Author Topic: First pics, go easy  (Read 6627 times)

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Offline dylandylan

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First pics, go easy
« on: July 27, 2012, 05:47:31 AM »
I'm glad I found the newbie section...

So this is roughly the state of my pizza making at the minute.  Home oven, only goes to 230c so I put it on full for the best part of an hour to heat the stone, then put it on grill (or broil I think you call it in the USA?) for a few minutes while I prep the pizza.   No idea what temperatures I'm getting on the stone, but it's a fairly thick and heavy compared with most "regular" round stones that I see.   Dough is just under 60% hydration, instant yeast, all purpose flour.  Roughly 30hr cold ferment.  I'm not getting any underside charring, I'm guessing low stone temp but can't measure it.  Any tips/thoughts/comments gratefully received.  The last couple of pics are a turkish flat bread, like to make use of a hot oven when the going is good!






Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 10:42:20 AM »
Nothing wrong with those. I think they look really good.

One thing you might want to look at. Many ovens (here in the States anyway) will not allow the broiler to turn on if the oven is at max temp. You might check to see if your broiler is actually coming on after pre-heating for an hour. If not, maybe pre-heat to 223-225F.

Craig
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 03:31:06 PM »
Good looking pizzas!  If you have a double oven, you can also use one as the primary and the second as the broiler.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 06:54:07 PM »
Your pizzas look about 800% better than mine when I started.  Keep up the good work... :chef: :pizza: Oh, the most important this is if you liked it and if there is any left.
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Offline Giggliato

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 11:49:45 AM »
Hello dylan,

It looks like your pizza style is very similar to mine, although I am not a fan of the cold fermentation. I use a 20-24 hour room temperature bulk ferment, then I cut the dough, ball it and let it sit covered on the counter until its ready. The pizzas are cooking in just about 4 minutes. Usually a few seconds less. I crank my oven up to max and let the stone heat up then place it as close to the broiler as possible, and then I "superheat" the stone under the broiler for ten minutes. I turn the broiler off and carefully slide the pizza into the oven, after two minutes I turn the broiler on and after another minute or so I rotate the pizza. If you are looking for underside charring I would advise to use as little flour/semolina on your board as possible and make sure your stone is extremely hot. I usually cook three pizzas, of which I get to eat two  :-D And one of them is usually nicely charred on the bottom.

Are you looking for black spots or brown spots? Or brownish black spots?


Offline mkevenson

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 02:02:09 PM »
DylanDylan,
Thanks for sharing those pics. I agree those look better than my first tries. Can you get a digital infrared therm? If not try an oven therm and lay it flat on the stone, won't be perfect but close. I bet those pies taste great!

Mark
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buceriasdon

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2012, 04:45:44 PM »
Where is your stone positioned in your oven? The addition of sugar helps with browning. Nice work!
Don

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 04:58:28 PM »
Thanks all for the welcome.   The pizzas are entirely edible so that's a start!  I'm happy with the results (so is my wife), it's only in the pursuit of something better that I can't help tweaking thinks and seeking advice.


Craig - thanks for the thoughts, I baked again last night (no pics, basically same result as those above) and found that you're correct, the broiler didn't come on at all!!   Hah.    I'll experiment with the lower pre-heat suggestion next weekend.  There must be some way to fool it into heating.

@tscarborough - just a single convection oven here.  I can't even see a bottom element!   Nice thought though, I can imagine a double oven would be a great way to bake.

@jet_decků none left, it disappeared pretty quickly.   I've made a few pizzas here and there before, including some real train-wrecks in years gone by, thankfully there was no photographic evidence of those.

@Giggliato - The charring in your pic is more than I get top or bottom. I'm not expecting WFO style char of course, but I'd love to get as much as you are, looks great.  I'm getting a cooked but pale underside.   I think my sauce is drying out a little more than in your pics too.  At a guess my bakes are closer to 5 mins, maybe more, I'll use a stopwatch next weekend.  I'm a bit erratic with my fermentation.  It's winter down here in NZ so room temp isn't much warmer than the fridge!  

Mark - I ordered an IR thermometer a few days ago so that should give me a bit more to go on.  My suspicion is that the stone temp isn't very high,  hopefully the thermometer will arrive this week.

Don - the stone was center shelf.  I've tried it right-up-close to the broiler before, but as Craig had suggested, the broiler hadn't come on at all. Doh!    Sugar makes sense to get more browning.   I usually do a batch with 300g or 600g flour (for 2 or 4 pies, depending on whether we have guests), how much sugar would you use?


Lots of good ideas for my next bake, I'm looking forward to it.   Thanks again for the welcome and the tips.  It's a great forum here, loads of useful info and good community.    I've picked up up a heap just observing for a few weeks.


Dylan
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 05:01:06 PM by dylandylan »

buceriasdon

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 05:08:01 PM »
I'd drop my stone down. For sugar I'd suggest 1/2 teaspoon to start for a 300 gram ball. That's about 1.4 Bakers Percent.
Don

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 05:23:24 PM »
Ok, so this weekend I've added sugar, managed to preheat a little lower to get the broiler to play ball, tried the stone on a different shelf.   About 48 hour cold ferment this time, with about 4hr out of the fridge prior to bake.   My IR thermo meter arrived this week too.  I'm only getting about 420f on the stone after about an hour of preheat.  Might explain the pale undersides I'm getting.

I think it'll take a while to get the hang of getting the oven temp just right so the broiler will engage.   With all the changes I forgot completely about timing the bakes, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're past the 5 minute mark.   Pics... 1st as Agli o olio, looks a little undercooked in the pic but the crust had great texture, one of my best results yet.  2nd was a throwtogether.  I was determined to see this one brown a bit, so it had a long bake, it tasted fine but dry crust compared with the first one.

Next week I'll attempt to use the stopwatch!

« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 05:28:04 PM by dylandylan »


buceriasdon

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 05:51:26 PM »
Where is your broiler in the oven? That last pie looked very good.
Don

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 09:54:26 PM »
Thanks Don.   The broiler is at the top, exposed.  As far as I can tell it's fairly regular, but as Craig imagined, it won't turn on when the oven is fully pre-heated.    I think the broiler took a few minutes to come up to speed.    The last pie was good, but I had to leave it in there for a fair while to get any color to it.   

Next weekend I'll try putting the stone on the top shelf just under the broiler and see what temperature I get on the stone up there.

Offline Atticus

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 11:09:57 AM »
That's some good looking pizza!  Miles better than my first effort (and second, third, etc!).  :)

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2012, 04:11:39 AM »
So this weekend... I forgot to add sugar to the dough, but remembered to hit the stopwatch.  1st pie was 4 minutes, second & third were about 5 minutes.  Getting interesting bubbling in the center of the white pies.   Don't know if that's exactly what I'm going for but the bubbling tastes and looks ok.

buceriasdon

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2012, 01:15:42 PM »
Dylan, So your still not getting bottom color, correct? I still maintain you need your stone low in the oven for that.
Don

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2012, 04:13:16 PM »
Hi Don, correct, still very pale underside.   Thanks for the reminder, that'll be next weekend's variable.  Would love to get even a modest amount of color!

Offline MrH

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2012, 08:38:57 PM »
Looks really nice, I'd eat it!

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 08:18:24 PM »
So this weekend I had a crack at a makeshift WFO... basically I put a skillet in the log burner in our living room.  Mixed results, but fun!   Definitely feels like going back to square 1!   The skillet is small at 10" deep, and has a deep lip, so it makes for a small pie.  I think my dough balls were too big at about 150g, so the center wasn't as thin as I usually go for.   But a 9" pie turned out to be kinda achievable.   Secondly the temperature was all over the place.  I now wonder if a skillet in a log burner may not really create the ideal conditions for a bake, but I had to try.  I was getting between 400f and 850f on the skillet.  Very little heat coming from the top, although with the flames coming up at the rear I could almost "dome" it haha!    I also found the pizza would stick to the skillet a bit and char like crazy.  I always wanted some char, but some of this was inedible.  A lesson in being careful what you wish for.  But what was edible tasted great.   Anyway, some of my journey in photos below.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 08:25:00 PM by dylandylan »

Offline dylandylan

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2012, 04:16:57 PM »
Well as much fun as the skillet-in-the-fire was, I've regressed back to the low-temp oven for the time being.  We're coming into summer down here in NZ so my intention is to mod my BBQ when the weather permits for some higher temperature fun.  Last night's bake wasn't outstanding, but edible enough. In terms of progress I have upped my hydration, I think to near 63% this time.  A bit harder to work with than my standard 60%. I seemed to end up with oblongs as a result of my slide onto the peel with this level of hydration, so I have something to work on.  I've seen a nice technique in a video somewhere online where a guy drags the pie onto the peel, elongating it in the process, and then with one quick smooth move he pulls out the sides to have it perfectly re-shape into a circle.  Me = not so slick!

Anyway, pics from last night.  Didn't have any fresh moz on hand, so it was Colby cheese for the marg - a cheddar variant that's very common in NZ.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 04:23:57 PM by dylandylan »

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: First pics, go easy
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2012, 09:05:21 AM »
Dylan,

You may want to invest in another  rectangular stone to place above your existing stone in your home oven. I would place the round stone as close as possible to the bottom element and the rectangular stone somewhere in the middle of your oven.  Use the broiler element to heat your top stone first than use bake to heat you stone and oven to the maximum temperature your oven can reach.  You can adjust your stones height setting for optimal browning.

I used to use the top stone to pre-bake pizza skin, while another pizza is being baked on the lower stone.  This really helped when I was baking multiple pizzas

Another thing you can try, is to place half split fire bricks on both side of each stone, to help with side browning.

My goal with this setup in addition to simulate brick oven, is to capture as much heat as possible and retain it when opening and closing the oven.

Your pies looks great by the way.
Bert,


 

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