Author Topic: Pointers on Browning the Bottom - My Next Sicilian Tonight - quick ideas?  (Read 577 times)

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Offline mitchjg

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Hi folks:

Today, I took my first shot at making a sicilian pie.  I baked it at 475 for about 18 minutes or so.  I did not get a good balance of browning between the top and the bottom.  While the top seemed to look just right to me, the bottom was pretty pale, a very light gold.

I baked it in a standard (and old) aluminum 1/2 sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven.

I actually have not tried the pizza myself.  My wife delivered it our neighbor for their little girl's birthday party.  She may sneak a slice back home to me.

Tonight, I am going to bake a pie for us and I would like to take a shot at more browning on the bottom. Not sure what is best, I see choices / options such as:

1 Bake on the bottom rack and don't change anything else.
2. Bake on the bottom rack with the pan on top of a stone.
3. Bake on the bottom with the pan on the stone.  Cover with foil when the top is done and keep going for 5 more minutes.
4. Bake on the bottom with the pan on the stone.  Remove from the oven when the top is almost done looking, struggle to get the pie out of the pan in one piece, and then finish the pie directly on the stone.
5 Something else?

In searching the forum, I have seen many or all of these options suggested, but am not sure what is really best.

Also, I may order a new pan (although I do not want my WFO to get jealous).  Perhaps the Padermo "blue steel" from Amazon or the Detroit Style pans.  Suggestions welcome there, too.

Thanks all!

- Mitch


Offline mbrulato

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Mitch,

I had trouble getting a balanced bake when I first started making Sicilian pies in my SS pan.  I could never get the bottom, specifically the center to brown or cook at all. It always seemed soggy and undercooked in the center. I tried baking it on top of an old pizza stone.  That helped a little but I wasn't satisfied.  So I ordered a Sicilian pan and lid from Lloyd's Pans.  Now I'm always happy with the results.

After I bring my dough to room temperature in the pan, I par bake it with sauce only for 15 minutes at 500 degrees.  Then I add the cheese and bake for another 7 - 10 minutes to let the cheese brown, turning every few minutes to ensure even browning.

This is the link for Lloyd's http://www.lloydpans.com/standard-pans/pizza-tools/rectangular-pans-and-disks/sicilian-style-deep-dish

Here's my Sicilian pies http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=28922.0

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

BTW, this pan is also great for making dinner rolls  ;D
Mary Ann

Offline Pete-zza

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Mitch,

Until you decide that you want to use a different type of pan, for example, along the lines that Mary Ann mentioned or other members might recommend after seeing your post, you can also season just the outside of your pan, as Tom Lehmann discusses in his PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/how-to-season-pizza-tins.8016/#post-55383. You could also try using more oil to, in effect, fry the bottom crust but that may not exactly be what you want for a Sicilian style pizza.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Thank you both, Mary Ann and Peter.

I now have the dough in the pan stretched out end to end and proofing.  I used 2 Tablespoons of oil on the pan which I guess could help with frying.

I actually looked in the manual for my oven (36" Viking) and their was a guide that said if you were using a pan that was covering most of the rack, like a 10 X 13 pan, you should use the number 2 position rack (1 being at the bottom) and not the middle.  So, I have the stone at the number 1 position and will bake at the number 2.

My thinking is that if I preheat well over 500 to get the stone super hot and then lower the temperature to around 475 when I begin  backing, the bottom heat will be more amplified by both the radiating heat from the stone and the fact that the burners are on the bottom.  Hopefully, that will boost the heat on the bottom.  I will take it from there (aluminum foil protecting the top if the bottom is still going too slowly).

If I decide to keep plugging away at this style, then I will buy a more suitable pan.

Funny, this started from a recent conversation my sister and I had.  There was a pizzeria in Queens down the block from our junior high where we ate lunch quite often, as did all of our friends.   It was the "Pizza Den."  2 Sicilian slices (great pies!!!!), 1 coke, and 1 italian ices for a total of 50 cents.  The pricing was 15 cents a slice and 10 cents each for the drink and ices.  Circa 1965.

The oil I used in the pan today was probably more than this.  :o

But, now I am pursuing a memory I can't shake.

- Mitch

Offline dmcavanagh

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shiny aluminum pans reflect heat and result in less than ideal browning, look for a dark pan for this style of pizza.

Offline mitchjg

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Thanks very much for the feedback folks.  I moved the pan much lower in the oven and put the stone under that with a significant high temperature preheat.  Not perfectly balanced on the top and bottom, but pretty good!

Looks like I get to go pan shopping.....

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26286.msg309759#msg309759

- Mitch

Offline parallei

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In my home oven the element for baking is exposed on the bottom of the oven.  When I had your problem (weak bottom browning) I found the following helped:

 - Preheat to a bit lower than you want to bake at
 - Put the pan on the bottom rack  (no stone)
 - Dial up the temp to keep the element glowing
 - Keep an eye on it! Move to a higher rack as needed


Offline mitchjg

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Mitch,

I had trouble getting a balanced bake when I first started making Sicilian pies in my SS pan.  I could never get the bottom, specifically the center to brown or cook at all. It always seemed soggy and undercooked in the center. I tried baking it on top of an old pizza stone.  That helped a little but I wasn't satisfied.  So I ordered a Sicilian pan and lid from Lloyd's Pans.  Now I'm always happy with the results.

After I bring my dough to room temperature in the pan, I par bake it with sauce only for 15 minutes at 500 degrees.  Then I add the cheese and bake for another 7 - 10 minutes to let the cheese brown, turning every few minutes to ensure even browning.

This is the link for Lloyd's http://www.lloydpans.com/standard-pans/pizza-tools/rectangular-pans-and-disks/sicilian-style-deep-dish

Here's my Sicilian pies http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=28922.0

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

BTW, this pan is also great for making dinner rolls  ;D


Hi Mary Ann:

Can you tell me what size pan you bought?  I see they have many choices, etc.  I am particularly interested in the height you decided upon, too.

Thanks,
Mitch

Offline mbrulato

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Mitch,

I ordered this just before I got my steel and wished it were the other way around.  I got the 2" deep by 14" pan. If I had the steel first, I could've used the steel bars to raise the pan up over the shelf lip and ordered the 16" pan. I called the company to see if I could do an exchange but they wanted to charge me some ridiculous restocking fee.  Aside from wishing I had a 16" pan, I love it.  As I said in my last post, I like having the deep pan because its more versatile to use for things like proofing and baking rolls in.  And the lid is a must have!
Mary Ann

Offline mitchjg

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Thanks, that helps a lot.  I was looking at similar sizes, maybe different shapes similar to a 1/2 sheet pan.  Does not matter that much I think since the square footage is what it is.  My oven is 17 inches deep and that is the only real limiter.

On the height, I was debating between 2 inches and 1 1/2.   I was worried that the 2 inch could add to a struggle to get the pie out of the pan safely.  But, given stuff does not stick, I guess it is fine.

I may also get a 12X12  for my Breville Toaster oven.  It goes up to 450 and also has convection so it may prove fine for many smaller pies.

Thanks a lot,
Mitch


Offline mbrulato

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You're welcome.  Glad I could help.  Looking forward to seeing your Sicilian pies.  I'll post some pics of mine tomorrow.  :)
Mary Ann