Pizza Making Forum

General Topics => Pizza Making Equipment => Pizza Ovens => Topic started by: Jackie Tran on June 04, 2010, 05:49:42 PM

Title: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 04, 2010, 05:49:42 PM
OK you pizza making fools.  You got me hooked and now I'm working on my own version of the LBE.  It will be a MBE (mini black egg) using the smokey joe weber (14").  I will be using firebricks for the hearth.  I plan to make the bottom stone with firebricks to be about 13" in diameter.  Not sure if that will allow sufficient room for air circulation.  I may even do 12.5" if that doesn't work. 

I plan on only making 12" pies or smaller in this thing.  The lid of the smokey joe is also pretty low already so I'm not sure if I'll have to lower the ceiling at all.  If I do, I plan on using sheet metal.  Anyone see any issues with sheet metal?

I also plan on sitting this thing on 160K btu burner.  I know this is too much heat for it but plan on testing it at only half throttle to start with.  I'm wanting a 160k btu burner instead of a 60K btu burner b/c I plan on using it for outdoor frying and wokking as well. 

My only concern is that I may have to cut a hole 11" at the bottom of the grill to fit onto the burner so I hope that's not too big of a hole. 

I'm also planning on using a pan filled with lava rocks or sand as a heat difuser.  I'm not sure I even need the heat difuser.  What are the experts opinions on this? Is it necessary or not?

I'm in the process of gathering the materials and should have some pics up soon.

This little project will set me back $160 or so.  Just for a few home made pizzas?  Have I lost my mind?  >:D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 05, 2010, 02:53:43 PM
So I went out and bought all the stuff yesterday.  I searched Craigslist but the 14.5" weber is hard to come by.  Lots of 18 and 22" but not 14".  Being that they are quite inexpensive at $30 new, I opted for that.

The only high output propane burner I could find locally was the Brinkman all-in-one smoker/grill/fryer. I didn't want to pay $120 for it but what choice did I have?  I needed to make one of these now!  :P

Since I also don't have a gas grill anymore, I had to repurchase a tank of the LP at $48 at lowes!  :o  didn't know the prices had gone up on those.  After all that was said and done, I was over $200 on this project.  Not bad if I can actually make good pizza with it. 

First thing was to unpack everything and gather my tools.  I needed some masking tape, marker, measuring tape, rotozip tool, and hand saw with a metal cutting blade.

Measured out the base of the burner and it was at 7.5" so I decided to cut out an 8" hole from the weber.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 05, 2010, 02:57:26 PM
Next I had to decide how to go about measuring out 8" in diameter and how to mark off the weber.  So after some thought, I decided to get a bamboo skewer and cut it at 8".  Placed a mark in the center of it at 4" and lined it up by sight against the screw in the bottom of the weber and marked it off on each side. 

Now how to go about cutting this thing.  I decided to save some time and use the rotozip and boy am I glad I did that.  Even with the rotozip tool, it took about 20min to cut.  I couldn't make one cut but had to make mutliple cuts as i went around.  Didn't look pretty but got the job done. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 05, 2010, 03:03:51 PM
I went ahead and set her up since I had pizza dough waiting to be bake on the MBE.  Fired here up and played around with the propane adjusting valve and air intake valve to get a moderately high output. 

Here's what she looks like set up. 

Notice that the burner sits down in the stand and there's a bout a 2" gap between the weber and burner.
I monitor temps every 15m or so and after an hour of preheating, did not achieve the temps I wanted which was 800-900f.  Instead I got around 700 and it was only in a few spots. 

Lots of potential culprits.  Could have been that gap at the bottom.  Could have been the lava rock heat diffuser.  It also could have been the thick firebricks I used with a thin pampered chef stone.  The stone was almost as big as the grill and only left a 1/2" gap.  I had no other stones at the moment so had no other choice but to use it. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 05, 2010, 03:12:59 PM
I decided to cook the pies in the home oven since I wasn't able to get the desired temps.   After some sleep and dreaming about more pizza, I decided to make some more modifications to the grill.

I cut some slits around the bottom hole so that the grill could sit into the burner grate.  This will get the grill closer to the heat source and close that 2" gap. 

I'll go out this afternoon and see if I can find a decent pizza stone that is 12" in diameter.  This should allow for sufficient air flow around the stone. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Matthew on June 06, 2010, 07:09:00 AM
Tran,
I've got to give you props bro; you're one determined dude! ;)  FWIW, before I built my WFO I was going to buy one of these.
http://www.brinkmann.net/Shop/Detail.aspx?category=Outdoor+Cooking&subcategory=Gas+Grills&sku=810-5000-0&series=OUT-1001-0&seriesname=All-In-One&id=910
I still think that it would work really good & all you would have to do in mount a top stone onto the lid & cut a loading opening in the front.  It comes with a hp burner & the grate has a 50lb capacity so you don't have to worry about any sagging.

Matt
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 06, 2010, 08:30:13 AM
Thx Matt, the quality of pies you guys are putting out gives me the motivation.  ;)  That Brinkman is the exact set up I got.  I didn't need all the other stuff that came with it, but it was the only high output burner I could get locallly.

I went out to look for a stone yesterday so I can start baking pies with it.  The only 12" stone I could find was a Kenmore ceramic stone made in China from Sears.  It has a high chance of cracking but may do while I wait for a real stone to come in the mail.  I'll put a pan with a layer of sand or fine rocks under it to disperse to heat to hopefully prevent crackage. 

Take a look at what else I picked up while I was at the cooking store. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 06, 2010, 08:35:36 AM
So here's how the MBE is currently sitting.  After a test bake I should be able to make adjustments if needed.

No more gap at the bottom.  There is a 1" gap between the stone and the side walls.  I plan making 12" pies so that the rim of the crust sits to the edge of the stone all around.

The ceiling height is also rather low.  At the highest point, it is about 3" and less as you approach the sides of the lid.  This should be right, but if I need to I can elevate the bottom stone.   
If I can avoid putting a stone in the lid, I would rather not.   The problem with the MBE, is that it's small.  If I mount a top stone it would obstruct the top vent openings.  I'm not sure if closing off the vents helps or hurts the baking process.  From Villa Roma's post, it seems that the vents aid in airflow and increasing temps.   I'll know more after a few tests, but for now his word will do. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 06, 2010, 08:38:57 AM
Here's the other reason I wanted to build the MBE.  I could use the burner for (stir)frying things outdoors.  I love bacon but the wife doesn't like it smelling up the house.   I occassionally make things in the wok as well and prefer to do stir frying out doors.

As it is, the wok can sit right on the lip of the weber.  It floats about 1/4" above the grate, so I don't have to remove the weber to use the wok.  Actually by removing the gap and having the weber in place, it acts like a wind break anyways. 8)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 10, 2010, 11:45:32 AM
Having had a problem getting it up to temps the first time around, I took out the lava rocks and used just the new pizza stone i got from sears.  I did have a metal pan underneath the stone with a layer of pebble stones to disperse the heat. 

Cranked up the temp and within 20 min had a surface temp of 900.  I took the heat back down to 800 but still scorched 2 pies very quickly.  Dough was still raw in the middle. Sorry no pics of the burned pies.

I then decided to revisit the orginal LBE thread for ideas and lo and behold, Villa Roma has already built an MBE.  I guess I must've missed it the first read through.  Picked up some great ideas from Villa Roma and decide to make more mods to the LBE.

I decided to put the firebrick back in so I had cut it down to size.   I also lined the inside with heavy duty aluminum foil.    Following VR's lead, I cut a vent in the lid 1x6"  to encourage airflow from back to front.  I hope this solves the issue of lack of crust browning. 

Cuts again were made using the rotozip.  I seriously have no idea how VR is able to make those smooth cuts using just a hand saw.   I tried using a keyhole saw with a metal cutting blade and made very little progress, so I went back to the rotozip.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 10, 2010, 11:51:03 AM
A few more pics of the new top vent.

With the hearth and lid in place, there is 2 1/4" of ceiling height at the tallest point and gradually decrease as you move towards the rim.   If I can't get sufficient browning on top, I may put in an 8" stone on top down the road.

I hope these are all the mods that are required though. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 13, 2010, 11:08:33 PM
I've now tried 2 bakes on this thing and I'm still burning pies.  Too much heat to the bottom and not enough on top.  Tomorrow I'll make another mod that will hopefully fix that.  I plan on suspending a pie or cake pan filled with ceramic briquets to buffer the heat to the floor and direct it more to the edge. 

Having tire of burnt pies, I decided to go a completely new direction with the MBE tonight.  Chicken fajitas.... :-D  :chef:

So far, this thing is working better as a grill than a pizza oven.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.  :-\
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 14, 2010, 04:02:56 PM
Tranman,

Great posts.  Pls let us know how it works out.

I'm especially interested in your initial result that 700F was a hard target to meet.  When I read that and saw the pictures, I figured you were limited by the lack of venting out the top and that problem would be corrected when you cut the side slit.  But I think you said the temp increase was due to removing the diffuser stones - in either case, it seems the flame was not getting to the stone, or you would have seen a big temperature jump.  If you choke the airflow, because of stones, or because of narrow gap between the pizza stone and sidewall, or because of the outlet, etc.,  the hot air will get backed up and tend to flow out the bottom.

If you are able to get the airflow correct, around the stone, into the lid, and out the slit, I think you will be able to get by without adding a top stone.  The "just-right" amount of hot air is key to having the top and bottom of the pie done at the same time.  Two "throttles" come to mind: the amount top lid vent is open/closed, and possibly adding foil under the pizza stone.  As I'm writing this I remember that you switched from a highly-conductive pizza stone and went to a less-conductive firebrick, so the foil may not be necessary.

Real world test results often differ from my semi-educated predictions.  I'd encourage you to share your findings so others may benefit.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 14, 2010, 04:43:44 PM
Tranman, keep up the tinkering. You're inspiring!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 15, 2010, 12:20:35 AM
Thanks for the kind words guys.  Tampa, I really appreciate your input. 

I'm especially interested in your initial result that 700F was a hard target to meet.  When I read that and saw the pictures, I figured you were limited by the lack of venting out the top and that problem would be corrected when you cut the side slit.  But I think you said the temp increase was due to removing the diffuser stones - in either case, it seems the flame was not getting to the stone, or you would have seen a big temperature jump.  If you choke the airflow, because of stones, or because of narrow gap between the pizza stone and sidewall, or because of the outlet, etc.,  the hot air will get backed up and tend to flow out the bottom.

Yes you are right.  My initial issue of getting temps above 700 had to do with 2 factors.  Using the lava rocks at the bottom as a diffuser barrier and setting a 13" pizza stone on top of firebricks.  The 13" stone left on a 1/2 gap around the perimeter.  That along with the unmodified vent lead to the lower temps.

I have since remedied both factors.  I have increase the perimeter gap to 1" and have modified the lid vent.

After having burnt a few pizzas on the mbe, I'm convinced that 650-700F temps is where I want to stay for now.  Any hotter and the bottom burns too quickly.  Even if I can equalize the  temps from above and below or in a perfect world get higher dome temps, I still have to rotate the pizza since the edge near the vent won't brown.  That means the pie has to sit in the oven longer.  OK by me since I like a crispy bottom and rim anyways.
 
On my 2nd bake, I removed the lava rocks and used a smaller 12" stone.  I place the stone on a 12" metal disk and had a layer of tiny pebbles underneath to disperse the heat so as the think cheap stone would crack.  This is when I got 900F temps in 20 min.  Way too hot!

So now I have my firebrick hearth cut and in place and a new lid vent, but the hearth is still too hot compare the to the air circulating above the pie.  To remedy this, I went ahead and added an 8" disk to the the dome to lower the ceiling.  I hope this helps concentrate the flow of hot air a bit better rather than trapping some of it in the dome.  The dome of the smokey joe is pretty shallow to begin with. 

Next step is to add back the lava rocks or add a diffuser layer.  But where to add that layer?  Down low at the bottom grate with lava rocks or just below the hearth by hanging a ceramic plate?  Well Villa Roma added hung a ceramic plate just below the hearth and I can just about see his reasoning. 

Reply #703 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.700.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.700.html)

The potential issue with having the diffuser plate (with lava rocks) down below, is that the heat can encompass the lava rocks and then rise straight up into the middle of the hearth.  The potential advantage of hanging a diffuser layer below the hearth is that it will absorb most of the heat and hopefully distribute it to the perimeter.   I'm not sure that this is how it will work out but that' how I imagine it anyway.

Anyways, I don't have a 8-10 ceramic plate so tomorrow I'll go to the thrift store and look for a cheap pan.   I plan to take the handle off and fill it with either ceramic briquets or pebble rocks.  Anyways I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.   
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 15, 2010, 12:30:14 AM
So last night before grilling up the chicken, I fired up the MBE for a quick temp test.  I was still getting too hot of temps so I decided to abandon the test and grill up some chicken instead.  I prep'd the chicken while the lid was off and the bricks were cooling. 

About 20 minutes later, I placed a couple of the warm hearth bricks on my wife's glass table outside without even thinking twice about.  After dinner, I started cleaning up and saw that the bricks had cracked the glass table.  The crack was about 2" in length. 

About 2 hours later, I hard a LOUD crash coming from the front patio.  I turned the lights on and saw this......

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 15, 2010, 12:32:34 AM
That glass is pretty thick at about 1/2" thick.  Needless to say my wife isn't very happy about it.  That table has survived 3 moves.  She did a quick search and looks like that screw up is gonna set me back about 250 bones.   OUCH!!  As if pizza making in itself wasn't expensive enough already.

So she's kicking me outta of the house for awhile.  Anyone looking for a part time amateur pizza maker?   :-D :-D :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 15, 2010, 02:21:17 AM
That glass is pretty thick at about 1/2" thick.  Needless to say my wife isn't very happy about it.  That table has survived 3 moves.  She did a quick search and looks like that screw up is gonna set me back about 250 bones.   OUCH!!  As if pizza making in itself wasn't expensive enough already.

So she's kicking me outta of the house for awhile.  Anyone looking for a part time amateur pizza maker?   :-D :-D :-D
you're lucky you're still alive...

My wife would have shot me.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 15, 2010, 03:13:46 AM
I probably would have sprinkled a few acorns around the table and blamed it on squirrels  ;D

Seriously, though, that's a bummer.  I don't think there's anything more thermally fragile than glass.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on June 15, 2010, 05:11:15 AM
Tranman that sucks! Hope your wife forgives you soon!  :-D

You mentioned how much this pizza thing costs....Look at my car I just sold to fund my business start up. I am now driving about in a beaten up/paint faded/dented 15year old ford fiesta diesel!  :'(  :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 15, 2010, 08:37:06 AM
Bummer about the glass.  Good advice, next time lead with the squirrel/nuts story.  Also, consider cutting the glass in a straight line near the break and pushing it up against the wall for a nice custom piece.  Chip the glass like the other sides and no one will know.

Back on the oven.  I'd run a test with heavy duty aluminum foil under the stone and/or play with the upper venting.  Heat flow is hard to predict.  Also, I'd guess you will have better results with the lava rock near the stone rather than the base.  At the base it does more choking of the airflow, at the top, perhaps a little better radiation on the cooking surface (but convection heat to the stone is far more important).

That 900F result in 20 minutes seems weird to me - too hot, too fast.  Using an IR gun, I once got readings that didn't make sense and it turned out I didn't measure the stone temp.  Even though the dot was pointed on the gun, the heat reading was off the cover - in my case.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 01:13:24 AM
Paul, once your pizza business takes off you'll be able to buy your car back if you.  But you'll be so busy making pizzas you won't even have time to drive.  ;)

Bummer about the glass.  Good advice, next time lead with the squirrel/nuts story.  Also, consider cutting the glass in a straight line near the break and pushing it up against the wall for a nice custom piece.  Chip the glass like the other sides and no one will know.

Back on the oven.  I'd run a test with heavy duty aluminum foil under the stone and/or play with the upper venting.  Heat flow is hard to predict.  Also, I'd guess you will have better results with the lava rock near the stone rather than the base.  At the base it does more choking of the airflow, at the top, perhaps a little better radiation on the cooking surface (but convection heat to the stone is far more important).

That 900F result in 20 minutes seems weird to me - too hot, too fast.  Using an IR gun, I once got readings that didn't make sense and it turned out I didn't measure the stone temp.  Even though the dot was pointed on the gun, the heat reading was off the cover - in my case.

Dave


Dave, good ideas for the table.  I'll run it by the wife.  :-D  She wasn't too pissed at me, I was exaggerating a bit.

I don't remember the temps exactly but they were in the high 800's, but it was b/c of the thin stone and really no true heat barrier.  I think for that one I also had the burner going at 3/4 power.  BTW, that thin stone bit the dust with the glass table.  It was sitting on the edge that ended up cracking.

I agree about the lava rocks needing to be higher up.  Here's the latest mods.  Tell me what you think and if it will work.  Well I'll give it try and let you know if it works or not.

1st mod is I decided to put a metal disk to lower the dome a bit.  This will help with airflow a bit more and decrease the amount of air circulating in the dome. 

2nd mod is to create a heat diffuser/barrier right under the hearth.  Instead of hanging a pie pan, I decided to use one of our old TFAL pans.  Pie pans are around 9" and the pan is 10".  It should work better since my stone is right at 12".
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 01:19:13 AM
Instead of drilling a whole in the center of the pan and hanging it from the grate I decided to see if I could elevate it.
I cut a small circular piece from a firebrick to sit on the burner grate.   The purpose of this is to just elevate the pan.  The flames will mostly go around the circular stone rather than hit it directly in the center of it.  With the pan on top, I'm hoping to guide the flames and heat up and outward, towards the perimeter of the hearth. The rim of the pan is just about flush with the top grate. 

I'm hesitant to hang the pan b/c of the extra weight.  The top grate is already beginning to warp from the heat and the weight of the bricks.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 01:24:20 AM
Here's the firebrick hearth in place.  I decided to move it towards the front to improve airflow in the back and since the front won't likely be browing anyways.

First bake in the new set up will be in a couple of days.  I'll post the results either way.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 16, 2010, 01:29:34 AM
Don't forget, aluminum melts around 1100, and you've got it in a position where it's going to get HOT. If it does melt, it could end up clogging your burner. If it melted and was unattended...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 01:37:29 AM
Are you referring to the high density foil?  I only lined the inside after reading about it in the LBE thread.  I've notice that the foil in the bottom half of the grill is disintigrating only after 2 firings  Once it burns through I won't be replacing it.  The top foil is intact.   The plate in the dome has been through 1 hi temp firing and has held up ok. 

I plan on taking this to about 700F hearth temp max.  Any higher than that and the bottom may burn quicker than the rim can brown.  But with the new set up, It may be a chore to get it there.  We'll see.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 16, 2010, 01:42:27 AM
No, foil seems pretty common in these types of setups. I'm referring to the T Fal.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on June 16, 2010, 04:29:14 AM
Tran, that is an amazing little oven you have made there, can't wait to see the pictures of the pizzas!

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 06:14:52 AM
No, foil seems pretty common in these types of setups. I'm referring to the T Fal.

hmmm, yikes....I have a SS pan as well but the handle won't be easy to take off.  I'd have to cut it off.  I think I may just take this one for a test drive and hope for the best.  It is sitting on the round firebrick piece so hopefully that will take the brunt of the heat. 

Paul, me too.  I hope it works.  :-\
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on June 16, 2010, 06:21:14 AM
Tran, your wife must love you...first you break her table and then you 'adjust' the pots and pans!  :-D
I think a nice big bunch of flowers will be needed very soon! haha

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 07:07:37 AM
Tran, your wife must love you...first you break her table and then you 'adjust' the pots and pans!  :-D
I think a nice big bunch of flowers will be needed very soon! haha

Paul

You're a smart man, I do need to do that  :D  She just bought me a set of Rachel Ray pots and pans not long ago, so this old one can be sacrificed.  I at least told her about it beforehand instead of just taking it.   I was going to visit a Thrift store to buy a cheap used one but didn't have time so decided to look around the house. 

Paul looking forward to seeing more of your videos. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 16, 2010, 09:39:50 AM
that non-stick coating on the pan is going to bubble and flake in that high heat. Hope it doesn't get carried by convection onto any of the pies.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 09:44:10 AM
Ron I was just thinking that.  I'm glad you mentioned it.  I was planning on taking a blowtorch to it or fire it by itself to see if I can remove that and if the pan will take the heat and not melt creating a big mess. 

As is the bottom HD aluminum foil is already flaking.  I wonder if I shouldn't just remove it?  I may have developed a little dementia/alzheimers by now from the foil and fumes but if so how can one really tell?  ???
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 16, 2010, 09:46:13 AM
I'd remove it. I personally wouldn't let that thing anywhere near my food in that high heat.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 16, 2010, 11:16:14 AM
Tranman, I believe Ronzo is right.  I don't have time to research it but I believe teflon puts out a harmful-to-humans gas when burned and the gas point is under 800F, I believe.  I've got to run.  Will comment later.
Dave

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 11:47:58 AM
Tranman, I believe Ronzo is right.  I don't have time to research it but I believe teflon puts out a harmful-to-humans gas when burned and the gas point is under 800F, I believe.  I've got to run.  Will comment later.
Dave



I'll be sure to burn it all off and go over with a metal scouring pad to make sure it's all gone before I bake with it.   I'll also wear a protective breathing mask so I don't breathe in any of the fumes.  Unless it's somehow baked into the metal, I can always go with a different non teflon pan. 

Update:  I did a quick google search on teflon and it does emit toxic fumes if burned at high temps 700+.  I'm not even sure I want to try to burn it off as I don't want a chance to breathe any of the fumes myself.  What if I don't get it all off?
It may look like it's off but what if there are some microscopic tracings of it. 

It's better to be safe than sorry, so I will try to find another pan that is non teflon coated.  Would be nice to find a SS pan but most of those also have SS handles welded on so I may have to do some cutting. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on June 16, 2010, 12:22:31 PM
Be safe and go with a different pan mate.

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 16, 2010, 01:15:59 PM
Tranman,

if you are looking for a pan that will stand up to the heat, buy an old rusted out cast iron one off craigslist or at a swap meet or something.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 01:53:26 PM
Excellent suggestion Ron. Thanks for raising the red flag. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 16, 2010, 04:06:53 PM
Coarse sandpaper will remove teflon from aluminum with very little effort.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 04:22:27 PM
I just priced a new 10.25" CI skillet at $20. I just feel weird about taking a hack saw to the handle of a new skillet and subjecting it to hi temps.  Almost seems wrong in a way. :'(

Scott I may give the sandpaper a try and see how I feel. I like that idea better than torching it off.  If it works well, I'll still look for a CI skillet at yard sales and what not.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 16, 2010, 04:56:25 PM
I just priced a new 10.25" CI skillet at $20. I just feel weird about taking a hack saw to the handle of a new skillet and subjecting it to hi temps.  Almost seems wrong in a way. :'(
I couldn't do it. I'd cry trying.

I'd go the "rusty old no longer useful for cooking" route.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 05:07:56 PM
Ron I have pies to bake tonight!  ;)BUT I don't want them to be my last pies either.  :o

I'll swing by a goodwill on the way home from work and see what they have. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 16, 2010, 05:19:37 PM
Maybe even a rusty old cast iron comal (round tortilla griddle) instead of a pan.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 16, 2010, 05:22:07 PM
I do have a little feedback on the design.

Part of the overall approach, IMO, should be managing the hot airflow through the Egg.  With that high BTU burner below acting like a jet engine, the flow has to go somewhere.  If the slot cutout isn't large enough, along with the top vent (now plugged) then the jetstream has to go somewhere, probably back out the bottom (wasted).  Hot air compresses a little bit, but when you have a constant flow like a jet, it will generally vent wherever is the easiest.  Ideally, you want that flow to impinge on the underside of the pizza stone, then U turn, pass over the top of the pie and and exit the slot.

You have so much heat there, that once things warm up and reach steady state, there should be little temperature drop in the flow and the top of the pie would cook as fast as the bottom.

With that in mind, the upper plate mostly serves to keep the hot air flow over the pie.  It doesn't matter much the thermal mass, just that the flow is right.

To me the underside pan and stones are a bit of a mystery.  The hot air is forced around the pan then expected to turn around and heat the stones again?  Before I got to crazy with airflow, I'd just try some HD foil under the cooking stone (no pans, no stones).  If the EggHeads have experience with pan and stones, then I would defer to their real-world experience.

Dave

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 16, 2010, 09:34:48 PM
Dave, thank you for your feedback.  It's great to have your feedback as the science of these things tend to escape me sometimes. 

I have tried just to heat the MBE with the hearth stones alone and no diffuser pan and the hearth gets too hot.  The idea is to get the air above hotter than the stone.  To get the air super hot, I have to run the burner at a high rate which results in too high of temps for the hearth.  ideally I would like to start out with a hearth temp of 700F but want the air above around 800F?

Your idea of putting a HD foil under the stones may not work b/c with direct heat on the HD foil, the foil just about evaporates.  Only after 2 firings, the foil on the side walls of the egg are breaking up and the heat may not be as direct  in those spots.   What I have found lately is an 11" aluminum disk that I will triple wrap with HD foil and place under the hearth stones directly.  It may be enough of a heat diffuser to work (without the addition of a thicker diffuser pan underneath).

If this experiment fails,  I can always go back and add the diffuser pan.  The pan maybe a needed addition for the bigger eggs and not for the mini.  I measured the height from the burner to the top grate (bottom of the hearth) and it's just shy of 7".  Anyways I'll do a test bake late tonight and have the results up by tomorrow. 

I did stop by Goodwill on the way home and was able to find a 10" SS pan for $4.  I should be able to cut the handle off with my rotozip if I need the pan difusser after all. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 17, 2010, 08:29:29 AM
I may be more science-trained than some on this forum, but real-world results trump science in my mind, especially when it comes to thermodynamics and heat transfer.  I have not kept up with the latest EggHead results, and should, but I suggest you keep a closer eye on their progress over my ďscienceĒ.

In some ways, itís great that the HD foil is melting.  The places of melt will tell you where the hot spots are, and give some insight into airflow.  Iíd get one of those thin steel cookie sheets, or some extremely thin sheet steel, and put that under the stone.  The melting point of steel is entirely different from aluminum, and although the steel might rust over time, it will serve as a test.  If you are gamey, pick up one of those craigs-list discarded stainless grills, and cut off a section of stainless using tin snips.  There are differences in stainless (303 vs. 304, etc.) but ignoring that, stainless should be a reliable barrier and comparable in purpose to HD foil.

What Iím suggesting is a static/non-moving air gap between the impinging flame an the stone.  Air, even hot, is a great insulator.  The small holes in the stone are enough as long as the stone isnít directly in the flame.

The stainless steel pan you bought is great, but Iím still a fan of first putting a thin metal sheet directly under the stone, and if that doesnít work, later try the bucket for lava rocks.  I see the bucket approach as adding a lot of potentially unnecessary thermal mass to the system causing longer warm-up times and possibly unproductive airflow.  If one layer of steel didnít keep the stone temp low enough, Iíd try two layers of steel, separated by either metal lath or sand pebbles Ė something to add a little air-gap insulation.

Most important, do what works for you.  Feel free to ignore these suggestions.  The quest is tasty pizza, after all.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 17, 2010, 10:45:44 AM
Tampa, that sounds like good advice to me.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 11:09:46 AM
I probably would have sprinkled a few acorns around the table and blamed it on squirrels  ;D

Seriously, though, that's a bummer.  I don't think there's anything more thermally fragile than glass.

Not sure how I missed this earlier, but that's pretty funny Scott.  :-D

Well I took the MBE out for spin last night and the force was not with me.  I had 2 disasters, one of which was totally avoidable so I'll post about so that others might avoid my folly. 

First attempt was the metal aluminum disk tripled wrapped in HD foil under the stone.  For some odd reason I didn't see this one coming.  15 min after firing the MBE up, I notice a pool of silvery liquid under my burner.  Hmmm, I wonder what that could be?   Turned the burner off, unloaded everything and this is what I found. 

Yupp, the friggin disk got smoked!  Some of the aluminum had dripped into the burner head.  I tried to fire it up to hopefully soften it up to remove but to no avail.  With the aluminum plug in place, 90% of the burner holes still work.  I decided it wasn't a big deal as I can just turn that not burning side towards the front where the vent is. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 11:19:29 AM
Ok so I decided to go with plan B.  Took the hot stones off carefully and placed them on a rack on the ground avoiding the remaining glass table top.  See I'm a fast learner!

I decided to give the steel pan a shot.  Out came the rotozip and lobbed off the handle in just a minute or 2.  Loaded the small round firebrick, steel pan, and a few ceramic briquets into the perimeter of the pan.
Fired it back up and started  taking note of the temps. 

The pan is 10 1/4" and the hearth is 12".  The pan sits directly under the hearth.  I figured with would help direct the heat more to the perimeter of the hearth rather than the middle itself. 

Checked temps at 10 min and 20 min.  At 20 min, got an average reading of about 650F.  Perfect.  Nice low temp to start with for a trial bake.  Stretched the dough quickly and loaded within a few mins.  Didn't recheck temps but I know it wasn't above 700.   Loaded the pie and within 30 seconds I notice a slight faint aroma of burnt crust.  I'm well familiar with this scent as I have burnt many pies.

Lifted the lid and the bottom was burnt and the back edge was burnt.  I decided to put the pie back since it wasn't salvageable to play around with browning the rest of the rim.  Here's the pie.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 11:25:21 AM
The really strange thing is that I was  getting hearth temps of 650.  This was not a mistake.  I took multiple readings at 2 different intervals so I'm confident that's what the hearth was.   Yet when I loaded the pie it burnt within 30 seconds as if the hearth temp was 850F or more. 

The only explanation I could come up with is that the ceramic stones right under the hearth were super hot replenishing the heat that was just given up to the pie.

I will revisit my initial set up of putting back the lava rock barrier at the lower grate for the next try.  That should place a nice large air gap between the lava rocks and the stone hearth to decrease hearth temps.  I will also take Tampa's advice of putting a steel disk under the stone as well. 

I still have hope for this project.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 11:28:53 AM
Whoops forgot to say.  Thanks guys for the input and advice so far.  It's much appreciated.   :)

Tampa, great suggestions on making the disk out of a cookie sheet or old SS grill.  I'll look into that. 
Also I did notice the hot spots on the aluminum foil so you are right about that as well. 

I really thought the pan idea would work.  It made sense in my mind anyhow.  I was surprise that it didn't "pan" out.   I agree, it's hard to argue with real world results. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 17, 2010, 11:57:59 AM
Yo!  Youíve got some serious underside heat going on Ė a big mismatch between the top and bottom cooking.

Some of that is to be expected because the bottom is conduction and the top is convection.  Itís the difference between cooking touching a hot pan and holding your hand several inches above a gas burner.  Both are ouch, but touching a hot pan is instantaneous.

In reexamining the photos, your stone is only seven inches from the flame.  Dang, that feels close.  Is it possible that the flame jets that high?  The early LBE videos suggest a considerable flame.  If so, you may want to throttle that bugger back, a lot.

I wouldnít worry too much about the aluminum in the burner.  But if you want to get it out, Iíd try turning the burner upside down and taking a propane torch to the aluminum (or better yet, map gas).  That should be hot enough to melt it away.  Leather gloves would be good.

This all suggests to me that you have to get that heat over the top.  (The pie is smoked on the bottom and the top cheese hasnít even started to brown.)  Charring on the rim is somewhat of a good sign.  It tells me that at least the flame is making itís way around the stone and up the sides Ė in some parts.  The backside of the rim, the part away from the camera photo, seems less charred suggesting that the flow was uneven Ė possibly the pizza was off center.

Iím still a fan of one, two, or even three plates under the stone.  The first plate out of stainless steel (or mild steel as a test), then a little sand, then an aluminum plate, then sand, then aluminum foil, then stone.  If it were me, Iíd get everything at home depot.  I think they have a little sheet metal in the roofing or hardware area, and you can buy aluminum flashing cheaply in rolls (thatís what I used on the RPG to cut the hood volume.)  Think of it as the opposite of using layers of clothes in the winter.

I know you are trying to maximize the cooking surface so Iím trying not to think about what appears to be a narrow gap between the stone and sidewall of the grill.  I guess you could take out that one little brick wedge piece in the back-left corner of IMG_4055 and throw a pie.  If that area of the pizza subsequently chars like crazy it would suggest the airflow is choked and it really wants to vent.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 17, 2010, 12:11:51 PM
One other comment.  Notice how the aluminum disk is melted Ė one side burned away and the other side almost untouched.  That tells you where the heat flow is.

Iím guessing that the burn area is directly under the slot you cut in the lid.  If so, Iíd move all the stone over to the slot right against the side of the grill.  That will leave a bigger gap on the back side so the flow is up, around the back and sides, over the pie, then out the front.

Getting even more bold, I would consider cutting another (extra/replacement) brick to exactly match the weber grill radius, skooch it right up to the side of the cutout slot so you block off the jetstream sneaking the front.  Then just place the pie a little forward when you drop it.

Warning: in the early days of my oven experiments I was almost always wrong.  Now that I have more experience, Iím Ĺ smart, so you never know.  (And I really like this last suggestion.)

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 12:14:16 PM
Thanks for the feedback Dave.  I have been considering several of the points you made.  One of which is to shave the periment of the stone down a bit more to improve airflow.   If you notice I moved the stone closer to the front so that the gap is bigger in the back.  I didn't think it was necessary to have the gap upfront in right below the lid vent.  Well that spot burnt the rim so that gives me an idea of how wide I need to make that gap inorder to get some charring of the rim but not burn it.  The next step is to shave down the diameter of the hearth a bit and move the stone back towards the wall a bit.  

Yes, it's a high BTU burner and I need to scale it back.  I guess it's just like pizza making.  There's so many variables all working at once and all have to work in harmony to get a good pizza/bake.  This process of trouble shooting and optimizing those variables are very normal.  

Thank you for the suggestion on how to get the aluminum out.  It's not big deal that it's there but i do have a mapp torch and will burn it out.  

I think I'm done with putting aluminum under the hearth even if it's sandwiched between sand and SS metal.   I think I will shoot for 1-2 stainless steel disks and see what happens.  

I'm also hoping that bringing back the lava rocks will immensely help with decreasing hearth temps.  I just need to leave a gap b/t the lava rocks and side walls as to not obstruct air flow.  

Thanks again.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 12:24:46 PM
One other comment.  Notice how the aluminum disk is melted Ė one side burned away and the other side almost untouched.  That tells you where the heat flow is.

Iím guessing that the burn area is directly under the slot you cut in the lid.  If so, Iíd move all the stone over to the slot right against the side of the grill.  That will leave a bigger gap on the back side so the flow is up, around the back and sides, over the pie, then out the front.

Getting even more bold, I would consider cutting another (extra/replacement) brick to exactly match the weber grill radius, skooch it right up to the side of the cutout slot so you block off the jetstream sneaking the front.  Then just place the pie a little forward when you drop it.

Warning: in the early days of my oven experiments I was almost always wrong.  Now that I have more experience, Iím Ĺ smart, so you never know.  (And I really like this last suggestion.)

Dave


I didn't have the where with all to pay attention to exactly where the disk was place.  The melted portion obviously dripped into the head.  I believe it is the back side of the burner where the gap is biggest and where the foil has dissintegrated most.

I wasn't clear before, but pushing the stone forward towards the front air gap is what I did do and that gave almost abit too much heat to the back side causing the charring on the rim.  Again, my next step is to shave the hearth stone down a bit and adjust the stone back towards the wall a bit to optimize the heat flow. 

I like the idea of having a firebrick lip right under the vent to block hot air from exiting there.  This has been done already but it does sound like a good idea, so I will see about implementing that if these next few mods don't actually work like we think they will. 

The mod you are talking about is similar to one PizzaCraver did in reply #753

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.740.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.740.html)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 17, 2010, 12:40:18 PM
I love that pizzacraver innovation.  Thanks for sharing.  Later today or tomorrow I'll get back on that LBE thread and figure out what I've been missing.  These guys are really evolved and have a lot of good ideas.  For me, I need another appliance on the back deck about as much as a fitness coach would say that I should eat another slice of pizza.

I'm a big fan of the rotisserie as it helps even out the cooking.  Pizzacraver apparently went with a lazy suzan (my first solution on the rotisserie pizza grill).  I'm dying to see if anyone hooked up a rotisserie in a LBE, as I did in the grill.  You can buy a spare rotisserie from Walmart for $20 or so.

Got to run.

Dave

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 17, 2010, 12:46:06 PM
Tampa, I had very briefly given that thought some consideration, but with my setup I don't think there is room. ;D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 17, 2010, 06:30:15 PM
Tran, that was overfermented dough. Not hugely overfermented, but still past it's prime.

There's prevailing theories here, and elsewhere, that as dough overferments, the yeast consume more and more sugar, resulting in a dough with very low residual sugar.  I feel differently.  I've talked to experts about this, and, the theory I resonate the most with is that yeast, in a bread environment, don't eat that much sugar (as opposed to a beer environment where they feast).  The lack of yeast activity as a dough overferments isn't the result of lack of nutrients, but a result of an alcohol rich (and possibly acid rich) inhospitable environment.

The bottom line is that overfermented doughs burn a lot faster than those with less fermentation.  I'm 99% certain that it's sugar that's to blame.


As far as getting the egg to work right, unless you hang a stone ceiling, I don't think there's much hope for getting close to a decent hearth/ceiling heat ratio. Even then, I think it's hard to do.

Next time, close the top vent (if it isn't already closed) and make sure the gap around the firebricks is equal on all sides. How much gap is there between the s/s pan and the walls?  It needs to be a little bit wider than the gap you have for the firebrick. Assuming the gap is wide enough, go with the s/s pan under the hearth (with more ceramic briquettes) and time the pie so that it goes in with a hearth temp of 500 (or omit the pan entirely and go with a 500 deg. hearth temp bake). It may seem low, but with intense heat coming up from the bottom burner (even with the pan in the way), the hearth will jump in temp as the pizza bakes. This will give you a good idea how much heat you can collect in the headspace to bake the top of the pie. I don't think that burner, in that scenario, will pump out enough heat to give you something truly Neapolitan-ish, but it should give you enough umph for a 3-5 minute pie.

You're basically baking your pizza during the time it takes for the blazing heat on the bottom of the stone to travel to the top.

You can launch  the pizza through the slot, right? In this scenario, you want to keep the lid on. That collected heat is the difference between a pale top and a done top.

The one downside to this is that, by the time the pizza is cooked, the stone will be considerably hotter, so if you want to do another pie, you'll have to turn off the burner and wait for the stone to cool- most likely for at least 15-20 minutes. With a second pie, since the stone should be more equally heated, you might want to bump up the starting temp to 550, but not much higher.

You might be able to recreate this effect a little easier by using two layers of firebrick.  This will cause the heat to travel a little slower AND it will move the pie closer to the ceiling- both good things. By the way, with the lid on, you've got at least 3/8" clearance on all sides of the existing firebrick, right?  It looks like the the firebrick has enough clearance on the grill, but the lid slopes inward, so it's possible that there may not be enough clearance on the sides of the lid. 1/2" clearance is ideal, but, since you're dealing with a small space, I think you can trim it to 3/8", but I wouldn't go less.  Should you add another layer of brick, you'll definitely want to size it accordingly for the sloping lid. If an extra layer of brick pushes you too close to the ceiling, then I might try a cheap round pizza stone on top of the brick. That kind of stone is notorious for lack of resistance to thermal shock, but, with the firebrick between you and the burner, I think you might be alright.  Just make sure you've got the gap.  Air flow from the burner to the top of the lid is critical.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on June 17, 2010, 07:59:22 PM
There's prevailing theories here, and elsewhere, that as dough overferments, the yeast consume more and more sugar, resulting in a dough with very low residual sugar.  I feel differently.  I've talked to experts about this, and, the theory I resonate the most with is that yeast, in a bread environment, don't eat that much sugar (as opposed to a beer environment where they feast).  The lack of yeast activity as a dough overferments isn't the result of lack of nutrients, but a result of an alcohol rich (and possibly acid rich) inhospitable environment.

The bottom line is that overfermented doughs burn a lot faster than those with less fermentation.  I'm 99% certain that it's sugar that's to blame.

scott123,

I am not sure what Tran used as a dough formulation, but I think you may have put your finger on the problem, or at least one of them. In my experience, and where low residual levels are more likely, is when the dough contains a lot of yeast. I remember that Marco (pizzanapoletana) once posted that you would need around 5% commercial yeast in order to run out of sugar, although he may have been thinking of unmalted flours such as the Caputo flours. It took me a while to find his post but it is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1055.msg9357/topicseen.html#msg9357 (item 3). I also know from personal experience that if a small amount of yeast is used and the fermentation process is slowed down to a crawl, it is possible to have the dough last over 15 days of cold fermentation (I went as long as 23 days) and still get good crust coloration because of the sufficiently high residual sugar levels.

Professor Calvel also discussed the relationship between pH, residual sugar and oven spring. I quoted the pertinent portion from his book The Taste of Bread at Reply 136 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5851.msg86732/topicseen.html#msg86732.

Having worked with room temperature fermented doughs, I know how easy it is for a dough to overferment, even with minuscule amounts of yeast and especially in the summer.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 17, 2010, 09:59:29 PM
Peter,

So Marco believes that very high yeast quantities can exhaust a dough's residual sugar content? 5% seems so extreme that it's difficult to picture any sugar surviving, but... I have a hard time picturing yeast eating everything.  Yeast have a very localized feel to me. Sure, nutrients travel via osmosis, but I don't think they travel that much, so that, no matter how much yeast you have, there's always going to be pockets of undigested sugar somewhere.

As I was pondering high yeast quantities and their effect on sugar, a thought occured to me. Although experience seems to show me that yeast depletes very little sugar, maybe the enzyme activity is so great that the sugar it produces causes the sugar consumption to pale in comparison.  In other words, the enzyme train is moving so fast it makes the sugar consumption train look like it's standing still, but, in reality, the sugar consumption train is moving pretty quickly as well.

I have been noticing lately that relatively long cold ferments (longer than 3 days) not only create a lot of residual sugar and break down gluten structure, but the thickness factor seems less.  It's a closed container, so I'm not losing anything to evaporation (condensation, perhaps?), but it feels like the longer I ferment dough, the less dough I have.  Either that or my mind is playing tricks on me.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on June 17, 2010, 10:25:55 PM
scott123,

The role of sugar in dough has always intrigued me. And I know that it is possible to end up with a lot of residual sugar even if no sugar is added to the dough. For example, the photos shown in Reply 117 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg42556.html#msg42556 are of a pizza made with a dough without any added sugar whatsoever and where the dough was cold fermented for 23 days. I can't say that the crust flavors were what I was after but it is clear that there was plenty of residual sugar in the dough to produce color. Likewise with the pizza shown at Reply 110 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg42160.html#msg42160. The dough for that pizza cold fermented for 15 days. Not being a chemist, I still don't quite understand the phenomena involved but I do know how to reproduce them.

Tran's dough was perhaps equivalent to several days of cold fermentation, although the amount of yeast or preferment that he used would be a factor in that comparison. If the yeast or preferment was modest, he could have ended up with a fair amount of sugar.

Peter

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 17, 2010, 10:54:55 PM
Peter, yes, I'm a bit in the dark about the chemistry of long fermented doughs as well. I would really like to get an understanding of why gluten weakens/goes gooey in long ferments. It's not like biochemical gluten development is overworking it and it's tearing. It's like it's too extensible. As far as I know, yeast isn't consuming it.  I also don't think alcohol is breaking it down.  At least I don't think it is.  Is it water? Does gluten hydration extend 3 or more days into the ferment? Acid will increase gluten extensibility, but what's the acid here and how much of it are we talking about? I know San Francisco sourdough is acetic acid (vinegar) as are some other sourdoughs, but in an un-soured dough, how much acid is there?  I'm certainly not tasting or smelling any acid. When my dough overferments and the gluten goes gooey, I smell lots of sugar/sweetness, alcohol and beery flavors, but never acid.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on June 17, 2010, 11:07:20 PM
scott123,

I always understood that the main reason the gluten degrades is due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour. Marco mentioned this at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1291.msg11704/topicseen.html#msg11704. I expanded on the subject in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3057.msg25910.html#msg25910. Salt slows down the action of the protease enzymes so increasing the salt can delay the release of the water from its bond.

I am assuming that Tran used a long room-temperature fermented dough for his pizza. It sounds like he experienced some of the symptoms that I described in Reply 1 referenced above.

Peter

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 12:26:49 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the feeback.  While you guys were busy theorizing about the proclivities of yeast, i was busy creating a bigger mess.

I went ahead and shaved off 1/4" off the perimeter of the stone to widen the gap between the hearth and the side wall.  I measured the back end where the heat from the air flow was greatest and it's about an 1" gap.  I tried to achieve that throughout the perimeter.  I will center the hearth for the next bake and add a stone or metal lip to block the gap right under the top vent in the lid.    This took about 1/2 hour to do and I was covered in dust.

Next, decided to take Tampa's suggestion for removing the the aluminum clump from the burner head.  I took a mapp torch to it and melted the clump out.  I also had to take center flame disperment piece out and found a bunch more aluminum plugging up the handle.  I then  spent the next 20 min heating it and digging it out piece by piece. 

Look at all the aluminum I got out!

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 18, 2010, 12:48:17 AM
I applaud your diligence.  You won't find me cutting firebrick. Not the first time or the second. No way no how :)

I think the bigger gap should help.  Like I said before, try a 500 deg. hearth preheat and then immediately launch the pie with the burner at full blast.  3 minutes later, I think you should have something you'll be pleased with.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 18, 2010, 12:55:28 AM
scott123,

I always understood that the main reason the gluten degrades is due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour. Marco mentioned this at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1291.msg11704/topicseen.html#msg11704.

Peter, thanks I was aware of amylase, but my protease knowledge was a little thin.  I just spent a couple of hours researching protease.  Wow, enzymes can get complicated.  It seems like most commercial bakeries/studies diminish the importance of protease, but I think that's because it's viewed through a scope of super quick same day (same hour?) baking. You get a three day cold ferment and that protease impact really adds up.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 01:02:46 AM
Scott you are right about the dough being overfermented.  I knew that but didn't piece together that being part of the reason the pizza burned so quickly.  I couldn't figure out why the pie burned in 30 seconds when the hearth temp was just 650.  It didn't make any sense until you posted that bit.  

This dough is the same dough I posted about here.  Reply #3
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11210.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11210.0.html)
The dough was a same day dough made with about 10% starter.  10% starter is equivalent to using about a 0.4% ADY according to my conversion.  It was bulk and proofed at room temps (covered with a moist towel) for about 14 hours.  Surface dough temp measured 65F throughout the entire proofing period.  I meant to only proof it for about 9 hours or so, but let it go to 14 based on the dough temp being consistently 65F.  It didn't look overproof meaning that it never deflated as some of my past overproof doughs but when I handled it, it was almost unmanageable.  It was very pliable and extensible.

"The lack of yeast activity as a dough overferments isn't the result of lack of nutrients, but a result of an alcohol rich (and possibly acid rich) inhospitable environment".

I absolutely agree with you.  Here's my explanation of what's going on.  I may be repeating some of what you and Peter stated already but this is how it makes sense to me.  If I'm wrong or if you agree you can let me know.

At some point in fermentation, the byproducts create an inhospitable environment dramatically slowing down and eventually ceasing yeast activity.  As Peter noted, the byproducts including the pretease enzymes soften up the gluten structure making the dough very pliable and extensible.  Not only do you get dough softening effects but the enzymes also have a proteolytic effect on the proteins and sugars.  They break down the proteins and more complex sugars into simpler sugars.  This dramatically increases the availability of the sugars (not being used by the stunted yeast) leading to burning.  

To try and answer some of your questions.  

-Yes the top vent is closed.  I have replace that with the new vent cut out right above the rim of the lid.
  That new vent is 1"x6" so it's not big enough to load a pie through.  
-I have centered the stone so that the gap is even all around.  I plan to put a stone or metal lip right under the lid vent to block that airflow to direct it towards the back and sides of the stone as Tampa suggested and as Pizzacraver has done.
-I do plan on starting with a lower hearth temp.  500F sounds good.  Thanks for the suggestion.
-The burner is a 160K BTU burner.  It will pump out plenty of heat for neopolitan, but until I can get the top heat to be at least equal or higher than the hearth, neopolitan is out of reach.  Once I can equalize or get higher dome temps (which may not be possible) I'll should be able to do neopolitan.   If it turns out that I can't, I'm ok with that since I like the lower temp bakes better.  I create the nearlypolitans in the home oven as is.
-Great suggestion on lowering the temps between bakes.  I may take the lid off and lower the heat dramatically to get the hearth temps back down to 500?  I may also swipe the hearth with a wet rag.  No worry about the hearth cracking since it's split bricks.  Load the pie at a hearth of 500F, then crank the fire up to get the surrounding air super hot.  This technique may be the key.  Thanks Scott.
-I can't put a 2nd layer of firebrick b/c it would not allow the lid to shut properly or close the gap between the lid an the top stone.  What I can do is load the pan below with more ceramic briquets or a smaller firebrick stone.  This will create the 2 firebrick layer you are talking about.
BTW, the pan is 10" and the hearth is 12", so there is a 2" difference.  
-I'll double check the clearance b/t the hearth and the sloping lid to make sure it's not blocking airflow and report back later.

Thank you for your input.

Tran
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 08:43:28 AM
I'll double check the clearance b/t the hearth and the sloping lid to make sure it's not blocking airflow and report back later.

I went out last night and took measurements again.  With the shaved stone and all the foil removed, I have just shy of 3/4" from the edge of the stone to the sloping lid.  Is that sufficient?  I don't know, but what is really intriguing is what was I working with before?  Probably less than 1/2"?  I went ahead and removed all the foil since it was flaking/burning off anyway and potentially adding to my airflow problems.

I'll have to hand it to you guys (Tampa, Scott, Ron, & Peter).  You guys are really helping this project go along much more efficiently.  It's nice to have you guys trouble shoot things for me so I don't have to try and figure it all out by myself.   :-*

Back to the airflow.  I think I may have to shave down the upper edge/corner of the rim on the hearth to see if I can't increase that gap to greater than 3/4?  That means that I'll have to make perfectly round sub 12" pies and land them perfectly on the stone.  That should be no problem. :-D

For my next mbe bake, I also be switching the 10" pan and supporting stone out with a SS 7" bowl.  I'll put that small round firebrick into the bowl and add some more ceramic briquets.  This gives me a heat diffuser to temper the heat from the bottom (double firebrick layer Scott was talking about), but it will also give me about a 1" air gap between it and the hearth.  Hopefully that air will act as an insulating layer to prevent the hearth from getting too hot. 

So with the replacement of the pan, improved airflow, and Scott's suggestion of baking with a cooler hearth while cranking the burner for increase heat to the sides, I hope to have a more successful bake tonight.   Wish me luck! Results pending...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 18, 2010, 08:55:27 AM
Tranman, I think you might have misread my post.  3/8" clearance is what I'm recommending. If you have 1/2" or more, that's more than enough.

I would try it once with the bowl and another day without. The bowl will definitely increase the cool down time between pies.

And, after sleeping on it, I'm tweaking my launch temperature recommendation- 550.   The second the hearth hits 550, get that pizza in and the lid closed.

Even if you can't work through the side vent, you should still be able to monitor your pie without removing the lid, right?  Can you check underneath the crust with the lid in position?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on June 18, 2010, 09:12:26 AM
   Wish me luck! Results pending...


Tranman,

I wish you the best of luck with your experiment.  :)  Your determination is admirable.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 09:32:47 AM
Thanks Norma, I need it!  :-D

Tranman, I think you might have misread my post.  3/8" clearance is what I'm recommending. If you have 1/2" or more, that's more than enough.

I would try it once with the bowl and another day without. The bowl will definitely increase the cool down time between pies.

And, after sleeping on it, I'm tweaking my launch temperature recommendation- 550.   The second the hearth hits 550, get that pizza in and the lid closed.

Even if you can't work through the side vent, you should still be able to monitor your pie without removing the lid, right?  Can you check underneath the crust with the lid in position?

Thanks Norma, I need it!  :-D

Scott, I retook the measurements and it's about a 1" gap between the hearth to the sidewall and that gap decreases to about 3/4" at the top b/c of the sloping lid.  I'll try the bake without shaving the corner further.  If I feel it's still not enough then I'll shave it down tomorrow or the next day.  Besides, I'm all clean now and shaving that firebrick makes a big mess.  

I'll load the pie at 550 instead.  600 might even be ok now that I've improved the airflow a bit and don't plan on working with overfermented dough this time around.  

Yes the bowl will hinder cool down times.  The jury is still out on whether that heat difussing bowl is helpful or not.  On the one hand it blocks the flames from hitting the hearth directly dead center but on the other hand the stone in it heats up and acts as a mini heat source itself.  Would replacing the ceramic briquets with sand work better?  Would sand be a poorer conductor of heat?  I'm looking for something that will block heat and not retain too much heat.  Would lava rocks work better than ceramic briquets in this situation?

Yes I should be able to monitor the back rim even if the lid is on unless there's a lot of rise to the crust.  I should also be able to monitor the bottom crust through the vent by using a metal skewer or a fork to lift the pie while wearing the oven gloves.  

Tran
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 18, 2010, 09:42:11 AM
Sand... nice idea.  Just make sure it's dry. The sand should block all directional heat, so you might get a heat void in the center of the firebrick, but, the firebrick should be thick enough to avoid too much uneven heating.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 10:11:37 PM
I can not even put into words how PLEASED  I am with tonight's bake in the MBE.  This was the 1st successful bake after 4 other big failures.  After the first pie loaded at a hearth temp of 535 ish, it baked 5-6 min with some nice browning to the rim but white and not burnt on the bottom at all.  Half way through this bake, I started increasing the throttle and feeding it more juice to try and char the bottom but to no avail.  BUT from this first bake the MBE was telling me it could now tolerate a higher hearth temp without toasting the bottom.

I ran with it and jacked the hearth temps up to 720 and baked a nearly perfect pie.  I'm only posting pics of the 2nd pie.  This one baked at a temp of 720 ish for 4 min.  The char around the rim and the bottom was perfect.  I rotated the pie about 4 times (once a minute or so) to check the bottom and to evenly char the rim.   Pics of the same pie.  The 2nd pic is the pie dressed with basil and OO.

Let me know what you guys think.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 10:13:13 PM
a few obligatory pics of the crumb and bottom crust.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 10:14:21 PM
and a few more.  ;D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 18, 2010, 10:40:58 PM
Hmmmm... 535 took 5-6 minutes with little bottom color?  I guess my numbers were a little off  ;D

So 720 appears to be the happy number? Was this done entirely in the MBE/no indoor broiling? If so, I think you've got a winner there.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 10:47:28 PM
Yes Scott, no indoor broiler cheats on this one.   For some odd reason I didn't fire up the oven today as I usually do as backup incase I needed a rescue. 

Your numbers were based on my previous results.  It's always better to start low anyhow.  Part of my problem as you figure out with the previous bake was an overfermented dough. 

BTW, the sand worked perfect....
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 18, 2010, 10:57:48 PM
Tranman, I humbly bow to your pizza kung fu. That is a beautiful pie.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 11:08:35 PM
Tranman, I humbly bow to your pizza kung fu. That is a beautiful pie.

Rise my man!  You were one of the pioneers long before I came along.  It was your leoparding on the cheese that got me to even consider an LBE and tonight I am glad I did.  In my excitement I have forgotten to thank the god father of the LBE, Villa Roma himself and all the others who have made it what it is.  This is an amazing little pizza oven once you get all the variables worked out.  I have a few more tweaks to make, but it is a big step for me tonight. 

It's funny you mentioned KF and pizza making as both are favorite hobbies. I've been wanting to change my moniker to "Jackie Tran". :-D  Peter can I do this or do I have to get a new account?

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on June 18, 2010, 11:15:43 PM
Tranman,

LOL, you are funny.  Seriously your pie looks excellent.   :-D  Great to hear of your success.  You deserve it. 

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: foolishpoolish on June 18, 2010, 11:36:08 PM
Tranman
Wow what can I say except congrats! Well deserved pie at the end of it and the first of many in the MBE, I'm sure.
Nice work.

FP
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 18, 2010, 11:49:13 PM
It's funny you mentioned KF and pizza making as both are favorite hobbies. I've been wanting to change my moniker to "Jackie Tran". :-D  Peter can I do this or do I have to get a new account?

I think donating members are allowed to change their names. I haven't renewed my donation this year yet since I lost my job, but I'm pretty sure I was able to change it when I was a donor.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 11:50:04 PM
Thx Norma and FP for the kind words.  

FP this was an emergency dough, 5 hours start to finish with 40% starter.  I would love to try your recipe in the MBE soon.    
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 18, 2010, 11:50:42 PM
I think donating members are allowed to change their names. I haven't renewed my donation this year yet since I lost my job, but I'm pretty sure I was able to change it when I was a donor.

Sorry to hear about your job.  I'll check it out. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 19, 2010, 12:36:10 AM
Sorry to hear about your job.  I'll check it out. 
Don't be. It was a blessing in disguise. Still looking for a new one, though.

Good luck!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 19, 2010, 09:50:05 AM
OK now that I've had a moment to come back down to earth I wanted to mention a couple of differences I noted about the resulting pizzas done in the MBE vs home oven.  The MBE has truely taken my pizza baking up a level.  That crust last night was excellent and I'm looking forward to many more.  I believe the MBE will be my main method of baking from now on unless I run out of propane. 

Using the same recipe and dough management technique, the MBE produce a superior crust over MY home oven.  I have baked well over 100 pies in the home oven trying every possible setup I could think of.   I've tried several 2 stone set ups using different types of stones for the top and bottom, several different stones at varying lengths from the broiler, low heat vs high heat bakes, and slow vs fast bakes.  And though I have made some very good pies in the home oven, this one MBE pie was better in several regards.

How was the pizza different or better than my previous pies baked in my home oven? 

1) higher crust rise during baking compared to my home oven producing a lighter crumb.  I believe this is due to the more uniform and constant heat surround the pie during the bake.  This is even more evident during higher temp bakes 700F+.  In the home oven, there is a lot of dead space that takes a long time to heat, reheat (from opening the door), and maintain.  Temperatures are wildly inconsistent in the home oven.
 
2)  The rim had a crunchiness factor to it that I love and have been unable to reproduce in my home oven at HIGH temps.  Watch some of Villa Roma's youtube clips to see a sample of that "crunchiness".  Sure I can produce a crunchy rim at an oven temp of 500F BUT I get relatively less spring and a denser and drier crumb.  I can increase the hydration ratios but i'm already working with high hydration ratios in the 70's for a NY style pie.  Not to mention dried out oily cheese which is not the same as leoparding or spotting on the cheese. 

Cooking at 700-800F temps in the home oven (by doing a hack like J. Varasano), you'll get optimal spring in the crust and a more even bake.  Without the oven hack, the crust spring is not optimize and the baking is eneven.  Without doing an oven hack as Jeff has done and you want to bake at high temps, you have to superheat the stone to 700-900F (pick your temp here).  Once I load the pie, the bottom bakes in 90secs- 2min.  The crust shows decent spring (not comparable to the MBE), but the bake on top vs bottom of the rim is uneven.  With the broiler running while the bottom is baking you run the rist of burning the rim too quickly.  With it off, the hot air around the pizza is not consistent or upto temps and the bake is uneven.  Once the bottom is done baking, I rim/dome the crust against the broiler to give it some color and characteristic dark spots.  This gives it the look but not the same crunchiness compared to the MBE pizza.  There is a slight crunchiness when it first gets out of the oven but upon sitting, most of the crusts goes soft.  With  the MBE, it was not so.  If you look at some of my older pies baked in the home oven, the dark color of the rim is there, but it's not baked to the same extent.  It's mostly baked on residual oven heat and then broiler at high temps.  It gives the appearance of a "crust" but it's not "crusty" if that makes sense.  So what's the big deal here?  Why am I even spending time talking about this?  B/c it makes a BIG difference in the taste and texture of the crust and adds to the overall pizza experience.   If you can do a side by side taste test, you can easily pick out the better pie. 

3) There is a smokiness to the crust.  I'm not sure how I can get a hint of "smokiness" baking with propane especially since I didn't add any smoking woods to the bake, but the MBE pizza tasted more like pies I bake in my Primo Coal Oven.  Could it have been the sand in the heat difussing bowl underneath? Dunno...either way, it had a nice slight smoky flavor you get when baking with coal or I would imagine a WFO.  It's noticeable different than the flavor of baking in the home oven. 

Other differences in the 2 ovens  
The MBE is much more efficient in it's energy consumption.

Preheat times in home oven are typically around 45m to 1 hour.  It's a good idea to do a preheat b/c it allows the oven time to heat up the floor and walls so that after you open & close the door the temperature can stablize.  There is also a lot of dead/empty space in the home oven taking a longer time to heat, reheat, and maintain. 

With my Mini BE (not sure about the 18" and 22" models). I baked 2 pies last night.  With the burner going at 60-70%? the hearth temps were 520 ish within 10m and 700+ within 20min.  That's very impressive to me. 

2) Of course with longer preheat times and opening the door to the home oven makes for a hotter kitchen.  This is a bonus in the winter time, but not so for summertime.

3) Temperature control:  Controlling temps in the MBE is very easy.  You can decrease or increase the temperatue almost at will.  You can cook at 500-800F and possibly higher at the turn of knob.  It is a much more efficient and easier to use oven for baking pizza and produces a better pie compared to the home oven.

Anyways, I don't mean to be long winded as it's more of a habit.  I hope this info will be useful to those interested in building an LBE or MBE. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on June 19, 2010, 09:55:38 AM
I've been wanting to change my moniker to "Jackie Tran". :-D  Peter can I do this or do I have to get a new account?

Tran,

It rarely ever happens but on occasion a member requests to change his or her forum name. I cannot do the change as a Moderator, so I refer the member to Steve, the Administrator of the forum, who decides such matters. I do not believe that name changes are limited only to members who are Supporting Members.

I, too, am sorry to hear about Ron's job situation. He has been a steady and dependable and valuable member of this forum for several years, and, until recently, was a supporter of the forum with his donations throughout that entire time.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 19, 2010, 09:59:15 AM
Peter, thanks for forwarding that request.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: sear on June 19, 2010, 11:31:35 AM
Those are some good lookn pies !  Glad to see you got your MBE dialed in.
im gonna have to try doing the high heat in my oven again with the new stone and starter.
i wonder if it would be better if my ovens clean cycle turned the bottom coil on first instead of the top
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 09:52:49 PM
Thanks Sear, I made a couple of nice looking and tasting pies tonight.  I'm still having issues with the hearth being hotter than the top heat.  On my next bake I plan on using Scott's idea of loading the pies at a lower temp and then blasting the heat to cook the top. 

Despite the overcharred look of the bottom, the pies didn't taste burnt.  Had a smokiness to them.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 09:55:23 PM
Here are the crumb shots.  Check out the leoparding pattern on the rim. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 10:01:29 PM
Here are some more mods I've done to the MBE.

The original grate is warping pretty badly from the high heat.  I bought a replacement weber 14.5" that is thicker than the one that came with the smokey joe.  Unfortunately it is just a wee bit smaller so it sits unevenly.   It is so b/c it is actually made to replace a bottom grate for one of the bigger charcoal grills. 

I checked all the ones they had available against a smokey joe top grate and all were the same, just a bit shy.  So to fix the unevenness, I decided to drill some bolts into the side of the smokey joe to support the side that's sagging.   
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 10:16:11 PM
I've also decided to put a stone plate in the lid (like member Ronzo has done previously) to help the cheese brown but it doesn't seem to be working any better than the aluminum plate that it replaced.   I needed an 8.5" stone and instead of ordering one off the net, I decided to cut it out of a slate tile. 

I had a choice between using a saltillo tile or a slate one.  I went with the slate tile b/c it was thinner.  It turned out easy to cut and drill a hole through and doesn't add a ton of weight to the lid.  I am aware of the possibility of the slate stone cracking or chipping, so I intend to check it before and after each bake as I don't want to be chipping a tooth on a stone flake.   Right now the surface is smooth so it will be obvious if anything chips or flakes off.  The aluminum plate is behind it and I may just move it in front of it to not prevent any flaking. 

B/c of the short height of the Smokey Joe's dome, I wasn't able to place a larger dome stone.  Maybe it would work as intended if it was bigger I don't know. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 22, 2010, 11:10:05 PM
Ooh, nice.  I like these. 

Bake time?

It looks like you scaled back on the fermentation.  Is this a same day dough?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on June 22, 2010, 11:29:39 PM
Tran,
You can remove some of the risk for cracking at the drill hole by putting a bigger washer there under the nut.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 11:40:13 PM
Ooh, nice.  I like these. 

Bake time?

It looks like you scaled back on the fermentation.  Is this a same day dough?

Thanks Scott.  I've burned about 4 pies prior to this that I didn't post so yes I had no choice but to scale back on the fermentation, but the bottom still cooked faster than the top so maybe the pies were a little overfermented?  You know, getting the proper yeast amount and fermentation down is a lot trickier when baking at higher than 750 temps, as even a little overfermentation leads to a little premature burning which turns into a lot of burning about 10-15 seconds later.  The window of forgiveness is a lot smaller since each pie is baked in such a short time.

These were same day doughs with 20% starter or the equivalent of 0.6% ADY fermented at room temps for 4 hours.  Next time I'll use the same recipe and ferment 3 hours to see if it makes a difference.  Both pies made using the same recipe except one had 1/2 tsp of oil or 0.9% added while the other did not.  Can you tell which one had the oil and why?  

The reason I did this test was to see if oil had any effect on burning, specifically the bottom.  My hypothesis was that oil will help prevent the pies from burning.  It seem to be true but I don't know if it was just my imagination or not as the times for the 2 pies were very close.

1st pie was loaded at an average temp of 750F.  The bottom was starting to char at 1 min and 30 seconds and the top was barely done.  so I put the pie on a sheet of HD aluminum foil and popped it back into the MBE to finish in another min or so.  So I would say it baked from 2m30s - 3m tops.

I lowered the temp a bit for the 2nd pie and loaded it around 700 and same thing.  Charring began a little soon at under 1 min and 30 seconds.  It was close but i could tell it was charring sooner even at the lower temps.  It too baked for around 3min and I had to load it on the foil as well.  

Despite that, both pies had a crispy bottom when cutting the pie and soften up a bit after sitting.  Still foldable and chewy.  

There are just SO MANY variables to experiment with it drives me wild sometimes.  Aside from learning how to bake in the new vessel, I'm going back and trying to track down the source of the premature burning.  It could be the MBE, but since i had a great bake last week where the top and bottom heat were pretty even, it's likely the dough.  So I now know that overfermented dough definitely leads to premature burning, but could there be others reasons or factors for it?

So here are some possible variables.  Does oil prevent or enhance burning? Does using starter while its cold vs room temp really make a difference?  Does using a different starter make a big difference in regards to burning?  I have 3 different starters.  At their peak, is one drastically more active than the other to warrant having a specific fermentation time for each starter to prevent overfermentation?   Each question produces more questions?  
  
I had to bake pizza 2x today!  >:( b/c I burned the first batch and couldn't leave it well enough alone.  
Your thoughts Scott?  
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 22, 2010, 11:42:06 PM
Tran,
You can remove some of the risk for cracking at the drill hole by putting a bigger washer there under the nut.

The hole drilled is slightly bigger than the bolt and I made sure the nut isn't clamping the tile down super tight so that everything can expand a bit when heated.  But that is a great idea and I will definitely add a washer.  Thanks Ronzo.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 23, 2010, 02:39:14 PM
A few comments:
- I finished reading all the recent LBE posts.  You got to love those guys, a lot of good experimentation and results in that encyclopedia thread.  IMO, most of their data applies well to MBE.
- Iím fairly confident that the airflow and total volume on the top hood is the important thing, not a stone or aluminum pan hung up there.  pizzacraverís  setup (Reply 417: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg60843.html#msg60843)  and posts, show that by cutting down an oversized Weber, the result is a flatter top dome and quicker warm up time. 
- It is also noteworthy that pizzacraver got around the excessive heat on the underside by using two stones, a custom-cut cordierite kiln shelf underneath and a circular stone above.  The bottom stone not only buffers the heat flow but redirects it to the back of the egg and supports a Lazy Susan to rotate the pie while cooking thus minimizing the issues of non-uniform heat flow.  Tran, you may not have enough room to do all this, but IMO they are good ideas.
- Given that you have a brick base, which isnít as conductive as cordierite, you should be able to just get the base temp right and crank up the heat as you place the pie.  In the couple of minutes it takes to cook the pie, the stone temp shouldnít change dramatically.  The top cooking will depend on unchoked heatflow from the underside burner over the pie.
Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 23, 2010, 05:43:52 PM
Great feedback Tampa.

Iím fairly confident that the airflow and total volume on the top hood is the important thing, not a stone or aluminum pan hung up there.

I agree with you.  Not as necessary in the smokey joe b/c of it's inherent low dome but required in the regular LBE and 22" LBE.  One of the purposes of having a stone or a metal disk in the dome is to decrease the dome volume improving airflow.   I believe the top stone in the dome started out as an attempt to emmulate the 2 stone oven.  Whether this is effective or not, it also helps decrease dome volume, increasing and concentrating the airflow over the pizza. 

You can also cut the lid down but it would also decrease the amount of side wall you have in the lid as it starts to slope towards the center.  by cutting the lid, you have to make slightly smaller pies or the crust can rise into the sloping sides of the lid. 

A 2nd advantage I've found for having the stone/metal disk in the dome (aside from increase airflow) is that it buffers some of the heat travelling to the handle of the lid.  I still use gloves to lift the lid but it's not quite as hot as before without the disk in place. 

by cutting down an oversized Weber, the result is a flatter top dome and quicker warm up time. 

You are right, but I believe you can acheive the flatter dome with a stone or disk in lid as well rather than cutting the lid down.  Again I think you lose a bit of the vertical side wall if you cut too much off.  This is also why the MBE has a faster heat up time than the LBE, b/c of the smaller dome volume.  With my current MBE setup, heat up times of the firebrick hearth are as follows.  ~500F in 10m, 600F at 15m, 650-680F in 20m, and upto 750F in 25m. 
 
My next project is to get an 18" weber kettle and cut the base down to exchange with the MBE.  I can use the same burner but make larger pies if I need/want to. 

Tran, you may not have enough room to do all this, but IMO they are good ideas. 

They are excellent ideas and unfortunately I don't have the room or tools to do this.   I had consider initially of putting a lazy susan in, but I didn't want to wait for it to come in the mail as I wanted to start the project right away.  If I build the bigger LBE, I would definitely consider putting a lazy susan in for rotating the pie without taking the cover off. 


Given that you have a brick base, which isnít as conductive as cordierite, you should be able to just get the base temp right and crank up the heat as you place the pie.  In the couple of minutes it takes to cook the pie, the stone temp shouldnít change dramatically.  The top cooking will depend on unchoked heatflow from the underside burner over the pie.

I will definitely give this a consideration and trial on the next bake.  I would incorporate this idea with Scott's method of loading the pie at a lower temp and increasing the gas right after the pie is loaded.  I'll definitely post up results either way. 

When I first started experimenting with heating just the firebrick hearth alone without a heat blocker in place I was burning pies too quickly.  At that time I hadn't consider that it could have been overfermented dough.  Now that I'm correcting the dough situation, baking without the heat blocker may work better.
The only downside i see to not having a heat blocker is that it may take a bit longer to cool the stone down between bakes. 

Thanks again Dave. 
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 25, 2010, 12:30:59 AM
hmmmm had an off night tonight.  I baked but it left more questions than answers.   B/c of recent burnt pies and premature bottom burning, I decided to cut the starter % way back.  Went back to a mere 6% and even cold fermented for 18hours.  The dough only sat out for 2 hours and still felt cool to the touch and so I took it outside on my glass table in the shade for 1 hour.  Dough didn't look overly poofy so I was feeling like it wasn't overfermented. 

Took out the bottom heat diffusing bowl and got the temps up to 700.  Loaded a pie and then cranked the heat up hoping for the best.  The bottom started burning too quickly as before.   :(

I KNOW that 700 is not too hot of a temp for my pies as I have had a great bake at 720 and the bottom crust held up at those temps for 4mins! 

Anyways as Norma said.  YOu have a good a night and then you have an off night.  I swear i will figure this pizza thing out sooner or later!  even it puts me in the dang grave.   :(

So next up on the list is to put back the diffuser bowl and go back to the exact formula that I previously had success with.

T-man

Funny observation I had tonight.  With the diffuser bowl out and the flames going straight up to the firebrick hearth, I felt like airflow wasn't as good as it was with the diffuser bowl in place.  I can hear the airflow and place my hand in front of the lid vent to feel how hot or forcefull the airflow is.  I think the bowl helps direct more of the flames and heat to the side of the MBE.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on June 25, 2010, 07:09:17 AM
Jackie Tran,

You will get this figured out.  ;D  With all your ideas something will work, as it did in the past.  I also have the off nights and am sure I always will.  Just too many variables to deal with.  Dough, heat, set-ups, etc. etc.

Best of luck in your next attempt,  :)

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 26, 2010, 12:26:16 PM
JT,
I don't think you will figure it out.  Making pizza is going to drive you nuts just like the rest of us.
Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 26, 2010, 12:49:36 PM
JT,
I don't think you will figure it out.  Making pizza is going to drive you nuts just like the rest of us.
Dave

Too late dave, I'm already nuts.   :-D
I revisited the same formula that gave me that first succesful bake last night and even shorten the fermentation down a bit and didn't burn the pie.  When I step up the temps from 730 towards 800, it burned a bit.  So I'm definitely learning as I go along.  I'm keeping better notes now of everything from temp of the starter and dough to exact times of fermentation. 

My burning issues was definitely due to several factors.  1 being fermentation temp and time, 2 being the use of bromated HG (high protein flours), and 3 the temps at which I'm baking at. 

I'm slowly learning to juggle and balance those 3 factors.  Definitely can't overferment.  Definitely can't bake bromated HG doughs at 800 for more than 1 min 30 seconds.  And for my setup, so far the heat diffuser is a good thing.  I'll revisit removing it later when I get a few of the above variables under more control.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 27, 2010, 03:10:03 PM
Made a couple of deep fried hamburgers for lunch with the MBE.  Deep frying outside so the house doesn't stink up is a real plus.

These aren't as greasy as you would think and they are pretty tasty.  Decided to top this one with Mozz, tomatoes, and basil. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 28, 2010, 01:44:30 PM
Quote
My burning issues was definitely due to several factors.  1 being fermentation temp and time, 2 being the use of bromated HG (high protein flours), and 3 the temps at which I'm baking at.

Quote
When I step up the temps from 730 towards 800, it burned a bit.

Interesting.  On that steam test we did yesterday using my rotisserie pizza grill setup, I found the two test pies cooked at 710F were perfectly charred - meaning much more, would be too much.  Then I threw a "Mellow Mushroom" special (includes molassas in the dough) and got more char than I wanted at 685F.  So sugar/molassas requires a lower cooking temperature.  I didn't know about more fermentation requiring lower cooking temperature but will keep an eye on that.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 28, 2010, 10:09:37 PM
thanks for posting about your experience as it coincides with what I'm finding out.   I hadn't clued in on this issue cooking in the home oven as I would monitor the bottom of the pie closely.  when I got to a certain amount of char, I would rim or dome the pie.  Pies always came out with a nice look and i never had to worry about having even top and bottom temps or an even bake.

In the MBE and perhaps any grill type ovens, it's a different cooking scenario.  Since there is no top broiler, the time to char has to be equal for the top and bottom.  You can always cheat (as i've done many a times) by slipping a steel plate or aluminum foil under the pie if the bottom is done before the top, but its more challenging/rewarding to do a bake without doing that.

So that being said there is a definite window of usability for dough. Use it before it's mature and the oven spring is not maximized.  Use it too late and it burns.   I'm finding out that the more overfermented the dough(or the more you go beyond that window of usability)  the faster it burns.  An extreme example of this is the pie I posted in post #49 of this thread.  That dough was way overfermented and the bottom scorched at a hearth temp of 625-ish in a matter of 45 seconds.  I decided to let it burn some more since i was interested in experimenting with browning the rim.  Of course that window of usability is dependent on the amount of yeast used and the time and temp of the fermentation process.

Scott and Peter give some good discussion on this topic earlier in the thread.   For those that missed it, I'll recap and paraphrase.  As Scott posted, it makes sense to me that at some point of fermentation, enough alcohol and byproducts create an atmosphere that is inhospital for yeast growth.  The yeast stop reproducing.  What  I believe leads to burning is that (as Peter has posted many times) there are pretease enzymes that are produced.  I believe these enzymes are responsible for breaking down gluten and sugar chains making more sugar available.  Since the yeast isn't using it up at this point it is available to burn.   Having added sugar in the formula aids this thereby aiding browning in the crust. 

This is but one factor among several responsible for premature burning.  Hydration ratio relative to time of bake, added sugar, added oil, top and bottom heat, and also protein content can affect burning.  It's trying to make sense of all these variables and their roles and balancing them out in one's specific oven that leads to a good looking and good tasting pie.  It's almost enough to make one's head spin. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 28, 2010, 10:17:35 PM
Ok just so you guys don't think I'm off my rocker, I did make a nice looking and delicious pie tonight.  I consider this a true Neo-Neapolitan.  It is a pie made with 100% caputo baked at a temp of around 720-ish for 3 mins or so.  It's bake time and temp is more like an elite NY'er.  It's oven spring, bubbles, and texture also reminiscent of a NY'er. 

The rim and bottom was crunchy and the innards were soft with some chew to it.  Just the way I like it. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 28, 2010, 10:26:03 PM
You can see the bottom has a lighter spot in the middle.  That's where my sand bowl resides under the stone.  For this bake I put the diffuser bowl back but also added more sand in as I was really tired of the bottom burning too quickly and I had thought this was a source.  Turns out it was, and i can also control the amount of charring by varying the amount of sand in the bowl.  All I have to do now is remove some of it to even out the bake (which is the same amount I used in my first successful MBE bake or about 3/4 of the bowl). 

Oh yeah, the MBE is an incredibly efficient cooker.  I can reach a desire hearth temp of 700F within 20-25min.  I have had close to 10 bakes (sorry lost count) baking about 2 pies each time and there is still fuel in the tank.  It may just last a few more bakes but that comes out to under $2 of fuel per bake. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 29, 2010, 01:31:35 AM
I like that crumb. Nice and moist and squishy, but still completely cooked through and not gummy.

Knead time?

On the topic of Elite NY-ers, have you given any thought to decreasing your thickness factor?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 01:59:39 AM
Scott to be honest, I did overknead this one a bit.  Knowing that it was lower protein caputo, i upped the kneading some compared to my minimal knead times for HG flour.  I lost track but the dough was handled for about 8 min, so I'm thinking a knead time of about 5min.  I also did some stretch and folds and balled it b/t bulk and cold ferment.  I don't think it will take me too many more tries before figuring out the right amount of kneading/dough handling for the different flours, but we will see.  On my next go around, I will experiment with the nominal knead plus the added folds/balling and I should be in the sweet spot. 

I have considered decreasing the thickness factor but since I am baking for around 3-3.5 min, I will have to either up the hydration rate a bit more and/or add oil to the formulation (which I'm not oppose to at all) to keep the crumb moist.  I think J. Varansano bakes in his home oven in under 2 mins.  I'm not sure what his bake time and temp is in his restaurant.  Anyone know? 

Scott I was wondering if you were gonna point out that one burnt spot in the upskirt shot.  I went back and took a look at the diffuser bowl and it wasn't centered perfectly and indeed was channeling more air towards that particular side.  So I had to rotate the pie towards that side of the mbe during the bake. That's an easy fix for next time. 

Based on your estimates on stone conductivity and bake times found here. Reply #103 (excellent post btw)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.100.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.100.html)

I decided to see if I could source a less conductive stone for the mbe.  I wrote the makers of fibrament and awaiting a reply.  I also was able to source a box/case (11 SF) quarry tiles for around $36.  They wouldn't divide the case for me.  They are 6x6x1/2" thick.  Even if I double up on them I would be at 1" which is 1/4" less than the firebrick.  I believe that 1/4" difference will help with the airflow even more.  Anyways ideally I'd like to get the fibrament as it is only 3/4" thick.  If they'll ship it for under $50, that would be a good deal. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 29, 2010, 09:49:51 AM
Tran, the crumb looks pretty tender to me.  If the crumb is tender, you didn't overknead.

A thinner dough will cook faster, so you shouldn't need additional water or oil to achieve the same level of moistness in the crumb. Thinner doughs, depending on the setting, because they bake quickly, can puff up a little higher and end up with better oven spring than thick doughs.

I would just take your regular dough, decrease the quantity by about 10% and stretch it thinner.  Once.  Just to try it out. You had mentioned before how similar a lot of the pizzas you make are- I've noticed you're getting a lot more varied, but if you really want to change things up, stretch it thinner- especially if emulating neo-neapolitan is one of your goals.

I think you're flushing your money down the drain by purchasing a fibrament for your MBE.  It is less conductive, but it's also super fragile.  Since open flame is present, they're most likely going to recommend a grill version, but even then, I don't think it's going to give you too many uses.

Also, thanks to Jeff V, we now know that quarry tile can vary pretty dramatically in conductivity.  My current theory is that some brands of tile are more porous/contain more air/are less dense than others. If you purchase dense tiles, you could end up with very comparable conductivity to what you have now.

Have you tried the no buffer, low pre-heat approach yet?  Heat the stone to 600, crank the heat and put the pizza in.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:21:03 AM
Scott, thank you for your feedback.  I can't even begin to say how much it's help me progress.

With my current set up the heat in my mbe oven is not yet ideal.  I want a top heat that is at least 50F hotter than the bottom.  I want the top to cook a bit faster than the bottom.  As it is the bottom outcooking the top by a small margin.  That's the reason why I was searching for a lower conductive hearth.   Another possibility for this slight unevenness is the air gap between the current stone and the sloping lid.  It is < 3/4" and even less if I place a pie near the edge.  As the crust rises (into the dome) it starts to restrict some of that air flow.  Or at least I think that is a potential problem.  No biggie, as air will find the path of less resistance and flow around in the other areas of the perimeter. 

B/c of this slight uneven top and bottom heat in my current setup, I have to actually bake around 3 mins to get a good charring to the rim.  If I lower the hearth a bit, it should increase the airflow to the dome and possibly get me decent charring in the 2 min realm.  IF i can do this, then I can make a thinner pie, have it bake faster than 3min, and get a great texture.    As it is with the thick firebrick hearth, the bakes have to be longer and that equates to a drier pie if it's thinner. 

I'm glad you mention my pies are getting more varied, as I was thinking the same.  That caputo pie looks very different from my previous caputo pies.  It's likely the fermentation regimen and heat differences.  I'll have to do an experiment on that down the road sometime. 

I just heard back from the fibrament folks and they can't custom cut a round 12" stone for me.  I had forgotten about how brittle it is so thank you for reminding me.  BTW, is quarry tile a lot less brittle than fibrament?  Can it withstand thermal shock comparable to firebrick? 

If I have time today, I'll start making the cuts to the quarry tile and see if my theory about airflow is correct.  It is dense quarry tile, so I hope it won't be too hard to cut.  Even if I end up with the same conductivity as the firebrick, I may be able to benefit from it's reduce thickness.  I'll experiment with just one layer first about 1/2" and then double it if I need to.   I'm also considering cutting up a thin steel pizza pan and placing that under the single layer of quarry tiles. 


Have you tried the no buffer, low pre-heat approach yet?  Heat the stone to 600, crank the heat and put the pizza in.
I have but didn't get good results.  I tried the no buffer, load it at low temps and crank up the juice approach and got burnt pies earlier than expected.  It could have been due to some overfermentation, restricted top air flow, bad karma, or some other unknown reason.  I plan on revisiting the technique once I get my dough fermentation times down to insure it's not a fermentation issue but rather an oven setup issue. 

Thanks again,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 29, 2010, 11:23:54 AM
I still think you are off your rocker - but that pie does look pretty good.  Still you need to add little bacon before I'm coming over.

It kind of bugs me to see such success with caputo.  I was thinking that my last night's pie was "all that", but now I have to admit that we had a little more gum line than is ideal, and more gum line than you show in your photos.  I'm going to try to ignore your success for now.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:31:21 AM
Dave, you crack me up.  I'm always so critical of my pies so it's nice to hear positive things.  I think the gumline is invisible due to the white sauce?  I'm also not a great photographer and using a very mediocre camera.  I find that it gives me shady pictures that makes it harder to judge.   :D I'll try again with a red sauce and see.   

I'd love to see pics of your caputo pie. 

As I mentioned in a different post.  Caputo kicked my @ss for 2 weeks straight before I got a 1/2 decent looking pie and now I still don't know what to make of it.  I don't know what part it will play in my final formulation.  These are just experiments to keep me from going insane.  :-D Or do I experiment b/c I'm insane? ???
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 29, 2010, 12:22:11 PM
I just heard back from the fibrament folks and they can't custom cut a round 12" stone for me.  I had forgotten about how brittle it is so thank you for reminding me.  BTW, is quarry tile a lot less brittle than fibrament?  Can it withstand thermal shock comparable to firebrick? 

Quarry tile can vary, but out of every material used for baking stones, I'm pretty sure it's the weakest when it comes to resistance to thermal shock.  Firebrick, cordierite and fibrament are all engineered (some better than others) to be able to handle heat.  Quarry tile is just made for flooring and has pretty much the same specs as regular brick (also not that thermally strong).
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:14:01 PM
So I got the box of quarry tiles and cut 4 pieces today.  This stuff is pretty dense but not terrible difficult to cut.   Took about 30-40min.  I also ended up cutting up a polished porcelain tile the guys at the store gave me.  After i told them what I was planning to do with the quarry tiles, they said here try this.  Add the 2 together I was at 7/8" compared to the 1 and 1/4" of the firebricks. 

So it took about an hour total to cut both the quarry tiles and the porcelain tile.  To cut the quarry tiles, I used my rotozip tool and made a deep score on both sides and the knocked the corner pieces off with a hammer.  Then went back and polished the rough/sharp edges. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:21:13 PM
Well I just so happen to have 2 dough balls fermenting in the fridge for 3 days and had to be baked so what choice did I have???

Wanted to test out the newer setup so I gave it a go.  Remember, my goal in doing this was to decrease the thickness of the hearth and pulling the pie away from the dome a bit to improve airflow and see if I can get faster browning of the top crust. 

Here are the 2 pies.  One was made with 100% HG flour and the other with 75% HG and 25% caputo.  Wanted to see what I liked better.  The first one was the red sauce pie and baked at a stone temp of 750+ for 3 min.  The white pie baked at 700 stone temp (then burner opened up to high) and baked for 3 min.   Both had equal charring on the bottom but the first pie had a bigger spring.  Hmmm, I honestly didn't think a hearth temp of 50F (esp at 700F) could make a difference in oven spring. ???  or could it be the different flour combination resposible?

Scott, can you tell which is which?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:29:33 PM
Here's an aerial shot of the red pie.   If I'm being picky, which I am, I'm not happy about the white ring on the very top of the rim.  I want to get an even browning or coloration to the whole rim.

With the less thick hearth and increase ceiling height, I really expected airflow to improve to hopefully improve crust coloration.  Disappointingly it did not.  It actually had an opposite effect.  Looking at the previous pies with the firebrick hearth, they actually had more top crust coloration. 

The reason (clear to me now) is that by pulling the pie away from the dome, I lose the benefit of the heat radiating off the lid and the top stone.  I may have increase airflow but it was at the cost of losing some crust coloration. 

So I will be returning the firebrick hearth.  Now I have 10 square feet of quarry tile sitting in my garage without purpose.  Oh well.... :-\     
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 29, 2010, 11:34:11 PM
The pies still tasted pretty good BUT at this point I'm pretty sick of eating pizza.  The thought of it almost makes me want to vomit.  :-X  JK.  I guess I need a couple days break.  :-D

Here's a few shots of the crumb.  Again the red pie was bake first at a higher  temp and had a bigger spring than the 2nd.  One of the 2 pies has 25% caputo.  The rest of it HG flour. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on June 30, 2010, 12:07:21 AM
Jackie Tran,

Your pizzas look great to me and I already had four slices yesterday.   :-D

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on June 30, 2010, 01:53:33 AM
Chau, I really have no idea.

I guess, if push came to shove, I might say the red pie is all HG and the white pie is the blend. The white pie looks a tiny bit starchier.

And I'm with Norma in regards to how great the pies look, although I haven't had a slice in a month and half, and, if my foot were made out of pizza, I'd probably eat that  ;D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 30, 2010, 10:49:59 AM
Norma and Scott.  Thanks for the nice words.  I'm still wandering the wilderness of pizza.

Scott, the first pie is the blend and the 2nd one all HG, eventhough the look of the crumb would suggest otherwise.  Both were give as nearly identical treatmeat as possible as far as knead/rest/fermentation/proof times go.

Only real difference was the cook temp.  It's hard to get an accurate temp in the MBE.  I take temps at multiple points on the hearth and average it out.  The range can be pretty varied though.  As best I can tell, the first one loade at a 750+ while the second one 680-700F.   Also baked on the quarry tile + porcelain tile combo.  It's possible that the first pie absorb much of the heat out of the quarry tile and the temp reading I got before the 2nd bake was just a surface temp reading and not a true stone temp reading.

My question is, is it possible to get such a different crumb, oven spring with a difference of 50-80F.  I would have thought that at 700F and beyond, that the difference in the oven temps wouldn't make that big a difference. 

The flour blend vs all HG shouldn't have made a difference b/c the amount of caputo was not a lot. 25%.  As a matter of fact, the all HG pie had more of a neopolitan texture than the other. 

BTW, the first crumb shot is my IDEAL crumb texture.  It is very much like a french bread or a baguette.  The inside is very tender, soft, and lofty. 


Thanks,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on June 30, 2010, 10:53:01 AM
Scott, after some consideration, I think you are right about the thickness factor.  For my next bake I will reduce the amount of dough by 10-20% and thin the crust out a bit.  I'll give it a try and see how I like it. 
 
There may also be another advantage of using firebrick over quarry tile, in that the firebrick is more porous and will absorb a bit more moisture out of the crust giving me a bit more of a crunch that I like. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on June 30, 2010, 03:41:53 PM
Those pies look like yum to me.  Also, nice work on the stone cutting.
Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 12:03:49 AM
Thanks Dave  ;D

Well, I know I said I would try and take a 2 day break from baking but....I lied.   I baked again tonight.   And, boy am I glad I did.   I just made the BEST PIE of my life!   It just beat out my perfect pie I talked about here.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html).  That one was bake in the home oven ages ago before I made the MBE and before i even knew what i was doing.

This one had the same open lofty airy crust but had the smokiness to it as well.   

So I made 2 emergency doughs tonight.  The red pie had starter and the white pie had ADY.  The white pie is the one that totally put to shame most of all the other pies I've made (over 200 now).  When I say "perfect pie" what I really mean is "Perfect Crust".  If you can get a perfect crust, it really doesn't matter what you put on the pizza as it will just taste amazing.

So what was so perfect anyway?  Well, the crust was so airy and light, it was unbelievable.  Very hard to describe but when it's achieved, it's a mind boggler.  You can't help but proclaim, "[email protected], that's perfection!"   It's slightly crispy on the outside and bottom and the inside is soft, moist and VERY airy.  Not just a little airy, but very airy.   The rim is almost all air. 

Here's a few pics of the white garlic pie.  The last few pics show a 2" piece of crust that you can see through the other side.  That's how airy it is. 

Scott, I really hate to say this (actually I don't) but YOU WERE RIGHT!  Against my judgement I went ahead and made a thinner pie as you suggested.  This one was 200gm stretch out to 11".  Post bake it was more like 10" I think.  But with the right temp, it really puffed up. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 12:07:52 AM
a few more pics of the crumb and bottom.  The bottom was a bit on the toasty side but it may be due to the fact that I added sugar to this pie and the other..  I also let it ride a bit longer since the red pie came out a little soft on the bottom and I wanted this a bit crispier. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 12:17:11 AM
Here's the red pie.  It was good but not quite as good as the white pie.  It didn't have the same spring. 

This pie was made using starter instead of ADY and also bake at about 700 instead of 750? like the white one.  Both were baked for about 3 min. 


Here's the weird part that doesn't make sense.  Both had the same dough formula with the exception of the yeast.  When I finished kneading and balling them, the white pie felt softer and more moist, but after I figured the hydration ratios for both, the red pie had a 74% HR and the white one 72%.  keep in mind when I use my starter I'm assuming it is 50/50 flour and water (100% hydration) but I don't know exactly as when I feed it each time, I don't measure out the amount exactly. 

Here's the 2nd weird thing.  I am going to assume that the white pie had an airier and lighter crust b/c of the bigger spring due to the higher heat BUT if I go back and look at my "perfect pie" post, that pie had the same very airy crumb and was baked at hearth temp of ~600F in the home oven.  Details of that particular pie was that it had both starter and ADY and was cold fermented for 2 days. 

So what gives?  Can anyone make any sense of these pizza mysteries? 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 01, 2010, 02:44:05 AM
Yes! *high five* ;D

Thinner skins just feel more agile to me.  As you increase the thickness factor, it seems like the dough has to work harder to rise.

Congratulations.

I don't have an answer to your starter/ADY mystery, but I do happen to know a way that you can avoid the inconsistency all together- stop using starter  :P

Seriously, though, now that you've found the crust of your dreams, you're going to want, to an extent, to be able to repeat it.  To do that, you'll want to more tightly regulate your variables. Batten down the hatches, so to speak. And, as far as unsecured hatches go, I don't think there's anything looser than starter.  I'm not saying you should never use starter again, but, for the time being, I think you'll achieve much better consistency without it.  Once you're able to churn out pies of today's caliber day after day, then that might be a good time to bring starter back into the equation. I also think settling in on one flour or one blend might be a good idea.  Changing flours is a massive variable in dough making. I know that you love to experiment, and I don't want to put a damper on that passion, but there's the joy of experimentation and the joy of making a work of art, and, if the experimentation is too broad, the two can be counterproductive.

Did you document everything you did today?  :)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 01, 2010, 06:44:23 AM
Jackie Tran,

Congrats!   ;D  I am glad you found your "perfect pie".  Your passion for pizza making has taken you on a great journey.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 01, 2010, 06:54:49 AM
Chau, they looking really, really good! very tasty! :pizza: :chef:
What happened to the middle of the white pizza?

Congrats on the awesome looking pizzas again mate!

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 07:29:19 AM
Scott for the record, I always knew that thinner crust + higher hydration + hotter temps would puff up more, but I didn't see it happening in my MBE without getting a drier crumb.  BUT since I demonstrated in a couple of posts above that I didn't really have a real good understanding of the cooking dynamics of the MBE anyhow, I decided to test it out.   I did end up putting oil in this formulation so that may have also gave me the results I got.

But none of that matters b/c I made a perfect pie (with your help).  As I get more consistent in my pie making and learn more, I'll be able to discover the true effects of oil and some of the other variables & questions that have plagued me.  As you stated, my goal at this point should be reproducibility and then i can tinker with it later.  

I absolutely agree with your points in the above post.  I went to bed last night with much of the same thoughts.

Speaking sort of in jest, I would today dump all my starters and stop experiment if I can consistently reproduce a product like that.   It was THAT good!

Yes, I did indeed documented everything.  I've never been one to keep detailed notes, but lately I have been doing so.  It's actually very funny b/c one of my goals has always been to make great pizza by feel alone, but to get there I have to learn by measuring everything accurately and taking copious notes.  Even with my detailed notes, there is one aspect to making this pie that can't be translated in a recipe and that' the proper "feel" of the dough.  I believe this gives that certain proper texture and crumb.  

Here's my personal opinion on starters and cold fermentation.
First off I wouldn't even mind going to using commercial yeast exclusively.  I only maintain starters and use them b/c I (like a lot of ppl) started off with JV's recipe and method and he's adamant about having a starter (which is one point I disagree with Jeff on).  Last night's bake was another one of my starter vs ADY experiments and the difference in taste was indistinguishable.  The texture of the ADY pie was so much better, the lack of starter had very little significance in my real world results.  

From my experience, starters really only shine when you use a lot of it (40-50%+) or when you use it in conjunction with a long cold fermentation (which I'm currently not a fan of).  One potential difficulty with using starters is their inconsistency due to how active it is and how hydrated it is.
Much of this can be mitigated for use in a commercial setting by using just one starter (vs 2-3), feeding it regularly at the same times through the day, and just plain ol' getting to know your starters by using it everyday.   For now, I'll be more than happy to take a break from starters.

I'm also not a fan of cold fermentation as I find it gives me several undesireable effects.  My cold fermented dough always seems to have that "old" dough aura about it. Hard to describe.  It's always a bit drier and this could be due to the high altitude environment Im in.  Long cold fermented dough works it's way towards tasting like sourdough bread, which I'm not a real big fan of. I like flavor but I personally don't care for sour tasting bread.  So I will be more than happy with using commercial yeast and 3 hour doughs if I could eat pies like last night's all the time.  For me, the truth is that sauce and cheese cover up a lot of any flavor differences created by starters.  I think this has been mentioned several times in the Di Fara thread.  

As far as experimenting goes, I agree with what you posted.  Now that I absolutely know what type of pie I like, I can focus my experiments on perfecting that rather than fooling around with different flours.  Of course my ultimate goal will be to push the envelop and create that sort of pie using different blends of flours and even flours with varying amounts of protein.

As a challenge, I always thought it would be fun for members to send me a small sample of their flour without telling me what brand or type of flour it is.  I would then be challenged with making a great pizza by feel alone.  Of course I would measure out the water, salt, and yeast, but how much flour I used would be determined by the feel ( or hydration) of the dough.  

Thanks again, Scott.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 01, 2010, 07:36:30 AM
Chau, I'll send you some flour if you want to do that challenge...
Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 07:38:37 AM
Thanks Norma and Paul for the kind words.  Part of my zeal for experimenting and improving comes from encouraging comments from members like yourselves.


Paul, how observant you are.  ;)  B/c that particularly pie was loaded at a relative high temp 750-ish-plus, I was concerned about burning (that's been my challenge lately) so I turned it a little too soon, right around the one minute mark.  That and the combination of a thin bottom tore a hole in the center.   I was fortunate I hadn't overly topped that pie like the other one with sauce so there was minimal leakage onto the stone.  

BTW, you can't tell from the pics but the red pie had too much sauce (water) so the thin bottom ended up losing it's crispiness.  I'm learning the reason for why it's better to go with less/thinner sauce, especially for these "elite" NY'ers.  

Paul - that would make me very happy to be able to do the flour challenge.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 01, 2010, 07:42:47 AM
PM me your details and I will send you some flour for you to try out buddy.

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 07:45:57 AM
Paul I had another thought about the flour challenge.  It would also be fun to note what the final hydration rate ended up being if I made the dough by feel alone.   I would keep track of how much flour was being added but I would not start with a goal in mind.   I would then see if I even got remotely close to my favored high hydration ratios.  

On my next bake, I'll make 2 pies.  One with the winning formula i used for my perfect pie II minus the sugar and the other I will do strictly by feel.  Of course I'll have the feel of the first pie as a benchmark, but it should still be an interesting experiment.  

PM sent.  Thank you.

JT
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 01, 2010, 08:59:08 AM
Chau, have you thought this through? How's your wife going to feel about you receiving bags of flour in the mail?  :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 10:02:56 AM
No but she knows I'm already kRaZy.  :P  As long as no one sends me a bag of talcum powder or baking soda or something weird like that I should be ok.   I didn't think anyone would really take me up on the offer but member Bradyshaw has graciously accepted my "flour challenge".  He'll be sending me some mystery flour to play with.  I'll try to take as many detail notes as possible.

Paul, you (or anyone else) can also add any stipulations to the experiment if you'd like.   I can also bake it in the MBE or home oven if you prefer. 

Back to the "perfect pie".  I had toasted up a couple of leftover slices this morning for breakfast and the were excellent.  The weird thing about these so called "perfect" pies is that they toast up really well.  They are just as good as when fresh.  I don't find this to be true for my other pies.  For some odd reason, these maintain their crispiness to the rim and soft tender crumbs.  That is they don't seem to dry out as my past pies would. 

I hope these perfect pies will pay me more regular visits from now on. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 01, 2010, 10:14:10 AM
No but she knows I'm already kRaZy.  :P  As long as no one sends me a bag of talcum powder or baking soda or something weird like that I should be ok.   I didn't think anyone would really take me up on the offer but member Bradyshaw has graciously accepted my "flour challenge".  He'll be sending me some mystery flour to play with.  I'll try to take as many detail notes as possible.

Paul, you (or anyone else) can also add any stipulations to the experiment if you'd like.   I can also bake it in the MBE or home oven if you prefer. 

Back to the "perfect pie".  I had toasted up a couple of leftover slices this morning for breakfast and the were excellent.  The weird thing about these so called "perfect" pies is that they toast up really well.  They are just as good as when fresh.  I don't find this to be true for my other pies.  For some odd reason, these maintain their crispiness to the rim and soft tender crumbs.  That is they don't seem to dry out as my past pies would. 

I hope these perfect pies will pay me more regular visits from now on. 

She will think your addiction to pizza has hit an all time high when my flour arrives through the door! haha Like I said when you broke her table and butchered her pans..flowers are needed buddy! and a lot of them!
 :-D

I think the flour will take 5-7 days to arrive with you so I will get my thinking cap on in regards to stipulations but I think the only one I will make will be that you have to make one in your home oven and one in your MBE (I will obviously send you at least flour to make 2 pizzas) Others please feel free to add anything to my stipulations if you wish.

I'm really looking forward to the results.

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 01, 2010, 10:19:17 AM
JT,

I completely agree with scott123 on the matter of controlling variables. If too many of them are changed at one time, both at the formulation level and the oven level, you will have a hard time knowing what variable was responsible for what. Also, when you do that, it is hard to learn. You will have a fuzzy understanding and will not know how to apply what you think you learned to the next experiment. Now that you have reached the point where you are satisfied with your results, I think I would work on nailing down all of the variables for the recent pizza that you made that was so satisfying to you. Unless you kept good notes, even that might turn out harder than you think. I think that there are perhaps many members who would love to replicate your last results but for them to do so you will have to cite chapter, line and verse in great detail. You might also consider using weights rather than volumes, or in addition to volumes, in order to increase the likelihood of others replicating your work. Otherwise, you may be the only one who can make your pizza. Of course, if that is your objective, that is your prerogative.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 01, 2010, 10:30:26 AM
Chau, you don't eat leftover pizza cold, straight from the fridge?  For me, that's a huge part of the experience- waking up to cold pizza. In fact, if I entertain and don't end up with leftovers, I'm not a happy camper.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 02:16:07 PM
Chau, you don't eat leftover pizza cold, straight from the fridge?  For me, that's a huge part of the experience- waking up to cold pizza. In fact, if I entertain and don't end up with leftovers, I'm not a happy camper.

No Scott I have not reached that level of understanding of pizza but hope to someday.  :D  Cold pizza is good but only when I'm really hungry.  I like hot pizza, I just do. 

Peter I'm working on a proper response for you.  Be back later today.   :chef:
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 01, 2010, 04:10:22 PM
Oh well, to each his own  :)

For me, cold pizza is like a new dish entirely.  The cold tends to mute the flavor of the sauce and cheese, but gives the crust a slightly sweeter flavor and chewier texture. Coldness really enhances it's breadiness. It's like a delicious carby chew toy. Heaven!

And, just to be clear, for many, cold pizza is a hangover thing, but, for me, I can eat cold pizza any time. In fact, if I eat pizza for dinner 5 days straight, I might get a little tired of it.  For breakfast, though- I could eat cold pizza for breakfast for the rest of my life and never grow tired.

It's got to be cold, though- really cold.  I don't do the whole old pizza in the box at room temp thing.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 04:49:56 PM
Ok Scott, I just got off work and didn't get lunch today.  I had a bag of chips on the way home.  Read your post and went straight for the fridge.  Had a piece of that red pie from last night really cold and it was delicious!  Home made pizza cold is much better than I remember cold take out pizza to be. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 01, 2010, 05:42:00 PM
I'm glad you liked it Chau.  It really depends on the quality of the pizza. Cold definitely stiffens the crust a bit, so if you're starting with something that's lacking puffiness, after chilling, you could end up with something resembling cardboard.

It's even better first thing when you wake up :)

By the way, I forgot to ask you, what flour did you use for the white pizza?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 06:49:20 PM
It is 100% bromated HG flour from Sams.  My first perfect pie from way back when was made with a HG bread flour from a local whole foods market.  I've made a 3rd pie with a very similar crumb structure made from 100% caputo flour.  I posted it here.  Reply #52 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.40.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.40.html)
Similar crumb structure.  Apparently something similar can be achieved with any flour.   

I took another look at Varasano's pictures. His crumb doesn't look like my latest pies.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 01, 2010, 10:49:43 PM
JT,

I completely agree with scott123 on the matter of controlling variables. If too many of them are changed at one time, both at the formulation level and the oven level, you will have a hard time knowing what variable was responsible for what. Also, when you do that, it is hard to learn. You will have a fuzzy understanding and will not know how to apply what you think you learned to the next experiment. Now that you have reached the point where you are satisfied with your results, I think I would work on nailing down all of the variables for the recent pizza that you made that was so satisfying to you. Unless you kept good notes, even that might turn out harder than you think. I think that there are perhaps many members who would love to replicate your last results but for them to do so you will have to cite chapter, line and verse in great detail. You might also consider using weights rather than volumes, or in addition to volumes, in order to increase the likelihood of others replicating your work. Otherwise, you may be the only one who can make your pizza. Of course, if that is your objective, that is your prerogative.

Peter

Peter, I agree.  Fortunately I kept great notes! ;D Lately I've been focusing more of my energy and time towards this "perfect pie" project and have been keeping meticulous notes.  I have been narrowing down as many variables as possible.  I've even gone down to just using just one of my 3 starters and now I'll just be using ADY for awhile.  I'll be able to see if I can replicate my results or at least get close to it in the next couple of days.  Though I tend to be laxidasical in my approach, many of my experiments are very focused with specific goals.   I believe I didn't just accidentally happen on this pie as I did with the first one.  I'm closing in on it and I believe it won't be long before I can reproduce it at will rather than it being this mythical beast it has been for some time.  As of late, I have become more consistent in my crust and crumb.  If you look at the pics Iíve posted lately of the crumb shots you'll see the change compared to pies I made 1 month ago.  If you guys study my crumb shots closely, it's very specific the type of crumb that is ideal to me.  It's not spongy looking.  Even using caputo, it's got tiny strands in there.  Kinda of stringy looking.  It's not leathery or dry looking either.  Lord knows I've made plently of those looking pies.  Check out my first pies in the caputo thread here. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.0.html) The crumb here is not perfection.  It's a bit dry and leathery.  Yeah it may look nice, but taste a world of difference when it's done right.  Look at reply #52, that's more ideal.  

Peter, for me to benefit as much as I have from the forum and certain members and not share any pizza "secrets" I have learned would be asinine.  I will prematurely release the "secret" formula along with chapter, line, verse, details, and my own thoughts and opinions so others may try to duplicate what I have done.

First off if anyone is hoping for a "secret" recipe, you'll be disappointed.  I'm a firm believer in "there are no secrets". This is the same thing in the practice of Kung Fu.  Everyone is always interested in the "secret" drills or forms. There are no secrets, only proper practice.  If you practice the wrong way, you won't achieve it.  It requires proper practice, preferably with some guidance.  I was practicing the wrong way for a long time.  I even complained that almost all my pies looked the same despite using different flours and what not.   But if you are diligent, it's attainable.  You can actually figure a lot out on your own by reading, experimenting, and talking to people.  Having said that, there are some key elements that need to come together to get the results I got.   And not to ruffle any feathers, but IMO Jeff Varasano is right on many fronts.  Proper (minimal) kneading technique, high hydration, proper fermentation, and relatively high oven temps are the key elements here.  I FULLY expect that those of you who are going to try this recipe and technique will NOT achieve the results I have in the first few tries.  If you can, then I bow down to you.  It will take much practice, but I want you to know its fully achievable.

Here's the recipe I used for the the pies above and then I'll discuss the key elements as I understand them.

I make around 200gm pies so maybe Peter you can do the honors and adjust the recipe for a 300gm pie.  This makes an 11" pie.  It is a thin crust with a very light & puffy rim.  300gm should make a 15"-16".  

HG flour  113gm ( I started with 120gm, but only ended up using 113gm).  You can use bread flour here.
Water  84gm bottled or filtered water (room temp)
ADY 1/8 tsp (0.5gm) or ~0.44%
Salt 1/4 tsp (1.5gm) or ~1.3%
oil 1/2 tsp (2.5gm) or ~2%
sugar 1/2 tsp (2.5gm) or ~2%

Finished dough ball weight minus residue lost was right at 199gm.  Beginning goal hydration of 70%.  End Hydration Ratio is 74%.  Room temp ferment for 3 hours and bake.  From the time the yeast enters the water to bake time will be more like 3.5 hours though.  4 hours may be ok or could be pushing it here - I dunno so experiment and find out.  Oven should already be preheating for a full hour prior to baking. 

Sugar:  I normally don't use this but added it last night to try to improve crust browning in the MBE.  For the next go around, I'll take it out or reduce it as it got a little too much charring.  For the home oven use, I would use the sugar.

Oil: it's a good idea.  Jeff doesn't use it but it helps keep the crumb moist and does seem to help a bit with my bottom crust burning issues.   The bottom line is sugar and oil make little difference to the "perfect" texture we are after.  Oil will give you a more soft/moist/ crumb, but if you have the minimal kneading method down, high hydration, and relatively short bake time, you don't need the oil.  My first "perfect" pie I made months ago had no sugar or oil.  It doesn't hurt but it's not absolutely necessary either.  Until you get the steps down, I would include the oil.

Starter vs commercial yeast:  Jeff says you need a starter.  You don't.  As Scott mention earlier, commercial yeast will yield more consistent results.  IMO, starter gives the flavor and commercial yeast gives the added "puff".  You can use either or a combination of both.  For a really airy puffy rim, I would start with commercial yeast.  For the short ferment time of this recipe (as I made last night), starter made a neglible difference in taste.  Almost undetectable and that was using 40% starter vs the 0.4% yeast.   Starter makes more of a difference for flavor if you cold ferment for 1-3 days.  After that, I have found ADY to produce nearly the same sour taste (undesireable for me) as a starter pie.  

Dough Method: I've posted this before but will post it again here.  Less kneading is better.  I hand knead but this can be done with a mixer as well.  If I were to use a mixer I would only mix for a minute just to get the ingredients incorporated and then autolyse.  After the autolyse, i would slowly mix just to incorporate the final bit of flour, and then I would finish the kneading by hand.  An alternate method for using a mixer is to mix it all together without autolysing, but only mix until things are incorporated, let rest 10min, pull out and hand knead to finish.  Again, whether using a mixer or doing by hand, the ONLY thing I am focusing on is mixing the ingredients evenly or incorporating flour evenly into the dough.  I'm not focusing on kneading here.  The rest period and fermentation periods (as mentioned by Scott so many times) will develop plenty of gluten.  

My Hand Kneading Method
1.  Measure water out, add yeast, and stir.  Add salt, sugar & oil (optional) and stir to dissolve.  You can hydrate the yeast as long as you wish, but this is how I use it.  I add it in, mix, and proceed on.  
2.  Add 50% of flour and stir with a fork just till you get an even SMOOTH batter (< 1 min).
3.  Add another 50% of remaining flour (75% total) and stir to get an even rough mixture (about 1 min?)
4.  Let rest for 5-10min.
5.  Stir/mix in remaining flour slowly.  I do this in the bowl at first and then out on the counter when the dough gets a bit too stiff to stir in the bowl.
6.  I gently fold/knead in the remaining flour a bit at a time and stop when i get to a proper dough consistency or feel.  I usually end up with a hydration ratio of 72-75% for HG flour.  This takes anywhere from 4-6min of gentle folding/kneading. This would likely translate into 70-72% for BF?  Again, I can't stress this enough.  The goal here is to simply incorporate flour.  As Jeff says on his website, you want the finished dough fairly wet, so when you cut it with a dough cutter, it sticks to the cutter.  This bit of info is key.  But if you lightly dust it with a bit of bench flour it is no longer sticky.  The dough should be soft at this point, you don't want a stiff dough.  The dough shouldn't stick to your hands after adding bench flour.  If it does then continue to add a bit more flour in at a time.  Do this by lightly dusting the ball and then work it in gently with your hands folding the sides into the center. The proper feel for pizza dough is hard to describe in text.  It must be shown or taught.  It is more based on a "feel" than it is a certain hydration ratio # or %.  The proper feeling may even vary by a % or 2, it doesn't matter.  Getting the proper feeling is more important than the actual number in grams of flour or water.  
7.  loosely ball it and let it rest another 5-10 min.
8.  After the rest, ball the dough again but only a few times.  You can do a few stretch and folds here and ball it once or twice.  Don't over do it especially if using HG flour.  If it feels wet or moist and it's sticking then add a bit of bench flour and gently fold it in.  If you did step 6 properly, you should only need a minimal amount of bench flour here if any at all.  Step 8 is really just balling it for fermentation.  You should not require much additional kneading/folding/balling here if any.  
9. Now proof at room temps for 3 hours or until it's risen about 75%.  That's 3/4 of the way from doubling.  You can experiment and let it double as well to see what different results you get.  There is definitely a small window of usability here.  If you underferment, you won't get as much spring and if you overferment, you'll get the spring but the bottom may burn prematurely.

High Hydration :  Jeff uses an approximate 65% hydration rate, but he stresses to make the dough by feel.  Using his pictures as a reference, I attempted to make a 65% hydration ratio dough and it does not keep in line with his descriptions of the dough.  Something is off here.   I suspect that Jeffís true hydration ration is in the upper 60ís closer to 68-69%.  The major difference is he mixes his dough with a DLX Electrolux and I do it by hand.  Iím open to the possibility that kneading with a mixer gives a more wet dough and thus requires a lower hydration ratio.   This is the one of two explanations I could come up for the difference.  The only way I can achieve the dough consistency he speaks of is by making a dough that is 70%+ hydration ratio.  The 2nd explanation I give for the differences in hydration ratios b/t Jeffís pies and my own is that Jeff bakes in his home oven at 800F+ for under 2 min, while I bake at 750 ish for 3 min+.   Either way, for this formula to work or to get similar results to what I have achieved, you must use a high hydration ratio of at least 70%.   Iím not saying you canít get a good pie with a lower hydration ratio, but if you want to achieve what Iím talking about here itís got to be high.   So why such a high hydration ratio?  There are 2 reasons.  In a HOT environment, water creates steam which aids in the extra puffiness of the rim.  A higher hydration ratio (along with a Hot oven) = a higher oven spring.   2ndly, unlike Jeff, I bake for 3-4min not 2 min.  At 3 min, you need the extra water to keep the insides moist.  You can also achieve a moister crumb by using oil.  I originally thought adding oil would lower my hydration ratio, this is why I opted for a 70% hydration ratio with oil, but kneading to the proper feel of the dough yielded a 74% hydration ratio.  So in my experience, adding or removing oil should not affect your hydration ratio much.  An oiled dough will feel slightly more wet b/c it absorbs less water. 

Proper fermentation:  Iíve touched on this before.  From what I have been learning lately, there is a definite window of usability for dough at room temps.  Use it too soon and it doesnít seem to get as good a rise.  Use it too late and you run the risk of overfermentation and premature burning at high temps.  If you bake at 400-650F, it may not make  a difference.  But beyond 700, and youíll see the pies get darker faster.   On his site, Jeff says to allow a dough to proof up to about 50-75%.  Hmm thereís a reason he talks about this.  I didnít understand this before but heís definitely referring to using a dough before its overfermented here.  He even shows a few pictures of what his cold fermented dough looks like when itís past itís prime.  

High oven temps:  this is another key element, but relatively ďhighĒ is relatively subjective.  Jeff says you canít make his pie in the home oven at 500F.  This statement use to bug me a bit, but thereís some truth to it.  You canít make these types of elite pies with a temp of 500F, you need a temp of at least 650+, preferably in the 700+. You can make these types of pies in the home oven, but you have to do an oven hack or use broiler techniques.  There are several members (including myself) who have posted about using broiler shenanigans to achieve high temp bakes.  Member Infoodel (aka Foolish Poolish) makes outstanding looking neopolitan pies using these broiler techniques.  Use the search button and read to learn more.  As far as I know Jeff only talked about baking in his hacked home oven.  I haven't read or don't know what he uses at his restaurant or the temps and times he now bakes at.  If anyone knows, I'd love to know.

Jeffís pies are baked at 800F+ for under 2 min while my ďperfectĒ pies are baked at 750 ish for 3 min +.   My first perfect pie was baked in the home oven using neither oven hacks or broiler techniques.  It was done at an oven temp of 500, stone temp of 600F? and bake around 5 min.  I still got a very airy and lofty crumb.  You can read about it here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html).  So this is another point I disagree with Jeff.  Maybe I canít make his pies, but I can make my perfect pies in the home oven.  Iíve done it before and Iím confident  I can do it again.   So to achieve this ďperfectĒ crust in the home oven, you first need a good conductive stone.  Scott has been preaching this for who knows how long now.  You need something that will get you to the 700 range in a 500 oven.  You can cheat by using your current stone or firebricks by placing them near the heating element and doing at least a 1 hour preheat.  This 1 hour is important.  Donít cut it short and do 30m or 45m.  Give it a full hour.   The pie should be loaded between a stone temp of 650-750.  Finding that sweet spot is up to you.  This pie needs to be cooked between 4-6mins in the home oven to achieve the crispy/crunchy outer rim.  Shorten your bake time to 2 min and you will lose that, no doubt about it.  Bake too long (and with a low hydration ratio) and you lose maximum oven spring and get a drier crumb.  Remember the goal here for the perfect crust.  Maximum oven spring, tender and moist crumb, crispy exterior, and slightly crispy bottom (optional).  I'm not talking about just a good pie.  Most ppl can make (in their sleep) pizza they are happy with and their family members love. What I'm talking about here is transforming a regular pizza dough into something phenomenal.  I think if member's applied the key elements to their own favored recipes, they could take their current pizzas 3-4 notches higher.   

Again, there is NO ďsecretĒ recipe here.  Itís a very plain and basic NY style recipe.   There are the key elements so pay close attention to that if you want to make the best crust you can.  If anyone can achieve this result using any type of flour or using my techniques (or not) I would love to hear about it and see the results.

As always comments and feedback is appreciated.
  
Good luck & Enjoy,
JT
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 09:09:26 AM
Here's the red pie.  It was good but not quite as good as the white pie.  It didn't have the same spring. 

This pie was made using starter instead of ADY and also bake at about 700 instead of 750? like the white one.  Both were baked for about 3 min. 


Here's the weird part that doesn't make sense.  Both had the same dough formula with the exception of the yeast.  When I finished kneading and balling them, the white pie felt softer and more moist, but after I figured the hydration ratios for both, the red pie had a 74% HR and the white one 72%.  keep in mind when I use my starter I'm assuming it is 50/50 flour and water (100% hydration) but I don't know exactly as when I feed it each time, I don't measure out the amount exactly. 

Here's the 2nd weird thing.  I am going to assume that the white pie had an airier and lighter crust b/c of the bigger spring due to the higher heat BUT if I go back and look at my "perfect pie" post, that pie had the same very airy crumb and was baked at hearth temp of ~600F in the home oven.  Details of that particular pie was that it had both starter and ADY and was cold fermented for 2 days. 

So what gives?  Can anyone make any sense of these pizza mysteries? 

After some thought, I just figure it out.  The difference is simple.  The one pie is made with 40% starter.  Of course starter (especially in that high amount) will give a spongier, denser, artisanal bread like kind of crumb.  Duhhhh!!! It also makes sense that it was a slightly stiffer dough while having a supposedly 74% hydration ratio.  Starters, they're not to be trusted.  ;D 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 02, 2010, 10:24:05 AM
JT,

Thank you for the detailed reply. I am sure that what you have posted will be a good benchmark from which others can try to replicate your results. In the next day or so, I will try to convert your dough formulation to baker's percent format using one of the dough calculating tools. I will also do a version for a larger size pizza.

I have a few questions. First, have you been using warm water to rehydrate the ADY? Second, have you experienced any sticking problems in loading the high-hydration skins into the oven? Third, unless I missed something, I did not see a Reply 125 in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.0.html. Finally, can you control your broiler element in your home oven so that it remains on all of the time, or does a themostat prevent that?

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 11:41:24 AM
JT,

Thank you for the detailed reply. I am sure that what you have posted will be a good benchmark from which others can try to replicate your results. In the next day or so, I will try to convert your dough formulation to baker's percent format using one of the dough calculating tools. I will also do a version for a larger size pizza.

I have a few questions. First, have you been using warm water to rehydrate the ADY? Second, have you experienced any sticking problems in loading the high-hydration skins into the oven? Third, unless I missed something, I did not see a Reply 125 in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.0.html. Finally, can you control your broiler element in your home oven so that it remains on all of the time, or does a themostat prevent that?

Peter

Peter, sorry for the confusion about the link.  I fixed that to show the actual link.  What I meant was the link is provide in reply #125 of this thread. 

Just for clarification, of the 200+ pies I've made, I have hit this benchmark 3 times now.  The first was what I called my perfect pie which i wrote about here.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10826.0.html)
We will call that perfect pie #1.  That one was a JV recipe and technique and baked in the home oven using No broiler technique and no oven hacks or tricks.  Just a straight bake at an oven temp of 500 and a stone temp of 600F?  Also no sugar or oil added to that one.  Hydration ratio was in the high 60's low 70's.  From memory, it was ~300gm and had 15gm starter and 1/2tsp ADY and cold fermented for 2 days.

The above recipe is Perfect Pie #2 which superseded PP#1.  PP#2 was baked in the MBE with the exact formulation & methods posted above.  It was better in appearance and smokiness, but the airy lofty crumb was identical.  The crumb is the goal here.

Almost perfect pie #3 was made using caputo in the home oven using a broiler technique and is can be seen here. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.40.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.40.html).  Again, its an entirely different pie, but similar crumb texture.  It was almost as good as PP#1 and PP#2.

As far as using warm water or rehydrating the yeast.  For the above white pie (PP#2) I used slightly cooled water, put the ADY into the water, add salt, sugar, and oil and stirred maybe 1 min to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Then added 50% flour and proceeded to mix.   So for the recipe above, I'm just gonna say room temp water and hydrate the ADY if you want to.  For anyone using IDY, just measure out a tinsy bit less and dump it in there and mix as I did.  Sorry to make your stomach turn Peter, but that's what I did.   ;D

Excellent question about dough sticking issues.  Absolute none here.  And it's not b/c my dough handling or peel skill is better than anyone else.  When the dough is brought to it's proper consistency (prior to fermentation) there should be no stickiness when handled.  If there is, you need to lightly dust with a bit of bench flour and incorporate it in.  The dough will practically tell when to stop adding flour.  Again, the goal here is to achieve a certain feel to the dough.  The exact hydration ratio is not as important to getting this proper consistency.  But overall, you do need a high hydration ratio for this to work.  Like in the high 60's to low 70's.  For HG flour I use a hydration ratio of about 72-74%.  Next, you need to oil a bowl and set the ball into it.  This oil will help release the doughball after it ferments.  Don't be shy with the oil, you can always blot off the excess oil after the fermented ball comes out of the bowl.  Now once it sits and ferments, it will of course get moist again.  I use plenty of bench flour on top of the dough ball, invert the bowl and let it sit for a min or two.  The ball will fall out of the bowl if you've used enough oil.  The ball should not stick to the bowl and get pulled out.  This is also key here.  You don't want to ruin or disrupt the crumb structure here.  Once the ball is on  you working station, you can blot off any excess oil with a papertowel.  Becareful the papertowel doesn't stick to the ball and cause deformities as you are removing the towel.  Next, generously dust the top of the ball, pick it up and make sure the entire surface had been covered in bench flour.  Now with your hand, sweep the working surface of the excess bench flour and proceed to open the dough.  The dough should open as it normally does, maybe just a bit more elastic feeling. 

Now I KNOW working with a highly hydrated dough is foreign to many members and maybe this recipe isn't for the brand new pizzamaker, but here is what I have learned about handling high hydration dough.  If and when the dough has been kneaded properly you should have minimal sticking issues on the bench or the peel.  Now the same rules apply when using a pizza peel.  You DON'T want a stretch dough skin to sit on the peel for 3-4 mins.  It will stick whether it's low or high hydration dough.  You want to have your oven ready, stretch, sauce, and topp the pie on the peel and load right away. 

As far as using the broiler goes, this pie can be made with or without the broiler technique.  Broiling the rim of the pie really just adds extra color to the rim.   To do this pie in the home oven, just place your stone closer to the heating element to increase it's temp.  Of course the closer you get, the hotter the stone will get.  You need a thermogun to check stone temps.  You want to load this at a stone temp of 650-700F.  That is best.  You also want bake this between 4-6mins.  I know that's a big time difference, but everyone's oven is different and it's impossible for me to give an exact figure to match everyone's oven.  The idea here is to get the dough to bake long enough to get that crunchy/crispy exterior and rim.  The high hydration gives you the moist and puffy rim.
 
If your top broiler is prematurely burning the top of the pie then you need to be creative and use a couple of different techniques.  Perhaps load the pie on a hot stone at 700, turn off the broiler (oven temps should be at least 500F here if it's been preheated for 1 hour).  allow the pie to sit on this hot stone for 2mins? or until the bottom is brown not charred or burnt.  Now move the pie to a different rack and let it sit in the hot oven (keep the dial at 500F) for the remaining 2mins.  If the rim isn't brown enough, then turn broiler on and rim the pie to get the color desired.

Peter to finally answer your question, I can control my broiler meaning that I can turn it on or off but I can't keep it on.  The thermostat will turn it off at some point but it takes awhile for it to cycle off once it's on.   This weekend I will use the above formulation and try to repeat that perfect pie #1 that i did so long ago when I was a just fledgling. 

I hope that helps clear up any confusion. 
JT 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 02, 2010, 02:40:40 PM
JT,

Thanks for the recipe.  I really liked the look of your crust, so we are making up a dough ball to throw tonight.  By we, I mean my wife is making it up - I'm the oven head.  If it doesn't look as good as your's, I'll blame the result on her.

In some ways I feel like I am cheating on my mentor, Dr Bob.  We are casting aside his 435 recipe iterations which got us to this point (no joke).  I would have consulted with Dr Bob but he is off saving lives.  Meanwhile at the forum, we are striving for something much more satisfying - the perfect pizza.

I'm sure many of us appreciate your efforts and your sharing and documenting the results.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 02:56:07 PM
JT,

Thanks for the recipe.  I really liked the look of your crust, so we are making up a dough ball to throw tonight.  By we, I mean my wife is making it up - I'm the oven head.  If it doesn't look as good as your's, I'll blame the result on her.

In some ways I feel like I am cheating on my mentor, Dr Bob.  We are casting aside his 435 recipe iterations which got us to this point (no joke).  I would have consulted with Dr Bob but he is off saving lives.  Meanwhile at the forum, we are striving for something much more satisfying - the perfect pizza.

I'm sure many of us appreciate your efforts and your sharing and documenting the results.

Dave

Dave thank you for your response,  I wish you all the luck.  I hope you will show us pics of your results.  I kid you not, if and when you achieve this crust it will make your head spin.  It's not the recipe, it's not the ingredients, it's not the NY water, it's not having the fancy mixer, not in having the fancy WFO (although I do want one), and it's not the apron effect.   I wish it was but it's not.  It's achievable in the home oven with the ingredients you now have using your own 2 hands.    BUT something strange happens when it all comes together properly.  I did it once many months ago fooling around in the kitchen following Jeff's recipe and technique.  It almost drove me crazy trying to figure it out.  Well I'm already crazy, but it really messed with my head.  I almost could not replicate it to save my life.  I tried so many things in the last 6 months and have only documented half of my illness on these forums.  It's been slowly rearing it's head to me here and there.  And then 2 nights ago I got him cornered.  I fully believe I will be making more and more pies like that very soon.  I wish and hope many ppl will be able to taste the difference soon.  I wouldn't be suprise to hear it made someone crap their pants.  >:D It's that good. 

I think the hardest part of this for people will be achieving proper dough consistency/feel and the high hydration rate.  Unfortunately it's really something that only comes after making so many pies.  After handling and playing with dough.  After taking mental notes of how the dough feels compared to how it bakes up.   

Best wishes,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 02, 2010, 04:58:05 PM
JT,

Based on the information that you provided for the dough for your 11" pizza, I have set forth below two versions of the dough formulation for that size pizza using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html. The first version, which I call the "Before" version, is based on using the full 120 grams of flour. The second version, which I have called the "After" version, is based on using 113 grams of flour, which is the actual amount of flour that you ended up using. Users of the first version might choose to set aside some of the flour in case all of it is not needed. Using either version should produce enough dough to make a 200-gram dough ball but, to be on the safe side, users of the After version may want to use a bowl residue compensation of a few percent and scale back the weight of the dough if it exceeds 200 grams. You will note that the baker's percents for the ingredients other than the flour are different for the two versions because the flour weights are different (120 grams versus 113 grams).

FYI, using a 200-gram dough ball to make an 11" pizza translates to a thickness factor of (200/28.35)/(3.14159 x 5.5 x 5.5) = 0.074234. That is the number that members should enter into the expanded dough calculating tool for other size pizzas. I will give an example below. However, I should mention that a 300-gram dough ball with the same thickness factor will make only a 14 1/4" pizza, not a 15" or 16" pizza.

In the examples presented below, I assumed the use of olive oil. However, the numbers for the olive oil are very similar to those for other types of oils.

"Before" 11" Version
Flour* (100%):
Water (70%):
ADY (0.41666%):
Salt (1.25%):
Olive Oil (2.08333%):
Sugar (2.08333%):
Total (175.83332%):
120 g  |  4.23 oz | 0.26 lbs
84 g  |  2.96 oz | 0.19 lbs
0.5 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.13 tsp | 0.04 tbsp
1.5 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.27 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.56 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.63 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
211 g | 7.44 oz | 0.47 lbs | TF = N/A
*High-gluten or bread flour
Note: Dough is for a single 11" pizza; nominal thickness factor for a 200-gram dough ball for a 11" pizza = 0.074234; no bowl residue compensation

"After" 11" Version
Flour* (100%):
Water (74.3362%):
ADY (0.44248%):
Salt (1.32743%):
Olive Oil (2.21239%):
Sugar (2.21239%):
Total (180.53089%):
113 g  |  3.99 oz | 0.25 lbs
84 g  |  2.96 oz | 0.19 lbs
0.5 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.13 tsp | 0.04 tbsp
1.5 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.27 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.56 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.63 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
204 g | 7.2 oz | 0.45 lbs | TF = N/A
*High-gluten or bread flour
Note: Dough is for a single 11" pizza; nominal thickness factor for a 200-gram dough ball for a 11" pizza = 0.074234; no bowl residue compensation

For a 16" pizza using the same thickness factor as given above, I would use a dough weight of 3.14159 x 8 x 8 x 0.074234 x 28.35 = 423.14. That is close enough to 423 grams (or 14.93 ounces, or about 15 ounces when rounded). I think I would use an "After" set of baker's percents and use a bowl residue compensation of 2%. If the final dough weight is more than 423 grams, then the dough ball can be scaled back to 423 grams.

This is what the dough formulation for the 16" pizza would look like:

16" Version
Flour* (100%):
Water (74.3362%):
ADY (0.44248%):
Salt (1.32743%):
Olive Oil (2.21239%):
Sugar (2.21239%):
Total (180.53089%):
239.08 g  |  8.43 oz | 0.53 lbs
177.72 g  |  6.27 oz | 0.39 lbs
1.06 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.28 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
3.17 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.57 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
5.29 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.18 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
5.29 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.33 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
431.6 g | 15.22 oz | 0.95 lbs | TF = 0.0757187
*High-gluten or bread flour
Note: Dough is for a single 16" pizza; nominal thickness factor = 0.074234: bowl residue compensation = 2%

Of course, as with any dough formulation, there may be some need for minor adjustments. But I believe the above dough formulations should come pretty close to your objectives.

Peter



Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 05:21:09 PM
Peter thank you very much for doing that.  Yes it was olive oil that I used.

Again I want to stress that I don't always use a 74% hydration ratio.  It can change as much as 2% at times and/or more depending on the flour you are using.  For example if using AP flour it maybe around 68%. If using a blend of AP & HG it maybe 72%.  I just go by the feeling of the dough.
Chau
Title: Re: Perhaps I should make hamburgers
Post by: Tampa on July 02, 2010, 07:04:26 PM
Sorry, JT, but my attempt to replicate your crust didn't go well.  Perhaps it is the flour?  We're using Kyrol, HG.  Everything else was per your writeup.  We made a 300g dough ball, used a 3 hour rise (80F & 65% humidity), threw the pie at 700F, cooked for a little under 5 minutes and the results are the first two pictures below.  I'd guess we got about 1" of spring around the rim, compared to our normal 2" spring.

The finished dough tasted a lot like the large pretzels sold around here (w/o salt).  I cooked at 700F because our usual dough tends to burn at 725F.  This formulation had a little less spotting on the bottom than I would have expected, so I could have upped the temp a bit Ė but I donít think that would have doubled the spring.

Keep in mind that we usually make a Mellow Mushroom pie, complete with a smidgen of molasses in the dough plus light garlic butter and parm around the rim.  The third picture below is what we were trying to best.

It was a fun experiment b/c everything was so different from our usual dough (Kitchenaid mixer 12-15 minutes, 3 hour bench rise, 58% hydration, 2 day fridge, etc.)

Comments welcome.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 08:00:19 PM
No worries Dave, recipes rarely work for me on the first try.  Thanks for trying the recipe and thanks for posting your results, I really appreciate it.

It may be the Kyrol flour, I don't know if its comparable to a BF or if its got other things in it.  One thing I forgot to mention is that my room temp is around 76f.  What is your room temp?  Did you get any rise during fermentation or baking?  Remember you'll want to see about a 75% rise in the dough before using it. If your room temp is 72f, you may try adding an extra hour to the proofing time or base the proofing time on the rise of the dough.  Also when opening the dough, be sure to be gentle. Do not manhandle the dough or roll it out.
 
That's all I can think of that would affect the rise. Either those things I mentioned or the yeast you use could be bad.  How much yeast do you normally use for your regular recipe and how much rise do you usually get?

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 02, 2010, 08:20:50 PM
Whoops Dave, I was posting via my iPhone with kids crying around so I missed some of the info you posted. Sounds like it could be humidity, I'm not sure. Also I'm at high altitudes so you may need to up the yeast.  The high altitude is suppose to aid in rise when baking although to be honest I don't know if I've notice that.   Again, how much yeast do you normally use vs how much rise do you normally get?  I would be interested in comparing it to the results you got with my recipe.  To get a bigger rise you may even double up the yeast if you're interested in experimenting or trying again 

Just curious, but did you adjust the yeast amount for 300gm doughball?

I haven't baked in the home oven for some time since making the MBE.  Tomorrow I will repeat the experiment and bake with both the home oven and the MBE.  Hopefully I didn't release the method and recipe too soon and this perfect pie continues to elude me.  ::)  I'll post up results tomorrow either way. 

Thx,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 03, 2010, 09:16:29 AM
JT,

I can answer a few questions off the top.

I figured your room temp and humidity is substantially different from ours.  Iím in Tampa and am a bit of a tree hugger guy, so we minimize energy use.  The room temp is 82-83F (you get use to it), and humidity is 60-65 ish.

We got the 75% rise, no problem Ė probably about 2 hours after kneading Ė but that shouldnít ďburn outĒ the yeast, IMO.

We did a linear adjustment for the 200gm doughball of each ingredient.  For your method, we went from 1/8 tsp to ~3/16 tsp in our 300gm dough.  Our usual formula is ~3/8 tsp for the same size ball.  So I guess we generally use about 2x the amount of ďsaf-instantĒ brand IDY.

No problem w/ the iPhone & kids first reply Ė although be careful how you hold it (the phone, not the kids) and Steve says to check the signal bars.  Smile.

It will be several days before we can run another test.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 10:29:46 AM
Thanks for the input.  You always have me laughing.  I forgot to say (in the midst of kids going crazy) yesterday that the pie does look pretty decent.  It wasn't a complete disaster or anything.  Not as lofty as mine, but that's ok.  I believe we can fix that.   If you are interested in repeating the experiment, I would double up the yeast to match your other formula and you should get the same amount of crust rise.

As far as environmental effects go.  I live in Albuquerque, NM at ~5000 ft and zero humidity.   I dont know how humidity affects oven spring, but I suspect that it does affect hydration ratio's quite a bit.  I'm interested to see your current recipe and how it compares to mine.  I'm also interested in your comparison of the 2 crust.  Was the  pie you made yesterday drastically different and in what way.  Was the crumb too moist or wet?  b/c of our humidity and altitude differences, I would also reduce your hydration ratio down to maybe 68%.  I suspect it is still higher than your current favored recipe so with the same amount of yeast you can get a feel for the difference in oven spring between the 2.  Otherwise  I would bet the 2 recipes are not that far apart.  Most pizza recipes are basically the same.   The main point I wanted folks to get from my lengthy posts, is that you can get a lofty airy moist crumb by simply increasing your hydration ratio, baking at a higher temp for around 4-5 min or so.   You can even do that using your favored recipe and not mine.  Again, the magic is not in any particular recipe. 

I am repeating my quest for perfection this morning and will post results this afternoon.  Base on the feeling of the dough of my last perfect pie, I stop kneading at about the same dough consistency/texture and calculated a HR of 75%.  This doesn't mean that this is the HR for everyone.  Again, it can change with using a different flour or a blend of flours.  I'm making 2 pies.  One I will bake in the home oven and one in the MBE.  I hope to have success again. 

Cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 03, 2010, 11:02:02 AM
Chau Chau Tran,

I can't personally speak to the issue of elevation and its effects on dough but I think you will find that humidity is usually not a villain, as I discussed recently at Reply 405 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1911.msg101362/topicseen.html#msg101362.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 11:33:53 AM
Peter, thanks for the post.  I'll read it through later.  I suspected that humidity plays a nominal role in oven spring if any but rather I believe it does affect hydration ratios.  It's makes sense that at high altitude and a low humidity environment, that the longer my dough sits out on the counter the more moisture it loses.  How much I don't know.  What % to scale back on the hydration ratio, I haven't a clue.  I also suspect this may also be one of the reasons I'm not a fan of cold ferments. 

But I suspect that I can make the same consistency in dough/crumb whether I'm at sea level or 5000 feet up, whether I'm in a green house or in a desert.  The reason again is that I'm making dough base on the feeling of the dough associated with a specific ideal crumb structure.  The % of water added will always vary according to flour use, but now I'm realizing that it will also vary according to the envirnoment the dough is made.  I've read somewhere that the italian masters will vary the % of water used based on the weather of the day baking.  If this is true, this pie may be even harder for others to accomplish (myself included).

Now I've read that baking at high altitudes, one needs to scale back the yeast a bit and expect a bigger oven rise.  This may cause a potential greater difference in my results compared to others than I realize. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 03, 2010, 11:42:41 AM
I've read somewhere that the italian masters will vary the % of water used based on the weather of the day baking.

JT,

Actually, the Italians, at least in Naples, fix the amount of water and vary the amount of flour on the basis of the season and maybe even day to day. The baker's percents are given with respect to the weight of water rather than the weight of flour as is done in the U.S.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 11:44:36 AM
JT,

Actually, the Italians, at least in Naples, fix the amount of water and vary the amount of flour on the basis of the season and maybe even day to day. The baker's percents are given with respect to the weight of water rather than the weight of flour as is done in the U.S.

Peter

Peter, do you think or know if they are doing this with a calculator and some formula in the kitchen or is it done by feel of the dough?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 03, 2010, 12:26:50 PM
Thanks for taking humidity off the table Pete-zza.  If you have suggestions why my results were so different from JTís please share.  Iíve always been mindful to read your posts twice since learning a little about your contributions from Peter Taylor a few months back.

JT, Iím still intrigued by your success with a ďsame day doughĒ.  Norma seems to be getting an amazing spring as well.  Iíll give it another go in several days.  Iím all doughed up over here and am starting to resemble a manatee.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on July 03, 2010, 02:37:23 PM
Peter, do you think or know if they are doing this with a calculator and some formula in the kitchen or is it done by feel of the dough?

Tran,

As Marco (pizzanapoletana) mentioned in Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10507.msg93074/topicseen.html#msg93074 and at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3871.msg33351/topicseen.html#msg33351, it is the water and salt that are weighed, and perhaps the yeast. Also, since Marco specifies using a natural starter of up to 5% of the water weight, presumably he weighs that also. With Neapolitan doughs, there is no oil or sugar to contend with.

With respect to baker's percents, as Marco notes at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4636.msg39181/topicseen.html#msg39181, ingredients in Naples are measured with respect to the weight of water. I use baker's percents even for Neapolitan style doughs. It is the only way I know how to easily and quickly scale a dough recipe up or down to make any number of pizzas of different sizes and shapes.

But, generally speaking, in Naples, once the water and salt and any other ingredients are measured out, and an unspecified but ample amount of flour is set aside to work with, the flour is added and adjusted by feel of the dough, based on the day and season and any other factors that are likely to affect the dough. I remember this point well because Marco once chided me for some comments I made with respect to a member who just "threw things together in a bowl" rather than using more accurate measurements.  His post on that topic is at Reply 288 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg17980/topicseen.html#msg17980. See, also, my Reply 289 in response to Marco's post.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 02:43:11 PM
Excellent - thank you for the info Peter.  That's close to how I've been doing things.  Measure water and other ingredients but adding in the flour until the proper dough state is achieved.  I'm right in line with my pizza making  goals.

Perfect Pizza Update - So today's experiment was really important to me b/c it would answer several looming questions and hopefully verify some of the key elements I posted earlier.

I baked up 2 pies using the above posted recipe, one in the home oven using a straight bake (no broiler shenanigans) and the 2nd in the MBE.

A few looming questions.  

1) with my slowly acquire knowledge of pizza, could I recreate PP#1 made months ago in the home oven.
2) Could I recreate PP#2 made 2 nights ago that was so great!
3) does temp really have that big of an effect on oven spring.  

So did I achieve my goals today???  Yes and No, I'll explain more in the posts to follow.

Here are the pics of the pizzas from todays bake.
1) straight bake in the oven on Firebrick.  Preheated oven for 1 hour and then ran broiler on for 15min.  Pie was loaded when the broiler cycled off and the hearth temp was 650F.  Pie baked for 3.5min and turned 1/4 turn 2 times during the bake.  

2) baked in MBE at hearth temp of 750F+ for 1.5min and then had to be finished under the home oven broiler.  

I'll talk about each pie individually along with additional pictures, notes, and afterthoughts.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:02:00 PM
Ok for today's first pie.  Both pies were made from the same batch using the above recipe posted.  The minor change was that I cut the sugar in half based on getting too much rim charring on the pie posted 2-3 days ago. 

First off, it's been awhile since I baked in the home oven but that didn't matter since i was trying to recreate PP#1.   I opted to bake on firebricks instead of using my ceramic glazed Primo Pizza stone that PP#1 was baked on b/c firebrick is more porous than the glazed stone and I thought it would absorb more moisture from the bottom crust giving me a crispier result on the bottom.

Again, the oven was preheated for 1 hour and then the broiler ran for 15m.  The pie was loaded once the broiler cycled off and the hearth temp was right at 650.  I loaded the pie and it was turned 1/4 turn 2 times towards the end of a 3.5min bake.   It had a decent amount of puff to the rim but nothing like my MBE bakes.  The rim was crunchy the way I like and the crumb was moist and tender.   The bottom was not as crispy as I like (or like PP#1) so I  turned the oven off and let the pie sit an additional minute on the stone and it did crisp up a bit more. 

Was it as good as PP#1 and why or why not?  Answer is no. It was close but lacking the same crispiness to the bottom and the rim was not quite as airy or lofty.   This was due to 2 differences, one being the stone and bake time.  The primo stone gets hotter than firebrick and transfers it's heat better.  This pie was bake at 3.5m compared to the PP#1 which was more like 5-6min.  I had to pull this one at 3.5 min b/c it was getting too dark.  It got dark faster than PP#1 b/c this one dough had sugar in the formulation, baked 2 racks above higher towards the top broiler (d/t using a different stone), possibly slightly overfermented, and lacked the stretch and folds I use to trap big airbubbles.

Despite it's shortcomings, this is one of my better pies made in the home oven.  The taste was fantastic and the crumb was pretty good.  Not perfect but pretty good. 

I say possibly slight overfermented b/c I let the dough double instead of rising only 75%.  It's not clear to me whether this dough did indeed get a little pass prime but it is much more clear on the MBE baked pie.  I'll explain later.  The dough was made at 7am and this pie baked at 11am.  So that's 4 hours start  to finish compared to PP#3 done 2 nights ago with a very similar recipe but baked 3.5 hours after the yeast entered the water.   Another different thing I did today was to use water that was 85F instead of cool water which I used 2 nights ago. 

If you look at the picture of the dough in the bowls, it's clear that it has at least doubled.  If you compare pics of the uncooked dough with PP#1 you can see what I am talking about when I refer to the big airbubbles created by using stretch and folds during the dough making process.   

Next time I do a home oven bake test, I will make sure all the oven setup/stone variables are the same as PP#1 made months ago.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:04:43 PM
Here are the crumb shots of todays Pie #1.  To be fair I show the crumb where there are airbubbles vs not. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:10:14 PM
Here are old pics of PP#1 accidentally discovered months ago.  The pictures show the difference in the airbubbles present before the pie is even baked.  That is created by using stretch and folds.  It equates to a bigger and puffier rim.   I can explain more in detail later if anyone really wants to know. 

Another way to get a puffier rim is to increase the baking temps.  I'll show this later in pie #2 from today's bake. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:22:49 PM
OK now on to Pie #2 from todays bake.  It's a white garlic pie.  I'm definitely addicted to these now.  Again, same formulation and batch as above pie but bake in the MBE at a hearth temp of 750 ish.  Hard to say exactly the hearth temps b/c as I scan with my thermo gun through the lid across the stone i get varying temps, so I can only mentally average them out.  It's about 750 in the very center and higher near the edges.

Another difference b/t this and the first pie is that this was stretched and baked at around 1130am so it got an additional 30min of proofing time.  Total time from when the yeast hits the water to bake on this is 4.5hrs.  That's a whole extra hour compare to PP#2 posted several days ago. 

I'm pointing this out b/c it's significant.  This pie was loaded at a hearth temp of 750 but yet the bottom was charring already at 1 min and 30secs.   My first every successful MBE bake, that pie went on at a hearth temp of 720 and lasted 4 minutes without burning like this.  PP#2 made 2 days ago, lasted around 3 min. and it had 2x the amount of sugar to it.  So IMO, the dough seems slightly overfermented.  This is inline with it doubling it's size during the proof compared to the doughball from PP#3 2 days ago (which rose about 75%).  This confirms window of usability of a dough dependant on yeast amount. 

Folks this is the really tough part about getting it ALL right.  You must balance length of fermentation vs amount of yeast used, bake times and temps, along with sugar in the dough (of using any).  If one thing is off, you don't get the maximum spring or you get an uneven bake.  And this balancing/juggling act gets even tougher when dealing with the higher temps (700+).  But without that high temp, the magical spring goes away. 

The weight of the doughball came out to be about 193 gm instead of 199gm but still puffed up big time.  The oven spring on this is slightly better than PP#2, but b/c I had to pull it only after 1.5m, it was not as crunchy as PP#2.  I also had to finish him off with the oven broiler to get a nice look to him. 

Again was he as good as PP#2 and why?  No b/c he lacked the crunchiness.  Despite his charred look, his rim was very soft like a neopolitan pie?  Crumb texture was good and it was good all the way through.  No gumminees, so this tells me it's possible to cook a pie in 1.5m without any gumminess but it depends on the thickness factor as well.   This is a pretty thin pie with a very aerated rim. 

So aerate you can see my finger through the crust on the last pic. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:27:32 PM
So here is a pic of P#2 dressed with a bit of basil and some crumb shots of Pie #2.  As you can see a 100F difference from the home oven to the MBE makes a huge difference in oven spring and aeration of the rim.  If you like aerated rims as I do, it's a big deal.  If you don't then it isn't. 

You can also see the difference an extra hour of fermentation makes on a pie cooking at high temps.  So my sweet spot in the MBE maybe 700-725F, and definitely don't overproof the dough.  75-80% dough rise after proofing is ideal. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 03:33:10 PM
So to wrap it up.  Did I make perfect pies today?  No but the bake was a big success.  I got very close and know exactly how to fix the few hiccups I had today.  The important thing to me here is that both textures were very good.  Cooked all the way through, moist and tender, with a bit of chew.  Not dry and not too chewy or leathery.  My perfect pies are definitely reproducible.  The 2nd pie would have been just about there had I not let it overproofed.  A bake of around 3 min would have given me that crusty exterior that I like.

Another important thing to me is that the (overcharred) bottom is evenly baked.  That means I have now worked out the right amount of sand to put into the difusser bowl below the stone.   It also confirms the importance of the presence of that difusser bowl which Villa Roma figured out long ago. 

BTW, that 2nd pie was stretched out to 12" and ended up 11" post bake.  I'm not sure but I think my pies are shrinking up to an 1" during the bake?  ???  Either way, landing an 11"-12" thin pie on a 12" stone is not easy either.  >:D

JT. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 03, 2010, 03:40:40 PM
Jackie Tran,

Thanks for sharing your experiments and all you go though to create your pizzas.  :)  I look forward to each bake you do and what kind of results you will achieve.  You had some very interesting observations today.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 03, 2010, 05:17:36 PM
Your welcome Norma.  Thanks for always having positive things to say.   :D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 03, 2010, 05:22:37 PM
Chau, firebricks take a LOT longer than an hour to preheat in a home oven.  I know it's summer and the last thing you want to do is have your oven on for 1.5-2 hours, but if you want a proper pre-heat on firebrick, that's what you have to do.

How close are the firebricks to the broiler element?  The closer the better.   If you do a 1.5 hour preheat and can get the firebricks within 4" of the broiler and give that a solid 15 minutes with the broiler at full blast (and the door open so the broiler doesn't turn off), I think you should get a lot closer to an MBE pie in your home oven.

You seem to be doing okay with a stone with hot spots, but, if it were me, for peace of mind, I would probably take the stone to 750 and then put the cover on and let the heat even out a bit.

Three theories:

1. Elevation accelerates fermentation- perhaps with less atmospheric pressure, yeast are able to create CO2 faster... or something to that effect. Try scaling back the yeast. I'd like to see you try a yeast quantity that will give you 75% growth in 6 hours.

2. Yeast work twice as fast in an aerobic environment.  More air = more active yeast. Folding is a proven method for adding air to dough.  Try one without folding.

3. Malted barley flour not only is primarily sugar, but it contains enzymes that convert the damaged starch in wheat flour to sugar.  I get the feeling that the Sams HG flour could be heavily malted.  I can't believe I'm recommending this, but I think it's time to try a blend again :)  50/50 sams/caputo.

And stick to cool water.  If room temp starts getting toasty, add ice- just be careful that the ice is chopped fine enough so that you don't end up with any pieces in the dough.


Oh, one last thing- I'd like to start seeing post bake stone temps.  I get the feeling that with your fast preheat, the bottom of your bricks is way hotter than the top, so that as you bake your pizza, the heat is traveling from the bottom to the top of the stone and burning your pie. You really want a 750 deg. brick that's pretty much 750 degree throughout and that, after it's given a bit of it's stored heat to the pizza, ends up in the 700 range.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 04, 2010, 12:17:42 PM
Scott, as always I really appreciate all your expertise and knowledge.

I'd be happy to fire the oven for a couple hours for an experiment.  For this particular experiment the FBs were 7" from the top broiler/heating element.  I'm pretty sure I don't get much if any heat coming out the bottom of my oven.   I know that  I can get the surface temps of those FBs upwards up to 850+ if I had them closer to the brioler.  That would consitute a broiler technique.   For this particular test I was try to replicate PP#1 and going for a straight bake without using broiler shenanigans.  Since PP#1 (from months ago) was a straight bake on a difference stone 9.5" away from the broiler, I adjusted the height/gap difference to compensate for the FBs poor conductivity.

At this point, I have little need to bake in the home oven.  The only reason I may continue to do so is to show the home audience it can be done.  And I guess it's another challenge.  I'm happy making pizzas with the MBE for the time being. 

But you have sparked a question in my mind now.  Is it possible for me to get a comparable quality pie in the home oven as the MBE using broiler techniques?  As you recall I had made up my mind that the MBE was a superior pizza oven compared to the home oven.  By comparable, i would have to get almost as much oven spring, same crispy rim, moist airy lofty interior, and crispy bottom.   [email protected] Scott, as I'm typing this the challenge of it is rooting into my brain. 

MBE bakes: 
Heating up the FBs:  The way I have been heating up the FB hearth in the MBE is to pretty much open up the burner and full out blast them (with the cover on).  As it is, it takes about 20-25min to reach 750F.  The edges give a higher temp reading.  Now that's just the surface temps.  I don't know what the true core temps are but with the diffuser in place and a 1" air gap between the stone and diffuser bowl, the center of the stone is being heated by hot air so I assume the temp readings are reflective of it's core temps as well.

If I take the cover off for the heat up, it may take significantly longer to reach desired temps.  One of the reasons is that I have much of the heat diverted by the diffuser bowl towards the perimeter.  With the lid off, the hot air would just shoot past the edge of the stone.  I'm somewhat dependant on that heat/hot air being circulated back towards hearth by the lid for the heat up. 

What I can do is take the hearth upto 750 with the lid on, turn down heat (and maybe even remove the lid), let the hearth come down to 720 ish, load pie (lid back on), crank the heat up again.  Hmmm, might work.  Will need to do some more experimenting.  But this part is just for fine tuning now that I have the crust down.

Post bake temps: I can definitely start monitoring those.

3 Theories:
1) I have no idea either on the effects of high elevation on the activities of yeast.  It would be interesting to know more if in fact things are quite different in my kitchen compared bakes at sea level.  Either way there should be an easy adjustment.  At higher altitudes there is less air up here.  I think the altitude (lower air pressure) explains the dramatic spring I get though.  Its sort of the same effect of getting bigger spring in a thinner stretched dough (I think).  There's less weight for the yeast to lift up or there's less weight weighing down or negating the effects of the yeast.  Of course anyone at sea level can duplicate the spring by increasing the yeast amount but that would shorten their proof times proportionately. 

I can definitely scale back the yeast for a 6 hour ferment.  Are you thinking of a commercial type setting/scenario?

2)The last 4 pies or so I've made, I have not used any stretch and folds to trap air.  With the PP#2 made 3 days ago, I  got huge spring and airbubbles without the stretch and folds.  So I've now learn that I really only need to do that for a lower temp bake and if I want to see those huge air pockets. 
The stretch and folds (as I have found out) is a peculiar technique.  If done early in the kneading process when the dough is wet, it seems to have very little effect towards trapping big air bubbles.  If done later during the proofing stage once gluten strands have set up, the folds traps air pockets.  B/c the gluten matrix has set up, the air isn't absorbed back into the dough.  During the stretching and skinning stage, that air can be easily pressed towards the rim and creates these huge voids in the rim.  But if too many stretch and folds are done, the dough can become very tough to open and the crumb is very leathery.  It's like tangling hair into a ball.  I can take advantage of a few tangled strangles of gluten, but if tangled too much, it becomes a tangled mess.  Anyways I've been doing experiments with and without the stretch and folds to get a better understanding of what it does and how to use it.  My latest pies don't have it. 

Another effect that I've notice with stretch and folds (creating tangles in the gluten matrix and thereby strenthening the matrix structure) is that it will tent up the air bubbles thus creating a faux oven spring.  Looked at pics I posted of PP#1 made months ago.  It was baked at a stone temp of 600 ish but yet the puff was amazing like when I bake in the MBE at 750 ish. 

3) no problem on the blend.  Just b/c I found my perfect crust doesn't mean I'm done experimenting.  I know I said I'd dump all my starters BUT it goes against my nature to know and to learn.  One of my next few goals is to learn how to duplicate that crust with any blend or type of flour.  Well maybe duplicating maybe impossible but to get as close as I can.  To bring about the best pizza possible with a given set of ingredients.  Make something phenomenal out of average ingredients.  This will make me more versatile as a pizza maker. 

Yes I think I'll be sticking to the cool water and not mess around with warm water or rehydrating yeast.  Well I can but just need to cut back on the amount.  It seems like either I'm using extra strenth yeast or the high altitude is making that much of a difference. 

Scott, I'm always amazed that though my posts are rather lengthy, you do actually read them and pay close attention to the details.  I do try to provide as much detail as possible so that I can go back and know what I did.  I'm amazed that you are always able to help me on a very specific level.  You go where most people don't even bother or dare.  It's not easy sticking your neck out for the benefit of others and you do it on a daily basis.  The advice you have given me has been invaluable.   You deserve much credit. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 04, 2010, 08:30:38 PM
OK so I'm baking again tonight.   To keep tonight's experiment(s) interesting, I will be testing several variables again.  They shouldn't interfere with one another though.   I've cut the yeast down by 1/2 hoping the dough will last 5-6 hours.  I'll also bake one up in the oven using a broiler technique this time.  I'm shooting for a oven hearth temp of 750 and a 4 min bake.  I plan to preheat the oven for an hour and then run the broiler with the FBs very close to the broiler (3" ?) until I achieve a hearth temp of 750+.  I'll turn the temps down to shut off the broiler and load the pie hoping to get some big spring.  After a couple of minutes, I'll transfer the pie to a less hot stone underneath and let the pie bake for another couple of mins.  Will finish the pie by rimming it against the broiler for color if needed.

As far as the MBE bake goes, I'll try to heat the FBs up slowly rather than quickly as I've done before and see what happens.  I'll also load it at a lower temp this time around 700-720.  I'm not sure temp readings in the MBE are reliable though.  I'll see if I can  remember to take post bake temps as well.

The other things I've done different for this bake as far as the dough goes is to cut the sugar out completely.  I've also cut down the rest times so the dough only took 20 mins to make from start to finish.  Autolyse and the 2nd rest period have been decrease to 5min each instead of 10 or longer. 

Will post results later. 
JT
 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Bobino414 on July 05, 2010, 02:49:39 AM

JT

I have been following your quest to recreate PP#1.  One theme that keeps re-occuring is your desire to bake at very high temps so that you can get the desirable puff while at the same time a longer bake to achieve your desired crispiness.  This is a difficult balance with your present dough recipe and dough handling.  On your last post you stated you want to do a bake at 750 and another 700-720.  Why?
I have monkeyed around with temps from 550 to 850 because when I started on my pizza journey it seemed that baking a pie at 800-900 degrees for 2 minutes was cool  :-D.  Your style of pie seems similar to mine so for what it is worth my PP#1 (experiment #391)was baked at 640.  Why? I don't know it just happened.  I sure wish I could make that one again, but I'm not giving up.  Yet for what it is worth I have seen some great looking pies on this site that were baked at 500-550 in a home oven.
So I wonder with HG flour if you have a reasonably achievable goal at these temps.  I hope your quest is not as long as mine to consistently duplicate PP#1.
It's almost 3 A.M. and all I can think about is PP#1 so I guess I'll get busy with exp. #441.

Best of luck

Bob
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 05, 2010, 03:19:19 AM
Hey Bob, it's 1:14am here and I can't sleep for some reason. I realize I woke up b/c I've been dreaming about baking pizza. Sick huh?  I ended up not baking last night. I was pretty tired and ended up lighting fireworks with the kids so I  put the doughballs in the fridge after 3 hours of fermentation.  I was shooting for a room ferment time of 5-6 hours so I'll just continue this morning and hope all is well.

Anywho, it's good to know there are others searching for their PP#1 eventhough it might be different from mine.  It tells me that there is such a bigfoot and I'm not the only one to have seen him.  I started that thread (that perfect yet elusive perfect pizza)  awhile back and got very few responses.  I don't think many ppl could relate to what I was talking about.  It's really about getting a perfect crust, whatever that means to you.  And since you have made a PP, I would love to see pictures of it and your own description of what a perfect crust means to you.  Can you please provide a link or some pictures of it?  Thanks

And when I say "perfect" pie, I'm really not talking about a pizza that you just really enjoy making and eating.  Well maybe I am, but I'm referring to making that crust that is just right in every sense of the word and elevates you into pizza heaven.  It's a type of crust that is so full of mystery.  The one that you only achieve once, and then it eludes you but makes little logical sense considering you use the same ingredients, same dough technique, same oven, everything is the same (or so you think).  All your pies are predictable but yet this one is different.  The difference may even seem subtle to loved ones but you know it's different b/c it haywires the circuitry in your brain.  It makes your eyeballs roll into the back of your head.   Bob, from your post I can tell that you had the same experience and know what I'm talking about here. 

To answer your question, I'm talking about baking at 2 different temps (720 and 750+) b/c I'm talking about 2 different types of oven bakes.  720-ish is referring to the MBE bake.  For some reason that seems to be the sweet spot in my MBE.  Above that and pies seem to want to burn prematurely.  I have mentioned a few times I feel that temp readings maybe unreliable in the MBE.  When I scan surface of the stone I can get a wide variation in reading and I have no choice but to take an "average" of all the temps.  This # is also usually the same as going with the temp reading from the very center of the stone.  The stone is heated mostly from heat coming up and around the edge of the stone AND hot air coming up from below through the sand of the diffuser bowl.

The other oven temp of 750 is in reference to baking in the home oven.  So why even screw around with the home oven.  Well it's for the challenge of it.  750 is really my attempt at getting the biggest puff in the home oven that I can.  I plan on letting the pie sit on a 750F stone for 2 mins and then putting him on a rack below the stone to give him time to crisp up.  This is what I consider not a straight bake.  Meaning you pop it in the oven, close the door, maybe rotate the pie once or twice, and remove when done.  This particular bake will use oven "tricks" and broiler tactics, and such.  It's not your traditional straight bake.

So why all the tricks, plus a 750F hearth temp on a different stone and not a straight bake like PP#1 (which consequently was baked at a stone temp of 600F? and baked around maybe 5min - like your PP)?  My PP#1 was made during a time I didn't really know much about pizza making and I was experimenting with a lot more variables than today at one time.  It was very unique in it's dough handling method, oven setup, stone temps, bake time, etc.  I was for a long time (until recently) trying to achieve that particular perfect crust and crumb texture and not necessarily trying to duplicate every detail involving that pie.  Maybe if I did I would have found him long ago.  But if I had duplicated him in that manner, that would be the only way I would know how to make that perfect pizza.  I would have limited myself to just that brand of flour, just that particular stone or oven, etc.  Instead I'm on a 2 fold quest.  Learn now to make my perfect pizza under different circumstances using different ovens, flours, etc.  and also become a versatile pizza maker in the process.  Intimately understanding ingredients, different ovens, heat, yeast, the science behind it all.  That to me is true pizza greatness. 

As it is, I have been able to duplicate that "perfect" crust under conditions not identical to PP#1.  I have chosen the more difficult route first and have reached the same destination.  I could have and maybe should have taken the easy route first and then varied things up later.   That would have been the more logical progression of doing things, but I have been known to do things the hard way. 

Along my journey I did take a break from the PP quest and ventured into Nearlypolitan land (800F under 2 min bake) like yourself b/c i too think those pies are stinkin' cool to look at and like the challenge of it.  So after months of fooling around I did end up achieving that type of bake but didn't care for the taste as much as my PP.  In the end I did extend my journey longer than it needed to be, but I wouldn't have changed anything about it.  And to be honest, I'm not done learning.  I'm really just a beginner and starting out.  Hopefully I won't ever be done learning really. 

Your style of pie seems similar to mine so for what it is worth my PP#1 (experiment #391)was baked at 640.  Why? I don't know it just happened.  I sure wish I could make that one again, but I'm not giving up.  Yet for what it is worth I have seen some great looking pies on this site that were baked at 500-550 in a home oven.
So I wonder with HG flour if you have a reasonably achievable goal at these temps.  I hope your quest is not as long as mine to consistently duplicate PP#1.


My PP#1 was also around 600ish stone temp (oven temp was 500).  I don't know the exact temps as I didn't own a thermogun then but do now so maybe tomorrow I'll recreate that exact scenario and take temp readings to see what it truely was.  But again, if you look at the pics i have provide, that particular pie was only as aerated and lofty as it was b/c I had introduce some BIG air bubbles into the rim prior to even baking using a stretch and fold technique (see reply #168 above).  The picture shows the bubbles were already in the rim before the pie even started baking.  The baking process just expanded them.   Without folding/trapping those air bubbles in via stretch and fold techniques, I have not been able to get such a dramatic rise in the rim at temps of 600.  I have also shown the difference in crust spring when the temps are 100F higher in the MBE compared to the home oven. So a higher temp does indeed have a big impact on oven spring.  Tomorrow I will re-experiment with 2 different HOME oven setups which will hopefully provide me with some more answers.   

As far as seeing great pics on the site goes, I too have seen many beautiful looking pies baked at lower temps for much longer.  But to pursue perfection we have to be overly critical.  Great looking doesn't always equate to perfect texture.  If you look around there aren't many members showing off pictures of their crumb.  The crumb shot is more revealing of the texture than just a picture of a pizza.  I can  take mutliple pictures of the same pizza and some pictures will make the pie look more appetizing than it is.  I can then just post that picture and never show the burnt bottom or the dry and leathery texture if any.  Then hope some members say, yeah JT that pie looks great, great job.  BUT what have I accomplished then? Nothing.  I have deluded myself with a few compliments and not achieved anything worthwhile.  That's not where I'm trying to get to.   Having said that, If ppl are happy with their pies, then who is anyone to say they have achieve perfection or not?   Certainly I don't want to be that judge.   We're all here just b/c we enjoy making and eating pizza and hopefully can improve our skill if we so choose.  Having fun while were at it is a plus.  Perfection is for those who have the time and inclination.  Pizza is not and should not be a priority for most of us part-time hobbyists. 

Anyways, I have again rambled on long enough and hopefully haven't stepped on anyone's toes.  Just trying to keep it real.  I hope to see some pictures of your stuff soon and hope to hear your description of perfection.  Until then, thanks for the response and cheers.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 05, 2010, 09:59:32 PM
So the oven bake this morning produced a less than impressive pie today, I decided to bake the 2nd pie in the MBE instead of doing a different oven setup.  The 2nd one definitely had more oven spring but both pies were mediocre IMO.  I'm gonna blame it on the cold ferment.  I just don't like my dough as much when it's been cold fermented for some reason.   ???

I'll post again as soon as I can get some decent bakes going. 

Scott, I forgot to mention that I did preheat the FBs for 2 hours taking temps every 15m or so. The FBs were about 3" from the top broiler. The temp was set on 500f and the FBs reached peak temps after 1 hour and read 850f. After that the broiler would cycle off and on with hearth temps ranging b/t 750-830 depending on if the top burner was going or not.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 10, 2010, 04:41:56 PM
Just posted this pie in another thread but thought I would here as well and include some details specific to baking in the MBE. 

This pie is made with 100% All Trumps High Gluten bleached and bromated flour using a very similar recipe to the one posted in this thread, reply #146.  I omitted the sugar and the ADY was decreased .3% for a 6 hour room temp ferment.  It ended up receiving about 5 hours of room temp proofing with 8 hours of cold fermentation.  I also increase the thickness factor and decrease the hydration ratio to 69%.  This was a 220gm doughball stretched out to 11" so it is a bit thicker than what the recipe will make.  Bake at a hearth temp of 700F for about 3 mins.  It had great oven spring and tasted pretty good overall. 

I'm learning that in my MBE, I definitely need to turn the pie a 1/4 turn on the 1min mark, after another 45 sec, and then another 30 sec, and one last turn to finish to achieve an even coloration of the rim with minimal burn spots. 

Scott, as far as post bake temps go, I've been tracking it and have been seeing around a 50F drop from the initial loading temps.  So if I load at 700, after 3 min, the temps reading is typically around 650.  Takes only 3-4 mins to come up back to baking temps while I stretch out the 2nd skin. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 10, 2010, 05:46:53 PM
Jackie Tran,

That looks like one delicious pie to me.  ;D  I like your airy rim. Nice job!

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 10, 2010, 09:08:12 PM
Hi Norma.  Thanks for the nice words.  Overall I was happy with the bake as it confirmed several things for me.  This is a good lookin' pie but not my best tasting as it was a little on the doughy side.  Although not bad since it was my first time using All trumps, not following any specific recipe, and making the dough by feel.  I attribute the doughiness to the All Trumps flour as others on the board have posted before.   

As I progress in my pizza making, I am definitely getting pickier.  I guess it's just my nature. 
I did enjoy the big crunch this flour provided as well as the big voids.  They're always fun to look at. 

Cheers,
JT
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 10, 2010, 09:18:14 PM
Hmmm... a 50 degree drop in temp.  Yes, that's pretty normal.  I was kind of hoping for something a little out of the ordinary.

In terms of your pre-heat, are you cranking the bottom burner until the stone hits 700 and then pretty soon after that launching the pie (within a minute or two), or are you letting the egg rest for a while with the burner off before launching the pie?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 10, 2010, 09:27:28 PM
Jackie Tran,

I have used All Trumps and Kyrol before and really liked them.  The only reason I changed to KASL was because I wanted to get away from bromated flours.  I had some pies with nice oven spring and generally really like the All Trumps and Kyrol. I especially like their ability to brown on the rim, more than KASL. I am still using Kyrol to experiment with.  It does have good handling properties in my opinion.  I never tried a really high hydration dough with them though. I never tried the Samís Club High-Gluten though and might have to get a bag sometime and try it out to see how it performs.

Best of luck in trying out your new flour,

Norma 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 11, 2010, 01:28:42 PM
Hmmm... a 50 degree drop in temp.  Yes, that's pretty normal.  I was kind of hoping for something a little out of the ordinary.

In terms of your pre-heat, are you cranking the bottom burner until the stone hits 700 and then pretty soon after that launching the pie (within a minute or two), or are you letting the egg rest for a while with the burner off before launching the pie?

Scott, the bottom burner is from a Brinkman All in one grill and is a 160k btu burner.  I crank it up about 75% or so.  I know it's not full blast but from 75%-100%, there doesn't seem to be a big difference in heat output.  The MBE takes about 20-25min to reach about 700F hearth surface temp. (read through the vent on the lid).

Usually the sides will read a bit higher and one side is always 50 degree higher for some reason.  Maybe I don't have that diffuser bowl or the stone perfectly centered.  As soon as the center of the stone reads about 670 or so, I start stretching the skin and topping it.  I do a quick temp check before load and it's been around 700.  Load and bake until done turning the pie at the appropriate times.  I don't crank the burner up or let the stone equilibrate. 

I could do all that but this method is straight forward and simple.   Less fuss.  After the pie is done the stone temp is about 40-50 degrees less.  I usually turn the burner down about 20% or so while I'm busy taking photos, and getting the next pie ready. 

Norma - good to know your experiences.  Thanks for posting that.  Good to know the bromated flours browned better than KASL.  I don't think I can get KASL around and haven't used the plain KABF in a long time so I don't even remember how it handles and bakes.  I may buy a bag soon just to satisfy my curiosity.  Right now, I still using up my 50lb bag of the Sam's Club HG flour.   

I'll look up the protein content for you Scott soon.  It is actually Con Agra Baker's and Chef's High Gluten flour.  I do suspect it has less protein than the ATs though but need to verify that. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 11, 2010, 02:08:24 PM
JT, Nice job with the All Trumps!  The pics look great.  I read your "chewy" comment - that was my experience as you know.  The photo of the bottom looks like you may have gotten some underside crisp.  Did you?  If so, I'll try your formula because most of our efforts with AT were pretty limber (as the saying goes).

BTW, my rotisserie pizza grill performs somewhat like your Egg.  I see a 50-70F temp drop between throwing the pie and pulling it off, and a 2-3 minute reheat time between pies.  We had a group over last night and threw 4 pies.  For me, one of the nagging problems was solved last night.  I always felt the pressure of the clock to have successive pizzas ready within a couple of minutes of pulling a pie, otherwise the stone would overheat.  It really helps when you get a system down to keep the stone at, say 700F, for several minutes.  For me, the solution was to turn off the underside burner.  It turns out that the rotisserie IR burner keeps my stone at 700F for several minutes.  I was throwing pies anywhere from two to ten minutes after pulling the last pizza and the stone was right around 700F.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 11, 2010, 02:26:38 PM
Awesome Dave.  Someday I may upgrade to a grill/rotisserie set up like yours as I feel it bakes an even better pie than my MBE.   BTW I really do like the look of your pies and hope you will post more pics. 

concerning the bottom crust crispiness.  Initally, I could tell that it was very crunchy just from pulling the pie off the stone.  As it sat on the rack it ended up losing about 50% of that crispiness.  I found that odd since there was about 3" of air to circulate under the pie.  The pie wasn't overly sauced or topped either so I don't know.  I know that  I did add extra water to the sauce to really thin it down this time so that could have been the culprit.  I ended up putting this pie back on the warm/hot stone with the burner off after the 2nd pie was done baking.  I left if for 30 seconds or so and it crisp right back up.  When cut the pie, you could hear the bottom crust crack along the entire cut and all the slices came apart cleanly.  The crunchiness I got for this pie was the best by far.   

I plan on see if the ATs flour can play nicely alongside the Sams Club HG flour to see what I get next.  Again, it was so nice of you to send me the flour to try.

Cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 11, 2010, 02:53:49 PM
Hi JT,

I'm a big fan of eggs, but the one thing we need to figure out how to add is a rotisserie motor, IMO. ($20 at Walmart)  Having that stone go round and round not only solves the hotspot problem on the cooking surface, it allows the chef to sit back in a chair with a cold one and glance over to see when the rim is just the right level of crisp.  Bam, you're done.

Let me know how the Sams Club mix goes.  Like you, I got crisp off the stone then lost it.  I never thought to put it back on the stone -- good for you.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 11, 2010, 03:07:11 PM
Dave, there may be an "easy" fix to rotating the pie.  I'll have to try it out and see how it works, but if it works then it's a simple fix.    Well with the hole in the lid, the air circulates around the back and sides and towards the front.  What if I just rotate/turned the lid a 1/4 turn every 45 seconds or so.  It doesn't solve the problem completely but at least I wouldnt be opening up the lid and losing valuable heat. 

I also forgot to say, but would you mind doing an experimental bake for me?  Don't use the recipe I posted.  Forget that.  I'd like to see you use the same recipe you've been using but with the following changes.
-use whatever flour you are the most familiar with.
-Increase your hydration ratio 4-5%.  If 60% then up by 5%.  If currently at 63, then up to 67-68%
-decrease your kneading time by 50%.  So from 20min down to 10min.
-Let the dough rest a full 20min after kneading and then ball it up nice and tight.
-stretch it a bit thinner this time.
-Keep all other aspects the same.  Same % of salt, yeast, etc.   Same fermentation time and temp.
-Bake at 700F for 4-5mins.  No more.  4min should be plenty but you can let it go towards 5 if you'd like. 

I'm curious to see what difference it makes to your current pie. I believe it will give you a better result.  A lighter less chewy crumb.   I'll be okay if you come back and told me it was the worse pie you've made. :P

The higher hydration dough shouldn't be too difficulty to work with but you do have to handle it a bit more gingerly though.  And don't let it sit on the peel any longer than you need to.  I normally let the oven heat up and then when ready, I stretch the skin, sauce, top, and load right away.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 11, 2010, 03:21:22 PM
You can try that lid trick.  It might work.  Let us, or at least me, know.

I proudly stole an idea from Essen1 and had good results.  Remember how Essen1's lazy susan was mounted on a half-circle base that forced all the hot air out the backside?  I did that with my rotisserie grill by putting a flame deflector over the forward part of the burner directing all the heat toward the back, and in my case mixing with the heat from the IR burner.  Anyway the result was that the warm up time was cut from 20 minutes to just under 18 minutes, the airflow over the pie seems better, and the rotisserie ensures no hot spots.  Thanks Essen1.

I'll try your Trumps mod on the next round of experiments - but give me several days b/c I'm full.

Dave 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 13, 2010, 03:20:45 AM
Dave I tried that lid trick tonight and got mix results.  When I have bake in the past without rotating the lid, I had a piece of folded HD foil under the stone right where the lid vent is to block heat from escaping there and diverting it towards the back.   

To rotate the lid, I had to remove that so i lost a bit of crust browning.  I ended up rotating the pies any how.  This lid trick would work a lot better on an LBE, something with more space between the rim and the edge of the stone.  As it is my stone is 12" and I make 11" pies.  Inevitably, after loading the pie, one edge is always close to the stone's edge.  This segment of rim darkens quicker and needs to be manually rotate to prevent burning.  If I had more space between the edge of the stone and pizza, this wouldn't be an issue. 

After a 2nd bake with ATs i would have to agree with your assessment.  The crust softens up significantly after a 5min or so rest on a rack even with minimal saucing.  I did not get the same crunch factor tonight as I did before.   

If you aren't getting a crunchy bottom either and you are using a lower hydration ratio than I am, then I suspect it's the nature of the flour.  It does (IMO) produce a very NY like crust.  I can see why many like using it for NY style pies. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Tampa on July 13, 2010, 11:45:09 AM
Hi JT,

A few comments about the ďlid rotation trickĒ.  In short, I donít think it will work very well because the bottom of the pie is usually what chars due to uneven stone temperatures and there is a lot of thermal mass in these stones.  (I know, itís a little late to make fancy predictions given that you have already run the test, but it might help going forward to understand what is going on.)

Hereís my reasoning.  With my Ĺ+Ē cordierite stone, I can turn the bottom burner off when I throw the pie and it cooks JUST AS WELL as if I leave the burner on.  So you could start spinning the stone the moment you throw the pie on, and it wouldnít make much, if any, difference Ė to the bottom crust Ė because the heat flow would continue to char some areas more than others.  Thatís why I have to turn the rotisserie on early, during warm up, well before I throw the pie - doing so gives me a  uniform stone temperature.

The ďlid rotation trickĒ should help with airflow around the sides and over the top of the pie, so if that were a problem, you might see some benefit.

Dave
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 13, 2010, 12:20:21 PM
I hear ya Dave.  The airflow to the side is what is browning or assisting in the browning.  So if I can jimmy rigg a heat blocking lip right under the vent opening that will rotate with the lid, the trick should work just fine BUT at this point I do like to lift the lid and look at the pie and rotate accordingly.

Looking at the rim and bottom and making the proper pie rotations is rather pleasing to me.  It connects me to the pie and I feel as though I have control over the outcome.  If it's a great looking pie, I can take credit.   

Right now I'm dependant on the hot air to brown the rim which is working out well but I would rather have a rotisserie do that.   :D  I bet I can bake up some killer pies in your setup.   :-D

As a side note, I was trying to find info on the protein content of my Sam's club HG flour and found that it is produce by Con Agra Mills, same miller as the Kyrol HG flour you are using.  So that somewhat rules flour as a possibility of you not achieve similar results to me.  The other factors as I mention before are probably alitude differences as it affects yeast/fermentation activity and possibly dough handling technique.

Cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 15, 2010, 01:30:10 AM
Made some progress in the MBE bake tonight.  Made 2 very nice pies.  One of my complaints about the firebrick hearth is that it is so thick it elevates the pie a bit high into the dome.  B/c the lid slops quite drastically, the doming crust ends up blocking some airflow to the top crust.  Incidentally the side walls of the crust gets nice leoparding but leaves a white ring on the very top crust.

Well I went back to baking on the quarry tiles and porcelain tile combo.  Together the 2 add up to just a bit more than 3/4" compared to 1 1/4" of the firebrick.  This is about 30% less thickness than the FBs. 

I ended up lowering the temp bake by a bit as well and this is what I got....even rim browning.  These pies were a lot smaller than my usual pies b/c I was using them for another experiment. 

I guess I need to build an 18" LBE to bake bigger pies.  :-D

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 15, 2010, 04:28:27 AM
Chau, they look really yummy! I would inhale that white pie in about 5seconds! :-D is that the white sauce recipe you sent me?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 15, 2010, 06:28:03 AM
Thx Paul :) Yes it is!  I had some leftover sauce from two nights ago.  I rewarmed it but it was still a bit thick so i cut in a bit more half and half and a tiny bit more OO.  I should say it's more a white garlic pie as I tend to be heavy handed with the garlic.  My wife loves it. She said," ohhh this would do really well in a restaurant".  You'll like it IF you like garlic. You can also decrease or omit the garlic if you like Paul. 

I also forgot to mention Dave, these are made with your ATs flour and were quite good. The secret? Lower the bake temp and extend the bake time.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 15, 2010, 06:31:39 AM
Jackie Tran,

Your two pies do look very nice.  ;D  I would have liked to tasted them.  Since you went back to baking on the quarry tile and porcelain tile combo, it looks like this gave you good results.  I see you let your thickness factor larger.  I am interested in hearing what you learned from a lower bake temperature.

I really like how you experiment to see what will happen.  Keep up the good work.  I am also interested in what variables have to do with making a pizza.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 15, 2010, 06:42:40 AM
That big puffy bit of crust on the right side of the picture is the bit I would dive into first! :P
I will try that recipe on Saturday night Chau as I made a ton of dough last night.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 15, 2010, 06:48:44 AM
Thank you very much Norma. These were from a 200gm doughball divided in 2 and each stretched out to 6-7".   I had not made such small pies before lol. I purposefully left the rims a bit thicker as these were used in the "temp vs crust rise " experiment.  Only the red pie was baked at a lower temp. 550F  Vs my regular 700F for the white pie.
I was WRONG! :) Higher temps do not produce a bigger oven spring.

What I learned from a lowered temp bake is that it does produce a crunchier crust as I had expected.  I will be lowering my bake temp to 650 and baking a minute longer for my perfect pies.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 15, 2010, 07:07:02 AM
Jackie Tran,

Your experiment was very interesting to me, because I have also been wondering if using a lower bake temperature could provide a puffier crust, compared to using a higher bake temperature.  ::) When you see all those beautiful pies baked in a WFO at high temperatures, that has always intrigued me if you still can get a decent oven spring using lower bake temperatures. I still wonder if it is the formula and hydration each person uses that will contribute how well the crust will rise, when using different bake temperatures. Your experiments with your formula and different bake temperatures will help me understand this more.

Thanks,

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 15, 2010, 07:54:33 AM
You're welcome Norma.  I too have wondered many similar things.  In the process of trying to figure out how to make (great) pizza, my mind starts asking all sorts of questions.  It's fustrating to wonder about so many factors but only be able to test a few at a time, cross off the list, and repeat testing. 

I'm finding out that two of the most important factors to oven spring is the amount of (commercial) yeast used and proofing volume/time of the dough.  I once thought high hydration was also key to oven spring, but your results have put that to rest.  I think in the big picture it does affect oven spring but likely has a much smaller effect after 60%.

With your results and mine, I'm confident in moving forward to producing a really outstanding pie in the home oven soon. 

Cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 15, 2010, 08:09:42 AM
Jackie Tran,

I also have the thoughts about how many variables do affect making pizza.  ::)  That is why I have been just experimenting on one dough formula and only baked in two different oven set-ups.  My deck oven and now the BBQ grill set-up.  In time I will try other formulas to see if they will also act in the same manner.

Best of luck to you in your experimenting.  :)  Each experiment you do can teach us more about pizzas.

Thanks,

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: scott123 on July 15, 2010, 10:19:03 AM
I was WRONG! :) Higher temps do not produce a bigger oven spring.

No, you were RIGHT! :) Higher temps do produce a bigger oven spring  :P
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 21, 2010, 11:27:08 AM
Made some decent pies last night.  These were made with Con Agra HG flour (from Sam's club).

HR 70%.  Sugar was added to this formulation and oil was not added. I also used Scott's quick straight dough mixing method for this one.  I like playing around with this technique and will likely incorporate some aspects of it into my regular kneading regimen.

Decided to bake 1 in the MBE and 1 in the home oven for comparison.  I had 2 goals with this bake.  First, I wanted to see if I could make just as good of a pie in the home oven compared to the MBE.  2ndly, I wanted to be prepared for my mystery flour challenge coming up this weekend.   

In the end both were good but the MBE won out.  Crumb was bit lighter and it had a smokiness to it lacking in the home oven. 

First pie is a white pie made in the MBE.   Cheese pizza made in the home oven.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 21, 2010, 11:30:19 AM
A few more pics and a few crumb shots.  Overall these were good but I will be going back up with my HR back to 74-76%.  I wanted to experiment with a lower HR and I can taste the difference in the texture.  I like an ultra light and airy crumb.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 21, 2010, 12:04:21 PM
Jackie Tran,

Both of your pie look delicious.  ;D I wonder whether your mystery flour is bromated or not.  It will be interesting to see what kind of results you will get with the mystery flour, since you wonít know what kind it is.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 21, 2010, 03:15:12 PM
Thanks Norma. It should be a fun exercise. Paul has graciously excepted my challenge and has sent me some flour to make pizza completely by feel.  I will document the process and take pics.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 23, 2010, 04:43:56 AM
Thanks Norma. It should be a fun exercise. Paul has graciously excepted my challenge and has sent me some flour to make pizza completely by feel.  I will document the process and take pics.


Norma, have you ever seen a pizza made from talcum powder before? haha
joke!

Chau I think we are all really looking forward for your mystery flour challenge! ;D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 23, 2010, 07:21:34 AM
Norma, have you ever seen a pizza made from talcum powder before? haha
joke!

Chau I think we are all really looking forward for your mystery flour challenge! ;D

Paul,

LOL..Makes me wonder how what you flour looks like.  ::)  I also look forward to the results that Jackie Tran will achieve with your flour.  Since he is great at making dough by feel, he will probably get good results.  I havenít advanced to making dough by feel and donít know if I ever will.  Another thing I wonder about is whether he will do the bake in his MBE or his kitchen oven.  ;D

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 23, 2010, 08:20:09 AM
Norma and Paul, you 2 and a few others keep pizza making fun and interesting for me. 

I'm just ok at making pizza and someday will get there. I try to create situations and challenges for myself to force myself to find solutions.  I try to make it a bit harder rather than easier.  It seems like an odd approach but it makes you improve faster b/c we naturally adapt to our environments.  Its hard but I'm really trying to simplify pizza making.  But to get there I have to learn about all the variables that affect it eventhough were just talking about flour, water, salt, and yeast for the dough.  Making pizza by feel only seems hard but it's not. With a bit of practice, anyone can do it.   It's like pancake batter, you know when to stop adding water or flour base on how thick you like the batter.   Same with dough,  The water is in there already.  You're just simply adding a bit of flour and incorporating it in until you get a certain response from the dough.  The dough will give a feeling like "Norma, I'm full and cant eat anymore flour.  Please stop feeding me.  :-D"

Anyone who's made pizza dough consistently for awhile has been doing most of the steps required to make dough by feel.  B/c all along you have been watching for ques, taking mental notes of when the dough is done.  You touch it, feel it, hold it in your hands and know how moist or dry it is suppose to be.  Making dough by feeling can become more consistant than measuring from a recipe.  The human brain is a better estimator than a digital scale.  Even scales that measure down to the gram can be off especially with flour and dry products.

If you buy a 50 lb sack of flour and take a year to use it up.  Flour from for the first batch of dough vs the last will absorb a different amount of water, especially in my environment.   That's why I like practicing making dough by feel.  Same with fermenting.  I use both times and visual cues.  But hope to progress to mostly visual cues, smelling the dough, and just ball park time figures. 

Anyways, Paul has asked me to bake one pie in the oven and another in the MBE.  The MBE shouldn't be hard, but the oven, now there's another challenge.  It's been awhile that I've baked in the oven since I made the MBE.  My previous oven bakes were always experiments with different set ups and different stones.  I had not completely learned about that process and then moved onto the MBE.  So revisiting it has been a bit of a challenge.  I've only had 2 test bakes in the oven in preparation for this challenge but I think I've got it now. 

I can bake any of my old regular pizzas in the oven, but the challenge is to make a good one, or as close to perfect as i can get and do it by feel.  To do that I'll have to employ several techniques.  Stretch and folds to trap the big air bubbles, stone shuffling in the oven to get the right temps, proofing the dough to double and a bit beyond, etc but I think I can do it. 

Another challenge I've set for myself to make this a bit more difficult is that I'll be testing a longer ferment time.  I'm pretty sure I can already use Paul's flour to make 3-4 hour emergency pies that would come out pretty good, but I want to revisit a longer room ferment time like 20-24 hours.  I may do a quick test before jumping in with the mystery flour.  I'm doing this only to see if I can get a bit more leoparding in the crust to come out with a longer room ferment and using starter instead of my preferred ADY.

Anyways, wish me luck.  Paul, I'm going to Durango this weekend but will make the pies next Tues or Wed. 
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 23, 2010, 08:37:03 AM
Jackie Tran,

You always keep me interested in the new ways you experiment.  ;D Pizza making is so complicated in so many ways, even if you just use the basic ingredients of just yeast, flour, water and salt.  Adding different oven temperatures also complicates what kind of results will happen.

Best of luck using you new flour,  :)

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: brayshaw on July 23, 2010, 11:49:41 AM
Have a great weekend away Chau, we very much look forward to the finished pies!
You can use/cook the flour/dough anyway you like mate (MBE/oven) just have fun and take lots of pics! Haha

Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 26, 2010, 06:55:00 PM
Here's tonight's pies.  I wanted to play around with a 24h room ferment again.  So the dough for these were made up last night around 6pm and bulked risen at room temps overnight.  This morning around 6am, I balled them and they sat around for another 9 hours. 

I got home from work and the balls were close to triple their original size.  I thought I had lost them but decided to bake anyways just to see.   I had to reball the caputo one b/c it was a mess.  Luckily it worked out okay.

1 is caputo flour and the other is HG flour from Sams.  Both had very similar texture and crunch.  Of course the HG ball requires a higher hydration.  HG ball was baked at 670F for 4 min, while the caputo was baked at 750 for 3min.   Both were great but I still prefer my emergency 3 hour perfect pies.  I wanted to do this 20-24hour ferment to try to coax more leoparding out of the dough compared to my 3-4 hour bakes. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 26, 2010, 06:58:48 PM
Here are some crumb shots.  First couple of pics are of the HG pie.  Pic 3&4 are of the caputo pie.

Paul, I think I'm ready for the challenge!  :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 26, 2010, 07:05:31 PM
Jackie Tran,

Itís good to hear your pies did work out when using the longer bulk risen at room temperatures overnight and then left for around another nine hours to sit around.

They look really delicious.  ;D  It makes me wonder why you like your emergency dough better.  I would think that the longer ferment would add taste to the crust.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 26, 2010, 07:28:05 PM
Thanks Norma - I have a lot more work to do.  It's mainly trying out different variables and comparing the pies against my perfect pies. Also I'm kind of a swim against the current type of guy anyway.  >:D These were good but slightly drier on the inside than I like despite high hydration ratios (73% for the HG, and 67% for caputo).  I like a really moist crumb and a crunchy rim.  The rims on these were very crunchy, so that was good.

I made these with 3% raisen starter.  I wonder if the texture would have been different with a longer room temp ferment and ADY or fresh yeast vs the starter.  I'm not sure it would make a big difference since the starter % is rather small.

I'm convince that my preference for emergency doughs over cold ferments or long fermented doughs has to do with the high elevation and arid climate I'm in.  Emergency doughs just seem "fresher" to me. The crumb has a fresh lightness to it.  Hard to describe.  It's very slight but I can tell the difference.   Although it has been raining tons around here lately and the air feels humid, but I don't notice a difference in my pizza making and it hasn't seem to improve my 20+ hour fermented dough either.  On the plus side, my tomato and other plants are having a grand ol time.

I may just repeat this experiment and make 1 pie with ADY and one with starter to see if there is a difference when it comes to a longer room ferment. 

JT
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 26, 2010, 07:57:43 PM
Jackie Tran,

That thing of trying different variables can be very time consuming.  I can understand you like a moister inside.  I also favor a moister inside.  I have no idea about using ADY or fresh yeast in trying another experiment.  Each variable that comes in to play can produce different results.

With all your experimenting, you will probably find out some day if your dry climate has something to do having a fresher dough compared to a longer ferment.  In my limited experience, I have found out I like a longer fermented dough, but then I am in a more humid environment.  I canít even figure out the one dough I have been using for awhile.  I am still trying to study that.  ::)

Will await what you decide to do.

Thanks for your experiments,  ;D

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 26, 2010, 08:13:19 PM
Norma what I am finding out now (with all this experimenting) is that I'm able to make corrections on the fly. I am able to be more versatile in my pizza making. I can better compensate for an overproofed dough, using different types of flours with varying protein %'s, baking in the home oven vs the MBE, or using a starter vs commercial yeast.  It's quite fun to be able to make decisions based on past experience and past failed bakes.

I know what temps I like to bake at and for how long.  I'm even beginning to vary the bake temps and times based on the type of flour I'm using to get a consistent result.  It is quite an interesting process to say the least. 

I have no idea, but curious to know how far I can take this pizza making thing. ???

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on July 26, 2010, 09:30:26 PM

I have no idea, but curious to know how far I can take this pizza making thing. ???

Chau

Chau,

I think you will take this pizza making thing far, because you are willing to experiment.   ;D  I always like to watch what forum members are experimenting with, because then it also can teach me something.  The short while I have been making pizza and experimenting, each new step teaches me something, but sometimes I can't figure out what happened or why.  :-D

Best of luck to you in experimenting,

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on July 31, 2010, 03:37:41 PM
Thank you for the support Norma.  I hope I do get far with this pizza making business.   

I had a good bake this afternoon and posted these in another thread but needed to add the pics here as well for those thinking about making an MBE or an LBE. 

I would recommend the LBE since the MBE limits you to roughly 10-11" pies max. 

first one was made with a Canadian "Manitoba" flour around 13.7% Protein.

Flour   119gm
Water 80gm (67%)
ADY  1/4 tsp (~0.8%)
salt 1/3 tsp
oil     1/2 tsp

Method:  Dissolve yeast in water and let sit for 5min.  Mix in salt & oil.  Stir to dissolve. With a fork mix in roughly 85-90% of the flour.  Let sit for 10min.  Hand knead in the rest of the flour a bit at a time.  Should take under 5min.  don't over knead.   Divide & ball.  Proof for a total of 3+ hours or till ball doubles in size.  After 1 hour of proof, do a few stretch and folds to trap air for big bubbles if desired.  This step is optional. 
Bake: at 650F for 4 min.  Enjoy!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: RetroRayGun on August 10, 2010, 03:34:31 PM
Chau,

Now that's where I want to be as a pizza chef!
"Top Job" ol' boy!

Chris
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 10, 2010, 10:48:07 PM
Thanks Chris.  With practice you'll get there soon enough.  I'm still always practicing.  Pictures can also be deceiving.  >:D  Hopefully when you have some time, I'll have you over for taste testing and research purposes.   :D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on August 22, 2010, 06:16:49 PM
Thank you for the support Norma.  I hope I do get far with this pizza making business.   

I had a good bake this afternoon and posted these in another thread but needed to add the pics here as well for those thinking about making an MBE or an LBE. 

I would recommend the LBE since the MBE limits you to roughly 10-11" pies max. 

first one was made with a Canadian "Manitoba" flour around 13.7% Protein.

Flour   119gm
Water 80gm (67%)
ADY  1/4 tsp (~0.8%)
salt 1/3 tsp
oil     1/2 tsp

Method:  Dissolve yeast in water and let sit for 5min.  Mix in salt & oil.  Stir to dissolve. With a fork mix in roughly 85-90% of the flour.  Let sit for 10min.  Hand knead in the rest of the flour a bit at a time.  Should take under 5min.  don't over knead.   Divide & ball.  Proof for a total of 3+ hours or till ball doubles in size.  After 1 hour of proof, do a few stretch and folds to trap air for big bubbles if desired.  This step is optional. 
Bake: at 650F for 4 min.  Enjoy!

impressive looking pies T!  You have been a pizza cooking fool I can see!  It was a great read on the smokey joe conversion...very inventive of you and it looks like you have got it nailed!  Nice job and very inspirational!  Your pies look fantastic!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 22, 2010, 06:30:10 PM
Thanks for the nice words Gtsum.  I can not in good faith take too much credit.  The real credit goes to member Villa Roma, father of the LBE & MBE.  If you have time and interested, here is the LBE thread. 
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.0.html)
It was with his work and so many others that got me interested in these.   The only thing I have done differently is to add a diffuser bowl with sand in it instead of using a stone as a diffuser beneath the hearth. 

I have also found out that using a less conductive stone like firebricks or quarry tiles work better in these baking vessels.   These make great NY style pies and even Elite NY (Neo Neapolitans or as I like to call NewPolitans) but I have not found success in making Neapolitan pies.  That my friend requires some sort of a WFO. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on August 22, 2010, 08:15:08 PM
Hey T,

I was out in the garage looking around and low and behold I spy the necessary equipment to make one of these!  I happen to have a smokey joe and a 22 inch weber that I dont use anymore...as well I have a 180k btu bayou classic burner...I also have a propane line tied into the home tank (buried 500 gallon) on the deck.....hmm.....so, I assume  you just place the cooker on the burner (not bolted, etc)?  I am thinking of making one out of my 22inch...I assume the whole to cut out on the bottom is going to be dependent on the burner size?  So you are using a pan filled SS pan right above the burner, and then stacking 2 stones on the main cook grate?  It looks like the more space between the outer edge of the top stones and the sides of the cooker will result in a higher air temp above the stones, right?  My pizza stones are only 16 inch...might be too small to use on the 22 incher?  18 incher would be perfect I guess?  Any other tricks to go about making this?  I think I am going to do it this week and give it a whirl. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on August 22, 2010, 08:32:21 PM
I just measured the burner..I have a 6 inch burner (big one!)...I am thinking the 22 incher would be better suited to hack up then my smokey joe.  Any recommendations on how big a hole I should cut out of my 22 incher?  Also, how are you getting the alum foil to stick and not fall off the sides of the weber?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on August 22, 2010, 08:49:32 PM
Score on the weber sitting around!  I bet you didn't know you had a pizza oven in parts laying around.  Here's the quick and dirty...

MBE:  good if you are only feeding 2-3 ppl.  Max pizza size will be around 11".  I can eat about one and a half of these myself.  11" because you need about 1" airgap.  Functional diameter of the grill is really 13.5" or so.  Stone will be about 12".  Max pie size you can load without making a mess is 11" unless you build the pie on a 12" pan.  Down side is that the lid slopes a bit.  Pies can rise too close to the lid and cut off some valuable airflow.  This results in a white ring around the top.  I talk about this earlier in this thread.

LBE:  18" is perfect for a 16" stone but these are harder to find.  The dome is a good height and won't likely have the same problem as discussed above in the MBE.  max size pizza will be 15-16".  Downside again is that you'll really be limited to NY style pies or elite NY at best.  I've only seen one member make a pie that resembles a NP (Neapolitan) and that's member 8 slice on page 40 or 41 I believe in the LBE thread linked to earlier.   It's just hard to get the temps way up there.  Well you can but the bottom gets much hotter than the top and that results in burning issues.   To get high top heat you need refractory cement on top.

LBE 22" This is the size you need for making NP style pies.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10057.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10057.0.html)  If I wasn't going forward with the WFO, I would consider making one of these.  Used 22" webers are all over craigslist and refractory cement is cheap.

Chau

Also I do not use aluminum foil on the walls.  They disintegrate after a few cooks.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on August 22, 2010, 09:10:36 PM
I can't get heavy duty aluminum foil here in Mexico, tried using regular foil and just gave up, too much hassle changing it out every few burns. Your mileage may vary. Good luck on your LBE.
saludos, Donaldo


I just measured the burner..I have a 6 inch burner (big one!)...I am thinking the 22 incher would be better suited to hack up then my smokey joe.  Any recommendations on how big a hole I should cut out of my 22 incher?  Also, how are you getting the alum foil to stick and not fall off the sides of the weber?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 13, 2010, 10:28:59 AM
Made some changes to the MBE.  Member jet-deck suggested that I moved the stone forward to block the air flow from the front.  Even though I had some foil down in that area, this stirred me to revisit Essen1's metal disk mod for the LBE found here...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg57620.html#msg57620 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg57620.html#msg57620)

To see if a version of this mod would increase my heat output, I pulled the stone forward and layed down some foil to block the airflow from the sides.  Immediately I notice an increase in the heat and airflow out the front vent of about 30-40%.  With 2 test runs so far, I noticed the heat up times have decrease between 25-50% depending on the size of the gap in the back.

Previous heat up time: 20m to ~700F
Current heat up times with the sides blocked off: 10-15m to 700F.

I also pulled the sand bowl towards the front.  Here are a few pics of the current setup and a pie I made last night.   This pie was a 50/50 blend of AP/BF.   It was baked at stone temp of 700F and baked for 2 min.  I did notice that the rim was charring faster than before, so all in all I would say this simple mod is a functional improvment over my old setup.

I would like to reiterate Mike's tip on turning down the burner a bit after the pie is loaded to control the amount of charring.  You can also load the pie closer or further from the back edge to control how fast the rim chars as well.



Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 13, 2010, 01:49:50 PM
If you black egg users could just put a couple hinges on the lid, I would guess that you could load the pie, and turn it when needed much faster.  I would think that it would save a ton of lost heat, instead of completely removing the lid, and setting it aside.  But maybe you can hold the lid in one hand and turn the pizza with the other?  Oh, good looking pie Chau.

Just a random thought.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Essen1 on September 13, 2010, 05:52:42 PM
Chau,

It looks like you're having a field day with your MBE. Great pizza!!

I'm glad the little adjustment turned out well and cut heat-up time in half and improved the airflow.

Regarding the burner control, I have had too many black Frisbees coming out of mine when the burner was left uncontrolled so now I'm just turning it down to low and increase it when needed, see the temps dramatically drop or when it's breezy outside. But other than that, dialed in to low keeps it at a nice ambient temp for the pizzas.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 13, 2010, 06:05:19 PM
Thx guys I have some work to do yet to dial in the new settings.   When I varied the space between the back wall and the stone from 1" to 2" there was a marked increase in heat up times (25%). 

My old set up was working fine, but this gives me more flexibility.  I have a wider range of heat to utilize and take advantage of.  I was impress that I could get the entire rim charred via rotation and have a finished pie in 2 min.  I think that is about the upper limit on bake times for a NP pie.   

I think the right thing to say about the MBE/LBE is that like recipes, it really does take some tweaking to optimize the end result for each user.  I'm not sure one setting or recipe will work for everyone. 

I will definitely be doing some more testing with AP/caputo flour in the MBE in an attempt to make something close"r" to a NP pie.  I will keep you guys posted.  For now I'll have to put my WFO plans on hold.   ;)

JD - I like your ideas.  Without a doubt a hinge lid would improve efficiency.  As it is, it takes the MBE very little time to recover once the lid is off and on again.   With the 2nd and 3rd turn, the puffed up rim goes from white/light color to char in about 15 seconds.  Since I'm not too hand with the tools I'll save it for a possible later project.  I bet it would be a piece of cake for you.     I kinda wish we lived closer so you could help me put a heat source in the lid.  That would really be ideal IMO. 

Chau

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: dmcavanagh on September 16, 2010, 05:49:20 PM
Tran Man-nice looking pies. I haven't gotten around to modifying my Weber yet, but I'm doing a lot of experimenting with a cast iron griddle and the broiler and recently cooked some pies that are :-D :-D :-D :-D amazingly similar looking to the ones in your pictures. BTW, do you like pizza? :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on September 17, 2010, 07:41:25 AM
Looking good!  I made the same mods to mine and heat up time was definitely faster....as well as my top heat was quite a bit hotter (800 or so).
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 17, 2010, 03:17:35 PM
Thanks Guys.  I'm always trying to improve.  David let's see those pies.  ;)

Gtsum, I'm glad those mods inspired by Mike's disk mod helped.

Here are couple of 8 hour pies made in the MBE this morning with Ischia starter.  Getting a bit better with the leoparding but still contending with that white ring on top. 

Also FB is too thick in my set up and the QT (quarry tile) is in 4 pieces and shifts too much.  Had to go back to the 12' stone from Sears.  This thing conducts heat too well so for future bakes I have to load it at a lower hearth temp like around 600F.  Anyways these were made with AP flour. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 17, 2010, 03:28:23 PM
...  Getting a bit better with the leoparding but still contending with that white ring on top.... 


I bet i know where the ring is coming from.  Hint: In the mountains that surround you, do you see where the snow drifts on the leeward side of the mountains?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 17, 2010, 06:48:08 PM
I bet i know where the ring is coming from.  Hint: In the mountains that surround you, do you see where the snow drifts on the leeward side of the mountains?

That's a good analogy JD.  I had the same problem when I was doming the pies too much by using the thick firebricks, but now there is sufficient room on top for the airflow and still this happens.  The problem I suspect is that the airflow is much great now from front to back due to the recent changes.  This causes the leeward side from getting sufficient heat.  To fix this, I'm planning on plugging the front airvent, and opening up the original top vents.  I'll also have to remove the disk in the lid since it's block the top vents. 

I hope this will create some turbulence causing the air to swirl around the lid a bit before exiting the top.   I'll report back. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 17, 2010, 07:51:19 PM
I've been reading with interest the latest posts on the MBE, which I have realized size wise what my little oven is. 17.5 inches in diameter. I however do not use a high pressure burner in mine. Not really a MBE, but a hybrid. Takes 20 minutes to reach 700.  I thought I should  post some pics of my configuration. Lid open showing the chains on both sides with foil blocking all but the open back edges on the tile. The hinge showing the upper half, similar below and the chain showing one side. I do need to fabricate an easier to use towards the front lid handle.
Saludos, Don
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 17, 2010, 09:09:37 PM
Same day Mexican AP and cake flour. 3 to1. Ran out of panela. Walmart mozz. Nice and light pizza with spinach and cherry tomatos.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Ronzo on September 17, 2010, 10:12:31 PM
I love the hinge, Don! That gives me ideas... :)

What do you use to heat it if you don't use burner?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 17, 2010, 10:35:36 PM
Oops, Sorry about the misunderstanding, I don't use a high pressure burner that others use in the LBE and MBE. Overkill IMO. I use what I call a star burner but low pressure. More fuel efficient with close to the same heat up and recovery times. I don't know that such a critter can be found in the USA.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.920.html
that is the larger version, I have since stepped down to a even smaller one.
Don
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 18, 2010, 10:36:12 AM
Don, your star burner is similar to what I call a banjo burner.  Its available in both low and high pressure (I think) from Tejas :  http://www.tejassmokers.com/castironburners.htm (http://www.tejassmokers.com/castironburners.htm)  I'm glad you did the hinge, I've been trying to convince JT to do the same.


Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 18, 2010, 10:41:52 AM
...  To fix this, I'm planning on plugging the front airvent, and opening up the original top vents.  I'll also have to remove the disk in the lid since it's block the top vents. 

I hope this will create some turbulence causing the air to swirl around the lid a bit before exiting the top.   I'll report back. 

I wish you much success, but, I don't think it's going to work.  Do you have a picture of your top lid, before you remove the disk?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 18, 2010, 12:10:40 PM
JD, the hinge at this point is low priority.  It is a good idea though.  I'll see about implementing it after i get my airflow issues worked out. 

No worries about removing the disk.  It's very easy to take off and put on.  I tried removing the disk this morning, plugging up the front vent and opening up the top vents.  You're right.  It didn't work.  I could tell right away that the airflow suffered.  So I closed up the top vent, unplugged the front vent, and baked without the top disk

Now, without the top disk there is more air volume up above but also allows the air to shoot up in an arching manner rather than straight across the pie.  The result was that I got rid of the top white ring.  I now have even browning across the rim.  The downside is that it took longer to brown the rim.  Rim browing time went from 2 min to 3 min to brown. 

So my next idea to try is to leave the disk out and recover the inside with foil to see if that makes a difference and/or using a smaller disk up top.

Picture from this morning's experiment. 

Thanks for your suggestions JD.  They are helpful.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 18, 2010, 12:26:23 PM
You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 18, 2010, 12:53:06 PM
You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:

How should I attach them JD?  Are they suppose to disrrupt the airflow?  With blocking the side airflow off now, the airflow from the back is so strong I'm not sure strips of aluminum foil will hold up.  BUT  What if I drilled random holes into my existing lid disk (you know the one I took out)?   I will throw around some ideas, do a few test bakes and report back. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 18, 2010, 09:57:17 PM
Tonight's 2.5 minute pie. Would have been less but I was interrupted and didn't turn the pie soon enough. 24 hour cold proof AP and cake flour with pistachios, spinach, panela cheese and cherry tomatoes. Outstanding except for the salted pistachios, must find unsalted.
Saludos, Don
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 18, 2010, 10:07:08 PM
Decent looking pie Don. Are you having any issues with the bottom burning?  If you don't mind, can you post a pic or a link to your current setup?
I am also in the process of playing around with mixing pastry flour and AP flour.  I haven't tried pistachios on pizza yet, but will need to try it soon. I thought pine nuts would be good as well.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 18, 2010, 10:14:00 PM
They are called vortex generators. Ah the memories, those curtains, Ravi on sitar followed up by Moody Blues, some far out hashish, the chick from your English class who thought your gotee made you look cool..............
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_generator

You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 18, 2010, 10:20:27 PM
Tonight's pizza bottom shot.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 19, 2010, 08:49:19 AM
.... Ravi on sitar .....


Don, since your on a first name basis with (Master) Ravi, you now have my utmost, undivided attention to anything that you post.  Undoubtedly, i was born 18 years to early or I would have been right there with you, and she would have liked my gotee just as much as yours. :-D :-D :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 19, 2010, 02:33:51 PM
Don, that bottom char looks perfect.  Nice work.

Ok so here are the latest changes

-removed the disk in the lid
-covered only the back half of the lid with foil.
-create a vortex generator by creating a fold in the foil in the middle of the lid. 
-rotated the pies more frequently.  At 30-45s, then every 15-20 seconds.
-Baked at hearth temp of 700F for right at 2min.

thoughts:  definitely bake the 2nd pie at a lower hearth temp than first by 50F.   I have notice this several times now.  If I baked the 2nd pie at the same hearth temp, it always seems to burn a bit if the first one was just right. 

Oh BTW, heat up time was 6 min to 700F on the hearth.  That is CRAZY from my previous 20min or so down to 6m!!!  I was getting 18 bakes or so before with a 20m preheat, I can't even imagine how many bakes I'll get now.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on September 19, 2010, 02:43:48 PM
Chau,

So your heat up time for the FB was only a few minutes????  Are you still using the SS bowl with sand??  That is incredibly fast.  Since I put foil around the edges and moved the FB up front and sealed the fornt, I am getting much hotter dome temps (800 or so), but it still takes 25 minutes to get my FB up to 600-625.  I have an alum disk in my lid...you think the foil you lined in the dome is the reason for the better heat up time?  How are you keeping the foil up there?  Nice looking pie by the way :chef:
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 19, 2010, 03:02:39 PM
Shaun.  Before doing the variation on Mike's disk mod, my preheat time was about 20m.  After plugging up the sides and moving the sand bowl forward, my heat up times dropped about 50% to around 10m.

Today, I took the disk out of the lid and added that vortex generator (aluminum foil lip) and I noticed it was right at 6min to reach a hearth temp of 700. 

Here is what I think is going on.  I think that aluminum lip directed the hot air down towards the hearth instead.  So (some of) the air flow is coming up from the back and hitting that lip and going down towards the hearth beforer coming out the front. 

You can likely reproduce this effect by turning your lid about 30deg left or right.  This will cause the heat to have to turn before going out the front lid opening. 

The 2nd reason for the fast preheat time is that I'm using a real pizza stone now (from Sears for $12) instead of FB or QT.  Why? Well, it's mostly b/c it's in one piece instead of multiple pieces.  This stone heats up faster and transfers heat much faster than the QT or FB.   To compensate for this, I load the pies at a lower than normal hearth temp.

Now let me explain.  I did just say I loaded the previous pie at 700F right.  Well those pies are 75%/25% pastry flour/AP flour meant to be loaded at a hearth temp of 850F.  If I was cooking BF or HG flour I would loaded the pies at maybe 550, 600 max. 

I did away with the FB b/c the MBE has a low dome and the FB was too thick doming the pies.  I did away with the QT b/c the pieces were shifting too much with me turning the pies frequently. 

I think you can tweak yours to lower your preheat times but it may very well be just the nature of a bigger kettle.  And besides, my latest thought is that you don't want a higher hearth temp than 600F if using BF/HG flour.   And not that the flour can't handle that but b/c the flour benefits from a lower cooking temp and a longer bake time.   On yours, you can try this.  Once the hearth temp reaches 600F, I would load the pie and turn down the burner about 30-40% or so.  Plan to cook the pies for 5-6 minutes instead of 3-4m like I recommended before.  I am doing things much different these days.  I believe a BF/HG flour dough benefits from a relative lower hydration ratio rather than higher even though by nature it attracts more water.  The excess water of a high hydration dough will only prolong the bake times or give an undercooked pizza if using a short bake time.  Just some thoughts is all. 

This longer bake time should allow the proteins more time to bake and drive out more moisture.  If I am correct, you will get a better pie than before.   Even baking at a lower temp should save you some preheat times.   Also try turning the lid during the preheat time or add a lip to the dome to see if that helps.  At this point I'm more just reporting what I see going on rather than having all the right answers.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: ponzu on September 19, 2010, 03:15:04 PM
That is a great looking crumb JT.  How does the crumb compare taste wise to your almost WFO bakes.  It actually looks lighter, springier, and better,
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 19, 2010, 03:34:12 PM
I agree ponzu, Great looking crumb and pies. I also have been playing around with a 75/25% AP/CF for awhile now but have a ways to go getting that airy look in my crumbs. I perfer a lighter pie so the blend has been working well for me.
Saludos, Don

 quote author=ponzu link=topic=11126.msg110829#msg110829 date=1284923704]
That is a great looking crumb JT.  How does the crumb compare taste wise to your almost WFO bakes.  It actually looks lighter, springier, and better,
[/quote]
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 19, 2010, 03:44:07 PM
Ponzu & Don, thanks for saying that.   This is the type of texture that I have been striving for for some time.  It is more of a white bread texture than a SD bread texture.   It does seem lighter than those almost-WFO-politans made with AP flour, but it is a bit drier and has a bit more chew as well.   Unfortunately I don't have a good way of explaining what i like or how things should be.  I know what i like and I'm still looking.  So not there yet.  Just playing around with different variables.

I wish I could bake this dough formulation under the broiler to see if I get a different crumb than those AP almost-wfo-politans but for the time being my oven is out of comission.  Still waiting for the electrician to come and tell me if it is the electrical or the oven.

Also unfortunate that baking at high temps under the broiler or in the MBE only approximates a WFO and can't duplicate it.   The big difference is in a well balanced and managed WFO, you (ulitmately) can create a more perfect environment for pizza.  That is close to even heating ALL the way around.  With many of these half baked ideas for pizza ovens (pun intended) you don't have that instaneous all around even heating.  We are required to rotate the pie to the hot spot and when the crust is left out at a lower than optimal temp, you don't have that optimal instant rise and thus don't get that optimal texture that is perfection.  Even with a WFO, I surmise that if the heat is not well managed or controlled, the crumb is lacking or doesn't reach what it was really meant for.   Anyways just a little philosophizing is all...  

Here's a few more crumb shots from yesterday's bake.  These are the crumb shots from pie in reply #244.
These are 50/50 blend of AP/Pastry flour.  If you look at the pictures in the above post, the rim isn't puffy all the way around.  I showed off a spot where there was a bit of a bubble.  So some of the rim is rather flat, so not as visually appealing.  

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: ponzu on September 19, 2010, 05:10:36 PM
Ponzu & Don, thanks for saying that.   This is the type of texture that I have been striving for for some time.  It is more of a white bread texture than a SD bread texture.   It does seem lighter than those almost-WFO-politans made with AP flour, but it is a bit drier and has a bit more chew as well.   Unfortunately I don't have a good way of explaining what i like or how things should be.  I know what i like and I'm still looking.  So not there yet.  Just playing around with different variables.

I wish I could bake this dough formulation under the broiler to see if I get a different crumb than those AP almost-wfo-politans but for the time being my oven is out of comission.  Still waiting for the electrician to come and tell me if it is the electrical or the oven.

Also unfortunate that baking at high temps under the broiler or in the MBE only approximates a WFO and can't duplicate it.   The big difference is in a well balanced and managed WFO, you (ulitmately) can create a more perfect environment for pizza.  That is close to even heating ALL the way around.  With many of these half baked ideas for pizza ovens (pun intended) you don't have that instaneous all around even heating.  We are required to rotate the pie to the hot spot and when the crust is left out at a lower than optimal temp, you don't have that optimal instant rise and thus don't get that optimal texture that is perfection.  Even with a WFO, I surmise that if the heat is not well managed or controlled, the crumb is lacking or doesn't reach what it was really meant for.   Anyways just a little philosophizing is all...  

Here's a few more crumb shots from yesterday's bake.  These are the crumb shots from pie in reply #244.
These are 50/50 blend of AP/Pastry flour.  If you look at the pictures in the above post, the rim isn't puffy all the way around.  I showed off a spot where there was a bit of a bubble.  So some of the rim is rather flat, so not as visually appealing.  



Your original crumb shot was definately the best of the bunch (though they all look good.) 

I couldn't agree more about the WFO observation.  I'm making the best pies of my life, but there is something contrived about the process of the bake; switching oven modes, moving the pie from the oven box to the broiler, juggling ice sleeves.  It's ridiculous. :-[

Nothing like the zen like appearance of sliding a disk into an WFO and watching the cornicione puff and char with little if any manipulation.

I just want a dough that can justify a WFO by the time I have one.

The experiments must continue!

AZ
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 21, 2010, 08:30:38 PM
You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:

I couldn't really visualize this but base on my latest changes, I decided to go with something similar.

-Added back the lid disk but made it smaller from 8.5" down to 5"
-bent the back edge up about 30 deg to create an air flow diverter.  This way as the air flows from the back it will be diverted down again towards the rim and cheese. 

Here are tonight's pies with these changes.  I did note the rim to have a bit more even char similar to the effects of previous changes.  I also noted some spotting on the cheese which is a first, so the air flow diverter is definitely changing the airflow.   I also noted that the air currents coming out of the front are not as forceful as before without the airflow diverter. 

Heat up time was about 8 min to 700F today.   When I have a bit more time, I plan on playing around with a few different air flow diverter set ups.   I could probably bolt a couple of flaps to cover a wider area closer towards the rim of the lid. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on September 21, 2010, 09:27:57 PM
Jackie Tran, I am just about to embark on my over under two burner oven so I won't have the time to match your efforts with the vortex generators. However I will return to my LBE,MBE whatever later. In the mean time these are my thoughts on how to slow down and "dirty" up the hot air in the upper chamber. Find some thin stainless steel sheet and cut some .75" strips and bend into some L shapes. Aluminum would also work. Perhaps some ready made al. angle. Drill a hole in the L and the lid disc and pop rivet them in on in a staggered fashion creating a "maze" that slows down the rush of air going out the front vent. I of course don't know what tools you have at your disposal,but this will be my next experiment.
Until then, Don
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Essen1 on September 22, 2010, 12:50:26 AM
Chau,

For better air flow, heat retention and top heat coming from the inside of the lid, you could install a cheap quarry tile in the lid by carefully drilling a whole in the center and attaching it to your already installed plate with the bolt. Then fill the space between tile and metal with a small sheet of ceramic fiber blanket and a double layer of alu foil with the shiny side down.

It'll compress the hot air even more and you'll get an amazing ceiling heat for an even bake, with less fuel consumption.

Just a thought... :)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 22, 2010, 01:09:03 AM
Mike I don't have ceramic fiber blanket but will see if I can get some from the big box stores. I do have QT and ceramic drill bits.  My lid is rather shallow so I may have to chop the corners off the QT.  Right now there seems to be sufficient heat in the dome to char the cheese in 2 min. I just need to direct a bit more of the airflow to the inside of the crust/rim.  I may need to move that air deflector closer to the lids edge.

Thanks for the tips. At one point I did have a round slate stone in the lid  but didn't notice any difference over the aluminum disk so I went with metal to save sone weight.  I'll try the QT though.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Essen1 on September 22, 2010, 02:04:41 AM
Mike I don't have ceramic fiber blanket but will see if I can get some from the big box stores. I do have QT and ceramic drill bits.  My lid is rather shallow so I may have to chop the corners off the QT.  Right now there seems to be sufficient heat in the dome to char the cheese in 2 min. I just need to direct a bit more of the airflow to the inside of the crust/rim.  I may need to move that air deflector closer to the lids edge.

Thanks for the tips. At one point I did have a round slate stone in the lid  but didn't notice any difference over the aluminum disk so I went with metal to save sone weight.  I'll try the QT though.

Chau,

I wouldn't buy things that need a professional grade, given the temps we're working with here, from a big box store. I checked Home Depot for that particular item when I built my LBE and they had nothing that was satisfactory to me. Maybe in your area they do, I don't know.

Member Red.November (RN for short...no, he's not a nurse  ;D, I asked) directed me to this site; He deserves the credit:

http://www.axner.com/superwoolfiber-1thicksoldpersqft.aspx

They sell them at 1" and 2" think.

Axner sells insulation by the foot and cut it precisely to your specs. They even called me and asked how I needed it cut. At no additional cost, if I remember correctly.

It's a great company with lots and lots of supplies which could turn even the biggest BBQ into a great, custom-made pizza oven with a bit of imagination, a nod to adventure and a drive to produce a great pie. But I digress.

In order to increase air flow, and therefor be able to direct it in a better way, I'd try a heat up without the sand buffer bucket you have on the bottom, if you still use it. Dial the flame in on a medium-low (listen to the sound and characteristics of the flame...make sure there's still some yellow in there) and see how your MBE behaves.

If it's too much to handle for the MBE, put the sand buffer bucket back in but I honestly think you don't need it if you use a good temp control from the outside.

It should work, did on mine but then again,...yours is a tad smaller and might need different mods.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: DenaliPete on September 22, 2010, 03:45:51 AM
I can second Mike's recommendation of Axner, that is also where I bought my insulation (per his suggestion).  I did not think to ask them to cut mine for me and I did it by hand at home, but it worked very well all the same.

I still have far more leftover, if we were near I'd happily give you some to pursue your perfect pie (and you look to be very very close). 

I will probably end up using the remaining insulation in a 22 incher that I picked up at the transfer site and in my own MBE pursuit, (though my mbe will be far different from yours or villas, if indeed it works).

If you do experiment without the buffer bowl I'll be interested to hear the results.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 22, 2010, 09:20:30 AM
Since you have the air diverter idea implemented with positive results, I'd like to suggest an additional idea. Instead of preheating to 700*, preheat to 600* then load the pizza.  As soon as you get the lid put back on, turn the burner up.  I think the additional airflow from the roaring burner is what you need.  As it is, the burner kind of limping along doesn't produce alot of airflow but the roaring burner will.

Can you spill the beans on your current recipe, or has it already been locked in the vault for the opening of 'Kung Foo Pizza'?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 22, 2010, 11:17:34 AM
Don - looking forward to your new experimental oven.   My next move for the MBE, will be to move the air diverter closer towards the rim of the lid.  I'll have to position in such a way that airflow coming up will be diverted right away towards the rim.  A few trials should work just fine.   I'll implement your maze idea down the road if this one doesn't work (well).  I will be using an aluminum "L" strip as you suggested and rivet or bolt it to the lid.  It will simply be a curve shaped lip in the lid along the back perimeter.

Mike - the sand bowl is simply a heat buffer and airflow diverter of sorts to keep the heat from the shooting straight up towards the stone and pushing it more  towards the back.  I have done experiments with and without it back in the earlier days of this MBE and it proved useful.  Even with it in place I still have more heat to the stone than I desire.  If I could get a lower heat conducting stone that is in one piece I would use that.    Once i get this lid air diverter figured out (which shouldn't be long) I'll do a test to show a bake with and without the sand bowl in place to re-confirm my earlier findings.  If it proves not to be effective at that time, I'll pitch it for sure. 

I think in your LBE, you don't require a heat buffer like a sand bowl b/c your metal disk is quite thick.  That in itself will buffer much of the heat from below.  In mine, I have 2 thin (22g) pieces of sheet metal under the stone.  They aren't quite thick enough to buffer the excess heat from below thus necessitating a heat buffer (like the sand bowl).  I also remember you used an aluminum ring to create an air gap b/t the disk and stone.  I have also copied that idea using a few nickels to expand that air gap.  That as well as your disk mod, is another great idea. 

I plan to do work with the lid air diverter a bit more.  If that doesn't prove fruitful, then I will implement the QT and insulation to the top.  Again, my only current issue is getting an even browning of the entire rim.  The cheese is spotting so the heat above the pie itself is sufficient.  Much more and the cheese may actually dry out.   I'll keep you guys posted on what I find out with this lid air diverter.

Thank you for the link from RN, I will definitely return to it when I'm ready to order some insulation.  I wonder if that type of insulation is useful in building WFOs. 

Jet-deck.  Good idea about loading at a lower temp and cranking the burner.  I have been doing that for some time now.  Just to clariy, these pies are only loaded at 650-700 b/c they are a low protein dough (50/50 AP and pastry flour).  I normally load these in the home oven at 850F.  In the MBE, they are loaded at 650-700F b/c of the high heat conducting stone I'm using.  Again, this demonstrates the imbalance of heat in these modified kettle grills.  This also shows the need for buffering bottom heat and diverting it to the top side. 

If I was baking with BF or HG flour, I would definitely load the pie at 550-600 max with my current more efficient set up.  With my old setup (less efficient design) and using low heat conducting stones (FB/QT) I could and did get away with loading BF/HG flour pies at 700 for 3 min without burning.  Not so with this current setup which more closely replicates Mike's disk mod for his LBE. 

So even though I hadn't posted about it lately, I have been loading at lower temps and then cranking the burner up to full throttle.  This idea was introduced by Scott123.  I spoke about it in reply #67

"Load the pie at a hearth of 500F, then crank the fire up to get the surrounding air super hot.  This technique may be the key.  Thanks Scott."

Thanks for the input & suggestions all.  I REALLY DO appreciate it a lot.  I'll consider anything posted and try to implement changes that make sense one at a time to see what happens.   I'll keep you guys posted.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 22, 2010, 11:32:18 AM
Can you spill the beans on your current recipe, or has it already been locked in the vault for the opening of 'Kung Foo Pizza'?

Sure JD.  No secret at all.  I really constantly change things up base on the style of pizza, time estimate to bake, etc.   For these, I've been using more of a NP style recipe, meaning lower protein flours.  I would use this recipe to do almost-wfo-politans in the home oven at 850F or in the MBE at a hearth temp of 700f.   You can likely use this recipe for a lower temp bake but you may need to tweak it a bit.   These latest pies were meant for the home oven but I threw them on the mbe at the last minute to test out the airflow diverter.

Flour 100% (50/50 blend AP/Pastry Flour)
Water 64%
Salt 2.5%
Cake Yeast 1.2%

This was the first time I tried cake yeast and I liked the results.  Based on my estimation, the dough would be ready in about about 5-6 hours.  It was ready in 4.5hrs.  You can try this recipe even if you don't have the cake yeast.  Just substitute with IDY 0.4%.  You'll still need to watch the dough. 

I keep it pretty simple.  I usually bulk rise until the dough is about double (2-3 hours).  Then divide, ball, and proof at room temps for a few more hours or until the balls look like they have at least doubled. 

Just vary the yeast amount to the desired amount of fermentation time you want.  If you want a 12 hour fermentation time, then try decreasing the IDY to 0.2%.  Of course your physical environment will determine the amount of yeast you use and the time it takes for the dough  to be ready.  Just keep a log book and adjust accordingly. 

Good luck,
Chau

oh btw - no kung fu pizzeria for me.  I would consider it after retirement  someday if I ever learn how to make great pizza. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Essen1 on September 22, 2010, 02:45:28 PM
Quote
Mike - the sand bowl is simply a heat buffer and airflow diverter of sorts to keep the heat from the shooting straight up towards the stone and pushing it more  towards the back.  I have done experiments with and without it back in the earlier days of this MBE and it proved useful.  Even with it in place I still have more heat to the stone than I desire.  If I could get a lower heat conducting stone that is in one piece I would use that.    Once i get this lid air diverter figured out (which shouldn't be long) I'll do a test to show a bake with and without the sand bowl in place to re-confirm my earlier findings.  If it proves not to be effective at that time, I'll pitch it for sure.

Chau,

I keep forgetting that your burner sits a lot closer to the stone than in mine.  :-[
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 23, 2010, 10:06:03 PM
Good point Mike.  I too forget how close my stone is to the burner.   I originally did this to keep the MBE as efficient as possible so I wouldn't be heating up dead space.  Turns out the 170,000 btu burner is a bit of an overkill for the MBE.  But I always say it's better to have and not need than need and not have. ;)

So based on some promising results of the first air dam mod as seen in reply #279. I implemented a larger air dam closer to the edge of the lid.   The idea is to redirect that hot air coming up from the back and pushing it straight down onto the rim.  The toughest part of this was to try and visualize the air current to determine the precise placement the air dam.  I knew I would be drilling into the lid to secure it and really only wanted to have to drill the holes 1 time.  So getting it right the first time is always a challenge.

So here is the the latest mod to the MBE.  The air dam.   It is made from some 22g sheet metal I had sitting around.  I cut it an "L" shape and bolted it onto the lid.  Mod took about an hour to make.  This sits towards the back of the MBE. As you can also see, I kept the original air dam and just turned it 180 degrees.  Pies to follow...

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 23, 2010, 10:18:08 PM
Wanting to test this new mod out, but knowing i wouldn't be getting off of work in time to mix up some dough, I briefly recalled that I had 2 doughballs in the freezer from my experiment with a Kitchen aid mixer.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11769.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11769.0.html)
I made 5 or 6 doughballs that day and had placed 2 of them in the freezer.  These were in the freezer for 20 days.  Thawed on the counter at room temps of 75F for 5 hours and then outside where it's a bit warmer for a couple of hours. 

These were 71% HR with a HG flour.  After thawing they were both rather wet and sticky and fairly slack.  I ended up stretching and folding one of the 2 several times half way through the 7 hour proof as part of a side experiment.

Keeping in mind that these were HG doughballs, my MBE is now more efficient based on the new mods, and baking on a higher heat conducting stone, I decided to load these pies at 500F.  My goal was to extend the bake time to 4-5min to allow the HG dough to thoroughly bake through.

First pie was loaded at 500F hearth, burner turned down to half of what I normally use, and baked for 3.5m.  Didn't make the 4-5 min as the new air dam mod worked very well.  Also this first pie is the doughball that didn't have the stretch and folds.

This pie was very NY-elite like.  Crispy/crunchy on the rim and slightly crunchy on the bottom.  Crumb was soft at first but a bit dry after sitting for awhile.  I was very please with the look and the efficiency of the new air dam mod.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 23, 2010, 10:26:22 PM
2nd pie is the dough ball that had the stretch and folds.  I do this to trap air bubbles into the dough.  This is done after the bulk rise and prior to the proof.   Once the dough proofs, I can push the air bubbles towards the rim when making the disk and forming a skin.  B/c stretching/folding strengthens the dough, I try to avoid doing too many of them as it can make the dough tough to open.  This dough was really slack so I put in about 5-6 folds.  In hindsight 3-4 would have been plenty.

This dough didn't open as easily as the first one but easy enough.  The overall pie is smaller and the rim a bit thicker.  I also loaded this one at 500F and bake it for 2m45s as oppose to 3.5m (1st pie).  I rotated this pie more often and kept the rim from overly browning.   As a result the rim was not crisp at all and the bottom soften up after sitting, unlike the 1st pie.  The crumb texture was much better than the first.  Surprisingly tender and moist for a HG flour dough baked at under 3 min.   Both the wife and I like the taste of this pie much better.

Surprislngly 2 very different pies made from the same dough, just baked slightly different.  This one (to me) was my closest effort at reproducing a Nearlypolitan pie in the MBE.  I believe with these new mods, caputo and a bit higher baking temp, that the NP pies are within reach in my MBE.  More tests to follow...

I have really made some great improvements to my MBE thanks in part to ideas borrowed from Mike's (Essen1) disk mod, Jet_deck's 70's beaded curtain ideas, Don's (Buceriasdon) vortex generator idea, and my own ingenuity  :-D.  Thanks a bunch guys.  I'm done modding the MBE for now.  More bake tests to follow...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 24, 2010, 11:40:50 AM
JT, while you were posting, I was cooking your recipe.  I used the White Wings flour tortilla mix (7% Protein) in place of the pastry flour. I thought it would be interesting for you to see your recipe cooked at sea level and 90% humidity environment, quite the opposite of your surroundings.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 24, 2010, 11:56:20 AM
Thanks for doing that JD.  What type of yeast and % did you end up using and how long was your fermentation time? 

Also did you like it better or worse than the other recipe you used with good results?  I can see that you had to cook it a bit longer to get the desired color in the rim which likely lead to toasting the cheese (unless you like that).  Yeah that recipe I posted earlier is for a hi temp/quick bake.  Is that what you did?  BTW, your pies are fast improving since you posted your first pie a short while back.  Keep up the experimenting JD.  I'm anxious to see your Chimea in action.   ;)

BTW, I just ordered a 55lb bag of caputo, so my work with pastry flour may be very limited shortly.  :-D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on September 24, 2010, 12:49:34 PM
I intended to use the IDY 0.4% that you suggested.  I just realized (duh) that i used ADY 0.4% instead. No wonder it didn't rise much, o well got 2 balls in the fridge for tonight.  Fermented at room temp in bulk 3 hours ( I did the slap fold at hour 1) balled and sat for about 1 hour.  The toasted cheese was likely due to it being a store brand cheap stuff.  650* on the  10stone, but I didn't time it probably 3 minutes, tops.  I think that I do like it better than the BF/AP mix.  The neighbor that provided the meat (pork sausage and brisket link sausage) was practically at my door asking for another pizza, after I gave him the first one.  Thanks for the compliment on improving, I think I have too.  The cat will be away this weekend, so me being the mice, will play with the chiminea a bit.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 24, 2010, 12:58:03 PM
Awesome JD.  Here's the honest truth as I see it about pizza.  Even though I'm picky about how my pizzas look, it really doesn't matter what pizzas look like or what we use or how we achieve the end result.  To me, pizza is an experience  we have.  The success we have when we are pizza masters in no way negates the experiences we have with "crap" pizza when we were kids.  If it provokes an positive memorable experience then that's the whole point.

It's awesome that your neighbor came back asking for more pizza.  Only we may nit pick about the minutia, but the neighbor is probably thinking "that's the best [email protected] pizza I ever ate!"  Good job, keep it up.   ;D

I REALLY appreciate that story about your neighbor coming back for more.  Someday if he is interested, you should teach him how to make his own pies.  :-D  Boy I sure do wish I had a neighbor that would trade pork and beef sausage for pizza.   :P

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 25, 2010, 08:58:18 PM
Okay, so with the new air dam working well, I decide to do a test run with Caputo at higher temps. 
This was an experimental dough made with my new Bosch mixer.

Caputo 100%
Water  63%
Cake Yeast 0.2%
Salt 2.5 %

I had originally planned these for a 12 hour room temp ferment but they only lasted about 7 hours till baked.  I should have even baked them an hour earlier.  It was to be my first high temp bake since the new mods. 

I loaded the first pie a around 600 I think and had the burner on 75% of full throttle.  The bottom didn't char and the top took longer to brown.  I think this one took about 2.5 minute to bake.

2nd pie I decided to load at a hearth temp of around 700 with the burner going full blast.  This pie baked in 1m50s or so and the bottem had a nice char to it.  Next time I may even load the pie at 650F hearth with the burner wide open. 

The crumb was soft but also toughen a bit after it cooled dough.  I can't be sure if it was the new mixer, the relatively lower HR for my environment, or under baking of the crust.  I'll have to do some more experimenting.  But so far this test bake was promising.  I'm moving in the right direction towards making a NP pie in the MBE.

 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Mick.Chicago on September 26, 2010, 08:01:00 PM
The second pie down looks just as good as than the one I had at SpaccaNapoli last night.  The only difference is slightly more char and you're there.

Serious. 

Are you still trying to get towards your perfect pie?  I mean, what are you aiming for? 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 26, 2010, 08:32:59 PM
The second pie down looks just as good as than the one I had at SpaccaNapoli last night.  The only difference is slightly more char and you're there.

Serious. 

Are you still trying to get towards your perfect pie?  I mean, what are you aiming for? 

MC, that is too kind of you.  I think like most active members here, I know good/great pizza when I eat it and have become rather picky about what is good and what is not.   At the moment I am really just having fun exploring how to make the different styles.  I would like to learn as much as I can about pizza making in general while I still have the motivation, time, and income to do so.   

I want to know and develop a decent understanding of what is possible and what is not possible.  I want to do the impossible.  I want to know that I can transform the most basic of ingredients into something that I and the ppl I serve pizza to say "wow, that's good stuff!"  The more time I spend on the forum and making pizza, the wiser I am becoming slowly.  I am beginning to change my mind about a lot of things lately.   

I use to think there was perfection, but am now satisfied with just greatness.  I think our taste can change a lot as we grow too.  I mean I think I know what a perfect Neo-Neapolitan should taste like, but then again that's just my personal taste.  You may disagree with me on what perfect is.  Also I ate a really satisfying chicago deep dish last week.  There's no way to compare the 2 except to say that they are both really enjoyable.  To say one is perfect would discredit the other.  I think we can learn to make "perfect" or really great NY, deep dish, NP pies but not one style is more perfect than the other for me.

I use to to get a bit irked by the elitists that say if you want to make a real NP pie you have to use caputo and it has to be baked in a WFO.  My goal was to see if I couldn't prove them wrong.  What if I could make a perfect pie using AP flour in a home setting?  If not I would at the very least learn the limitations of AP flour and the home oven.

But today, I got to eat some amazing pizza from a WFO.  I even got to try my own dough (caputo vs a blend of AP/pastry), and you wanna know the TRUTH??

The WFO oven, the bosch mixer, and the caputo flour made a HUGE difference!  When I had little hope for my dough (from my past experience with hand kneading, blending flours, and baking pies using the MBE/home oven/primo) I was blown away at my own pizza when these components came together.  It elevated my pizza from a 6 or 7 out of 10 to a 8-9/10.  With the right tools, I believe I can do even better than I have been.  All I have been doing lately is really just getting my feet wet. 

My experience today left a big impression on me...

Chau

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 09, 2010, 09:24:55 PM
Made some really good NY-elite pies tonight.  Made them with HG bromated flour.   The cake yeast is 2 weeks old and maybe a bit weak.  Didn't quite get the dough to proof up the way I wanted for a 12 hour room temp rise, but they still had  good oven spring.

I figured out a great trick to increase the oven spring in the MBE.  Should work for the LBE as well.  During the first few minutes of baking, I take my metal peel and hold it against the top lid vent.  Blocking the airflow and keeping the heat in the dome.  This produced an appreciable difference in the oven spring.

Made 4 good pies tonight but the last one was the BEST!  One of my all time favorites.   Crunchy/crispy outside and bottom and open airy moist crumb.  It was fantastic.

Here are the first 3 pies.  Last one will get it's own post.  ;D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 09, 2010, 09:26:15 PM
Last pie of the night.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 12, 2010, 06:32:45 PM
Made a few 10 hour caputo pies in the MBE.  Was shooting for a bigger oven spring and I think I got it... :P

What do you guys think about the crumb?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: dellavecchia on October 12, 2010, 07:12:29 PM
Perfection on the crumb. Just spectacular.

John
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 12, 2010, 08:25:53 PM
Thanks John.  I thought the pies were pretty good.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on October 12, 2010, 08:59:39 PM
I would concur..they look very nice!  What was temp and how long did you cook them for?  I am going to order a bag of Caputo here this week..which one do you use Chau...the Red or Blue bag??
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 12, 2010, 09:07:39 PM
Thx Shaun, glad you guys appreciate a good crumb.  :-D

I use the blue bag (pizzeria).  The red bag is Chef's flour that can also be used for pizza making.  This batch was actually 2/3 blue bag and 1/3 red bag.  That's the SECRET ratio.   :-D  Just kidding.  I had a bit of the red bag left over so I threw it in. 

Just be aware though, that if you like a "crunchy" rim, caputo may give you a bit less crunch.  It'll still crisp, but BF or HG flour will give you more crunch.  You can do this crumb with the HG flour you have right now.  Look at the crumb in reply #280.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 12, 2010, 09:13:57 PM
Oh whoops, I forgot to tell you the temp.  I believe these were loaded at a hearth temp of 600F and baked for about close to 3 min.   As always, I don't know the true temp of the MBE.  Depending where you measure on the hearth you can easily get varying temps.   I'm working on a hinged cover for the front lid vent.  Stay tune...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on October 13, 2010, 08:52:54 AM
Chau, I tried some cover ideas for the vent but my burner then starves for oxygen but I have only the front vent. Good luck

Don

Oh whoops, I forgot to tell you the temp.  I believe these were loaded at a hearth temp of 600F and baked for about close to 3 min.   As always, I don't know the true temp of the MBE.  Depending where you measure on the hearth you can easily get varying temps.   I'm working on a hinged cover for the front lid vent.  Stay tune...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 13, 2010, 09:51:58 AM
Chau, I tried some cover ideas for the vent but my burner then starves for oxygen but I have only the front vent. Good luck

Don


Thanks Don, with some initial test yesterday I noticed the same thing.  Heat up time is much slower, BUT here's what I'm thinking.   A hinged lid.   Open for quick (normal) heat up times and closed only for the first 1-2 minutes while the pie is in.  This maybe a fluke, but I've been noticing bigger oven spring with this method.   It makes sense b/c that trapped heat creates an environment similar to a WFO.  The surrounding heat gives the lift, then open the vent lid and allow airflow again to char the rim to finish the pie. 

I'm also toying with the idea of a perforated lid cover.  So that during the first 1-2 minutes of the bake, the vent hole isn't completely shut off.  The airflow would just be decrease enough to trap the hot air in the lid and just long enough for initial oven spring.  After the rim is set, the vent lid is lowered for normal MBE/LBE baking.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: PaulsPizza on October 13, 2010, 09:57:55 AM
Chau, those pies look very very tasty!! awesome work as usual :chef:
I think I may mix up some dough tonight now, you have made me hungry!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2010, 10:25:54 AM
Chau,

Your recent pies look delicious.   ;D  Your crumb looks fantastic!  :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 13, 2010, 10:50:47 AM
Thanks Paul & Norma.   Paul I would love to see some of your recent work. ;)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: PaulsPizza on October 13, 2010, 11:44:08 AM
Thanks Paul & Norma.   Paul I would love to see some of your recent work. ;)


Chau, I am making pizza on Monday so I will dust the camera off and take some pics for you.
I have been so busy lately, sorry for the lack of pics.
When are you next making pizza?
Paul
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 13, 2010, 11:58:03 AM
A few days from now, and ill try to do the same crumb structure with AP flour.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 13, 2010, 09:22:48 PM
Got the top vent hinged cover done tonight.    Confident it will work well but need to do further testing.   Initial test from using the peel to cover the vent has shown some postive results.  Won't get to test it out for a few days though.

Eventhough it looks like it covers the vent fully, there is still a bit of a gap at the top.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: c0mpl3x on October 14, 2010, 12:25:50 AM
chau all you need now is fluxcore and rust and you have another c0mpl3x fabrication thread!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on October 14, 2010, 08:13:07 AM
Chau, I am most interested in your results. I too have pondered this same modification to the front vent. With my LBE setup I can see my flame go down when I have placed a curved piece of metal over the vent, which for me defeats the purpose of not losing heat. Good luck. I even thought about having a rectangular vent fabricated that could be pop riveted in the opening and extends out a few inches.
Don

Got the top vent hinged cover done tonight.    Confident it will work well but need to do further testing.   Initial test from using the peel to cover the vent has shown some postive results.  Won't get to test it out for a few days though.

Eventhough it looks like it covers the vent fully, there is still a bit of a gap at the top.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 14, 2010, 10:32:22 AM
...   Confident it will work well but need to do further testing....

For what its worth, these are my thoughts on your MBE.  Your walking on a slippery slope.  A black egg  with no vents gives the heat no place to go but out the bottom.  A poorly designed black egg without channeling the heat to the rear, up over the stone, and out the front, gives you a charred bottom pizza with no top heat browning.  But in your situation, with the new door on the front, I believe that the only way it will work the way you want it to is if the 'bit of gap at the top' (front vent) is large enough to continue to let enough air flow out the front.  I can't wait to see your results.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 14, 2010, 10:38:38 AM
Woops, forgot to say that the pizza looks very good as usual.  What is your favorite suggested "recipe" for using HG flour?  I now have a 25# bag of Kyrol and some cake yeast and I wanted a recipe for when the 10stone gets put back together.  Thanks Chau.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 11:16:54 AM
chau all you need now is fluxcore and rust and you have another c0mpl3x fabrication thread!

Absolutely Jon.  :D  I've been really enjoying the pies that have been coming out of the MBE lately for many reasons.  It's much more of a challenge to make a great product with a less than ideal setup/conditions.  Lots of manipulations have to be made which requires an understanding of what one is doing. 

I too have pondered this same modification to the front vent. With my LBE setup I can see my flame go down when I have placed a curved piece of metal over the vent.

Don & JD thanks for the feedback.  Though I didn't make a post of it, I did do the exact same test with a curved piece of sheet metal covering the lid vent opening completely .  I too, noted the same detrimental effect.   Heat up times were maybe tripled from the poor airflow.  So I quickly removed the strip and went back to blocking some of the airflow with the metal peel.  In the few times I've done this I did note an increase in ovenspring in a bigger portion of the rim.

This actually make sense especially given the newer mods done lately.  With my current set up, all the airflow is direct to the back and over the pie out the front vent.  The airflow is so forceful that it is bypassing the sides of the pie (to a certain extent) and I'm only getting great spring in the back.  If I turn the pie 180' after 30sec, I may get some additional spring to the front of the pie(now towards the back) but it's not great.  So the result is one portion of the rim has great ovenspring and the rest of the rim (60%) has mediocre rise. 

You can see this effect in some of my previous pies like the one in reply #271.  It could be the result of uneven stretching of the skin, but it's more likely due to the uneven heat distribution.

BUT with blocking the vent using the flat edge of the peel, I was able to successfully slow down the airflow while still preserving the majority of it.  As a result, in 4-5 pies made this way,  I noted a bigger portion of the rim getting great rise.  Thus leading to the current lid vent mod. 

I absolutely agree JD.  I can't block off the vent completely as noted in reply #294.  I have to preserve a % of the airflow for it to work.  How much? Dunno yet.  A few test should show me how much venting is ideal.   Again, my goal is to only block about maybe 60% of the airflow just to preserve more heat in the dome.  Theoretically this will create more top heat to aid in ovenspring across more of the rim and not just the back. 

I have some AP doughs fermenting right now.  If I can get off work early enough tonight, I'll run the test.  I'll do 1 pie with using the new mod and one with to see if there is indeed a difference. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 11:35:34 AM
Woops, forgot to say that the pizza looks very good as usual.  What is your favorite suggested "recipe" for using HG flour?  I now have a 25# bag of Kyrol and some cake yeast and I wanted a recipe for when the 10stone gets put back together.  Thanks Chau.

JD thanks for the compliment.  You can use any favorite recipe you wish with HG flour.  You only need to make a few changes. 1) You need to up the hydration ratio by about 3-4% if going from an AP flour to a HG flour. 
2) Decrease your kneading time a bit. 3) Bake it at a slightly lower temp for a bit longer.  You'll need to play around with these variables to find the happy medium.  Remember, you can make a light and airy crumb using just about any flour.  You just have to manipulate a few variables to achieve the crumb structure you want.  Sounds like a wild claim right? 

If you want the recipe I used for the pies in #279 & #280, it is...

HG bromated flour 100%
Water 72%
Salt 2.5%
Cake yeast 0.1%
oil 1%

This amount of cake yeast should allow for a 10-12 hour room temp (75F) rise, but as always you will need to vary the amount of yeast used with your observations of when the dough is ready.

If you find the hydration a bit high for you, then just decrease it by 2% or so until it's manageable. 
Please post up some pics as I always find it enjoyable and educational to look at other people's work.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 09:48:36 PM
OK - got a chance to try out the new vent lid mod and got mixed results.

First these are AP flour pies.  I wanted to see if I could get that airy crumb I've been getting with the other flours.  It's the "flour vs technique" controversy.

I made up 2 (200gm) pies.  I would bake one with the vent lid opened and one with the vent lid closed for the initial part of the bake.   I normally stretch these pies to almost 12" for the 12" stone, but decided to only stretch these out to 10" to exaggerate the rim a bit.  I thought it would make the results easier to see.

Well I wasn't paying attention and let the MBE get to almost 800f.  Being that the first pie was ready to go into the oven, I didn't want it to sit on the wooden peel to long and afraid it would end up sticking so I loaded it at a higher than normal temp.
So i took the lid off, lowered the burner output and let the hearth come down to about 720.  Being impatient I went ahead and loaded the first pie at 720F.    The temp I was suppose to load at and have been doing so with all these new mods is around 600.

Well to my surprise the first one got great oven spring all the way around (with turning) using my normal baking MBE procedures.  I didn't get any flat spots and think it could have been b/c the pie was a bit smaller and was recessed further into the oven AND the hearth temp was 120F higher than normal.  Needless to say, the bottom burned but I got some good oven spring and a great texture.

Here are pics of the first pie.   So to recap. 
-regular bake without vent lid mod. 
-hearth temp 720
-baked for usual time of ~3 min.
-burned bottom
-good oven spring all the way around.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 10:00:13 PM
Alrighty, now for the 2nd pie.

I let the hearth temp come down to regular loading temps of 600.  Flipped the vent lid up and left about 40% of the opening exposed for airflow.  I want to note that when I shut the vent lid further, I did notice a change in the way the airflow sounded.  It sounded muted and weakened.  As is though, the sound was unchanged.

After 30 seconds of baking, I lifted the lid and notice really great oven spring towards the back.  There was a huge bubble there.  I noted that the rest of the rim was so so at this point.  Not good.  If there was a postive effect, I would have seen it at this point.   I turned the pie 180 degrees and continued baking.   The vent lid was put down after 1.5 minutes or so and the rest of the bake was done with the lid down. 

Well, I got great spring in only one portion of the rim and one portion was actually FLAT!  Don't know what happened.  This wasn't suppose to happen.  Goes against my theory and purpose for the mod.  :'(

2nd, bummer was that the bottom burned as well.  To the same degree as the first pie despite loading at 600F and not 720F.  Weird... ???  2 possible reasons for this.  1) The dough was a bit overfermented, which I don't really believe is the reason, but it's possible.  2) Jet Deck is correct in that when the airflow is blocked the hearth will get more heat.  I initially didn't think this was possible since i do still have the sand bowl buffer underneath, but at this point I'm willing to entertain any/all possibilities. 

Recap on pie #2
-loaded at a hearth temp of 600f.  Bottom still burned.
-Oven spring was better than pie #1 in only 1 portion of the pie.
-There was a flat portion of rim too.  Dunno how this happened since I opend the skin up to the same size and fairly consistent with my opening methods ie didn't press the rim.
-didn't timed the bake but it was around the usual bake time.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 10:05:29 PM
Results are inconclusive at this point as to the effectiveness of the recent vent lid mod.   I plan on redoing this test with the appropriate and same hearth temps for both pies and time the bakes.  If after a few bakes, the mod doesn't prove itself worthy, I'll remove it.  All thoughts, ideas, theories, and speculations would be most welcomed.

The bad news is that both pies were burnt on the bottem and I could only eat portions of them.  The good news is that the portions  I could eat were pretty good.   I got the texture I wanted which is an open and airy crumb with a slightly crispy skin. 

Here are some pictures of the dough.  This was a hand kneaded AP flour dough, 69% hydration ratio.

 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 14, 2010, 10:07:58 PM
Here are various crumb shots coming off of both pies.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: c0mpl3x on October 14, 2010, 10:27:56 PM
serious window paning there
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 19, 2010, 10:53:03 AM
...Please post up some pics as I always find it enjoyable and educational to look at other people's work.

Chau

Here you go JT, this is the dough from your suggestion at reply #300 above. I made 2 batches, with and without the oil. The only difference that I noted between the two was that the dough without oil was "wetter and stickyer" than the other.  Perhaps the oil contributed to easier kneading, developing more gluten structure, thusly hiding the high hydration.  The dough was made with Kyrol (HG)that I grabbed at Restaurant Depot in San Antonio.  Adorning the pizza was Stanislaus full red pizza sauce, Polly O mozz and Jimmy Dean pork sausage (hot).  The dough was bulk fermented 10 hours at 80* in the garage, balled into 200 g portions and held cold in the fridge 24 hours.  Your suggestion of .1% of cake yeast seemed low. Mostly because i was looking at a saltine cracker sleeve full of cake yeast and I only needed (.001 x 500g = .5 grams) so I rounded it up to 2 full grams.  i estimate that the cook time was in the 4 minute range.  I had in mind that the higher protein flour would burn somewhere in the 600* range so I kept the 10stone fairly cool, around 500*, for the first 2 pizzas. After finishing the first two pizzas, I felt that they were "bready".  Not doughy or not fully cooked, not anything wrong, just not the best.  The cornicione, when tapped with my fingernail wasn't firm.  I sent these two pizzas to the neighbors, more later.  I jacked up the bottom heat to 650*, and should have turned up the top heat more as well for the third pizza.  I did jack up the heat about 1 minute before loading the fourth and last pizza.  The top was hotter than satan's bachelor party at the corderite factory. >:D
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 19, 2010, 11:00:27 AM
I sent the neighbor the first two pizzas in a mostly clean Papa Johns pizza box.  He called back, said that the family devoured them and that Papa Johns had nothing on me.  It was a great morale booster.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 11:09:57 AM
Nice work JD.  It's great that you tried it with and without the oil.   From what I've read the oil coats the gluten strands and (I believe) makes it harder for gluten to develop so I'm not surprise that dough felt stickier.    You can compensate for this by kneading a bit longer or lowering the hydration ratio a bit.   Lowering the hydration a bit would be better than more kneading though.   I believe the oil translates to a more tender crumb and slightly crispier shell, but I'm currently working on recipes without it as well.   I'll be blending caputo 00 with HG flour next with and without oil to see if  I can come up with a really good Neo-Neapolitan pie.

Good point about the yeast.  I have always told ppl to adjust yeast accordingly.  I live in a high altitude environment and yeast seems to work really well so I typically use 'low' amounts relative to other members.

Did you like the higher heat pies?  Did the dough tolerate the higher heat?  I'm not surprise the lower heat pies were breadier.   You'll find that to get your ideal or a lighter crumb, just keep changing one variable at a time and note the difference.   It will be different for each person since our ovens bake different and our ideal crumbs maybe different as well.  This is why recipes don't necessarily work the same for everyone.

Having said that, your crumb is looking more airy to me.  Thanks for posting your results.
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 11:17:21 AM
I sent the neighbor the first two pizzas in a mostly clean Papa Johns pizza box.  He called back, said that the family devoured them and that Papa Johns had nothing on me.  It was a great morale booster.

That should be your new signature.   "Pappa Johns Ain't Got Nothing On Me!"  :-D

JD overall nice work BUT to challenge yourself and improve your game, keep tinkering.   From looking at the crumb, it looks a bit overkneaded to me but if the crumb wasn't dry or leathery then no harm.  Also to get a less bready pie or rim, stretch the pies out thinner and/or just thin out the rim.   The high heat will still puff it up.  A thinner crust will give a nice crunch to the bottem as well (if not there already).  Just adjust or lower the amount of sauce and toppings accordingly as well. 

Now if the pie is too chewy, then again you can fix that by decreasing the kneading, a higher HR perhaps, and/or blending in a bit AP flour. 

Good luck,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: ponzu on October 19, 2010, 11:51:09 AM
JT,

Really nice looking pies.  Which flour mix are you preferring these days.  I assume from the appearance of the caputo pie with its light brown leaparding versus large dark brown spots, that the crust had a softer bite and mouth feel.

Although I very much like the appearance of the caputo pie,  The crumb shot of the HG pie in reply 280 has a well defined rim which looks much crunchier (and thus more delicious.)

This is the paradox that I am struggling with in my own bakes.  How to get the softness and leaparding of the neapolitan formulations along with the crunchy rim of a more NY formulation.

What is your feeling on the ideal pie at this point.

One final point,  I really like the way the MBE browns the lower aspect of the cornicione just above the stone line.  As you know, this is a challenge in the broiler method.

AZ
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2010, 12:04:24 PM
From what I've read the oil coats the gluten strands and (I believe) makes it harder for gluten to develop so I'm not surprise that dough felt stickier.    You can compensate for this by kneading a bit longer or lowering the hydration ratio a bit.   Lowering the hydration a bit would be better than more kneading though.   I believe the oil translates to a more tender crumb and slightly crispier shell, but I'm currently working on recipes without it as well.

Chau,

According to what member November stated in Reply 64 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg40113/topicseen.html#msg40113, there is a quantitative relationship between oil and flour and the amount of oil that can be used with flours with different protein levels. However, with a hydration of 72% and 1% oil, I think it would be hard to isolate the effects of such a small amount of oil. Also, based on my Papa John's clone work, I believe that you have to get to above about 4-5% oil to achieve an observable tenderness in the finished crust.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 12:14:51 PM
JT,

Really nice looking pies.  Which flour mix are you preferring these days.  I assume from the appearance of the caputo pie with its light brown leaparding versus large dark brown spots, that the crust had a softer bite and mouth feel.

Although I very much like the appearance of the caputo pie,  The crumb shot of the HG pie in reply 280 has a well defined rim which looks much crunchier (and thus more delicious.)

This is the paradox that I am struggling with in my own bakes.  How to get the softness and leaparding of the neapolitan formulations along with the crunchy rim of a more NY formulation.

What is your feeling on the ideal pie at this point.

One final point,  I really like the way the MBE browns the lower aspect of the cornicione just above the stone line.  As you know, this is a challenge in the broiler method.

AZ

You are so very observant Alexi!  I love that.  :-D  I agree with your assessment.  Maybe I'm just crazy or it's just all in my head, but I can get the crumb structure b/t caputo 00 and HG flour to be very similar in a 12hour fermentation window.  Of course the HG crumb is a bit chewier but not much.  It's all in how you manipulate the variables of hydration, kneading, fermentation, and baking temp/time.  

Now as far as the crunch, you can definitely get a slight crisp to the skin of caputo depending on the hydration, kneading, and time and temp of bake.  You can get it as crunchy or no crunch at all if you want.  When I bake my caputo pies for around 3 mins in the MBE, it has a very pleasant crispy skin to it.  

When I bake my HG pies in the MBE (and I'm happy you caught that nice defined shell since I was purposefully showing it off), it has a crunchy rim - almost too crunchy.  If I lower the heat a bit and bake it not so long so it's not so dark, the crunchiness is less.  

My ideal? Somewhere in between.  I'll start blending 75% caputo with 25% HG flour next and see what I get.  I may do a 50/50 blend.  I hope it won't take too many tweaks.  We're almost there baby!! :-D

Yesterday I lowered the HR to my caputo pies to get a drier crumb in the home oven bake but I wasn't please with the bake.  I took the same dough out to the MBE and got great oven spring with a great crumb but guess what?  Almost no leoparding or any pattern.  Very muted even looking color.  I'll post some pics later.  Hydration ratio definitely has an effect on rate of fermentation which in turn has an effect on 'the look' of the rim.  That's provided you have sufficient heat surrounding the pie.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 03:47:59 PM
Chau,

According to what member November stated in Reply 64 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg40113/topicseen.html#msg40113, there is a quantitative relationship between oil and flour and the amount of oil that can be used with flours with different protein levels. However, with a hydration of 72% and 1% oil, I think it would be hard to isolate the effects of such a small amount of oil. Also, based on my Papa John's clone work, I believe that you have to get to above about 4-5% oil to achieve an observable tenderness in the finished crust.

Peter

Thank you for the links Peter.  When I use oil (even at 1%) versus not I can perceiveably feel the difference in the dough.  From what I've read about the oil coating the gluten matrix, it does make sense.  

As far as % of oil, when I used about 3% oil alongside with a minimal knead experiment, I noted an unusually tender crust.  But now that  I think about it, the minimal kneading may have played a huge part in that tenderness along with the high hydration.  

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.60.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11015.60.html) Reply #45

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 04:03:09 PM

Yesterday I lowered the HR to my caputo pies to get a drier crumb in the home oven bake but I wasn't please with the bake.  I took the same dough out to the MBE and got great oven spring with a great crumb but guess what?  Almost no leoparding or any pattern.  Very muted even looking color.  I'll post some pics later.  
My premature assessment?   Hydration ratio definitely has an effect on rate of fermentation which in turn has an effect on 'the look' of the rim.  That's provided you have sufficient heat surrounding  the pie.

Chau

Here is the lower hydration pie baked yesterday in the MBE along with with a few crumb shots.  HR was decreased from 66% to 62%.   Flour is caputo 00.  I'm thinking I could have gotten more color or character out of the rim if I had fermented the dough longer.
 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Bobino414 on October 19, 2010, 04:35:25 PM
Peter, Chau

I too have noticed a significant difference in softness of crust when using less than 2% oil.  This is made up of 1/2 in the dough ball and 1/2 to coat the dough for cold fermentation.  The knead time for  this dough was 5 minutes in the Bosch (Kyrol, 60% hydration, IDY, 1.5% salt), straight to fridge.
I can alter the softness by reducing bake temp(usually in the 660-710 range) and baking longer but this dries out the crumb to an unpleasant state.

Bob

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 19, 2010, 04:45:33 PM
... stretch the pies out thinner and/or just thin out the rim...

These both were very difficult to stretch, Ill let them sit out an additional hour tonight before I put the heat to them.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2010, 04:55:22 PM
Peter, Chau

I too have noticed a significant difference in softness of crust when using less than 2% oil.  This is made up of 1/2 in the dough ball and 1/2 to coat the dough for cold fermentation.  The knead time for  this dough was 5 minutes in the Bosch (Kyrol, 60% hydration, IDY, 1.5% salt), straight to fridge.
I can alter the softness by reducing bake temp(usually in the 660-710 range) and baking longer but this dries out the crumb to an unpleasant state.

Bob



Bob,

As I have noted before, I can tell when I omit the oil from the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation but it is more in the flavor department. I once sent an email to Tom Lehmann in which I asked him what the oil was used for in his recipe and why in the amount of 1%. I wanted specifically to see if he would mention the tenderness in the finished crust, or a greater dough volume, or something like that. His reply (on 9/2/08) was as follows:

The addition of 1% oil to the dough improves the flavor of the dough significantly. It isn't necessary to add the oil, but it sure helps to improve the overall appeal of the finished crust.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Bobino414 on October 19, 2010, 06:18:29 PM

Peter

My post was based solely on your reply #311 to Chau in which you stated you "believe that you have to get above about 4-5% oil to achieve an observable tenderness in the finished crust."
But my guess is you suspected some degree of tenderness at 1% when you queried Tom. 

Bob
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2010, 06:41:15 PM
Bob,

I knew that oil could produce a tender crust but I didn't know if 1% would be enough to do it. I did not want to bias Tom's response to my question so I used my standard practice of asking the question in an open ended manner, without any mention of oil's possible effect on tenderness, particularly at 1%. In this case, I wanted to see if Tom would say anything about tenderness. For whatever reason, Tom highlighted the effect of the oil on crust flavor.

Oil quantity is also related to hydration because oil has its own "wetting" effect on dough. At 72% hydration, 1% oil would seem to me to be too little to have much effect. When I use both oil and water in my doughs, I select the values for both such that they are about equal to the rated absorption value of the flour in question. So, for example, if I want to use 7% oil with a typical bread flour, I will select a hydration of about 56%. Of course, in Jet_deck's case, he was intentionally using a very high hydration.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 19, 2010, 06:48:13 PM
These both were very difficult to stretch, Ill let them sit out an additional hour tonight before I put the heat to them.

JD - I'm not surprise to hear that at all.  Were these cold fermented by any chance.   I didn't want to mention this before but I thought the crumb looked like it had too much gluten developement.  Either from slightly too much kneading or too many stretch and folds.  Remember...depending on other factors like hydration ratio and strength of flour, a few minutes extra kneading can be the difference of just right and a little too much.  A few extra folds can be the difference of just right and a little too much.   If too much, then the crumb can get leathery or dry especially after cooling down.  If just a bit too much than that can equate into extra chew and a perception of being a bit more bready compared to what the crumb could have been if that makes sense.   I didn't mention it b/c  I can't pinpoint where it came from other than I recognize the crumb to be such since I have made many of these.  Again, not anything against your effort b/c I recognize how hard it can be.  And besides your neighbor loved it so don't forget that.  I'm just pushing you beyond towards perfection/excellence.   Although I myself am not there yet...

Here is one extreme example but you get the idea.

Reply #26
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.60.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.60.html)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2010, 07:01:23 PM
After posting, I recalled that I had discussed the effects of oil in dough, specifically in the Lehmann NY style dough, at Reply 130 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8341.msg75843.html#msg75843.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: ponzu on October 19, 2010, 08:44:10 PM
Pete-zza,

 I think that 1% oil has a dramatic effect on dough structure.  When I mix the "NASA" dough with 1% oil there is considerably more extensibility, strength and thus windowpaning and less webbing after a 20 minute rest post mixing.

The difference is more subtle after balling and proofing however.

As always my observations are based on a much smaller sample size than yours Peter, so your experience trumps mine. 

Just my 2 cents for what its worth.  Not much these days :-D.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2010, 09:04:25 PM
Alexi,

I was directing my comments to the tenderness issue with 1% oil. There are other effects on a dough, some of which are structural, as both you and Chau noted. I will also sometimes suggest that members delete the oil if they want a somewhat dryer crust that is along the lines of an "elite" style pizza made from a dough that includes only flour, water, yeast and salt.

Out of curiosity, I ran Jet_deck's recipe as best I could divine it from what he said through the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, and came up with the following:

Flour (100%):
Water (72%):
CY (0.44%):
Salt (2.5%):
Olive Oil (1%):
Total (175.94%):
Single Ball:
454.7 g  |  16.04 oz | 1 lbs
327.38 g  |  11.55 oz | 0.72 lbs
2 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs |
11.37 g | 0.4 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.04 tsp | 0.68 tbsp
4.55 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.01 tsp | 0.34 tbsp
800 g | 28.22 oz | 1.76 lbs | TF = N/A
200 g | 7.05 oz | 0.44 lbs
Note: For four 200-gram dough balls; no bowl residue compensation

As can be seen from the above, assuming it is correct, the oil comes to about one teaspoon for about a pound of flour or roughly 28 ounces of dough. Query: Is that enough to produce tenderness in the finished crust? I personally don't use hydrations of around 72% because doughs at that level do not do well in my standard unmodified home oven. So, I have little experience with the effects of small amounts of oil in very high hydration doughs.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on October 20, 2010, 01:14:50 AM
Peter, Chau, et. all
As always Peter is spot on with the recipe.  I used a small fudge factor, when talking about JT's recipe, to avoid being overly descript about exact ingredient weights.  I took this liberty to not hijack the thread (even more than I already have).  The exact weights are as follows. HG flour (100%) 500g, Water (72%) 360g, Salt (2.5%) 12.5g, CY(.4%) 2g, oil(1%) 5g.

My newbie decision to quadruple the cake yeast, resulted in a blown dough tonight. More specifically, the two remaining dough balls with no oil were overly flat and wet.  The one remaining recipe correct dough ball with oil still looks pretty good. Probably the 10 hours in the garage at 80* that did the dough in.  Blown tonight, overfermented last night when cooked.  Result = none.  No one complained tonight with three pieces going out as a protein supplement to supper.

The end result of the blown dough will be found shortly at the October Monthy Challenge post :
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 20, 2010, 07:52:40 AM
No worries about hijacking.  This is a good discussion and I appreciate this more than no discussion.

 :-D at you for quadrupling the yeast and a 10 hour garage ferment.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pete-zza on October 20, 2010, 10:58:44 AM
Jet_deck,

I am not surprised that your dough blew. At 0.4% cake yeast, that is equivalent to about 1.2% IDY. That is an amount that would be used to make an emergency dough at normal room temperature to be used to make pizzas within about a couple of hours. But lessons like this are good to experience since you won't use 0.4% cake yeast again for a 10-hour, 80 degrees F room temperature ferment  ;D.

Peter
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 24, 2010, 07:56:20 PM
Polar opposite pies....

Tonight I made 2 experimental pies.   This is a blend of 00 and HG flour in search of something inspiring.

Cold fermented for a day and a half.   In search of an open airy crumb with a cold fermented dough which has been impossible for me up until tonight.  This only the 2nd time i've gotten a good crumb structure with a cold fermented dough. I hope there will be many more.

1st pie was a total bust.  Didn't have the stone hot enough.  Went to turn it and the pie stuck.  had to get the welding gloves to rotate the stone (a first for me)!  Pie is not attractive at all and tasted below mediocre.  No pic for the the first pie.

2nd pie (pic below), hearth temps increased.   Turned out an excellent NP style pie.  The best I have made in this category.  If I could imagine what a good NP pie should taste like, this would be it.

Light, airy rim (in most parts  :-D).  Taste and texture was just right.   Home made sauce, bufala mozz sprinkled with a blend of parm/romano.   Wow!!  This pie gives me hope.

Chau



Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Bobino414 on October 24, 2010, 08:46:16 PM

Chau

Fine looking pies.  You should be proud of your work. The crumb looks light, airy, and "moist."  Was there any crispiness?   As these were experimental pies, what did you change?  Give us the details.

Bob
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 24, 2010, 11:55:59 PM
Thanks Bob.  This was 2/3 00 1/3 HG.  10% ischia w/ a pinch of IDY.  68% HR bulk 3h CF ~38h, then proofed 4h at 75f.
Minimally kneaded and was very supple & opened easily.   The parts that were experimental and new is that 1) I covered the balls in oil prior to CF'ing and 2) I had mix a bit of HG flour into it to get a bit more crunch to the rim and I think I did get that, but it was just a slight crisp.  Wasn't actually crunchy but slightly crisp.   It was just very satisfying to eat and gave me the idea that I was eating something that came out of a WFO and that was artisanal in character.   The crust had flavor but no notes of sourness at all.  Just a mild flavor characterisitic to ischia. 

The pie was not perfectly round and not charred evenly all around.  A few burnt spots here and there which actually added to it's artisanal feel & character.   It had a very similar texture to the ultra light HG pie I posted about back in reply #125 except that pie was all HG and crispier on bottom and in the rim.  I do remember tasting some smokiness to the crust.  I think b/c the charred spots were so airy, the taste of char and airy rim may have given the rim that slight smokey taste.  ???

I don't know, I can't really describe it well.  It's just one of moments when you eat a slice and the light bulb comes on inside your head and you start taking bigger bites and eating faster.  :-D  Using bufala and the parm/romano mix might have made a difference to the pie as well.  After eating so many of my own pies, I'm rarely actually impress with my own stuff anymore.

I mixed up another batch tonight and made some minor changes.  I hope to get some similar bakes in a few days. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on November 02, 2010, 09:43:29 PM
made 4 good pies tonight using a 16 hour cold fermented dough.   I posted these in a different thread...
reply #37 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12140.20.html#lastPost (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12140.20.html#lastPost)

Thought I would post this here to show folks what is possible in the MBE. 

All pies were pretty darn good. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on November 03, 2010, 09:55:08 AM
The MBE is putting out some killer pizza fur shur!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on November 22, 2010, 12:31:57 AM
Thanks JD.   I finally moved the MBE into the garage today so I can continue baking as winter approaches.   Last time I did a bake at night when the temps were down, I noted the preheat times taking longer. 

Made some really good pies tonight.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on November 22, 2010, 10:11:04 AM
JT don't forget to leave the garage door cracked a bit, especially considering the time for the preheat.  I would hate for you to be a statistic this holiday season.  CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS.    :chef:  Related limerick:

"Little johnny was a smart little boy, but little johnny is no more.  For what he thought was H20 was H2SO4"
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 05, 2010, 02:14:39 PM
Yesterday's lunch.   Inspired by the latest talk of NH/coal style pies (thx Scott r, John, & Matthew),  I decided to stretched the bake out to around 3.5m - 4m.   The results were really good.  I have done these types of pies before BUT have settled on them as my favorite.  My absolute favorite pies are a NY elite type crust, topped with a fresh tomato sauce & fresh cheese as is used in NP pies.  The main difference b/t these and most of my other pies is the bake time.  These were around 3.5-4m compared to the others at around 2.5m with higher temps. 

These were 50/50 HG/00 blend, no oil or sugar.   IDY and room temp ferment around 12h.   Next up, I will do a 75/25 (either HG/00 or vice versa) and a 100% 00 baked for ~ 4 mins to see what I get.  These are the type of pies I would serve if I were to own a pizzeria.

Chau
 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on December 05, 2010, 02:39:08 PM
Chau,

You really make me smile!  ;D  The crumb and pizza look delicious.  :)

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 12, 2010, 09:07:46 PM
Chau,

You really make me smile!  ;D  The crumb and pizza look delicious.  :)

Norma

Thanks Norma.  I hope to keep you smiling.   Here is the same 50/50 blend again with 1% sugar added for giggles.   This time I went with 0.05% IDY and these were fermented at room temps for close to 22h.  The dough was hand mixed, rested 30m, did a few folds, rested another 10 min, a few more folds, bulked 16h, lightly balled, and proofed ~5.5h.   

This workflow was adapted and inspired by Roberto's dough video and Norma's pictures of Roberto's dough.
Thank you Roberto and Norma.

220gm doughballs stretched out to 11".  A rim was left after opening and the edge pulled/extended prior to baking.  First pie had buffala and the 2nd one fior di latte with roasted green chile. 

Chau

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 12, 2010, 09:09:58 PM
Here are some crumb shots from these pies.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: gtsum2 on December 12, 2010, 09:20:37 PM
I bow down to that pie Chau! :chef: :chef:  Wonderful looking pie!  What were your bake times and temp on the MBE?  Also, what HR was that?  Mine are getting closer to that, but I still have a ways to go..I am going to try a long room ferment with lower IDY %'s this week.  Nicely done sir!

Shaun
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 12, 2010, 09:31:37 PM
Thanks Shaun.  I was just coming back to put that bit of info in as I forgot to mention it.  This was ~68% HR.  Lately I have been approximating at least a 4-5% HR difference for my particulary climate versus a relatively humid climate at sea level.   For those who live at sea level and want to do what  I do, I would cut the HR by about 4% and see if that is manageable. 

I didn't time this bake but the hearth temp was around 600F and typically that is a bout a 2.5m bake.  I like the pies better when they bake for closer to 3.5-4m.  The sugar in the formulation cause permature browning  :-D...which is not ideal for baking pizza.  I just threw it in there for giggles.  I'll be taking it out next time.

Shaun - what is this I'm hearing?  You are getting closer? I'm not sure I can improve my pies much more.   :-D  I'm glad you are making improvements.  Are you still thinking about getting a WFO?

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on December 12, 2010, 11:31:41 PM
Thanks Norma.  I hope to keep you smiling.   Here is the same 50/50 blend again with 1% sugar added for giggles.   This time I went with 0.05% IDY and these were fermented at room temps for close to 22h.  The dough was hand mixed, rested 30m, did a few folds, rested another 10 min, a few more folds, bulked 16h, lightly balled, and proofed ~5.5h.   

This workflow was adapted and inspired by Roberto's dough video and Norma's pictures of Roberto's dough.
Thank you Roberto and Norma.

220gm doughballs stretched out to 11".  A rim was left after opening and the edge pulled/extended prior to baking.  First pie had buffala and the 2nd one fior di latte with roasted green chile. 

Chau



Chau,

I am still smiling!   ;D  Those pies look wonderful.   ;D  Glad you had success with your new method.  I had to laugh when you said you put sugar in for the giggles.

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: c0mpl3x on December 14, 2010, 12:52:33 AM
i settle into 6-10min pies much easier for some reason.  think its the meddling of cheese and toppings.   recently i made a green onion (stem and bulb), green pepper, pepperoni mushroom pizza on a knockoff PJ clone recipe scaled down to NY thickness and i was amazed.  never had such rave reviews from so many people
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 04:43:19 PM
Pies from my pizza party yesterday. 

1. cheese
2. Pepperoni mushroom
3. Sausage, red onion, roasted green chile
4. White pizza:  Alfredo, garlic chicken
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 04:45:23 PM
5. Buffalo chicken pizza
6. Pepperoni, sausage, jalapeno
7. Pepperoni
8. Apple pie
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 04:48:34 PM
My kitchen after it was all over. 

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: BrickStoneOven on December 27, 2010, 05:10:39 PM
Man those look good, especially the last pepperoni. By the way what brand are you using or are they just cut thick? I like when pepperoni cups like that. I wish I had that counter space at my house.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on December 27, 2010, 05:27:08 PM
Very nice selection of pizza.  They look very good, did they all meet your expectations?  My invitation must have got lost in the mail. :'(
Did Santa bring you a wfo?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 05:58:27 PM
Man those look good, especially the last pepperoni. By the way what brand are you using or are they just cut thick? I like when pepperoni cups like that. I wish I had that counter space at my house.

Thanks David.   The brand of pepperoni is Dietz & Watson.  It's probably my #2 favorite after Boar's head.  I do slice it moderately thick by hand.   I buy this brand b/c it's fairly cheap and readily available.  After trying so many and being somewhat disappointed, this brand and boar's head are my go to. 

Here's more pictures of that Pepperoni Pie.  I too like the look of this pie.  I like how the pepperoni and cheese oil off together.   I have to say that I'm quite happy with the way the MBE bakes now.  I can get a real even char above and below and the cheese and toppings seem to cook just right.   

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 06:13:55 PM
Very nice selection of pizza.  They look very good, did they all meet your expectations?  My invitation must have got lost in the mail. :'(
Did Santa bring you a wfo?

Thank you Gene.  Did they meet my expectations?  Wow what a can of worms that is!  For the most part yes.  I do remember the days of turning out mediocre pies for my family and friends and apologizing to them.  They were always so kind and paid undue compliments but it always spurred me on to work harder.  When I got compliments last night, I received them whole heartedly b/c the pies did deserve them.   I was asked to make pizza for my BIL's brother who was in town for the holidays.  In the midst of making pizza I caught some indistinct chatter from the other room.   My guest was dissecting the pie and said the crust was really good and reminded him of a local high end pizzeria "Il Vicino" who claims WFO pizzas.   I then heard my SIL say, "he has come really far with it".  I was happy to over hear real compliments spoken behind my back.   ;D

To be really picky, I did overknead this batch a bit so I had to work a little bit harder than normal to open the skins.   But from start to finish it took me about 2 hours just to turn out about 9 pies, so I was please the dough lasted.  I had a slice from each pie and some of them, the crust, was really good.   These were 100% HG and room feremented about 12hr.   I would like to re-explore a 24hr ferment and/or perhaps cut in 25% 00 flour to aid in increasing the digestibility of my pies.   

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on December 27, 2010, 06:30:26 PM
Digestibility be damned! I'll pay the price tomarrow.  ;D Tonight the song of the pizza sounds as a siren's song does to a lonesome sailor alone at sea. ( cue dramatic music in the backgound)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 27, 2010, 07:01:06 PM
My invitation must have got lost in the mail. :'(  Did Santa bring you a wfo?

I wish I could make pizza for everyone on the forum, but I'd need a WFO to churn out 1 min pies.   :-D  I have put the WFO on the back burner for a bit until I can find the right crew to do the rest of the outdoor kitchen. 
I did get this for Christmas though.  I'm excited to grow some Neapolitan Basil this winter. 

http://www.sonnylightled.com/shop/LED-Grow-Lights/LED-Kitchen-Garden/prod_2.html (http://www.sonnylightled.com/shop/LED-Grow-Lights/LED-Kitchen-Garden/prod_2.html)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: dellavecchia on December 27, 2010, 07:56:26 PM
I think that is the biggest kitchen counter I have ever seen. You have so much room for all your dough experiments.

Beautiful pies as always.

John
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pizza01 on December 31, 2010, 02:12:41 PM
this project is overwhelming chau. your mbe is great i should make one, my parents have black grill just like it.
your pies man... my god!
i'm an amateur from my perspective you are a pro. here in sirael you could open pizzeria and make lots of money.
very good, keep up the good work buddy.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: compatta on January 09, 2011, 01:52:29 AM
I thank you all for giving me really great idea's on this MBE Build! I think i finally cooked my pizza correctly! (it even browned on the top)

For about a month or so, i've read both the LBE and MBE threads thoroughly and i've been really experimenting on trying to get my pizza to cook correctly to have that even heat balance on the top and the bottom. I think the real essential part to making my MBE better that were already mentioned in this thread were:

-Having a 2 inch x 8 inch vent in the front of the MBE.

-Using the heat damn mod to make sure the heat come from the back and over your pizza. (essen)
(kinda like how heat radiates from the back of a wood fired oven and over your pizza)

-Using a solid stone, as opposed to firebrick halves, created a much much more consistent bake.
(I bought a 2 x 16 inch cordierite stones from my local ceramic supply for 18 dollars each)

-Absolutely essential to use a top stone as i believe it radiates heat to the top of the pizza. Radiative heat transfer is king!
(maybe its more peace of mind...)

-I finally implemented Chaus "Sand Heat Diffuser." I remembered that when you push the sand bowl forwards, it creates
 more of a heat zone in the back. As i used too much sand in my bowl, all the areas above the sand bowl were about 400 F
 while the areas near the back of the pizza not covered by the sand bowl were around 600 F. Next time i will put less sand, about
3/4 level, in the sand bowl so that there is more a variance between the two zones. (pizza baking zone, cornicone baking zone)

Something i did a bit differently that were mentioned in different threads of this forum were to:

-Place Lava rocks between the pizza cooking area and let it heat up and absorb that convective heat from the air. The lava rocks would than absorb this energy
and radiate it to the top stone and conduct energy to the bottom stone. When you want to cook your pizza, push the lava rocks to the
back of the LBE, where hot air happens to flow, blow off the lava rock dust on the bottom stone, and continue cooking your pizza.

-A lower conductivity "heat diffuser" below my bottom stone. In this case, i placed a 16 inch pizza pan, filled it up with sand, and placed my stone directly on top of it.
 The thermal properties of Sand (Specific heat-0.25, Thermal conductivity-0.15-0.25 w/m.k) in comparison with the thermal properties of cordierite (Specific Heat-0.35, Thermal
 conducitivity-3 W/m.k) creats a "heat bottleneck" for the bottom stone. In essence, it has the heat absorption properties of Quarry tile with the conductive properties of cordierite.   
 
Along the way, i've tried the following to failure:

-Using Lava rocks as a diffuser directly over the bayou burner. Contrary to popular belief, lava rocks don't act as a diffuser in this situation,
 but actually act more like "Infrared Heating Rocks." Ever notice how people with lava rock grills back than would say "Lava rocks make my wood juicier?"
 , it is mainly because the rocks act as great radiative diffusers as opposed to convective diffuser. I would notice my lava rocks glow bright red (which
  is about at least 1600 degrees Fahrenheit) and cooking my pies on firebricks in under two minutes (i always wondered how it was possible to cook pizza
 for more than 3 minutes in the MBE)). In theory, if you were to replace charcoal briquettes with Lava Rocks in a chimney starter over your Bayou burner,
  heat it up until it glows bright red/orange and place it between the 2-3 inch cooking zone where your pizza usually cooks, it would act like placing charcoal
directly on the stones itself, without the mess. Your lava rocks would transfer its heat through radiation to the top stone at nearly the same rate as the bottom
stone. For my bake on this occasion, i just placed some lava rocks on my bottom stone and waited for them to heat up sufficiently until i could push them to the back
to act as my radiative/hot heat source.

-Using no Diffuser. My bottom firebricks at the time would heat up like mad.

-Using firebrick halves especially if i wasn't using the heat dam mod correctly. The air would escape between the firebricks.
If i were to use firebricks next time, i would make sure my bottom stone was in no way connected to where the burner would
initially heat the stone. (aka use an air gap or sand)

-Having a massive Air gap between my stone and my cordierite spacers on the grill. Even with the Air Dam mod involved, What this definitely created was that air would
go below the bottom stones and create a less intense heat over the stones.

-As indicated by the thread, having a 3 inch air gap between the top and the bottom stone. once i decreased this, my pizzas were cooking a bit better.

Overall, my mods were are show in this picture. Thank you all!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 09, 2011, 08:32:44 AM
Digestibility be damned! I'll pay the price tomarrow.  ;D Tonight the song of the pizza sounds as a siren's song does to a lonesome sailor alone at sea. ( cue dramatic music in the backgound)

Thanks for the laugh Don.   :-D

Compatta - Really nice post and I like the diagram as well.  I'm such a visual learner but lack the compooter skills. I'm glad the information in this thread has been helpful to you.   I think member Villa Roma deserves so much credit for his original LBE/MBE work.  I also think Mike deserves credit for his disk mod as well.  I was able to concentrate AND balance out the bake even more after implementing that mod.    I'm also really pleased with my lid air dam mod as well and credit also go to members Buceriasdon and Jet_deck for their ideas and input as well.  These particular mods made a real difference to achieving a great bake in my MBE.  Of course having good dough is another essential part of the equation to good pizza. 

The only real differences between our setups as far as I can see, is that I have the sand bowl pulled towards the front and I don't use lava rocks on the grill around the perimeter of my stone.   BUT if you are getting great results then go with that.  BTW, feel free to post pictures of your bakes as well.  I'm sure the home viewing audience always appreciates looking at pizza, especially when they aren't eating it.

I also agree about getting rid of the firebrick floor.  It worked better for me prior to the Essen disk mod, but I am currently baking on a cheapo $12 thin pizza stone.  I have since learned to dial my hearth temps back to match my desired baking times. 

When I first implemented the sand bowl, I also tried lava rocks and charcoal grilling ceramic stones and discovered that they didn't work to buffer heat.  Thats where the sand idea came in and it works well so I haven't tried removing it since.  I did find that a little less than 3/4 of a bowl works well.

Overall, I would have to say that the MBE is an awesome little pizza oven.  Quick heat up times and great results.  I couldn't be happier. 

Cheers,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: CMY on January 19, 2011, 06:24:31 PM
Overall, my mods were are show in this picture. Thank you all!

No... thank you! That was one of the more detailed write-ups I've seen yet.

Just curious if anyone can take some actual measurements of everything that exists between the burner and the top stone?  I'm working on a modified version of the MBE (details to come-- still gathering parts) but it's really quite hard to tell what dimensions are involved (or what works best for you guys) by videos and pictures alone.

I won't be working with a Weber platform but I *think* I'll be able to use a larger top stone and have the ability to make a lot of vertical adjustments to fine-tune the finished product.. I just need that decent 'baseline' to get started.

Thanks!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on January 19, 2011, 08:08:12 PM
Welcome CMY, Here's the straight skinny my friend, you're on your own. You say you won't be using a Weber ?, then any dimensions anyone gives you would be useless. Useless. Judge by pictures and text to get a general idea of what you need to do. You will have to engineer and then re engineer many times over to obtain even baking on top and bottom of your pizza in your oven. An inch here, an inch there. It's called trial and error and I can say without a doubt you are in for plenty of it. Quite frankly I would have abandoned the project if at some point I didn't realize I had to figure it out on my own what I needed to change in my setup. What others made work for them simply was not working for me as their grills were different than mine. For me it was ditching the aluminum plate in the lid and replacing it with Staillo tile. I use no diffuser bowl, others do. Experiment! Keep your dough recipes simply at first, flour, water, yeast and salt. Use the best flour you can get. Take pictures and keep good notes! Start a new thread and tell us about your oven. Keep at it and ,trust me, you will be rewarded with great pizza in an oven you created.
Don

No... thank you! That was one of the more detailed write-ups I've seen yet.

Just curious if anyone can take some actual measurements of everything that exists between the burner and the top stone?  I'm working on a modified version of the MBE (details to come-- still gathering parts) but it's really quite hard to tell what dimensions are involved (or what works best for you guys) by videos and pictures alone.

I won't be working with a Weber platform but I *think* I'll be able to use a larger top stone and have the ability to make a lot of vertical adjustments to fine-tune the finished product.. I just need that decent 'baseline' to get started.

Thanks!
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: CMY on January 19, 2011, 09:18:59 PM
Welcome CMY, Here's the straight skinny my friend, you're on your own.

Thanks Don! ;)  :o

I kinda figured as much (and I'm looking forward to starting my own thread) but I have no problem with R&D on this; I asked more in a sense of "what ballpark should I be looking at?" rather than a schematic to success.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 19, 2011, 09:50:11 PM
CMY - welcome to the forum.  I agree with Don in that there will be a lot of trialing and error unless you use the exact same set up as some one else.   I had almost given up on the MBE several times but glad I didn't.   As nice of a pizza oven as it is, you'll be limited to 11" pies so I tend to push folks towards the 18" LBE.  That should allow for a maximum pie size of 16" with the flexibility of doing smaller pies as well. 

I stopped by Lowes the other day ready to pick up the 18" weber when my eyes happened upon the new Charbroil Patio Bistro infrared portable grill.  These things come with an electric heating element or LP option.

For a long time now, I have always thought that if  I could find a round electrical heating element I would mount it to the dome of my MBE to provide top heat.  Well I did some preliminary research but was not successful in finding such options and here it is...the charbroil infrared grill.

http://www.amazon.com/Broil-Patio-Bistro-Infrared-Electric/dp/B002DM1Z5C/?tag=pizzamaking-20 (http://www.amazon.com/Broil-Patio-Bistro-Infrared-Electric/dp/B002DM1Z5C/?tag=pizzamaking-20)

When you see this thing in person you'll quickly realize that is poorly built and way overpriced.  The cool thing about this is that it has the electric heating element.  What can we do with that?  Well I was thinking maybe I can mount it upside down in the lid to provide top heat and use my LP burner for the bottom heat.  That would make a great pizza oven, if one can get it to work.   

The downside is that replacement parts are expensive.  I priced out the replacement element and control dial and it's $50 each ($100 total).  The whole set up is $169 at Lowes.  So at this point it's a $170+ experiment.  If it doesn't work, I doubt I could return it in it's modified condition.  :-D

Or I can hack up a $70 18" weber charcoal grill.  Hmmm decisions. 

CMY or anyone interested.  You guys should look into this Charbroil Patio Bistro infrared electricl grill. 
CMY, if you need any specific measurements just ask and I'll do my best.

Best of luck,
Chau 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: compatta on January 20, 2011, 12:58:18 AM
Updates to Weber Modifications

Once again, my pizza was cooked even better this time! Though, i would like to report the following:

-I noticed that i wasn't an exact "pro" at turning my pizza every so while. Due to the nature of the heat vent mod, all the hot
 air comes from the back and especially if you don't turn it every so while, it burns the crust like no other!

-I know this sounds like rocket science, but the slower you heat your MBE, the less overall propane that will be used. I noticed my
 diffuser glowed bright orange (as the diffuser itself only absorbs and releases heat so fast) and that tended to also to warp the coal grates
 itself.

-Even at around 550 ish, i think my crust could be a bit more crispy (glutenboy NY style). As i have a 16 inch round cordierite x 5/8 shelf,
 i think the stone doesn't have enough stored energy/gas to make it crispier. As the stone is separated with an upside down Pizza Pan
 (which acts as an "air buffer" (which is only 1/60 as conductive as cordierite) ), even with the 4 minute bake time, the burner doesn't
 really effect the bottom stone in any ways. Perhaps if i increased the thickness or temperature of the stone itself, it might be a bit crispier.

From my constant failtures, i Noticed the following:

-Once again, sounding like rocket science, if you use a diffuser on your burner and use a solid cordierite stone on your grill, there is no need to
for Metal supports
as A) the burners are not directly charring and warping the metal grill anymore and B) A solid cordierite stone distributes
the weight on the grill.

-As i said in my last post, If you want the conductivity of cordierite with the ability to slowly absorb heat like quarry tiles or fibrament, all you need
is a lower conductive "heat buffer" below it. Especially when using a heat vent mod, you want to make sure the heat doesn't escape under the stone
itself. So what i did was place my stone on top of an upside down pizza pan.

-In order to the solve the issue of inconsistent charring on the cornicone, i decided to use a "turntable mod." As recommended in other threads, making
 a turntable is as easy as attaching a 1/4 x 2 inch stainless steel bolt in combination with a bunch of washers and 1 nut. Ideally, you will have drilled a hole
in the center of the stone and pizza pan and it rotates correctly. Additionally, in order to reduce the amount of times i actually open up the grill (which i think
slows down the cooking of the top), my vent is actually 2 inches x 8 inches (which i did by mistake back then) and it allows me to use a pair of chopsticks
(you can use tongs also). The combination of the heat vent in addition to creating a turntable makes the back like a "radiant heater" (as i remember from 2stone discussions, the back
of the grill is about 100 degree hotter than the front of the grill.) More pictures about how to make this in the future.

Since i place 12 inch pizzas on 16 inch stone, as opposed to placing the pizza in the center, it was interesting to stagger the pizza near the edge as opposed to being placed
directly on the center. It will definitely creates zones of crunchiness and zones of softness on the pizza.

Perhaps this build is becoming too much like the 2stone? Than again, at this point the price difference, after buying all pizza equipment and experimenting with
a good design, comes to about a $200 for buying all the equipment. As for considering an infrared propane burner in the future, which would definitely be overkill.
But if anybody wants to collaborate on designing a commercial style 30 inch "UFO-BE" that utilizes an infrared burn to good effect, i'm game!

The following i did to failure:

-Lava Rocks, more likely than not, crowded my stone and made it difficult to put my pizza on my 16 inch stone.
-Put sand below the stone itself. As the intention of the sand was to slow down heat transfer, it slowed it down wayyy too much.
 I decide to put no sand below the stone as i definitely changed the way how my stone moves with a turntable mod.
-As i said last time, put wayy too much sand into the diffuser. I decided to use less sand this time.

Overall, the current state of mods i have on my MBE are:
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: compatta on January 20, 2011, 01:08:33 AM
Oh yeah. Here was my pizza the last time i made it. i was a NY-politan made with GM better for bread flour. For some odd reason,
i want to stay away from High Gluten, especially Bromated Flours for a while. I just not im love with the flour exactly. I'm waiting to
buy some All trumps, unbromated flour in San Diego sometimes in the future. Otherwise, its not bad considering that was my 15th attempt
at making pizza. Just need to learn how sourdough cultures work and learn to make my own cheese.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: CMY on January 20, 2011, 01:55:25 AM
CMY or anyone interested.  You guys should look into this Charbroil Patio Bistro infrared electricl grill. 

Not going that far.. the simple facts are that I have a BC fryer (doing double duty for brewing) and I also have a slightly older Char-Broil smoker that was used once in the last 10 years. It's clean, almost new (after a bath) and ready for duty.

I've been waffling back and forth on buying a new 18" Weber for this but it occurred to me today that I could easily adjust a lot of good/bad if I mounted the burner within this tub (and started off with some proven specs). As the product of a few engineers I like a solid foundation. :)

I've got a week or two until I have a vehicle that can pick up "R2P2" (amongst other items) and start my own thread.

We'll see how it pans out.. pretty sure that recommending an untested product to a newbie is not the way to go, however.  ::)

-Chris

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 20, 2011, 02:55:55 AM
We'll see how it pans out.. pretty sure that recommending an untested product to a newbie is not the way to go, however.  ::)

-Chris

Chris, I'm sure you will be well happy enough with building your own MBE/LBE.  Hopefully you will find all the past experimentations, failures, and successes by myself and many others beneficial to you.

I will say that much of what has been achieved in this forum & community come from many hours of studying, reading the forum, endless "new" experimentations, along with many failures before any sucesses are enjoyed.   And then more time and effort is taken to do write ups along with pictures.  I myself have been able to benefit from the work of many others along with making my own contributions to this community.  I stand behind my recommendation for "newbies" to branch out and test uncharted territory.  Experiment on untested products, unconventional methods and ideas.   Discover something new for the benefit of yourself and the community.   And you don't have to be a forum superstar to try something new.  It can be something as small as increasing the hydration level to your dough to see what happens to something totally brand new like modifying a new grill.   For when we don't step out of our comfort zones, we don't grow.

At this point, my recommendation will be no more new and untested than your very own LBE/MBE project.   It is basically an LBE with a top heat source.   I have merely given you an idea for which you are free to do as you wish.  I look forward to reading about your build and seeing pictures of your setup and the resulting pizzas.  I wish you all the luck in your pizza journey.   

Regards,
Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on January 20, 2011, 02:17:07 PM
Chris, My high pressure burner extends inside the bottom of the kettle 3/4" or 20 mm. Between the bottle of my tile(hearth) and the top of the burner the distance is 5.5" or 14 cm. I use no diffuser of any kind. Distance between the hearth tile and the lid mounted tile is 3" or 7.7 cm. The inside diameter of the kettle is 17.5" or 44.5 cm. The gap at the rear between the kettle and the tile is a maximum of 1" 25mm tapering to zero.  As my tile is an octogon there five such open areas. The three forward open areas are stuffed with al. foil. I use a twenty to forty lb. high pressure regulator imported from the USA. I wrapped electrical tape around the adjustment thread on the regulator to maintain a consistent setting so I can back it off after a baking session. I use no foil inside. My ramp up time to 700F, 350C is 15 minutes. For what it's worth, there you have it.
Don



Quote from: CMY link=topic=11126.msg123852#msg123852 date=129550,6525
Not going that far.. the simple facts are that I have a BC fryer (doing double duty for brewing) and I also have a slightly older Char-Broil smoker that was used once in the last 10 years. It's clean, almost new (after a bath) and ready for duty.

I've been waffling back and forth on buying a new 18" Weber for this but it occurred to me today that I could easily adjust a lot of good/bad if I mounted the burner within this tub (and started off with some proven specs). As the product of a few engineers I like a solid foundation. :)

I've got a week or two until I have a vehicle that can pick up "R2P2" (amongst other items) and start my own thread.

We'll see how it pans out.. pretty sure that recommending an untested product to a newbie is not the way to go, however.  ::)

-Chris


Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: CMY on January 20, 2011, 03:23:20 PM
Chris, My high pressure burner extends inside the bottom of the kettle 3/4" or 20 mm. Between the bottle of my tile(hearth) and the top of the burner the distance is 5.5" or 14 cm. I use no diffuser of any kind. Distance between the hearth tile and the lid mounted tile is 3" or 7.7 cm. The inside diameter of the kettle is 17.5" or 44.5 cm. The gap at the rear between the kettle and the tile is a maximum of 1" 25mm tapering to zero.  As my tile is an octogon there five such open areas. The three forward open areas are stuffed with al. foil. I use a twenty to forty lb. high pressure regulator imported from the USA. I wrapped electrical tape around the adjustment thread on the regulator to maintain a consistent setting so I can back it off after a baking session. I use no foil inside. My ramp up time to 700F, 350C is 15 minutes. For what it's worth, there you have it.
Don

Thanks Don! This gives me a great starting point to reference.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 26, 2011, 09:14:48 PM
Compatta, again nice post with diagram.   I see you have made some changes to your MBE like pulling the lava rocks from around the stone.   I also like the turntable mod you did.  I should really look into that myself.  I think it will help give me an even puffier rim secondary to retained heat.   Also varying the sand level sounds like a good idea.  Everyone's oven will cook differently so it's mostly just continue tinkering until you get the results you want. 

I baked up a couple of good pies in the MBE tonight and thought I would show them off.  Marc, these pies are for you.   I bought this HG BF from Sunflower Market.   I don't think it is bromated but could be wrong.  I tried googling it and didn't come up with much.  Maybe someone knows the answer.  Anyhow, this flour does make good pizza.   

When I started making pizza a year ago, I started using supermarket flours and this one.  I haven't used this in a long time b/c I had that 50lb bag of Sam's club HG bromated flour to use up.  Now that it's just about gone, I decided to go back and revisiting Sunflower market HG bread flour.

Consequently, this makes for better dough and better pizza than it did a year ago.  No doubt I have learned a few things since then.  :-D

I used Don Pepino's canned sauce on these pies tonight and they were great!   I did alter the sauce just a bit by sweetening it up and adding a little cayenne peppa.  The canned sauce was a bit salty for my taste but overall I did like it quite a bit. 

Here's the first pie.  A cheese pizza with a bit of basil, parm/romano, & EVOO. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 26, 2011, 09:18:27 PM
Here's then 2nd pie.  I baked this one out a bit darker to resemble the New Haven style pies.  I like this one better.  Topped with pepperoni and jarred jalepenos and mozz made from curd (thanks Bob!).  Finished with a good helping of basil, a sprinkle of parm/romano, and OO.  It was fantastic.

I think I may increase the hydration back up just a bit next time. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on January 26, 2011, 10:33:21 PM
Chau,

Great looking pies!  ;D I hope you see I am still smiling.  Your being able to make such delicious looking pies with almost any flour is impressive.  I am sure you have learned a lot since you used the same flour before.

You never cease to amaze me.  :chef: :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 27, 2011, 07:59:15 AM
Thanks Norma, you have always been one of the few who have encouraged me along the way and I thank you.

I was really pleased with this particular dough and bake because I made many adjustments to the dough & dough making protocol to accomodate my work schedule.   For example, I had woken up earlier than normal and decided to make dough on short notice for pies 12 hours later.  I was using a flour I hadn't used in close to a year, I had to ball the dough shortly after mixing because I would be at work all day.
I made a drier dough than normal just to see the effects.  I put oil in one ball and not the other, can you all see tge difference in the crumb? Which one has oil?  I ask my wife to send me pictures of the dough via cell phone so I can better monitor the dough.   This is of course after I ask how she and the girls are doing.  I also frequently ask her to place the dough into a warm microwave to hasten proofing.  So depending on my work schedule, I prefer to under yeast the dough and vary the prooing temps depending on when I want to bake.

Anyways, I'm finding that I play a huge role in making the pizza I enjoy.  It's much more than following a recipe and fermenting for X hours.  I'm in control of more of the process and that makes it much more fun for me.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Pizza01 on January 27, 2011, 08:01:58 AM
i have to built oven like this mbo of yours tran man, your result of pizzas are amazing.
looks very tasty.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: norma427 on January 27, 2011, 09:23:13 AM
Thanks Norma, you have always been one of the few who have encouraged me along the way and I thank you.

I was really pleased with this particular dough and bake because I made many adjustments to the dough & dough making protocol to accomodate my work schedule.   For example, I had woken up earlier than normal and decided to make dough on short notice for pies 12 hours later.  I was using a flour I hadn't used in close to a year, I had to ball the dough shortly after mixing because I would be at work all day.
I made a drier dough than normal just to see the effects.  I put oil in one ball and not the other, can you all see tge difference in the crumb? Which one has oil?  I ask my wife to send me pictures of the dough via cell phone so I can better monitor the dough.   This is of course after I ask how she and the girls are doing.  I also frequently ask her to place the dough into a warm microwave to hasten proofing.  So depending on my work schedule, I prefer to under yeast the dough and vary the prooing temps depending on when I want to bake.

Anyways, I'm finding that I play a huge role in making the pizza I enjoy.  It's much more than following a recipe and fermenting for X hours.  I'm in control of more of the process and that makes it much more fun for me.

Chau

Chau,

I always enjoyed how you go about trying innovative ways and methods and incorporate them into all your pizza making.  ;D I can understand how your work schedule does interfere with making dough, but believe it makes your skills better, because you do like to experiment so much, in so many ways.

I am not sure if I can detect which one has oil in the formula, but it might look to me that your first pie did have oil added. I am not an expert of just looking at a pie and being able to tell when oil is added.  Let me know which pie had oil added.  Do you like oil in your dough or do you prefer no oil? 

I also believe after the basics of understanding how dough works, then it on to understanding different techniques to understand more how dough really ferments under different conditions.

You are doing a great job.  Keep up your experiments.  Your experiments are always interesting.  :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jet_deck on January 27, 2011, 09:32:15 AM
Which one has oil? 
Chau

I believe you are correct Norma, the #1 does have the oil.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on January 28, 2011, 11:20:09 AM
i have to built oven like this mbo of yours tran man, your result of pizzas are amazing.
looks very tasty.

Thank you Michael,  I really enjoyed eating these pies.

Let me know which pie had oil added.  Do you like oil in your dough or do you prefer no oil? 


Norma

Norma you and Gene are correct.  The first pie had oil in it.  It was just a quick experiment to see the difference for this particular dough I was making.   Generally at 1-2%, I can't taste much difference but changes in texture are apparent both visually and in mouth feel.   I can also see and feel it's affect on the gluten structure in the dough once added in during the mix.   I do like to use it, but use it more as a softening agent when I'm cold fermenting or if I'm using a starter instead of commercial yeast. 

Just a trivial side note, you can make a moist, soft, and gooey looking crumb without the use of oil as well.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: R2-Bayou on June 21, 2011, 03:13:17 PM
Not sure if this has been covered already, but has anyone tried to setup their MBE on a gas stove top instead of the Bayou Classic? just curious if a home range would put out enough btu's to bring the MBE up to temp...
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Villa Roma on June 22, 2011, 12:36:48 AM
R2....It was attempted here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg60443.html#msg60443

Follow to #361.

If I had a gas cooktop I would try it.

   Villa Roma
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: buceriasdon on June 22, 2011, 08:03:07 AM
If you are looking for 4 minute bakes it won't happen, in double the time maybe, yes, plus the heat up time will be considerable longer. My tiny little kitchen just became unbearable when I tried it. Also I did not find I saved propane over using a high pressure burner. I did have some success using a large area low pressure burner outside, but heat up time was considerable. I would post a link to those pics but the whole LBE link has become so awkward and unweildy and needing editing I don't have the patience to wander around in it.
Don


usingquote author=R2-Bayou link=topic=11126.msg144041#msg144041 date=1308683597]
Not sure if this has been covered already, but has anyone tried to setup their MBE on a gas stove top instead of the Bayou Classic? just curious if a home range would put out enough btu's to bring the MBE up to temp...
[/quote]
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: AgPie on September 08, 2011, 01:12:32 PM
Chau, great work  :chef:
your MBE setup seems lost in-between posts. Isn't there a way that you can post the latest/best setup of your MBE, that can be accessed easily.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 08, 2011, 05:29:06 PM
Chau, great work  :chef:
your MBE setup seems lost in-between posts. Isn't there a way that you can post the latest/best setup of your MBE, that can be accessed easily.

Thanks AgPie.  I disabled my MBE to use the burner for my LBE project.  My LBE setup is very similar to the MBE setup, which can be seen here at reply...Reply #10

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13036.0.html (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13036.0.html)

The pies in my LBE thread are more current.

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: kaineilsen on September 29, 2012, 02:29:27 AM
Just wanted to say a resounding "thank you" to everyone who contributed to this thread!  I took my mbe on her maiden voyage tonight armed with the america's test kitchen new york style dough, some fior de latte, cento san marzanos from Trader Joe's and a whole bunch of Calabrian Chiles.  6 pizzas under an hour + sub 4 minute bakes = happy guests and kids.

(btw - cost plus world market pizza stone: 0 - 2 pieces in 20 minutes)
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on September 29, 2012, 02:38:14 AM
Congrats! You should consider posting up pictures of some of your pizzas.
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: kaineilsen on October 12, 2012, 11:18:35 PM
Pics of tonight's pizzas.

Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 13, 2012, 10:57:49 AM
Kaineilsen,  Your pizzas look great.  Looks like a pretty well balanced bake, which isn't always easy on the MBE/LBE.  Nice work.  Nice looking crust and crumb as well. 

Chau
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 13, 2012, 11:59:58 AM
I agree. Really good looking. What all is on the potato pie? Did you do anything to prep the potatoes other than slicing them?
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: kaineilsen on October 14, 2012, 02:30:54 AM
Thanks guys!  I'm still trying to get the air 'director' dialed in, but pretty happy so far.

The potato pie - red bliss potatoes sliced on a mandolin, red onion, and finely chopped rosemary all tossed in olive oil.  I rinsed the potatoes in several changes of water to get rid of some of the starch, then sprinkled about 1/2 tsp of salt and let it sit for awhile to pull out some of the water. 
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: BUGSY4620 on December 15, 2012, 05:15:05 PM
Hey Guys,

Just wanted your input. I'm going to be constructing my little black egg of my own but, unfortunately, the turkey burner (bayou classic sp 10) only comes with a 10psi regulator. Would that work? What would be the difference in function from say, a 20 psi vs a 10 psi?

Thanks
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: landras on January 08, 2013, 10:59:26 AM
Hey Guys,

Just wanted your input. I'm going to be constructing my little black egg of my own but, unfortunately, the turkey burner (bayou classic sp 10) only comes with a 10psi regulator. Would that work? What would be the difference in function from say, a 20 psi vs a 10 psi?

Thanks

I am using a 10 psi with not problem. I never used a 20 psi so I can not tell you how different is cooking with one or the other..
good luck
nico
Title: Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
Post by: meatboy on January 26, 2013, 09:07:22 AM
Your pies look fantastic! Congratulations!

May you please post some pics of your MBE how it looks atm?