Author Topic: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb  (Read 16922 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline waltertore

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 1489
  • Location: granville ohio
    • The Smiling With Hope Bakery
This argument will go nowhere because we all have our own definition of what is a great pizza and usually it comes from our upbringing.  For me the art of a deck gas oven is the art of making a great pizza.  I was raised on them in the NJ/NYC area.   WFO pizza is great but I will take what I consider a great deck pie over a WFO great pie anyday.  I now live in central Ohio and the conveyor oven is king.  IMO the pizza out here stinks.  Again this is based on my upbringing.   Last weekend we had a front page article on our pizzas.  The cover picture had one of my students tossing pie.  Tossing is another part of what I consider a great pie and it has to be cooked direct on a stone. 

Our orders exploded this week and about 90% of the orders came from people raised in the NYC/NJ area or have experienced a great pie there.  They all said they were desperate for a deck pie done right and when I asked them about pies around here they all mentioned conveyor ovens and how bad the pies were.  Yet these conveyor oven places sell tons of pizzas to the natives.

 For me a conveyor takes the art out of it.  You can train a person in less than a day to make pizzas from begining to end using a dough sheeter/press/screen/pan.   The way we make pizzas takes years.  Volume/space  has pretty much driven all pizza oven design in the USA and the conveyor oven has far surpassed all oven designs that I know of for putting out large volume, minimum space, and unskilled workers needed to run them.   Money is the goal oftentimes over a great artisan product.   I respect people that love their conveyor oven pies and I don't doubt they can make a great pie with the right ingedients/dough.  But being raised in the pizza world of the NYC metro area I doubt I will ever have them into any place I run.  Maybe that is wrong and could be akin to talking nice to your plants and treating cows with love.  My mother, who is from Abruzi Italy, still talks that way.  She said they had happy cows but it took much more time and effort than the way we raise them here......  Is the milk better from one of her happy cows that lived in beautiful pastures with streams and shade trees than the pen kept drug injected, grain feed cows we raise here?  I guess that depends on the individual eating the products.   The main thing is to make the pizza of your dreams and to find the pizza that you can't live without.  No matter how it is made is not the point.  Your smile is :)  Walter
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 12:08:56 PM by waltertore »


Offline pythonic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2111
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Crest Hill, IL
  • Pizza......its what's for dinner!
Assman makes some very strong points regarding dialing in the dough to your specific oven.  Would love to see pics of some of his pies.  Top and crumb view.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Assman22

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: United States
  • I Love Pizza!
Nate,

I will gladly do that when I get my new place opened up.  Love this forum btw, exactly what I was looking for and I really enjoy your posts/pics.

Conveyor ovens are different, yes.  With any oven, you must adapt your operations to how the oven operates.  Most importantly, you must change your dough recipe accordingly and also layer your toppings in a different order on a conveyor as opposed to deck/WFO.  To bake breads/rolls/breadsticks properly in a conveyor, it's best to use a deep dish pan and cover with either a serving circular for pizzas or foil.  You're going to have to do 1.5 runs on pizzas with 4+ toppings, etc etc etc.  Please feel free to ask any questions about the conveyor oven, I'd love to help anyone.  Anything to rid this country of as many crappy pizza places as possible as soon as possible!  There are so many that fit this bill in San Francisco, good Lord!

Just seems like people write off the oven type because chains use them.  Chains make chain pizza because they only care about money.  You CAN make kickass pizzas in a conveyor oven, you just have to know how to do it.  Takes a lot of R&D time, trial & error. 

When my new place opens, I'll gladly give anyone on here a tour of my kitchen and you'll see how I roll.  I keep it simple but my pies are second to none.  I promise you, I'll make your head spin.  I love pizza like no other, it's my art.  I believe you can be great at anything by combining true passion and ambition.  "Do What You Love" and "Respect the Craft" are the mottos I follow. 

Thanks for everything you do Nate, big fan/follower of yours!

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
Generally speaking, what's the trick to getting a good pizza from a conveyor oven?
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline Assman22

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: United States
  • I Love Pizza!
Generally speaking, what's the trick to getting a good pizza from a conveyor oven?

Great question jsaras. 

First, you must have a good oven.  I personally like Middleby Marshall ovens, as far as conveyor ovens go.  I've used the PS-200, PS-570 (the Cadillac of conveyor ovens), and PS-360(which is the model used mostly by the big chains like Papa John's, etc.).  Lincoln and XLT are good ovens but buyer beware, they break down and need more attention more so than Middleby Marshall ovens. 

Next, you must use less moisture in your dough recipe.  I use 5% less moisture (reduced 2.5% oil and 2.5% water) at a 7:30 minute run at 465 degrees, than what I was using in a 650 degree deck oven.  Makes a crispy crust on the outside and chewy inside.

The order of toppings or "the toppings tower" as I call it, must be adjusted.  Due to how the air impingement ovens heat the products, you must place certain toppings under the cheese so they don't dry out.  Most notably, spinach, chicken, sausage, ground beef, and ham. 

I'll gladly show you some other tricks I do if you visit my pizzeria in person.  Will show how I do pepperoni-laden pies the customers can't get enough of!  There's so many additional ways to make your conveyor oven work for you and produce kickass pizza in an "idiot proof" system(whereas you can have newer employees run the oven and still work efficiently for you).  The sky is the limit my man!

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
The general idea of reducing the hydration makes sense.  How would you adjust the following formulation:

High Gluten Flour - 100%
Water - 60%
Salt - 2%
Sugar - 3%
Oil - 3%
IDY - variable
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline JConk007

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 3672
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
IF I was in this to make alot of money  ;D I would consider the XLT bad boy showm below
I think they can make a good pizza as well with the proper dough . Many, NOT ALL , who buy  franchise joints have no clue how to make pizza Hence the francise set up with whatever comes with... The ones that do like assman do quite well and can crank out a great product with I assume High margin and little error. 
They had this at expo last year and it is 1 mean mahine bad ass oven  !! PRODUCTION and HUGE pizza can come out they are kinda fun. Grew up on Pizza hut pan so Used to work for me til I found the fire!  >:D
However ... I sampled many a conveyor pizza at expo from the conveyors and was even there when the owners of a NY Joint in Vegas brought in their dough and tried to cox a NY style out of their deck oven dough I spent about an hour and 5 small slices there.
No Go ! tried every pan and disc and ... but just could not do it
All ovens are good depending on everything that has been Mentioned already
But would prefer if you all bought  an Acunto from Me  ;)
had to plug them sorry
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 10:09:33 AM by JConk007 »
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline Assman22

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: United States
  • I Love Pizza!
The general idea of reducing the hydration makes sense.  How would you adjust the following formulation:

High Gluten Flour - 100%
Water - 60%
Salt - 2%
Sugar - 3%
Oil - 3%
IDY - variable

Depends, what type of crust you're going for?  This isn't your current dough formula is it?  Regardless, I'd at least start by reducing your water percent by 10-15%. 

Also, where are you making pizzas?  Dough formulas will need to be skewed depending on your altitude.  Lots of folks try to use a recipe online and hope it turns out exactly like it does in pictures.  Too many variables involved throughout the country and world to rely strictly on just the recipe.  Water quality varies greatly, flour types/brands, oil types/brands, yeast types/brands, etc. 

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
I just chose a variation of Big Dave Ostrander's "Old Faithful".  As there has been several million pounds of thay dough made I figured that a lot of it went through conveyor ovens.

The location is Los Angeles.
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
Today, I decided to try a low hydration dough:

Pendleton Power Flour -100%
Water - 52%
IDY - 0.25%
Salt - 1.73%
Oil - 1.07%
Sugar - 2%

The dough fermented for four hours at a room temperature of 70 degrees.  I think that the closest analog I can get to a conveyor oven at home is baking on a screen.

The pizza took a bit to stretch, but I got it there.  I baked at 490 degrees for 8 minutes.   The result was a nearly perfect clone of a very crappy pizza place nearby that uses a conveyor oven!  Pale, and a bit of a gum line that wasn't that gummy.   The crumb was ultra dense.

The reason I tried this is that I'm hoping to do an "intervention" at that local pizza place by asking them to bake one of my dough balls.  This formulation isn't going to do it.

Perhaps using a hearth bake disc would get it closer to a good result?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 04:31:20 PM by jsaras »
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.


Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1590
IF I was in this to make alot of money  ;D I would consider the XLT bad boy showm below
I think they can make a good pizza as well with the proper dough . Many, NOT ALL , who buy  franchise joints have no clue how to make pizza Hence the francise set up with whatever comes with... The ones that do like assman do quite well and can crank out a great product with I assume High margin and little error. 
They had this at expo last year and it is 1 mean mahine bad ass oven  !! PRODUCTION and HUGE pizza can come out they are kinda fun. Grew up on Pizza hut pan so Used to work for me til I found the fire!  >:D
However ... I sampled many a conveyor pizza at expo from the conveyors and was even there when the owners of a NY Joint in Vegas brought in their dough and tried to cox a NY style out of their deck oven dough I spent about an hour and 5 small slices there.
No Go ! tried every pan and disc and ... but just could not do it
All ovens are good depending on everything that has been Mentioned already
But would prefer if you all bought  an Acunto from Me  ;)
had to plug them sorry
Thanks for the honest assessment.  I didn't know about this oven before.
Dave

Offline scash2014

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Maine
  • I Love Pizza!
I worked at a Pizza Hut for a while. We had a 3 deck conveyor oven. I'm not positive, but Middleby Marshall seems awfully familiar.

I used to bring in my own food to cook on occasion. Even my own pizza. It ruined pretty much everything I attempted to cook in it. Dried it out. It ran at around 430 degrees. We used to get complaints about the more loaded pizzas, like meat lover's a super supreme being doughy in the middle.


It was impossible to cook a high quality pie with that oven the way it was calibrated.

Offline Assman22

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: United States
  • I Love Pizza!
Today, I decided to try a low hydration dough:

Pendleton Power Flour -100%
Water - 52%
IDY - 0.25%
Salt - 1.73%
Oil - 1.07%
Sugar - 2%

The dough fermented for four hours at a room temperature of 70 degrees.  I think that the closest analog I can get to a conveyor oven at home is baking on a screen.

The pizza took a bit to stretch, but I got it there.  I baked at 490 degrees for 8 minutes.   The result was a nearly perfect clone of a very crappy pizza place nearby that uses a conveyor oven!  Pale, and a bit of a gum line that wasn't that gummy.   The crumb was ultra dense.

The reason I tried this is that I'm hoping to do an "intervention" at that local pizza place by asking them to bake one of my dough balls.  This formulation isn't going to do it.

Perhaps using a hearth bake disc would get it closer to a good result?

Jonas,

Try reducing water another 5%, increase salt to 2.3%, and use ADY for a dough to be used in a conveyor oven. You won't get the same bake as a conveyor oven or even a similar bake in a home oven.  The conveyor oven is much more intense with it's radiant heat distribution than a convection/conventional oven. 

Screens are used for soft doughs and making an American style crust like chains make:  i.e. Papa John's.  I use a perforated pan for thin crust and the standard 2 inch deep dish pans for deep dish.  I only use screens for calzones/strombolis/garlic knots/cheesy bread/etc.  Not for pizzas.  I like it crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. 

As far as the color being pale, there are several options you could try in order to get what you want.  Egg Shade (food coloring) works well.  I like adding semolina or corn flour myself, roughly 20% of the flour. 

If you want to have a crispier crust using your dough, try panning the pizza crust, doc the dough, and put it in for a short run in your conveyor oven.  Add toppings and then give it a full run.  Another thing you can do is once the pizza does a full run, take it out of the pan and put it back in the conveyor for a short naked run.

Again, dough formulas all depend on where you are and what you're wanting to do.  A big factor in dough formula is the type of water you use.  Water in Chicago, New York, Tampa, LA, Denver, etc are all different.  This is why you'll often hear about pizza places in LA trying to mimic NY style or Chicago style by importing the water from one of the cities.  San Francisco for example, has softer and very clean water coming from Yosemite as opposed to Chicago.  I had to take my dough formulas and use trial and error in order to get the dough I had in Chicago for San Francisco. 

Lastly, to scash2014:  Pizza Hut sucks, their dough sucks, everything they use sucks.  Can't used Pizza Hut experience as a barometer to depict a conveyor oven, just like any other chain that uses them. 

You just need to right dough formula and have to put certain toppings under the cheese so they don't dry out.  Also, when baking "more loaded" or 3+ topping-pizzas in a conveyor, it's wise to start with a short run, then a long run.  More specifically, take a standard Supreme pizza for example.  Doc the dough, add the sauce, sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers and do a short run(half run) in the conveyor.  Then, add the cheese, pepperoni, onions, and black olives and do a full run. 

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline pythonic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2111
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Crest Hill, IL
  • Pizza......its what's for dinner!
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?

I was gonna say wow that is low myself.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Assman22

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: United States
  • I Love Pizza!
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?

My apologies Jonas, I left out "increase Oil to 3.03%" in the first line when I was editing, sorry buddy.  Let us know how it turns out.

Offline jsaras

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 610
  • Location: Northridge, CA
 Assman22, if I may ask you one final question - what flour have you used at this hydration?
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.