, to let the proteases do some work for you to help make a stronger loaf. What do you think?

All were fed 1:2:2 with 50/50 bread and wholemeal.

The 12 hour was mixed with warm water, then refrigerated, then brought up to the same temp as the others – 22C
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1 dough recipe, 1 oven, 4 styles of pizza

Yesterday was BEAUTIFUL here in Edinburgh

We threw a blanket out on the lawn and just laid in the sun all day. Add in pizza and that’s pretty much a perfect day.

I used my wood fired @oonihq to do 4 different styles on oak.


The recipe was my go-to 72 hour pizza dough from the ebook.
100% bread flour, 63% water, 2.5% salt, 2.5% olive oil, 10% #sourdough .

I launched the Neapolitan at 470C (880F) stone temp with a big roaring flame and it baked in just over 60 seconds. A true Neapolitan wouldn’t have oil in the dough and would have a little less water. It would also use 00 flour. I did a classic #margheritapizza with Buffalo mozz.

I launched the neo-Neapolitan at 400C (750F) stone temp with a decent flame height but not rolling. 2 min bake. Neo style is #woodfired but has a little longer bake so the crust is a bit sturdier. The bread flour also gives it a thicker base. This style lends itself to so many topping varieties since it’s a bit bread-ier. Here I did my roasted carrot and cauliflower with yellow curry. Baked with just garlic olive oil and jalapeño, then finished with the roasted veg, the yellow curry sauce (recipe in ebook), some cilantro and/or green onion and a squeeze of lime. 😙🤌

Third up was New York style. Hand tossed to 14”, then topped with crushed tomato, granulated garlic, oregano, grated hard pecorino (thanks for the tip @scottspizzatours ), shredded mozz, and fresh mozz. Then I launched at 375C (700F) and kept the flame super small to non existent for a 6 minute bake, only tossing some wood on at the end to finish off the top once I was happy with the bottom bake. Check out @pizzainthesac for more lownslow methods.

Last but not least was inspired by @jerryspizzapdx from his episode on the @whatsgooddough podcast. A tavern style thin and crispy, square cut, well done, no substitutions as Jerry would say. I rolled this out with a pin to a thin 14” and topped with sauce, cheese, pepper, onions, mushrooms, and lots of fennel. I launched 290C (550F) but wished I would have gone higher, 350C (650F) next time. Long bake. No flame. Just the heat from the oven. Killer pie. Will be doing more of these
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Starter timelapse: hydration

Today’s #sourdough experiment focuses on one thing, hydration

Swipe to see the hydrations of each of the jars

Hydration is a term bakers use to tell you how much water is in a recipe, relative to the amount of flour. If you see a bread recipe that says it’s 80% hydration, that doesn’t mean it’s 80% water and 20% other stuff. It means however much flour is used, the amount of water to use is 80% of that number. I have lots of info in other posts and in my ebook on hydration and baker’s percentages so I won’t harp on that here.

What’s shown in the video are 4 jars of sourdough. One fed at 1:2:2, one at 1:1.8:2, one at 1:1.6:2, and one at 1:1.4:2

The feeding ratios I post are always starter:water:flour

So a 1:2:2 example would be 20g starter 40g water 40g flour. Since those last two numbers match, it’s 100% hydration.

1:1.8:2 is 90% hydration
1:1.6:2 is 80%
1:1.4:2 is 70%

The time lapse shows that the dryer the mix (the less water used) the slower the peak and the longer the peak and I think coolest of all, the taller the peak.

This is super flour dependent as to how fast or high it may peak but for any given flour, using less water will delay the peak and may even get you a taller peak.

Now this isn’t exactly true for bread making. Typically you tend to get a taller oven spring with wetter doughs. However that only happens to a point. That crossover point when adding more water does harm to your oven spring has to deal with absorption among other aspects of your flour. You’ll have to get to know your flour to see how much water it can handle.

This experiment shows me that I should try this 50/50 flour mix and 80% water, as I feel like that jar showed the most even structure. Something for me to think about!

For you, you’ll have to get to know your flour(s) and see how much water they can handle.

A quick takeaway for you is that if you need to delay your starter peak a bit, use less water. You can do this in combination with cooler water or a higher ratio to really push out the time. (As shown in a previous time lapse)

All were fed with the same warm water and starter. All were fed with a mix of 50% wholemeal and 50% bread flour.
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The importance of steam and an experiment

A @challengerbreadware experiment inspired by @the_bread_code

@the_bread_code posted a YouTube video recently talking about steam.

When baking bread, steam is super important.

The steam allows the outside layer of the bread to stay mailable while the bread is expanding during the bake. Not enough steam and the outside layer hardens too quickly, limiting the expansion or “oven spring”

Professional ovens have steam settings, allowing you to adjust the amount of humidity in the oven over the course of the bake, more in the beginning, less in the end (if you want a crunchy loaf)

In home ovens we don’t have that luxury. Enter the dutch oven, a home bakers best friend.

A dutch oven designed for bread baking is actually called a cloche and it’s designed to trap steam while baking. (Different from a couche which is used to help loaves keep their shape while proofing)

These baking vessels capture the steam that’s released from the bread to create a steamy environment.

You can enhance the amount of steam with a spray of water or a couple of ice cubes. I tend to go the ice cube route.

@the_bread_code ‘s theory was that it may also help to keep the top of the Dutch oven cooler during the first part of the bake. In theory that would also keep the surface of the bread cooler and more mailable. Accomplishing the same thing as adding an ice cube or two, without adding the ice cube.

So I gave it a go, left bread is top of @challengerbreadware preheated to just 150C (300F) and the right I had the top preheated to 250C (500F).

The results are pretty cool. The cool top bread definitely spread more than the right but the right rose taller.

I’m going to do a follow on experiment with 200C preheat and see if I can get a happy middle ground of spread and lift!

Thanks for the inspiration @the_bread_code !
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Gluten network and how to use overproofed dough

What do you do when you accidentally leave pizza dough out all night and it overproofs?

You take a cool video of the gluten network, duh 😂

Audio on for my wife’s disapproval 🤣🤣

Gluten structure is so cool 🤩

Then you make grandma #pizza of course!

Pan pizza dough doesn’t care if it’s overproofed. You’re not launching it so you don’t have to worry about rips or holes. I divided this 900g dough ball in half, and split it between two oiled pans. I let them relax before stretching and pressing the dough out to the corners. Then we topped with whatever was in the fridge, baked for 20 minutes, and boom! Dinner!

Don’t waste overproofed dough! 🙅‍♂️ you can always do something with it!
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Tiny hands – big focaccia

Tiny hand dimpling #foccacia on this #focacciafriday 🥳

My daughter started a new tradition this week where we bake a focaccia for us and we bake a focaccia for a neighbor. She made a list of the neighbors she wanted to gift focaccia to and we did our first one this week!

Bake for your neighbors, it’s a great way to show someone you’re thinking about this and they are special!
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