Author Topic: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven  (Read 1247 times)

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Offline caltheide

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Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« on: August 08, 2013, 09:03:51 PM »
I have a question about oven rack placement.  I've read posts that say to place the rack as close to the top as possible because heat rises and others that say to place it at the bottom of the oven.  I have an electric home oven which heats to 500.  It has heat coils both top and bottom which both heat during normal baking but the top coil only comes on for broiling.  I'm still trying to find the best pizza dough for me and so am still testing flours and flour combinations using flours between Caputo 00 pizza flour up to KASL.  I've been baking on a stone preheated for an hour on broil on a rack placed on the 2nd rail down from the top (the top rack would place the pizza right into the coil.)  The top comes out great after 8 minutes but the bottom is never browned.  So, should the rack/stone be placed closer to the top or closer to the bottom or somewhere in between?  Does it depend on the type of dough/flour used?  What does determine where the rack should be placed?  I'm thinking moving the rack down and cooking longer might be an answer but I read somewhere a longer cooking time will make a tougher crust.  My crust is coming out nicely colored and textured, it's just the bottom has no color at all.  I do use sugar in my dough.  I guess my biggest question is where to place the rack/stone when cooking pizza, top or bottom of the oven and why?  Thank you, Cindy


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 09:44:37 PM »
Cindy,

Can you tell us how much sugar you using by percent (or else provide the weights of the sugar and flour)? And also the size of the pizza you are making?

Peter

Offline caltheide

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Re: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 09:55:34 PM »
Peter, the latest pizza was KASL and Caputo 00 60/40, 60% hydration, 1% sugar for an 11 inch pizza, mixed, kneaded, stretch and pull, balled and cold ferment 48 hours.  Also 3% oil, 2% salt and .55 IDY if that helps.  Most of my pizza use roughly the same formulations, what I have been playing with is the types of flours and combinations.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 07:57:28 AM »
Cindy;
You might increase the sugar level to 3% to see if that helps, otherwise you might need to do what I do in my electric oven, and that is to start the pizza out closer to the bottom to get a jump on crust color development and then move the pizza to a higher rack position to achieve top color. Also, can you share information on your stone with us. There is a possibility that it isn't holding sufficient latent heat to bake the bottom crust....i.e.; you may need to use a thicker/heavier stone.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 08:10:56 AM »
Tom,

Previously, at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21620.msg218629.html#msg218629, Cindy indicated that she was using unglazed tiles as her "stone". She said the thickness was 1 1/2" but it is not clear whether the tiles are stacked (I don't recall seeing individual unglazed tiles that thick). I'm sure that Cindy will clarify what she is doing.

Peter

Offline caltheide

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Re: Oven Rack Placement - top or bottom of oven
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 12:09:52 PM »
I am using unglazed tiles I buy from Lowes tile department.  You were right Peter, I was WAY off on thickness.  I measured and they are just a hair over 1/2" thick.