Author Topic: Hi  (Read 362 times)

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Offline suttonri

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Hi
« on: November 19, 2011, 09:02:21 AM »
Hello from Baltimore. I'm just a simple home baker, trying to do the best I can with a 555 F oven. At this point I use Chris Bianco's dough recipe, stretched as thin as I can go. I sort of blind bake, just sauce and toppings for 3-4 minutes on top of preheated Saltillo tiles, then add cheese for another 5-6 minutes. Not too bad, but I'm sure it could be better. I'm joining here to search about how well baking between two closely-spaced Fibrament stones will work.

Thanks!
Rich


Offline scott123

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Re: Hi
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 09:30:08 AM »
Hi Rich and welcome to the forum.

A 555 F oven is not that bad, but you're basically talking about the bottom of the barrel when it comes to baking stones. When it comes to baking stone materials, saltillo tiles have the worst conductivity and Fibrament has the second worst.  In order to do Chris Bianco's dough justice, you should shooting for the vicinity of his bake time- 3ish minutes. To do that at 555 F, you need one of the most conductive baking surfaces possible- 1/2" steel plate.

Your oven is electric, correct?

And, in order to do justice to pizza in general, lose the parbake.  What you get in ease of launching you pay for many times with quality.

Offline suttonri

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Re: Hi
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 10:05:36 AM »
Hi Rich and welcome to the forum.

A 555 F oven is not that bad, but you're basically talking about the bottom of the barrel when it comes to baking stones. When it comes to baking stone materials, saltillo tiles have the worst conductivity and Fibrament has the second worst.  In order to do Chris Bianco's dough justice, you should shooting for the vicinity of his bake time- 3ish minutes. To do that at 555 F, you need one of the most conductive baking surfaces possible- 1/2" steel plate.

Your oven is electric, correct?

And, in order to do justice to pizza in general, lose the parbake.  What you get in ease of launching you pay for many times with quality.

Understood on the 555 oven. (Yes, it is electric.) I just don't want to go down that slippery slope towards an outdoor, wood fired oven. My per pizza cost could possibly be over $100 for the first year.

I have tried a cast iron pan, heated on the range, then baking a pie with Bianco's dough under the broiler. (This is Heston Blumenthal's idea from his BBC series In Search of Perfection. Quicker cook tike but I found the crust to be more bready, less of that light, crunchy yet chewy texture. Based on that experiment I did not pursue metal any further. I heard somewhere that porous stone makes the difference. What kind of crust should I expect with the steel plate at 555? Also, middle shelf? Oven or broiler after putting the pie in?

Thanks for the advice. I'll start searching the forums now as I try to reinvent the wheel.  ::)

Offline johnamus

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Re: Hi
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »
An expert like Scott will be better able to answer your specific questions.  But I found this thread to be a useful primer to steel-plate baking: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.0.html

Offline scott123

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Re: Hi
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 05:52:58 PM »
Rich, there is a common misconception among the public that pizza stones absorb water from the crust and make for better pizza.  The reality is that pizza stones are not that absorptive. Saltillo tiles and Fibrament happen to be absorptive, but that's a bad thing, because their porosity makes them physically and thermally weak. The cordierite that's used in deck ovens has just about zero porosity and, while the firebrick used in wood fired ovens can be a bit roughly textured, it doesn't absorb much water either.  Even if these materials did absorb water, the temperatures at which they're pre-heated to wouldn't allow the water to actually remain water long enough to be absorbed.

Any crust that cordierite or firebrick can make, steel can match. It's just a matter of pre-heating the steel to the right temperature to accommodate for it's additional conductivity. A 3 minute firebrick pizza will look just like a 3 minute pizza baked on steel.

One of the biggest contributors to oven spring is heat, so faster bakes should translate into less breadiness, not more.  If you were getting bready results, it wasn't the faster bake, but some other aspect of the recipe.

Heston was influential in getting the ball rolling on metal pizza baking materials, but he didn't go quite far enough for the true pizza aficionado.  His research assistant, Chris Young, co-author of Modernist Cuisine, took it a step further and started working with steel plate. I'm not absolutely sure that Chris actually goes thick enough with the plate in the book as I haven't read it yet, but, as far as 'celebrity' chefs go, he's pretty much on the cutting edge of steel pizza baking.

The bottom of the pizza cooks entirely from the stored heat in the hearth and the hearth can be pre-heated to the max oven temp on any shelf in the oven.  The hearth will pre-heat a bit faster on the bottom shelf, but, for fast bake times, you will need to position it an upper shelf to allow the broiler to have more impact because you will definitely want to use the broiler during the bake.


 

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