David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery

arrow December 11 - December 31, 2022

Sunday December 11, 2022

From Brad: Dave and I have been making pizzas every week for a very long time. When we are together we make them for each other. Dave's got an electric pizza oven, but he likes to use his BBQ. I like using the pizza oven. It started down in the garage and made its way out on the deck with the BBQ. I don't have any of that. In fact, my oven technically only goes up to 500 deg, which is slightly cooler than many ovens. But I still turn out some pretty good looking/tasting pies.

Somebody asked Dave if one could cook a great pizza with just a regular oven. He asked me to reply.....

The trick is a good pizza stone. My oven is pretty big and I can fit two rectangular stones from Pizzacraft into it. They stay there just about all the time on the top rung (the oven only has a top and bottom)  I preheat the oven with the stones for an hour at  the highest temp the oven will go.

pizza stone

You can see they are have been around a long time now. Still work great. The latest rage is a pizza steel. They can get hotter and will be more durable then stone. They also are probably heavier. But they didn't exist back then. If I were shopping now, I'd probably get a steel if I could find one that was the right size.

Dave's pizzas are made using only sourdough starter. I use yeast. I also like a little sugar, some olive oil, and salt, along with the bread flour. Sunday is pizza night, but I make the dough on Wednesday. A long, slow fermentation in the fridge creates a particularly tasty bread.

I'm particularly partial to 'bubbles' and a bit of char so a recent 'thick' pizza was particularly exciting:


That one was a standard onion, mushroom, sausage, about 12".  For my 14-16" pizzas I use the same amount of ingredients--with one slight change. You'll find "00" flour for pizzas which, when used, for me makes a stretchier dough. I like Il Caputo 00 flour, but recently acquired a Vitamix blender and found that griding regular bread flour in it turns it into 00. Which makes sense, since 00 doesn't stand for some special type of bread flour but rather the 'grind' of the flour. For my 'thins' I use 130g of ground flour and 131g of the same flour not ground. For my 'thins' I use about 65g of ground flour and 196g of unground flour. Thus either uses 261g flour. The rest of the ingredients are the same, about 3/4tsp yeast, 1 TB sugar, 1 TB olive oil and about 9g of kosher salt.

I've been kneading the dough in a Kitchenaid stand mixer for many years. You knead bread until it can pass the windowpane test (a small piece of dough stretched thin so that you can see light through it, but it doesn't tear). This can take some time. But recently discovered a trick that seems to make an even better dough. A heavy duty food processor. It does the job in 30 seconds. I found this from the rather brillaint J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who explains it all in an article on New York Style Pizza. He also says that the dough done this way will taste better. I can tell you it has made my pizza better. I used my ingredient proportions.

He even shows pictures on how the dough rises higher in the refrigerator and attributes it to better gluten structure. Recently I was talking with one of the great people at the King Arthur Baker's Helpline and she opined that it could also be due to the blade speed heating the dough up. I found that my 70 deg dough went to 80 deg in 30 seconds. Maybe she is on to something. (TIP: I put the food processor bowl and blade in the freezer for a few hours, makes it easier to get the sticky dough out.)

Here's a side view of a recent 'thick' pepperoni pizza, with great charred bubbles:


I cook the pizza for 12 1/2 minutes in my 500 deg oven (on the pre-headed stones). I then move the pizza to the bottom rung which has no stones and is directly above the (gas) heat. I cook that for 25-30 seconds. It gives it a slight char, and a very nice pizza oven effect. (Any longer and it just burns.) Another TIP: depending on the type of pizza I'm making, I'll sprinkle a little bit of pimento (smoked paprika) over it before baking. It also contributes to the pizza oven flavor.

Another trick: Spread out your dough a bit bot them dimple it with your fingers.around the rim, turn it over and do the same in the same spot. It helps get that great thicker rim and even works with a larger, thin pizza.



Which turns into the perfect Spanish chorizo, red onion, black olive pizza.


Some pizzas don't get all the toppings at the beginning, here's the evolution of a 16" 'thin'. Once again, you can get a great crust in a regular oven. This has sauce, cheese and basil (which has turned black; if it weren't for the next ingredients, I might put the basil on later)...


So now add prosciutto to the cooked pizza. That way it doesn't cook, but just warms.


Finally finish with fresh arugula, olive oil, black pepper and a little bit of Grand Padano or Reggriano:


You can make great pizza at home!

And a memory. Many years ago there was a sit down pizza place a few miles from UCLA. You could get a couple of smaller pizzas that were just right for a date. My memory was of a sausage/mushroom pizza where a ton of mushrooms were covered by the cheese and large chunks of Italian Sausage on top. I've been chasing that pizza ever since. Ten points to anyone who can tell me (write to Dave) the name of the place and their own memories. My best shot at it:


Wednesday December 14, 2022

It is hard for me, Dave!! to come back here and do something on the diary!! Brad is good at doing pizza!!

OK, Pat is in The Big City, for those of you do not know that is San Francisco.........

Susie is 35 years old today so Pat is celebrating with her and.......

Everyone who calls wants to talk to Pat so when Pat is gone until Friday now, these several phone calls, I get, have to be dealt with Pat. I try my best, but Pat and I have a repertoire..........I deal with the wine, she deals with sales and especially shipping, I have the better deal!!, and Friday will be good for me since I have tried my best! to take care of all these nice customers who want to talk to Pat, not me RE: shipping and orders!!

Friday December 16, 2022

What do I do with a cat who drops down in front of me all the time, especially when I have some wine and go into my Movie room. He can not get into Pat's room where she watches her shows so he comes up to annoy me. Seriously he does not know I have a balance problem with my back problems and old age. OH well I try to deal with it, but it is a problem!!

TSLA is still going down and I still buy stock!!

Gee, I just saw, our sunset tomorrow will be one degree later, Oh boy, I love the light in the evening...........

Sunday December 18, 2022.......7 days until Christmas......

Raiders won on an incredible last second play so I was happy!!!

But that Cat was trying to spoil my celebration.........keeps coming in this evening during making a great pizza and sits down in front of me on the floor. Yesterday I finally found out he has been staying in my movie room and dispensing a great deal of fur back in my amplifiers and processors so what can I do???  Pat agrees we need to put him down by his food in the garage, that is where he likes to consume more food, he is real over weight!!

Thursday December 22, 2022.......3 days until Christmas......

Escape..........Some of you who read this rant ARE maybe concerned about my investment in TSLA, the stock, Tesla. Sure I am concerned, it has gone down by more than 60%.......I am not concerned.........that is why I have bought all the way down on a small short term trade so, my long term trades are less Now, $600,000 still, a good gain?..........I like to Keep things in perspective, that is the name of the game.........

Now Tesla is still forcast at doing 40-50% growth so I am still buying, even though I do not like what Elon is doing........he is not GOD who can do everything, like Ford and Tesla are the only Car companies who have NOT been in bankruptcy, yes GM and others had to have the government bail them out............The real bottom line is..............Since 2013 I lave owned 4 Tesla Model S machines, I had Two Corvettes by the age of 26 and then a 914 and 911 Porsche by age 29, then 3 BMW 5 series recently, back in 2012 and earlier.....................ALL pale in comparison, SOSOSO does that mean you or even I should invest in TSLA???.............Dorthy, help me to go up and beyond!! I could put on Red shoes

Sunday December 25, 2022.......Merry Christmas......

Tuesday December 27, 2022

Another week and another BIG drop on TSLA, Tesla. There are rumors the demand for Tesla in China is down and there are confirmed people who bought TSLA on margin and have to sell? Let me think, if they still have demand, this is a big chance to make money???

Wednesday December 28, 2022

TSLA was up a little today so tomorrow will be interesting..........

DID NOT GET much sleep last night!!!........TSLA and a few other things around here to consider, like how to cook a Standing Rib Roast for 16 people tomorrow......Pat is so stressed to have her Family from Modesto here and how do we get 16 people in our kitchen.......She has the hard work, I only have to make a Standing Rib Roast!! Sleep?


For any comments or questions I encourage any of you to e-mail.....david@coffaro.com

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