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Author Topic: poor browning on the bottom  (Read 196 times)

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Offline therippa

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poor browning on the bottom
« on: May 19, 2021, 12:41:03 PM »
Hi gang,

Was wondering if I could get some advice - I've been making a lot of sicilian-ish pizzas lately (I use Kenji's pan pizza dough recipe for it though) in a Lloyd Detroit pan and have been a little underwhelmed by the browning I'm getting on the bottom.  I've searched the forum here, but there seems to be conflicting tips that span over ten years.

My current method - place baking steel on middle rack, preheat to 500 (highest my oven goes) for an hour.  place plans on steel, bake until top looks great (about 15 minutes).  Pizza is cooked through, but the browning on the bottom is just...meh.

So, some questions:
1. I have a baking steel.  Should I be putting the pan on it?
2. My oven heats from the top and bottom (bottom element is hidden though).  Where should I be placing the pizza?
3. I use the convection feature on my oven to compensate for it only going to 500 degrees.  Could this have something to do with it?

Any advice or tips is appreciated, thanks!

Online Pizza_Not_War

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Re: poor browning on the bottom
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 07:18:11 PM »
I make Focaccia in my dark steel pan all the time. I preheat the steel to 450F and the dough goes into the pan with about 35g of olive oil. I bake for 25 minutes. Both top and bottom are done, with the bottom being crisp and deep brown.

Without looking at the recipe, does it use sugar, malt or flour with malt in it to aid in browning?

Pan is in top third of oven, however with the steel underneath I don't think that is an issue.

Offline therippa

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Re: poor browning on the bottom
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 08:22:12 PM »
The recipe does not call for sugar, but I'm using Central Milling ABC+ bread flour, which does contain malt. 

I'm going to be putting pizzas in the oven in a few minutes.  I think my problem may have been related to using convection, as the top of the pizza was just cooking faster than the bottom.  I will report back.

Offline megan45

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Re: poor browning on the bottom
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2021, 08:31:43 PM »
500F, IMO, is too high for Sicilian. Also, dispense with the convection: all it's doing is blasting the top of the pie with heat, causing it to cook faster than the bottom, hence the poor bottom browning.

I typically bake Sicilian on the bottom rack at 425-450 and don't use a steel. With a hidden bottom element, I'd be tempted to lose the steel and experiment with placing the pan directly on the bottom of the oven, provided that the element isn't integral to the bottom.

Offline therippa

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Re: poor browning on the bottom
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2021, 09:59:37 PM »
Yeah, as I was typing this all out I realized the convection was probably doing exactly that (in software we call this "rubber duck debugging").  I baked without convection tonight, with the steel on the bottom rack at 500, and this is the result.  Frankly I think it's perfect.


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