Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 343080 times)

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Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2007, 10:07:49 AM »
Villa Roma:

I'd probably deep six the sugar and oil altogether.  I once put a conventional Ny style in my WFO.  Well do you remember the movie "Gone in 60 seconds"?  Burned to a crisp.
That experiment helped me understand my double deck Bakers Pride.  I kept getting a burned bottom and a unfinished top.  I used the Neapolitan dough the next time and found it worked perfectly.
Concerning your LBE, have you considered using some refractory mortar to line the interior?  It's pretty cheap and can be found at most hardware stores.  Just a thought. 

PizzaPolice


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2007, 11:49:59 AM »
Villa Roma:

I'd probably deep six the sugar and oil altogether.  I once put a conventional Ny style in my WFO.  Well do you remember the movie "Gone in 60 seconds"?  Burned to a crisp.
That experiment helped me understand my double deck Bakers Pride.  I kept getting a burned bottom and a unfinished top.  I used the Neapolitan dough the next time and found it worked perfectly.
Concerning your LBE, have you considered using some refractory mortar to line the interior?  It's pretty cheap and can be found at most hardware stores.  Just a thought. 

PizzaPolice

Great idea Police, I toyed with the thought of cutting ceramic tile and gluing them to the interior with morter but the foil and lid stone seem to be working really good for now. Maybe Mike would like to give it a try on his brand new egg.

It'll be interesting to see what Mike decides to do with his pizza bake on Saturday. Oil and sugar with low heat or Neapolitan and rip-snorting high heat. Can't wait to see the pictures either way.

   Villa Roma

Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2007, 12:52:26 PM »
Great idea Police, I toyed with the thought of cutting ceramic tile and gluing them to the interior with morter but the foil and lid stone seem to be working really good for now. Maybe Mike would like to give it a try on his brand new egg.

It'll be interesting to see what Mike decides to do with his pizza bake on Saturday. Oil and sugar with low heat or Neapolitan and rip-snorting high heat. Can't wait to see the pictures either way.

   Villa Roma

Well, I made my dough on Wednesday and I skipped the oil and sugar; hydration is at 62%  I made the doughs before Villa responded and suggested a higher hydration.  With my first attempt last week, I made one dough with no oil or sugar and one with oil and sugar.  The oil and sugar dough was the one that burned to a crisp and stuck to the stone.  The no oil and no sugar dough crisped up nicely and charred perfectly on the bottom; however, the top crust just wouldn't brown enough.  Again, I think the over-fermenting was the cause of that.

I plan to heat the LBE without the 16" stones for about 5 minutes to give the 8" stone a head start; then return the 16" stones and wait until they reach 650 degrees. 

- Mike
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 12:57:07 PM by Boy Hits Car »

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2007, 05:13:16 PM »
BHC:
The tops won't brown like a traditional NY pizza.  If you look at Neapolitan pizzas, you'll see more of a charring than actual browning. It's the 800+ temp that gets it done.  900+, you'll see those beautiful char freckles. Since you don't have that high heat radiating down on the pizza, you won't see it.
How hot does your lid get?  I'm wondering if you could somehow circulate the heat.  I'm looking for some type of convective property.  Maybe a baffle on the burner to direct it to more of one side so a convective pattern would form.  It seems that even heat 360 around the stone somehow stifles the flow since all sides are even.  I'm way over my head here.  Try running this by November.  Once he fires up that big brain, an answer will surely come tumbling out.

PizzaPolice.

Offline Y-TOWN

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Little Black Egg - Ohio model
« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2007, 05:25:53 PM »
Here are some shots of my LBE in NE Ohio. This is the grill I purchased for $25 with the hole cut in from the factory.

The stone on top is the 3/4 inch FibraMent-D for grills I purchased from the internet.

With a few bakes I think I have the gas control height figured out by the sound it makes and all should be good.

Thanks Villa Roma - nice of you to share the "secret of a inexpensive backyard pizza oven

BTW - the grill I purchased had 3 little holes at the bottom opening. I used a pair of channel locks and a coat hanger wired to the burner housing now the LBE does not move around at all
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 05:28:26 PM by Rkos »

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2007, 05:47:36 PM »
PizzaPolice...

November seems to be MIA... hasn't posted since the 14th of July!  Took his avatar and left!  I haven't been around long enough to know whether it's normal for him to take a summer hiatus, but thought it strange he took down his avatar... save bandwidth, I guess?

Hmmm.....  I miss his pontificating.....  (and I mean that in the nicest way... no sarcasm!)

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2007, 06:31:31 PM »
BHC:
The tops won't brown like a traditional NY pizza.  If you look at Neapolitan pizzas, you'll see more of a charring than actual browning. It's the 800+ temp that gets it done.  900+, you'll see those beautiful char freckles. Since you don't have that high heat radiating down on the pizza, you won't see it.
How hot does your lid get?  I'm wondering if you could somehow circulate the heat.  I'm looking for some type of convective property.  Maybe a baffle on the burner to direct it to more of one side so a convective pattern would form.  It seems that even heat 360 around the stone somehow stifles the flow since all sides are even.  I'm way over my head here.  Try running this by November.  Once he fires up that big brain, an answer will surely come tumbling out.

PizzaPolice.

PP,

That's what I meant.  I want some kind of charring on the top crust similar to ones in Villa Roma's first video where his temp read around 680 degrees.  His second set of videos had top crust charring at 690 degrees.  Is that all do to the starter?

Mike
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 06:37:52 PM by Boy Hits Car »

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2007, 07:08:36 PM »
Sourdough Girl:

I, for one, will think positive and conclude that he did, in fact, find that missing electron.

PizzaPolice   
                    ...*sniff*

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2007, 02:44:09 AM »
Keeping with the "can" do 8) attitude of this forum, I modified the vent on my egg. As stated earlier, with the high temps required to cook Neapolitan pizza, I noticed that the LBE could benefit from an increase in airflow to help it better achieve the 800+ degree heat. If this latest mod works as expected, 1000 degree temps may be possible. I've already been past 900 degrees before this FAB (Full After Burner) mod.

I was originally going to cut a 4" hole but regrouped and opted for a 3" hole instead. This nets almost 3X the airflow of the standard vent on the Weber. If this is not enough I can always make the vent hole larger. I cut the top off the can with a can opener and cut all but about 1" from the opposite lid. This creates a hinge that I can use to adjust the airflow. This is a temp solution until I can run some tests and decide what is the optimum solution. I may run a bead of high temp RTV around the base of the vent but it fits real snug right now. I'll see it it stays that way once I crank up the heat. If this works I'll order a flange and vent pipe with a damper on line.

         Villa Roma
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 02:29:47 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg - Ohio model
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2007, 05:46:05 AM »
Here are some shots of my LBE in NE Ohio. This is the grill I purchased for $25 with the hole cut in from the factory.

The stone on top is the 3/4 inch FibraMent-D for grills I purchased from the internet.

With a few bakes I think I have the gas control height figured out by the sound it makes and all should be good.

Thanks Villa Roma - nice of you to share the "secret of a inexpensive backyard pizza oven

BTW - the grill I purchased had 3 little holes at the bottom opening. I used a pair of channel locks and a coat hanger wired to the burner housing now the LBE does not move around at all

Rkos.....Now you're cooking with gas, bro! It takes a few times to get the hang of it.

Maybe next time you cook, you could include some pic of your pies. We'd love to see them!

How do you like the fibrament stone? Is that an aluminum perforated pizza pan on the bottom? Since my last pizza started to burn at 800+ degrees, I'm thinking of putting a perforated pan under my stones to see if I can get a sub 2 minute pie sans the excess charring on the bottom.

       Villa Roma
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 06:17:57 AM by Villa Roma »


Offline Randy

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2007, 06:57:52 AM »
High temp silicone will not hold up to those kind of temps Villa.
Stove gasket might work, check you ACE hardware for high temp solutions.  Another source for a vent pipe is your local muffler place.

Randy
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 07:33:25 AM by Randy »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2007, 07:15:09 AM »
High temp silicone will not hold up to those kind of temps Villa.
Stove gasket mite work, check you ACE hardware for high temp solutions.  Another source for a vent pipe is your local muffler place.

Randy

Thanks for the tip Randy. I laid down a bead of RTV about an hour ago so I guess I'll watch it go up in smoke the next time I fire up. The outside of the oven doesn't get too hot so maybe it'll last for awhile.

      Villa Roma
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 07:36:27 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Little Black Egg - Ohio model
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2007, 10:20:36 AM »
Rkos.....Now you're cooking with gas, bro! It takes a few times to get the hang of it.

Maybe next time you cook, you could include some pic of your pies. We'd love to see them!

How do you like the fibrament stone? Is that an aluminum perforated pizza pan on the bottom? Since my last pizza started to burn at 800+ degrees, I'm thinking of putting a perforated pan under my stones to see if I can get a sub 2 minute pie sans the excess charring on the bottom.

       Villa Roma


The gas grill fibrament stone comes with a solid light aluminum alloy pan that MUST be used with it on the grill. The first time I used the stone it picked up a small crack - I called the company and had a long conversation with whom I believe was the owner. He said few, if any, of the stones crack and to keep using mine to see if the crack expanded and at anytime I could call and he'd replace the stone for me (nice guy - that is a pizza maker as well). He did tell me the grill pan for the stone tops out at about 1200* but in tests not using the aluminum under pan the stone has gone 1500* with no problems. He also told me about a guy that actually burned a hole in the underpan using a green egg past 1300* The only thing we could figure out was the guy was using some sort of an 0-2 injector to get that heat.

For the $63 to get that large of a stone which will not break into two pieces (has multiple fiber mats, kind of like rebar in concrete inlaid in it) and has great after purchase service and support (made in Mich. I believe), I consider it a good deal for my LBE as I've broken numerous thinner stones that were in the $15 to $20 range and are now in the trash.

The perforated pan on the bottom of the pie will work to slow the bottom of the pies char time down. I've done it for a few years now on my conventional gas grill with a stone. I put the pie in and wait until the top is 90% brown to my liking and then pull the pan off with a pair of channel locks, shake the pan and finish the pie directly on the stone in about 60 seconds or less (probably at 600*'s as I have never checked. Worked well for me, but like the LBE you need a little practice to get consistent results.


PS - the fibrament stone fellow and I talked about a steam modification to the grill. He said there are numerous small steam deals on the internet and the steam was only helpful to the baking process at the begining of the process - I'm starting to think of a small odd-shaped container that would hold only a few onces of water which could be placed on the stone like your wood chip at the beginning of the cooking process.

Please post the results of the can vent - I'm ready to modify mine if that works

Regards,

« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 10:27:21 AM by Rkos »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2007, 11:30:51 AM »
Rkos....I'll be making pizza next weekend and I'll post the results. It'll most likely be 25% whole grains so I won't have the temp cranked up like I had with the Neapolitan. I think around 700* should work fine.

I placed a perforated pizza pan under the two 16" stones. I'll see what that does for the bottom crust.

For water injection, try forming some HD foil into the shape of a small reservoir and pressing it between the stone and the grill. Poke a small hole or two in it with a toothpick. Pour water in it when you load your pizza and it will drip down the side creating steam.

       Villa Roma



« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 11:32:34 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Y-TOWN

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Little Black Egg
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2007, 12:44:06 PM »
Villa Roma,

Here is today's pizza.

I got the rice cereal, ground it and mixed it with about 40% baking flour. I had to have 1/4# spread on the peel and dusted on the bottom of the skin. It was sliding fine during the assembly process.

Got to the LBE and the pizza was stuck. I had to get a 16" perforated pizza pan and scrape the pie from the peal and put the pie in the LBE in my perforated pan on top of the stone. I make a high hydration dough and it appears any type of dusting is absorbed by the skin bottom. From now on I'm just going to cook the pie on the perforated disk on the stone. It seems to work better for me.

Here are the results - also, you said the LBE doesn't like any kind of breeze. Got about a 10 mile side wind just when I started to cook. The photo's below are the tin foil droplets that melted and hit the concrete below the grill. My opening is only 9", I think I'll have to open it to 12" to compensate for any wind.

Regards,

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2007, 01:30:42 PM »
Rkos....Looks like a very respectable pizza. Have you tried using a preferment or a starter? Either one will make a big difference over straight yeast. I also like to use some kind of stone ground whole grains like rye or wheat. I make my starter with rye flour and it is really active so I don't have to use yeast.

Do you have a mixer or did you knead the dough by hand?

The hole in the bottom of my Weber is 11 1/2" and I've never had the foil melt. I think the flames from the burner were making contact with the foil just above it causing the melt down. I hope you were wearing shoes!

       Villa Roma
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 01:33:16 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2007, 03:11:15 PM »
Here are my results from today...overall a tremendous improvement over the first batch of pizzas.  I got much more color on the top crust as well as pretty good charring on both pizzas.  The bottom had some good and bad charring.  Some parts of the pizza had good bottom charring and other parts were a tad burned; but acceptable.  Actually, the burnt parts were still less burnt than the pizza I had at Totonno's in Brooklyn.

Just to note, turning the pizzas during the bake seems to really helps cook the pizzas more evenly.  When I put the pizzas on, the bottom stone read about 700 degrees and the top stone read 665 degrees.  Much happier with this set of pizzas; still some tweaking to work on. 

EDIT:  Just wanted to add the dough formulation I used:
Flour (100%)
Water (62%)
IDY (.25%)
Salt (2%)
TF = 0.09

I made two 12" doughs and cold fermented for 64 hours.

Enjoy the pics!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 03:34:55 PM by Boy Hits Car »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2007, 12:29:11 AM »
Mike.....Looks good, especially the first pizza where there are signs of some nice charring on one side. You're really zeroing in on greatness. My LBE cooks somewhat uneven also and I'm wondering if it's because of the vent pulling hot air over the stone creating a hot spot. Next time I'm going to try rotating the lid 180 degrees to see if the hotspot shifts. I'm still thinking about a Rolling Stone mod. If I was back in the states where there are massive hardware stores, it would be easy. It's not like that here in Europe.

I picked up some cake flour and I'm going to experiment with it. It's 6% protein so I'll cut it with some AP flour to try to simulate a Caputo flour. A 50/50 blend should yield about 8%. My experience has been that high gluten flours and long fermentation periods result in a leathery, almost plastic skin on the crust, especially after it cools off. I'm shooting for that leopard spot look.

How long did it take for your pizzas to cook? Also, what kind of flour did you use? I think if you bump up the hydration, you'll find it makes a big improvement. When I mix my dough I use cold water of about 40 degrees. When I'm done mixing the dough, it's right at room temp of 68 degrees. The cold water also makes for a stiffer dough initially, which allows you to use the higher hydration and still form a ball in the mixer. This really helps with the gluten development with low gluten flour. The higher hydration is also less likely to burn. Another thing to try is either a preferment or some type of starter.

     Villa Roma
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 01:57:11 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #58 on: August 19, 2007, 01:00:37 AM »
Rkos....Looks like a very respectable pizza. Have you tried using a preferment or a starter? Either one will make a big difference over straight yeast. I also like to use some kind of stone ground whole grains like rye or wheat. I make my starter with rye flour and it is really active so I don't have to use yeast.

Do you have a mixer or did you knead the dough by hand?

The hole in the bottom of my Weber is 11 1/2" and I've never had the foil melt. I think the flames from the burner were making contact with the foil just above it causing the melt down. I hope you were wearing shoes!

       Villa Roma




I use a mixer with 8 cups of flour at a time, no oil and approx. 4 tablespoons of sugar with some salt. The minimum is ususally a 24 hour rise in the refrigerator. - I use an instant fast rise yeast purchased in the typical 3 pack at the supermarket - not a lot of sophistication in the dough making process at our house, but I get solid, reliable results every time with this recipe and it only takes me about 15 minutes total to make and bag 4 individual bags for the refrigerator.

The aluminum droplets on the concrete were not from the foil but rather the light aluminum pan which came with the fibrament stone for cooking on a gas grill. After the grill cooled off I was cleaning it and found an approximate 7" circular hole burned through the underpan.

The fibrament factory fellow I recently talked with said the aluminum pan which came with the stone was good to 1200*F - the LBE must have gotten hotter than that under the stone or his calculations are off. The good news is the small hairline crack in the stone did not expand any more.

I going to look for a heavier aluminum or light steel pan to put the stone in for the baking process when the LBG is used.

BTW - the pizza was SUPER - the bottom picture was blurred, but it was a beautiful brown, with a slight char, just the way we like them at our place. Had I used a timer and not lifted the top of the LBE off 4 or 5 times during the baking process I'm confident the top would have been a little darker as well.

I'll try again at lunch tommorrow

Offline Boy Hits Car

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #59 on: August 19, 2007, 01:41:38 AM »
Mike.....Looks good, especially the first pizza where there are signs of some nice charring on one side. You're really zeroing in on greatness. My LBE cooks somewhat uneven also and I'm wondering if it's because of the vent pulling hot air over the stone creating a hot spot. Next time I'm going to try rotating the lid 180 degrees to see if the hotspot shifts. I'm still thinking about a rotating stone mod. If I was back in the states where there are massive hardware stores, it would be easy. It's not like that here in Europe.

I picked up some cake flour and I'm going to experiment with it. It's 6% protein so I'll cut it with some AP flour to try to simulate a Caputo flour. A 50/50 blend should yield about 8%. My experience has been that high gluten flours and long fermentation periods result in a leathery, almost plastic skin on the crust, especially after it cools off. I'm shooting for that leopard spot look.

How long did it take for your pizzas to cook? Also, what kind of flour did you use? I think if you bump up the hydration, you'll find it makes a big improvement. When I mix my dough I use cold water of about 40 degrees. When I'm done mixing the dough, it's right at room temp of 68 degrees. The cold water also makes for a stiffer dough initially, which allows you to use the higher hydration and still form a ball in the mixer. This really helps with the gluten development with low gluten flour. The higher hydration is also less likely to burn. Another thing to try is either a preferment or some type of starter.

     Villa Roma

Villa Roma,

I used King Aurthur bread flour and mixed in a similar manner as you with 37 degree water and a finished dough of around 72 degrees.  Both pizzas cooked for exactly 3 minutes.  I was planning to use a mix of bread flour and Caputo 00 next weekend.  Something in the line of 70% Caputo to 30% bread flour, with 65% hydration, salt and yeast; no oil or sugar. 

I also think the vent is making a hot spot on one side of the LBE.  That is a great idea about rotating the lid; that way you don't have to allow any heat to escape when lifting it to rotate the pizza.

- Mike