Author Topic: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!  (Read 374694 times)

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1940 on: February 27, 2013, 08:27:49 AM »
In my response to RobynB's concern and Chicago Bob's suggestion to her, which were reflected in Bakeshack's thread "Cake Yeast Dough" (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21730.msg239768.html#msg239768), I deliver my response here in order not to derail Bakeshack's thread.

Dear Robyn, in the aforementioned thread you wrote:

See . . . because my dome is so low, doming is pretty risky - I tend to set the pizza on fire if I raise it more than an inch or two.  So I try to cook completely on the floor except for turning, and was having issues with burning bottoms. . . .

In response to your concern, dear Chicago Bob made the following suggestion:

I wonder how your pie would cook if you placed a 1/4in thick by 12in round aluminum plate on your deck a minute or 2 before launch. . . .

That is what I have been doing with my Piccolo oven in order to avoid burning the bottoms of my pizzas. This is done in different ways; different circumstances call for different ways of implementing this method. Generally, this is how I have been doing it . . . I have been using a metal plate (see the first picture below), which I cut with a diameter of 15 inches. Right after priming my oven and moving the fire from the center to the left of the hearth, I place the plate right on the spot where I intend to bake my pizzas, and I let the plate stay there until I am ready to launch my pizza on the oven floor. Sometimes, I remove the plate about 5 minutes before launching my pizza on the oven floor. It depends on (1) what temperature I need, (2) what the actual temperature is on the floor below the plate, and (3) what is the intensity or impetus of the temperature below the plate. (See my Reply #1952 below.)

Basically, the rationale is that the oven floor acquires a percentage of its energy (heat) from the hot coals ("conduction heat") and a percentage from the light of fire ("radiative heat"). (I am neglecting the convection heat here.) Some believe that the ratio between the two is about 50/50. Hence, the radiative heat is blocked from reaching the oven floor by placing the metal plate on the area of the floor where you bake your pizzas. Using the plate in this manner has enabled me to continuously bake pizzas for hours (as much as 7 hours per session) without the oven floor over-heating. Below are some pictures showing the underskirts of the pizzas I baked last night in my Forno Piccolo. Let me know if you have any questions. (Wise suggestion, Bob!) Good day!

Omid
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:09:06 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1941 on: February 27, 2013, 08:28:12 AM »
Continued . . .
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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1942 on: February 27, 2013, 08:40:46 AM »
Omid,

1.  You end up cooking on the FLOOR of the oven, not the plate correct?
2.  Do you replace the metal plate between each pie?
3.  Do you think it woud be wise to replace the plate between pies if the time between pies will be long?

Thanks!

John K
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1943 on: February 27, 2013, 08:46:09 AM »
Omid,,

Please get yourself an aluminum or stainless plate.  We all enjoy you too much to have you get sick from the zinc. 
-Jeff

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1944 on: February 27, 2013, 09:00:29 AM »
Omid,

1.  You end up cooking on the FLOOR of the oven, not the plate correct?
2.  Do you replace the metal plate between each pie?
3.  Do you think it woud be wise to replace the plate between pies if the time between pies will be long?

Thanks!

John K

Dear John, yes, I remove the metal plate before launching my pizza on the oven floor. The pizza does not bake on the plate. After the pizza exits the oven, I place the plate back on the oven floor. However, if I see that the floor has lost too much heat, then I forgo or delay doing so. If the interval between bakes is too long, I place the plate on the oven floor to keep it in check while I keep the fire going. My oven floor can heat up quickly under the right conditions. Good day!

Omid
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 03:42:14 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1945 on: February 27, 2013, 09:05:52 AM »
Omid,,

Please get yourself an aluminum or stainless plate.  We all enjoy you too much to have you get sick from the zinc.

Dear Jeff, I thank you very much for your cautionary advice. How foolish of me . . . I should have known. I will need to edit my post above in case readers do not read your post. Again, thank you!

Omid
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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1946 on: February 27, 2013, 09:18:16 AM »
However, if I see that the floor is not hot enough...
Omid

Omid,

What is your optimal range in floor temp to achieve the undercrust shots you have shared above?

Thanks!

John K
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1947 on: February 27, 2013, 09:50:13 AM »
Basically, the rationale is that the oven floor acquires a percentage of its energy (heat) from the hot coals ("conduction heat") and a percentage from the light of fire ("radiative heat"). Some say that the ratio is about 50/50. Hence, the radiative heat is blocked from reaching the oven floor by placing the metal plate on the area of the floor where you bake your pizzas. Using the plate in this manner has enable me to continuously bake pizzas for hours (as much as 7 hours per session) without the oven floor over-heating. Below are some pictures showing the underskirts of the pizzas I baked last night in my Forno Piccolo. Let me know if you have any questions. (Wise suggestion, Bob!) Good day!

With respect to the portion of the oven floor where you bake, are you referring to heat entering the floor from the coals after the fire is moved to the side of the hearth? If so, I would guess that the portion of heat entering the baking area of the floor via conduction from the coals is closer to 5% or less. My guess is that 95%+ of the heat comes via radiation and convection. 
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1948 on: February 27, 2013, 10:36:00 AM »
Nice trick Omid.  I will be borrowing this technique for my oven.  Thank you!

Chau


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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1949 on: February 27, 2013, 11:52:03 AM »
Very innovative. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
When I owned pizza delivery outlets we used pizza screens to accomplish the same thing. Taking them on and off the screens to control bottom heat and browning. Although  this would not work the same  in a neapolitan pizza  application due to a variety of reasons I am curious what challenges and benefits  it would present. I'll try this next fire up.

Also Omid you mentioned you also made some persian bread with your last batch as well. what type of bread did you make and do you have pics of them?


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1950 on: February 27, 2013, 12:58:16 PM »
In my response to RobynB's concern and Chicago Bob's suggestion to her, which were reflected in Bakeshack's thread "Cake Yeast Dough" (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21730.msg239768.html#msg239768), I was going to do this post in the thread, but I decided to do my post here in order not to derail Bakeshack's thread.

Dear Robyn, in the aforementioned thread you wrote:

In response to your concern, dear Chicago Bob made the following suggestion:

That is what I have been doing with my Piccolo oven in order to avoid burning the bottoms of my pizzas. This can be done in different ways. This is how I have been doing it . . . I have been using a metal plate (see the first picture below), which I cut myself with a diameter of 15 inches. Right after priming my oven and moving the fire from the center to the left of the hearth, I place the plate right on the spot where I intend to bake my pizzas, and I let the plate stay there until I am ready to launch my pizza on the oven floor.

Basically, the rationale is that the oven floor acquires a percentage of its energy (heat) from the hot coals ("conduction heat") and a percentage from the light of fire ("radiative heat"). Some say that the ratio is about 50/50. Hence, the radiative heat is blocked from reaching the oven floor by placing the metal plate on the area of the floor where you bake your pizzas. Using the plate in this manner has enable me to continuously bake pizzas for hours (as much as 7 hours per session) without the oven floor over-heating. Below are some pictures showing the underskirts of the pizzas I baked last night in my Forno Piccolo. Let me know if you have any questions. (Wise suggestion, Bob!) Good day!

Omid
Why thank you dear Omid...any time I can assist you WFO fellers(and gals)out a 'lil I'm glad to help. :chef:

And good day to you too!!  ;D
Bob
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Offline RobynB

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1951 on: February 27, 2013, 06:21:17 PM »
Hmmm, interesting.  Thanks, Omid!  I've been removing coals, as I mentioned in the other thread, and having mixed results with that.  Could I just use an aluminum pizza tray?  I have a few of those that are the right size.

Thanks again!!

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1952 on: February 28, 2013, 03:51:47 AM »
Omid,

What is your optimal range in floor temp to achieve the undercrust shots you have shared above?

Thanks!

John K

Dear John, the oven floor of my Piccolo, i.e., the particular floor spot on which I baked the above pizzas, was about 800°F and the dome about 1127°F. If I had not used the metal plate between the bakes to pacify the oven floor, then it would have been a different 800°, a very temperamental one. I do not know the proper scientific language that deals with thermal phenomena, but I would characterize, however poorly, the former 800° as one with less impetus than the latter 800°. Hence, while both are 800°F, the former cools down much faster than the latter after a raw pizza is engaged with them.

I have witnessed a similar phenomenon with the Ferrara oven at my workplace. Sometimes, the floor temperature of the Ferrara reaches 1000°F, yet the pizza base bakes perfectly—without burning at all. On the other hand, sometimes, on the same day, the floor temperature arrives at 1000°F and it would burn the pizza base if I do not lift it up on time. Under each circumstance, if I measure the floor temperature, where the pizza sat for about 60 seconds, I will see that in the former case the floor temperature is diminished by about 100 to 150 degrees while in the latter case the floor temperature is declined by about 50 degrees or less after baking. Good night!

Omid
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:16:56 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1953 on: February 28, 2013, 05:12:07 AM »
With respect to the portion of the oven floor where you bake, are you referring to heat entering the floor from the coals after the fire is moved to the side of the hearth? If so, I would guess that the portion of heat entering the baking area of the floor via conduction from the coals is closer to 5% or less. My guess is that 95%+ of the heat comes via radiation and convection.

Dear Craig, you asked, "With respect to the portion of the oven floor where you bake, are you referring to heat entering the floor from the coals after the fire is moved to the side of the hearth?" Yes. Please, let me know how you arrived at the "5% or less" for conduction and "95%" for convection and radiation. Thermal transfer is such an intriguing and complex matter. Although the "5%" counterintuitively seems very low, it may make sense. Sometimes, for the purpose of baking Neapolitan style pizzas, I heat up my oven only by torching the dome for several hours which proportionally and effectively heats up the floor below it—without any hot coals on the oven floor. Good day!

Omid
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:18:24 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1954 on: February 28, 2013, 06:09:53 AM »
Very innovative. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
When I owned pizza delivery outlets we used pizza screens to accomplish the same thing. Taking them on and off the screens to control bottom heat and browning. Although  this would not work the same  in a neapolitan pizza  application due to a variety of reasons I am curious what challenges and benefits  it would present. I'll try this next fire up.

Also Omid you mentioned you also made some persian bread with your last batch as well. what type of bread did you make and do you have pics of them?

Dear Omid, if I understand your post correctly, you would like to know what challenges and benefits the use of such metal shields or plates would present in a commercial setting. (Forgive me if I have misunderstood your point.) In my opinion, if a Neapolitan pizzeria has the right oven and oven management skills, then such metal plates become superfluous.

In regard to your last question, I baked some Iranian Taftoon breads. Sorry, I did not take any pictures. Sometimes I cover my oven floor with river pebbles (see the picture below) and bake Sangak breads on them. Although my oven is too small for this kind of flat bread, it works good enough. Have a great day!

Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1955 on: February 28, 2013, 06:54:35 AM »
Hmmm, interesting.  Thanks, Omid!  I've been removing coals, as I mentioned in the other thread, and having mixed results with that.  Could I just use an aluminum pizza tray?  I have a few of those that are the right size.

Thanks again!!

Dear Robyn, you're welcome! I can't see anything wrong with using aluminum pizza trays as long as they pose no health hazards. Good luck!

Omid
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1956 on: February 28, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »
Dear Craig, you asked, "With respect to the portion of the oven floor where you bake, are you referring to heat entering the floor from the coals after the fire is moved to the side of the hearth?" Yes. Please, let me know how you arrived at the "5% or less" for conduction and "95%" for convection and radiation. Thermal transfer is such an intriguing and complex matter. Although the "5%" counterintuitively seems very low, it makes sense. Sometimes, for the purpose of baking Neapolitan style pizzas, I heat up my oven only by torching the dome which proportionally and effectively heats up the floor below it—without any hot coals on the oven floor. Good day!

Omid

Omid,

Let me offer some logic and my observations to explain my thinking.  My 5%/95% estimation was intended more to illustrate my  belief that the balance is heavily tilted to radiation and convection than to provide an exact figure. Now that I think about it a little more, I would say the fraction of heat coming from the fire through the floor is even lower – probably well under 0.5%

Consider the typical WFO floor. It has very low thermal conductivity – probably in the range of 0.6 to 1.1 W/m*K in the biscotto or bricks, but there are also air gaps – particularly in a brick floor, so the conductivity of the floor system is even lower. But let’s call it 1 W/m*K to be conservative.

Low carbon steel, like people are using for pizza, by comparison, is about 50. Let’s say we had a Neapolitan oven with a similar steel floor and we made the unrealistic assumption that 100% of the heat in the floor where the pie is baked comes from the coals through the steel. Our brick floor is only 2% as conductive, so at most 2% of the heat could be coming from the coals through the floor material. Aluminum’s conductivity is over 200 W/m*K, and it still would not deliver 100% of the floor heat, but if it did, our bricks would be down to 0.5%.

My observations seem to support this analysis. The floor directly under the coals will heat to north of 1200F, yet I can easily increase or decrease the temperature of the deck by +/- 150F (825F – 975F) in a matter of perhaps 30 minutes to an hour by simply changing the intensity of the flames. Changing the size of the coal pile has no such similar effect.
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Offline Omidz

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1957 on: March 01, 2013, 01:31:38 AM »
Hi Omid. I agree the use of screens is not necessary. It's just  more of a curiosity thing since I have used them before in deck ovens. I find my best ideas come fromjust experimenting with processes .

At home sometimes my floor does get too hot or uneven because most the time I am going from completely cold oven to hot in a matter of a few hours and the floor temp gets affected the most in this environment. The floor and heat sink need much more time for my oven to fully absorb the heat.  In a commercial setting I think the ovens would cook more evenly with much more retention of heat in the floor in particular since they never are allowed to fully cool down.

since my oven is a 120 and takes quite a bit of wood to get up to temp I tend to get discouraged to fire up for a small batch of say 5-10 pies. Instead I do less firing of my oven throughout the year but when I do its 30-60 pies. The. most I have done has been about 175 which was a great experience to push the limits of capacity and high volume management.

I could use help in finding a solution to firing up more easily/effectively. Maybe Craig has dealt with this already with his oven.

As for the pebbles on the floor for sangak.... That is just awesome. Sangak is my favorite persian bread by far. I gotta try that. How did it come out compared to the commercial bakeries that do sangak?

I could use help in figuring out how to get more use of my oven for small batches so can try more variations of dough. Any thoughts?

Ps the rocks you put in the oven for sangak bread is awesome. How did it come out? I would love to try that. Sangak is my favorite flat bread by far.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1958 on: March 01, 2013, 05:40:57 PM »
Hi Omid. I agree the use of screens is not necessary. It's just  more of a curiosity thing since I have used them before in deck ovens. I find my best ideas come fromjust experimenting with processes .

At home sometimes my floor does get too hot or uneven because most the time I am going from completely cold oven to hot in a matter of a few hours and the floor temp gets affected the most in this environment. The floor and heat sink need much more time for my oven to fully absorb the heat.  In a commercial setting I think the ovens would cook more evenly with much more retention of heat in the floor in particular since they never are allowed to fully cool down.

since my oven is a 120 and takes quite a bit of wood to get up to temp I tend to get discouraged to fire up for a small batch of say 5-10 pies. Instead I do less firing of my oven throughout the year but when I do its 30-60 pies. The. most I have done has been about 175 which was a great experience to push the limits of capacity and high volume management.

I could use help in finding a solution to firing up more easily/effectively. Maybe Craig has dealt with this already with his oven.

As for the pebbles on the floor for sangak.... That is just awesome. Sangak is my favorite persian bread by far. I gotta try that. How did it come out compared to the commercial bakeries that do sangak?

I could use help in figuring out how to get more use of my oven for small batches so can try more variations of dough. Any thoughts?

Ps the rocks you put in the oven for sangak bread is awesome. How did it come out? I would love to try that. Sangak is my favorite flat bread by far.

Dear Omid, a solution is to preheat your oven for few hours the day before. I normally preheat my Forno Piccolo for about 3 hours the day before I actually bake my pizzas or breads. If I preheat my oven with my torch (not firewood), then after preheating I put the door on inside the entrance, right passed the chimney, in order to minimize heat escape. Then, I put on another door on the outside, with the chimney clogged up.  

The Sangak flatbreads that I baked came out pretty good, way better than the ones sold at Sangak bakeries here. I have never seen any of the Sangak bakeries in the U.S. use sourdough in making Sangak breads; they all use dry or fresh yeast—which is quite wrong. Sangak dough ought to be prepared with sourdough culture, there is no other way. In addition, they use sugar and sometimes oil in their Sangak doughs—which is a NO NO. Moreover, they add white wheat flour, as much as 50 to 60%, (and sometimes barley flour) to their doughs. Sangak dough must contain wholewheat flour (of a particular extraction rate) only. At last, Sangak must be baked on river rocks/pebbles, which they do not use for obvious reasons. Without baking them on river pebbles, the flavor and texture that essentially characterize Sangak bread will be lost. Next time you buy a Sangak from any of the bakeries in your area, notice that it has a leather-like texture, which indicates that (1) the dough was not prepared properly and (2) they used wrong surface (usually cast iron) to bake the dough on. Check out the picture of Sangak breads below. Those are the real thing! They are from a Sangak bakery in Tehran, Iran. In terms of visual representation, there is a world of difference between the Sangaks in the picture and the ones made here in the U.S.

My main problem in making Sangak flatbreads at home is that the interior space of my oven is too small for me to be able to properly launch the dough on the pebbles. Hence I have to use a very small peel which results in small size Sangaks, almost the same size as Indian Naan. Have a great day!

Omid
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 07:08:43 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/

Offline Omidz

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Re: A PHILOSOPHY OF PIZZA NAPOLETANISMO!
« Reply #1959 on: March 01, 2013, 06:13:56 PM »
Thank you for the tip on the oven and especially the sangak pointers. You are a true artisan in all you do. I respect that.

Do you have a brand and place to buy a torch? I have no idea where to begin on that one. Is it propane? Also if I heard you right you double door the opening. One in front of exhaust and one more at the opening of the dome. I can get another door from Mugnaini but if you have a better idea on the door I would love to hear it.