Author Topic: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust  (Read 9371 times)

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Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2012, 10:53:04 PM »
First test run on the 3/4 steel plate will take place for lunch tomorrow.  Its going to be a 14 hr turnaround for the dough so I'm going with a recipe from the nearlypolitan thread adjusted for ADY, a 11.5" pie, and .08 thickness factor:

"00" Flour (100%):
Water (65.519%):
ADY (.7%):
Table Salt (2.44309%):
Total (168.66209%):
141.77 g  |  5 oz | 0.31 lbs
92.88 g  |  3.28 oz | 0.2 lbs
0.99 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.26 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
3.46 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
239.11 g | 8.43 oz | 0.53 lbs | TF = 0.0812

I'm going to cover the oven temp probe with foil to try to get some extra heat on the plate.  Breadman_NZ had success in leaving the foil over the probe for the entire bake so I'll copy his method instead of trying to place the foil on the probe mid-bake.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16889.msg165777.html#msg165777

Eventually I want to cover the probe with something more substantial than foil such as the kiln shelf post or insulating brick that Scott and Don mention.  What do you guys think about oven gaskets over the probe, specifically a thin one (5/16") covered by a thicker one (1").  And I'm thinking out loud here, but how about inserting two layers of oven gasket inside a fire brick for the ultimate mod  :P

here's links to the oven gaskets:
http://www.amazon.com/Rutland-Inc-Gasket-Rope-91N/dp/B000H5SXOI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1325562241&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Rutland-94-Grapho-Glas-Stove-Gasket/dp/B000S6TMUU/ref=pd_sbs_hg_4


Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #61 on: January 02, 2012, 11:32:15 PM »
John, before you mess with the foil trick, try getting a baseline for what this oven can do unmodded.  Pre-heat to 525 for 1 hour (using convection), broiler on, and when it's starts glowing read (about 15 seconds), launch the pie. As the pizza bakes, check and see how long the broiler stays on for.  If the broiler does shut off, open the door.  If you do open the door, turn the pizza 180.

There's a small chance that 3/4" steel at 525 might give you a 90 second bake, and there's also a small chance the broiler will stay on long enough to produce leoparding.  I think it's a long shot  ;D but Rome wasn't built in a day.

Salvatore is working with soapstone and an anemic gas broiler and I notice that he gets a bit more out of his configuration by dropping the thickness factor a bit.

Water, as discussed elsewhere, takes a lot of energy to convert to steam, so if either your stone or top heat are anemic, you might be working against yourself with 65% hydration. Next time, try something more traditional like 62 or possibly even lower.

Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #62 on: January 02, 2012, 11:55:56 PM »
Oh, and the gasket.  With the proximity that it will be to the broiler element, there's a chance it might actually reach 1000 f, so no, I wouldn't mess with it.

Btw, I just thought of two more options for the kiln post

1. Is there anything above the probe that you could hang a wire from?  Hang a steel wire loop and use that to take most of the weight of the post

2. Run steel wire through the two holes in the sensor mount (above and below the sensor) and then run the wires around the length of the post pulling it in tight against the wall.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2012, 12:32:55 AM »
Scott,
I'll go with the unmodded bake and post the results.  I'll also decrease the hydration next time around; you told me to do that earlier in the thread but it escaped my mind this time  :-[.

Regarding the oven probe cover, what are your thoughts regarding insulating fire brick? Will it heat up less than the kiln shelf post? I like Salvatore's method of setting the probe cover in place prior to a bake, but if I copied his technique would the shelf post warm up with the oven and transfer even more heat than an otherwise uncovered probe? 

A picture of the fully kneaded dough ball is attached.

Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2012, 01:02:13 AM »
John, I guess, in the generally scheme of things, the insulating firebrick would probably guarantee you full duration broiling better than the kiln post, but I kind of the like the kiln post because it's an existing item that doesn't require any modification.   If, say, the broiler cuts out at 550, you can pre-heat the oven to 545 (most likely enough for a Neapolitan bake on the bottom), then crank the broiler, and, by the time the heat makes it through the post to raise the probe 5 degrees, your pizza will have been baked.

The other appealing aspect about the kiln post is that eventually it will heat up and the element will shut off- for both the baking element and the broiling element. The insulating brick will block out the heat so effectively that you're going to have to watch the pre-heat carefully so that the oven doesn't burn up. With the insulating brick in place, neither element will ever cut off.

I don't know, maybe the foil will turn out to be viable.  It's been hit and miss for Tyler, but perhaps there's a way to craft it a bit better. The nice potential thing about foil is that, unlike insulating brick, it will let heat through, and, unlike cordierite, if it heats up, it won't stay hot for long.  All you really need is a material that's just insulating enough to keep the broiler on for 90 seconds when the oven is at it's peak temp- and no more.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 01:04:24 AM by scott123 »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2012, 01:46:48 PM »
.....  What do you guys think about oven gaskets over the probe, specifically a thin one (5/16") covered by a thicker one (1").  And I'm thinking out loud here, but how about inserting two layers of oven gasket inside a fire brick for the ultimate mod  :P....


IIRC, these type gaskets don't really perform as insulators.  They are merely a type of material that can withstand the heat.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2012, 03:20:22 PM »
Well, I made the pizza and made a big mistake in the process.  The mistake was that after dressing the pie I immediately launched the pie into the oven without starting the broiler  :o.  After launching the pie I realized my mistake and turned on the broiler, but it didn't glow red until the last minute of a 6 minute bake.  For my next attempt I'll remember to fire the broiler up prior to launching.

Although the crust didn't meet the goal of leopard spots or a huge amount of oven spring it was a delicious pie nonetheless.  It was crispy on the outside and slightly less crispy, bordering on tender on the inside.  While the oven spring wasn't dramatic, it definitely wasn't dense. As you see in the attached pictures there was one leopard spot ;D.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2012, 03:23:20 PM »
I also successfully stripped the rust off the plate using the "evapo rust" product.  Before and After photos are attached:

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2012, 03:41:30 PM »
Temperatures over the course of a 80 minute preheat are listed in the following table.  Plate temps were recorded with an infrared thermometer and oven temperatures were observed on the oven's display.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #69 on: January 03, 2012, 03:59:42 PM »
An hour and a half after the bake the steel plate was still 350F.  Here's a video of the plate quickly melting some ice  ;D:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6WP-ffpIwA&amp;context=C328aaa7ADOEgsToPDskKnoTYWPR-XPhPtJw5x4k3U" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6WP-ffpIwA&amp;context=C328aaa7ADOEgsToPDskKnoTYWPR-XPhPtJw5x4k3U</a>


Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #70 on: January 03, 2012, 05:21:28 PM »
6 minutes?! 6 minutes?!  Oh, man! I was thinking the other day how, with really thick materials, it might take some time for the heat to travel from one side to the other, and that we might see diminishing returns as thicknesses increase, but 6 minutes?! If 1/2" steel plate can do 3.5 minute pies at 530, how can 3/4" steel plate take 6 minutes at 525?

As disappointing as these results are, I think there may be one or two mitigating factors.  The hydration is most likely extending the bake clock.  I also think that, due to the sheer heft of the plate, that 80 minutes might not be quite enough. Is it worth doing again with a lower hydration and longer pre-heat, though?  I guess if you really want to be thorough and don't mind longer baked caputo pizza, go for it (for long baked caputo, it really doesn't look half bad), but I don't think the mitigating factors are going to resolve the issue.

I really thought there was a chance this could be easier, but I guess the pizzamaking gods feel otherwise. I'm not giving up completely on 550, but it might be 575 for the hearth.  I guess it's time to begin the aluminum foil pouchmaking (or start shoppping for insulating brick and/or kiln posts).  Remember, air is the insulator, so big bubbles= good.  Also remember, though, that aluminum melts in the 1200s, so try not to let it actually touch the broiler.

And it took 5 minutes for the broiler to glow? That's also a bit of head scratcher.

Oh, well, bring on the mods  ;D
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 06:52:32 PM by scott123 »

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #71 on: January 03, 2012, 10:58:17 PM »
Yeah, the bottom was finished sooner than the 5 minute mark but since the top of the pie was pale white I had to extend the bake time.  Is it possible that there are diminishing returns beyond the 1/2 inch steel mark?  I found a local insulating firebrick supplier here http://www.hitempincusa.com/index.asp.  My plan is to pick up a brick tomorrow and fashion it into a probe sleeve this weekend. 

On a side note I discovered that I'm a fan of overbaked 00 pizzas  :P. I've read a few posts advising against the use of Caputo in the home oven so I never tried it until today, but I guess I'm in the minority and actually like the resulting crispy texture.  Then again I haven't found many pizza styles that I don't like  ;D. WHat luck is it that the only pizza style that I'm not too fond of, St Louis style, is the one served up in my current location  ::).

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #72 on: January 05, 2012, 07:15:40 PM »
Just started reading this, and because Scott mentioned I was using soapstone, thought I could chime in.  For the last few months I've been using my 1.25" soapstone placed on the top shelf under the broiler, preheating for 1-2 hours, then firing the broiler and baking.  I keep the oven door propped during the bake because it enables my broiler to stay active.  Unfortunately, my broiler is weak and therefore I've been compensating most recently by reducing pre-heat times to get a more balanced approach.  My last pies were baked in 2:00 flat, with great undersides but, nonetheless, no leapording.

I've decided for this week's attempt I'm going to return to my original design and drop the stone to the floor of the oven.  When it is up top, it only gets to 550ish degrees, but on the floor I know it will exceed 700.  (I have found these temperatures can be a bit misleading because the soapstone is so conductive)  My goal is to forgo any attempt at leapording and instead concentrate on the tenderness inherent in pizza Napolitana.  Omid posted some revealing pictures highlighting the differences that occur with temperature, and therefore I'm inclined to go for max heat. 

I will create a barrier of sorts above the stone using some jelly-roll pans and aluminum foil, or perhaps place an older stone directly above in an attempt to get some heat reflection.  Ideally I can create a dome shape using what I have on hand, and it goes well I'll see where to take it next.

Grazie,
Salvatore

Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #73 on: January 06, 2012, 02:45:07 AM »
Salvatore, if you put in a false ceiling, it doesn't have to be dome shaped.  What would benefit top browning the most is if your ceiling were a dark color, like a dark saltillo tile. Dark and as close to your pizza as you can get.

It will also help drive the heat of the ceiling up a bit if you can completely isolate the area above the ceiling, either by filling the whole shelf with the ceiling material or by covering most of the shelf and covering the rest with foil. This could also, in theory, drive up the temp of the soapstone a bit, so you'll want to keep a close eye on temps, but it might give you half decent browning from the ceiling. What I'm describing is basically the workaround for gas oven owners without broilers in the main compartment, which, considering the weakness of your broiler, is pretty much your situation.

As you ramp up the stone and ceiling temps, though, the conductivity of the soapstone might end up burning the bottom of your pizza. In these kinds of scenarios it sometimes helps to have a less conductive hearth rather than a more conductive one.  Before you get a new stone, see what the soapstone can do.

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #74 on: January 06, 2012, 07:04:57 AM »
Salvatore, As Scott recommends, I use a unglazed ceramic tile above my hearth tile also. By all means if your oven is electric seal off the upper shelf as well as possible.
Don

Offline salvatoregianpaolo

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #75 on: January 06, 2012, 09:00:08 AM »
Don,
It's a gas oven, but I like your setup and will try something similar.

Scott,
You are correct that my #1 concern is burning.  This is a different approach to what I've been doing, but frankly my broiler is so pitiful it's worth a shot.

Grazie a voi,
Salvatore

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #76 on: January 06, 2012, 09:18:00 AM »
Salvatore, I have found with the gas ovens here in Mexico it is important to leave some hot air to circulate up to the vent at the top of the stove, when I sealed the top off my burner would not operate correctly and I lost temperature in the oven. Both ovens had to have some air circulate out the vent. Your oven may be different so try it both ways.
Don

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2012, 02:05:42 AM »
6 minutes?! 6 minutes?!  Oh, man! I was thinking the other day how, with really thick materials, it might take some time for the heat to travel from one side to the other, and that we might see diminishing returns as thicknesses increase, but 6 minutes?! If 1/2" steel plate can do 3.5 minute pies at 530, how can 3/4" steel plate take 6 minutes at 525?

As disappointing as these results are, I think there may be one or two mitigating factors.  The hydration is most likely extending the bake clock.  I also think that, due to the sheer heft of the plate, that 80 minutes might not be quite enough. Is it worth doing again with a lower hydration and longer pre-heat, though?  I guess if you really want to be thorough and don't mind longer baked caputo pizza, go for it (for long baked caputo, it really doesn't look half bad), but I don't think the mitigating factors are going to resolve the issue.

I really thought there was a chance this could be easier, but I guess the pizzamaking gods feel otherwise. I'm not giving up completely on 550, but it might be 575 for the hearth.  I guess it's time to begin the aluminum foil pouchmaking (or start shoppping for insulating brick and/or kiln posts).  Remember, air is the insulator, so big bubbles= good.  Also remember, though, that aluminum melts in the 1200s, so try not to let it actually touch the broiler.

And it took 5 minutes for the broiler to glow? That's also a bit of head scratcher.

Oh, well, bring on the mods  ;D

I'm making a new dough tonight and I'll follow your suggestions.  Namely I'm going with a lower hydration of 60%, oven calibration 35° higher (585°), and I'll try not to forget to crank the broiler before launching the pie.  I haven't heard back from the insulating fire brick supplier, but since I'm only looking to spend around $1 I can see why there's no hurry on their end  ;).  Hopefully this bake can serve as a better baseline before employing the oven probe cover mod.  Either way I'll post photo's of the results.

Flour (100%):
Water (60%):
ADY (.7%):
Salt (2.44%):
Total (163.14%):
159.59 g  |  5.63 oz | 0.35 lbs
95.75 g  |  3.38 oz | 0.21 lbs
1.12 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.3 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
3.89 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.7 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
260.35 g | 9.18 oz | 0.57 lbs | TF = 0.0812

Note to self, next up:
Flour (100%):
Water (61%):
ADY (.5%):
Salt (2.8%):
Total (164.3%):
165.88 g  |  5.85 oz | 0.37 lbs
101.19 g  |  3.57 oz | 0.22 lbs
0.83 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.22 tsp | 0.07 tbsp
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.97 tsp | 0.32 tbsp
272.54 g | 9.61 oz | 0.6 lbs | TF = 0.085
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 09:43:49 PM by johnamus »

Offline scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2012, 07:31:04 AM »
John, sounds good.  Lowering the water will definitely give you a faster bake and a much better point of reference for what 3/4" steel can do.  I'm also highly curious as to your feelings on the 2-3 minute caputo bake that you'll most likely achieve.

Sourcing the brick really shouldn't get that complicated.  Look up 'Brick' in the yellow pages and start calling each listing to see if they have insulating bricks in stock.

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2012, 07:47:18 AM »
Most all ceramic supply stores carry insulating brick for kiln building/repair. Very expensive but jewelry making suppliers carry them for silver soldering on.


 

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