Author Topic: Different stones, different flavors?  (Read 815 times)

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Offline JD

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Different stones, different flavors?
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
I've been cooking on steel for a few weeks now, and one thing I've noticed is my pizza is lacking what I would describe an "artisan" flavor that I would get from cooking on cordierite or firebrick. Is this something I can expect to get back after the steel seasons?

I'm doing NY style using Ischia
Josh


Offline shuboyje

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 08:27:18 PM »
I have cooked both Neapolitan and New York in a wood fired oven on brick, and cooked Neapolitan and New York on steel, and have not noticed any difference in flavor between the two.  Can you expand a bit more on what it is you feel is missing?
-Jeff

Offline JD

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 08:37:25 PM »
For lack of a better explanation, it's almost like you can taste the stone in the pizza. It's very warming, like a crusty bread straight from the oven. The steel doesn't seem to add any character to me... it's just a selfish cooking surface.

Josh

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 08:54:37 PM »
How are your bakes comparing on the different surfaces?  Time, temp, charing?  Obviously the surface does not impart any flavor so whatever you are tasting must come from something in the way the pie is baking.
-Jeff

Offline scott123

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 08:59:35 PM »
JD, cordierite, firebrick and steel are all inert baking surfaces. They transfer no flavor to the crust other than the flavor achieved through the transfer of heat. There's no wok hei here. Steel, at lower heats, produces identical results to cordierite and firebrick.

Offline JD

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 09:23:27 PM »
Okay... thanks for the reply's shuboyje/scott

The pies are baking much quicker for obvious reasons, so maybe the flavor difference is just from the faster bake time.

The firebrick definitely imparts a stone smell in my kitchen when preheating in the oven. Maybe it's the combination of the stone smell and the pizza that creates the stone "flavor" I'm describing.
Josh

Offline Qarl

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 10:13:45 PM »
I would think that different temperatures, cooking rates, etc. from the various cooking surfaces would affect the cooking/browning of the flour/dough and create a different flavor... but as stated... it's nothing imparted into the pizza... just a different end product.

Offline JD

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 09:11:15 AM »
Majority rules... thanks guys.

I would think that different temperatures, cooking rates, etc. from the various cooking surfaces would affect the cooking/browning of the flour/dough and create a different flavor... but as stated... it's nothing imparted into the pizza... just a different end product.

Josh

Offline scott123

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 11:24:26 PM »
JD, steel's primary purpose is helping home bakers hit the lowest NY style bake times possible.  Just because you can hit super low bake times, though, doesn't mean that you have to.

As you approach the 3 minute realm (about a 550 deg. preheat), you can get, if so desired, a very contrast-y char that's very similar to Neapolitan undercrust leoparding.  This will give you plenty of flavor.

If you're used to getting flavor from golden brown maillard notes, there's nothing stopping you from dialing back the pre-heat temp and extending your bake to 5, 6 or even 7 minutes.  I, personally, like a puffy chewy 4 minute bake, but if you want a crispy golden brown 7 minute bake, all power to you.  Don't be afraid to turn the dial down- even as far as 475, if you have to.

Also, acids are browning inhibitors, so if your SD is generating a lot of acid, that might be part of the reason why you're not seeing the browning you're looking for.

Offline JD

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Re: Different stones, different flavors?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 07:47:42 AM »
Thanks for the info Scott. I believe you hit the nail on the head. I love the puffy crust & chewyness of the 4-5 minute bake, but I'm not too fond of the contrast I'm getting. I'll bring the temp down a bit, and also do some more reading on how acids are browning inhibitors. I've never had good luck with browning using my Ischia starter.... but I am using it for NY style, not Neo.

I've seen others who have had good luck with browning using an Ischia, so it may just be my process.

Thanks again.

Josh


 

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