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foolishpoolish

The Best Egg Custard Tarts in Manhattan's Chinatown

I was sceptical about the shortbread crust before coming to HK but having eaten more than my fair share of dan tart now, I have to admit the style has won me over. It's not unusual to find both flaky and shortbread on offer in bakeries here. Tai Cheong is probably the most well-known, and regularly voted the best in HK.
The Macanese/Portugese when done right is awesome too.

Pizza Obsessives: Norma Knepp, Experimental Pizza Maven

The Best Way to Reheat a Pizza Slice

My apologies:
I may have served to somewhat confuse the matter but my last comment.
Retrogradation (as Andrew stated) is indeed the recrystallization process which I mentioned above.
However I don't think moisture loss is the only (or even main) reason for a tough crumb on a cold slice. Hence my link to the article.

The Best Way to Reheat a Pizza Slice

Great method Andrew but I'm afraid I have to disagree on the science you cite for the process of staling.
Gelatinization occurs during baking and is more or less complete by the time baking is finished.

While moisture loss does play a part, the toughening of the crumb during staling is largely due to the recrystallization of the amylopectin chains in the wheat starch (the bulk of the starch, the other being amylose). During a reheat, these chains unwind returning the pizza to a more tender form.

If you want to read more about the process of reheating bread and (in case you were wondering) why microwave reheats don't work well, you might want check out this nifty article:

http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/deliciousnessw09/2010/02/24/bread-firming-its-a-chemistry-thing/

Los Angeles: The Premium Grind at GO Burger

@Damon
FWIW, about a week ago I was at the Hong Kong outpost of BLT Burger (which remains branded BLT for the moment, not "GO" yet...) I had a "classic burger" (medium rare). The result looked almost identical to the one pictured above albeit with slightly more pink The beef blend was the same: sirloin, short rib, brisket and chuck. The burger was underseasoned imho and had too much mustard/ketchup (added by default..grrr). Same pickle, slaw, etc. My order of "fat fries" looked different to yours and I doubt they were cooked in duck fat...tasted pretty ordinary to me. Other menu options included a pricier "Wagyu" burger, "spiked" milkshakes etc. but no dry-aged beef.

Oh and the "Super Juicy" t-shirts were also present; not on the staff but available for purchase.

Overall it sounds like GO burger is an improvement over the former BLT burger...hopefully the changes will be coming soon to the Hong Kong branch.

Glossary: crust terminology

Speaking of pics, I'll take a guess at the upskirt/undercarriage pics.
Left to Right
1) Ken's Artisan?
2) A16
3) Nope...no clue
4) Apizza Scholls?
5) Salvatore's of Soho (SI)

Top This: Mark Bello's Pizza (a Casa) Sausage

If you can't find "smaller fennel seeds" and crushing seeds sounds like a pain, try using the contents of a fennel teabag or two...

Daily Slice: The Comet from Casanova Pizzeria, Boise, Idaho

While I wouldn't call myself a devoted fan, I do like some Belle & Sebastian ("If you're feeling sinister"). However, I'm pretty sure I would never be described as anything approaching "hipster".

Great looking pie though Adam, thanks for the intel :)


Pizza Protips: Pre-Ferments

@dbcurrie
It was not my intention to initiate a Reinhart vs. Rosada (or Lepard, or any other esteemed baking instructor) comparison.
I have no issue with Reinhart using whatever terminology he chooses within the context of his books; it has internal logic, as you say. However his (version of the) terminology often runs against commonly used and accepted terms in the wider baking community. (His misuse of the term "Barm" in Bread Baker's Apprentice being a good example).

The semantic argument becomes less relevant when an explanation of the purpose and application of each preferment is given, hence my reference to Rosada et al.

Pizza Protips: Pre-Ferments

There's a condensed version of those "archived" articles here at:
http://www.bakerconnection.com/artisanbaker/article_04.htm
(c/o scpizza @ pizzamaking)
Some of the missing pictures are present in this version.

Correction to my earlier post: liquid levain can be taken 125% hydration (or even higher?!). Much of this terminology arises from geographically-specific bread baking traditions. Some are interchangeable, some not. Many arose from a need to address specific concerns regarding a favoured style of bread or the characteristics of the local flour.
FWIW Preferments have been used in commercial bakeries as a means to streamline workflow/time management/logistics. Recently, among "artisanal" bakeries there has been a definite shift ?back? towards straight doughs but with less leavening and longer fermentation times.

Pizza Protips: Pre-Ferments

"chef" refers to the storage starter. "pasta madre" or just "madre" would be the italian equivalent.

Pizza Protips: Pre-Ferments

@dbcurrie
I would hesitate to use Peter Reinhart as a reference for terminology. In the past, his books have veered quite far from both correct and commonly accepted usage of terms (especially regarding sourdough and apparently preferments).

Regarding levain:
Levain, regardless of the literal translation of the word, is pretty much universally used by bakers to refer to a preferment made from sourdough starter (chef) + water + flour. It could be a liquid levain or a stiff levain (anything between 50 and 120% hydration). The levain sur levure refers to a preferment made specifically with baker's yeast and would not be shortened to plain levain unless within the context of a given formula.

Regarding biga: (and agreeing with pizzablogger)
Hydration is variable but can often be found at 50 to 60% so I've no idea where Reinhart is picking those numbers from.

Regarding "old rye bread":
The correct term, I believe, is Altus. It is used not only for flavour but moisture in the final product. In (for example)"Jewish" rye breads, rye sour AND baker's yeast are used (the sourdough for flavour, the yeast for leavening). Dan Lepard (in forums/books) explains that in rye breads containing baker's yeast there is a problem with dry crumb. Altus is one way that this issue was addressed (scalded rye would be another solution).

Regarding pâte fermentée: It is old dough. The idea of making special bread dough which is then used as a preferment is daft in any other context than home baking to approximate the practice of using old dough in traditional commercial bakeries.

Regarding Sponge: There are many applications for sponge but a common one is in making sweet, enriched breads where the sponge preferement gives strength to the final dough to compensate for the weakening effect of additional sugar, fat etc. Sponge is not defined as a 'fast preferment'. Overnight sponge, for example, is a traditional english practice for making bread, english muffins etc. Given the same amount of yeast, a sponge will ferment slower than a poolish.

By far the best easily-readable resources I've found for preferments (outside of books) were written by Didier Rosada but have sadly been taken offline. They are, however, available (as I posted on pizzamaking a while ago) via "archive.org":

http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20050829015510/www.cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food4_dec2004.htm

Not only will that guide give accurate descriptions of the preferments discussed but it will also explain the appropriate usage of each - and the pros and cons of one preferment over another (why, for example, a poolish is appropriate for making baguettes (partial answer: extensibility)).


My Pie Monday: Potatoes, Deep Dish, Eggs, and More!

@All MPMers Wow! Super selection of pies
@FredipusRex: Your Pequod-style pizza challenges my (probably entirely unfounded) preconceptions of deep dish. Looks TASTY.
@Norma - the cornicione on your kefir bagel pie looks amazing. I have been following your kefir experiments. Really interesting.
@Pizzacommander you are totally living up to your nick. You do indeed command the pizza :)
@Pizzablogger Thanks K. I'm having a great time.
@Professorplum I concur with David, 85% is wild! Great results.
@Dmcavanagh There is pizza here in HK but i's a little thin on the ground from what I've been able to deduce so far. There is chain pizza (with some crazy topping/crust combos) and something called "Hokkaido Rice Pizza". Searching around on the interwebs there is apparently a "NY-style" pizza place and a Neapolitan place also. Further investigation is certainly warranted.
@AK Thanks :)

Pizza Obsessives: Pete-zza of Pizzamaking.com, a Real Pizza Hero

@Pete-zza
You are too humble, sir! To echo the sentiments of the previous commenters: a big thank you for all your efforts.

@dmcavanagh
Hey there! I've just landed in Hong Kong where, as you can probably imagine, I'm not doing a whole lot of pizza-making or eating right now. Doubtless curiosity will compel me to try one of these bizarre-looking concoctions:-
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2008/02/crazy-weird-asian-pizza-crusts-japanese-korean-hong-kong.html sooner or later. Eek!

@Norma
Bless your heart for saying so. To be fair my own pizza exploits are really just built on the experience of so many other talented and knowledgable folks. Of course, as Pete-zza rightly advocates, I'm always glad to pass on what I can. Your enthusiasm for pizza-making and zeal for pizza knowledge are a constant inspiration (as are your resulting pies!)

Pizza Obsessives: Pete-zza of Pizzamaking.com, a Real Pizza Hero

Pete-zza has, without doubt, one of the most encyclopaedic minds out there on the pizza-interwebs . Pizzamaking.com wouldn't be half the site it is without his prolific contributions both in experimentation/research and his tireless channeling of the forums' many threads and resources. I won't deny we haven't seen eye to eye on some subjects in the past but in no way does that diminish my respect for an absolute treasure in the world of pizza-making.
@Pete-zza I humbly tip my hat to you sir!
@Pizzablogger I can think of no better person to hold this interview than your good self. *Really* great job you did on this one! Also, congratulations to you and yours on the "panetto" you have proofing….or is that stretching a pizza analogy in to slightly disturbing territory?! My bad. Regardless, the sentiment remains the same:- congrats! :)

NY Times Sourdough Starter

With the warm weather, it's a great time of year to get that culture established really quickly.

As an experiment (and because it qualifies as 'fun' in my book!) I thought I'd take advantage of the weather and get another culture going.
Flour + water + (just under) 3 days = healthy (stiff) white levain

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-d5I8XVwLeQ_c8s-leGEoTaimlQ4O7KJXgAOAxdYsSM

Neapolitan Basil: A Flavor That Stands Up Well to High Heat

@Pizzablogger
In the past I've grown Sweet, Cinnamon, Lemon, Bush or Globe (I don't remember which), Greek and some Thai variety. Would have planted some this year but wasn't sure if I was going to be away over the summer.

Those Neapolitan plants look fantastic!

FP

Basil on a Pizza: Before or After Baking?


Four different ways to use basil on pizza:

1) Infuse it in the sauce
Add some fresh basil leaves to your crushed tomato and allow it to infuse at room temp (or overnight in the fridge).

2) Basil-infused oil
http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/10/making-scarpetta-tomato-basil-spaghetti-scott-conant-scarpetta-meatpacking-district-nyce.html

3) Garnish
Perhaps the most obvious way to add that 'fresh' flavour. Caprese salad anyone?

4) Baked
Baked fast enough at high heat, the basil infuses the sauce but the leaf itself also changes flavour from getting v. slightly toasted in the oven. It's similar to the way Nori changes when toasted.

Lou Reed Loves Totonno's

"At totonno’s for pizza and ice cream at al and shirley’s"

I was listening to that album a lot around about the time I was last in NY (back in '96?). Never made it to Totonno's but did have my first (and last) egg cream.

Reminder: Get Your My Pie Monday Photos In!

Greenpoint, Brooklyn: Paulie Gee's

@Nick
Superb photos of Paulie Gee's. Thanks for conveying a real sense of the space and the pies for those of us stuck on the other side of the pond :)

@Paulie
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Congrats, Paulie. Fantastic looking pies, attitude and inspiration - long may it continue.

Top This: How to Use Pea Shoots (Dou Miao) on Pizza

@Adam
I didn't realise you had a gas oven with broiler drawer rather than at the top broiler (as I previously thought). Apologies for any incorrect advice I may have given as a result.

Broiled No-Knead Pizza (No-Knead Pizza 102)

@Aaron
*#$@ing awesome post + slideshow (and I second simon's comment re: photo - great shot).

Bruce Hill to Open Pizzeria in San Francisco, Will Be Called 'Zero Zero'

Oops..and to clarify: 00 simply refers to the fineness of milling - no guarantee of strength, P/L ratio or falling number.

Bruce Hill to Open Pizzeria in San Francisco, Will Be Called 'Zero Zero'

Oh and you might interested to know that Central Milling have added two 00 flours to their range (one 'normal' flour and one 'reinforced'). I'd be interested to hear from anyone who tries them - sounds promising...

foolishpoolish hasn't written a post yet.

Barbecue: Brisket

Each week Joshua Bousel of The Meatwave drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua! [Photograph: Joshua Bousel] My appetite for large pieces of meat seems to increase with the colder weather.... More

Learning How to Make Neapolitan Pizza from Keste's Roberto Caporuscio

Roberto Caporuscio, one of the partners-pizzaiolos at Kesté Pizza & Vino in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, led a Neapolitan pizza-making class last night. Before he began punching dough balls and spreading tomato sauce, he went over the basics. Naples is a couple hours south of Rome, and "the pizza from there is not better, it's just different." He gave us a little history on the famous Naples-originating Margherita pizza, which we were about to bake in the Kesté oven cranked up to 950°F. A baker named Rafaele Esposito whipped up the first pizza Margherita in 1889 to welcome the Queen... More