EXPERIMENTING WITH BLUE CAPUTO 00 FLOUR – WEEK 1

The weather this week was bad!  It was cold and if it wasn't sleeting it was wet and windy.  Roll on the Spring.  Making Pizza outside in the midst of Winter isn't so bad though.  The heat of the oven soon warms you up and because you get so focused on the fuel and the pizza you forget about the weather!  Owning a pizza oven is a good way to get outdoors in the Winter.  Before, I used to hibernate but now - I'm outside and enjoying cooking outdoors.

This week we made a Chorizo pizza using the new Blue Caputo 00 flour.  It always takes a good few cooks to get used to using a new flour and Caputo is certainly no different.  Over the last few weeks I've been reading articles and watching videos on how to make dough using Blue Caputo.  I started watching an old "how to make dough" video thinking that the process wouldn't have changed and that any advice would be current and useful.

I was just about to follow this very technical dough process thinking that I had been doing everything wrong.  But I then checked the comments box and the dough maker had simply added 4 years later that the process was no longer used!  All dough-makers are continually experimenting!

I realised after cooking the Chorizo Pizza with the new flour that I was getting a very bubbly dough and needed to change the recipe.  The Chorizo dough for this cook was the same recipe that I had used with the Molino Grassi flour and the same process:

  • Bread maker to knead the dough (my favourite and best results using this)
  • A 6 hour room temp raise
  • A 3 day cold proof
  • Back to room temperature for the pizza cook.

Recipe: 500g Blue Caputo Flour, 3g yeast, 11g dissolved salt, 320g water.

This made the dough very bubbly and I knew that the recipe had to be tweaked for the next cook:  So I made a thinner Mozzarella Pizza with a 1 day cold proof:

The recipe for this Mozzarella Pizza was:

Bread machine to make the dough - 45 min programme.

  • A 6 hour room temp rise
  • Then in the fridge overnight
  • Back to room temp before the cook.

Recipe: 500g Blue Caputo Flour, 2g yeast, 11g salt, 320g water

I realised I needed to amend the yeast quantity due to it rising so much in 6 hours.  This still wasn't enough as I really had to stretch this out.  I probably stretched the life out of it to get it this thin!  I shouldn't need to do that with the right dough recipe.

So, the dough needs more tweaking for a better cook and so for my next pizza I am going to change the recipe to this - a very bold dough move but thought it would be a good experiment!

  • Bread machine for the dough as per usual
  • 24 hour room temperature proof in a big bowl
  • Then form into dough balls and proof for another 9 hours at room temperature
  • Ready to cook.

Recipe: 500g Blue Caputo dough; 0.5g yeast, 11g dissolved table salt, 300g water.

From the above recipe compared to the previous dough recipe I've made quite a few changes.  I've removed the cold proof completely and increased the room temperature proof considerably.  I've also reduced the water from 320g to 300g and reduced the yeast from 3g to 0.5g.  Let's see what happens! 👍

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LIGHTING THE OONI 3 AND MAKING BREAD IN THE OONI PRO PIZZA OVEN FOR THE FIRST TIME!

HEATING AND LIGHTING THE OONI 3 PIZZA OVEN

Thought it was time to bring the Ooni 3 Pizza Oven out again to show how I light it and heat it up with wood pellets.

There are many brands of wood pellets you can use for the oven.  I started off using Ooni wood pellets.  They are great quality pellets and produce vey little black soot in the oven.

However, once that big bag finished I found it more cost effective to move onto another brand called Balcas Brites.  These pellets do produce a lot more black soot in the oven but the cook time and heat intensity is the same so it was a compromise I was happy to make!

It took me a while to get a hang of using the wood pellets - especially when cooking in the wind.  I'd never previously cooked with wood pellets outside and it took a while for me to learn how to keep the pellets topped up on a breezy day.

I did buy a vessel  - a metal funnel - that I popped into the pellet holder to hold additional pellets.  This was useful to help keep the wood pellets topped up.  It saves you re-stocking every 5 minutes.  The only issue with the funnel I used were the air gaps between its round spout and the square pellet holder.

This did affect the cook somewhat as the air got sucked up slightly towards the spout rather than moving forward into the oven area.


 

MAKING BREAD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE OONI PRO PIZZA OVEN

For me, baking bread in the Ooni Pro Pizza Oven this week was one of the most challenging cooks I've attempted so far.  I had done some research to ready myself for this but many of the wood-fired bread cook pro's mentioned that it does take a lot of practice to get it right! My Panasonic bread-maker cooks me a lovely loaf of bread every week.

I alternate between wholemeal and white.  The white tends to rise better than the wholemeal and so for my first cook in the wood-fired oven, white became the safer choice.

So, I started the cook off with the normal white bread recipe I use in the Panasonic:

550g strong white bread flour, 1.5 tsps dissolved dry yeast, 1.5 tsps dissolved table salt and 360ml luke-warm water (I use that to dissolve the salt and yeast in separately).

The dough option on the bread-maker takes 2h 20 minutes and in that time it fully kneads the dough and also gives the dough it's first proof.

Once the dough was ready in the bread-maker I placed it in a banneton for the second proof.  I'd never used one of these before but my aim was for it to give the bread a nice, fancy circular rim pattern on the outside.

Due to bad weather outside which delayed the cook, the dough proofed in the banneton for 1 hr 30 minutes when my plan was to only allow it to proof for 50 minutes.  I didn't want it to double in size.  But over that time it did and if it hadn't been for the cling film tightly wrapped around the outside of the banneton it would have tripled in size!

I should have really and I mean really floured the banneton.  I sprinkled it which wasn't enough.  So the dough stuck to it like glue and now I can't get it off!  I pulled the sticky dough out of the banneton and moved it onto the floured wooden pizza peel with no fancy, circular lines!

I cut a cross into the top of the dough and placed it into the Ooni Pro Wood-fired Oven.

Before I started fiddling around with the dough, I had already heated the oven right up and was waiting for it to cool down to a stone temperature of 260 c.  The air temperature should be around 100c to 180c.  My air temperature was a bit low - about 120c and so it took longer to cook.  After about 12 minutes the oven had cooled down too much and so I had to add a few pieces of kindling to heat it back up a little without creating too much of a flame.

Adding the kindling worked a treat and the oven quickly finished off the bread in a few minutes and gave it a lovely brown wood-fired crust.

Overall, I was really pleased with the result.  The easiest part was creating the dough in the bread-maker and the hardest parts were waiting for the stone to get to the right temperature without the air temperature being too hot.  The other challenge was knowing when the bread was cooked inside.  I read somewhere to measure with a thermometer and if it hits 96 c inside then it's cooked! Yay!

WE HIT 1000 SUBS THIS WEEK!🥳

That's a big milestone for us and I want to thank each and every one of you who have supported the channel, watched our videos and subscribed!!  Also, thank you for the fantastic advice you have given me when my cooking has gone wrong (which seems to be more often than not at the moment - lol!) 🥳

Plus, the channel also got accepted onto the YouTube Partner Programme this week and so adverts will start to appear!  The channel really needs some funding to grow and to do bigger and better things! 👍

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MAKING MOZZARELLA AT HOME WITH A CHEESE KIT FOR THE FIRST TIME – MY EXPERIENCE

This week for the first time ever I tried to make Mozzarella Cheese.  To start off I used an Italian Cheese Making Kit.  I wouldn't have had a clue what to buy to get started.

The process isn't that straightforward and for the first time you do have to be very attentive to the timings, temperatures and process.   As I learnt to my detriment if you get any one of those  wrong it will impact on the moisture and consistency of your cheese.

So, I added to the instructions on the Kit for timings and temperatures and tried to follow them as well as I could.

I think that once you have practiced and experimented a number of times you should be able to get the mozzarella to the consistency that you enjoy.  I will keep practicing and will update you with my progress!!

Two main parts of the cheese making process I'll amend for the next attempt are:

  • to wait for the curds to set for a bit longer than 10 minutes.

  • to not stir the curds when I heat them up to ensure they stay in place and this should create a more moist cheese.

  • to not microwave the cheese to release the whey.  This totally dried out the curds and left me with a very low moisture piece of mozzarella.

Even though the cheese came out very dry that didn't alert me to how it would cook on a pizza.  So I added a few slices of the cheese I made onto a pizza and cooked in the Ooni 3 Wood pellet fired Pizza Oven.

The outcome wasn't what I had expected - the cheese didn't melt at all!  The flames gave the tops of the cheese a smoky crispy grill and they retained their shape.

After realising that the cheese I had made was very dry I really should have grated the cheese onto the pizza - it was the ideal type of grating cheese very much like shredded mozzarella you can buy in the supermarket.

So next time I will be paying more attention to the moisture level of the curd.  Cheese making is a very delicate process and I'm sure with some practice I hope to understand the process better and when I do I will share those updates with you.

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My First Written Pizza Blog!!!

Welcome to my first blog! There is so much coming up in 2019 and this new blog is part of all the new things that I’m really excited about that are happening this year!!

In early 2017 I started making a few videos about places and events to start practising using an iPhone as a video camera. I had never filmed before, never edited or used social media to the extent that I am now so it was a huge learning curve to begin with.

Back then and as I do now, I operate my Got2EatPizza YouTube channel at a loss! And so all the supporting software I use to edit the videos, create thumbnails and graphics etc. have all been made using free software which I list in the description box of all the videos. I will be writing another blog on this very soon. If you are interested in starting a new YouTube channel I’m happy to provide my experience of what I use with no budget or a very limited one and which equipment I use that I already owned to help create videos.

So, back to the pizza! The videos I’ve been creating are a record of my learning journey – learning to make pizza in wood-fired ovens.

I have made many pizza mistakes and burnt more than I can remember but it’s been so much fun to share both the pizza cooks that went well and those that burned out!

From the outset I wanted to share everything. I was and still am learning and if you are new to outdoor cooking and making pizza, things unfortunately are not going to go right all the time. Perfection in my eyes is not a good thing. It creates stress and unhappiness and takes away all the fun of learning!! If there are 2 things that I always don’t mind being when I create videos – they are to be imperfect and unpredictable!

Why do I cook pizza on YouTube? I needed a challenge and the biggest challenge of all was to try to learn and improve.

I am improving and I am having great fun creating, making, baking and cooking pizza and sharing that with you!

So, what am I up to in 2019? Well, firstly I am starting a Blog – this one. My plan is to upload weekly – over the weekend. I will be blogging about my pizza cooks I made for that week – how it went – what went right/wrong etc. I will also be covering other things that I or you feel may be of interest!! And I’ll update with suggestions from the really helpful comments I receive.

And to coincide with the Blogs and this is a big huge learning curve – I will also be starting a PODCAST! The plan for these again – to be uploaded once a week at weekends. This is a new idea and so I will keep you posted on when these will be going up as I am dithering at the moment – I’m not sure which microphone to invest in – should it be a Yeti Blue or a Rode USB microphone? They both come in about the same price.

The other and also very exciting update for 2019 is………I am planning to build/buy a clay/brick pizza oven for the top of the garden. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while but I have so much research to do first. Build or buy? Clay or Brick? Do I try and build it myself to keep the costs down or just not bother doing that and pay the price instead?! I have a lot of research to do for this and so any advice on this and microphones will be warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated!!

I also want to thank you for your fantastic support and amazing advice – your support has helped me to improve my cooking and your patience with me has improved my cooking confidence more than ever – thank you so much!!

Here is to an exciting new and fun 2019!

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