Author Topic: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all  (Read 5243 times)

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Offline slybarman

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2012, 09:29:56 PM »
Interesting photo. Is the Landolfis dough made with bromated flour?


Offline petef

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2012, 09:44:59 PM »
Interesting photo. Is the Landolfis dough made with bromated flour?

I have no idea of the way Landolfis dough is made. I can tell you, it's a very heavy and dense dough. Once initially thawed it has the feel of modeling clay. It's much heavier and dense than my homemade dough. It does not rise much when left at room temp for 4 to 6 hours but it does become quite soft and extensible. My guess is that it has a lot of oil. To my surprise, once baked, it does rise a bit and makes for decent pizza.

---pete---

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2012, 09:49:42 PM »
This is how I do it in the kitchen oven, it is a bit more work, but I do not like pale undercooked crust.  Use a high heat oil like sesame on the pan, liberally. Brush the crust (outer edge not covered by sauce and cheese) with a low heat oil like EVOO or even butter in extreme cases (if I had to use butter, I would use garlic butter).  Start with almost frozen cheese, refrigerated sauce and ingredients, on a pan, lowest rack at the highest temp your oven will go.  I do not preheat more than a couple of minutes because I want the element red hot.  Cook it for 3-4 minutes then move it to the top shelf and crank the broiler element to high for another 1-3 minutes without the pan.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 10:21:54 PM »
Getchai,
I guess a couple thoughts come to mind that you could try next time. 1.) you could try reduce the amount of sauce you are applying to your dough. If your dough is too thin and your sauce is too heavy, most of the heat in your stone will diffuse through the crust and cook the sauce rather than the crust. 2.) you could try a slightly thicker dough to compensate for the sauce, 3.) you could try freezing your cheese, giving the sauce and crust a little more time to cook before the cheese fully melts and begins to brown. 
Jim
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2012, 09:32:09 AM »
Maybe its time to begin looking at the dough itself? The way the dough is made can/will have an influence on the way it bakes and more specifically, browns. Remember, acid (low pH) inhibits the browning reaction. Fermentation produces acids as a byproduct, so as the dough ferments, it becomes more acid. Have you ever noticed how white a sourdough bread or roll is? Acidity. Is there a possibility that you have over fermented your dough? A good way to find out is to look at your dough management procedure (everything that happens to the dough between mixing and baking) but will also include the use of a sponge, poolish, starter or sour). High dough temperature will also greatly increase the rate of fermentation (80F is a good starting point for dough temperature). If you want to measure the pH of your dough as it is ready for the oven, go to the drug store and buy some litmus paper for use in the 4 to 5 pH range. Then take a couple ounces of your dough and put it into a blender with a cup, or s, of distilled water. Puree well, pour off into a clean glass and allow to stand for 3 to 5-minutes, decant off some of the cloudy water from beneath the sludge floating on top into a shot glass, dip the litmus paper into the liquid in the shot glass and compare the color to the color guide provided with the litmus paper and this will provide you with the pH of your dough. You should be looking for something not any lower than 4.2. If the pH is lower than 4.2 you are in the realm of a sourdough and will need much higher temperatures to bake the dough to the color you want. A good pH to shoot for is around 4.5 to 5.0 for your application.
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Offline getchai

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2012, 10:06:40 PM »
petef, thank you. I like the idea of adding more oil.

Tscarborough, thank you. I have tried with frozen cheese and refrigerated sauce. I will try with a lower smoke point oil.

JimmyG, thank you. Interesting suggestions. In the past I have used next to zero sauce because the sauce tasted gross. However I did notice with thin pizzas the heat from the stone would almost instantly create bubbling underneath the cheese. Maybe that is contributing to the fast burn.

The Dough Doctor, thank you. I really like the scientific approach and explanation. I never thought of acidity being a factor. I'm not using any starter. I need to pay more attention to the doughs internal temperature as it is kneaded. I don't believe it is over fermented because even a 3 hour rise where it barely doubles produces the same result. But then again I'm not familiar with how I would know, other then an overinflated gaseous mess. I'm looking forward to trying the acidity test. This may sound crazy, but I wonder if my tap water is causing a large pH offset.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2012, 07:59:07 AM »
G;
If you get your water from a municipal water supply it might be a little on the alkali side which would both slow fermentation (yeast is an acid loving organism) and induce crust color development (technically speaking), so I would doubt that your water is the issue. If you get your water from your own well, all bets are off, but even then, most issues revolve around alkalinity, so again, I would not be overly suspect of the water. There is a possibility that you are stretching the dough skin too thin. This would allow the heat from the stone to pass right on through the dough to be dissipated by the moisture in the toppings. Have you ever tried to solder a copper pipe with even a trace of water in it? Can't be done with a propane torch. The same thing can happen with your dough if you stretch it too thin. Try leaving the dough a little thicker. For a test, try to leave the dough about 3/16-inch thick, thencover it and let it rest for 15-minutes before you proceed with dressing the dough and baking it. The thicker dough and the rest time will make for a more porous crumb structure in the dough which will create a better heat break, allowing the dough to get hot enough to brown during baking if this is the problem.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

buceriasdon

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2012, 08:53:07 AM »
getchai, I'm going to mix up a couple of 200 gram dough balls this afternoon using 3% oil and agave syrup, bottled water for a Saturday evening bake in my toaster oven using the convection fan and see what happens. Like Tom, I start at the bottom then move the pie under the broiler however I will try and match your setup and leave it just below the fan, the other no fan. Until then.
Don

Online Pete-zza

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2012, 09:05:36 AM »
getchai,

I always like to start out with the dough formulation. However, I do not see that you posted it. Would you mind posting it and telling us how you made and managed the dough to the point of its use to make a pizza?

Also, I see that you are using a Cuisinart countertop toaster oven with an Emile-Henry stone. I note that the toaster oven can be used to bake pizzas (for example, there is a pizza/bake button) but the description of the oven (including in the video) does not say whether a pan or a pizza stone is to be used to do so. My countertop toaster oven has a pizza stone that came with it but I know that other models do not come with a pizza stone and some have neither a pizza stone or a pan.

With respect to the Emile-Henry stone, that is not one of the more popular stones among our members. As I recall, the stone is only 1/2" thick and, as the description notes, it is made from special materials and has a micro-crazed glazed surface. Maybe that is affecting your pizzas or maybe it isn't as effective in your Cuisinart oven as in a standard home oven. The Use and Care Manual, at http://www.emilehenryusa.com/info/Pizza-Stone-Care.pdf, says that the stone can be used with all kinds of ovens but the actual instructions seem to suggest ovens where peels are used to load the dressed pizzas (the stone can also be used to bake frozen pizzas). Apparently, the stone only needs 15-30 minutes to preheat. When you used that stone, do you recall the preheat time and were the stone temperatures you mentioned actual stone temperatures or were they the oven temperature settings using the knob?

It is possible to bake pizzas in a countertop toaster oven. One of our members, buzz, has been doing that for years. Also, several years ago, I experimented with my toaster oven to make a small NY style pizza, as I described in Reply 75 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg6394/topicseen.html#msg6394.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:43:02 AM by Pete-zza »

Online scott123

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2012, 10:31:34 AM »
Then take a couple ounces of your dough and put it into a blender with a cup, or s, of distilled water. Puree well, pour off into a clean glass and allow to stand for 3 to 5-minutes, decant off some of the cloudy water from beneath the sludge floating on top into a shot glass, dip the litmus paper into the liquid in the shot glass and compare the color to the color guide provided with the litmus paper and this will provide you with the pH of your dough.

No, it won't.  pH measures hydrogen ion concentration. By adding water, you're diluting those ions/diluting the acid and changing the pH. The pH of the dough will not be the same pH as the dough + a cup of water.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:33:48 AM by scott123 »


Offline getchai

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2012, 09:46:27 PM »
thanks The Dough Doctor. I haven't had time to get litmus paper but will have results soon.

scott123, but distilled has a neutral pH so I don't think it'll make a difference.

Looking forward to your results buceriasdon.

Peter, in the manual they recommend using the included pan. I tried that once, to experiment, it just ended up warping the pan because it's so thin. They recommend cooking on it but I tried to preheat it like a stone. When using the Emile-Henry stone, I preheat it to a temperature between 500-600 as measured by my IR thermometer, usually ~30 minutes. It can get very hot, at least on the surface, one time it was in the mid 600s. For making the dough, the majority of the time I do the following:
1. If using ADY, put yeast in amount of water called for by recipe and a sprinkle of sugar, stir. If using IDY I put yeast in with step 2.
2. Put all dry ingredients into food processor (sugar included), process for a second.
3. Put in vegetable oil or any other non water liquids into food processor, process for a second.
4. Slowly put in about 1/2 the water while processing. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the water.
5. Pour in the rest of the water while processing.
6. Once a ball is formed, process in 5 second increments until the dough looks smooth, removes itself from walls of bowl. Check with window pane test.
7. Continue to process until a successful window pane test.

The balls are then cut, put into a ball and each put in a plastic ziplock bag. The bag is then put into the fridge overnight and taken out the next day, still in the bag, until a few hours prior cooking.

Examples of dough recipes, all using KASL flour:

Greek Pizza:
Flour 100%
Water 55%
ADY .35%
Salt 2%
Veg. Oil 3%
Sugar 2%
Each ball ~160g

Cracker Crust:
Flour 100%
Water 40%
ADY .7%
Salt 1%
Olive Oil 2%
Sugar 2%
Each ball ~135g


Online Pete-zza

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2012, 09:54:32 AM »
getchai,

Looking at your two dough recipes, I do not see anything out of order but I could not tell whether those recipes were used to make the pizzas shown earlier in this thread. A Greek-style pizza is almost always baked in a pan (like a dark anodized or well seasoned deep-dish pan), and a cracker-style pizza is most commonly baked in either a pan (like a cutter pan) or on a screen or on a pizza stone. As for your preparation methods, I would suggest that you add the oil to the water before adding to the flour mixture or else add all of the water first and then add the oil after an initial mix/knead (to incorporate all of the water into the flour). This latter method is the one that Tom normally specifies. I would also not knead the dough until it can pass the windowpane test. Preferably, you want to knead the dough to the slightly underkneaded state. You can read Tom's recommendation on this matter by reading the quoted material in Reply 440 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg28694.html#msg28694. That recommendation is for a dough that has enough water to be able to handle as described in the quoted material. It is unlikely to work with your recipe for the cracker-style dough. In fact, I doubt that you can use the windowpane test with that dough.

From your description of your dough preparation and management methods, I would be very surprised if overfermentation of your dough was a factor in your results. I just don't see enough from what you said to lead me to conclude that you had an overfermented dough. However, as a precaution, by eliminating the windowpane test, that should eliminate any problems with overheating the dough, especially since you have been using a food processor, if such overheating caused the dough to ferment too fast.

At this point, if I had to venture a guess, I would say that your problem may lie in a mismatch between the doughs made using your dough recipes and your Cuisinart tabletop toaster oven, the Emile-Henry stone, and the temperatures you are using. Specifically, I believe that your bake temperatures may be far too high considering the small bake compartment of your Cuisinart toaster oven and the amount of heat that your stone receives by virtue of being right above the lower heating element. At the temperatures you are using, I believe that the tops of the pizzas may be baking too fast and not allowing enough time for the bottoms of the crusts to develop more color. I'd like to suggest that you try using a bake temperature of around 475-500 degrees F so that the tops of the pizzas don't bake as fast and the bottom crusts have enough time to develop adequate color.

What you are trying to do with your specific dough recipes and doughs, your Cuisinart toaster oven and your Emile-Henry stone is unique and out of the ordinary. So you can expect a fair amount of experimentation to see if you can get that combination to work to your satisfaction. Since you indicated that your are observing Kosher methods when you discussed the cheeses you are using, you may also have to do some experimentation with such cheeses to optimize their use in your particular oven arrangement. You might even try using a basic mozzarella cheese to see how that works out even if you don't eat the pizza yourself.

Peter

Offline getchai

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2012, 11:44:41 PM »
Thanks for the info Peter. Next time I will try all the water and then the oil. Also I will ease back with the kneading.

So last night I took a dough which I made the usual way to another oven. This was a full size oven. I heated it up to 550 with a 16inch stone in it. The skin I made was ~10 inches. I used a non kosher mozz/provolone Sargento cheese. I did forget to spray/oil the crust before putting it in. After a fairly long cook the crust still did not brown.  :o

The Dough Doctor, I've tried testing the pH. I could not find a 4-5 paper but I have a paper as well as a liquid test that goes from ~4-8. I noticed my tap water is greater than 8. I did a dough test, and it looks to be ~5.

I'm out of ideas. I will try cooking at a lower temperature in my oven and see how that goes.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2012, 08:03:40 AM »
G;
Your finished pH of the crust is about right. Have you tried making the dough skin a little thicker? In going back and looking at your photos, it appears that you might be using a rolling pin to shape the dough as indicated by the knife edge on the round pizza (this happens when the pin is allowed to roll off of the dough, thus creating a tapered edge that is overly thin). The combination of a rolling pin or sheeter and a light dough weight, creating a very thin dough skin can result in a dressed dough that can be difficult to get the bottom to brown properly. Another option to look at is to form the dough skin, and allow it to proof/rise for about 20-minutes before you dress and bake it. By doing this you will allow the dough to gas up a little, becoming less dense, and creating a better heat break, so the bottom heat is not as easily conducted through the dough/crust where it is absorbed and dissipated as steam by the liquids on top of the pizza, with an effective heat break the bottom of the dough can reach a sufficiently high surface temperature to begin the browning reaction.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline getchai

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2012, 09:36:01 PM »
Thank you The Dough Doctor. I should have noted that the recipe and the fact that the pizza made was with a thickness of 0.11. It was not rolled with a rolling pin. The cracker pizza which is pictured is the only one which I have rolled. I always toss. I am a little confused. It seems like you are now talking about the bottom browning. The problem has always been the top crust browning. The bottom always browns well.

I tried again last night, cooking at 450*F on the counter top oven. This was using kosher cheese again. It cooked a lot longer but the top did not brown at all. I kept it in until the cheese was too cooked just to see. I feel like there is something I am doing which is extremely wrong. How could it be that in both a regular oven and countertop oven I am having such little luck getting crust to brown? I am going to try with bottled water next time instead of tap. I don't know what else to try, and I know what I'm trying is not working.

For reference, the dough I cooked in the large oven as well as last night, was a 0.11 thickness with the following recipe:
KASL Flour 100%
Water 62%
IDY 0.3%
Kosher Salt 0.5%
Oil 0.5%
Sugar 1.5%
Each ball ~247.4g

Online Pete-zza

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2012, 09:45:05 PM »
getchai,

The amount of salt you are using is on the low side. If you don't use enough salt, then you can end up with a dull and pale crust, as this piece on salt from King Arthur discusses: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html.

Peter

EDIT (3/15/13): For the Wayback Machine link to the King Arthur article on salt, see http://web.archive.org/web/20051027064437/http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/4a1eb4311b0be08b2b590b39ac3f2c77/download/KAF-04-009%20Salt.pdf
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 05:36:13 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline weemis

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2012, 09:33:30 AM »
getchai,

The amount of salt you are using is on the low side. If you don't use enough salt, then you can end up with a dull and pale crust, as this piece on salt from King Arthur discusses: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/15ec5c94af1251cdac2d7a25848f0e27/miscdocs/salt.pdf.

Peter


Peter, you are indeed a wealth of knowledge and information seeking.
Thank you!
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Online Pete-zza

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2012, 09:37:39 AM »
Peter, you are indeed a wealth of knowledge and information seeking.
Thank you!

Nick,

Thank you. I just hope that increasing the salt solves the problem.

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2012, 08:37:05 AM »
G;
Top not browning at all, but the bottom is, and the cheese burns before the top of the pizza browns.
*) Bake if a higher rack position in the oven
*) Increase the sugar content of the dough to 2% and bake on an elevated platform such as a screen
*) Is the flour malted? If not, you might add 0.25% diastatic malt, or see "sugar" above.
*) Brush the entire top of the pizza skin with oil (olive oil) before dressing
*) Make sure the cheese is cold, right out of the fridge when you use it
*) Try different brands of Mozzarella cheese
*) In most cases where there are issues in getting the top of the pizza to color up the cause is low oven/baking temperature.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline getchai

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Re: bottom not fully browning, crust not at all
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2012, 08:36:23 PM »
Pete-zza: You are amazing. I made a pizza a few days ago and it is better. There was some browning! Not evenly or a lot.. but some! I cooked it at 450. I think the salt percentage was 1.8. I'm going to increase it some more next time.

Thanks The Dough Doctor. I'll try more sugar too and look into malt.


 

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