Author Topic: Baking Steel Disappointment!!  (Read 2670 times)

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Offline dglover777

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Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« on: May 15, 2013, 12:18:26 PM »
I recently purchased the Baking Steel product, based on the articles on the Serious Eats website by Kenji.  I have been following Kenji for a while now with other cooking endeavors and he has never steered me wrong before, and I trust his results and methods.  However, my experiences with the Baking Steel so far have been very different from his.  I have been using his Neapolitan Dough, and followed the procedure he uses.  I have an electric oven and broiler.  I heat up my 1/4 inch steel on 525 for 45 minutes, then crack the door open and turn on the broiler for a few minutes while I get the pie ready.  By the time the pie goes onto the pizza, the steel reads high 500's or low 600's.  It is placed about 5-6 inches from the broiler element.  I get great oven spring, and after 4 minutes a tad of leopard spotting, but when I pull the pizzas the bottom is always completely blonde.... Why is this?  It doesn't look anything close to the results he was getting, and I don't even think he was getting his steel up to as high temps as I was, since he put the pizza in right after he turned on the broiler.  He said that steel temps topped out close to 500 degrees.  Anyway, it is very frustrating, because I feel like I followed his procedure exactly, and I am getting nothing close to the results he is getting.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Offline dglover777

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Offline derricktung

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 02:12:20 PM »
SO here's teh thing about 00 flour... it doesn't brown nicely at low temps.  Using it, even with baking steel, won't get you pretty leoparding on the bottom typically unless:

1.  You add sugar to the recipe.  (typically I'll add 2% sugar which helps with browning).
2.  You cut the 00 with regular flour (I do this as well when I'm baking at home).
3.  You allow for longer fermentation times for the yeast to do it's work over a longer period of time (cold fermentation of 4-5 days helps a lot in browning).

The fastest fixes are probably adding some sugar to your dough recipe and/or going half/half with 00/regular flour.

I can't remember the temp, but I believe you need to be upwards of 750 to get 00 to brown nicely...?

Offline dglover777

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 02:22:08 PM »

I apologize, I didn't clarify.  I used King Arthur Bread Flour.  In his recipe he says you can use either, although the 00 flour is preferred...


SO here's teh thing about 00 flour... it doesn't brown nicely at low temps.  Using it, even with baking steel, won't get you pretty leoparding on the bottom typically unless:

1.  You add sugar to the recipe.  (typically I'll add 2% sugar which helps with browning).
2.  You cut the 00 with regular flour (I do this as well when I'm baking at home).
3.  You allow for longer fermentation times for the yeast to do it's work over a longer period of time (cold fermentation of 4-5 days helps a lot in browning).

The fastest fixes are probably adding some sugar to your dough recipe and/or going half/half with 00/regular flour.

I can't remember the temp, but I believe you need to be upwards of 750 to get 00 to brown nicely...?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 02:31:59 PM »
Here is that recipe in bakers percentages:

100% KA Bread Flour
65% Water
2% salt
1.5% IDY

Are you letting this dough rise 8 hours at room temp, 2 days in the fridge, then another 2 room temp as the recipe states?

John

Offline dglover777

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 02:40:49 PM »
I let it rise 8-10 hours at room temp, and then into balls and then 2 hour rest at room temp.  I did notice in the post above it was stated:

Quote
3. You allow for longer fermentation times for the yeast to do it's work over a longer period of time (cold fermentation of 4-5 days helps a lot in browning).


So can that really make such a big difference?


Here is that recipe in bakers percentages:

100% KA Bread Flour
65% Water
2% salt
1.5% IDY

Are you letting this dough rise 8 hours at room temp, 2 days in the fridge, then another 2 room temp as the recipe states?

John
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 02:42:36 PM by dglover777 »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 02:45:08 PM »
So can that really make such a big difference?

Yes. If you cold ferment this dough for 2 days, I am sure you will see the same results as pictured on Slice.

I am not advocating this recipe as "Neapolitan" in any way, other than it has the same four ingredients. This is a NY style recipe - and one that is very heavy in yeast.

John

Offline JD

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 05:13:31 PM »
Does 1/4" steel pack enough punch to do what you want it to? I thought 3/8" was absolute minimum unless you're cooking ~10 minutes.
Josh

Offline derricktung

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 08:07:32 AM »
Does 1/4" steel pack enough punch to do what you want it to? I thought 3/8" was absolute minimum unless you're cooking ~10 minutes.

My 1/4" does fine in terms of leoparding on the bottom with a multi-day cold ferment, 50/50 flour, and 2% sugar.  His temps sound fine (600+), so it probably really is the ferment...


Offline JD

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 08:47:32 AM »
My 1/4" does fine in terms of leoparding on the bottom with a multi-day cold ferment, 50/50 flour, and 2% sugar.  His temps sound fine (600+), so it probably really is the ferment...

After 4 Minutes?
Josh

Offline dglover777

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 10:28:14 AM »
After 4 Minutes?

Yeah I know it doesn't sound right, but here is a link to tests that Kenji on Serious Eats did. 

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html?ref=search

Offline derricktung

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 10:49:03 AM »
After 4 Minutes?

To be honest, I've never timed my pies in the oven, as I always go by look... is the crust done enough?  Is there enough browning on the edges?  Are the toppings done the way I like?

I'll time some this Saturday to see how long it takes, but based on gut, I think I'm coming in around 5 minute marker...


Offline corkd

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 11:46:17 AM »
You could give the 1/4 to someone as a gift, and get yourself a 1/2". :D

Offline dglover777

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 04:22:48 PM »
You could give the 1/4 to someone as a gift, and get yourself a 1/2". :D

I am!  I ordered the 1/2" last night :)

Offline corkd

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 10:16:28 PM »
I think you will be surprised at the difference. Worth the extra effort to lug it around.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Baking Steel Disappointment!!
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 10:36:11 PM »
I am!  I ordered the 1/2" last night :)
Cut in half is easier to lug. ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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