Author Topic: lehman try moves to varasano try  (Read 3567 times)

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Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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lehman try moves to varasano try
« on: May 04, 2005, 09:27:22 AM »
ok, i haven't posted my tries in a while. but here goes.

taking a page from varasano's book, i have modified a couple things in my process. note, i haven't changed much in my recipe except for the fact that i am using what is most likely an even higher hydration percentage. (pete and i figured i was at 63% before).

the changes:

1) the flour was added slowly over the course of 10 minutes (and after the autolyse) until the dough was just borderline sticky-wet.

2) THE BIG CHANGE: i tricked out my oven to run on the clean cycle. this got the oven up to perhaps 700-800 degrees F.

3) changed the position of the pizza stone to the top rack. probably 5-6 inches from the top of the oven.

4) preheated oven about 45 minutes, with foil covering the stone to keep it cooler than the oven.


the success:

1) the crust texture was absolutely perfect. soft, springy, VERY VERY light. HUGE bubbles. exactly what i've been looking for. PEOPLE. THIS IS THE SECRET: OVEN TEMP. it has made all the difference in the world. the most radical change in my process has been oven temp in terms of what it has done for my pies.

the failure:

1) the bottom was BLACK. black as night.

2) the pizza stuck to the stone. i used flour only to slide the pizza. not cornmeal like i ususally do. (i was afraid the cornmeal would burn)

3) the only part that didn't burn is the middle of the pie. and that's because it was so thin, that it rose like one big bubble, and stayed off the pizza stone.


ok, here's something strange about the burn on the bottom. it almost looked melted. like what cheese does when it gets melted and then burned on a pan. like wet looking. was this due to the high hydration level? or the foil that the oven preheated with (on top of the stone)? or the flour and lack of cornmeal? or the fact that the stone was on the top rack?

i need some ideas here. i'm soooooo close guys!

thanks for your help.

 - PSF

« Last Edit: May 04, 2005, 09:29:37 AM by PizzaSuperFreak »


Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2005, 10:08:50 AM »
You need a digital thermometer to control your oven temp. There really is no other way that I know of (not without running 100 experiments to "get a feel for it".  Also, read on my site about tricks I play with foil to control the temp.

Yes, the temp does make all the diff.... The pie looks great.

The 3 keys: autolyse, starter, temp. All the other things are important, but these are the big 3 in my book.

Jeff

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 10:22:50 AM »
those laser thermometers? they're pretty pricey.  i may break down and buy one.

until then, any other suggestions to try?

thanks.

Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2005, 01:28:08 PM »
You can get one for under $80 now. Maybe less on ebay. Raytek is still double that, but someone on a thread posted about another brand that's much less. search on Raytek and find the thread. It may have been Steve that posted about it

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2005, 02:00:23 PM »
varasano,

i'm probably going to try the pizza oven thing again tonight. a couple more questions:

1) how much money (in energy) do you think it costs to heat your oven up like this? (have you noticed a hike in your electricity bill?)

2) concerning the foil on the stone trick. you say you put the foil on the top and bottom of the stone. does this mean you lay a piece of foil on the oven rack, then put the stone on top of that, then put more foil on the top?

do you think it would make a difference to put the foil on the rack below the rack that the stone sits on? acting as a sheild to the stone? - instead of directly on the bottom of the stone?

because it seems that it would be rather difficult to remove the foil directly under the stone. with the stone being so hot, and also the time it takes to perform this manuver may let all the heat escape.

thanks!

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2005, 03:05:14 PM »
does anybody know of any reason why we couldn't put the stone in the oven later in the process? say, mid-way?

or would the stone crack or something?

thanks

Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2005, 04:09:31 PM »
The foil stays permanently under the stone. If you put it a layer below, you will have to wrap it around the rack, otherwise minor heat changes will cause the foil to float away. But there's no real benefit to putting it there. Put it under the stone, shiny side down. Then just leaveit there. The stone should always be colder than the oven so there's no reason to ever remove it.

Moving the stone around in a hot oven is scary risky and unnecessary.

Cheesy, having it self regulating would be nice, but I don't think its possible. You have to get the DIFFERENTIAL right so even if you got the regulator working, it wouldn't help with that.  Foil is the way to go. 

I have no idea about the electricity bill.   I don't pay attention to it. But heating a whole house up is much more than heating a small volume to a high temp. In the winter, the extra heat goes into the house and your regular heater will skip a cycle and it will even out.  In the summer, it probably does come to a few $$$.

This is not a free hobby...

Jeff

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2005, 04:14:17 PM »
thanks varasano.

btw, i live in south florida, so anything that heats the house requires AC to bring it back down. we never have winters here.

just trying to gauge it, so i can have a defense when my wife asks me over and over how much this is costing.  :)

Offline WOMBAT

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2005, 10:31:11 PM »
SUPERFREAK

JUST TELL HER "HOW CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON A GOOD PIE?"

 ;D

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2005, 10:54:14 PM »
try #2

changes:

1) preheated for 40 minutes on clean cycle
2) put foil directly under stone
3) moved to center rack (from top)

success:
1) very light, airy. great texture.
2) not burnt bottom !!!

failures:
1) bottom not done enough - not crispy enough
2) top outer rim was black too soon.

ideas?


Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2005, 11:09:53 PM »
Did you cover the top with foil too?  If so, take if off sooner. If I feel the top is too hot, I also crack the door and let some heat out for a minute.  But these kinds of fine adjustments are hard to make without accurate temp readings. But bottom line, you need a digital thermometer.  These are under $60.  I haven't used these brands, but they look ok to me.

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/esiest65.html
http://store.yahoo.com/bradystools/teingun4to93.html

Good progress. It takes a while to work out. 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2005, 11:15:37 PM by varasano »

Offline abatardi

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2005, 02:47:38 AM »
Did you cover the top with foil too?  If so, take if off sooner. If I feel the top is too hot, I also crack the door and let some heat out for a minute.  But these kinds of fine adjustments are hard to make without accurate temp readings. But bottom line, you need a digital thermometer.  These are under $60.  I haven't used these brands, but they look ok to me.

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/esiest65.html
http://store.yahoo.com/bradystools/teingun4to93.html

Good progress. It takes a while to work out. 

I was in the market for one as well... I just ordered the ES model..  -58 to 1022 degree range sounds pretty good to me.  $62.05 with shipping is cheaper than eBay... will let you know how it works out when I get it.

- Aaron
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2005, 09:24:59 AM »
Did you cover the top with foil too? 

Yes, i did cover the top. i took it off just before the pizza went on. i think i should've let it off for awhile and maybe let some of the radient heat out afterwards.

but you're right. i'm gonna have to bite the bullet and get a digital thermometer. it's too bad you can't just borrow one for awhile until you get your process right. :) feel like renting one out? hahaha.

it's not that i dont have the moolah, but it just seems like alot for a thermometer.

but, again, i'll just have to bite the bullet.

thanks.

 - PSF

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2005, 09:33:58 AM »
Suggestion -- perhaps use the stone first for the pie...after a minute or so...remove from stone once the dough sets stiff...then just move the pie to an open oven rack nothing under it... thereby the crust should brown more evenly, both side and bottom, where the crust edge will keep pace with underneath... give it a try...this could be your solution..

Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2005, 10:13:51 AM »
If you move to the pie to an open rack I think you run the risk of a spill of sauce or cheese. This will create more smoke than you can imagine.  As I say in my directions, remove the foil a few minutes before you put the pizza on to let it come up to temp.

You do need the thermometer well beyond the learning stage. I still use it every single time.  When you have a brick oven you can adjust by moving the pies closer or farther away and you can tell from one pie to the next what's happening. When you are just making a pie or 2 on one stone, you can't make these fine adjustments.  I paid almost $200 for my raytek years ago. These new ones are nothing.

Jeff

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2005, 01:06:59 PM »
ok people, never fear. i have broken down and bought one.

hopefully it will get here soon...

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/esiest65.html

thanks for your help.

Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2005, 01:30:14 PM »
also, don't forget to cover any glass door with foil

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2005, 02:08:15 PM »
that's one thing i forgot to mention. i did try to cover the glass with foil, but unless i completely wrapped the door, i dont see how the foil would stay in place. it fell off when i tried.


Offline varasano

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2005, 03:03:13 PM »
I shoved the foil into little vents in the door and this anchored it. But even if you have to wrap the door, do it. If 1 drop of sauce gets on the glass it will SHATTER.

Jeff

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: lehman try moves to varasano try
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2005, 03:04:19 PM »
out of curiosity, how do you know this?  ;)


 

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