Whilst I'm a newbie on these forums, I've been lurking a few months, learning heaps. I've been a very amateur home pizza maker for the last two or three years, improving and experimenting all the time, generally producing some yummy and popular results (with a few amusing disasters along the way!).
I love pizzas with relatively thin bases, with a preference for Neopolitan-style and I guess what Americans seem to call "New York style" pizzas. I do a lot of bread-baking, and enjoy incorporating whole wheat flour etc into my pizza bases.
In summer, I like to cook the pizzas on one of my outdoor bbqs; I have a charcoal-fuelled Weber Kettle-style bbq, and a big 6 burner gas bbq as well, which can both crank the heat and produce some nice pizzas.
However, the cold and darkness make outdoor pizzas for dinner extremely difficult in winter. We have a nice wide (& relatively fancy) freestanding oven in our kitchen - gas burners on top and an electric internal oven, with an internal bottom element and "exposed" top grill element.
Whilst this oven is great for most purposes, I've never really nailed pizza in it - and the main problem is it just doesn't seem to get hot enough. I don't yet have an IR temperature reader, but the dial - and it seems to be fairly accurate, if not a bit optimistic - goes up to 220C - only 430 Fahrenheit.
I have tried numerous things - including getting a pizza stone as hot as possible (i.e. heating for up to 90 minutes, as close to grill as possible, etc) but the bottom will never char/cook properly, and the top will not "puff" with oven spring. It doesn't seem like the pizza stone could possibly be effective at these "low" temperatures. The stone is a thin one (and actually cracked tonight when removing the pizza, annoying me further).
In fact, my best oven results have been a slightly cheaty-style - by par-baking the crust in a dry skillet
which results in a nice puffy crust. Whilst my wife loves the resultant pizza, she doesn't like what it's done to her good large fry pan, haha.
My dough recipe is usually based closely on the (Forno Bravo recipe
), allowed to rise overnight in a relatively cool room, then left in the fridge for up to a week. I'm slowly getting better at working and shaping the dough.
I guess my question is:
1) For an oven with max temp 220C/430F, what is the best thing to cook the pizza on? Would a pan or screen be a better option? I've never used these before (other than a relatively thin standard baking tray).
2) Am I just wishfully dreaming if I am hoping to produce a decent quality pizza in this oven? Can someone please show that they have produced something decent in an oven like this?
Thank you very much for reading all this, and any suggestions are welcome. I did try to search the forums for answers but couldn't find any posts about similar "cold" ovens