Author Topic: Screen advice  (Read 1233 times)

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Offline pythonic

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Screen advice
« on: October 06, 2013, 11:25:24 AM »
I want to make a nice 16in tonight.  I'm looking for baking advice.  Should I put screen directly on oven rack or hot pizza stone?  Will the stone even make a difference?

Nate
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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 03:13:22 PM »
Nate,

You can see various screen and stone options in Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg20965.html#msg20965 . I think the specific choice may depend on whether you want maximum oven spring and also the degree of bottom crust browning you would like to achieve. I personally preferred keeping the screen and stone separate rather than putting the screen with the pizza on it on the stone.

Peter

Offline tberichon

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 10:51:34 AM »
i have found using my 18" screen, 17 oz dough,  (T Factor .07) toward the top of the oven at 500* for 10-12 minutes cooks the top and bottom evenly. I do have a gas oven if that matters...

Offline waltertore

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 12:56:25 PM »
I want to make a nice 16in tonight.  I'm looking for baking advice.  Should I put screen directly on oven rack or hot pizza stone?  Will the stone even make a difference?

Nate

Nate:  I am curious as to why you would use a screen with a NY style pie when you have a stone?  I am not up on all the new home oven making technology so I might be lacking the rationale for this.  To me a NY pie has to be cooked on a stone deck.  I continue to make pizzas the way I learned many decades ago back home in NJ and the results are good enough to not look into the new ideas.  Walter
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 01:46:20 PM by waltertore »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 02:13:06 PM »
To me a NY pie has to be cooked [directly] on a stone deck but I am stuck in the old days of how I learned.  Walter

I was thinking about saying pretty much the same thing, but I chose not to because this thread has been inactive for a while and because I didn't want to come off as an obsessive-compulsive, opinionated standards-enforcement Nazi (aka Scott Jr.), even though that's a very fair description of me. (I just can't compete with Scott when it comes to NY style, and I'm not gonna pretend I can.)

However, since Walter did it, I'm gonna do it, too. Also, I'd say Walter may be next in line (behind Scott) when it comes to who has the authority to go around enforcing rules like this. (I'm way toward the back of that line because I'm from Ohio.)

So anyway, here's my take: Screens may make it easier to do "NY style" (especially when you're trying to make a pizza that's bigger than your stone, or even an inch smaller than your stone), but using a screen also removes one of the main criteria, or baking characteristics, that make NY style pizza NY style pizza. That is, NY style pizza has to be baked directly on stone. This makes a huge difference in the characteristics of your baked pizza. If it's baked on a screen, it's just a NY-style-shaped pizza; kinda like Papa John's or Domino's.

I've baked dozens (or hundreds) of "NY style" pizzas on screens myself (all before I learned the aluminum foil heat-buffer trick for the grill). I never liked using screens, but I still thought of those pizzas as NY style. I was wrong, and it kind of embarrasses me to admit that I used to do it that way, even though such pizza is preferable to pizza that's black on the bottom and uncooked on the top.

We should all feel embarrassed when we use screens for "NY style." It's good for us to feel that way if we truly strive to make a pizza worthy of the description "NY style."

Offline waltertore

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 03:15:16 PM »
Ryan:  Thanks and I agree Scott is a top shelf expert on the NY pie.  I have no issues with using a screen, pan, conveyor ovens, dough sheeters, but to really keep the NY tradition alive these things are not part of the process.  I scan youtube every now and then with NYC pizza as the search and am amazed at how far many NY places today have drifted from the pies I was raised with.  I think this is not a good  thing for the future of NY deck oven pies of the 50's-70's.  We may need Scott more and more as time passes as a historian/resource to recapture the pies I remember so well.  There are lots of variations within the classic NY/NJ  NY style pizzas but they are all based on the thin crust baked direct on the stone of a gas deck oven.  Back home Star Tavern in Orange NJ is an exception to this rule  and most classic NY style lovers enjoy. I love the cheese pie they make but it is not a classic NY style pie.  They created a unique pie at a time when it was a pretty much a one way to do pies region.  When you come out to visit our place I will do a sort of star pie.  I have the black pan and have watched hundreds of their pies be assembled over the years. Walter

 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 03:22:50 PM by waltertore »

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 03:31:46 PM »
Walter,

Nate will no doubt answer your question in due course but the answer may be that he doesn't have a 16" pizza stone. Maybe one of the options he is considering is using a combination of screen and smaller stone.

Peter

Offline waltertore

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 03:42:57 PM »
Walter,

Nate will no doubt answer your question in due course but the answer may be that he doesn't have a 16" pizza stone. Maybe one of the options he is considering is using a combination of screen and smaller stone.

Peter

Peter:  That makes sense.  I forget most people here are cooking on home ovens many of which do not accomodate a large size pizza stone.  I am spoiled having commercial deck ovens and an 18" pizza stone that fits the home oven.  My wife bought the oven and I got lucky with it being big enough for that size stone. Walter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 05:40:39 PM »
When you come out to visit our place I will do a sort of star pie.  I have the black pan and have watched hundreds of their pies be assembled over the years. Walter

Cool, man. I can't wait. I'm actually going up to the far north side of Columbus tomorrow for a doctor appointment. I was just thinking this appointment may be a good reason for me to head on over to Newark, but my appointment isn't until 2:00. Maybe I'll head out way earlier than my scheduled appointment time and hope the doc can squeeze me in early. (It happens. I'm probably his favorite patient.)

Do you use your NY style dough for the Star Tavern pizza? Also, if I just show up at Newark High School without any (or much) notice, then ask to go to your classroom, is that cool?

Unless that happens, it'll probably be a while before I can make it over there. I've pretty much put my life on hold until after the prospective move into Columbus, and right now I feel like it may never happen. I control none of this situation, and it's all just sucking the life out of me. In my mind I already live in a specific condo on the north side of Columbus, where I spend most of my time eating right (mainly green smoothies with various fruit), exercising, and inviting strangers over for pizza and small weekly pizzamaking classes. In reality, though, I've eaten essentially nothing in two days, and I'm not doing any of the things my body and my mind desperately need me to do pretty much nonstop. Frustrating.

Was that TMI?

Offline waltertore

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 05:59:52 PM »
Ryan:  I am sorry to hear life is such a struggle at the moment.  Of all days there is no kids monday or tuesday.  I  have to sit in meaningless inservice for regular education students.   I have no dough in the fridge either.  I am going to make a batch monday afternoon.  Yes I use the same dough for my star pie.  Rubbing the pan with olive oil bakes it into the crust and that gives it a different taste and texture. I am not interested enough in trying to clone their pie so just get in the ballpark.  Your condo idea sounds like a good one!  I don't know what TMI means.  I can pick you up on a weekend if that helps and we can mess around in the shop but no kids will be there.  Walter


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 06:31:53 PM »
I don't know what TMI means.

How did I know that??? (I really did. Well, I didn't know, but you know what I mean.) That's probably the first time I've ever used the acronym, because there's pretty much no such thing as TMI with me. (I got nothing to hide from anyone.) TMI = Too Much Information.

I can actually drive just fine (pretty much). The main reason my mom was driving me when we met a couple weeks ago was because she and I had been looking at the condo before we went to RD. I hate driving, but I am capable of doing it. (Sucks that my car is a standard, though, because I can do about half as much with my left leg as I used to be able to do with it. That is, trying to balance a clutch in first gear SUUUUUCKS. But I am capable of doing it most of the time. I stall once in a while, though.)

Yeah, the pizzamaking class thing (if that's what you were referring to) is something I'm really looking forward to trying. The kitchen at this condo is not perfect, but it could allow me to create kind of a theater-like setting, where I could give informal FREE lessons to maybe 10 guests, up close where they'd be able to see and hear clearly, then pig out. Even though it would be free, I'd let people know that voluntary anonymous donations are accepted, encouraged, and appreciated. There are so many reasons why this would be good for me, and prospective income is just one.

Something just occurred to me yesterday: People in Columbus want to know how to make Donatos pizza. I believe my Donatos blog post has become the most popular post on my blog, and thanks to my experience working there, as well as a lot of work from Peter and a couple other members, I can make a near-perfect Donatos clone, even though I've only ever tried it once/twice (2 pizzas from one batch of dough). It's pretty easy, too, and it will become much easier if I give it a few more tries.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 07:43:38 PM »
Nate:  I am curious as to why you would use a screen with a NY style pie when you have a stone?  I am not up on all the new home oven making technology so I might be lacking the rationale for this.  To me a NY pie has to be cooked on a stone deck.  I continue to make pizzas the way I learned many decades ago back home in NJ and the results are good enough to not look into the new ideas.  Walter

Want a bigger pie :)
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 08:14:33 PM »
Want a bigger pie :)

that makes sense.  I forget these things having a stack of deck ovens.  Walter

Offline quixoteQ

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 12:16:10 AM »
I wanted to post here instead of starting an entirely new thread, so apologizes for reviving the dead.

I bought an 18" screen for the purposes of making larger pies than my baking steel can support.  I'm attempting to dress the pie on the screen, bake it for 2-3 minutes, then transfer the partially cooked pie directly to the steel; but I'm running into sticking problems.  I assume the dough is sinking into the perforation before it can crust up in the oven.

Am I just dressing the pie too slowly, do I need to oil/semolina the screen first, or something else?  I've been following Steve's emergency dough recipe exactly to practice. 

Josh

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2014, 08:22:16 AM »
Josh,

When I first started using pizza screens years ago, I did nothing to season them. However, my recollection is that I simply sprayed the screens with an oil spray (like Pam), and I may have also just brushed them with a bit of oil, being careful not to overdo this so that oil wouldn't drip onto the lower coil. Later, I learned that professionals typically season their screens by wiping them with oil and then running them through their ovens (typically conveyor ovens with which screens are most often used). You can read how this seasoning process is implemented at http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/cleaning-pizza-screens.3550/#post-18704.

In your case, the problem may not be a screen seasoning problem. If you have been using Steve's emergency dough as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2790.msg24104.html#msg24104/, you should be aware that that dough has a very high hydration value that makes for a very wet dough. Specifically, as noted at Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2790.msg27551#msg27551, I calculated a hydration value of a bit over 69% for Steve's dough. That may be too high a value to safely use with a screen without having some of the dough seep into the crevices of the screen. In your case, you might try seasoning your screen and, to be on the safe side, also spray it with an oil spray or wipe it with some vegetable oil. And you will also want to work fast to dress the pizza while on the screen and hope that you do not get any sticking. As an alternative, and perhaps a more surefire method, you can also prepare and dress your pizza on a sheet of parchment paper and, when that is completed, slide the pizza onto the pizza screen. That assembly can then be loaded into the oven, and once the pizza sets up, you can then remove the screen and parchment paper from the oven.

Whatever you choose to do, please let us know your outcome.

Peter

Offline quixoteQ

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Re: Screen advice
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2014, 09:01:12 AM »
Thanks, Peter!  I will probably try all of the above.  I like the idea of the higher hydration dough which is why I chose Steve's as a good practice dough.  Very quick to make, and the dough ball seems to open extremely easily--although there doesn't seem to be any elasticity at all.  It didn't tear, but it occurred to me that I had stretched it a little too thin.

Thanks again very much for the advice.
Josh