Author Topic: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio  (Read 1101 times)

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Offline shawn1234

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new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« on: October 13, 2012, 04:30:54 PM »
New to pizzamaking.com.  Done a ton of experimenting at home with all types, mainly Neapolitan.  Have tried to replicate Jeff Varasano's pizza recipe.  More recently using a lot of Kenji-Alt Lopez's recipes/techniques off of serious eats.  I come from a baking background; our family owns a large retail bakery operation in Cincinnati, Busken Bakery, now 4th generation.  So this is in my blood.  Looking for new recipes and techniques.  Going to start baking with the baking steel soon based on Nathan Mhyrvold's recommendations.


Offline scott123

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 04:38:45 PM »
Shawn, welcome to the forum.

Btw, Nathan Mhyrvold does not recommend the baking steel. He recommends baking pizza with steel plate (as do I), but he has no affiliation with the baking steel company.

If you haven't purchased the baking steel yet, I highly recommended getting steel plate locally and removing the scale yourself with vinegar.  Not only can you save yourself about $75 (on the 1/2" plate), but you can size the steel to your oven, which is very important.

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 10:34:28 AM »
scott123:  thanks for the info.  Yes, I am aware Mhyrvold does not endorse the baking steel.  He was just the one that turned me on to the idea of baking with a steel plate instead of a stone.  I asked for an estimate from a local fabricator and it was a lot more than what the baking steel is charging.  For same dimensions and 1/2 inch mild steel, the estimate from local fabricator was $197.00.  Baking steel is $110.  Economies of scale.  Thoughts?

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 11:35:51 AM »
Shawn, That price makes me think the plate is cold roll, not A36 hot roll steel. Ask for hot roll steel not cold roll, big difference in price.
Don

Offline scott123

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 11:40:02 AM »
Shawn, I made a few calls, and, I have to admit, steel plate is not cheap in your area. I did find one place, though, that's better than $110

Alro Steel - Columbus
555 Hilliard - Rome Rd.
Columbus, OH 43228

Phone: (614) 878-7271
joe extension 210
$77 16 x 16 x 1/2

If you really want 14 x 16, then that's going to be a little cheaper- I'm guessing $65, but that's still more than what you should be paying.  Like I said before, though, the most important aspect of buying steel plate yourself is that you can size it to your oven.  A 14" plate can only comfortably handle 13.5" pizzas and 13.5" pizzas are postage stamps. You want the largest square steel plate that your oven can handle- touching the back wall and almost touching the door.

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 11:41:12 AM »
Thanks!  I will inquire.  Obviously more to this than I thought.

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 12:02:03 PM »
Awesome.  Thanks for the information and all this work.  I actually just got an estimate from Blackburn's here in town for $46.10 hot roll a36 steel.  So that is a good price.  That is based on the same dimension as baking steel, which i didn't realize was so small.  I'll have to measure my oven and try to get a bigger one, per your recommendation.

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2012, 12:03:13 PM »
what size is your steel plate?  I know it depends on what the oven will hold, but just curious.

Offline scott123

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 01:17:53 PM »
Shawn, my hearth is 17.5" x  21" but I purchased it long before I knew that lateral space isn't all that critical. These day, if I were purchasing a plate, I'd go with 17.5" x 17.5" (or maybe 17.5 x 18). 17.5" is definitely the biggest plate my oven can handle, though.  An extra 1/8th of an inch and my door won't quite shut.

Edit: even with 17.5", I still dream of the day when I can have a 19" hearth and comfortably launch 18" pies.  You may not be dreaming of making 18" pies now, but, trust me, eventually you will.   For NY, bigger is better.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 01:28:37 PM by scott123 »

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 03:13:23 PM »
LOL.  Yeah, maybe someday I will want to make some pizza's that big, who knows.  Like you say, that's NY Style.  I really appreciate your advice.  What do you mean by hearth?  Is it not an oven, or is that just what you call it?


Offline scott123

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 03:31:34 PM »
Hearth = floor = stone = plate.  I use these interchangeably as synonyms for the baking surface.

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2012, 12:23:32 PM »
hey scott, I know I've been awol for a while, sorry about that.  So I finally got my piece of steel.  I actually ordered 17X23 but when I got home it wouldn't fit because the racks on the oven have a lip on the back that prevents them and anything else from sliding to the very back.  I could prop it up, but then it wouldn't be flat.  So I think I'm gonna get this re-sized to 15.5x23.   

Once I get it re-sized, how do you reccomend preparing it for food-safe use.  The plate still has the oil from the hot roll process and is generally in pretty rough shape.  Is it food safe to grind the plate with your typical metal grinding pad from home depot.  I picket some up, 80 grit, over the weeked.  Once you've done the grinding to the surface, what next?  I saw you mentioned something about vinegar to remove the scale?  wasn't sure what you meant by that.  Do you need to season the plate?  The fabricator reccomended grinding down the plate and then putting vegetable oil on it to keep it from rusting.  It is A36 hot roll.


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2012, 11:03:06 PM »
Shawn,
Flip your rack upside down...reinsert with now downturned lip nearest the door.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline shawn1234

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 03:20:56 PM »
Thanks for the advice, but that doesn't work.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 04:47:47 PM »
Hammer?  :)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline weemis

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Re: new member - Shawn B. - Columbus, Ohio
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 09:13:24 AM »
I think your best bet would be to start a new topic under the appropriate section of the forum to get the best results. other members will be more likely to chime in if you're out of the new forum members section.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer