Author Topic: Best oven temp and rack height for cooking on a screen?  (Read 2295 times)

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Offline pnj

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Best oven temp and rack height for cooking on a screen?
« on: May 07, 2007, 09:53:19 PM »
So I just got a screen as you may have read....

I just made some dough and meanwhile, seasoned my screen at 405 rubbed w/ oil for 20 or so minutes..

Just for fun, when I was devideing out my dough for the fridge, I shaped a real quick pie, about 9 inches around. it was crazy thin. less then 1/8 in most places, minus the edge...

I had cranked the oven up to 550 while shaping this pie, then threw it in the oven.

the cheese melted fine, the dough cooked but the bottom wasn't quite brown enough. just one or two small spots that were darker then the rest of the pie.

Should I move my rack to a lower position? That was my first though but I figured I'd see what the general consensous was....

Thanks!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best oven temp and rack height for cooking on a screen?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 10:11:10 PM »
pnj,

It's difficult to answer your question without knowing what your dough recipe is and how you made and managed the dough. It is quite possible, for example, that the lack of bottom crust browning was due to your recipe and dough preparation/management rather than the oven rack position and oven temperature. That aside, I would say that the most common oven rack positions for a pizza screen in a home setting are the lowest oven rack position and the middle rack position. Oven temperatures can vary quite widely with pizza screens, from as low as about 435 F to about 500 F, with the bake time being adjusted in accordance with the bake temperature used. The above range of oven temperatures is roughly the range that professional pizza operators use when using screens in their conveyor ovens, for which screens are primarily designed.

Peter

Offline pnj

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Re: Best oven temp and rack height for cooking on a screen?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 10:49:32 PM »
yea, I figured the answer wouldn't be solid....er, I knew it wouldn't be actually. I was just going for some general idea...

as for my dough.....nothing special..:)

1 1/4 cups of cold beer (PBR in this case)
1 table spoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of honey
2 table spoons of my sour dough starter
2 1/4 cups of KA unbleached bread flour

I mix it in my Mr Breadmachine mixer. It has a dough setting but I think it also turns the heating element on for some dumb reason... whatever, it's what I have and it seems to work fine for me. :)

I did have to add about 3 tablespoons of flour during the mix as it was too wet to really get kneeded together well.

I'm sure the dough will be better after a few days. this pie I made less then two hours after the bread machine was done.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best oven temp and rack height for cooking on a screen?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2007, 11:20:43 PM »
pnj,

Without attempting to analyze your recipe and technique in great detail, I would say that your dough recipe was responsible for the reduced level of crust browning. First, your use of two tablespoons of starter will not provide adequate leavening of the dough over a period of only a few hours. You would have to add a commercial yeast. Doing that, however, the commercial yeast will overtake the starter such that the effects of the starter are negated and very unlikely to be detected in the finished crust. Second, a few hours of "fermentation" would be insufficient to allow the enzymes in the flour to extract the natural sugars from the starch so that the sugars are available to provide browning of the crust. However, the honey should have provided some browning.

In many respects, your results reminds me of the old Shakey's cracker crust, as discussed by Steve at this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1311.msg17388.html#msg17388 (Reply 3).  Unless you want a cracker type crust, you will have to materially modify your dough recipe to achieve the particular pizza style you are after.

Peter