Author Topic: Burnt crust  (Read 3713 times)

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Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2013, 01:23:55 PM »
Thanks again!

I've really been learning a lot about pizza on this forum, that's for sure.  I really appreciate the help from everyone.

It seems that I'm headed in the right direction with the dough preparation.  I do have and use digital scales that I bought initially for brewing.  I think I might reserve some of the water for the dough and when I weigh out the culture, then I can rinse with the reserved water and into the mixer bowl.  What happened last time, was that I measured the culture into a small cup and then I couldn't get it all cleaned out and into the bowl, and then some more stuck to the spoon, etc. 

I am definitely planning to experiment with various temps in the oven, and keep a good record this Sunday. 

I have a small turning peel already.  I notice that there are some available with perforations oriented radially like a sunburst.  What is the advantage of perforated turning peel versus a solid one?  Just curious.  My wooden peel I think was intended (and used) for various kitchen ovens over the past 10 years, not for WFO's.  since I already had it, I thought I would try using it.  It's ok when the oven is 550° but much higher than that, with the short handle, its almost like self torture to launch the pizzas.  I also received a larger aluminum peel with a short wooden handle as a gift.   I've found it to be a bit sticky.  When I ordered the tools for my oven, I didn't realize these things about the two peels I already had, since I hadn't used my oven yet.  I did pick up the turning peel when I ordered the other standard tools. 

I had never imagined the concept of "doming" the pizza before.  I will be trying that this Sunday.  I think I'm going to try making smaller pies about 10" and just make more so I can practice shaping the "skins" and baking at a variety of temps to see how they turn out. 

TD



Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 01:30:36 PM »
If I'm assembling on my wood peel, Wondra is my first choice for dusting the peel.  It's not just for Grandma's gravy.  There is something about the texture of it that works really well--pizzas slide off easily and it doesn't cling to the crust.  If I'm assembling on a granite or marble surface, then a small amount of ap flour is my choice before slipping a perforated metal peel under and delivering it to the oven.  I also agree with Craig's comments about doming, although the guys I used to work with complained about doing that--it bothered their shoulders on a busy night, so sometimes they would run the oven a bit cooler.

Interesting about the Wondra.  I have some on hand.  Is that for dusting the peel? I had been using the 00 for the bench flour in forming the pizza skins, and semolina for the peel.  I won't be able to form directly on the granite until I get the perforated peel in the mail. 

Thanks!  And thanks also Craig, your comments about the flour on the peel.  I had a mishap last Sunday with one pie that I thought wasn't stuck to the peel.  Probably not enough flour and I was trying to cut back thinking thats what was burning.  Why is it always the anchovy pizza that gets ruined!!! Not quite a calzone, but more so a general disaster of a pizza.  You know I still ate it though!  I think I have some hail Mary's to do now....

Rick

Offline dhorst

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 01:36:14 PM »
Yes, I just use Wondra for dusting the peel.  Sometimes I add a very light sprinkle of sea salt or kosher salt to the peel, also.  AP or Caputo or bread flour is what I use for bench flour when opening and stretching the dough.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2013, 01:58:51 PM »
Thanks again!
It seems that I'm headed in the right direction with the dough preparation.  I do have and use digital scales that I bought initially for brewing.  I think I might reserve some of the water for the dough and when I weigh out the culture, then I can rinse with the reserved water and into the mixer bowl.  What happened last time, was that I measured the culture into a small cup and then I couldn't get it all cleaned out and into the bowl, and then some more stuck to the spoon, etc. 

I measure my culture into a small glass bowl then use a spatula to get it out and into the water. The first few times I did it, I weighed how much culture remained in the bowl (itís easy to get it al of the spatula in the water), and it was always almost exactly 1g, so I just started weighing out 1g more than I needed, and it seems to work just fine.

Quote
I have a small turning peel already.  I notice that there are some available with perforations oriented radially like a sunburst.  What is the advantage of perforated turning peel versus a solid one?  Just curious. 

I have both, and I see zero advantage to the perforated. All I ever do with it is move logs. I use the solid peel for my pizza.

Quote
I had never imagined the concept of "doming" the pizza before.  I will be trying that this Sunday.  I think I'm going to try making smaller pies about 10" and just make more so I can practice shaping the "skins" and baking at a variety of temps to see how they turn out. 

Lift for a few seconds, drop, turn, repeat. You need to turn it while doming to get an even bake. There will parts of the pie that receive very intense heat. You can affect this somewhat by the angle you hold the pie at the dome. If you donít turn the pie while doming, you will get a horribly burned edge.

With a little practice, you will drop, turn, and lift all in one fluid motion. As you are lowering the peel, tilt it to about a 30 degree angle, as you get near the deck, only let the edge of the pie touch and pull the peel towards you and a little in the direction you want the pie to turn. This will spin it on the peel; then slide it back under and lift it back up.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2013, 05:18:59 PM »
Sounds good! I can picture in my brain what you're describing about the fluid motion with the pizza doming technique. Sounds like another reason why I'm going to make smaller pizzas, they should be easier to turn with less risk of dropping one into the fire.
Friday evening I'm going to make the dough and let it ferment a bit cooler at 65 degrees for two days instead of one day at 75 degrees.

Thanks again! 

TD

Offline f.montoya

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2013, 09:21:27 AM »
Don't use a screen for Neapolitan pizza. Go say 20 Hail Mary's for even thinking about. Don't use semolina either - just plain flour. Too much flour is not your problem. Don't be afraid to use too much flour at first. Unless you really like calzones or pies that are anything but round, too much flour is MUCH better than having a pie stick to your peel. You can gradually lower the amount of bench flour as you become more comfortable with everything.

May I ask why you recommend not to use semolina? I now exclusively use it for three reasons.

One, because it's relatively coarse, it doesn't leave my clothes with white areas that I have to slap clean later.

Two, in warmer temps(outdoor), it does not turn to paste like regular flour does, so my counter top stays smooth and clean.

Three, it has a neutral flavor, compared to the bitter taste that plain flour gives off after baking.

I have used regular flour in the past and in both cases I never really used very much since I have gotten fairly decent at working fast when dressing my pies. So I am a bit curious as to what you think the downside is when using semolina (btw, I have been using Caputo Semola if it's at all different).

Offline La Sera

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2013, 09:30:15 AM »
I'm not a fan of plain flour either. In an indoor commercial environment it's deadly on electrical equipment and can lead to some fierce headaches for people with an allergic reaction to it. It shocked me how many people are allergic to it (red blistering on the hands) and how I even developed an allergy using it. Everyone needed gloves and masks.

Things got much better with an 80:20 blend of semolina & flour.

But, to each their own.

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2013, 01:43:20 PM »
Round #2

I baked thirteen pies on Sunday.  I had too many people over and was chaotic (25 people). 
I tried to take good notes, and pictures, and did snap a few.  Some a bit out of focus however. I will post them soon. 
Much much less charred crust on the Neo crust.  I ended up doing the doming thing.  I think there was even some leoparding on the crust. 
I'm not too sure about the accuracy of the IR thermo reads, because I replaced the battery halfway through the night, when the readings seemed obviously inaccurate.  I need to mate my pictures with my notes and post them up. 

Was battling the humidity here all night, and making the dough sticky to handle. I can't wait until my new peels arrives, as the metal one was fairly useless for most of the night, as the dough wanted to stick.  Kids running around, and general chaos made dressing the pies rapidly a real problem.  This in part because there were 25 folks over, and the drinks were in fridge right where the pizza station was setup. This only added to the dough stickiness.

I had brought the dough out to warm inside to room temp(75) for a few hours before,  probably about 4 hours by the time I started baking.  I then moved it outside, temps were mid 80's but probably higher in the outdoor kitchen area.

The NY style pizza dough I made with the starter culture, 48 hour fridge ferment. The Neo dough I made as before with a 48 hour ferment at 65°F, balling for both after 24 hours.  The NY pies baked in under 4 minutes. Oven temps started at 550 but climbed to 650 by the time the last was baked.  That last one baked at 650 cooked in three minutes flat.   I am finding it hard to trust the oven floor temps.  I think my thermo has a mode to average readings.  I think I should use that and scan the deck where I plan to bake.  The Neo pies I cooked at the end were close to 760 deck temp 1000 dome temp (not sure I believe that as just spot temps, not averaged). The pies cooked in 75-80 seconds.  I didn't get to record temps, and take pics of all the pies, as I was often trying to the dressed pizzas off the peel as fast as possible so as to prevent sticking. 

One of my guests was a former pizza maker in his youth and he wanted to help out.  He did fine with the NY style dough, but I don't think he knew how to handle the Neo dough properly, and tried to stretch it a bit too thin as well.  I did end making several of Neo pizzas to show him it wasn't the dough.  Needed quite a bit more flour on the peel than I wanted.   We lost a couple pies.  Because of stickiness.  I'm wondering if a little less hydration 63 and 62.5% for the two doughs, would help mitigate the stickiness when its really really humid (pretty much always humid in FL).  Also we put the dough into the fridge to keep it a little cooler after it had been out for a few hours.

TXCraig1, the Calabrian Chile oil was a big hit!  Put it in a small dish and spooned it on. 

Pic #1&2 - ny style.  Deck 550, dome 735, bake time 3:15

Pic 3&4 a ny style deck 670/dome980, 3 min bake time

Pic 5&6 NY, deck 634/dome 795 (not sure i trust these temps and battery replaced about this time) didn't record bake time

Pic 7&8 Ny style again.  Deck 650/dome 950. A little blurry and a little overdone.  3 min bake time.  Too much.

From here on, I didn't record the temps, and didn't take pics of all the pies.  Some started sticking to the peel.
The Neo style pizzas are in the next post.

TD






TD

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2013, 01:48:49 PM »
These are the only two pies that I was able to take pictures of. 
The first two pics are the same pizza, and the last three are another pizza.  That last pizza baked in 80sec at 760 degrees deck temp 1000 dome temp.  I thought it looked and tasted pretty good.

I still see a bit of charring.  I lost one pie by trying to turn it before the crust had set though.  I also see some yellowing from burnt flour, but far improved from last weeks pizza. I used the dome trick to help get the top all set after the bottom was cooked.

Want be able to bake any more pies this weekend because I am working, but by then hopefully my new peels will be in and I will have less dough sticking and maybe less flour as well. 

Thanks for the help!

TD

Offline f.montoya

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2013, 09:09:09 PM »
That last pepperoni pie looks delicious!! I just finished my breakfast but I wanna eat pizza.  ;D

As for humidity, dough hydration and the problem of sticking to the peel, I live in Japan where our Summer is extremely humid, probably on par with Florida. Last Fall and Winter, I had doughs as high as 70% hydration and they worked well and didn't get too soft to work with because it was dry and the temp of the dough, when kept outdoors, was in the mid 50's f, and that was trying to protect it from freezing. So cooler dough was able to stay pliable but I did not find out that this was the reason until the weather began to warm up.

As Spring rolled around and then Summer, I was constantly dialing down my hydration because the humidity was increasing and seemed to be working against me as far as the texture I was looking for and was causing sticking issues as well, where my Winter doughs wouldn't.

After 9 months and over 500 pies baked, I have settled on these variations in dough preparation...

Winter: 65% hydration, 48 hrs fridge, 4-6 hours bulk at Room temp. Then 4 to 6 hours in balls at Outdoor temp(in the 40's f) but protected(thermal Costco bag over proofing trays).

Summer: 61% hydration, 48 hrs fridge, 6 hours bulk in my home oven with ice packs inside to keep cool. Then 4 to 6 hours balled in proofing trays. I use an extra proofing tray on the bottom and top, filled with ice packs, to keep the dough cool. I also only take one tray of dough at a time outdoors because it's way too hot and humid to keep them all outdoors.

To combat any stickiness, use your dough scraper and run it under your pie before dragging it onto your peel. As long as you're not overloading your pies, you should be able to use a slight "lift" of a technique while dragging your pie to your peel. This is done using your first two fingers in a scissors fashion, and your thumb and remaining fingers as a clip to lift the pie at four locations on the rim, making the move to the peel quite easy. If you're dough is kept cool before stretching it should be strong enough to move around easily. If you still suspect it to be too sticky and too soft, gently lift one side and blow air under it. Then quickly slide your well dusted peel under it, instead of trying to drag the pie onto your peel. Now just make sure that you have a little overhang so that the pie grabs the oven floor and assists the launch.

Needless to say, having only 9 months of practice I have much more to learn. But after many failures and hundred of pies, the above techniques have risen to the surface for me. :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 09:11:20 PM by f.montoya »


Offline Peasant

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2013, 10:02:42 PM »
These are the only two pies that I was able to take pictures of. 
The first two pics are the same pizza, and the last three are another pizza.  That last pizza baked in 80sec at 760 degrees deck temp 1000 dome temp.  I thought it looked and tasted pretty good.

I still see a bit of charring.  I lost one pie by trying to turn it before the crust had set though.  I also see some yellowing from burnt flour, but far improved from last weeks pizza. I used the dome trick to help get the top all set after the bottom was cooked.

Want be able to bake any more pies this weekend because I am working, but by then hopefully my new peels will be in and I will have less dough sticking and maybe less flour as well. 

Thanks for the help!

TD

Nice!  Glad the doming is helping.  Just in case it has to be said, you can dome at an angle rather than have the plane of the pizza parallel to the floor to control the cornice charring (get some more).

Regarding the pie lost: pay attention to how easily the pie lifts off the hearth if you try and peek at the bottom (lifting just a small portion of the pie with your turning peel).  It should come off easily, indicating that the pie is ready to turn.

If your pies are sticking to the counter then the perforated peel won't help that issue.  Work more flour in there while opening the ball.  If you're having trouble launching then the new peel might help by allowing you to use lots of flour on the underside (which you'll shake off later).

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2013, 10:23:02 PM »
Well thanks again for the tips.
  I think i might play a bit with hydration percentages for my next bake, and make some single pie dough recipes at a variety of hydrations and see how that works.  The tricky part will be accounting for the variable ambient temp and humidity and this is whe record keeping will pay off.  i think i need to work at keeping better notes, and until i get things dialed in, i think im going to keep the pizza parties much smaller in size, so i can concentrate on getting things right.  Mostly the guests were there to eat the pizza while I am practicing The NY style dough seems very forgiving, but the Neo style is very delicate.  One other issue I have is lack of reference for good Neapolitan pizza.  I am headed to San Diego in the fall and if there are any good Neapolitan pizza places there, please let me know so I can visit. 

Ill also try  some of the other tricks you've mentioned, and maybe watch some you tube videos for dough handling and turning out the skins better. I think my dough was sticking to the granite counter but not nearly as much with the NY style as the Neo style.  Maybe because the dough warmed by high ambient temps over the evening and the Neo pies baked after the NY pies.  I've seen videos of some folks gently pressing their early dough disc into a bowl of flour before shaping the rest of the way.  Maybe this would help with sticky dough as well.

I need to take a break this weekend since I'm on call, but ill be back again after that.  It's not really feasible to attempt baking pizza during the week with work and family, etc, unless other family get involved in the dough prep, and oven management.  Until I get good at it myself, and trust me, since joining up here I am improving dramatically, but its going to be hard to get other family on board until I've gotten much better.  The dough weight basis formulations and accurate measurement is critically important for consistency.
The techniques I'm learning through tips from fellow pizza fanatics are also invaluable.  Really appreciate it!
Ill be back in two weeks!!

Rick
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 10:46:27 PM by Trickydick »

Offline SlideSF

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2013, 10:55:56 PM »
  try cooking at a lower floor temperature until you get use to your oven and dough. at 750 to 775 degrees on the floor you will still get a 90 second pie. cooking at higher temperatures makes it necessary to watch and balance a lot of variables to get it right. the yellow under the pie is a sign of to much flour. the burnt bottom is to hot of a floor, start at 750 then amp up after you get some pies cooked. also cold dough in a ultra hot oven will burn your bottom is seconds.

I tend to get scorching on the bottom when the deck temperature goes above 850F.  It would be fine just cooking it for a shorter time, but the top doesn't quite get cooked enough.  I usually try to maintain it at about 750 - 800 for good balance. 

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2013, 08:12:58 AM »
Please keep in mind that Wondra is an "instantized" flour, which accounts for its granular texture, As an instantized flour it is designed to hydrate very rapidly, faster than any regular flour will. When used as a peel dust, if you leave the prepped skin on the peel too long, of if the dough is slightly wet, the Wondra flour will hydrate in a heart beat, turning into what we used to call school paste, only now strategically located between your peel and what you are hoping will become a great tasting pizza, that is if you can get it off of the peel without destroying it.
Just a cautionary note.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2013, 09:36:26 AM »
Heh! Paste... Funny! Thanks!

Well, I made some pizzas last weekend, but not Neapolitan.  I used the dough calculator and did up three 14" NY style pizzas.  I've been using all trumps and have been pretty happy with that.
I didn't take any pictures, but I had no issues.  I used my new perforated peel, which worked great.  I scooped the pies off the granite after they were dressed.  14" probably a tad too big for doing this IF there are a lot of toppings, but I was able to manage. So no Wondra this time, just some AP bench flour.  Getting better at forming the cornice.  Baked between 550 and 650° F deck temp. No burning, and no yellow burnt flour.
I tried some AP flour on the peel as suggested by my wife, but it all came off through the perforations, and I don't think was really necessary.  It was less humid that day, though I did prep the dough at 61% instead of 63% hydration.  Hard for me to tell a difference really, but that will probably come with more experience.  I let my 8 yr old son work the last pizza into shape with a little help.  He's so eager to learn, and it fun for both of us.

I will be back at the Neapolitan pizza attempts very soon.  Looking forward to an upcoming trip to San Diego (named #1 pizza city in some silly online article I saw somewhere recently) for a visit to pizzeria Bruno to see what I'm aiming for.  It's not until end of October however, so going to press onward with the Neo pies on my own (well except for all y'all here of course!)

I do have a couple sort of unrelated questions I thought I'd ask though.  I'm sure there are probably more appropriate places in the forum to ask these, but I'm just going to fire away..

One question is about docking the dough with one of the spiked rollers.  What is the purpose?  Is that to prevent the bubbles from the cornice from burning?  I kinda like those, but if they get too big I poke them with a fork. I would imagine if I tried using a docking wheel, that it'll lead to more issues and problems than it solves.

Other question is about cheese for my NY style pizza.  What the best option for regular national brand supermarket or Sam's Club cheese? I know there is probably a raging debate somewhere about cheese choice but hoping for just a couple simple recommendations.

Thanks again!  I'll report back after my next round of Neo pizzas.

TD

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2013, 09:48:40 AM »
Docking is something you would typically see done in the center of a medium-thick crust pizza like American style - Papa John's, Domino's, etc. With the thicker dough (much thicker than NP or NY), large bubbles can erupt in the middle of the pie. Docking prevents this from happening. IMO, it would not be a good solution for Neapolitan. The large bubbles in the crust can be managed through your workflow and dough handling when balling and opening the balls. The occasional large bubble is not a defect per-se. It's going to happen from time-to-time even if you do everything well.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Trickydick

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Re: Burnt crust
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2013, 09:59:22 AM »
Made up some more dough for the holiday weekend.
Catastrophe (maybe) struck early this time.
I used 61% hydration and was able to accurately measure my starter this time.
Dough felt GREAT after the knead.  I put it into a large glass bowl and covered with Glad Press and Seal.
The size of the bowl was large enough that I had to apply the press and seal to the lip of the bowl.
I put bowl into my fermentation fridge, which I used to use for homebrew with a temp controller still hooked up.
Its not a frost free fridge, and when I dialed the temp to 65 ice began to melt and dripped down below (I removed everything from the fridge to fit a fermenter into it.
when I went to remove the dough to ball it up the next day, the water accumulated onto the press and seal, then the seal gave way, and my dough was resting in a pool water.  Next time I will come up with a way to prevent this from happening.
I don't know if the dough is going to be workable or not.  Balling it up was tedious.  I had to add some flour to prevent it from sticking to everything. 
Tweaking the hydration down to 61% seemed a good idea ruined by the pool of water the dough was resting in.
Will see what happens.  I also made some NY style dough.  Interestingly, this dough and the press and seal caused some moisture to accumulate in the glass bowl as well (this was in regular fridge at 34ļ).

TD

edit-  yep, the neo dough was a total loss.  too wet to work with or handle at all.  managed to turn out one pie, too thin, and it tore trying to release it from the deck to turn.  simply too wet.  Tried a second, but it never even made it that far, and i folded it into a rough calzone on the peel.  will see how that turns out.  Luckily the NY style came out great.  nice leoparding.  I'll try to upload some pics of the crust for more critique.  Maybe move to NY style forum.

Thanks
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 08:36:16 PM by Trickydick »


 

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