Author Topic: Steel plate  (Read 50286 times)

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Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #240 on: September 11, 2013, 10:33:04 PM »
Quote
Scott,

The man I spoke with there yesterday told me that I should consider not getting the 1/2" because it would be over 50 pounds. I roughly measured the interior and came up with 14 1/2 x 23 1/2, but plan on cutting a cardboard template later today.  He suggested getting the 3/8" thick one.  I explained that I usually make no more than 4 pies in one night and he thought that would be sufficient.  Given those dimensions he said it would be $109.  I haven't finished reading all the way through this thread yet but hope to today.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann,  I paid $79 with no fee for shipping for a 16" x 14" by 1/4" steel from Stoughton.  It seems large enough to meet my needs and @ 15 lbs, easy enough to put into our oven.  I am sure Scott writes from experience, and his advice is good.  While I am sure I could have found a piece of steel for less, the product is beautifully finished and not so much more expensive than a custom cut piece of steel according to posts I've read here.  I think putting down Stoughton for doing a good marketing job is unfair.  They delivered a good product, seems to have excellent customer service, have had excellent reviews from users.  That is costs more is just the way things work.  I am sure if the Mighty Pizza Oven found a market for $400 instead of $259, Jeff would not be unhappy.  I'll be very happy if it performs as advertised.

I am glad the folks here set me straight on how I should use steel and how I shouldn't.  Now I need to make some dough and eat some pizza! ;D


Offline shuboyje

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #241 on: September 11, 2013, 10:42:21 PM »
I think the problem most of us have with the baking steel IS the marketing.

Baking on steel plate was developed, pioneered, and championed on this forum by some of it's members.  The ONLY reason to use steel is to emulate a higher temperature in a domestic oven to achieve faster bakes.  By using steel in conjunction with a broiler most ovens can produce a 4-5 minute New York style pie, which before this method was a rarity. 

When they launched baking steel they made claims it could not live up to.  Not only will it never bake a Neapolitan pizza in a standard oven as they originally claimed, their original 1/4" version does not have the mass needed to cook a 4-5 pie in most ovens.  IF it cannot do that whats the point? 

Couple that with the 10x markup on what is no doubt scrap material from their original business, and you may start to get the picture.
-Jeff

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #242 on: September 11, 2013, 11:28:07 PM »
If they made claims that they can't deliver, that is not good. That they used recycled byproduct and created a business is admirable.  If the product does not perform, it will ultimately fail.  The Internet is too pervasive for bad products to last.  I'll let you know what my experience is.

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #243 on: September 11, 2013, 11:42:36 PM »
While I am sure I could have found a piece of steel for less, the product is beautifully finished and not so much more expensive than a custom cut piece of steel according to posts I've read here.


For the record my steel plate is 1/2" x 22" x 18" and i got it for around $45. Baking steel with the same dimensions would likely be 3-4 times the cost. Also, the difference between 1/4" and 1/2" is night and day.
Josh

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #244 on: September 12, 2013, 05:50:31 AM »
If the product does not perform, it will ultimately fail.

This is not always necessarily the case.  For at least 10 years, King Arthur Bread Flour was the worst flour you could possibly use for pizza.  During that time, I would use it and end up with gummy, unstretchable doughs, and, rather than figuring out the flour was the problem, I thought I was making the dough wrong.  People will go to Naples or domestic Neapolitan pizzerias, love the pizza and want to make it at home.  Because the Baking Steel promises Neapolitan style pizza, they'll buy it. When it fails to produce it, they'll blame it on something else, such as the dough.

We've already seen this happen countless times in this forum.  Almost daily, a new member joins looking for dough advice because they can't seem to able to produce Neapolitan in their home oven.  Stoughton is perpetuating that misinformation. In addition to misrepresenting Baking Steel's abilities in recreating Neapolitan style pizza, they're also doing a tremendous disservice for other styles by not being completely honest about steel's limitations.  It's not a cure all- and they sell it as such.  You've already found out that steel is absolute garbage in a grill. You're figuring out, with our help, other uses for it, but should it fall down to us to repurpose dishonestly marketed products?  How many people, outside this forum, bought Baking Steel with the intent to use it in a grill? How many people bought Baking Steel to use in a gas oven with a broiler drawer?  How many people are out $79 (or more) because Stoughton isn't forthright about their product?

People lead busy lives, and, for some, $150 bucks isn't a lot of money- and worth saving the effort of having to deal with steel distributors.  I'm not knocking anyone for paying top dollar for convenience.  But Stoughton has proven time and time again that they care more about their bottom line and less about truthful advertising. If you want convenience at any price, give them your business, but don't fall into the trap of thinking this is a good company.

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #245 on: September 12, 2013, 07:10:55 AM »
The problem with the depth is that there is a lip on the rack such that if I placed the steel plate on it, especially in two pieces, they would not be flush.  I guess I could see if the rack could be used on the reverse side so the pieces would sit flush on the rack.  Then I could order a deeper plate.  The other option is to order it wider and completely remove the rack and have the plates slide directly on the shelve slots.

I've never seen a rack with a lip that could be successfully flipped. I think they make the racks this way on purpose to prevent people from putting the racks in wrong.

It's difficult to tell from the photo, but rack lips tend to be less than an inch.  Your published spec and your quick measurement involve a 3 inch difference, though.  If the rack is robbing 3 inches from your depth, then I would suggest removing it.  You can buy 4 lengths of steel bar, run the bars from shelf lip to shelf lip and sit the plates on those.

Air flow is critical on the sides, so you can't go wider/run the steel plate all the way across. You want at least an inch clearance between each side wall and the plate.

And, yes, hot rolled steel is what you want.

I'm going to ask if I should try Lehmann's NY style recipe versus the one I've been using from Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie?  I have had good results with that but I've had tearing issues which I know what to do to prevent it next time.  I have only used KASL and plan on it since I have a few bags to get through before my big purchase.  Any advice on a brand (unbleached and non-bromated) that I should try?  I like HG flours for both my NY and Sicilian pies...

Mary Ann, normally when people are happy with a recipe, I don't rain on their parade, but, since you're soliciting advice  >:D American Pie is a horrible book. Reinhart is great for bread, but not that knowledgeable when it comes to pizza. The Lehmann recipe is good, as is the recipe of mine that JD linked to (they're really not that different).

If you use my recipe, you need to go with an appropriate protein content for the flour. You can either work with KABF or you can dilute your KASL with some all purpose (Walmart or Heckers 50/50). Neither approach is ideal, though.  This will probably ruffle some feathers, but if I had KASL, unless I knew I would be making bagels soon, I'd probably throw it out. That's what I did with my leftover All Trumps when I bought my bag of Spring King.  Toss the KASL (or make bagels with it), buy Best Bakers and don't look back.

JD,

Did you get yours in two pieces?

JD pioneered the two piece process  :)

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #246 on: September 12, 2013, 07:13:14 AM »
Glad to hear, what was your bake time at 525?

Of the 5 pizzas that made, they were all between 4.5 and 5 minutes.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #247 on: September 12, 2013, 08:14:28 AM »

Mary Ann, normally when people are happy with a recipe, I don't rain on their parade, but, since you're soliciting advice  >:D American Pie is a horrible book. Reinhart is great for bread, but not that knowledgeable when it comes to pizza. The Lehmann recipe is good, as is the recipe of mine that JD linked to (they're really not that different).

If you use my recipe, you need to go with an appropriate protein content for the flour. You can either work with KABF or you can dilute your KASL with some all purpose (Walmart or Heckers 50/50). Neither approach is ideal, though.  This will probably ruffle some feathers, but if I had KASL, unless I knew I would be making bagels soon, I'd probably throw it out. That's what I did with my leftover All Trumps when I bought my bag of Spring King.  Toss the KASL (or make bagels with it), buy Best Bakers and don't look back.

JD pioneered the two piece process  :)

Scott,

I've already made the dough with my KASL.  We'll see what happens  >:D. I am very intrigued by the cottage cheesy texture.  I can't wait to see what the dough looks like when I re-ball it later. 

If you don't mind me asking, why do you like best bakers flour?  Is it because it is a patent flour, or because of the protein content?  I understand the reasoning behind the bleached bromated for oven spring and texture, but I prefer not to use bleached and bromated flour.  I've looked on the Pillsbury website for more information but I couldn't find anything.  Maybe it's too early and my brain isn't registering what my eyes are reading  :-\

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #248 on: September 12, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »
If you don't mind me asking, why do you like best bakers flour?  Is it because it is a patent flour, or because of the protein content?

I like it for two reasons: bromate and protein content.  For NY style pizza, nothing can touch bromated flour. For at least 25 years, every NY/NJ pizzeria has been using bromated flour, because it produces the best results- by far. It's also proven to be perfectly harmless (I've put in probably 100s of hours researching it's safety).  The protein helps as well- 12.7-13.2% seems to be that magic area where you get good oven spring without toughness, but protein is a drop in the buck compared to the wonders of bromate.

Steel plate will take your NY style pizza to the next level, but bromate will knock it out of the park.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #249 on: September 12, 2013, 09:07:55 AM »
My other BIL, used to own/operate an Italian restaurant/pizzeria awhile back and he swore by Potentate, which has a much higher protein content at 14.3% versus 12.9% Best Bakers.  Have you ever made Sicilian using Best Bakers?  Just curious...
Mary Ann


Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #250 on: September 12, 2013, 09:26:50 AM »
Mary Ann, it's important to keep in mind that kneading and handling dictate gluten development, so a 14% protein flour can make the identical dough that a 13% flour can, depending on how you treat it.  In fact, there's a lot of overlap.  The only difference is that a 14% protein flour gives you the ability to develop a bit more gluten and produce something really chewy, like a bagel.

Because this extra chewy potential isn't there with 13% flour, you don't have to spend a lot of time worrying about overworking the dough/overdeveloping the gluten.  With 14%, you really have to hit that cottage cheese appearance or your texture will suffer. With 13% flour, if you miss the mark, it's no big deal.

I haven't made Sicilian with lower protein flour, but Norma has made some of the best Detroit Sicilian pies this forum (the world?) has ever seen with Occident flour at 12.4% protein. 

Other than bagels, where you really need that chewiness, 14% protein flour serves almost no purpose for bread. Trust me, the Best Bakers will give you some of the best bread and pizza that you've ever baked.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #251 on: September 15, 2013, 03:06:53 PM »
Great.  I look forward to it.  Then the Best Bakers is a two-fer.  It will replace what I have been using for NY style as well as what I use for bread (KABF).  Is it ok to use a steam bath underneath my steel plates for the next time I make bread? 
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #252 on: September 16, 2013, 04:19:01 AM »
Mary Ann, your back isn't going to like hearing this  ;D but the steel plates won't work for bread. If you're baking bread, you'll need to switch back to your old stone.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #253 on: September 16, 2013, 08:44:49 AM »
Ha ha!  That's where my handy double oven comes in  :P. I'll just use the other one.

Why won't it work for bread?
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #254 on: September 16, 2013, 09:08:18 AM »
The advantages of a double oven  ;D

Steel's fast rate of heat transfer is perfect for pizza, but it's too fast for slower baked bread and will burn the bottom before the top is done.

Offline greg c

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #255 on: October 08, 2013, 02:25:58 AM »
Steel plate can deliver on near neapolitan pies in a no-frills home electric oven. I don't know about 1/4 inch plate, but I have 3/8 inch and have badly burned many pies in under 30 seconds; that is, when the plate is 750F or so at launch. I don't bypass the self-clean, since there is none, I simply isolate the thermometer in the oven by placing aluminum foil around it and around the edges of my slab (covering from the perimeter of the slab to the wall of the oven on all 3 sides), thus making a small oven from the top shelf of the oven to the oven ceiling. The idea is that the broiler never cycles off so the slab gets up to 800 and the air temp has topped 1000. I forget which thread, but I got these ideas from someone here at pizzamaking. Anyways, these are self-cleaning cycle temps and probably not great for oven longevity; which I would have gladly risked if the pies were coming out great (some did, but I needed greater consistency).

I'm happier with the steel not on the highest, but second-highest rack. Bottoms cook more nicely when steel temp is around 650F--around 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, about 30 to 60 seconds of doming is needed, (too much time IMO, but wacha gonna do?) so I'm still trying to get the best balance, but at least I'm not as worried about harming oven.

My assumption is that armed with an infrared thermometer one can get good, consistent near-neapolitan results.


Offline hockman4357

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #256 on: October 12, 2013, 06:51:04 PM »
So, if I want the best flour for steel plate baked New York style pizza, am I specifically looking for Best Bakers Spring King flour?  Is that the exact name?  I live in Oregon, and I'm wondering where I can find this flour.

Offline bbqchuck

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #257 on: October 16, 2013, 08:49:15 PM »
I think I saw somewhere on TV where drinking beer makes beautiful women hang around you and laugh at all your jokes and look at you with admiration.  Now that's MARKETING! :-D   I think the mark up on beer might be a wee bit more % than Baking Steel.   ::)


I'm just sayin ...

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #258 on: October 16, 2013, 09:34:13 PM »
So, if I want the best flour for steel plate baked New York style pizza, am I specifically looking for Best Bakers Spring King flour?  Is that the exact name?  I live in Oregon, and I'm wondering where I can find this flour.


They are two different flours.  I have never used Spring King Flour but you might follow this link for Spring King Distibutors in your area, if any.   http://www.progressivebaker.com/distributors/index.html

I bought Pillsbury Best Bakers Flour from a local wholesale distributor here in NJ.  I have been using it for about a month now to make NY Style pizzas and ciabatta bread with great results.  http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/best-bakers-patent-flour-bleached-bromated-enriched-malted-50-lb/133054000?mct=Flour&ct=pizza&typ=Category. It looks like this may only be available on the east coast but you might call Pillsbury to find out an equivalent that they can recommend that is available in your area.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann


 

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