Author Topic: Need help deciding on a stone  (Read 5484 times)

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scott123

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2010, 04:45:27 PM »
Art is this a convection oven?

Would you happen to have any shots of the crumb?


Offline Art

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2010, 05:08:07 PM »
Art is this a convection oven?

Would you happen to have any shots of the crumb?

Not a convection oven.  Here's an oven/stone shot, an upskirt, and a crumb.  Art
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline DannyG

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2010, 09:16:46 AM »
After going through too many cheap retail stones I purchased a Fibrament stone about a year ago based on recommendations in this forum. I have a GE Electric oven that heats to 550. I purchased the 15" x 20" stone and use it on the lowest shelf preheated for about an hour after the oven reaches 550. I went with the rectangular size because it makes it easier to slide in the pie and I figure the larger sq. inches would retain more heat when doing multiple pies.

I don't know if it's the best stone available but I do know that it does an excellent job and has met all my expectations.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2010, 12:49:48 PM »
Scott,

I agree that the science here is pretty solid and straightforward when it comes to the thermal properties, but what is your take on the porosity of the different materials?  I'm spoiled with my wood fired oven, so stones aren't really my thing, but I know many feel the bricks of a wood fired oven need to be porous to wick moisture away from the crust.  Others claim porous bricks allow steam to escape so it doesn't collect under the crust and stop it from crisping.  Could be something worth thinking about as it relates to stones.
-Jeff

scott123

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2010, 03:00:24 PM »
I agree that the science here is pretty solid and straightforward when it comes to the thermal properties, but what is your take on the porosity of the different materials?

My thoughts are pretty well summed up (and confirmed with testing) here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10987.0.html

I generally believe that although all these stones vary in porosity, moisture in the bottom of the crust doesn't have much of a chance to be absorbed because of the high temps involved. I think that for a longer lower temp bake, then maybe porosity might play a role, but for an ideal quick bake, then the differences are barely distinguishable.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2010, 04:01:21 PM »
Very interesting.  I hope I have similar results.  I plan to eventually line my floor with 1/2" soapstone tile for some test pizzas.  I cook at very high heat(1000F hearth, much higher in the dome), and do not make your traditional naples pie but more of a artisan neo-naples pie.  I use a 72% hydration dough and get the cornice just like I want it but it still ends up a little flimsy in the middle, which isn't my thing.  I'm hoping the extra conductivity of the soapstone is the answer.  Obviously the lack of porosity has been on my mind.... 
-Jeff

scott123

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2010, 05:07:11 PM »
Very interesting.  I hope I have similar results.  I plan to eventually line my floor with 1/2" soapstone tile for some test pizzas.  I cook at very high heat(1000F hearth, much higher in the dome), and do not make your traditional naples pie but more of a artisan neo-naples pie.  I use a 72% hydration dough and get the cornice just like I want it but it still ends up a little flimsy in the middle, which isn't my thing.  I'm hoping the extra conductivity of the soapstone is the answer.  Obviously the lack of porosity has been on my mind.... 

1000F hearth? I'm not sure how exactly you're classifying 'neo-naples,' but within the pizzamaking spectrum, a hearth that hot puts you at the upper end of the Neapolitan spectrum- sort of a 'Super Neapolitan.' All of the traits of a traditional Neapolitan (floppiness, potential gumminess, leoparding, oven spring, etc) are only going to magnified as you go up the temperature scale (and even more so with an increased hydration).  Adding the extra conductivity of soapstone to the mix- I don't want to rain on your parade here, but you're basically guaranteeing yourself a scorched bottom with a raw center. Conductivity increases the payload, so a 1000F soapstone hearth will bake a lot like a 1150F firebrick hearth.

If you really are striving for a less flimsy crust (and are willing to lose some of the puff), you're going to have to dial back the temps to a Neo-NY level- 750ish.  You also might have to decrease the hydration.  Elevated hydration and very quick bake times both promote floppy crusts.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2010, 06:00:28 PM »
Yup, I know I am on the extreme end of things...tends to be the way I do things.  I've cooked at a lower temperature and tried hydrations as low as 60% and never got the spring I am after.  The pizza is very good as is, nobody complains, but I am a perfectionist with a vision in my head of what I want.  My oven has a very low dome and I feel it is a bit out of balance with the top almost always cooking faster then the bottom.  Hoping the soapstone will balance it out and just give me a little bit extra on the bottom, but you may very well be right.  Luckily a couple soapstone tiles will be cheap enough that the experiment won't be a killer if it fails, and if it goes well my next oven will have a soapstone floor.

As for my classification as Neo-neapolitan it's just a term I use because my pizza is not traditional and I respect tradition.  I don't use 00 flour, I use a blend of flours with a higher gluten content.  I use a small percentage of oil in the dough that really changes the crumb IMHO.  I am after an altogether drier product then the traditional Neapolitan.  By no means dry, just drier.

I'm over a year into this quest now, and have made hundreds of pizzas changing one variable at a time.  I bring in people and do blind taste testing.  I've hammered out everything and made significant gains in firming up the center I'm just looking for a last tiny push. 
-Jeff

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Need help deciding on a stone
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2010, 08:03:46 AM »
This thread should really be a sticky.     


 

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