Author Topic: baking temp recommendation  (Read 714 times)

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Offline chasenpse

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baking temp recommendation
« on: September 19, 2013, 10:22:16 AM »
Newbie here - I'm in the process of fixing my dough recipe and last night's bake (while tasty) was not what I was looking for. The dough browned on the bottom but the crust remained pale and overall the pie was stiff and flat, not slack like the pizza I've grown up eating...being a native New Yorker it was kind of depressing so I went out to my local pizzeria and bought a slice to make me feel better :D I'm currently baking at 500-550F on a stone set on the bottom of my oven, preheating for at least 30 minutes but something is obviously wrong, just not sure what. Would a lower temp. help with the browning and retention of moisture in my dough?
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.


scott123

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Re: baking temp recommendation
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 10:36:55 AM »
A lower temp would drive more moisture away and only exacerbate the problem.

If you want good color to the crust along with a proper amount of flop, you need a formula with the right amount of water (about 62% for medium high gluten flour) and, more importantly you need heat- and not just the highest temp your oven will go. You need heat in the form of a hearth material and thickness with superior heat transfer, such as steel.

If your oven goes to 550, then preheat to 550.  And unless you have  a really thin stone (which is pretty much worthless for pizza), you should pre-heat it for at least an hour. If the top isn't baking as fast as the bottom, use the broiler during the bake. In order for the broiler to be effective, the stone has to be placed on a shelf that's no more than 6" from the broiler.  For a floppy crust, the goal should be for a less than 6 minute bake. If you're taking longer than that, you're drying it out.

What recipe are you using? What flour?

Offline chasenpse

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Re: baking temp recommendation
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 10:55:40 AM »
Here's what I used last night -

506G AP Flour
286G Water
88G Starter @ 100% Hydration
16G Salt

That puts me at 60% hydration, correct? I've read that most places stay around 58% but from what you're telling me that's too low. Would the protein content of the flour affect what hydration I should be at?

Anyways, I cold fermented the dough for about 42 hours and let it rest 2 hours at room temp before using it, handling as carefully as possible to retain as much CO2 as possible.
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

scott123

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Re: baking temp recommendation
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 11:21:15 AM »
Nick, I think you need to look at few things a little differently.

Whether you're looking to recreate the NY slice from your childhood or the slice you went out and picked up last night, sourdough starter isn't going to get you there.  Sourdough has absolutely no place in NY style pizza. If you're getting this idea from Jeff Varasano, Jeff's a very smart guy, but, when it comes to starters and NY pizza, he's dead wrong.

I'm not knocking sourdough. If you want to get into that eventually, it can make a great tasting crust.  But it introduces a lot of textural variables that can wreak havoc for a beginner with particular goals such as yourself.  For now, lose the sourdough. And lower the salt.  You might find Neapolitan pizza with 3%, but not NY.

The AP flour is just too low protein for NY.  Ideally, you want bromated 12.7%-13.2% protein flour, such as Spring King or Full Strength, but that can be especially difficult to track down.  King Arthur's Bread Flour (KABF) is not quite as good, but will produce far better results than AP.

Tell me about your stone.  How thick is it?  How big is it?  Does your oven have a broiler in the main compartment or is in a separate drawer?

Offline chasenpse

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Re: baking temp recommendation
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 12:13:59 PM »
Thanks for the input Scott. I didn't get the sourdough idea from Jeff, I've seen you mention that elsewhere on this forum before. I originally made a culture for baking bread and it just kind of made sense (at least from my POV) to use it instead of commercial yeast whenever I could. I guess I just liked the idea of sticking to 'traditional' methods for baking in general than using commercial yeast, but I have nothing against it.

I originally started using KABF when I first began baking pies but switched to AP, I'll have to try looking for the brands you mentioned and if that fails go back to KABF. One thing you enlightened me on is my amount of salt - If I understand correctly the % of salt is based off of the total weight of the flour, I thought it was of the total weight but looks like I was wrong!

About my setup - I've got an old stone oven kitchen pizza stone, it's about 1/2" but with the feet it can get up to 3/4" thick. Here's a link - http://brickovenbaker.com/images/ksc_oldstoneoven16bottom.jpg In my opinion it's a notch above decent, I've made pies on a gas grill before at 700F and it took the heat like a champ. My oven in pretty old, the broiler is a separate drawer under under the oven.
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

Online JD

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Re: baking temp recommendation
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2013, 01:59:08 PM »
Sourdough has absolutely no place in NY style pizza. If you're getting this idea from Jeff Varasano, Jeff's a very smart guy, but, when it comes to starters and NY pizza, he's dead wrong.

I fell victim to using a starter via Jeff's website. It wasn't a total waste of time, but I never got what I was looking for until I switched to IDY. I've put my Ischia in storage until I get my WFO, but for NY pie its commercial yeast all the way.

Jeff put out so much information in one fairly organized webpage, that when I was a beginner I believed every word on that page. Now that I've been here a while I know better.



 

Josh