Author Topic: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.  (Read 14029 times)

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Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2011, 11:10:23 AM »
 Scott, i was going to slide the plate into the oven slots used to support the shelves ,and not use the shelf at all.


Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2011, 11:12:57 AM »
 sorry looking at your post you already knew i was not using the shelf

Offline Tampa

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2011, 12:02:36 PM »
Like others, I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of the 1/2 inch plate.

One of our Tampa pizza eaters, StrayBullet, showed me his soapstone setup last weekend along with a tasty slice.  He commented that in a conventional oven, the soapstone takes several hours to reach temperature.  I saw the article in a newspaper and shared the idea with him.

There are a lot of bright folks on this form, and contributing to this thread, but the reason I'm so interested in a picture of the underside crust is that I'm not sure what the result will be.  Steel is very conductive.  One might be able to preheat the oven to 500-550, then turn on the broiler for a few minutes and increase the steel temperature to 600F or 650F before throwing in the pie.  As long as the broiler stays on, the top of the pie should cook rather quickly.  I'm guessing that the steel won't have to be 800F to cook in 2 minutes.

To me, these test results are hard to predict.  At the last Tampa pizza party, we tried to create a VPN pie on my rotisserie grill.  A pie made with 00 flour was thrown on my corderite stone at 825F.  The result was a scorched crust in only a minute or so.  I'm guessing that cordierite, with flame licking the underside, transfers heat better than a wood-fired oven and firebrick base - or I'm just a bad cook.  Either way, there goes my certificate.

Dave

Offline BobBill

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2011, 12:16:26 PM »
I think it is important to remember the question posited in "Problem #3", which is, "You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven."

Longer cooking times of 5, 7, 9 or more minutes can be used to cook very good pizza, but with all due respect it is not applicable for cooking the Neapolitan-style pizzas mentioned in the article. --K

I and a few others I am sure disagree, but whatever!
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buceriasdon

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2011, 01:47:49 PM »
I'm delighted to get a four minute pizza using generic all purpose flour but I would never say it was comparable to a two minute pizza using 00 Caputo.
Don


I and a few others I am sure disagree, but whatever!

Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2011, 08:48:16 AM »
first attempt not successful temperature 560 maximum . 4 minute pie, caputo cooked for 4 minutes not good . the plate left my oven door slightly ajar . will have it cut down and try again.

buceriasdon

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2011, 09:32:04 AM »
thezaman, Well if that was a failure, I look forward to success :D The devil is in the details they say. If I could make a suggestion, make a cardboard  template that you can keep trimming until the door closes. Tough to get accurate measurements when the door is closed.
Don
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 09:43:14 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline BobBill

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2011, 09:55:17 AM »
They look great, save the char. For me, char is a no-no, popular as it has become of late.

I see but subtle difference between 00 and other flours, but looking forward to using King A flour, as I do not think 00 is worth the extra cost and trouble.

The longer you bake pies, the more obvious it becomes...and the more you switch around and still come back to simple.

It is fun, nevertheless.

BTW, like anchovies, basil is best not baked, but up to you.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 10:07:19 AM by BobBill »
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scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2011, 10:03:43 AM »
Larry, I had the same thing happen with my soapstone slab. Oven doors can be tricky like that.

I like the way the steel plate looks in the oven.


Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2011, 10:34:50 AM »
i am going to remeasure and try one more time. the idea of tricking the thermostat will only work in my oven once per bake as the probe will read true temperature once the broiler kicks in, as the probe is between the plate and broiler. the pizza tasted ok but straight caputo needs a quick bake to mimic wfo texture and taste. the other possible issue is the inability of the steel plate to pull moisture as a stone surface would . this would crisp the bottom where the stone wouldn't. i am glad that the weather was bad last night, if would have been able to use my wfo and didn't because i was trying this idea i would of been depressed.

scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2011, 03:30:06 PM »
A second (and/or third) pie will be tricky, but I think it can be done. You'll just want to leave the oven door open for a bit and let the temperature drop, then close it and start the pre-heat process again.  I don't know, maybe 5 minutes for the cool down and then 10 minutes for the ensuing pre-heat?  Is that too long between pies?

At Neapolitan baking temps, stone porosity is meaningless.  It's too hot for moisture to wick into the stone at that temp.  As long as the steel plate is hot enough, it will crisp the bottom exactly like firebrick does. Take a look at the end of the Steel Plate thread that I linked to before and you'll see an upskirt of a pie that's identical to a stone baked version.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2011, 05:45:27 PM »
I see but subtle difference between 00 and other flours, but looking forward to using King A flour, as I do not think 00 is worth the extra cost and trouble.

Keep in mind that not all 00 flours are the same.

What can be frustrating, and I was about to throw in the towel on 00 flours myself before tinkering with higher heat, is that a flour like Caputo 00 flour does not fully reveal its potential unless it is cooked in a high temperature oven in a quick amount of time.

At high heat and around 2:00 or so or less, Caputo 00 can impart a wonderful texture and flavor to a crust. Whether or not it is as good as another type of flour or worth the extra costs is entirely subjective. --K
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Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2011, 07:09:30 PM »
 caputo needs help for low temperature baking. as American flour needs a long proof to work at high temperatures. i have had really good caputo pizza at low temperature,but it needed oil and sugar to make it brown.

Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2011, 03:37:49 PM »
tried it again today with the shelf cut down. able to hi 610 degrees . the pizza cooked in three minutes and had more of a wfo texture. the bottom didn't char. the flavor was pretty good . i have to agree with scott i don't think you can get close to wood fired results with the method prescribed by the cook book author.

Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2011, 03:39:58 PM »
sorry second picture posted by mistake!!

buceriasdon

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2011, 03:52:53 PM »
Larry, Lol. It did have me scratching my head until I figured out it was an oopsy. However, even though that's not my kinda pizza I have to admire your efforts. I would most certainly like to taste it. My hat is off to you. Maybe some flour blending, some fine tuning is all that's needed.
regards, Don


sorry second picture posted by mistake!!

Offline communist

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2011, 03:55:04 PM »
Larry, was that 610 a surface temperature on the steel after hitting the broiler or was it a stable steel temperature after preheating the oven ?  Are you getting any significant temperature difference above and below the steel plate?  Thanks,  Mark


scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2011, 04:20:02 PM »
In addition to Mark's questions, I'd be interested in hearing how long it took to reach 610. Was that a 30 minute pre-heat according to the instructions or did you go longer?

Offline thezaman

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2011, 09:08:33 PM »
 here is the story, i heated the oven as i did last time the oven shut down at 569 degrees. i then sprayed the probe with ice water to get it  the temp up. i got it to 610 degrees when it shut down again. i started the broiler element waited a minute threw in the pie. it cooked in three minutes. top and bottom of plate the same temperature. i took about 45 minutes to get it to temp. i think i can grind the plate a little more there was some heat on the outside of the oven. the bottom of the pie did not brown much. my broiler is touchy that doesn't help.

scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2011, 07:51:46 AM »
Larry, for this method to be viable, everything hinges on the plate shielding the top compartment and preventing the thermostat from hitting the peak oven temp and turning the bottom element off. Time is not necessarily our friend here- the steel should heat up pretty quickly. Once it does, it will radiate that heat to the top of the oven, which, in turn will heat the thermostat and cut off the bottom burner. We want the bottom burner on as long as possible. With the thermostat blocked, the bottom burner should stay on for a while- ideally for 30 minutes.  I know it's a lot to ask, but the true test is to watch the oven to see when the burner cuts off. It is right at that moment that the plate should be at it's peak temp.  For a powerful oven, that could be as little as 15 minutes.

Do you have a probe thermometer? You could sit that on top of the thermostat and set the alarm for a little below the dial temp.  That way you can do something else and not have to sit and wait for the thermostat to shut off the bottom burner.

Definitely make sure the oven door is completely closed. Most oven doors have a soft seal- if you press against the door, it should give a bit.  If it doesn't give, it's hitting the plate and not closing correctly.

buceriasdon

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2011, 08:45:07 AM »
Hi Larry, I see you used the ice water trick on the probe. I have wondered if a person couldn't get a insulating soft firebrick and carve a sleeve for the probe and slip over the probe. Read more here.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/81/insulating-fire-bricks
Very easy to cut and drill.
Don
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 08:49:17 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline communist

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2011, 09:02:26 AM »
Scott, as you have stated earlier, this method, if it works at all, is probably relying on an oven trick.  The author of the book has an obligation to reveal this, and apparently has not.  There are many oven tricks out there, and many who hesitate to employ them, including me.  That was my whole reason for exploring and finding success with steel plate under your guidance.  I was able to get a beautiful New York oven spring pie at 530 which was comparable to a pie done at 650 with firebrick with oven tricks.  I sleep better at night without oven tricks.  Don, what I do when using thermostat manipulaton is use a magic cake strip, folded in half, and slid over the probe.  I would be glad to provide pics if interested, but, like I said, I prefer avoiding oven tricks if possible.  Mark

scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2011, 12:15:49 PM »
I have wondered if a person couldn't get a insulating soft firebrick and carve a sleeve for the probe and slip over the probe.

Hmm... the ice and the frozen towel tricks always feel a little hinky to me, while, if this works, it sounds much more elegant.  You'd have to unclip the probe (but, then, you have to do that anyway with most tricks) and I'm wondering if the open end of the hole will let in much heat. It's definitely worth trying, though. Nice idea.

scott123

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2011, 12:21:01 PM »
The author of the book has an obligation to reveal this, and apparently has not.

Yes, I agree.  I actually shot off an email to him, pointing out potential legal ramifications and the need for some sort of disclaimer.  So far, no response.  I don't think this method will burn houses down, but, much like a lot of ovens crap out during cleaning cycles, this method could be a little hard on the oven.  If, for some reason, a freak accident occurred and a house did catch on fire while using this method, I wouldn't want to be the author.

Oh, and please give us details about your oven trick.  I completely understand your caution (I'm the same way), but for those that wish to take that direction, it's nice to have a few options, especially options with sensible temperature bumps, as opposed to the Varasano lock cutting cleaning cycle insanity.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 12:26:08 PM by scott123 »

buceriasdon

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Re: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2011, 12:35:16 PM »
My thinking on the soft firebrick is to cut down the height if needed, very easy, then measure up from the top of the steel to the center of the probe and carve out a hole in the brick that the soft brick sits over the probe and is supported by the shelf. I don't know how long the probe is but it would be best if the hole didn't go all the way through the brick. Oh well, just a thought to get a longer heat time.
Don