Author Topic: Why modify temps to get higher than 600?  (Read 2600 times)

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Offline Snowman

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Why modify temps to get higher than 600?
« on: August 13, 2005, 08:01:51 PM »
I see people talking about modifying their ovens so they'll get 800+ degrees.  What are you cooking at that temp?  Surely the cheese can't melt in the short time it takes the dough to cook????  Help me understand (though I'm a thick crust fan, so maybe I just "don't get it"). 

Offline scott r

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Re: Why modify temps to get higher than 600?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2005, 05:20:27 AM »
for thick crust you want an oven more in the 450-550 range so that you will not get too much of the uncooked dough, or gum layer.  The reason some of us like the really hot ovens is because with those upper temps for a thin crust pizza you can get a crispy flavorful outer char with a really soft melt in your mouth center to the dough.  Also certain flours perform better at certain temps.  Caputo pizzeria flour, for instance, will not look right if you cook it at lower temps.  It ends up being pale white.  Actually, I have had a hard time even getting a nice soft crust at anything lower than 650 with this flour, but I think Pete-zza has had better luck.  This flour is worth the extra trouble, though, as it produces a really amazing flavor and texture at high temps.   More typical flours used in the U.S. pizzerias are high gluten flours that brown very easily in just about any oven. 

In New York many of the famous pizzerias are using a high gluten flour, but still prefer the high temps of their coal or woodfired ovens.  They don't have to add oil to get a tender crust, and it is just a different texture/flavor than your normal NY style street pizza because of this and other factors.  There is no right or wrong, better or worse.  You might actually find that you prefer the lower temp flavor profile/texture.   If you have a chance to visit an area with coal, or woodfired ovens you should stop by one of these places and see what you think. You do have to be careful because some places have a wood burning oven that is pretty much just for show.  If the pizza takes more than three minutes to cook you will not experience the true magic.  In my area there is a chain called Bertuccis that has good pizza, but in their woodfired ovens the pies can take up to 10 minutes to cook.  You do not really get the full experience except for maybe a little smoky flavor. My first high temp pizza experience was Sally's in New Haven Ct., and I must admit it was a life changing event!