Author Topic: Making the most of your home oven  (Read 1387 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Making the most of your home oven
« on: May 13, 2015, 12:07:52 PM »
Did you know you can make some pretty kick ass pizza in your home oven?  With the exception of maybe Neapolitan pizza, you can make just about any other style of pizza right in the comfort of your own home.  Not only can you make pizza but you can actually do it well, if you know a few tricks. 

This thread is for sharing and discussing tips and tricks to get the most out of your home oven.  Currently I am using a GE "electric" home oven to churn out some pretty awesome NY pie. 

My current method for baking NY pizza makes use of 2 pizza stones strategically place near the heating elements and the broiler.  I'll detail my method in the posts to follow. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 01:30:29 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 12:11:51 PM »
Here's what my setup looks like.   The top stone is about 4.5" from the top element, and the bottom stone sits on the lowest rack in the oven. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 01:33:30 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 12:23:50 PM »
I start by preheating my oven at 500F for 45 minutes or so until I get an IR stone reading of 480F or so.  I then turn the broiler on and wait for the top stone to reach about 620F.  This usually takes an additional 5 minutes or so.  I've never timed it, but it's not that long.

During this time, I am prepping the pie.   I want to be able to load the pie on a stone temp of 600+F, with the broiler still on.  The reason for this is to maximize lift in the rim of the pie and the higher temps get me a relatively crispier bottom.

I usually bake the pie with the broiler on for a minute and a half to two minutes.  I then turn the broiler off and the oven back to 500F.  I will let the pie sit on the top stone for another few minutes before transferring the pie to the bottom stone where it sits for a few more minutes.  (so the bake time at this point is about 6 minutes).

For the last part of the bake, I will turn the broiler back on to recharge the top stone for a minute or so.  I then turn the dial back to 500F.  This turns off broiler before I transfer the pie back to the top stone one last time.    At this point the top of the pie is pretty dark already and will burn if the broiler is on. 

For my current formulation I am shooting for a 7.5 minute bake.  Your bake time may vary based on your hydration ratio and desired crust texture. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 01:46:39 PM »
Chau,

You certainly have managed to master the basic home oven better than most.

Can you provide the dimensions of the two stones and are they of the same material? And will the broiler in your oven stay on at all times or does it kick off when the oven is at a particular temperature? Or do you find it necessary to periodically open the oven door with the setting on broil to keep the broiler on when you want it?

Peter

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 04:40:29 PM »
Fantastic, thanks for sharing  :chef:
Will need to try out for when I don't feel like firing the wfo.
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 04:40:44 PM »
Thank you Peter.   The top stone is a PRIMO brand pizza stone that has been glazed with a food safe glaze.  It is 16" in diameter and is made of a porous ceramic material.  Likely the same material that the Primo Ceramic grills are made from.  The bottom stone is a generic 12" cordierite stone from Walmart or Target.

The broiler does not stay on the entire time and will shut off periodically, likely when the oven reaches a particular temperature.  I do inadvertently open the door of the oven often to check on the pizza and to turn it as the back of the oven gets hotter than the front.  I do believe that, because I open the door frequently to monitor the pizza, the broiler does stay on longer. 

« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 09:32:37 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 09:10:23 PM »
Chau,

Thank you for the additional information. I am actually glad that you decided to start this thread, for several reasons. As you know, we have many members who have only their home ovens to bake pizzas. It might be that they have limited resources and cannot afford to purchase or build any other kind of oven that would be more suitable or preferred, or maybe there are safety and other restrictions where they live (including those dictated by apartments or condominiums) that forbid the use of ovens on balconies and the like. In some cases, members may not have the skills or specialized knowledge needed to build their own ovens even when they can afford the materials.

As you know, you can't take any dough and assume that you can easily bake it in any oven, including a standard home oven. Your opening posts make this clear. Making the dough and oven work harmoniously together to make a quality pizza can take a fair amount of work and creativity, much as you demonstrated in your opening posts. Since you have invited the members to share and discuss tips and tricks to get the most out of their home ovens, I hope that members will contribute ideas to this thread. I plan to do so myself, based on my own experience and the experiences of other members who have written on the subject and whose work I have also reported on from time to time over the years. If the thread becomes sufficiently developed, I think the thread would be a good candidate to become a "sticky" to which members can be referred for advice and tips on how they can use their home ovens to make quality pizzas.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 10:28:04 PM »
Chau,

I have basically the same set up as you except I use two kiln shelves.

Here's a tip. The GE ovens have a vent build in in the upper right burner. I cover it with a cast iron lid from one of my pots. It heats the interior evenly and the upper stone very nocely.

I do an hour pre-heat before launching the pies and remove the lid from the vent when I see steam coming out from under it.

My oven runs very hot for a home oven. It goes to 550 plus the option to calibrate it up or down by 35 F. I have it maxed out.

I always started on the bottom atone, then go yo the top stone to finish. No broiler needed.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline jvp123

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 10:53:56 PM »
Chau,

I have basically the same set up as you except I use two kiln shelves.

Here's a tip. The GE ovens have a vent build in in the upper right burner. I cover it with a cast iron lid from one of my pots. It heats the interior evenly and the upper stone very nocely.

I do an hour pre-heat before launching the pies and remove the lid from the vent when I see steam coming out from under it.

My oven runs very hot for a home oven. It goes to 550 plus the option to calibrate it up or down by 35 F. I have it maxed out.

I always started on the bottom atone, then go yo the top stone to finish. No broiler needed.

Great "mod" Mike. 
Jeff


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 11:07:19 PM »
Thanks for the tips Mike.  I'll try covering the vent up, but I do love using the broiler.  My pizza wouldn't be the same without it.

Offline jvp123

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 11:14:31 PM »
Thanks for the tips Mike.  I'll try covering the vent up, but I do love using the broiler.  My pizza wouldn't be the same without it.

Would love to see a photo of that "mod" Mike.  :)
Jeff

Offline Essen1

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2015, 11:47:04 PM »
There is no mod. It's just a cast iron lid covering vent.

See where your vent is and go from there.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline illigil

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 12:38:31 AM »
Hi,
I use my home oven as this is the only oven I have at the moment. Live in an apartment.
I sure cant make a neapolitan style as Peter and Chau mentioned, but I make pretty good pizza's, at least according to my friends and family and I believe, better than most of the places who sells them in my surounding.
My setup is simpler than Chau's. I put the pizza stone (not sure which kind, but it is a porous ceramic kind) on the bottom of the oven. I don't have a visible heating element on the bottom. I also put a wire rack shelf very close to the top broiler. About 5 cm or 2 in approx. Nothing else. I preheat the oven to max temp (270c or approx 520f) for about an hour. Then I prep the pizza and slide it on the stone. Never timed it but I reckon about 4-5 minutes. Then I transfer it to the top shelf while turning it 180 for more even cook for about 1.5 to 2 minutes. Sometime I then turn the broiler. Sometimes i dont.
I sure agree with peter that not all dough types are fitted to this type of bake.
I find that high gluten, high protein flour and high hydration doughs works for me best(like the neo-neopolitan dough by peter reinhart for example).
Some pics of pizza's and oven setup are attached.
Gil
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 09:15:26 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline illigil

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 02:18:36 AM »
More photos
Gil
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 09:16:46 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 10:46:58 AM »
Hi,
I use my home oven as this is the only oven I have at the moment. Live in an apartment.
I sure cant make a neapolitan style as Peter and Chau mentioned, but I make pretty good pizza's, at least according to my friends and family and I believe, better than most of the places who sells them in my surounding.
My setup is simpler than Chau's. I put the pizza stone (not sure which kind, but it is a porous ceramic kind) on the bottom of the oven. I don't have a visible heating element on the bottom. I also put a wire rack shelf very close to the top broiler. About 5 cm or 2 in approx. Nothing else. I preheat the oven to max temp (270c or approx 520f) for about an hour. Then I prep the pizza and slide it on the stone. Never timed it but I reckon about 4-5 minutes. Then I transfer it to the top shelf while turning it 180 for more even cook for about 1.5 to 2 minutes. Sometime I then turn the broiler. Sometimes i dont.
I sure agree with peter that not all dough types are fitted to this type of bake.
I find that high gluten, high protein flour and high hydration doughs works for me best(like the neo-neopolitan dough by peter reinhart for example).
Some pics of pizza's and oven setup are attached.
Gil
Gil,

I have used a similar technique in my home oven but my oven (standard builders grade electric oven) has an exposed bottom element. I have discussed the methods I have used with my oven at Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg20965#msg20965. Note, also, the posts by scott123 and pwaldman (Pete) referenced in Reply 45.

With respect to using a standard unmodified home oven to attempt a Neapolitan style pizza, these threads are often cited on that possibility:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10024.0

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11654.0

Peter

Offline nickr

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2015, 01:26:18 PM »
I do the entire bake on the rack that is second from the top. I don't ever change shelves. It's a 45 minute preheat at 550. I load it and let it bake for about 3 minutes. I haven't actually timed it. Then I check the crust. If it's almost done I crank the broiler on high and watch it through the glass. It usually takes about 30 seconds for the broiler to kick on fully. After that the bake is over in under a minute.

The pie below was 90% KAAP and 10% Molino. Too much sauce but otherwise pretty darn good.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 01:48:44 PM by nickr »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2015, 01:38:31 PM »
I like what I'm seeing. This should give new members an idea of the kind of pizza they can make and what the oven set up looks like.  Keep posting pictures of your pies and how you bake them.  Include as many details as you'd like.

Chau
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 01:41:27 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline CaptBob

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2015, 10:45:53 PM »
This is a duplicate post from my thread.....

We're on a little holiday to our time share this week with all the friggin' loved ones so these  pizzas were baked in a good ole' electric oven tonight. Oven temp was 550 and my Lodge cast iron pizza pan read 575.....
I'd like to thank Chau (Jackie Tran) for some invaluable guidance and advice for this particular dough. I'll make a post in his " Home Oven " thread as well.

This dough was:

KABF.......95%
Spelt flour...5%
Hydration....65%
Salt.......2.25% (I will up this to 2.5 next time)
IDY........  .05%
Butter flavored Crisco.......  2%
Egg whites......7%

My same work flow...beer poolish.....stretch and folds......two days in the fridge.......

1.  Pepperoni, Saputo WMM, BelGiosio Pearles, fresh basil, fresh garlic...
2.  Soppressata Picante, Langostino, some of the lemon/dill/garlic sauce from the lango...garnished with Italian parsley
3. Fennel sausage, bacon, fresh garlic, red onion, garnished with Italian parsley and Mike' Hot Honey.

I REALLY Liked this dough recipe for the home oven. Very light, but egg shellish and crispy. Chau said that the egg whites would contribute to that and he was SO right......

Interestingly, the last one blew up a bit as it was the one that sat on the counter about an hour longer than the others.....
Bob

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2015, 07:13:41 PM »
Nice looking pies Capt.  I'm glad it worked out well for you. It's amazing how one new ingredient can result in a whole new pie!

Offline CaptBob

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2015, 11:19:17 PM »
Thanks Chau......I think the egg whites and butter Crisco  will become regular ingredients for the oven baked pies. Thanks again for your help!
Bob

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2015, 11:55:43 PM »
Thanks Chau......I think the egg whites and butter Crisco  will become regular ingredients for the oven baked pies. Thanks again for your help!

You're welcome.  CaptBob, that recipe will work in any oven.  I've used egg whites and shortening in my WFO with great success.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 10:06:01 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Coon88

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2015, 08:35:19 PM »
I only use my home oven and always happy with my NY Style, I have had a fibrament-d stone for 7 years never leaves the oven. Preheat at 500 for about 1hr...broil the last min or so of bake. The stone is placed down at the bottom of my builders grade electric oven. Pictures posted before on this page under tonight's pie I believe


« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 08:41:24 PM by Coon88 »

Offline Coon88

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2015, 08:45:18 PM »
Another one from the other day...

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Making the most of your home oven
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2015, 07:32:56 PM »
Here are some of my favorites. I crank the oven to 550 and have the stone on the second highest rack. I turn the broiler on and stretch and top the pie and slide it in, I leave the broiler on the whole time. These are usually under 3 minutes.