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Couple of good books

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I picked up a couple of what I think are good books. First one is about pizza and the other is about baking. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Pizza-Practice-Handmade-Focaccia/dp/0399579222

 

https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bakers-Apprentice-15th-Anniversary/dp/1607748657/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1544571854&sr=1-1&keywords=bread+bakers+apprentice+book

 

These are both excellent books. I haven't had a chance to get as deep into them as I want. But I will. I made a mother starter and made some bread and a couple of pizza's. No yeast just my starter. Both came out good. These books cover the nuts and bolts of why and how. Even walk you through making your own starter. You don't have to but its there if you want to.  The pizza book is excellent for anyone who wants to learn or to up their game. I would say the same for the baking book. Tons of great info. The pizza book covers briefly on Kamado type grills and WFO. Recipes are explained in detail to fit what you're cooking in. Both are meant for the home baker. Both cover cooking in your oven and how to get the most out of it. 

 

Lots of tips and technique. These two books complement each other so well. 

 

Just tons of good info. Trust me....get these books. You can thank me later. 

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I've been doing some baking for about 10 years now. I mainly started with pizza because I wasn't satisfied with the pizza I could get around me. Grew up eating some killer pizza in the NE. I can make some killer pies that are really close to what I grew up with. I like NY style pizza. Anyway that led to me trying my hand at baking. Which brings me to this moment in time. 

 

I've fallen down the baking rabbit hole pretty deep. So in my travels I found some good websites. Here are a few. 

 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/    This site has a ton of good info from some exceptional bakers. Some even wrote books. I get on here and get lost reading and following links and the next thing you know 3 or 4 hours have gone by. Good site.

 

I grew up not far from this pizza place called Victory Pig. The pizza is different but very very good. This is one of those that I tried to duplicate and I came across this site while searching around. https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13048.20.html

This site is another one where you can fall into the rabbit hole and not pop back up for hours. Try the pizza recipe. Its a fried pizza and is excellent. But if you do try to make this pie you need these pans. Paderno World Cuisine 15.75 by 11.825 Inch Blue Steel Baking Sheet

Google around and you can find them. Really good pans for baking. Peanut oil is the original in this recipe. 

 

Been using plastic bags and other things when proofing my dough in the frig. It works but sometimes its hard getting the dough out and can screw up your shaping. So I got some of these. https://www.katom.com/370-ADP48.html. These are small and stack onto themselves and are great for retarding dough in the frig. You only need one top because they stack. https://www.katom.com/370-ADPC48.html  This restaurant supply site is the cheapest around. 

 

Came across this site in my travels. https://www.fgpizza.com/  Interesting site with some authentic Italian products. 

 

One more for now. https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/bakers-percentage-demystified/  If you have a hard time wrapping your head around bakers percentage....this is an excellent explanation. 

 

 

 

 

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Thefreshloaf.com and pizzamaking.com sites are great... and rabbit holes, indeed.

 

I found so interesting the predictive models for pizza dough using starter and ADY on pizzamaking.com. 

 

2 other good books are Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast and The Elements of Pizza. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 9:03 AM, landscaper said:

I have those two in my wish list. Just haven't pulled the trigger on them yet. I was concerned they would be redundant. 

 

I got the elements of pizza for Christmas and have just started reading it.  I don't think they are redundant based on his description as Flour Salt Water Yeast is focused on bread with some pizza recipes but in the elements of pizza, its very pizza centered.  He also describes conversations with pizza makers in Italy and how they emphasized pizza is pizza, not bread and that seems to be the direction of the book. 

 

I had the same concern which is why i put the elements of pizza on my list but am going to add FSWY to my list.  Maybe some of the folks that have read both can chime in on the redundancy.

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I got elements of pizza for Christmas from my wife. We’ve only tried one recipe so far but I wasn’t impressed. We tried the single dough ball recipe and it was flat to me. I suspect it didn’t rise at all because of the small amount of yeast in that recipe. It tasted fine but had no rise and not much chew to it. I’m not giving up though but it was a surprise. If we wanted thin crust we would have shot for a thin crust more crunchy texture but that’s not how that recipe is described. 

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I try to bake a recipe at least 2 times to see if it was me or the recipe that screwed up. Most times its me. There is so much that can effect the finished product and how the bread or pizza turns out. I'm not familiar with the book or the recipe so I can't comment on that. Before I really got into baking I had a bunch of failures because I didn't understand all that goes into it. I just followed the recipe and most were pretty vague.  

 

After much reading and research I discovered how much I didn't really know. I have a much better understanding of it all now but I have a lot to learn. The hardest thing I think is knowing what the dough should look like at the various stages of the whole process. That knowledge only comes with practice and repetition. 

 

Everything from mixing time and temperature to hydration levels, fermentation time, flour type, baking temp and on and on. 

 

Don't give up on the recipe and make sure you are following it to a T. Perhaps if you post the recipe and the workflow and what your using to bake and the temp. Maybe I or someone else can help you get a better result. 

 

Happy Baking!

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