There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.


Preferment for Lehmann Dough Pizzas

Crust of Pizza

Crust of Pizza
Rim of Preferment Lehmann Formula

Adventure in Pizza Making

There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.

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Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza
Sicilian Pizza with Preferment for Lehmann Dough

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven
click on picture to go to post

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Season is this?..Snow in our area today! 10/29/2011

Fall is almost in full force.  The temperatures are dropping, leaves are starting the change their hues and hot beverages are becoming more appealing.

The warmth of summer has bid us farewell.  We are in the middle of two extremes-hot and cold, summer and winter.  Yet autumn itself is an extreme in some respects.  The vibrancy of nature now is retreating into its chambers, waiting to emerge months later in the spring.

As I posted yesterday at http://learningknowledgetomakepizza.blogspot.com/2011/10/last-flowers-of-fall-and-snow-supposed.html it was supposed to start snowing today.  It started snowing in our area about 9:00 am this morning.  The snow sure was coming down fast and furiously.  I mixed one dry mix pizza for an experiment this morning, and also mixed up another attempt for a Mellow Mushroom pizza.  I also started to make some Pot Pie since it is colder and I guess I was hungry for Pa. Dutch homemade Pot Pie since I haven’t made any since last spring.

The power has gone off and back on 3 times already.  Thankfully, it did come back on in a short while.  These are some of the pictures how my flowers are covered in snow today, a few pictures of the Pot Pie making process, and how the snow looks in our area so far today.  I will include other pictures if it snows a lot.  It is unusual for it to snow before Halloween in our area.

I am back a few hours later and it has snowed more.  My chicken Pot Pie is also finished.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pete-zza (Peter) on Pizzamaking.com explains what goes into having oven spring in pizzas 10/28/2011

Pete-zza (Peter) on pizzamaking.com is a moderator, and is very knowledgeable about pizza.  He helps other members understand what is going on in different pizza doughs, and directs members to different links to explain why things happen, or don't happen it different kinds of pizza doughs and baked pizzas.

This was one of Peter's posts on types of factors that appear to govern or to be implicated in oven spring http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg104559.html#msg104559

I learned a lot from that post, but continue to learn each day about pizza dough.  A lot of things about pizza dough are still a mystery to me.  I don't ever think I will understand all what goes on in different doughs or baked pizzas, but I will try to continue to learn.


Last flowers (or last Rose of Summer) of Fall and snow supposed to be in our area tomorrow 10/28/2011

I have been working on cutting down some of my summer flowers and vegetable plants. This time of the year in our area is usually cooler and warmer some days.  I was so surprised to hear we are supposed to get a lot of snow in our area tomorrow.  The leaves are changing colors now, and are so beautiful.  I took a few pictures of some of my flowers that are still blooming.  We had a freeze overnight in our area.  That probably means winter isn't too far away.  I do have a few roses that are still blooming, but not many.  My tomato plants are now all dying.  Hopefully we won't get a lot of snow and have downed power lines or broken tree limbs.  Since the leaves are still on the trees, they could be broken tree limbs if there is enough of heavy snow.

The last rose of summer reminds me of the poem and song “The last Rose of Summer”.


Last Rose of Summer

'tis the last rose of summer, left blooming all alone
All her lovely companions are faded and gone.
No flower of her kindred, no rose bud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes and give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one! to pine on the stem
Since the lovely are sleeping, go sleep thou with them
'thus kindly i scatter thy leaves o'er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead.

So soon may i follow, when friendships decay
And from love's shining circle the gems drop away
When true hearts lie wither'd and fond ones are flown
Oh! who would inhabit this bleak world alone!

The Last Rose of Summer is a poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore, who was a friend of Byron and Shelley. Moore wrote it in 1805 while at Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Sir John Stevenson set the poem to its widely-known melody, and this was published in a collection of Moore's work called Irish Melodies (1807–34). In Ireland, it is claimed that the melody was composed by George Alexander Osborne, a composer from Limerick City.


My Pie Monday on Slice: Texas Rosa, Marinara, Mellow Mushroom, and More!

This was posted Monday by Meredith Smith on http://slice.seriouseats.com/
Slideshow of all the pies sent in by members on Slice.  Click the arrow to see all the pies.

My pie I sent in was the Mellow Mushroom Pie.


Video: Ask Paulie Gee, Week 1 owner of Paulie Gee's Brooklyn, NY from Slice

The former IT-professional turned pizzaiolo is an inspirational story if we've ever heard one, and we're truly grateful that he's taken the time out to answer a few of our questions. Check out the first in our three part series in which Paulie talks about following your dreams, changing lightbulbs, and managing baking while schmoozing
from slice.seriouseats.com

Video: Ask Paulie, Episode 1


Tony G. Makes us a Sicilian Pizza on Pizza Quest 10/27/2011


In this webisode, Tony Gemignani shows us his take on a classic Sicilian-style pizza, such as found at only a few places in New York City, Brooklyn, and other east coast cities, and now at Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco.


Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart on YouTube.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Jet's Pizza Attempt 10/25/2011

This was my next iteration in a Jet's pizza attempt.  Although I used the same formula as I used in my last attempt, and only changed the flour to Better for Bread, my last attempt with Occident flour was better in my opinion.   I used manteca to oil my pan, but guess shouldn’t have used that as the oil either.  The taste of the Jet’s attempt was good, but still didn’t have the crunch on the bottom of the pizza like a Jet’s pizza does.


Next Attempt at a Mellow Mushroom Pizza, best attempt to this date :) 10/25/2011

Well there is some good news, and bad news about the MM’s pie I attempted.  The bad news was I took pictures of the slice of pizza from MM’s that was frozen for Steve before and after the reheat.  Steve got to taste a real MM’s slice, and he did enjoy it.  Steve did agree that my attempt last week was sweeter in taste than a real MM’s slice.  The frozen slice did thaw and reheat well.

Then I went to take pictures of the dough ball and how I opened the dough ball, trying to do it the same way I saw MM’s pie makers form the dough balls and then open them.  The color of my dough ball was about the same as yesterday when I took the first pictures today.  I don’t know what happened, but something strange really went on with the dough ball.  Somehow it became darker.  I thought what the heck it going on with that.  I commented to Steve, why would the dough ball change colors.  I am at a loss to explain how that happened.  Another mystery. After I had the dough ball formed and had taken more pictures, my memory stick on my camera became full.  We were also busy trying to make other pizzas, and I quickly deleted pictures (a whole bunch of pictures) I thought weren’t pictures from today, and then continued to take pictures of how the dough ball looked almost exactly like the MM’s dough balls I saw on Friday in color and in how they handled.  I could even open and stretch the dough like the MM’s pie makers and put it aside bunched together, and then take it apart without it sticking.  That is when I started taking more pictures, that I am now going to post.  The MM’s attempt baked well, with a really big rim and the taste of the MM’s pie really tasted like the MM’s pie I had eaten at MM’s in the sweetness of the rim and had about the same texture, except my pie was more airy.  Steve also commented that my attempt tasted almost like the real MM’s slice he had just eaten. At least to me my MM’s attempt in how the dough handled and taste of the crust did go well. That is the good news.  I think lowering the hydration, and adding light brown sugar with the molasses was a good idea.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our visit to Mellow Mushroom in Washington, DC 10/21/2011

Since I have been trying different formulas for a MM’s pie, and not really knowing if I ever have achieved anything like a real MM’s pie, I had thought about taking a road trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to that MM’s location, but that location is about 4 hrs. 30 minutes away from where I live.  I had noticed that the Adams Morgan MM’s location in Washington, DC, was soon supposed to open.  I asked my daughter if she would take me to the MM’s location in Washington, DC.  She said she would take me to MM’s in Washington DC.  I had to take my mother to the doctors yesterday morning, and go to market to make my preferment, but we were ready to leave about 12:30 pm.  I had Map Quested the route to MM’s and my daughter had put their address in her GPS and it said it would take anywhere from about 2 hrs. 11 minutes to about 2 hrs. 30 min. to get to their location.

Even the road trip was interesting because our fall leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors.  I have visited Washington DC many times, but not in many years.  It took about 3 hrs. to get to the MM’s location because of traffic going down, and traffic in Washington DC.  When we got there it was a nightmare trying to find a parking space and my daughter drove around the streets many times trying to find a parking space.  It seems like as soon as one person pulled out of a parking space another person was waiting to pull in.  Finally we found a parking space about a block and a half away from MM’s.

The MM’s wasn’t busy at all when we went in.  A young lady greeted us and asked us where we wanted to be seated.  I said I would like to be seated near the pizza makers so I could watch them.  We sat right in front of where the pie makers were making their pies.  Our server was very attentive, and helpful in any questions I had to ask about.  I asked if I could go and watch and take pictures of the pie makers and he said yes.  All the pie makers were very friendly.  I didn’t tell the pie makers or the server that I also make pizza.  I just said I was from Pa. and had wanted to try a MM’s pie for awhile.  The pie makers did ask me questions about where I lived in Pa. and I said between Lancaster and Harrisburg.  The one pie maker said he and his mother go to the outlets in Reading, Pa. to shop.  He said there was a diner he remembers that had a big man statue outside but he couldn’t remember the name of the diner.  I said that was Zinn’s diner, but it is now closed.  He said he did remember that was the diner.  The server, kitchen manager, and the pie makers were impressed that we came the whole way from Pa. to try their pies.

I couldn’t figure out what pizza to order, but the Kosmic Karma sounded interesting to me.  My daughter couldn’t decide what to order either, but ordered pretzels and the Capri salad.  I also couldn’t decide what draft beer to try because there were so many, and I am not familiar with all kinds of brewed draft beers.  I had thought about trying Shiner Bock, but decided on the DC Brau Rotating Tap, because it had the DC name.

After we placed our order, I went up to where the pizza makers were stretching the pizza dough and topping the pies.  I asked a lot of questions.  I asked about the temperature of the ovens, and the one pie maker wasn’t sure, but he did look and said the temperature was 500 degrees F.  I remember thinking I wondered how long their pies take to bake.  I did later time the bake of 4 pies.  They were only 10” pies.  I asked the pie makers how long the pies do take to bake and how they know when the pies are finished baking.  They said the pies take around 10 to 15 minutes to bake.  I later confirmed that was about the times the 10” pies took to bake.  The pie maker said that it all depends on how often the oven doors are open and how many pies are baking at a time.  He said each time the oven door is opened the oven loses about 50 degrees in heat.  I can’t still understand how such a long bake can produce such a nice moist rim.  I also asked about if I could buy a dough ball to try at home, and the one kitchen worker said he would get the kitchen manager to come and talk to me after we were finished eating.  I asked the pie makers if the dough is made right there and they said no.  I then asked if the dough balls come in frozen and they said yes, because the MM’s operations want all their doughs consistent, and if the commissary makes the dough they are all consistent.  I said that is a long way for the dough balls to come from the commissary.  I watched and they just take the dough balls out of a refrigerator under where they open and dress the pies.  As far as I could see the dough balls are opened cold.  I also saw two times they opened bags of shredded Grande mozzarella.  The soft pretzels are cut out of one small dough ball as seen in the pictures I posted.  What I found very interesting is the pie makers open up dough balls and put them into a plastic container for later use when they are busy.  I asked if they stretch the dough balls more when someone orders a pies when they are busy and he she said yes, they just stretch them a little more later.  I then wondered how the stretched dough skins don’t stick together.  I didn’t want to ask too many questions, because I thought they might become suspicious about why I would want to know if the dough balls could be defrosted and then be refrigerated again, because they are a new store and I don’t think they have done that yet.

The kitchen manager did come and talk with me after we were finished eating.  I asked him if I could purchase a dough ball to take home and he said he would be willing to sell me a dough ball but Washington, DC has some of the tightest food laws in the US, and nothing that isn’t cooked (or raw) can't be sold.  He also said I wouldn’t have the same results because of using a home oven.  I said I do have a pizza stone in my home oven and do make pizzas at home, but could understand why they aren’t allowed to sell any dough balls. The server and the kitchen manager both said the difference in their dough is the vitamins in the dough, the mountain water from Tennessee, and molasses in the dough.  I asked the server if no sugar is added to the dough and he said maybe a little amount of brown sugar (he wasn’t sure if they add any white or brown sugar) to the dough, but I am not sure if that is correct.  I asked the kitchen manager if they add vitamin pills to the dough and he said no, they just add a special kind of vitamin.  I didn’t ask if that was wheat germ.  

My daughter and I thought the pizza, pretzels, and Capri salad all were excellent.  I had wanted to order a different kind of pizza to eat at home, but since I really like the one I had ordered, I order the same kind to take home.

The GPS took us home a different way and then it only took less than 2 hrs. 30 minutes to get home.  When I arrived at home my great-granddaughter, her boyfriend, and my great-granddaughter were there.  We reheated the leftover pretzels in the microwave, and the pretzels tasted as fresh as when they were just baked.