After not having access to my WFO for over a month I may have gotten a bit overzealous when I finally got to use it. I was totally psyched to make the best pizza ever for my duck confit and champagne packing visitors from Marseilles. So I did a 60 percent hydration with Caputo 00, 1.5 percent ischia(new for me). I bulk fermented at 64 degrees for 32 hours, then balls at 72 degrees for about 8 hours - no rise at all so I put it beside a wood stove at about 82 degrees for 4 hours and got a bit of rise. I thought the lack of rise was not a particularly good sign. However, it seemed to stretch out very well, perhaps the best I have made in that regard. I fired my oven for about 5 hours with a pretty large fire. It was over 1000 degrees, pushing 1100 whenever the infrared thermometer registered a temp instead of just saying "HI" (wine has erased some of my memory). I admit I was compelled to fire the heck out of it after reading Craig's posts about saturating with heat, flame rolling across the ceiling etc.
The bottom of the pizza(s) burned very quickly, in what seemed like a few seconds, before the top was near done and then when I domed to finish the top the whole pizza combusted into flames! No joke. Never seen that before! Maybe it was the buffalo moz - which was a new addition as well.
My guests, were very gracious but that first pizza really, really sucked. By the time I got to pizza number 4 it was OK - but far from my best. So - since this was a new starter, new recipe, new fermentation schedule, new cheese AND a hotter than hell oven, I am at a bit of a loss to know where I went wrong (other then everywhere).
So I have two questions - after reading about saturating the oven with heat I assumed hotter was better. It seems not to be so? Is there an optimal temperature? Second - can the oven be damaged by excessive heat? It looks OK to me. I have not noticed any cracks.....