Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 351727 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #240 on: May 31, 2008, 11:56:23 PM »
Essen....Looks like you have the "hot setup" there. Your pizzas look fantastic. How long did it take to cook those pizzas at 900 degrees?

    Villa Roma

Villa,

It's a "hot setup", alright. It was actually a little too hot for my dough formulation (66% KABF & 33% Caputo 00 Pizza) at 900 F. 

I had to let it cool down because I was afraid the bottom of the pizza would just turn into a disk of charcoal. I baked the first pizza at around 800 F but unfortunately didn't time it. I was too busy, and excited, to see the new addition at work.  ;D

If I'd had to guesstimate, I'd say it took about a minute and a half, rotating the first pie twice. The other two were baked at around 750 F, give or take a few and took about 2 mins, with a couple of rotations also. The BGE stone in the lid topped out at around 680 F, without any cracking whatsoever.

All of the pies had a nice oven spring, were crunchy on the outside with a chewy texture. The crust's edge was extremely puffy and light.

If you have a custom metal shop in your area, I honestly think you should give the plate design a shot. So far, I believe it provides extremely good air flow, is responsive to heat control via the gas tank's valve control and heats the stone very evenly.

Mike
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 12:00:25 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #241 on: June 01, 2008, 01:12:29 AM »
MT.....As much as I'd like to spin some adventurous tale about how I acquired this starter when I was on an expedition trekking through Africa fending off wild, voracious, cannibalistic Pygmy monks or that it is a closely guarded family starter recipe that has it's roots in ancient Europe, made with the tears of the Virgin Mary and blessed by JC himself and has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years, I must confess, that although all that sounds very exciting and mysterious, it's just not the case.  :'(  I imagine tall tales such as those shrouded in a cloak of intrigue sell a lot of merchandise though.

Here's how I made that starter. Take the following ingredients and just mix them up and let them sit covered at room temperature, stirring once or twice a day. In a few days it will become active and you can treat it like any other starter.  I like to maintain the hydration level somewhere between a stiff batter and a loose dough which can still be stirred. It'll take a few weeks before it gets really going strong and develops a nice wine aroma.

100 gm pineapple juice
125 gm Gold Medal Harvest King flour
10 grains IDY

    Villa (Indiana Jones) Roma
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 04:33:22 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #242 on: June 01, 2008, 09:06:19 AM »
 :-D Thanks Villa, your explanation was the adventure I was looking for!! I'm always worried my starter will contaminate in some way and I'll lose it. So its nice to know one can get a starter going by such simple means!...

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #243 on: June 01, 2008, 11:53:31 AM »
Here are the pizzas I made today. These are 100% whole wheat except for 1/2 cup of white flour (Harvest King) starter so technically this pizza is 96.25% whole grain. The carefull observer will notice the pseudo leoparding. WATCH OUT OR YOU MAY GET MAULED!  :-D

    It's a jungle out there.....Villa Roma
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 01:33:17 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #244 on: June 02, 2008, 01:09:01 PM »
Villa Roma,
Two questions.
1.) Are those pies ham and pineapple? Your pie always looks so good and you seem to like that combo, I think I see some diced onion also?

2.) How did the top plate work out? Airflow?

Thanks,
Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #245 on: June 02, 2008, 01:46:01 PM »
ehanner.....Thanks and good eye, the pizzas were indeed pineapple, ham and onion. I was going to make a ham, onion, pepper and mushroom pizza but I spaced out and forgot the peppers and mushrooms when I went to the market so all I had was a can of crushed pineapple and an onion.

The top plate worked out real well. The airflow coming from the vent is hotter and more powerful. I got my leg too close and it burned the hair off of it. Those pizzas were done in 3 minutes at a temp of about 675 degrees and were the best I've made yet, nice and light and crispy. I'd like to try a high temp run to see how fast the LBE can cook a pizza in it's latest configuration but I'll have to use white flour for that test and a fresh tank of gas.

The pictures did not come out very good as the battery in my camera was getting low and I couldn't use the flash so they look a little muted colorwise.

     Villa Roma
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 01:20:39 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #246 on: June 03, 2008, 09:27:51 AM »
Villa Roma,
Soooo, Are you thinking that the top vent isn't necessary if you have the side port? Actually yours is blocked now so I guess that's the conclusion.

Are you loading your pies through the cut out? Are you still rotating the cooker instead of the pie?
Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #247 on: June 03, 2008, 12:16:02 PM »
ehanner.....It's six of one or 1/2 dozen of the other, I've made great pizza with just the top vent and also with the side vent. I probably used more gas with just the top vent to create the turbulence needed to make a great pie. With the side vent, air baffle and the low ceiling of the cooking chamber, the hot air is forced over the pizza at high velocity and then out the small side vent creating a pizza wind tunnel of sorts. I still have more testing and experiments like steam injection etc. I'd also like to remove the baffle and rotate just the lid 120 degrees twice during the bake.

I lift the lid when loading the pies and rotate the pizza not the LBE. I loose some heat when I do this but a 3 minute pizza is pretty respectable. I don't get hung up on the 1 minute pizza ego trip thing. Chris Bianco cooks his pizza in the 3-5 minute range and his pizza is some of the best in the world. I like my pizza more on the toasty (not burnt) side anyway.

      Villa Roma

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #248 on: June 03, 2008, 12:44:44 PM »
I did a second run last night with two pizzas, one all veggie, one ham, shrooms, olives and salami. Both turned out quite well and were baked at around 700 F for about 2 1/2 mins. I also changed the formula just a bit by lowering the hydration down to 60%, from 63%, since the first try.

What I noticed about the Fibra -D stone, however, was that the heat distribution is limited when it sits right on the metal plate I installed a few days ago. The heat's to much in the middle of the stone compared to the rest of the stone and it creates a major hot spot.

Since I have two more skins left in the fridge, I'm switching to my cordierite stone, which has "feet" underneath. I can imagine that the heat distribution might be better since it allows for even air flow underneath the stone.

Anyway, the pies turned out quite well.

Mike
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 12:49:55 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #249 on: June 03, 2008, 12:49:32 PM »
And the second pizza...

Mike

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Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #250 on: June 03, 2008, 01:14:59 PM »
Essen....You can make your own feet by rolling up some aluminum foil and then flattening it to the desired thickness. Use three foil feet and your stone won't rock but you will!

    Villa Roma

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #251 on: June 03, 2008, 03:08:13 PM »
Villa,

I haven't thought of your idea. I'll definitely give it a shot and let you know how it worked out.

Mike
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Offline 2stone

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #252 on: June 04, 2008, 12:40:23 AM »
Essen1 and Villa Roma,

Your pies look great, I like the whole olives touch too.
Since you now have a solid base under your stone, maybe
you could drill a small 1/4" hole in the middle and thread it and
insert a bolt from the bottom protruding through the plate about
3/8". With a few fender washers you should be able to raise your
stone up a little, get some airspace and with a small hole drilled in
the bottom of your stone you should be able to rotate your stone like
the 2stone. If you use a sharp object you should also be able to turn the
stone without needing to have any notches in it.


willard
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 08:52:31 AM by 2stone »
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #253 on: June 04, 2008, 12:58:38 PM »
Willard,

I use whole olives because they hold their taste and fluids much better than the sliced ones, which tend to dry out during baking.

Anyway, I like your idea. The only problem I see is that the stone might tilt or wobble if it sits just on the tip of a bolt and some washers. But the idea is definitely worth playing around with. The other option I see is installing a lazy susan on top of the metal plate, and then putting the stone on top.

Mike
Mike

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #254 on: June 04, 2008, 01:26:24 PM »
I use whole olives because they hold their taste and fluids much better than the sliced ones, which tend to dry out during baking.

Anyway, I like your idea. The only problem I see is that the stone might tilt or wobble if it sits just on the tip of a bolt and some washers. But the idea is definitely worth playing around with. The other option I see is installing a lazy susan on top of the metal plate, and then putting the stone on top.

Lazy susan - not sure if the technology has changed over the years, but I would think the high temp's would destroy the lubrication needed to keep Susan lazy but not dead. Do they have high temp proof ones now?

Olives - although I have never tried putting whole olives on pizza, I have done whole cherry tomatoes and I usually lose half of them when shaking the pizza off the peel. Does that happen with the olives or are they glued in place with one of the ingredients?

PNW

Offline November

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #255 on: June 04, 2008, 01:53:12 PM »
Lazy susan - not sure if the technology has changed over the years, but I would think the high temp's would destroy the lubrication needed to keep Susan lazy but not dead. Do they have high temp proof ones now?

I would not be worried about that.  Graphite lubrication has been around for decades and can withstand continuous operating temperatures of at least 842F.  Some other lubricants that have been around a while: Molybdenum disulfide (752F), Boron nitride (2192F).

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #256 on: June 04, 2008, 02:12:59 PM »
PNW,

I always try to strategically place them behind a slice of salami, ham or some other topping  ;D, so they won't fly off the pie once you slide it onto the stone. I also give the peel a few shakes beforehand, so that everything on the pizza can settle down a bit.

In regards to the lazy Susan, Villa used one and if I remember correctly, the lube burned off but it was still working. My concern is that the metal might disintegrate, warp or totally melt when exposed to high heat.

Mike
Mike

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Offline November

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #257 on: June 04, 2008, 02:29:29 PM »
In regards to the lazy Susan, Villa used one and if I remember correctly, the lube burned off but it was still working. My concern is that the metal might disintegrate, warp or totally melt when exposed to high heat.

If you're talking about a Lazy Susan in terms of a design concept, there should be no worries at all.  If you're talking about a consumer grade product intended for use underneath television sets, yes, there's reason for concern.  Stainless steel's linear thermal expansion would only be about 1.4% at 1000F.  That's fine for all but MIL-SPEC tolerances.  Carbon steel is even better at about 0.88% at 1000F.

Offline retrodog

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #258 on: June 04, 2008, 02:57:23 PM »
Ok, so I said "to hell" with rotating the stone. I have a big stainless steel spatula for flipping burgers on the grill. So I just decided to rotate the pizza on the stone periodically. Anyway, heat was coming up around the edge and burning one side of the pizza crust so I stopped that with some aluminum strips that I bent into a round heat shield for the edge.

So now I just:

1. Let grill heat up
2. Slide pizza onto stone
3. Place ring around pizza
4. Cover with lid
5. Let cook 2 minutes.
6. Check pizza, rotate if necessary.
7. Continue step 6 at 90 second intervals till pizza is finished.

The results have been pretty good. I found that letting the pizza cook for an initial two minutes was adequate for firming up the crust enough, as to allow partial pick-up with the metal spatula and roatation on the stone surface.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #259 on: June 04, 2008, 03:53:12 PM »
Retro,

Great idea and a great looking pizza!


November,

The more I think about the "Lazy Susan" idea, the more I like it. My question is where can you get such a thing with a diameter of about 12"? It would also create a pocket of air underneath the stone, resulting in perhaps a less burned underside of the pizza.

Edit: I found one here but it doesn't say which type or grade of metal it is

http://www.bearwood.com/product481.html

Mike
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 03:55:50 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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