Author Topic: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.  (Read 11972 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline andreguidon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1166
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Hot WFO always !!!
    • www.andreguidon.com
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #80 on: February 26, 2011, 08:06:56 AM »
i agree Scott, we should protect tradition not only with pizza, but also with any culinary tradition, i hate wen people misrepresent any kind o food...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci


Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #81 on: February 26, 2011, 08:48:59 AM »
I agree 100%, Andre. I'm all for innovation, but I treasure history and tradition as well.

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #82 on: February 26, 2011, 09:05:46 AM »
Thanks, Gene  :)

Craig, the point is that, in the culinary world, this book is going to be highly revered.  If it conveys a false perception of Neapolitan pizza (such as the claim that 1/4" steel plate can produce Neapolitan bake times and quality at home oven temps), that perception will make inroads into the minds of culinary professionals and the public at large. I'm not as religious about this as Marco, but Neapolitan pizza deserves to be protected, and when culinary heavyweights attempt to redefine it, it's critical that that redefinition be challenged.

scott123, I couldn't agree more with your posts here and on egullet. 

Offline pizzablogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #83 on: February 26, 2011, 09:22:10 AM »
Thanks, Gene  :)

Craig, the point is that, in the culinary world, this book is going to be highly revered.  If it conveys a false perception of Neapolitan pizza (such as the claim that 1/4" steel plate can produce Neapolitan bake times and quality at home oven temps), that perception will make inroads into the minds of culinary professionals and the public at large. I'm not as religious about this as Marco, but Neapolitan pizza deserves to be protected, and when culinary heavyweights attempt to redefine it, it's critical that that redefinition be challenged.

From someone who often gets very frustrated and pissed off at organizations like the VPN and the sometimes bravado and posturing of Neapolitan "purists" saying their way is the only way to make great pizza.....I couldn't agree with you more either Scott. Very well said. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #84 on: February 26, 2011, 09:52:44 AM »
Thank you, Bill, that means a lot to me.

Kelly, that's very kind of you to say- and also very well said.

Online TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12364
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #85 on: February 26, 2011, 11:07:41 AM »
Craig, the point is that, in the culinary world, this book is going to be highly revered.  If it conveys a false perception of Neapolitan pizza (such as the claim that 1/4" steel plate can produce Neapolitan bake times and quality at home oven temps), that perception will make inroads into the minds of culinary professionals and the public at large. I'm not as religious about this as Marco, but Neapolitan pizza deserves to be protected, and when culinary heavyweights attempt to redefine it, it's critical that that redefinition be challenged.

I agree with you completely in principle, and I agree with what you posted there. The discussion of charring alone exposed that they don't know what they are talking about when it comes to Pizza Napoletana. Then they posted a picture that didn't look as good as most pies posted in the Newbie section of the forum claiming it proves they know what they are talking about. Clearly they don't. Notwithstanding, do you really think you are going to get them to admit, in their forum, that they are wrong about the technique they described in their book that will only sell for $467 if it is, as you put it, highly revered? Particularly after you walk in and slap him across the face with the condescending comment in your first post?

You were right, and you made your point, but you did it in a way that immediately put them on the defensive and brought others, who probably would have agreed with you, to their defense. They stopped listening to you and you told them to take their book and shove it. What more was there to say in that forum. That's why I asked, what is the point?

Scott, I greatly respect your passion and knowledge. Sometimes, however, I wonder about your presentation.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #86 on: February 26, 2011, 11:49:08 AM »
Craig, I wasn't really that condescending, was I?  :)

Egullet is pretty much Nathan's home base and I was posting to a thread of adoring fans. I knew that, regardless of what I said, I was going to get a beating, so I came out swinging.  The aluminum comment was a bit harsh- and wrong, and, if I could go back, I would have kept my mouth shut on that, but, everything else, I stand by.

My goal was not to make friends or change member's minds.  My goal was to get my feelings across to Nathan.  Which, I think, I did.  Right now, the book is 3/4" steel plate.  I believe in that. After the discussion, if he thinks twice about revising it to 1/4", then I've done my job.

You can always catch more flies with honey, but you should know by know that I'm a New Yorker... born and bred... and this is pizza.


Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #87 on: February 26, 2011, 12:28:22 PM »
Sounds good, Mark.  

Top and bottom stone temp readings would be great, and, if you really want to go the extra mile  ;)  could you take readings of

Oven ceiling
Oven wall above the foil
Oven wall below the foil

As I've mentioned earlier, in order for the bottom element to stay on for 40 minutes, the top compartment has to be quite a bit cooler than the bottom compartment. How much cooler is what I'm interested in finding out.

OK...here we go :D

1.25" soapstone placed in top position of 11-year old electric oven, rack is wrapped on both sides to restrict air flow to the thermometer.  Stone is centered on foil wrapped rack.  Temp probe is located in upper left corner of oven.

Bottom Measurements:
Stone - 545
Left Wall - 696/709
Right Wall - 683
Floor - 702
Back Wall - 690/682

Top Measurements:
Stone - 485
Left Wall - 520
Right Wall - 500
Ceiling - 477
Back Wall - 484/492

I took all readings twice with door opened minimally between multiple points.  Bottom element was engaged for nearly 45m  :o :)

Post Broiler Blast (4m):
Stone - 612/645
Left Wall - 662
Right Wall - 631
Ceiling - 794
Back Wall - 656

Mark
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:08:13 PM by StrayBullet »

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #88 on: February 26, 2011, 12:56:00 PM »
Wow, Mark, really nice job.  Well done!

Now, as far as the numbers go, I'm seeing some interesting things here.  As predicted, the lower compartment is about 100-150 degrees hotter than the top. The 485-545 disparity on the stone- that makes a lot of sense, as it's going to take a long time for heat to travel, for the most part, from one side to the other. Thermal mass, as I said earlier is a disadvantage here.

I know Larry has pretty much put the no gap 1/4" steel plate method to rest, but I'm still holding out a little hope.  Foil is going to let a lot more heat pass through it than 1/4" steel will in the same amount of time. An oven's btu/wattage is going to play a part- the more heat the bottom burner can pump out, the greater the disparity, the hotter the plate will get before the thermostat cuts off the burner.

At the end of the day, even if the no gap technique does work, it's most likely only going to work well for one pie- which really doesn't make it all that viable.

Offline thezaman

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1890
  • Age: 60
  • Location: ohio
  • I Love Pizza!
    • lorenzos pizza
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #89 on: February 26, 2011, 12:57:12 PM »
 scott, after the explanation given by  egullet that you have use the broiler to get your base temp up. their method may work to get a sub three minute pizza. i have to say that i have had wood fired pizzas made with caputo taste worse than the ones i made using my 1/4 steel slab and my broiler to finish the top. some restaurants do not cook at high enough temperatures to maximize caputo flour.
 if you look at their pizza that they are using to demonstrate the method it looks more ny style than neapolitan. i would like to see the recipe that is included in their method. i am going to take the added information from egullet and try again. i will heat my base of steel as high as i can with my normal oven then broil till the plate is 700 degrees bake and finish under the broiler. i have to admit the leftover pizza warmed slightly was pretty darn good. i don't think their method work perfectly ,but may be a starting point for us pizza freaks to make modifications that will a good alternative to wood fired pizza.


Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2011, 01:05:16 PM »
Sounds good Larry, please take lots of temperature readings- especially readings of the top and the bottom of the steel plate right before baking. I'd also be interested to hear, once the stone is fully pre-heated using the normal oven bake setting, how long your broiler stays red for.

Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #91 on: February 26, 2011, 04:30:21 PM »
Wow, Mark, really nice job.  Well done!...

At the end of the day, even if the no gap technique does work, it's most likely only going to work well for one pie- which really doesn't make it all that viable.

Thanks and for my application at least, I've learned a lot about my oven.  I think I'll do the pre-heat with the stone in the bottom position, then move it to the top to bake under the broiler element.  For me, the stone had more heat inside the 40m with it on the bottom.  With 10 minute interval 2-minute broiler blasts, then one last blast as the pie is launched should make for a short bake time.  And for me, I don't think the recovery time would be too bad if I had to thrown more pies.

When my wife's cousin and his family of 6 dropped by on their way home, I bake off 5 pies for them, and I didn't have too much trouble between pies and bake times :)

Mark

Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Complete and Utter Failure
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2011, 05:49:04 PM »
But again, that's how we learn right?

I post these pics, not of failure but what can I learn from them?

This was a 60% 00 with 25% starter that stuck to the peel and no matter what I did, I could not un-stick an area.  So before it was pitched, I folded it over and calzone here we come.

This was 3 minutes and I see good spotting that most likely would have translated well to the rim and a nice crust, that again if thrown correctly would've done nicely.

I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow :D

Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #93 on: February 27, 2011, 07:38:44 PM »
For the sake of not making anecdotal assumptions, I wanted to run the same set temperature readings while heating the stone on the bottom-most position with the same foil wrapped ends.  The bottom element again stayed on full bore for 40 minutes, then I moved the stone/rack to the upper-most position and hit it with the broiler, which stayed engaged for 3 minutes.

I've definitely learned a ton about what my oven can do, the temps my stone can reach and how I can best leverage the information  :chef:

Bottom Measurements:
Stone - 600
Left Wall - 900
Right Wall - 849
Floor - 736
Back Wall - 850

Top Measurements:
Stone - 578/583
Left Wall - 487
Right Wall - 467
Ceiling - 460/483
Back Wall - 474

Post Broiler Blast (3m):
Stone - 685/725
Left Wall - 677
Right Wall - 653
Ceiling - 834
Back Wall - 660

Once moving to the upper rack, I usually blast the broiler at 10 minutes intervals for an hour but I was never able to achieve the 700o mark like I did with the initial blast.  After each subsequent broiler blast the temp of the stone ranged from 640-680.

I don't know if this helps anyone else but as mentioned, I've sure learned a TON!!!!

Mark

Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #94 on: February 27, 2011, 07:56:54 PM »
This was a 3 minute pie and like the disaster yesterday is not perfect, but it does show what is possible if I leverage my best cooking time.

OO 55% hydration with 30% starter, 2% salt and a pinch of IDY at 6-hour room temp ferment.  20 minute rest after 75% of the flour was added to water/salt.  Then added starter and remaining flour and kneaded on low speed in mixer for 4 minutes.  Bulk ferment for 1 hour, then divided and balled for 5 hours at room temp.

Offline StrayBullet

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 426
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2011, 09:47:51 AM »
At the end of the day, even if the no gap technique does work, it's most likely only going to work well for one pie- which really doesn't make it all that viable.

I now know what you mean by this statement...you've really helped me immensely this weekend Scott!!!  Thanks  :chef:

Mark

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6925
Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2011, 11:09:30 AM »
Sure thing, Mark  ;D I applaud your progress.  As far as I can tell, you've completely mastered Neo-NY, and, in time, I have no doubt you'll vanquish the Neapolitan hurdle.

If your oven can maintain a 550 temp, then I really think 3/4" steel plate is your best bet for Neapolitan bakes.  I also think it will make your Neo-NY life much easier. Top shelf, preheat for 1 hour @ 550 for Neapolitan, 500 for Neo-NY, launch pie, broil accordingly. Doesn't that sound simple? I can't guarantee 100% that it will break that 2 minute Neapolitan barrier, but, out of every possible option, this has the most promise. 3/4" plate sitting on flat steel bars.

Offline BobBill

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: MN
  • Pies since 1972
At some point, the return to reality will become necessary...practicality and pragmatism have a way of ruling most endeavors.
Welcome to our round playground called Earth
Where the greatest cause of death is birth! Lucas, Winona
All you gotta know - JD Winona

Offline pizzablogger

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: Baltimore
At some point, the return to reality will become necessary...practicality and pragmatism have a way of ruling most endeavors.

And what "reality" are we returning to? ???

The ongoing experiments in this thread are the very definition of practical and pragmatic

This forum, through lots of level headed trial and error, has helped many people figure out how to make certain types of pizza at home that seemed difficult to master at first...and I for one hope that spirit never dies here. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline BobBill

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: MN
  • Pies since 1972
Been there, admit to my mistakes, long before any advice handy on line. Twenty and  thirty pound steel plates in a household kitchen stove is not my idea of pragmatic or even safe.

Not bitching about experimenting, all the power to the effort, but it seems like no one really reads or does searches before embarking on some narrow facet of the process...Chili, meatloaf, zas; everyone's expert.

Been making pie since early 70s and have figured out most difficulties by trial and error. One idea always sticks: Simple is best! If something seems novel, it likely has already been tried and discarded - look to a good pro in the pie only business.  

Making pie is not rocket science and, unless you are very anal, you will find few critics talking when the pan hits the table.

No biggie, carry on, fun to watch.
Welcome to our round playground called Earth
Where the greatest cause of death is birth! Lucas, Winona
All you gotta know - JD Winona