Author Topic: Baking pizzas at 500°F  (Read 4755 times)

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Offline PizzaBrasil

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Baking pizzas at 500°F
« on: April 27, 2006, 02:26:01 PM »
Hi, all

I could not be using my brick oven this week end and I am waiting for visitors coming to a pizza party.
Normally I bake one day retarded Tom Lehmann-Petezza and Patsy-Varasano dough.
My home oven do not go higher than 500°F.
I prefer to use old Carl´s preferment, but I am confident using IDY too.
I was not so lucky using the pizza stone or quarry tiles in the home oven.
The mentioned dough goes too much to the cracker side at this temperature.
What dough style do you think that could be appropriate to use with my home oven at 500°F? Techniques?
Thank so much by your answer.

Luis



Offline chiguy

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 03:03:51 PM »
 Hi pizzabrasil,
 the longer bakes times can dry a pizza out, you may consider altering the recipe.
 Adding a couple more percentages to the water, maybe up to 65%. i am not sure what type of flour you use so this could be a problem for you.
 You may try adjusting the rack in you're oven up a little higher, this may help the top brown a bit sooner. This process may help you  to decrease the ovearall bake time, maybe by as much as 1 -1 1/2 minutes.
 Of course you may have to add back a bit of sugar to you're recipe so the crust can brown properly with the new shorter bake time.
 These are a couple of suggestions to consider, but the overall bake time and the formula is probably the problem. And the fact that you're home oven is not designed for pizza baking.     goodluck, Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 03:32:25 PM »
Luis,

I generally agree with chiguy, although it may be difficult to increase the hydration to 65% if you are using a general purpose flour like our all-purpose flour. You might try using a slightly thicker dough and 2% or so more oil (for the Lehmann formulation). Your crust should be softer and more tender, but it shouldn't be like a cracker. It may also be less crispy unless you are able to bake the pizza long enough for the crust to become crispy without overbaking the top. The positioning of your stone will also be a factor.

Peter

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 03:54:29 PM »
Chiguy/Pete-zza:

Thanks.
My home oven is flamed/heated from below of the floor, having two racks and three positions.
Do you think that pre-bake the dough could be a good shot?

Luis

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2006, 04:15:33 PM »
Luis,

I have had little experience with gas ovens, but I would think that pre-baking the crust should work also.

If you find the right combination of dough formulation, dough thickness, and bake protocol (oven position, bake temperature, and time), please let us know.

Peter

Offline tonymark

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2006, 04:39:30 PM »

 You may try adjusting the rack in you're oven up a little higher, this may help the top brown a bit sooner. This process may help you  to decrease the ovearall bake time, maybe by as much as 1 -1 1/2 minutes.

Does raising the stone work for bottom heated gas ovens?  I am sure I have done this in the past, but cannot remember.  I will be cooking 3 pizzas in my gas oven in a few hours and will try a higher stone position for the first pizza.

TM
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Offline chiguy

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2006, 05:12:33 PM »
 Hi Tonymark,
The answer is yes but all oven may cook different.  My suggestion is for pizzabrazil to raise the stone up only one level. The top of the oven tends to trap a bit more heat, you don't want to go too high.
 I think that he should be able to decrease the bake time a bit and keep the crust from becoming too dry.
 
 I would like to say that pre baking crusts may only add to the problem of a dry crust.
 By doing this you are basically baking the crust twice. It will likly be even drier. the only way you might try this is to pre bake crust on a stone and finish the pizza on a cooler pan. adding the oil will help with a more tender crust but 2 % might not be enough with a longer bake time to make much of a difference. any more than 2% oil and you may detect it in the finished crust. 
  Pizzabrasil & tonymark, let us know how things turn out.    Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2006, 06:05:14 PM »
chiguy,

The idea behind the pre-bake is to allow the dough to rise to a decent height before dressing and thereby minimize the likelihood of getting a cracker-like crust. Whether it is dry or crispy will in good measure depend on the dough formulation (including the hydration), dough thickness, bake protocol, etc. Another approach that Luis might try--which I didn't think to mention before--is to let the skin rise ("proof") on the peel or work surface for about 30 minutes before dressing and baking.

The 2% or so increase in oil that I suggested would yield a total of about 3% since the basic Lehmann dough formulation already calls for 1%. My experience is that when you get above about 3%, and especially if there is also some added sugar, the crust and crumb become softer and more tender. It's still a NY style but a different NY style than represented by the Lehmann dough formulation. Luis may or may not like the modified version. He will have to tell us if he decides to implement that particular suggestion.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2006, 08:32:05 PM »
 Hi Peter & PizzaBrasil,

 The proofing of the skin may indeed resolve the cracker style crust and if he is accustomed to a certain oven rise associated with his wood oven this could be part of the solution. What i think pizzabrasil needs to understand and i am sure you do, is that you will not get the same results from you're home oven as you're wood buring oven. The bake times are probably cut in half?? right??
 This is why i suggest trying to alter the recipe a bit, the added oil is probably necessary. If you are using a general flour as peter suggested it may be difficult to get alot more water/hydration than a Leahmann already calls for. 
 I notice that you did not specify which dough formula you used to get you're results?
 I think that you should be fine using a N.Y. Leahmann formula with 1-2% more oil and maybe 62-63% hydration if possible, maybe try and adjust the oven rack bit and just montor the bake time. At a lower temperature , the longer the pizza bakes the drier it becomes. When i bake a 62% hydration dough at 550F over 7-8min it can start to dry out. Now keep in mind i do not use any oil in the dough usually. The same rings true at 500F for lets say 10-12 minutes or longer, the crust can become dry.     Goodluck,  chiguy 

 

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F (results)
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2006, 02:58:33 PM »
Pete-zza and Chiguy:


Thanks for your inputs.
Sorry, no pics. Bad English following  ;-)

There was not a pizza party the past weekend. Was a dinner party instead of it.
With “empanadas”, a typical pastry dough filled with seasonings (mini-calzoni?), rolled buns, appetizers and, of course, a couple of pizzas.
The pizza dough was prepared the day before, using a Tom Lehmann´s modified recipe, as following

For two pizzas,
Flour 100% 400g 14.14oz
Water (cold, 15.5 °C 60°F) 63% 252g 8.9oz
Salt 1.75% 7g 0.25oz
EVOO 3% 12g 0.42oz
Pre-ferment 15% 60g 2.12oz
Honey 1% 4g 0.14oz

Final weight 735g 25.97oz

Taking the advice from Chiguy, the oil quantity was incremented from 1% to 3%.
The pre-ferment (50/50), bubbly and intense, was reduced from 20% (the normal quantity always been used by me) to 15%. This because the dough with 20% had rose too much in a 24 hours rest.
The honey had the function to add some color to the crust and slightly increased the hydration of the final dough.

Working with the dough,
I first put all the water in the bowl, then the flour and mixed by 3’ until the water was fully taken by the flour. This mixture rested by 45’ (autolyse). Then the pre-ferment was added and mixed by 1’ or so. The next steps were to add the salt and honey and, finally, the oil. The complete dough was mixed by 3’ or so in medium speed and finished by hand on floured counter (another couple of minutes, may be). I am a fan of short mix, however I have not a lot of data comparing short with extensive mix, may be my mistake.
The dough was, IMO excellent, smooth, not sticky and delicate. I could not note the added oil and honey.
The dough final temperature was 24°C 75°F. The dough was divided, shaped in two balls and placed in the refrigerator to 24 hours rest.

Baking,
At the baking day, the oven was prepared by adjusting one of the racks higher with a pizza stone in it and the second rack lower, near of the gas fire source.
The oven was pre heated at the highest temperature (sorry no measure here, estimated 500°F).
One of the dough (let call it 1) was shaped to a skin and rested on the peel by 30’, before dressing.
The other dough (2) was immediate shaped to a skin and dressed as normally.
The both dough were quite extensible with moderate elasticity and were quite easy to work with.
Both of dough were dressed quite similar, coated with EVOO and topped with tomato sauce, jam, salami, provolone and mussarella.

The 2 dough went to the pizza screen in the lower rack and the 1 to the pizza stone in the higher one.
After 12/13’ the 1 in the stone shows some color and was changed to the lower screen. The pizza 2 on the screen goes to the higher stone.
Total baking time was 18’ for the dough 1 on the stone and 22 for the dough 2 on the screen.

Results
The dough were both tasty.
The pizza 1 shows little ovenspring, the crust was cracker in the middle and the rim was not so light and airy as I like but showing same irregular little holes. Was a little hard and dense, this means, easiest to bit it than to use a fork on it.
The pizza 2 shows a larger ovenspring. The crust was a little softer than the dough 1, better in color and more equilibrated. Not so bad at all, but nothing to be proud of.
The interesting thing with these pizzas was that, in the next day, reheating some leftovers in the microwave (high power, 15 seconds) the taste was very good and the crust was more “friendly”. Is the first time in which I could say that the leftovers were better that the original pizza.
Resuming, IMHO, nothing could be compared to a hot wood oven when baking this style of pizzas. (Chiguy, the average baking time in my brick oven is 2’, with great ovenspring)
The results of my efforts were not satisfactory, may be because I am comparing with the normal brick oven pizzas.
I had made Chicago style pizzas in the home oven and the results were very good, same as foccaccia (lots of oil)
Of course, I am not quitting, and with your help I am sure that I will master my home oven for the NY style too.

Thanks again.

Luis


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2006, 07:44:28 PM »
Luis,

I have a few questions and a few comments.

First, you indicated that you preheated your oven to an estimated 500 degrees F. How long did you allow the stone to heat up at that temperature?

Second, what size were the pizzas? 12-14"?

Third, did you bake the two pizzas separately, or at the same time? If the former, the bake times seem very high, and it would not be surprising to see a cracker-like texture to the crust for the pizza that was baked on the stone. What you might try next time is to use a greater thickness factor (TF) or make larger pizzas that will bake more slowly and not get to the cracker-like stage. Also, when the pizza is done, you might try putting the baked pizza directly on a metal tray (rather than on a cooling rack or grid). Since heat transfer is from a hot object to a cold object, the heat from the pizza will migrate to the tray and release some moisture to soften the bottom crust.

Overall, it sounds like the thing holding you back is the oven and that it may not be hot enough. But if you can get the stone up to around 500 degrees F, I think you should be able to get fairly good results. Does your oven have a broil feature that you can use to balance the top and bottom bake of the pizzas?

Peter

Offline billneild

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2006, 08:27:36 PM »
It sure doesn't seem like Luis had a 500 degree oven.  Assuming the pizzas were in the 12 -15 inch range they sholdn't have taken that long.  If the oven doesn't normally permit Luis to get to 500 degrees could he trick the thermostat by leaving it a little open thus allowing the stone to continue to heat.  Maybe just a good old fashioned oven thermometer would help.

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2006, 01:36:31 PM »
Pete-zza, Billneid:

The oven was preheated from ambient temperature to an estimated 500°F in nearly 45’ (the oven reach the max temperature value in around 20’) and with the stone in it since the first moment.
The pizzas were stretched to a 14” skin.
The pizzas were baked almost simultaneously (2’ difference because was used a single peel).
I do not like the idea of to put the baked pizza directly on a metal tray because I like the bottom crust, and the crust at all, dry. In this idea the bottom crust will be softened and the moisture will be incorporate in it. Could be better to bake the dough in an oiled pizza pan. Like I mentioned early, the final results with foccaccia were great in this oven (lots of oil, above and below).
My home oven does not have a broil feature and is gas heated from below. To balance the top and bottom I use to change from the upper to the lower rack.
I have a brick oven with eight thermocouples in it and, normally, I take note and use a strip chart to know the temperature behavior. A couple of weeks ago the digital temperature reader was broke and I am working with estimated temperatures until getting a new one. Briefly I will get another one and will check the real home oven temperatures.
I recall 240/260°C 464/500°F temperature readings when baking the Bill´s Chicago style pizza (great too, by the way).
I let you know the results when a new try.
Thanks

Offline Grog

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2006, 10:11:18 PM »
Hi, this is my first post.  It's great to see that a Brasileiro is on the board!  I live in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and I have been experimenting with Neopolitan and NY style pizzas for the past several months.  My bottom-fired gas oven reaches 550 degrees, and I use a thin (1 cm) pizza stone placed on the lowest rack.  I use an oven thermometer to monitor temperatures, because the dial on my oven is completely useless.  It requires about 45 minutes to reach the maximum temperature.  When I put the stone on the floor of the oven, it blocks the openings to the flames, and the temperature only reaches 400 degrees.

I noticed that the "farina de trigo especial" that all of the stores sell produces a very hard crust.  It appears to be all-purpose bleached flour.  I switched to high-gluten flour, which I found at Extra Hypermercado for R6 (US$3) per kilo.  This flour was not easy to find -- I think only one store in Belo Horizonte sells it.  The difference between the regular flour and the high-gluten flour is dramatic.  The high gluten flour has superior oven bounce and is softer while maintaining a crisp exterior. 

My recipe is  4.5 cups high-gluten flour, 1.75 cups cold water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast.  A scale is on my Christmas list.  I hand knead for 2 min, rest for 5 min, then knead for another 5 min.  I use a 18-24 hour cold rise in the refrigerator.  I have not yet used starters -- it is the next step for me.  My dough seems pretty wet, and it is difficult to work with (probably due to inexperience), but the results are pretty good.  I experimented with adding sugar, honey, and oil, but the above recipe gave me the best results. 

I would be very interested in hearing more of your experiments, because I am probably using the same ingredients!



Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2006, 07:45:40 AM »
Grog:

Welcome aboard!
This is a great site and once in, could be difficult not to open every day 
And as it is growing, more people of our countries appear to say hello…
Returning to this thread, I am a happy ‘wood oven’ man. The pizzas are excellent, no matter which recipe I try or how bad I do.
I am an unhappy ‘home oven’ man, too. The pizzas are no good at all, with the exceptions of focaccias, Chicago styles ones and any dough baked in pan with a lot of oil…
No doubt about the culprit, the oven temperature, that is normally 450/460 °F maximum, even using unglazed tiles and oven stone in it. Ok, I could not be reached the good recipe or handling too…
I would like to try the flour that you are talking about. Could you inform me the brand and manufacturer, please?
I did not posted to much, since I have a lot to learn and not so to share, however you could see my posts by searching by pizzabrasil.
If you have specific questions about any matter, you could send me a private mail, that I will answer asap.
See you!

Luis

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F. Questions again.
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2006, 08:24:13 AM »
I had not reading this thread awhile, since I had not being happy with the pizzas baked in the home oven, even following the above instructions and or changed the pizza recipes.
In fact I had not baked lot of pizzas in home oven…
The past weekend I did try two TL style pizzas in it, just to test the difference between the Camaldoli and Ischia starters. I took pictures of the process, just to post here, however I do not think that it is worth while.
I follow the same recipe, with 15 % of preferment, 63% hydration, 3% oil and no yeast.
24 hours of rest and 45 minutes on counter, before baking on tiles/stone by 15/20 minutes.
The final taste of both pizzas was good, and pretty similar. The only difference that I could mention here was in the cornicione that shows more big holes when using Camaldoli than Ischia.
However I did not like the pizzas, they were crackery and hard, like others of same style baked in this oven.
Perhaps I will need only to bake oiled pizzas in oiled pans at these temperatures?
I feel myself confident using preferment. May be I need to use fresh yeast here?
I do not like to quit, and I am not in comfort with the results with these pizza styles that shows too big differences when baked in wood or home oven.
There is something more that I could do with the recipes?

Out of my questions, this weekend I baked 4 pizzas in the wood oven, two Camaldolis and two Ischias ones. Once again, the Camaldoli shows more rise and my family consider this dough more tasteful. More about these coming when the starters be old.

Luis

Offline Grog

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Re: Baking pizzas at 500°F
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2006, 11:30:36 AM »
I wish I had wood oven!  Unfortunately, I live in an apartment, and for now my gas stove is my only option.  Over the weekend I repositioned my oven thermometer and noticed that on top of the stone, the temperature is only 500 degrees F.

I'm going to try to upload a photo of the primary ingredients I am using.  I was mistaken in my prior post; the high-gluten flour is 6 reais (US$3) per half kilo, not per kilo.  I think it is ordinary flour with wheat gluten added to it (I'm still learning portugues, so I have to struggle a bit with food labels).  Here is the manufacturer's website:  http://www.maeterra.com.br/index.php?secao=04c&codigo=25 

I would like to experiment with other flours, but I can't find any sources.  The local Italian import store keeps telling me that they have Tipo 00 flour on order, but it never arrives. 

I think my low-temperature oven pizzas are pretty decent for a beginner, but they are no where near the level I'm trying to achieve.  In the next few weeks I will look into using starters rather than IDY.  Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

And yes, I am reading this site every day!