Author Topic: How to get a light and airy crust. Please help  (Read 1567 times)

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Offline A-Neibs

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How to get a light and airy crust. Please help
« on: November 15, 2011, 07:26:12 PM »
My pizza has gotten much better over the past few months. It's soft and melts in the mouth, and the crust is crispy. I want to take it to the next level and get the crust to be light and airy.

I was reading some of Marco's posts and he says that the secret to a light crust is a long, room temperature rise. I usually let my dough rise in the fridge for a day or 2. I live in Arizona and the weather is great right now. The inside of our house usually stays around 70 degrees. If I'm going to experiment with room temperature rises, now seems like the perfect time. If I do a room temp. rise, do I need to punch down the dough at all? I've never been sure on that.

Also, how much does the high heat affect the lightness of the crust? All I have is a pizza stone in a 550 degree oven. Is it possible to achieve that light, airy affect without a hotter oven?

If anyone has any insights or tips, please share. I'm eager to learn. Thanks everybody!


Offline scott123

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Re: How to get a light and airy crust. Please help
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 08:00:41 PM »
I was reading some of Marco's posts and he says that the secret to a light crust is a long, room temperature rise.

Said by a guy that bakes pizza in less than a minute ;D

A-Neibs, you can play around with a long, room temp rise, but I highly doubt that you're going to see much of a difference in oven spring between room and cold ferments.  The most important contributor to lightness and airiness is heat.

What's your current bake time?  If it's longer than 6 minutes, there's your problem.

Is your oven gas or electric? If it's gas, that gets a little complicated, but if it's electric, you can shrink that bake time and achieve a massive improvement in oven spring with a more conductive hearth material- steel.  1/2" steel to be specific.

Offline A-Neibs

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Re: How to get a light and airy crust. Please help
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 11:12:45 PM »
Thanks for your quick response Scott123. I always appreciate your wisdom. I had a feeling it had to do with the heat of the oven. I have an electric oven and my pizza bakes in about 7 to 8 minutes depending on the toppings. What do you cook your pizzas in? How much would the steel help the heat of the oven? Thanks again!

Offline scott123

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Re: How to get a light and airy crust. Please help
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 02:26:52 AM »
A-Neibs, I bake my pizzas on a 1.25" soapstone slab and can achieve a bake time, at 550 of 2.5 minutes, although I usually turn it down to 525 to get a 4 minute bake. I was, for a while, a huge proponent of soapstone, only to find out that it varies tremendously from supplier to supplier and can be prohibitively expensive in different parts of the country. Steel, on the other hand, is found just about everywhere and is very reasonably priced as well.

The more conductive the hearth, the faster it delivers the heat to the pizza.  Steel is more than 10 times as conductive as cordierite baking stones. Although it doesn't bake pizza 10 times faster, it shortens the bake time dramatically.  Your baking stone might take 7 minutes to bake a pizza at 550, but 1/2" steel would cut that bake time to closer to 2 minutes.  Faster bake = far superior oven spring = light and airy. You probably wouldn't want to bake the pizza in only two minutes, though, so you'll want to turn down the oven to 525, like I do with my soapstone. Pizzeria Bianco is around 3 minutes, so, since you seem to enjoy that, that's probably a good target to shoot for.

Offline A-Neibs

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Re: How to get a light and airy crust. Please help
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 11:31:08 AM »
Ok, I'll look into that. Thanks for your help. I'll come to you if I have any more questions.


 

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