Author Topic: New Soapstone  (Read 6625 times)

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Offline jever4321

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New Soapstone
« on: July 28, 2010, 11:44:15 PM »
Thermal dynamics must be completely different with 1-1/4" soapstone than a 3/8" standard pizza stone. After mild success with the standard pizza stone, I thought I would branch out and try a bigger stone, so I had one cut for my oven 17-1/2" x 19-1/2". ($50) I used the same tecniques and recipe that yielded decent results in the past, but the bottom cooked WAY faster than the top. Within 3 minutes I had to rescue the pie by cranking the broiler and lifting the pizza off the stone with the peel.

I have another dough ball I will try tomorrow. I'm guessing I will crank down the heat to 450, instead of 550. Anyone have any other suggestions? I'm a little perplexed.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 11:52:09 PM by jever4321 »
-Jay


Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 11:47:04 PM »
Pics.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 11:48:41 PM »
More
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 11:49:43 PM »
.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 11:50:41 PM »
.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2010, 11:58:58 PM »
.
-Jay

Offline sconosciuto

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 01:28:22 AM »
I too am curious to hear what others have to say.  I have a 1/2" corderite stone from Williams-Sonoma and have never had this problem.  My issue is always getting the top crust baked to the right point before the cheese becomes too crispy.

Do you have an IR thermometer to take a temperature reading of the stone?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 02:16:54 AM »
If the soapstone is problematic please send it to me. I'll gladly take it off your hands. I'll even pay shipping. :)

Scons 1 trick to try is pull the pie out when the cheese is done to your liking and then using your metal peel dome the rim against the broiler to darken it without further cooking the cheese.

JT

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 06:36:39 AM »
Jay, first of all, congratulations on your soapstone acquisition.  You've got a beautiful rock there.

Although the thermodynamics are throwing you a bit of a curve ball, what you are seeing is the power of a vastly superior stone.

Your 3/8" stone couldn't brown the bottom of your pizza in 3 minutes.  This ability to transfer so much heat in such a short amount of time gives you, along with the right hydration, a puffier crust.

I'm curious, the pie really doesn't look that bad. Was the taste really that disappointing?

It's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like the stone might be too large for the oven.  Does the door close all the way with the stone in place?  If the door is slightly ajar, that's a pretty major issue. Although I applaud how you're going as big as the oven will take, the door has to close. The other dimension (19.5") concerns me as well.  What's your clearance on the sides?  At a minimum, you need 1/2" on both sides so air can flow from the bottom to the top of the oven.

How many shelf positions does the oven have?  Are you comfortable working with a peel with that much vertical space?  You want to be as close to the ceiling as possible, but not so close that launching the pie is difficult.

If you're happy with your 'mild successes' and want to recreate those, then I think a preheat of 450-475 should achieve something comparable. How long was your bake time before?  475 should be around 7 minutes while 450 should be in the 9 minute realm.  You may still need a little broiler action to achieve the proper browning on top, but it shouldn't be too much.

If, on the other hand, you want to step it up a notch and achieve the chewy puffy pizza of your dreams... then this 3 minute realm is close to where you want to be. You've got the Rolls Royce of baking stones (imo), now it's time to match that with the right flour and ingredient ratios.  What flour are you presently working with? Your previous pies appear to have fairly dense bready crumbs.  The denseness could have been a stone issue, but I get the feeling that the flour might be playing a role.

Where are you at with hydration?  High heat (4 minute-ish) baking time, strong flour and elevated hydration (65%+) is the realm where NY style becomes magical.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 06:42:06 AM by scott123 »

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2010, 08:44:45 AM »
I too am curious to hear what others have to say.  I have a 1/2" corderite stone from Williams-Sonoma and have never had this problem.  My issue is always getting the top crust baked to the right point before the cheese becomes too crispy.

Do you have an IR thermometer to take a temperature reading of the stone?

My IR thermometer was reading around 525 on average, when the pizza went in. This stone holds heat so well. 3 hours after I turned my oven off it was still 350 degrees, and this morning, it's warm to the touch. Around 105 degrees. I turned the oven off 14 hours ago.
-Jay


Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 09:06:45 AM »





Scott, The pie was ok, but surly wouldn't have been if I didn't intervene. The top of the cornice was pretty undercooked even after I held it to the broiler, but ultimately it was pretty tasty for my novice level skill. The dough I was using, which I had the other success with is below. I also should mention that I had a decent amount of olive oil on the dough as it was fermenting.

       KABF, 11.80 oz. (about 2 1/2 c.)
       Water, 7.70 oz. (about 1 c.) (about 65% hydration)
       IDY, 0.20 oz. (1 1/2 t.)
       Salt, 0.20 oz. (3/4 t.)
       Olive oil (light), 0.12 oz. (3/4 t.)
       Sugar, .20 oz.

The stone fits snuggly in the oven, but the door closes all the way without any problem. I am beginning to be concerned that I didn't allow enough clearance for the heat to rise, as there is only 3/8 inch between the sides, and it's hard to estimate the back and front, but it doesn't look like much. In my first try I used my top oven which is smaller, and made me nervous loading the pie. I thought tonight I would use the bottom oven at a lower temp, but then I thought I might be compounding the cornice problem because of a higher ceiling, and lower temp. My lower oven offers convection as well, but Iím not sure if that would help?

I think you are right about trying a new flour and hydration ratio to make a 3-4 minute pie.



-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2010, 09:08:54 AM »
Here's my oven
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 09:10:33 AM by jever4321 »
-Jay

Offline sear

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 10:29:33 AM »
that looks like a really nice setup with the small oven with 2 heating elements.

scott123 suggested to me, and ive been playing around with this....
turn the broiler on for a minute before you load the pie and turn it off  2 minutes after loading. open door at 3 minutes and check.  if your broiler does not come on you may have to turn off the oven 5 minutes before turning the broiler on.  you just have to experiment
time to make more pizza  ;D

Offline sear

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2010, 10:32:52 AM »
My lower oven offers convection as well, but Iím not sure if that would help?


just saw this ... yes try the convection. i want your oven  :-D

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2010, 11:08:48 AM »
3/8", wow... that is pretty tight. Here's what I suggest trying, Jay.  Put the stone in the bottom oven, second shelf from the top. Pre-heat it to 500 with the convection feature on for 45 minutes- with convection, that should be plenty enough time to pre-heat the stone.  After that 45 minutes is up, take temps of the ceiling, the top of the stone, the bottom of the stone and the oven wall beneath the stone.  If all the temps are pretty close, your air flow should be alright. If they aren't (ie, the ceiling is noticeably cooler)- do you know anyone with a grinder or a circular saw with a masonry blade?

Don't worry about the clearance on the back and front.  You don't want to lose any of that precious real estate.  As long as the door isn't touching, you're fine.

Don't sweat the distance from the ceiling too much.  The top of my stone is 5" from my broiler, and, once in a while, when I tilt the peel to launch the pie, it feels a little cramped, but most of time it's okay.  If your opening is between 5" and 7", you should be fine.  I was hoping that moving my pie close enough to my ceiling would mean that I wouldn't have to use the broiler, but I have found that my ceiling doesn't give off much heat- at least not in the 4 minutes that I'm baking my pizza.  Until I put in a ceiling stone, I really have no choice but to use my broiler.  With convection, though- that's a different ball game. Convection gives you considerable top browning without broiling.  Assuming that 3/8" clearance is giving you proper air flow, I would definitely bake your pizza using the convection feature.  For today's dough, I would try 500, with convection, for 5 minutes, with a check after 3.5.

The dense crumb you were getting is typical for KABF.  Like I said before, you've got the best stone money can buy, now it's time to graduate to big league flour. 

http://www.restaurantdepot.com/misc/locations.aspx#midwest

There's a Restaurant Depot in Columbus and Cincinnati:

270 North Wilson Road
Columbus, OH 43204

4501 W Mitchell Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45232-1911

If neither of those is close, I'm sure that a little research will produce a local bakery supplier.

You're doing an overnight ferment, correct? I think your yeast quantity might be a bit high.  Are you getting much volume after a day? Doubling? Tripling? Unless your working with feeble yeast, I would trim that down a bit.  The flour is really the most important aspect, though- once you get your hands on real pizza flour, then we'll cross the yeast bridge.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 11:10:37 AM by scott123 »

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2010, 02:30:32 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I have moved the new stone to the lower oven, which has considerably more lateral room than the top. I now have 1-1/2 inches of air flow on both sides. I will try a 500 degree convection bake tonight, and will post the results. Thanks again for all the help.

On the flour topic; I was at a GFS the other day and they had 25 pound bags of flour that said High Gluten flour. I didnít recognize the brand name. I think they were around $20. Should I try that or get a certain brand at the Restaurant Depot?
-Jay

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2010, 02:49:52 PM »
Gordon Food Service, perfect!!!

They have a handful of high gluten flours, but one of the more popular brands, Primo Gusto, is both a bargain and comes highly recommended. It should be less $17 for a 50 lb. bag.

50 lbs is a lot of flour to store, but, if you want the best pizza, it's the only way to go.

1 1/2" looks great. The oven setup looks like  winner.

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2010, 03:21:09 PM »
It's good to see that people can get this right the first time :D

Congrats on the stone, and hopefully sometime in the near future I'll have a real piece of the same stuff :)

Offline sear

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2010, 03:43:16 PM »
It's good to see that people can get this right the first time :D

Congrats on the stone, and hopefully sometime in the near future I'll have a real piece of the same stuff :)

when i first looked at mine i was like ... "sob! they broke this , glued it back together and sent it to me !"
then i kept looking at it and saw thats just the way it looks

Offline hotsawce

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2010, 04:23:49 PM »
Why not try heating the stone and cooking entirely with the broiler element? You'll have a heat blast from both sides.

Very interested in seeing more...please keep us all updated!