Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => New York Style => Topic started by: slybarman on August 19, 2012, 08:40:37 PM

Title: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 19, 2012, 08:40:37 PM
I feel like my pizza took a step backwards tonight after making some improvement over the last couple of weeks. The crust was chewy and dense - not airy. :(  The rim also browned less.

I did a 2 day cold rise instead of 3. I also started with a lower water temp and a lower final dough temp. I suppose that could have done it. I also lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. Otherwise I kept the same formula - all trumps, 58% hydration, .35 IDY, 2% salt, 2% sugar.

I saved 1 dough ball to see whether it is any better tomorrow.

Edit: I did try the trick of blowing under the pizza skin to make sure it wasn't stuck to the peel before launching it. That works like magic. The pie floats off the peel like a hovercraft.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Aimless Ryan on August 19, 2012, 08:56:29 PM
But you learned from it, right? Of course you did, or at least you will. We all make crappy pizzas sometimes, and they always provide good learning opportunities. The pizza I made tonight was kinda bad, too, but it's helping me learn what happens when you mess around with dough that's essentially unleavened. I've learned a ton in the last week by doing this.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 20, 2012, 09:42:53 AM
Hopefully, I will take something from it. So far, I am not really sure why it failed. If the last dough ball is better tonight, that will tell me a lot. It was confusing because looking at the dough in the tupperware, it seemed like it had risen a good bit. When I was stretching the dough, I could feel the air in the dough and had a few bubbles form in the dough as I was laying it out on the peel. But, once I baked it . . . . pffft.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 20, 2012, 06:58:54 PM
I cooked the last dough ball tonight. Result was the same. Clearly, the yeast was plenty active and if anything the dough was over-blown on day 3. See the huge bubble on top and lots of smaller bubbles on the bottom. Though dough handled fine. It stretched out with no problems.

But . . .

Again, when I baked it there was no oven spring and little structure. It was bready and on the chewy side.

So, the question for you experts is - what causes a dough to have plenty of rise, but no spring/structure? I am assuming that this was problem when the dough was being mixed - that somehow the gluten did not develop properly? Please share any thoughts.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 20, 2012, 07:58:42 PM
I feel like my pizza took a step backwards tonight after making some improvement over the last couple of weeks.

Been there many times. When I am, I go back to what I know works before doing anything else.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: ThatsAmore on August 20, 2012, 09:39:14 PM
slybarman,

To take a quote from a movie, this is something I try to keep in mind when things don't come to fruition in my minds eye. "But, these little set-backs are just what we need to take a giant step forward"  8)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: fazzari on August 20, 2012, 10:39:42 PM
I'd be willing to bet you, that if you took that overblown dough ball, reballed it and put it back in the fridge for a half day or so....you wouldn't recognize it was the same dough!!!!

John
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: The Dough Doctor on August 21, 2012, 09:25:59 AM
A couple of things come to mind. What was your finished (mixed) dough temperature? We normally like to see something in the 80 to 85F range. Did you cover the container when you put the dough into the fridge? If you did, that might have contributed to the problem as this does not allow the dough to cool very efficiently, you might try wiping the top of the dough ball lightly with oil after you put it into the plastic bowl, then leave the lid off for about 2-hours (allowing the dough to cool more efficiently) before lidding the bowl.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: weemis on August 21, 2012, 09:51:54 AM
We normally like to see...

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I notice everything posted by the dough doctor uses the "we" pronoun instead of "I". Is this a dr jeckyll/mr hyde thing with Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor, or are there a team of folk that equals one entity, named TOM?

Who is "we", tom?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 21, 2012, 10:10:59 AM
A couple of things come to mind. What was your finished (mixed) dough temperature? We normally like to see something in the 80 to 85F range. Did you cover the container when you put the dough into the fridge? If you did, that might have contributed to the problem as this does not allow the dough to cool very efficiently, you might try wiping the top of the dough ball lightly with oil after you put it into the plastic bowl, then leave the lid off for about 2-hours (allowing the dough to cool more efficiently) before lidding the bowl.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thank you Tom. My dough did finish at about 80 degrees. I put it into the fridge with the lid off for an hour and then covered. I oiled the container but not the dough.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Pete-zza on August 21, 2012, 10:33:39 AM
I notice everything posted by the dough doctor uses the "we" pronoun instead of "I". Is this a dr jeckyll/mr hyde thing with Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor, or are there a team of folk that equals one entity, named TOM?

Who is "we", tom?

Nick,

See the LEHMANN (Tom) entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#L. You can see what Tom looks like, as of 2010, in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw10twuHKw.

Peter
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: weemis on August 21, 2012, 11:01:40 AM
Nick,

See the LEHMANN (Tom) entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#L. You can see what Tom looks like, as of 2010, in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw10twuHKw.

Peter

i see. thank you peter. the "we" of it all is still a mystery, but one I am willing to live with.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: juniorballoon on August 21, 2012, 11:07:36 AM
I have no clue why your pizza came out different. You can clearly see there wasn't much browning. Were there any changes to the oven setup?

jb
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Pete-zza on August 21, 2012, 11:12:02 AM
i see. thank you peter. the "we" of it all is still a mystery, but one I am willing to live with.

Nick,

You can see more of the "we" in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&feature=related where Tom and his associate Jeff Zeak talk about making pizza dough. I believe that Tom and Jeff made that video after they had returned from a Halloween party and didn't have time to change.

Peter
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 21, 2012, 11:18:09 AM
I have no clue why your pizza came out different. You can clearly see there wasn't much browning. Were there any changes to the oven setup?

jb

Nope. Oven was all the same - 545, cordierite stone on bottom rack. The browning was better than the cell phone camera pictures and subsequent photo editing would suggest, but still not as much as previous batches. Though, come to think of it, I did not brush the rim with olive oil this time.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on August 21, 2012, 06:06:36 PM
Steve, I would not oil the top of the dough.  In the type of container you're working with, the oil, as the dough rises, will puddle along the edge. This excess oil will act like a magnet for bench flour and you'll end up with a line of flour going around the rim. In commercial settings with 100s of dough balls, cross stacking/leaving the covers off to let the dough cool is critical, but, for the home baker using single dough ball containers, it isn't necessary.

From what I can tell, there are three factors impacting your 'disappointing results:' flour, thickness factor and bake time.

Flour

All Trumps has, by it's bromated 14% nature, a very high propensity for toughness/chewiness.  You can get around this by taking a few extra steps, but it isn't easy.  Underkneading is critical.  If you take it anywhere near smooth, with a cold ferment, you're pretty much guaranteeing toughness.  At the same time, though, the dough has to be thoroughly mixed or you'll end up with wet and dry areas in the dough, resulting in major stretching problems. You want to take cold fermented AT doughs to a point where they're well mixed, but barely kneaded- a cottage cheese appearance.  For me, kneading by hand, that was about 2.5 minutes total mixing/kneading time.

You can mitigate the toughness in the flour through additional oil, but once you start adding that much oil, you leave the NY style realm. Oil can also help a bit with oven spring.

Honestly, you can make AT work, with a lot of fussing, but it is far from ideal for NY style.  If you can score AT, you should be able to score something with a lower protein, such as Spring King, Full Strength, King Midas Special or Occident. I wouldn't throw away the AT you've got, but, for the next bag, I'd find something with less protein.

Thickness Factor

We talked about TF in the Reinhart thread and I think you understand the direction you need to take.  As you drop the TF, there's less dough in contact with the stone, less water per square inch.  Since water takes a lot of energy to boil, when there's less of it, the dough will heat up faster, creating a faster reaction, providing slightly better oven spring.  There are diminishing returns to this equation, so you can't just keep stretching the skin further and further, but, for NY, .075 seems to be a happy number.

Bake time

Pizza is 80% bake time.  The bake time dictates the intensity of the reaction. With a faster, hotter bake, you get a more explosive reaction, producing superior oven spring. With a slower, cooler bake, the reaction is sluggish and you end up with a dense bready crumb.

Now, you can tweak the dough and, within a small margin, get slightly better or slightly worse oven spring, but you will always be anchored to your oven setup. A cordierite pizza stone is better than no pizza stone at all, but, depending on the thickness, the best bake time it's going to get you at 545 is 8 minutes, and 8 minutes, for NY, is pretty bready.

It's time to start looking for a better stone.  If you're willing to deal with the weight, 1/2" steel plate, at 5:45, will give you bake times down to 3 minutes (lower than you'll need for NY).


The thickness factor should be pretty easily resolvable.  With the right stone and the right flour, you should be set, but those might take a while. Until then, though, I'd increase the oil and decrease the kneading.  4% oil, is, imo pushing the boundaries of the style, but it will go a long way in giving you tenderness and should provide a more open crumb with longer bakes. Once you've got the right oven setup and flour, though, you should be able to back down from that.

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 21, 2012, 06:55:37 PM
Thank you Scott for the detailed reply. That seems to make sense as I had just lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. So it looks like I went in the wrong direction with that.

My bake times with the stone I have are in the range of 6:00 - 6:30. I have been following the steel discussions and was intrigued but also a bit worried over the bottom burning many seem to be having. I have a cast iron pizza pan that I used initially, but my pizza always seemed chewier off of that pan than from the stone.

Based on your reply, I would say I am definitely over-kneeding the AT. I have been mixing in the KA mixer for 2 minutes to allow all the flour to be taken up, and then 7 more minutes after that.

What you describe with oil pooling on the edges of the dough ball is exactly why I stopped oiling the dough ball and now only lightly oil the tupperware.

I had also been thinking of bringing the hydration back up to 60% from 58%, but your comment about getting better oven spring with less water has me rethinking that.

Thanks also to Craig and everyone else for your posts of encouragement.

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on August 21, 2012, 07:19:26 PM
You've hit 6 minutes with cordierite? Wow, that's faster than I expected. Could you describe your stone to me? Is this a kiln shelf? 1" thick?

Is the stone a comparable size to the cast iron pizza pan?  If the stone is flat and the pan sits flat on it, I might try stacking the cast iron on the cordierite stone.

Go with 5% oil.  I was doing a search for examples of beautiful undercrusts and came up with this post from Norma:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17417.0.html

I think, but am not certain, that she's in your bake time realm. If you can do something like that, I would be very happy with it.

Steel plate doesn't have burning issues.  We've got a member right now who's having some issues dialing in the right temp, but there have been other members who have gotten the perfect level of browning with steel plate

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.msg127366.html#msg127366

There's a chance you might get into the magic 4 minute realm with stacking, but, if that doesn't work out, I'd still consider steel plate.

Water is an important aspect of the slight bump in spring relating to thickness factor, but hydration of the dough is a slightly different matter.  In the dough, less water doesn't necessarily equate to better oven, nor does more water.  With every flour, there's going to be a formula where oven spring is ideal, and there's no way to knowing without testing.  You want to start around a flour's absorption value and then move up and down and see what kind of results you'll get. 58% is pretty darn low for AT, so I think your inclination to go up to 60% is a good one.  60% is still a bit low, but that should balance with the 5% oil nicely.

For now, stick to your normal mixing/kneading routine and just see what 5% oil gets you. If 5% oil is still a bit tough, then you can tweak the kneading time.

Thank you Scott for the detailed reply. That seems to make sense as I had just lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. So it looks like I went in the wrong direction with that.

My bake times with the stone I have are in the range of 6:00 - 6:30. I have been following the steel discussions and was intrigued but also a bit worried over the bottom burning many seem to be having. I have a cast iron pizza pan that I used initially, but my pizza always seemed chewier off of that pan than from the stone.

Based on your reply, I would say I am definitely over-kneeding the AT. I have been mixing in the KA mixer for 2 minutes to allow all the flour to be taken up, and then 7 more minutes after that.

What you describe with oil pooling on the edges of the dough ball is exactly why I stopped oiling the dough ball and now only lightly oil the tupperware.

I had also been thinking of bringing the hydration back up to 60% from 58%, but your comment about getting better oven spring with less water has me rethinking that.

Thanks also to Craig and everyone else for your posts of encouragement.


Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 21, 2012, 07:28:20 PM
Scott:

My wife bought the Cordierite stone from William Sonoma. It is not very thick and has a whole metal frame thing that it sits in. I do allow an hour and a half for preheat.

I had the hydration so low because I am a total nob at handling/stretching the dough. I have improved some and I think I am ready to ratchet the hydration back up some.

Norma got some nice browning going there. I also see what you mean by cottage cheesey from that second photo. She says she mixed for 19 minutes!

I will try one at 60% hydration and 5% oil and see what happens. Thanks.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Aimless Ryan on August 21, 2012, 07:55:50 PM
I had the hydration so low because I am a total nob at handling/stretching the dough. I have improved some and I think I am ready to ratchet the hydration back up some.

I think your hydration is right about where it needs to be. I did 58% with the dough I mixed today (using All Trumps), and I like how it feels, although I might bump it up to 60% for the next batch. I probably won't go any higher than that.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Aimless Ryan on August 21, 2012, 08:06:08 PM
I also see what you mean by cottage cheesey from that second photo. She says she mixed for 19 minutes!

I don't think that's the same "cottage cheesy" texture he's referring to. Not with a 19-minute mix time. I think Scott is talking about something more like what I'm getting with a 5-minute mix time here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20591.msg203891.html#msg203891.

You can see a bit of what I consider cottage cheese texture in the dough ball on the left. This was only a 5-minute mix with All Trumps, so I'm surprised there wasn't more cottage cheese action. (I wanted a little more cottage cheese.) If I had mixed this dough for 19 minutes, it would have been very smooth.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Aimless Ryan on August 21, 2012, 08:27:58 PM
Actually I guess my first pic (the one with the mixer) is a better example of what I see as almost cottage cheese texture.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on August 21, 2012, 11:26:05 PM
Steve, the 545, is that an oven setting or an infrared thermometer reading?

Ryan, yes, the first pic is more cottage cheese-y.  Your finished balls, if say cottage cheese is 6 o'clock and perfectly smooth is 12, then I'd say you're close to 10:30.  This level of smoothness is ideal for lower protein flours, but, for AT doughs that are to be cold fermented, I think it's a bit far. Your bake times are pretty low, if I recall, and your lower thickness factor should help, but I think the end result will be a bit chewy- not that that's bad- some people prefer a chewier crust.

As far as Norma's 19 minute mix goes, I had a theory for quite some time that overkneaded, degraded gluten is a lot like underkneaded gluten, and her results seem to support that, but kneading that long makes me nervous. I resonate much more with developing gluten to it's pre-peak- catching it on the way up, rather than the way down.

But, Steve, for now, don't worry about kneading.  Oil is very tenderizing, so let's see what 5% does before you go the cottage cheese route.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 22, 2012, 08:49:06 AM
Scott:

545 was the oven setting - the highest my oven goes. My current IR thermometer only goes up to 500. I know my stone is at least 500, but in truth I do not know my actual baking temp.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: The Dough Doctor on August 22, 2012, 09:27:11 AM
Weemis;
To clear up any confusion, Peter is absolutely correct. "WE" is Tom Lehmann and Jeff Zeak, here at The American Institute of Baking/AIB International. Jeff has been my right hand man, and associate in most of the pizza work that has been done here at AIB since he came on board about 25-years ago. Prior to that, I did all of the work by myself. My research on pizza dates back to around 1967 and continues to this day with the full support of AIB, a multi-million dollar research and education facility, located in Manhattan, Kansas dedicated to serving the food industry world wide. When Jeff and I discover or develop something new or of interest to the pizza industry, WE work together to disseminate that information to the industry through seminar participation at Pizza Expo and the NAPICS (North American Pizza and Ice Cream Show), authoring pizza related articles for trade publications, as well as providing educational and technical, hands on assistance to all aspects of the pizza industry (pizzerias, box chains, as well as the largest frozen pizza manufacturers. We also provide technical support to the allied pizza industries (oven manufacturers, pan and utensil manufacturers, and ingredient suppliers). Whew! That was a mouthfull! Hopefully I've answered your question as to who "WE" is.
BTW: I am seriously considering retirement sometime within the next 2 or 3-years, but I will continue to assist the pizza and baking industries after retirement, so Jeff will be left to fend on his own until he can find someone to work with him and become a "WE" as I have.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on August 22, 2012, 09:39:54 AM
Scott:

545 was the oven setting - the highest my oven goes. My current IR thermometer only goes up to 500. I know my stone is at least 500, but in truth I do not know my actual baking temp.

Steve, for what it's worth, your oven is going a lot higher than 545.  Based upon the bake times you're seeing with that stone, I'd say you're hitting 600 easy.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: norma427 on August 22, 2012, 09:47:27 AM

Norma got some nice browning going there. I also see what you mean by cottage cheesey from that second photo. She says she mixed for 19 minutes!


slybarman,

I have only tried long mixes in experiments.  I never normally do a long mix.  I usually only mix until the dough looks somewhat smooth.

Norma
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 22, 2012, 09:50:53 AM
Roger that. Thanks.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: weemis on August 22, 2012, 09:55:16 AM
Weemis;
To clear up any confusion, Peter is absolutely correct. "WE" is Tom Lehmann and Jeff Zeak, here at The American Institute of Baking/AIB International...

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

wow! that's quite a resume to be here in your off time, giving it all away! Thanks for taking the time to answer my (non-dough) question.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: The Dough Doctor on August 22, 2012, 10:13:33 AM
Weemis;
Not a problem, you deserve to know who you're communicating with. One of our mission statements is to communicate information to the industry, you and everyone else here and at the other forums are part of that industry.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Aimless Ryan on August 22, 2012, 11:25:41 AM
Ryan, yes, the first pic is more cottage cheese-y.  Your finished balls, if say cottage cheese is 6 o'clock and perfectly smooth is 12, then I'd say you're close to 10:30.

Yeah, I know. I was surprised it ended up that smooth because I only mixed for 5 minutes. After mixing, I immediately divided the dough and gave each ball a few kneads (just to tighten it up for rounding). Then I immediately rounded them and put 'em in the fridge.

I was actually going for more cottage cheese than that. I guess I'm just not used to my mixer yet, having gotten it back from KitchenAid only a few days ago after it sat around unusable (broken gears) for over a year.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on August 26, 2012, 06:44:39 PM
Here are tonight's results. I upped the hydration from 58% to 60%. I increased the oil to a bit over 3%. I know Scott said 5%, but I couldn't bring myself to go that high all at once. LOL. Baby steps, baby steps.

I only got a 36 hr cold rise versus the full 2-3 days I usually do.

The dough wasn't really much tougher to handle at 60% hydration. My dough handling is getting a little better each week. This was a 13.5 oz dough ball and a 14" pie.

The tenderness definitely improved with the higher oil% (and maybe higher hydration?). I am still not getting quite as much spring as I would like.

This was six minutes 30 seconds exactly. I hit the stopwatch right after launch.

My pizza critics seemed satisfied (though really they aren't all too discriminating :) )

Edit - I forgot to add that I also under-kneaded this time as well.

.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 05, 2012, 07:40:48 PM
I picked up an IR thermometer today that goes up to 1400f (old one only did 500f). I am going to try to get my bake temps up and my times down. I am going to start with the broiler method and see how that goes.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 07, 2012, 12:42:29 PM
Steve, this last bake looks really good.

Go with 5% oil next time.  With your stone and your bake times, I think that will give you the best results.

Another thing you might want to play around with is stacking your iron pan on your cordierite stone. If both are flat, you might be able to break the 4 minute bake barrier and achieve a bit better oven spring.

When you get a chance, pre-heat your oven for an hour and take some readings of the stone.  I'd like to get to the bottom of the mystery of how you're getting 6 minute bake times with cordierite.

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 07, 2012, 02:39:01 PM
My preheats have generally been 1 1/2 hrs total, so I will do that and take a reading with the new IR gun.

BTW - I went with 4% oil this past weekend. I am not sure if I really want to go over that. The crust was tender, but the presence of the oil in the finished crust was starting to be noticeable. I want tender, but not oily if I can help it. I also used honey instead of sugar and did get more browning. Not more crunch, but more browning. Sadly no photos because we were kinda rushing to feed the kiddies.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 07, 2012, 09:37:33 PM
Scott:

I made a couple of dough balls tonight with only 3% oil and they still looked and felt quite "oily". Then I got to thinking that a week or so ago I switched from using olive oil to using pure canola oil and I am wondering if this is accounting for the difference more so than the percentage? Does canola tend to give the dough a more oily look and feel to it? I had also upped the hydration from 58% to 60% so perhaps the dough is already more wet to start with and thus does not absorb the oil as readily? When I put the dough ball on the cutting mat, it left an oily sheen behind.

With regard to under-kneading the GMAT, I am still not sure if I am stopping at the right consistency. Does this look cottage cheesey or not kneaded enough? It was definitely less time and much less smooth than I would normally have done.

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 08, 2012, 06:47:48 AM
Steve, are you adding the oil to the water at the beginning of the mix or are you adding it later? If you're adding it later, switch it up and add it to the water.

Canola shouldn't be that different from olive oil.

Is this bromated All Trumps?  For some reason, the dough looks pretty wet for 60% hydration 3% oil AT.

I'm sure this has already been discussed, but you're using a reliable digital scale, correct?

There really is no free lunch when it comes to oven spring.  You can either get it with extra oil- and risk the crust tasting a bit oily or you can decrease the bake time with a more conductive stone.  When Norma went to 5% oil, she said that she couldn't taste any oiliness, and, from the photos, it didn't look oily either.  It's been a while, but I think I went to 5% once, and it might have been a bit oily for me. 5% oil is definitely outside of the specification for NY style, but it can be an effective way of achieving spring.  If you're sensitive to the taste, though, I understand.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 08, 2012, 06:56:24 AM
Thanks again Scott. I have been adding the oil after all the flour has been taken up into the water (which already has the yeast, honey, and salt dissolved in it). Oh y eah, I also switched from regular sugar to honey, not sure what effect on the consistency that has. I will try adding the oil at the beginning next time instead.

The AT is bromated and the scale is accurate as far as I know, but I will double check with another just to be sure.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 08, 2012, 07:21:01 AM
Sounds good, Steve, I think adding the oil at the beginning should go a long way in helping the crust taste less oily.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Don K on September 15, 2012, 01:04:47 AM
I used to use about 3% oil with KABF or KASL. When I started using the exact same recipe with AT bromated the final crust seemed too doughy. I reduced the oil to 1% and it was much better. This was at 62% hydration.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 19, 2012, 08:41:41 PM
I finally got to make some dough tonight. I added the oil (4%) at the beginning this time as Scott suggested. It did make a big difference. The final dough was not oily. At 61% it was more wet and tacky like I would have expected.

I tried to under-knead the dough again, but still do not have a good feel for when to stop. I definitely stopped before it was smooth. Did I knead it enough? Any opinions on the look of this dough?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 19, 2012, 08:59:12 PM
Steve, if you were working with a weaker flour, which is what I recommend, then you'd want to knead it a bit further- not smooth, but maybe half way between what you have there and smooth.  For All Trumps that you plan on cold fermenting for at least a night, that should be perfect.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on September 19, 2012, 09:09:45 PM
I finally got to make some dough tonight. I added the oil (4%) at the beginning this time as Scott suggested. It did make a big difference. The final dough was not oily. At 61% it was more wet and tacky like I would have expected.

I tried to under-knead the dough again, but still do not have a good feel for when to stop. I definitely stopped before it was smooth. Did I knead it enough? Any opinions on the look of this dough?
How many min. was that....speed?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 19, 2012, 09:22:22 PM
Steve, if you were working with a weaker flour, which is what I recommend, then you'd want to knead it a bit further- not smooth, but maybe half way between what you have there and smooth.  For All Trumps that you plan on cold fermenting for at least a night, that should be perfect.

Cool. Thanks Scott. This will be a 3 day cold ferment.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 19, 2012, 09:24:18 PM
How many min. was that....speed?

I mixed with the spiral hook on speed #1 until all the flour was taken up then I switched to speed #2 for kneading. I didn't have a stopwatch going this time, but I would guess 2 mins kneading on #2.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 24, 2012, 10:45:50 AM
When you get a chance, pre-heat your oven for an hour and take some readings of the stone.  I'd like to get to the bottom of the mystery of how you're getting 6 minute bake times with cordierite.

Scott:

Finally had the chance to do this on Saturday. After a 1 1/2 hr pre-heat in the 545 degree oven the stone temp was . . . . . . . 545. :-\

No help there. I can tell you that my bake time this go-around was a full minute longer. The dough felt much wetter and much tackier than it has in the past - I assume this was the result of my adding the oil "up-front".  I wonder if maybe all the oil that I had on the outside of the dough the last time could have been a factor in the lower bake time?

I did a pie in the grill last night using just the stone and the IR burner. Got closer to a good pie this time. I was impatient and launched with the stone at 625-630. I should have let it come back down just a bit more. I also let the IR burner get good and hot before I launched. The top was mostly done as much as it needed to be when the bottom started to head toward over-done. I think if I had launched with the stone at 600, I would have had it. I am not sure what the total time was. I had company and was a bit too distracted to run the timer. I plan to give this another try though when time permits and also experiment with the baking sheet ceiling.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 27, 2012, 05:18:39 AM
Steve, thanks for the temperature readings.  It's still a bit of mystery, but the additional minute makes a little more sense.

It sounds like you're getting the hang of the grill. Get your hands on that turning peel that we talked about- either that or a screen. Either will go a long way in correcting too high of a stone temp by getting the pizza up off the stone.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on September 28, 2012, 06:01:02 PM
Any thoughts one which of these would make the better turning peel for home oven and grill use? The grill gets pretty darn hot and I am not sure if the short handled one will be long enough to keep my hands from burning (happened a bit last time).

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-3209-9-x-11-pizza-peel-with-aluminum-blade-32-1-2/1243209.html

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-674-6-3-4-x-7-3-4-aluminum-pizza-peel-20-1-2/124674.html

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-17080-8-round-pizza-peel-with-aluminum-blade/12417080.html
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on September 29, 2012, 02:00:30 AM
Steve, I would think that, in a jam, one could turn a pizza with a square peel, but I really think a round peel is ideal for this purpose.  The handle on the round peel should be plenty long enough to work with.  I work with this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003E22RS4/?tag=pizzamaking-20 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003E22RS4/?tag=pizzamaking-20)

which is a much smaller handle.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Bert on October 04, 2012, 10:56:02 AM
I have a 10" Round pizza peel, similar to the one the one Scott referenced. Definitely better than a rectangular pizza peel for turning your pizza.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: weemis on October 04, 2012, 11:25:43 AM
I had a rectangular one similar to the one you linked to. It was great except the handle wasn't nearly long enough and my knuckles were paying the price in my 40" WFO. I now have a 59" long, 9" diameter perforated GI metal peel. I liked the rectangular one better for turning. Using a round turning peel to turn pizzas similar in size has proven to be more of an effort than with the rectangular one for my usage.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 04, 2012, 03:48:46 PM
Thanks gents for the advice. Just got back home from a work trip and I need to buy the peel and make some new dough.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 07, 2012, 03:22:42 PM
Guys:

I am looking to have another go with the grill tonight. I was experimenting a bit with the IR burner. Feeling with my hand, it seemed like this was generating a lot more top heat over the stone - at least once the lid was opened. What do you guys predict this will do?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 07, 2012, 06:56:25 PM
Oops - I think I accidentally locked the thread after my last post.  :-[

Anyhow, I gave it a go. I think there is some potential here. I definitely got more top heat, but I still have not dialed in the top/bottom balance. To further complicate matters, it started pouring rain just about the time I was ready to bake the pies and my grill is not under cover. Have you ever tried launching pies off a peel that is getting soaked with rain. Argggggh. As you can see the second pie (pepperoni) stuck to the peel and ended up oblong.

In general, I find working with the grill to be pretty tough in terms of managing temps. First I overshot the stone, then it got too cool. Too much top heat, the not enough, etc. It feels like a bit of a juggling act. You can see of the pepperoni pie, I let the stone cool too much and the bottom was a bit underdone compared to the top. I also lit the IR burner sooner. Also, despite turning (i thought quite a bit) one side of the pepperoni pie gut burned by the IR.

Sorry for the half-chewed photos but I was hungry!

To further complicate matters, I was working with a higher hydration dough than I have in the past - 63%. I also lowered the oil back down to 2% which definitely resulted in a chewier dough.

so many variables . . .
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 07, 2012, 07:02:03 PM
Top and bottom color looks good to me.... 8)
If you could swap that tray for a stone you'll eliminate some variables you mentioned.  ;)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 07, 2012, 07:05:31 PM
Thanks Bob. The photos (taken with my phone) might make it look a bit better balanced than it really was. It wasn't awful, but there was room for improvement.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: pizzaneer on October 07, 2012, 08:36:05 PM
I've had some nights I was just happy to get a pie off the peel without tearing a big hole and dumping sauce and cheese all over the stone.  With this weather, I sure wasn't planning on anything outside tonight - extra points for the effort!

Still using the AT bromated? They look good.

Brian
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 07, 2012, 08:45:36 PM
I've had some nights I was just happy to get a pie off the peel without tearing a big hole and dumping sauce and cheese all over the stone.  With this weather, I sure wasn't planning on anything outside tonight - extra points for the effort!

Still using the AT bromated? They look good.

Brian

Brian:

Still AT bromated until I run through what I have left, then I may consider something with a bit less protein for next time - per Scott's suggestion.

Unfortunately, by the time the rain started, it was too late to pre-heat the oven and still feed the kiddies on time. I was committed.  :-D
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 07, 2012, 09:32:35 PM
I was committed.  :-D
Please post some more of your great pizza pics as soon as you are released...... ;D
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 07, 2012, 09:50:44 PM
Bob:

I don't have to wait. I use the Docs' computers when they aren't looking. Oops - time for meds, gotta run.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 07, 2012, 10:01:34 PM
Bob:

I don't have to wait. I use the Docs' computers when they aren't looking. Oops - time for meds, gotta run.
OK man...enjoy your stay!   8)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Michael130207 on October 07, 2012, 10:17:33 PM
Steve,

I think your latest pie looked great! Don't let the grill frustrate you too much. You will get used to how it reacts once you settle on a setup for a while.

I have found that if I creep up on my bottom stone temp to 600F with the grill on med-lo, takes about 30-40 min, and then turn it to full blast after I launch the pie, and then turn it back down to med-lo after I take the pie out, I don't see-saw the temp back and forth too much.

I look forward to more pics,

Mike
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on October 07, 2012, 10:54:08 PM
Steve, as others have mentioned, all things considering, you did really well.

In the future, if there's any chance of rain, I wouldn't use the grill for pizza. Water is the kiss of death for wood peels. Once they get wet, they start warping and won't perform as well. You could launch with metal, but that gets harder, especially with droplets of water on it.

I like the way you're bouncing IR from the IR burner down on the pizza using the shiny tray. You might even want to lift the tray a bit more at the rear and create an even sharper angle.

How big is your stone?  Is there any chance that the pizzas are about the same size as the stone? If so, then that can make launching difficult.  Even if your pizzas are smaller, I still think it's time to give yourself a little breathing space with a larger stone. A thicker stone should also go a long way in evening out the temps on later pizzas.

One thing that occurred to me recently is that it can be helpful to have a lip at the back of the stone to launch the pizza against. I do this with the wall of my oven, but you could probably created a similar lip using a 2" x 8" kiln post. A lip isn't essential, but, as you're mastering launching, it can be a nice training wheel.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 08, 2012, 09:20:14 AM
Michael:

Thanks for tips. I will have to give that approach a try. What I really need is a chance to mess with it for few pies sometime when I don't have pressure of the kids counting on the pizza for their Sunday pizza night. I am generating pretty significant top heat with this arrangement - see photo of the lightly burned cheese. I am thinking I may need to launch with the stone a bit hotter (maybe 625 or so) to balance the top/bottom and shorten the bake a bit. The IR burner doesn't have any meaningful adjustment to it, it is pretty much on or off. The baking sheet seems to do a pretty good job of trapping the heat - when I open the grill lid I don't lose all my top heat, so that seems worthwhile.

Scott:

I am launching 14" pies onto a 15" or 16" stone (I forget which). I can land the pie on there OK most of the time, but the rain was a definite wild card. I had been thinking of a thicker stone. I saw some that were 5/8". If that will give better temp stability, I may have to go for it.

I had been washing my wood peel after I used it. I did not realize I was not supposed to do that. I went and looked at it after reading your post and sure enough it is warped.  :-[
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 08, 2012, 10:56:17 AM
Steve,
Have you tried dusting your peel with semolina? I really like using that stuff...much better than flour. Throw a heavy practice dough on there an play around with launching it. A little trick I do just before launching is I always bump the peel straight against the backsplash(or wall) of the countertop...jus a 'lil bump to see the pizza slide forward. Good luck.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 08, 2012, 11:00:16 AM
Thanks Bob. I use 50/50 flour semolina blend. I do the shake and if necessary blow some air up under the pie. The problem was the front of the peel ahead of the pie took some raindrops so I was trying to slide the entire pie past a sticking point. The other issue was my pies sat on the peel longer than normal while I tried to wrestle with my new set-up to get the temp I thought I wanted.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 08, 2012, 11:06:24 AM
Happens to us all...well, maybe not the cooking in the rain part.  :chef:
I jus had one the other night that I had to turn into an "emergency" calzone.  :(
One too many Icehouses caused someone to forget to dust my peel!  :o
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 08, 2012, 11:14:08 AM
Kids, we better hurry...I think it's gonna rain!   :-D
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 08, 2012, 11:14:49 AM
Happens to us all...well, maybe not the cooking in the rain part.  :chef:
I jus had one the other night that I had to turn into an "emergency" calzone.  :(
One too many Icehouses caused someone to forget to dust my peel!  :o

LOL - I got a good laugh out of that. I will have to remember that making an "emergency calzone" is an option. Now that you mention it, I did have several Guinness before baking the pies yesterday.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 08, 2012, 11:20:11 AM
Yes, I often recommend to folks that it is better to have a cazone than a big 'ol mess in the oven.  ;)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 14, 2012, 06:56:54 PM
Sunday night - that means . . . PIZZA NIGHT.  ;D

I was cooking on the grill again. Same grill set-up. Dough was different in that I first balled the dough 8 hours before the bake, per Fazarri's thread. While I found this made the dough harder to stretch, I think the resulting dough had better spring and texture.

Results were a mixed bag. First pie was a FAIL. I tried to turn the pie too soon and tore the bottom of the pie on two places with the expected result of cheese oozing onto the stone and generally making a mess. It also resulted in the pie getting overdone both top and bottom. OK, chalk that one up to impatience. Next time, no turning until 3 minutes in.

Second pie however, I would say, is my best pie to date. It was 5 minutes exactly and I think I got the top and bottom pretty well balanced. Taste and texture were very good.

Still learning to manage temps on the grill. I did better top/bottom this time. The other issue is front-to-back. When I was shooting the stone with the IR thermometer, the front of the stone was at 578 and the back was at 625. My grill (like most I think) runs hotter in the back than the front. I am thinking this is where the thicker stone might help some. As long as I turn the pie during the bake, I guess it balances out anyway.

I am only posting pics of the good pie.  8)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 14, 2012, 07:21:43 PM
Steve,
Great looking pie there, I agree....best yet! Congratulations on getting the top an bottom heat dialed in...I know that has to be a good feeling. Now you can play... ;D
Glad your cute 'lil taste tester approved once again. Something tells me he would like anything that dad made though.  :chef:
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 14, 2012, 07:25:18 PM
Thanks Bob.

The younger boy is going through a weird stage where he will only eat pizza if we take all the cheese off first. I call the resulting product - ketchup bread. Kids  . . .  whaddya gonna do?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 14, 2012, 07:37:33 PM
Make him his own 'lil tomato pie dad... ;)
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Bert on October 18, 2012, 05:39:10 PM
Try cutting a whole in your pan for a vent (about 6x1" similar to where I have it on MPO) and make a door out of a heavy disposable aluminum pan  to contain more heat and to force air out of the vent. 

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 18, 2012, 06:30:54 PM
I get the idea of convection generally, but won't I lose too much of the heat from the IR burner that I am trying to trap? The heat here is not coming just from the bottom, so if it goes right out the top, it won't have gone past the pizza.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Bert on October 18, 2012, 09:23:39 PM
With a limited area for the air to flow through,  the air flowing over the pizza will be heated by your IR and it will be forced over your pizza.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 11:02:55 AM
I am trying a roughly 60/40 bland of AT and KABF tonight. I did not have any AP on hand. I balled the dough about 8 hrs before bake time.

I am a little worries the dough will be dried out. Fermentation caused the lid to blow off the Tupperware and the dough developed a pretty good skin on it. I was too busy to check on them yesterday. When I balled it, the dried skin got turned inside the dough ball. I am not sure what effect that will have.

Steve
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: scott123 on October 21, 2012, 11:09:46 AM
Steve, as long as you give it plenty of time (more than 6 hours) in a sealed container, the moisture should redistribute and the dough should act like it never skinned over.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 11:11:20 AM
Cool. Thanks Scott.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: pizzaneer on October 21, 2012, 12:05:57 PM
If you want it to not happen again, use a hot sharp pin to put a tiny hole in the lid. That will allow gas to escape.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 07:12:32 PM
If you want it to not happen again, use a hot sharp pin to put a tiny hole in the lid. That will allow gas to escape.

Good advice. Thanks.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 07:20:59 PM
I did two pies tonight:

Pie #1 was kielbasa, saurkraut and mozarella. Recipe found here:

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sausage-sauerkraut-pizza-recipes-from-the-kitchn-178572

I liked it. It was a unique pie and a good flavor combo. I continued to struggle with stretching the re-balled dough - even though I cut the protein % down some. While I love the structure I get from the re-balled dough, I am not sure it is worth the hassles of trying to stretch it. I ended up with a thin spot that tore on the stone and then I couldn't get it turned and ended up with a burned bottom, etc. I think I am going to go back to balling after mixing. I am still struggling with the stone temps on the grill too. I think I really need that thicker stone.

Pie #2 was 2/3 cheese and 1/3 tomato-only - because Bob made me feel guilty last week.  ;D

It seems like the second pie on the grill always comes out better than the first. The temps seem to stabilize a bit more.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 21, 2012, 09:38:23 PM
Very tasty look'in pizza there Steve. Glad you treated our 'lil pizza buddy proper... ;D
How long are you giving your dough balls out on the counter at room temp?
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 09:49:31 PM
Bob:

2-3 hours.

Steve
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 21, 2012, 10:04:40 PM
I did two pies tonight:

Pie #1 was kielbasa, saurkraut and mozarella. Recipe found here:

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sausage-sauerkraut-pizza-recipes-from-the-kitchn-178572

I liked it. It was a unique pie and a good flavor combo. I continued to struggle with stretching the re-balled dough - even though I cut the protein % down some. While I love the structure I get from the re-balled dough, I am not sure it is worth the hassles of trying to stretch it. I ended up with a thin spot that tore on the stone and then I couldn't get it turned and ended up with a burned bottom, etc. I think I am going to go back to balling after mixing. I am still struggling with the stone temps on the grill too. I think I really need that thicker stone.

Pie #2 was 2/3 cheese and 1/3 tomato-only - because Bob made me feel guilty last week.  ;D

It seems like the second pie on the grill always comes out better than the first. The temps seem to stabilize a bit more.
Not exactly sure what you are doing here Steve but I know I've recently seen some folks gettting nice results with a 3-4 hr. room temp bulk  then balled to frig for 24-48hr. Hope this helps..... :-\
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 21, 2012, 10:37:59 PM
Bob:

If I understood Fazarri's thread correctly (50/50 chance) he experimented and detrmined that bulk fermenting and multiple re-balls were less important to oven spring and structure than was the time the dough was balled relative to baking. He mixed, divided the dough and put it into containers, but did not first ball the dough until 8-9 hrs before baking. That is what I had tried to do.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 21, 2012, 11:05:27 PM
Bob:

If I understood Fazarri's thread correctly (50/50 chance) he experimented and detrmined that bulk fermenting and multiple re-balls were less important to oven spring and structure than was the time the dough was balled relative to baking. He mixed, divided the dough and put it into containers, but did not first ball the dough until 8-9 hrs before baking. That is what I had tried to do.
Steve, John does a lot of experimenting and is very gracious with his contributions here...if you followed his lead but experienced different results then all I can suggest is to go back and make sure you followed correctly. One thing that comes to mind and may or may not help here is that I do know he usually is working with a different style of pizza than what it looks like you are doing. Also, you didn't really give me the parameters as to what he did with the divided dough after mixing. Never the less, give the 3 hr. bulk then balled for 24 if you will...this seems very straight forward and gives good results. What type of yeast are you working with btw.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: pizzaneer on October 22, 2012, 01:25:53 AM
My .02:

this is all rule of thumb.  Different RT and atmospheric conditions will give you differing results.  Don't be tied into a particular time.  Look at the dough.  Leave it on the counter to BF until doubled, then ball it tight and toss it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  If it's overflowing the container even in the fridge, reball it.  Wrestle that monkey down, and make a note to use less yeast / starter next time.

When it's -2:00 from GO TIME, bring it out.  If your environment is 85 degrees or up, you may have to shorten that.  If not, and this time of year, it shouldn't be unless you live in a sauna, you will be looking at 70 or so RT.  If the kitchen is hot from preheating the oven, put it in some other room.  Be gentle on stretching - let it rest a little during the process if it needs it.  Too much effort is... too much.

All my opinion, based on my experience. :chef:
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 22, 2012, 11:11:17 AM
My .02:

this is all rule of thumb.  Different RT and atmospheric conditions will give you differing results.  Don't be tied into a particular time.  Look at the dough.  Leave it on the counter to BF until doubled, then ball it tight and toss it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  If it's overflowing the container even in the fridge, reball it.  Wrestle that monkey down, and make a note to use less yeast / starter next time.

When it's -2:00 from GO TIME, bring it out.  If your environment is 85 degrees or up, you may have to shorten that.  If not, and this time of year, it shouldn't be unless you live in a sauna, you will be looking at 70 or so RT.  If the kitchen is hot from preheating the oven, put it in some other room.  Be gentle on stretching - let it rest a little during the process if it needs it.  Too much effort is... too much.

All my opinion, based on my experience. :chef:
+1
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: weemis on October 23, 2012, 05:01:09 PM
that second pie nailed it! good stuff.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Bert on October 23, 2012, 07:09:18 PM
Second pie looked really good.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on October 23, 2012, 08:13:17 PM
Thanks guys. Temps are more stable on the second pie every time.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on March 10, 2013, 07:58:46 PM
Had some improvement in my crusts the last couple of weeks which I attribute to two things:


1) The new stone. 3/4" cordierite kiln shelf. Definitely seems to be holding and giving back more heat and had given a better crust.


2) I switched from dusting with 50/50 flour & semolina, to dusting with straight semolina. To me, it seems the lack of residual flour had helped the crust brown better, gives a better flavor, and gives a bit more crunch to the crust.


Sorry - no photos tonight.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on March 31, 2013, 06:11:22 PM
Sunday night pies. Traditional Easter dinner?


One side was pepperoni, bacon and ricotta. It was sublime. Best pie I have made at home yet. The kiln shelf has really helped the crust color.

I am using a 12.5 oz dough ball for 14 inch pies so the tf is getting down there.


Little boy doesn't eat his crusts, but that gives me a photo op. :)


Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on March 31, 2013, 09:00:44 PM
Very nice pics sly...your pizza's are really looking great.   :chef:
Tell little boy you're going to start giving the bones to Chicago Bob if he don't start eating them!  ;D
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 31, 2013, 09:06:04 PM
I hear Santa skips the homes of little boys who don't eat their pizza bones...  :'(
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on March 31, 2013, 09:08:07 PM
Thanks Bob. Little boy is one fussy eater. I cant tell you how many times a week he eats chicken nuggets.  I'll pop those crusts in the mail to ya ASAP.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on March 31, 2013, 09:12:04 PM
I hear Santa skips the homes of little boys who don't eat their pizza bones...  :'(

We know the easter bunny doesn't care. He stopped by last night. My wife left a plate of half chewed carrots on the table for the kids to see. I threw some raisins on the floor just under the plate. My wife didnt seem to find that as funny as I did.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Chicago Bob on March 31, 2013, 09:23:17 PM
We know the easter bunny doesn't care. He stopped by last night. My wife left a plate of half chewed carrots on the table for the kids to see. I threw some raisins on the floor just under the plate. My wife didnt seem to find that as funny as I did.
I think that is extremely funny!  ;D
Does she leave her pizza bones too?.... :angel:


Ship 'em!!  :-D
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on March 31, 2013, 09:28:02 PM
Pretty rare for my wife to have pizza with me and the boys.  She is Mrs healthy fitness. Once in a while she will have me do a white pie with spinach, leeks and zucchini and will have a slice or two. I like that one too despite the vegetables.
Title: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on April 24, 2013, 09:26:22 PM
New oven on the way. Maximum temp is the same, but the smaller top oven should speed the preheat up some. I am hoping the smaller size will also help even out the bottom/top heat some.


Lower oven has convection - something new to play with.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Tscarborough on April 26, 2013, 09:46:33 PM
It's not the plane, it's the pilot  (But I am still jealous of the oven).
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on April 27, 2013, 06:11:10 AM
It's not the plane, it's the pilot  (But I am still jealous of the oven).

Just having a better (thicker) stone helped this pilot considerably.  Having said that, I did not buy the oven specifically to improve pizza making. I am hoping that could be an added bonus.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 09, 2013, 11:13:25 AM
New oven is in. Preheat is much quicker and the stone lags behind less. Both top and bottom elements run on bake to balance the heat. The other good news is that I can get the broiler to come on even when the oven is at temp. This will give me some new things to play with.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: caymus on May 11, 2013, 06:42:07 AM
New oven on the way. Maximum temp is the same,


What is the max temp? Do you know if you can adjust it up? 

Thanks
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: dmcavanagh on May 11, 2013, 07:30:45 AM
I have a similar oven with the small upper chamber and I love it, the same oven is where all my pizzas are cooked. The confined space heats faster and gives better and quicker overall cooking and browning. With my new baking steel, it's a winning combo!
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 07:42:05 AM
I have a similar oven with the small upper chamber and I love it, the same oven is where all my pizzas are cooked. The confined space heats faster and gives better and quicker overall cooking and browning. With my new baking steel, it's a winning combo!

I think one of your prior posts is where I had learned they existed. Once I looked into it a bit, I had to have one. ;)

I will make my first real pies tomorrow. I did a doctored up frozen pizza last night, and I could tell it definitely gave more even heat than my old oven. The cornice got a lot more browning. It also was at 400 in about half the time.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 07:43:29 AM
What is the max temp? Do you know if you can adjust it up? 

Thanks

Max is 550.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: dmcavanagh on May 11, 2013, 08:09:01 AM
I go 550 degrees, preheat your stone or steel to get it good and hot!
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 08:12:39 AM
I use an IR thermometer to check the stone temp. The old oven, I needed an hour and a half preheat to get the stone to 550. I am hoping I will be in the 45-50 minute range now. We'll see tomorrow.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: caymus on May 11, 2013, 08:32:22 AM
Max is 550.

Thanks, I have a remodel coming up and will look into one.  The online ads never mention the max temps.  I don't want to get stuck with another 500 F model.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 08:38:43 AM
Thanks, I have a remodel coming up and will look into one.  The online ads never mention the max temps.  I don't want to get stuck with another 500 F model.

Seems like most modern electric ovens go to 550. The double oven design just seems really practical considering how often we bake a pizza, muffins or sheet of cookies versus a big turkey, etc. I think we will see some decent energy savings both for the oven and the amount of heat we dump into the house during the summer.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: dmcavanagh on May 11, 2013, 08:49:31 AM
When I was looking for my new oven I found that most ovens go to 550, but some have a way that you can adjust them to go higher. Modern self cleaning ovens reach around 800 when they are in the cleaning mode, so they do have the ability to produce more than 550 degree heat.I'm not advocating a "Varasano" oven tweak, just suggesting that you read the owners manual carefully to get the most you can from your oven. I have been more than happy with the performance of my oven just they way it came, and with the recent purchase of the 3/8" steel I have no need to tweak my oven.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 08:55:11 AM
Yeah,  I may need to reconsider steel now that I can get the broiler on when I want it.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: dmcavanagh on May 11, 2013, 10:15:15 AM
I just bought the newest version of the baking steel, the 3/8", 22 lb., "Modernist Cusine" model, and it does a good job without burning the bottom crust. At 22 pounds it's still kinda heavy, the rack of my oven does bow a little from the weight of the steel, YMMV!
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: Essen1 on May 11, 2013, 11:42:32 AM
Max is 550.

Slybar,

You can calibrate the temp up or down by by 35F. If you go up, the display still reads 550F but will heat to actually 585F.

Did that with mine and works great.

Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 11, 2013, 11:50:34 AM
Slybar,

You can calibrate the temp up or down by by 35°F. If you go up, the display still reads 550°F but will heat to actually 585°F.

Did that with mine and works great.

Good tip. Thanks. I just gotta be sure my wife understands or I will be eating burnt cookies.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 12, 2013, 04:20:47 PM
I just set the upper oven to +35 which, in theory, should give me 585f - close to real NY pie temp. I am going to bake some pies in an hour and a half or so. fingers crossed. Dough is nearly over-blown because it had one more day in the fridge than usual.
Title: Re: Disappointing pies tonight
Post by: slybarman on May 12, 2013, 07:25:43 PM
Thread continued here:


http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25138 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25138.new.html#new)