Author Topic: new member  (Read 223 times)

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Offline junep

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new member
« on: January 06, 2013, 11:49:24 PM »
I'm a new member wanting to improve on my pizza skills. I recently moved to Southern Oregon, and use a regular, electric oven for baking my pizza.  My oven when set at 550F only went to 500. This is a new oven for me, so next time I think I'll preheat it for a whole hour and see if that will make a difference. I bake my pizza on a 1" thick silicon carbide shelf which gets very hot. Hopefully I can get the oven hotter. I've been using a dough recipe from a friend, which is very similar to a Neapolitan pizza dough, but because it's pretty wet, that its a bit difficult to form into a pie, so I want to explore other recipes and techniques.


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Re: new member
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 09:42:57 AM »
June, welcome to the forum.  Could you tell us where you were able to get your 1" silicon carbide shelf from?  That's an excellent thickness. Our members have only been able to find 3/4".  What's it's length and width?  This is conventional SiC and not nitride bonded, correct?

1" SiC shouldn't take more than 45 minutes to pre-heat. It can't hurt to pre-heat it longer, but I think your issue might reside less in the oven setup and more in the dough. Properly fermented dough shouldn't be wet and/or hard to form into a pie.  Could you post your recipe?

Offline junep

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Re: new member
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 10:53:18 AM »
Scott, my shelf is one I've owned for about thirty years. I'm a potter and bought it from another potter's estate; but you can still find them. There's a company called Larkin on the east coast that should probably carry them. Mine is 15" square.

Here's the recipe I've been using. As I said, it's pretty wet dough, but it does make a great pizza. The recipe is from my friend Ron, who spent about 3 years working on this one.

2 cups warm water
1/2 Cup rye flour (measure level)
3 1/2 cups bread flour (measure level)
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 pack of yeast

Attach dough hook on mixer, and add water, rye flour. Start mixer on low and add 1/2 of the bread flour, yeast and salt. Mix for a minute to dissolve the yeast, then add 3 cups of the flour and then the olive oil. Mix on low 20-30 minutes. Dough should be smooth, and have a bit of shine and only a slight amount of a ball of dough should be on the hook..

After mixing, pour a bit of extra olive oil around the inside of a bowl wall with the dough still in the bowl. Use a plastic spatula and turn the dough over and coast it and the bowl. Cover and let rise till doubled. Punch down with a spatula and clean the sides into the middle of the dough and let it rise again till ready to use. It makes about 3 10X12" pies.

Take 1/3rd of the dough and drop it onto a well floured work surface, and round it up into itself, forming a ball. Picking it up quickly, push the dough into the center, from the bottom as you are holding the dough, producing a tight, smooth surface on top. Then put it down on the work surface and use your finger tips and take the area just inside the outer part (rim),and flatten it so you'll have a little hump in the middle. PUnch down with fingers. Sprinkle flour on it and turn it over, then flatten it with your palms and fingers till it's about 10-12" wide. Leave a bit of dough on the edge untouched to hold the sauce and toppings.

Dust a peel with cornmeal, lay the formed dough over it, add sauce, cheese and other toppings if using. Bake on a silicon carbide shelf in a preheated 500-550F oven. This crust will get big bubbles, so look at the pie early and watch for big bubbles to start; and use the edge of a metal spatula to break the bubbles.

1 - 10.75oz can of tomato puree
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 of a large onion diced
6-8 fresh basil leaves chopped
1 tsp salt

Put all in a food processor till pureed. Let sit a bit and then apply with a pastry brush.

Bake pie about 8-10 minutes at 500-550F


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Re: new member
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 12:03:05 PM »
June, 1" x 15" x 15" (or 1" x 16" x 16") SiC shelves seem to be no longer produced.  I've spent countless hours looking through ceramic supply web sites and have contacted quite a few manufacturers as well, both domestically and overseas.

This being said, I haven't spoken with Larkin. I will drop them a line.

The recipe is... different :)  If I'm hearing you correctly, you're not looking to re-invent the wheel, just to tweak your existing recipe a bit.  Is that right?  If that's the case, I'm not the best person to speak with, because I've never worked with rye. I recommend starting a new thread (so that more people can see it) and asking your questions/posting your recipe there.

To get the most out of your inquiries, though, I do have a few pieces of advice. First of all, this recipe bears no resemblance to Neapolitan dough, so I wouldn't mention Neapolitan or the members here will push you in an entirely different direction. The category is a bit vague, but I'd use the term 'artisan' to describe your dough. Secondly, the common language of our forum's members is baker's percentages, and, in order to work in percentages, ingredients like flour and water have to be weighed.  If you don't own a digital scale, it's time to get your hands on one if you want to get the most out of the forum's vast knowledge.

This forum has some talented people that work with rye, so I'm sure you'll get the help you'll need. Once you get some assistance on the dough side, I'll be in a better position to help you with your oven setup.

Btw, how are you measuring the temp of the pre-heated stone?

Offline junep

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Re: new member
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 04:50:39 PM »

Here's a url for an old photo of a pizza made with the dough recipe I posted. For some reason, inserting the address in between the urls that came up when I hit the button to inserted a hyperlink doesn't seem to bring it up on preview. So you might just have to copy the url and paste it. Hope that works!

Scott, here's Larkins web page.
They have a contact button if you want to write or call them. I believe they also sell used silicon carbide shelves which would be a bargain; and if they can't cut to size for you, places that cut granite or any place that uses diamond blades can cut it for you.

I know the recipe I posted isn't classic Neapolitan, but the end result is similar with a thin, crispy outer crust, slightly foldable and chewy. My friend Ron who developed this over 3 years of experimenting, starting with Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time watching you tube videos on both Neapolitan and New York pizzas, and found some great information on the Neapolitan from an expert from Italy. He mentioned 62-65% hydration, used antimo caputo 00 (blue bag) flour, salt, cake yeast and cold water, etc. It was very informative. He even gave different mixing times for Hobart and fork mixers.

As far as my recipe, I'll weight it on my digital scale and make sure it's in that hydration range and see how that works. I might also try it next time with at least one night in the fridge with half the dough, and 3 nights with the other half.

I did a test reheat on my oven this morning and after 45 minutes, the regular oven thermometer only registered 500F, but this time I also used my point and shoot thermometer and that registered 576!  I don't remember if I targeted the stone or just the oven interior.

I'm trying to attack a photo of a pie made with this dough; but I seem to have a problem getting it to upload following the instructions. I'm attacking the file on my computer, and it just doesn't seem to be loading. The file size is within the range specified, so I don't know what the problem is:-(

Thanks for your help. When I get a bit more time, I'll read a lot of the others areas on the forum. Right now I want to try batching a New York pizza - the kind I grew up eating in Brooklyn. :-)


Offline bfguilford

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Re: new member
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 07:44:04 PM »
My oven when set at 550F only went to 500. This is a new oven for me, so next time I think I'll preheat it for a whole hour and see if that will make a difference.

June:  Check to see if your oven thermostat is adjustable. I was able to adjust mine to add 35 degrees (it is a digital temperature setting), and it now gets up to the full 550 degrees when it is set for that temperature.

Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline junep

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Re: new member
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 09:03:59 PM »
Thanks Barry. Mine is digital too; but I think the problem was the old thermometer I was using. This morning I tested the oven again and used my lasar, point and shoot, thermometer and it register 576F after a 45 minute pre heat.