Author Topic: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray  (Read 1950 times)

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Offline petef

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Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« on: August 14, 2011, 12:19:08 PM »
Has anyone here experimented with increasing the humidity inside the oven for baking pizza? Two methods come to mind; a pan of water placed in the oven while baking, or opening the oven door and spraying the air with water mist.

I'm thinking that the hot humid air will help the top portion cook faster and help form a nice golden brown crust as well as shorten the total cooking time.

---pete---



Offline wheelman

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2011, 12:58:13 PM »
that's an interesting concept.  i use lots of steam when baking in the WFO but have never tried it for pizza.  i've tried pans of water with wet rags but the most effective for me is a garden sprayer with a brass wand.  this month's cook's illustrated mentions using preheated lava rocks in a pan that you add small amounts of water to when baking in a normal oven.  i'll try that soon too.
bill

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2011, 01:00:52 PM »
Tom Lehmann, in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14543.msg144999/topicseen.html#msg144999, says no to water in the oven.

Peter

Offline petef

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 03:01:11 PM »
Tom Lehmann, in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14543.msg144999/topicseen.html#msg144999, says no to water in the oven.

Thanks for the info which states... Water in Oven: No Never! You want to dry bake pizza.

But why?  To my knowledge air is a poor conductor of heat and adding moisture to the air should conduct the heat much better. For bread making they use this moist air technique to form a better crust on the bread. This seems like a topic I'd like to know more about.

Perhaps for certain circumstances moist air could be a benefit?

I'll have to experiment and report my results here.

---pete---

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 04:05:08 PM »
Never hurts to try for yourself.I would be curious to see how your experiment turns out.
 8)
-Bill

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 05:17:04 PM »
pete,

This subject has come up a few times before on the forum. However, it is hard to find the right keywords to use to search the forum for relevant posts. Nonetheless, I took a stab and found this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,244.msg47117/topicseen.html#msg47117. I also found a post at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12769.msg125426.html#msg125426.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 05:25:25 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 06:29:15 PM »

Pete,

Maybe sfspanky (Brian Spangler) also talked about too much steam, but in a indirect way at Reply 33 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg123584.html#msg123584

My guess is you want hydration (not steam) to give your pizzas a moisture in the rim and the rim to expand, but I donít know.

Good luck in trying to use steam in your oven to make pizza!  Will be curious to see how your experiment works out!  :)

Even Peter thought about adding steam to make pizza at one time, as he replied at #2 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7740.msg36155.html#msg36155

Norma
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Offline petef

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 06:47:37 PM »
pete,

This subject has come up a few times before on the forum. However, it is hard to find the right keywords to use to search the forum for relevant posts. Nonetheless, I took a stab and found this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,244.msg47117/topicseen.html#msg47117. I also found a post at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12769.msg125426.html#msg125426.

Peter

Yeah, I also tried searching but found nothing. The 2 posts you found are conflicting but helpful. It appears that adding steam is less effective at the higher oven temperatures. That makes sense. I might actually benefit by using steam because I typically preheat my oven to 425 deg F, load the pizza to the stone and jack up the temp to 475 and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. I often feel like I'd like the top to cook/brown faster so adding steam may actually help. If I preheat to a higher temp or bake at a higher temp the bottom burns.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 06:56:12 PM »
pete,

You might question Tom Lehmann on his position of not using water/steam in the oven while baking pizzas (as opposed to bread).

Peter

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 09:24:10 PM »

The other night TAMPA Dave stopped by for some pizza.  I had a last minute thought to try spraying the crust to see if the wet rim would allow greater poof in my 64% hydration dough using Kyrol.  I sprayed half of the pie so we could better compare on the same pie.  I was concerned that a moist wooden peel might end up gluing the pie to the peel and interfere with the launch.  We did not see much difference in the expansion of the rim. 
The experiment was done prior to the posting of this topic otherwise we would have taken some pictures to document.

Bob


scott123

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 09:30:40 PM »
Bob, how was the browning on the sprayed side? Was it any more even?

Was it glistening wet or just slightly moist?

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 09:39:54 PM »

Hi Scott

The rim was sprayed with a light mist; it did not look glistening.
The side with the spray did not look anymore uniformly brown than the non sprayed side.  The pie was made on one George's (GSPOTS) Cordierite stones. 

Bob

Offline Green Hornet

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2011, 09:27:57 PM »
I have made several batches of kaiser rolls in my home oven. I used a recipe that said to spray the inside of the oven to add "Crispyness" to the outside of the rolls. No reason why it shouldn't work for pizza dough, if that is what you want to do. I sprayed inside the oven and walls and not directly onto the rolls.

Offline petef

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2011, 04:06:20 AM »
I have made several batches of kaiser rolls in my home oven. I used a recipe that said to spray the inside of the oven to add "Crispyness" to the outside of the rolls. No reason why it shouldn't work for pizza dough, if that is what you want to do. I sprayed inside the oven and walls and not directly onto the rolls.

In my oven I have more than enough heat coming from the bottom with my stone on the oven floor. I often see the cheese bubbling and starting to brown before the top crust rim is fully browned. Especially on my thin crust pies. So a burst of steam might be beneficial for making the top crust rim brown a bit sooner without overcooking the cheese.

---pete---
 

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Baking Pizza w/Pan Water or Water Spray
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 07:31:16 AM »
One of the better ways I have found to add moisture to the oven while baking (mostly bread, haven't tried it with pizza) is to put a heavy cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven while doing the pre-heat. Then when putting in the bread a half dozen or so ice cubes in the skillet. The skillet has the mass to hold the heat and slowly release the moisture from the ice cubes rather than adding plain water which evaporates too fast. Ice cubes melt about just right. I may have gotten this from an Alton Brown segment, works great. Remember to re-season your cast skillet though.
Jon
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