Author Topic: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust  (Read 15345 times)

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buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2011, 05:07:40 PM »
If memory serves me right carbon steel is several times more thermally conductive than stainless so it's the best choice regardless of cost.
Don


A 3/4 inch steel plate has been ordered! It was $75 total including the plasma cut and it should be in my hands early next week.  For shiggles I got a quote on stainless - $250  ::)






Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2011, 07:50:22 PM »
Scott, the size problem is only an aesthetic cornicione-center ratio issue right?   In other words the small diameter won't screw up my bake times, right? 

Both my convection and standard oven use a similarly sized broiler element. When I'm back at my house I'll refer to the manual to give you a wattage spec. They both shutoff around 550 F.

Don, until you mentioned it I wasn't aware of the difference in conductivity, good thing I didn't pay for the "upgrade".  My preference for the stainless was based on its corrosion resistance properties. Do you have any idea on how to handle and store the steel in order to minimize corrosion?

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2011, 05:42:00 AM »
Yes, Johnamus, it's an aesthetic thing and won't impact your bake times. I shouldn't have even brought it up. Right now, this isn't about size-  it's about Neapolitan bake times and leoparding, which, now that you're getting 3/4" plate, should be within your grasp.

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2011, 06:12:25 AM »
If memory serves me right carbon steel is several times more thermally conductive than stainless so it's the best choice regardless of cost.

For what it's worth, for NY, I wouldn't mind an affordable material in the conductivity realm of stainless.  Between soapstone at around 6 and carbon steel in the 50s, there's not much in between.

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2011, 06:21:04 AM »
I never wash my steel plate, just brush off the flour residue with a dry towel. If the plasma cut edge is a bluish color then it has left an oxide layer which will resist rust. Since you are not cooking, as one would with a cast iron skillet, no seasoning is required. I season because I live on the beach with lots of salt air to contend with.
Don



Do you have any idea on how to handle and store the steel in order to minimize corrosion?

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2011, 08:14:57 AM »
My 3/4" steel plate is ready for pickup, I should have it in my hands by this weekend.

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2011, 08:30:10 PM »
Sounds good!  You are still the very first to breach the 3/4" steel Neapolitan barrier, so what you're attempting is very exciting stuff.

How are you doing for flour? Do you have Caputo?  Do you have a solid Neapolitan recipe?

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2011, 09:01:06 AM »
I don't have 00 flour or a Neapolitan recipe; this experiment will start from square one  :) (on the positive side, I do have an infrared thermometer). 

Do you have any good ideas for a starting point recipe?  My on-hand flour selection is "Better for Bread" and a generic AP, but KAAP and KABF are available at the local supermarket.  There are a few restaurant suppliers in the area (St Louis MO) that I assume would offer more varieties, but their websites indicate that a membership is required.

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2011, 09:29:10 AM »
Johnamus, here's a source for Caputo pizzeria flour in St. Louis:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10786.0

There doesn't really seem to be a definitive Neapolitan recipe in the forum, at least, not the last time I looked.  I would probably suggest, since you're starting out, to avoid sourdough/starters. Other than that, if you can score the Caputo, then I go with something along the lines of 60% hydration, 2.5% salt and an overnight coolish room temp 12 hour bulk fermentation and then maybe 12 hours balled with enough yeast to double the dough during those 24 hours.


Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2011, 10:12:47 AM »
Scott,

Thanks for the link to the St Louis Caputo thread. The market mentioned in that thread has a website here: http://www.digregoriofoods.com/ and looks promising.  Hopefully they offer caputo in a smaller size bag - The last thing my wife needs to see is a 50 lb bag of flour to go along with the 50 lb plate of steel  :D -.

Should I start with 100% 00 flour, or mix in a little AP or BF?  My main concern is that I'll be able to achieve Neapolitan temps on the hearth (i.e. steel plate) but my dome (i.e. broiler) won't be able to keep up.

-John

Offline sum1else

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2011, 10:26:38 AM »
I'm excited to see what this 3/4 steel can do.
FYI, I saw Caputo (2.2# Red bag) at Whole Foods this week.

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2011, 11:17:27 AM »
The best case scenario would be that you could preheat the plate to 550, then turn the broiler on and have it stay on for 90 seconds until the probe hit 585. If my calculations are correct, you'll probably need 550 on the hearth.  If the extra thermal mass of the steel really delivers and you can work with 525, then you should be in good shape, as the broiler should stay on for a while with a 525 to 585 jump. 

John, could you take a photo of the probe in your oven? I've spent some time with Tyler (Sum1else) going over some gentle mods to get a slight temperature bump, and, while he's still finding the one that's best for him, he needs a few more degrees than you do and he's working with a far weaker gas broiler. Shielding his probe with a foil pouch didn't seem to buy him enough degrees to keep his broiler on, but, in your case, it might give you just enough a bump to do the trick.

Could you also take a shot of your broiler element?  Beyond making sure the element stays on, you're going to want to shrink the space between the broiler and the stone as much as humanly possible- 2.5" or less.

You had mentioned earlier that you were going to look into the wattage on the broiler element in the top (and bottom) oven. That will go a long way in telling us how much of top heat it can deliver.

If the broiler does end up being a bit anemic, there's workarounds we can try, like using a malted flour such as KAAP.  Until then, though, I'd try starting the with the Caputo, if you can get it.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2011, 12:19:54 PM »
My oven is a few years old and no longer stocked, but the published specs for the current comparable model list the broiler element wattage as 3600w. 

I'll post a photo of the oven temp probe when I have a chance. There is a piece of metal directly in front of the probe which makes the sleeve placement process very difficult.  This metal piece is connected to the broiler element and could possibly be removed, but more investigation is due on my part.

As a side note, I've done the oven calibration tweak a few times to increase the dial temp by 30, but the problem with my oven is that the broiler element shuts off at 550 regardless of the oven calibration to 580.

Offline sum1else

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2011, 06:35:26 PM »
Quote
As a side note, I've done the oven calibration tweak a few times to increase the dial temp by 30, but the problem with my oven is that the broiler element shuts off at 550 regardless of the oven calibration to 580.

I think that's what my oven does too, although there is no way to know for sure.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2011, 10:18:32 AM »
Here's a couple photos of my oven's temperature sensor.

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2011, 04:02:07 PM »
I picked up the 3/4 inch steel plate ;D.  Upon picking it up I was disappointed to see both sides were filled with rust  :(.  I asked the guy at the warehouse about it and he said that "is how they usually look".  Since the metal supplier is in the business of selling pieces of steel and not pizza baking surfaces I let it slide.  Any opinions on the rust? i.e. is this something that can just be grinded out with an orbital sander, or is this a gamechanger?  One side is better than the other (looking at the photos, the side with the supplier's name on it is the good side).

Either way this plate is a heavy mutha, tipping the scales at over 40 lbs :o I knew it was going to be around this weight before I picked it up, but a theoretical 40lb steel plate doesn't quite have the same impact as the genuine article.  Maneuvering this in and out of the oven takes some strength!  I purchased 4 pieces of 1/2 inch steel tubing to support the plate in the oven, and these pieces do a great job of preventing any bowing by the oven rack.  I highly recommend this as an oven reinforcement strategy.

I'll wait to hear your opinions about the rust situation before attempting a bake.  Either way, I'm $90 invested and I'm definitely going to give it a shot, if nothing else I can always bake a few throw-away pies in the name of science!

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2011, 04:09:29 PM »
I also picked up some Caputo 00 flour at DiGregorio's.  It's a great old-fashioned neighborhood market that I hope to revisit soon.  The market stocked a bunch of small relabeled bags of "Caputo" "00" at around $1 a pound, I guess I'll take their word that it is actually Caputo. There also isn't an expiration date on the bags, but the market was extremely busy so I think it's safe to assume the flour is relatively fresh.  There was another bag of 00 with retail packaging but I didn't recognize the brand.


Offline johnamus

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2011, 05:02:22 PM »
It looks like "Evapo Rust" is exactly what I am looking for.  It should remove the rust without leaving the scratches of an orbital sander.

http://www.evapo-rust.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Evapo-Rust-Rust-Remover-1-Qt/dp/B001BNZGY0

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2011, 06:11:55 PM »
Me, I'd pickup a round paint stripper pad, 3M brand in the paint dept. of the box stores, that can be chucked up in a drill, goggles, gloves and go at it. They are black with a 1/4" shank. Since I recommend seasoning the one side the scratches are a none issue. I doubt you can get all the rust off if deeply pitted but the seasoning will seal it off in any case. Anyways, that's what I have done.
Don

It looks like "Evapo Rust" is exactly what I am looking for.  It should remove the rust without leaving the scratches of an orbital sander.

http://www.evapo-rust.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Evapo-Rust-Rust-Remover-1-Qt/dp/B001BNZGY0

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2011, 09:22:34 AM »
Here's a couple photos of my oven's temperature sensor.

It's tricky to tell from the photo, but is the probe right smack dab in the middle of the forking broiler element?  Could they possibly get the probe any closer to the broiler?  No wonder why your broiler won't stay on for long.

That being said, I'm 99% certain that you can remove that bottom screw, which will then allow you to pull the probe out (there will be excess wire) and possibly even set it on the shelf below the plate. With the plate shielding the probe, the broiler will stay on for the whole bake. When you're done, you should be able to push the wire back in, reattach the screw and it will be as good as new.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2011, 10:00:41 AM »
My minimalist approach to removing the rust (if it is not pitted deeply) would be to wipe it down with vegtable or olive oil and put it in the oven at high temps for an hour or so.  If it doesn't look better, do it again.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2011, 10:07:53 AM »
You need to knock the slag off of the plate before you cook on it.  :chef:
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2011, 10:26:35 AM »
There's a common belief that once steel or iron begins to rust, unless you remove all the rust, it will continue.  This being said, I've known lots of people that have inherited rusty iron pans, given them a light sanding, seasoned them and used them for years.

Now, in this particular scenario, where the plate is this close to the broiler, I'm relatively certain that the surface temps will hit sufficient temperatures to cook off any seasoning.  I'm not 100% certain that a little bit of embedded rust on a lightly sanded, unseasoned surface would be the end of the world, but, since I've never tried it, I'd probably go the extra mile and remove the rust.

If the rust wasn't deep, I'd sand by hand, using a sanding block. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I can maintain a flatter surface using a sanding block than an orbital sander. As far as the scratches left by sanding go... I don't think they're a big deal.  As long as you get the rust off, that's all that matters.

The evapo-rust just looks like an expensive mild acid.  If the rust was moderately deep, I would probably just use Naval Jelly, rinsing it carefully and baking it quickly to hopefully prevent embrittlement, although, on a hunk of steel this size, I kind of doubt embrittlement would make any difference. 

If the rust was especially deep and the surface was pitted, I might opt for something like

Rust Removal using Electrolysis

One benefit of electrolysis is that it should tint the surface black, which would be good for heat absorption, although not completely necessary.

scott123

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2011, 10:30:20 AM »
I also picked up some Caputo 00 flour at DiGregorio's.

I hate to say it, but Caputo makes a variety of 00 flours, many of which are unsuitable for pizza.  The 00 designation only defines the size of the grind, not the protein content.  You can have low protein 00 flour that's suitable for pasta, but not pizza.  The only way to know for certain is to have the bag in front of you- Caputo pizzeria flour will have a picture of a pizza on the bag.

buceriasdon

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Re: Pursuit of leopard spots and light airy crust
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2011, 11:55:57 AM »
Rust is simply oxidized iron, it's just another form of iron, called iron or red oxide, makes sense,huh? :P Seasoning as one would season a cast iron skillet, or a blue(carbon) steel pizza pan or a carbon steel wok occurs at an atomic level, the oil bonds with the iron atoms and seals the surface making it difficult for free oxygen molecules to enter and cause the conversion known as rust.
Don


 

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