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Author Topic: Breville Pizzaiolo oven - how long to preheat for black char/leopard spotting?  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline canadave

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Just bought a Pizzaiolo, and I've used it three times now. I'm trying to make Neapolitan pizza.

Because the last couple of times I didn't have it up all that high, and I wanted some really blackened char, I tried redlining it to the 750 degree mark, and turned the lighter/darker dial one notch to the right of dead centre. I let the oven preheat like that for about 20-30 minutes. I then launched the first pie in.

After about 3 minutes, the top cornicione was browned a bit, with some darker spots, and the bottom was browned a bit, but it was all more reminiscent of a golden browned NY-style pizza crust--no leopard spotting, no black char, nothing like that. I would've thought at 750 I'd be able to get that type of marking with no problem.

I then launched the 2nd pie pretty soon after I pulled out the first. This time, it was of course even less browned. Even after about 3-4 minutes in, the bottom was not very browned at all. The elements are on and it's definitely heating up (cheese melts etc), but it's just not giving results like I thought 750 would be.

Do I need to preheat this thing for like an hour before using it? Or is it possible it's defective?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 09:40:03 PM by canadave »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Are you certain it is in manual mode? I've messed that up more than once.

Offline canadave

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I don't believe I'm in manual mode....? I just turned the dial from OFF to 750, the oven started, and the timer dial lights were all illuminated....once the oven was at temp, I turned the timer dial to 3 minutes and it started counting down. Also I didn't see the manual mode light on at any point.

Without being in manual mode, shouldn't it just set everything to 750 if I turn the style dial all the way to the right?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 12:08:04 AM by canadave »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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I don't believe I'm in manual mode....? I just turned the dial from OFF to 750, the oven started, and the timer dial lights were all illuminated....once the oven was at temp, I turned the timer dial to 3 minutes and it started counting down. Also I didn't see the manual mode light on at any point.

Without being in manual mode, shouldn't it just set everything to 750 if I turn the style dial all the way to the right?

Yes, you're right. Sorry.

Offline canadave

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No need to be sorry :) Appreciate you taking the time to try to help. It's mystifying to me why the bake didn't work.

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Offline deb415611

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I haven't used mine for a little bit and I"m not home to look at the oven but don't you have to hold/push the left knob in when turning the oven on to use the manual mode?   just re-read your post and you weren't thinking you were in manual mode...


eta - here is one at 750 top & bottom manual   https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=34282.msg617593#msg617593    I had preheated about 45 min and had a stone on top of the regular stone to get it a little closer to the top.     I don't think my other posts have preheat times but I tend to turn on the oven and do something else and let it preheat for a long period of time, rarely shorter than 30 min.   I"m going to do some soon and am going to try some malted flours.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 09:14:36 AM by deb415611 »
Deb

Offline canadave

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Thanks for the info and link to the photo!

I'm wondering then if it's simply a question of a longer preheat being needed. The photo of the bottom definitely looked nothing like mine (it looked like what I was trying to achieve but did not accomplish). I'll probably be making another pizza or two on the weekend and can try it, but will look forward to the results of any pizza experiments you do in the meantime :)

Offline deb415611

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check out the Breville threads for Larry's bakes, they are what you are looking for
Deb

Offline canadave

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Hmmm. Okay, today I tried manual mode, full blast on top and bottom decks. Preheated for 30 minutes, well past when it was "At Temp". After being baked for at least 3-4 minutes (didn't time it exactly), I still didn't get leopard spot charring--just a vague browning.

As an experiment, I tried heating it up the same way afterward and grabbed my IR thermometer to check to see if the oven is indeed getting up to temp properly. Sure enough, the stone read about 750 or so.

I'm still casting about for answers. One thing that may be an issue is that my pizzas use gluten-free Caputo FioreGlut flour, since I have celiac disease. But even with that, I wouldn't think that should be an issue--when I use the same dough in my regular oven using a baking steel at 530 degrees, it comes out dark browned on the bottom; you'd think with 750 degrees, it'd get blackened.

I'm wondering if I need to try using a custom-built circular-shaped baking steel. Or even just another baking stone on top....but Larry in that other thread seemed to be saying that the extra stone didn't make much difference.

Offline canadave

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Okay, I'm thinking of two options. One option is to simply replace the baking stone in this oven with a steel plate cut to the exact same size. The other option would be to keep the stone, but add a round steel plate sitting on top of it, cut to dimensions that are slightly larger (i.e. in order to maximize the available baking space so that the edges of the steel are touching the "charflector" in the oven).

I'm just not sure which option would be preferable. If it's the latter option, then I guess I'd also want to make sure the "overlapping" part of the steel plate that is over the base of the oven rather than the actual baking stone wouldn't somehow damage the oven or its finish.

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Perhaps you could make up a small batch using a flour with gluten just to see if the problem might the FioreGlut. I tried a metal disk a few times in the 800 model and it didn't make much difference. The 820 model definitely has different "smarts", so it may be worth a try.

Offline canadave

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Perhaps you could make up a small batch using a flour with gluten just to see if the problem might the FioreGlut. I tried a metal disk a few times in the 800 model and it didn't make much difference. The 820 model definitely has different "smarts", so it may be worth a try.

I actually thought of doing that, and I was really tempted; but because I have celiac disease, that isn't an option unfortunately :) It would contaminate the oven for my future use (and damage my intestine).

Interesting that the steel didn't make much difference in the 800 model. I guess it's not TOO expensive to try it (just got quoted $60 CAD for a round 11.75" metal disk (which seems crazy to me given that I spent about the same amount of money for a 21" by 18" inch rectangle a year or so ago!) :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 11:57:55 AM by canadave »

Offline thezaman

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 Hi, Larry answering your post. I'm thinking GF will not react the same as a  flour-based crust. you might want to look at Roberto from Keste's to see what the bake looks like with his GF flour. if it has what you are looking for then it can probably be done with the Breville.
 When I got my Breville my goal was an under 2-minute pizza.
  I looked at what was being done in the P134H electric ovens to produce a under 2 minute pizza. they added height to the stone to get it closer to the top element. so, that is what I tried. I used a .65 thick stone from California pizza stones to get my floor closer to the top. it raised my floor temperature to 825 degrees. my cook times came down by 15 to 30 seconds. the pizza was soft and very close to my wood-fired bakes.
 the reason that I mentioned it not making a major difference is that others are getting good results in stock form. so, this is just my cooking technique and may not help you at all. Also, Michael, the designer of the oven is a member and surely he is much more knowledgeable about his oven than me.
  one thing they did do is go with a white stone for all ovens and they may have found a benefit to a white stone.
 the Breville is an amazing pizza oven. keep experimenting and you will find a method that will get you close to high heat wood oven results.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Also, Michael, the designer of the oven is a member and surely he is much more knowledgeable about his oven than me.

Michael hasn't logged on to the forum since last January. I hope Breville hasn't abandoned efforts to improve this oven.

Offline thezaman

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Hi Bill, I talk to Michael thru emails. Nothing new is in the works as of about three weeks ago. He did say that all the new floors would be white on color. I think he is involved with a different project.

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Offline canadave

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you might want to look at Roberto from Keste's to see what the bake looks like with his GF flour. if it has what you are looking for then it can probably be done with the Breville.

Thanks for taking the time to reply with such great info! It's funny you mention Keste--I used to live in NYC about three blocks away from Keste on Bleecker Street, and every time I went back (I live in Canada now), I always would order GF pizza from Keste; and in fact, I liked it so much that I eventually went in there and asked about how they make it, which is how I found out about the FioreGlut flour in the first place ;) So I'm very familiar with what Keste's GF pizza looks like! :)

Tougher for me to visit them now that they've closed the Bleecker location and moved downtown, but I still try to make it down there.

The Kestes does have that blackening/charring, but what I'm struggling with is recreating that with the Breville (you don't happen to know if Keste makes their GF pizzas in a Breville, do you? I would think not, since they've been making GF pizza in a dedicated oven for some time now, well before the Breville came out I believe).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 12:17:25 PM by canadave »

Offline canadave

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OK, I decided to go for it and try getting a 1/4" steel to go in the Breville. For $60 CAD, figured it was worth a shot. Picking up today or tomorrow depending on when it's ready. Will try to post pics here once I've tried it out.

Offline canadave

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WOW. What a difference with the 1/4" steel. The pizza was completely BURNT in spider-web patterns on the underside after about 3 minutes of baking (at 750 in manual mode on top and bottom). It wasn't even fully pre-heated. Definitely going to have to dial it in a bit, but this is way better than the stone.

One question I have--what is the little "nipple" in the centre of the bottom part of the oven? I see the stone that comes with the oven has a little cut-out in the middle of its underside in order to accommodate that nipple. Do I need to make a little cut-out for the steel too? Right now the steel kind of sits awkwardly on it--not too bad, and I was able to make the pizzas with no problems, but I'm just wondering if the heavy steel might damage this little nub piece.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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WOW. What a difference with the 1/4" steel. The pizza was completely BURNT in spider-web patterns on the underside after about 3 minutes of baking (at 750 in manual mode on top and bottom). It wasn't even fully pre-heated. Definitely going to have to dial it in a bit, but this is way better than the stone.

One question I have--what is the little "nipple" in the centre of the bottom part of the oven? I see the stone that comes with the oven has a little cut-out in the middle of its underside in order to accommodate that nipple. Do I need to make a little cut-out for the steel too? Right now the steel kind of sits awkwardly on it--not too bad, and I was able to make the pizzas with no problems, but I'm just wondering if the heavy steel might damage this little nub piece.

IRRC, the temperature gauge for the bottom element resides in the "nipple". Also IIRC, the nipple is a switch that detects whether the bottom stone is in place. Why 3 minutes?

Offline canadave

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The 3 minutes was because the top crust didn't appear to me to be done until about 3 minutes in. With the 750 top and bottom, it seems the bottom bakes much faster than the top. As I said, I'll need to dial it in :)

So if I'm reading you correctly, there shouldn't be an issue with the heavy steel sitting "perched" somewhat on the nipple?

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