Author Topic: New Soapstone  (Read 6616 times)

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scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2010, 04:49:30 PM »
That's right, we're back to the 3/8" clearance again. Take lots of temperature measurements  :)

2 1/2" is pretty cozy.  That's Nearlypolitan territory.  As long as your broiler kicks in, you're going to get a lot of top coloring very quickly.  Here's two suggestions:

1. Try to minimize having the broiler on without a pizza in place, as the proximity to the stone will really drive the stone temp up. With the flour you're using, you don't want to drive the hearth temp up too high and take the bake time down below the 3 minute mark.

2. Keep on using the broiler at the beginning of the bake- you want intense hot and bottom heat at the start to get the most oven spring. Because the broiler is so close, I'd probably only turn it on for about a minute.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 04:56:51 PM by scott123 »


Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2010, 11:48:58 PM »
Well, I streched a perfect 18" circle on Sat. flopped it on the peel, sauced it, cheesed it perfectly. When I went to launch it, the back side was stuck to the peel and I wound up making a football shaped pie. It got so thin on 1/3 that it sort of felt like the pie cracked. Needless to say I have been rather discouraged.

I think I am going to try the screen technique, as I still have a healthy anxiety whenever I launch an 18 incher. I have decided to try parchment paper on the screen and pre-bake the crust with sauce only for 3-4 minutes. then I will remove the screen and parchment, add the cheese and put the pie directly on the stone. This seems like kind of a P.I.T.A. but it might alleviate my launching anxiety, and eventual frustration. Hopefully it is a temporary crutch.
-Jay

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2010, 12:21:06 PM »
Jay, true NY style pizza is made with a peel.  A screen will adversely effect oven spring and parbaking will ruin the way the cheese melts. If you want to do justice to the style, avoid both.

18" skins are hard to launch.  Really hard.  They make me nervous, and, for the most part, I feel very confident working with a peel.  I would stick to 16" pies until working with a peel is second nature.

Dusting the peel more liberally with flour helps. If you use a ton of flour and spread it nice and evenly, the dough will never stick.  Also, sanding the peel with course sandpaper helps creates small pits for the flour to the grab onto.

Peel skills don't sprout up overnight.  You just have to keep at it.  Practicing with an extra dough ball helps as well. Make the dough ball, top it with a couple pounds of dry beans and then practice launching it on the counter, sliding it back onto the peel, launching it again- repeating 50 or so times.  Launch it onto the counter over and over and over again. Put a piece of tape on the counter so you have a spot to aim for.

A couple training sessions such as this and your launching anxiety will be a thing of the past.

Edit:  And a 2.5" vertical opening makes launching more difficult as well.  I would go down a shelf if you can.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 12:25:38 PM by scott123 »

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2010, 12:59:26 PM »
You're right about being confident with the peel. I made one out of 3/4 pine that could house a 18" pie, and it's WAY heavier than my little 12" that I bought that was made out of 1/2' pine. So I think that is compounding my problems. I made a pie today using same day dough with the screen and parchment paper and it turned out ok. I'll post the pics. below. You're definately right about downsizing t 16" max size if I continue to launch on the stone. I have sanded my peel wit 220 grit sandpaper using an orbital sander and that seems to make it as smooth as glass. My last disaster just snagged a little bit, and the momentum of that large pie did the rest.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2010, 01:00:52 PM »
pics.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2010, 01:01:46 PM »
More.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2010, 01:33:02 PM »
Another question. Have you ever seen the two peel technique? I saw it on youtube and thought about giving it a shot. I know I'm not going to be a great pizza maker over night, but sometimes it seems like everyone else can do a great job, and i'll never get to that level... Im Italian... Shouldn't it just come naturally... :)
-Jay

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2010, 01:38:12 PM »
Not bad, Jay, not bad at all.  Can you see the denser crumb/slight loss in spring, though?

Although it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, you really don't want a 'glass-like' peel.  With some roughness, the flour while catch and create a surface of it's own.

I haven't heard of the two peel technique.


Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2010, 09:35:13 PM »

Watch at about 2:20 they use two peels and push the pie into the oven. Seems like it could have more control. I think I'm over complicating things. :-\
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 09:36:48 PM by jever4321 »
-Jay

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2010, 10:37:40 PM »
I know I'm not going to be a great pizza maker over night, but sometimes it seems like everyone else can do a great job, and i'll never get to that level.

This is how I feel sometimes too.   :(  I've been working on getting that great NP look but no luck. :(


Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #50 on: August 13, 2010, 09:12:54 PM »
Not bad, Jay, not bad at all.  Can you see the denser crumb/slight loss in spring, though?

Although it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, you really don't want a 'glass-like' peel.  With some roughness, the flour while catch and create a surface of it's own.

I haven't heard of the two peel technique.


I mae two pies tonight, one using the screen technique, and one I launched directly onto the stone. To say the difference was night and day would be an understatement. The screen pie was flat an tough, and the one that went directly on the stone was puffy, light & crispy and awesome. I'll post some pics after I download them. I think I might pitch the screens, buy an aluminum peel and down size to 16" pies per your recommendations.
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2010, 09:17:52 PM »
Cheese pizza was on the screen. Anchovy pie was directly on the stone.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 09:22:42 PM by jever4321 »
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2010, 09:21:53 PM »
More
-Jay

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2010, 10:41:51 PM »
Jay, that is a pretty dramatic difference. When you mentioned a screen, I was expecting one of those wire-y diamond pattern aluminum jobs.  I think the conductivity issue might be compounded even further with a baking pan of that thickness. I wouldn't necessarily throw the pan out, but I think you're on the right track by avoiding an intermediary.

You don't want to pay this price, but this is peel you want:

http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant-supplies-equipment/Product_106935

It's well built, solid, has a beautiful taper, great balance and comes to a nice sharp edge. If I get melted cheese on it, I give it a coarse sanding and it's back to new.

If you want a metal peel, go for it, but the general rule of thumb is wood for launching and metal for retrieving.

I promise you, with this peel and some practice, your launching issues will be over.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 10:46:02 PM by scott123 »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2010, 10:54:38 PM »
You don't want to pay this price, but this is peel you want:

http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant-supplies-equipment/Product_106935

It's well built, solid, has a beautiful taper, great balance and comes to a nice sharp edge. If I get melted cheese on it, I give it a coarse sanding and it's back to new.

Jay,

If you decide to go with the peel that scott123 recommends, or one similar to it, you will want to be sure that you have enough space in front of your oven to use the peel. I once made a similar suggestion to a member and he said that he lived in an apartment with a small kitchen and that there wasn't enough room for him to use the peel. There are 18" peels with shorter handles but the handle can't be so short that it is hard to get a good balance and control of the peel during the loading operation.

Peter


scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2010, 11:04:45 PM »
Good point, Peter.  I guess, in theory, you could cut the handle, but that would probably make it unwieldy.  The beauty of the peel is that you can get an elbow on top of the peel for better balance/weight distribution.

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2010, 08:30:01 AM »
Sorry, my picture was a little deceiving. I did use a wire type of screen, then when they come out of the oven, I put them on the perforated serving tray to cool for a couple of minutes, then to a regular serving tray to cut and serve.

I'm guessing that people don't use aluminum peels to launch because of the aluminum conducting heat too quickly? Would that make the pizza stick to the peel?
-Jay

scott123

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2010, 08:57:35 AM »
Oh, okay, so it was wire.  Hmmm... I thought you'd lose some oven spring with the wire, but that's quite a bit.

Re; aluminum, it's not a conductivity issue, it's just that metal seems less slippery than wood.

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #58 on: August 20, 2010, 10:24:05 PM »
I bought the wooden peel you guys suggested, and an aluminum one as well. The both worked out great. Here are some  pictures of tonights pies.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 10:29:39 PM by jever4321 »
-Jay

Offline jever4321

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Re: New Soapstone
« Reply #59 on: August 20, 2010, 10:25:13 PM »
More.
-Jay