Author Topic: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline PennyNC

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My dear husband heard my Christmas wish this year and got me a 1/2" steel plate for my pizza obsession.  I have been a lurker for years on this website and haven't had nearly enough to contribute compared to what I've learned, but figured I would document my steel plate odyssey here in one place to try and help the collective wisdom...

My pizza history has been all over the place but I have finally gotten consistent, family and friends happy and that's been good but I'm now feeling the itch to try something and move forward again.  While I'm more a Lehman crust fan, the friends and family are in love with Jerry Mac's crust and that's what they demand.  I love it too, don't get me wrong; it's an great dough.  So....how do I start here with this steel plate?  Should I make the usual Jerry Mac dough and do everything just as I regularly do on my stone?  So I have a baseline to compare the two surfaces?

Or should I start with another dough that might be better from the get-go on steel plate?

Scott, I would love to have you hold my hand as I get started on this quest and walk me to the promised land.  In fact, I'll take all the help from everyone that I can get.  I have read everything on the site about steel plates and my head is swimming!  Just get me started and I promise that I will document as best I am able here and post pictures if I can figure it out.  To give you an idea of what I'm probably aiming for, I think Mark's (Communist) pizza in this post is right up my alley........
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.msg127366.html#msg127366

My oven is electric and I can only set the temp up to 500 degrees.  Big broiler element up top should help.  I do have a Harbor Freight nearby if I really need an infrared heat gun in order to make this work.  Just haven't gotten one yet.

I'm ready and have a serious hankering for some pizza for the new year....let's get this party started!  :)

Thanks, guys!





Online Pete-zza

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 02:47:18 PM »
PennyNC,

I believe that scott123 may have the answer but the JerryMac dough contains almost 5% honey or malt syrup, which may be too much if the pizza is to be baked on the steel plate at much above 500 degrees F.

The JerryMac dough formulation appears in the collection of recipes at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.msg110289.html#msg110289. If the JerryMac dough is ruled out for any reason, there are many other NY style dough formulations given in the abovereferenced collection that contain little or no sweetener.

Peter

scott123

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 03:22:15 PM »
5% honey?! Wowza ;D

Peter makes an excellent point, Penny. Sugar/honey are browning accelerators, so when you turn up the heat with a more conductive material such as steel, you're looking at a far greater propensity for burning with Jerry Mac's dough. For steel, if possible, for now, I'd stick to a Lehman-ish dough. Here's my recommended recipe:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20732.msg206639.html#msg206639

This should also work pretty well with Better for Bread or KABF.

The very first thing you want to do is to get that IR thermometer from HF. After that, put the plate in the oven, on a shelf that's 5-7" from the broiler, pre-heat it for 90 minutes and take readings of the top of the plate and the bottom.  525 is the magic number. That's what Mark (Communist) can hit.  If the number is lower than that, then we might have to mess around with more oil and more sugar (not 5%, but maybe 2% a la Kenji), but let's cross our fingers that you can hit 525.

 

Offline corkd

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 04:03:12 PM »

scott, what are your thoughts about putting the steel plate directly on the floor of a gas oven, whose burner is under the floor? when i put my kiln shelves there, they reach well over 600. I can then use the gas broiler if I need to.
~clay

scott123

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 05:14:48 PM »
Clay, unless you have an exceptionally shallow oven, the broiler will have almost no impact with the plate that far away.  The impact of a broiler relies entirely on distance.  The closer the better (to a point).

I know some people that like to pre-heat stones/plates and then move them, but this is not something that I recommend. I don't care if someone has extra special welder's gloves or some other contraption, it's not worth the risk.

If the shelf can hit 600 on the floor, then I think you should be able to hit 525 on an upper shelf. 525 is generally all you need for a 4 minute bake with a malted flour dough with some oil and some sugar.

Offline communist

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 11:59:23 PM »
PennyNC, I am excited about your new steel!  Scott is the man, and will get you where you want to go.  My NY pie has gotten excellent reviews from family and friends.  I will be glad to share my experience with you as you progress.  My steel temp hits 525 to 530, but I have had 4 minute pies at temps slightly lower.  Good luck!!   Mark

Offline deb415611

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Re: Got a 1/2" steel plate for Christmas...so how do I start my journey?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 06:44:07 AM »
My dear husband heard my Christmas wish this year and got me a 1/2" steel plate for my pizza obsession.  I have been a lurker for years on this website and haven't had nearly enough to contribute compared to what I've learned, but figured I would document my steel plate odyssey here in one place to try and help the collective wisdom...

My pizza history has been all over the place but I have finally gotten consistent, family and friends happy and that's been good but I'm now feeling the itch to try something and move forward again.  While I'm more a Lehman crust fan, the friends and family are in love with Jerry Mac's crust and that's what they demand.  I love it too, don't get me wrong; it's an great dough.  So....how do I start here with this steel plate?  Should I make the usual Jerry Mac dough and do everything just as I regularly do on my stone?  So I have a baseline to compare the two surfaces?

Or should I start with another dough that might be better from the get-go on steel plate?

Scott, I would love to have you hold my hand as I get started on this quest and walk me to the promised land.  In fact, I'll take all the help from everyone that I can get.  I have read everything on the site about steel plates and my head is swimming!  Just get me started and I promise that I will document as best I am able here and post pictures if I can figure it out.  To give you an idea of what I'm probably aiming for, I think Mark's (Communist) pizza in this post is right up my alley........
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.msg127366.html#msg127366

My oven is electric and I can only set the temp up to 500 degrees.  Big broiler element up top should help.  I do have a Harbor Freight nearby if I really need an infrared heat gun in order to make this work.  Just haven't gotten one yet.

I'm ready and have a serious hankering for some pizza for the new year....let's get this party started!  :)

Thanks, guys!





this is great,  my story is pretty close, my husband ordered me the 1/2" baking steel (I know the thoughts of some members on this but it wouldn't happen otherwise).  So as soon as I receive it I'll be starting my own journey thread.  I'm looking forward to watching your posts.


 

pizzapan