Author Topic: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...  (Read 2657 times)

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Offline perezoso

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Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« on: January 13, 2012, 10:45:41 PM »
Hi Folks -

I'm about to open a part time pizzeria and I've recently graduated to a commercial oven. It's a small new electric Cecilware with corderite decks. I love the heat compared to my household oven, but I've got a problem.

I burned off the oven per the directions (nasty!) and have started baking, but my dough is sticking to the corderite and burning. The pizza starts cooking beautifully - dough springs up, cheese quickly melts - at around 575... but +/- 90 seconds in, the bottom starts to smoke and it burns.  In just a few seconds, it's all over. Burnt bottom.

I'm frustrated because if I could keep the pie in the oven about another 25-30 seconds, they'd come out beautifully.  Instead I get a burnt bottom and a slightly undercooked top. I'm using a "modified Varasano" dough recipe, maybe high 60s hydration.  I'm 'greasing' the peel with semolina (which burns too).

Should I have done something else to prep these stones other than burning off the oven, or am I doing something else wrong... suggestions?  This is a different world than the home oven.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 10:48:48 PM by perezoso »


Offline norma427

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 08:12:08 AM »
perezoso,

I donít know anything about your deck oven, but I have a Bakerís Pride double deck propane counter top oven (GP-61).  I tried to bake at higher temperatures in my oven for awhile and I had darker or almost burnt bottom crusts also.  I really donít know, but think it will all depend on your formulation if your bottom crusts burn or not.  I did try to up my temperature for the same formulation I have been using for awhile and my bottom crusts burn also.  I am now baking at around 525 degrees F.  I would like to try higher temperatures with another formulation someday, but havenít so far.  I have tried many experimental formulations out in the deck oven and so far most of them come out better at lower temperatures.  I think each deck oven works differently.  My bake time is around 5 minutes for most NY style pies.

Does your formulation include any oil or sugar? 

Norma
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buceriasdon

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2012, 08:16:54 AM »
Hello, I did a google search for Cecilware and they appear to have upper and lower heat control. Is it possible to turn down the lower element?Ņ Alternately you could use a screen to load and bake on.
Don

Offline norma427

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2012, 08:33:28 AM »
Don,

I see the Cecilware deck oven has 3 heating elements as you posted.  I am not sure which Ceilware deck oven perezoso has, but this one says this oven isnít recommended for fresh dough or pan baking.  It says it is for prebaked crusts only. http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/cecilware/po18/p1348724.aspx

Norma
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buceriasdon

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2012, 09:02:33 AM »

Yes Norma, I saw that one and it does specify only for prebaked/frozen pizza. Whether right or wrong I assumed it was not that model.
Don

Don,

I see the Cecilware deck oven has 3 heating elements as you posted.  I am not sure which Ceilware deck oven perezoso has, but this one says this oven isnít recommended for fresh dough or pan baking.  It says it is for prebaked crusts only. http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/cecilware/po18/p1348724.aspx

Norma

Offline perezoso

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »
Wow, you talk about a facepalm moment!  :-[  New user here immediately embarrasses himself big time.

It is a Cecilware PO-18, and while in the end it's my fault, the place where I bought did not advertize that it's only designed for parbaked crusts.

Looks like I'm getting a new oven.  Anybody want a very lightly used PO-18?   :-D

Aggravating.  I just went back to the PDF of the promotional literature about this oven that I downloaded before buying it.  It says nothing about being designed for parbaked crusts. In fact, it says:

"The Pizza Oven comes with (2) Corderite ceramic baking decks, 3in clearance, which gives the operator the ability to cook pizza, pretzels and bread products directly on the baking surface."

Says absolutely nothing about not being suitable for fresh dough.  Perhaps I should have figured it out on my own, but let's just say that I won't be buying any Cecilware products again!

« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 01:51:47 PM by perezoso »

Offline norma427

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 02:28:54 PM »
perezoso,

Maybe you could talk to the person that sold you the oven.  I am not exactly sure about your oven, but did see Cecilware ovens that say they can bake fresh dough.  Maybe you could tell the person from the place you purchased your oven that you did download the PDF, before buying it, and it said nothing about being designed for parbaked crusts.  Maybe I even am wrong about your oven.  Just contact who you bought it from and see what they say.

I just looked quickly at Cecilware ovens, and am not an authority on any of them.

Norma
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Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 02:51:48 PM »
Perezo,  Actually, I don't think the burning has much to do with the design of the oven.  It appears similar in specs to the Bakers Pride MO 2 T, and I posted some results using an old version of the BP in this forum under the title Bakers Pride 18 inch double deck 110 volt - MO2T  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16602.0.html  I guess the warning about prebaked pizzas is  because it only has 1800 watts  ( since it is only 110 volts )  and thus can not generate enough heat to keep the stones up to temp in a commercial setting.  Using just the stock corderite, which is half inch thick,  the first pie is done in just over 3 1/2 minutes, the second more like 4 minutes or a little longer, and by the 4th pizza, the stone has cooled down considerably, at least in terms of browning the bottom of the crust, which is the opposite of your problem, though it could be because mine is so old, it has lost some of its efficiency, and insulating effect.    I don't know anything about you dough formulation, because I only cook whole wheat pizza, but have you tried taking out the pie and turning it 180 degrees, and putting it back in? Is the burning across the entire bottom, or only where you have clumps of seminola -  I haven't used seminola, but have a similar problem with cornmeal - though it is easy to see because of the pattern of burning.  One option is to start it on a screen for a minute or so, then switch it to no screen, that way you can avoid the seminola.  Another option if the bottom is charring too fast, it to put it on the stone for a minute, then take it out and put it on a screen or a pie pan and put it back in to get the top to melt without burning the bottom.   Good luck,  hopefully you don't get stuck on the purchase if it doesn't work out for you.

Offline perezoso

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 03:10:29 PM »
Maybe I'm in over my head and too much of an oven simpleton, but what I don't understand is if the oven is underpowered, why is my problem that the pizza is burning up on the bottom?   ???

The burn runs across the entire bottom of the pizza - everywhere where the crust comes into contact with the corderite.  On my last attempt, the pizza stuck to the peel a little, so it wrinkled a bit.  The wrinkled area that didn't touch the stone didn't burn. (Or, at least, it hadn't burned when I had to take it out.)

A screen might work and is a reasonable suggestion, but from a process standpoint in my simple kitchen, I really want to drop the cooked pizza off the peel and straight into the box... and from an aesthetic standpoint, I'd like a pizza bottom without the "grill" marks.

PS: Here's the Cecilware "Spec Sheet" I mentioned that says nothing about parbaked crusts...
http://www.grindmaster.com/docs/Cecilware%20Countertop%20Ovens.pdf
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 03:19:14 PM by perezoso »

buceriasdon

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 03:20:47 PM »
As I stated in my first reply 2, try a screen/perforated pan first before throwing in the towel on the oven. Heck for now try just a regular pizza pan and see what happens.
Don


Offline perezoso

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 05:41:38 PM »
Norma - No oil or sugar.

Barry - You're absolutely right about my problem being the reverse.  A little while ago, I put it on 400 and my first couple of pizzas came out okay... I pulled the first at 4:15, and the second at 3:30 (they were a little underdone, but I was paranoid about burn) ...  The third pizza went in, and at 3:00, bam, bottom torch!  Crud!

buceriasdon - Thanks for the pan suggestion.  I'm sure it might help.  My problem is that I'm trying to set up a small scale commercial operation and I need a process that avoids pans and screens. (One reason why I bought an oven for direct cooking on the stone.)  So even if a pan solved the burn problem, it wouldn't work for my kitchen plan.


Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 05:56:56 PM »
Perezoso, There are a few related issues.  First, assuming it isn't a problem with the seminola burning, it could be that you are getting more bottom heat, and not as much top heat, which is why the bottom is burning before the cheese melts.  If the oven had a switch for the lower element, I don't think it does, than you could just switch it off after the stone came to temp.  The other options are to try to increase the top heat or decrease the bottom heat. As Don suggests, a pan would help decrease the bottom heat.  While I don't bake professionally, I use a pan when I check the pie and the bottom is done to my liking, I throw it on a pan and put it back in.  A screen would also cut down on the burning, though, I don't like the screen texture, In terms of top heat,  In the posts I did,  Scott suggested I get the pizza closer to the burner by getting another stone and placing it on top of the regular deck,   I have made a few steps in that direction by using another 1/2 inch stone and have seen some, but not very much improvement, though I think he recommended a 1 inch stone, and I haven't bought that yet.  My comments about being underpowered refers to constant use.  Once I preheat my oven,   the decks are in the 650 to 700 range ( measured by an IR thermometer ) and the air temp is around 650 (measured with a separate thermometer).  I haven't timed it lately with the 3 stones, 2 regular plus the 1 extra, but I allow 1 1/2 hours to come up to temp.  By under powered, if you tried to make one pie after another,  I think you would have trouble maintaining heat.  I looked at that spec sheet and it covers both the 110 and 220 models.  If you look at the instruction manual, it says that fresh dough is for 220 volts models only.  http://www.webstaurantstore.com/PDF/385BK18.pdf
Again, you should be able to make fresh dough pizzas in that oven, I just think it would be tough for the oven to keep up, especially if there is only a few minutes between pies, but the time you get to the fourth, I would be stunned if the stone retained too much heat.    From your description of the 3 pies, I am having trouble coming up with any clues, though how long did you preheat the oven and how long was the pause between the pies? I assume all 3 were placed on the same deck, correct?  Do you have an IR thermometer to measure the temp of the stone.  It is possible, that the first two were made while the stone was still coming up to temp .  Worse comes to worst, you may have to buy a stone to put on top of the cordierite to slow the heat absorption on the bottom of the pie, or you may have to use just the lower deck, if the upper is the one with the burning problem.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 05:58:37 PM by barryvabeach »

Offline norma427

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 05:59:11 PM »
perezoso,

Thanks for telling me no oil or sugar in your dough.  Maybe if you post your dough formulation someone might be able to help more.  

Do you have separate heating controls for the heating coils?  If you do maybe you could turn the one down that heats the bottom stones.  I have no idea of how your oven works.

Do you also have an IR thermometer to test the temperatures of your decks and top of your oven.?  Maybe the deck temperatures are higher than you might think.  I am only guessing.  I also have no idea how long an electric deck oven takes to recover the heat in the stones after one bake.  Does your oven run on 110 or 220?

I have tried different formulas in my deck oven and sometimes I need to put the pie on a screen near the end of the bake or the bottom of the pizza will burn.  These are my experimental pies only.

Sorry Barry, I didn't know you were posting when I was.  :-[ 

Norma
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 06:01:30 PM by norma427 »
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Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 06:49:55 PM »
Norma, no problem,  you and I are on the same track - though I am pretty sure he does not have separate controls.

Offline perezoso

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2012, 06:59:19 PM »
Hi Folks -  

Thanks for the suggestions.  It is the 220v model.  I'm still a little baffled as to why my cook time seems to decline with oven use. I find myself wondering if the corderite is somehow being super-heated as the oven tries to recover.  My intuition is that the corderite is getting far hotter than the thermostat setting.  Unfortunately, I have no fancy infrared thermometer, although maybe I should invest in one. There are no separate element controls.

Today's 4:15 --> 3:30 --> 3:00 flameout progression was after giving it about 35 minutes to warm up and about 10 minutes between pizzas.  All on the top deck.

The top of the pizzas sometimes looks as if they'd benefit from a 180 turn, but it would not make much difference with the bottom.  When the bottom flames out, it happens simultaneously on the whole bottom, no matter where the pizza is positioned on the deck. (In contrast, the back of the top of the oven is clearly a little cooler than the rest of the top.)

Norma, the dough formulation is essentially Varasano New York dough, with mine being slightly heavier on the poolish and kept on the hook a few minutes longer (which I might not do next time).  Cold rise. Otherwise it's his recipe.

I'm not giving up on the oven yet, but I'm beginning to have doubt that I can make it work.  It's looking like I'd have to keep it so low to avoid flameout (325 degrees !?!) that the oven won't be able to produce at a viable rate.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 07:01:56 PM by perezoso »

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2012, 07:20:40 PM »
P, since you have the 220 model, fresh dough is not the problem.  I don't think 35 minutes is a sufficient preheat time, though with 220 it might be.  You might want to preheat 45 minutes or more - to avoid the shorter bake times as it progresses.  I have wondered whether the top deck would have a hotter floor than the lower one if you only use one, because the heat from the bottom element just drifts up and hits the under side of the upper deck.  So I suggest you try a 45 min preheat, then try just using the lower deck to avoid burning the bottom.

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2012, 09:30:37 PM »

P

Barry, Norma and Don have given you a lot of good info.

Since I have a Cecilware PO-22-220 volts I can fill in some of the blanks.

Assuming the oven is working properly, the temp difference between the top and bottom stones is only 20 degrees (on my oven) so baking on the top or bottom stone would not affect the outcome.  Since the thermostat is inaccurate, an IR thermometer is a must.  The on-off temperature difference of the thermostat is 50 degrees.  The thermostat measures oven cavity temp so when it drops 50 degrees from setting the oven turns on meanwhile the stones have retained most of their heat.  The bake and broiler elements then kick in resulting in hotter stones compared with the cavity.  This must be balanced with the broiler elements.

As you noted the heat distribution is not even as in most ovens so if I do a 3.5 minute bake, the pie must be rotated 180 degrees at 2 minutes.  Just in case the oven goes crazy on me, I keep a pizza screen next to the oven to slow down the bottom bake while the top gets finished.  I don't start with a screen because I may not need it; also I don't like the waffle look and sometimes the pizza may stick to the screen especially with a high hydration dough. 

As this is not a zero clearance oven, insulation is limited at best.  You might consider adding some form of heat blanket.  As volume is not an issue for me, I have not done this.
How many pizzas do you plan on baking in an hour?  Will you use both decks?

If you will use only the top deck then you might consider having an electrician put a separate switch for the top broiler element.  If you use both decks this won't work as the middle element heats the upper stone but serves as the broiler element for the bottom deck; in this case you will need 3 separate switches.

I don't know the thickness of the stones supplied with your oven but in your commercial setting I suggest using 3/4"-1" thickness.  Using your IR thermometer you can get a surface reading.  I don't know what the center of the stone is doing.  There must be a coefficient of pizza stone heat transfer to help calculate how long the heat up should be; Cecilware was unable to supply this info.

 

Good luck

Bob


Offline perezoso

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2012, 10:34:15 PM »
Thanks, folks.

What a saga.  To hell and maybe back in one day. 

Since I really can't shell out for another oven before I even open, I think I'm going to try to the screens. 

Hopefully they will tame these decks enough so that I can open my doors.  And with experience, maybe I'll get as good as Bobino at managing this beast. But I don't see that happening for a while.

I really didn't want to mess with screens, but they seem like the best option.  And an IR thermometer.

I'll let you know how it goes!


Offline norma427

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 07:26:12 AM »
perezoso,

Best of luck!  Let us know how a screen works, and also if you can determine your deck temperatures with an IR thermometer.

Norma
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Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Dough stickage and burning on new corderite decks...
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2012, 08:15:19 AM »
Perezoso, glad to hear from Bob, since he has one and knows how that one works.  If you decide to add stones,  Axner sells an 18 inch by 18 inch by 1 inch for about $30 plus shipping.  I just ordered a couple and will cut them to fit my oven to see how that works.  Good luck.