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Author Topic: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything  (Read 1139 times)

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Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2021, 05:32:41 PM »
Nice! The first pizza is a wash for sure - not nearly cooked enough on the bottom before the top was ready. The second one is very encouraging - it's not too far off from being great on the bottom and now we just have to identify why it was good, and emphasize those things which brought out a better pizza.

To start out, the oven juggling sounds complicated, but if the first pizza is an indicator of what we get trying to broil then I'd say we've learned my original assumptions were not good - I don't think you're going to get away with baking solely with the broiler unfortunately. I think your solution and change of ideas for the second pizza was a great idea. Your conundrum is, if you bake solely in the lower oven, chances are good the bottom will get where you want it to be, but the top won't be cooked enough. If you bake solely in the upper oven, the reverse is the case. As you discovered via your trial and error - it's much better to have a crispier bottom and reconcile the top second than have a cooked top and not really have a good way to reconcile the bottom not being done enough.

Oven suggestions

I'd say with your next attempt, this is what my idea would be to try out (or some similar permutation of this suggestion):

1. Put the steel on the lowest rack in the lower oven and pre-heat for an hour
2. Maybe 5-10 minutes prior to baking, place a regular metal pan in the top oven and turn on your broiler/grill and crack the door so it starts heating and stays on
3. Place the pizza onto the steel and let it start cooking
4. Check the bottom of the crust intermittently and when it start getting where you want it, (some of the nice browning/leoparding appearing) move it to the top oven under the broiler/grill
5. Continue the bake, keep it open a crack so the grill stays on, and allow the top of the pizza to cook nicely until it looks about ready

If you do that, you'll probably be able to get both the top and bottom exactly where you want them cook wise. You already essentially did this with the second pizza, just it didn't start out in the lower oven. I'd start out lower, get your crust bottom perfect and then move up to finish like you did this time.

Shaping/Prep comments

I think with shaping your dough, practice will make perfect. You've got some good videos and resources at your disposal and I think all you really need there if you're looking for a more circular crust is to gain some practice and maybe try out a few different techniques.

As for your comment about the 2nd pizza and needing to re-ball and start over, this is not ideal - you still had decent results but there's a reason most people would recommend not working your dough too much post-fermentation. The gluten structure takes some time to establish itself during fermentation, and the yeast work hard around that structure to create CO2 and make the air pockets that add to the fluffiness of a pizza. When you start flattening out the center of your dough for example, you're squishing flat those pockets and pressing together the gluten strands which results in the center of your crust being more dense and packed together. The edges don't get the same rough treatment and as a result (coupled with not being weighed down by toppings) spring upwards and make those great airy chambers which crisp nicely and have a great mouth feel.

Re-balling dough and flattening it out again has the effect of squishing that gluten structure quite a bit and usually results in a uniformly dense and more difficult to chew crust. It's the reason why we don't usually use rolling pins to flatten out a NY style crust, since it will flatten the gluten structure and result in a bready crust that doesn't rise much. If you can avoid it, I'd personally avoid it at all costs. You still had good results which I think speaks to the quality of Tom Lehmann's dough recipe and its resilience to being worked, but you can probably have even better results if you manage to get the dough to open up nicely on the first try. Like I said, practice will make perfect and I'm 100% sure that if you just work at your technique over time you'll get it down.

Other Comments

You mentioned the dough ball being too large for your peel - refer to the link to the pizza dough calculator I provided a few posts ago, enter your recipe as you want it, only try out reducing the diameter of the dough ball. I think I had you set with 12 inches which on the smaller side of a medium pizza, maybe reduce to 10 and see how it fits on your peel and if it's a more manageable size to work with. You could also of course increase the number of dough balls you make with your next dough mix if you're satisfied with the recipe for now - that would give you a few more in the batch to experiment with in your oven.

Also, this may be intentional or accidental but I figured I'd mention that the cornicone (outside rim of crust) on your pizzas is quite large and puffy. This is good in neapolitan style, less so in NY style, and a middleground between the two is something I've found typical of the "american style" or general Pizza Hut/Dominos/Papa Johns varieties. If that's how you want it to be then by all means ignore this comment because it's solely a matter of taste, but if you were going for NY style for example I'd have to suggest that you pay close attention when flattening out your dough to getting it well flattened pretty much all the way to the edge.

If you've tried to and had a hard time with, it'd recommend being a bit more "assertive" with the dough during say the gravity stretch method, grip as close to the edge of the dough as you can, and stretch it horizontally with your hands while gravity takes it vertically. Keep it moving like a steering wheel so you don't get tears, but that's just one suggestion in case you wanted to get a smaller crust rim. If not, like I said ignore me since there are plenty of people here who love a big and well puffed up cornicone.

Also, since I haven't talked cheese too much - white cheddar or cheddar in general on a pizza isn't my forte but there are plenty of people here who will use it in a 50/50 or 4 cheese blend, so if you like the flavor of it go with it. One suggestion I'd have (and this is COMPLETELY my personal bias from the tastes I had growing up) I'd suggest grabbing some provolone cheese and doing a 50/50 mozzarella and provolone blend sometime. Doesn't have to be anytime soon, stick with what you like, but I find that for me provolone adds a slight toothiness to the cheese which is a great texture and the flavor is a definite enhancement. There are posters here who would contradict that and say anything but mozzarella is sacrilege, but like I said it's all a matter of taste and preference. In lieu of a store actually having shredded provolone I've gone so far as to buy a pack of circular deli slices and chop them into slivers with my chef's knife. I think since you had would I would call a successful result and have taken a huge step closer towards having great dough (and a process that you can repeat identically when you try again next time) now could also be a good time to start playing with what cheese blends and sauce tweaks you like.

OH editing to add this last comment - if you were blowing flour in your own face (I did the EXACT same thing the first time I tried!) then you might have a bit too much flour on the peel. I also realized I was keeping my mouth way too far away from the dough and blowing way too wide. You want to pull up a corner of the crust, get your mouth pretty close, and blast a puff of air like a small jet stream burst underneath, and then quickly let go of the edge you're holding up to the air get a bit trapped under there. Then give the crust a slight wobble to see if it'll move any, then if it's good to go slide it into the oven. Took me some practice of course but I found it to be extremely helpful, especially when I use my metal peel. The wood peel slides much much better, I don't always have to use that technique unless the pizza is covered in toppings like when I do a meat lovers piled with sausage, bacon and pepperoni.

Anway in summary, looking good, decent improvement and I'm sure by the next time you cook it will be looking even better. Exciting isn't it?

Extremely exciting. Thanks for all your comments and advice!
Why I kept swicthing from the oven and the broiler was a funny reason. I realised the racks at the top kept cycling on and off when the broiler was open. I think there is a temp. sensor so it doesn't go over a certain threshold temp. Even if the rack goes off and it looks like there is no heat being transmitted should I still keep it there and stick to your suggested method?

I wanted to use provolone like you had, but couldn't find it in my local grocery store unfortunately! I then checked online and i saw white cheddar, which was also in front of me, which is why I decided on that!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00RLGJDGI/?tag=pmak-20
looks like my pizza steel is 12.6 inches roughly, maybe 10/11 inches would be better!

I will try your oven suggestions!
Yes that cornicone was very large, I would like it to be smaller, so will adjust accordingly.

When the flour went into my face i was like this can't be right   ;D

Erm, looks like it's teach a man to fish time!


I will probably want to make 4 doughs and keep them in a large container in a fridge. I know we are going for some anaerobic respiration which is in the lack of oxygen. If i keep all in the same big container in the fridge and open up the container, will that have an effect on the other doughs? There was a time last week I was curious and opened the dough for one pizza and it looked like it shrunk in size by half or something!

What is Bowl Residue Compensation and would you recommend I play around with Olive Oil measuremnts yet or after I master this dough ?
Are these dough percentages that you gave me given by the dough doctor?

I will be sending my updates in a few days once I get some dough made in around 9 hours and fermented for around a day!

EDIT  05:32:41 PM (don't know what time zone this is) : Just looked at your picture again and realised you put foil under you steel in the grill, why is this done? Does it help?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 06:19:29 AM by ebenezer1 »

Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2021, 10:51:55 AM »
Ah okay - I didn't realize your steel was 12'' (I had no scale but it just looked bigger somehow sitting in the oven). My steel is a rectangular one that's maybe 15x16 or so which means I can easily fit up to a 14'', and I've got a stone from long ago that's not as great but larger that can handle 16'' though I almost never use it anymore unless I'm cooking over the outdoor fire pit in the summer. Yeah, if your steel is 12'' try having a 10'' dough ball on the calculator and just get it as opened up and flat as you can by hand.

Your broiler operates in mysterious ways to me. Maybe my brain is completely warped by some sort of American-only thing with ovens that have forever altered my expectations of what it is and how it works. That seems to happen a lot, but as mine cycles on and off with the door shut and yours seems to cycle on and off but only with the door open I'd say it's still worth it to try out what I outlined in terms of starting it on the lower oven near the lower rack and getting the bottom cooked well, then transferring to the upper oven. I guess if it cycles off for a second while it's in the upper oven then you live with it keeping the door open a crack until it cycles back on and just keep a close eye on it to see when it starts really cooking. At some point thinking about this last night I asked myself "is this too crazy of a suggestion?" but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure if this was the thing that would potentially lead to the cook I'm looking for I'd be doing it in my own oven without a second thought, so I'd say it's worth a try. Worst case scenario we're back to baking it the way you originally were in the lower oven solely using the bottom heating element and just hoping the top cooks in a reasonable amount of time.

To answer the question on 4 dough balls in one container, no - that has no effect. I have a large plastic container I use when I make 6 at a time. If we're trying to copy what Tom Lehmann was doing in the second video I posted the other day, you could put the dough balls in, oil the tops of them, and then put the lid on sideways and let them begin fermenting for a few hours like that before closing the lid for the rest of their fermentation to mimic what stacking containers do. Personally on small batches which are already undergoing long fermentation times by design I've not seen much of a difference one way or another - I pop my 6 portioned and rolled dough balls in together, brush a little oil on the tops of them, and put them straight into the fridge for a few days. (Originally I wrote "straight into the oven" I think I'm losing my mind this week!  :-D)

The bowl residue compensation is basically accounting for the amount of dough or ingredients lost from the total dough ball by sticking to the bowl, etc. and from what I've read it's not supposed to be much of a factor for small batches especially for the home pizza maker. Regardless, since I meticulously weigh everything I noticed that when I was making a lot of 12'' dough balls (which were supposed to come out to 320g per my recipe) I had them all portioned as best I could and I had like 316, 314, 316, 318, 318, 320, 320 and I'm sitting there going what the heck where's my missing weight? I have no idea...evaporation of some of the water maybe? That seems far fetched, and maybe some of the older members have a better explanation but that's when I started using 2% for the unscientific reason that I saw a lot of the more experienced posters (and I believe Tom Lehmann himself in one video I watched) using that amount, and while my dough weights portioned still never seem to add up flawlessly, it's more like 319,318, 320, 320, 319, 318 now. Maybe it's all just in my head!

If you want to try out Tom Lehmann's percentages exactly, I think they're given in the first video I linked. I'm trying to remember off the top of my head but I think he might have been at 62% hydration, and depending on the situation he would put sugar in the dough (which helps with browning in lower temperature bakes, and might be something you will want to explore). I'd say play around with the percentages all you want, just be careful with going overboard. The difference between say 1.5% and 2.5% of oil, sugar, and salt can have a huge impact on the end product whereas in a home oven the difference between 62% hydration and 64% might be much more subtle and difficult to discern. By all means though play around with it - that's what you're here for! I look forward to seeing how your next batch comes out.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 10:55:46 AM by sal951 »

Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2021, 11:58:14 AM »
Ah okay - I didn't realize your steel was 12'' (I had no scale but it just looked bigger somehow sitting in the oven). My steel is a rectangular one that's maybe 15x16 or so which means I can easily fit up to a 14'', and I've got a stone from long ago that's not as great but larger that can handle 16'' though I almost never use it anymore unless I'm cooking over the outdoor fire pit in the summer. Yeah, if your steel is 12'' try having a 10'' dough ball on the calculator and just get it as opened up and flat as you can by hand.

Your broiler operates in mysterious ways to me. Maybe my brain is completely warped by some sort of American-only thing with ovens that have forever altered my expectations of what it is and how it works. That seems to happen a lot, but as mine cycles on and off with the door shut and yours seems to cycle on and off but only with the door open I'd say it's still worth it to try out what I outlined in terms of starting it on the lower oven near the lower rack and getting the bottom cooked well, then transferring to the upper oven. I guess if it cycles off for a second while it's in the upper oven then you live with it keeping the door open a crack until it cycles back on and just keep a close eye on it to see when it starts really cooking. At some point thinking about this last night I asked myself "is this too crazy of a suggestion?" but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure if this was the thing that would potentially lead to the cook I'm looking for I'd be doing it in my own oven without a second thought, so I'd say it's worth a try. Worst case scenario we're back to baking it the way you originally were in the lower oven solely using the bottom heating element and just hoping the top cooks in a reasonable amount of time.

To answer the question on 4 dough balls in one container, no - that has no effect. I have a large plastic container I use when I make 6 at a time. If we're trying to copy what Tom Lehmann was doing in the second video I posted the other day, you could put the dough balls in, oil the tops of them, and then put the lid on sideways and let them begin fermenting for a few hours like that before closing the lid for the rest of their fermentation to mimic what stacking containers do. Personally on small batches which are already undergoing long fermentation times by design I've not seen much of a difference one way or another - I pop my 6 portioned and rolled dough balls in together, brush a little oil on the tops of them, and put them straight into the fridge for a few days. (Originally I wrote "straight into the oven" I think I'm losing my mind this week!  :-D)

The bowl residue compensation is basically accounting for the amount of dough or ingredients lost from the total dough ball by sticking to the bowl, etc. and from what I've read it's not supposed to be much of a factor for small batches especially for the home pizza maker. Regardless, since I meticulously weigh everything I noticed that when I was making a lot of 12'' dough balls (which were supposed to come out to 320g per my recipe) I had them all portioned as best I could and I had like 316, 314, 316, 318, 318, 320, 320 and I'm sitting there going what the heck where's my missing weight? I have no idea...evaporation of some of the water maybe? That seems far fetched, and maybe some of the older members have a better explanation but that's when I started using 2% for the unscientific reason that I saw a lot of the more experienced posters (and I believe Tom Lehmann himself in one video I watched) using that amount, and while my dough weights portioned still never seem to add up flawlessly, it's more like 319,318, 320, 320, 319, 318 now. Maybe it's all just in my head!

If you want to try out Tom Lehmann's percentages exactly, I think they're given in the first video I linked. I'm trying to remember off the top of my head but I think he might have been at 62% hydration, and depending on the situation he would put sugar in the dough (which helps with browning in lower temperature bakes, and might be something you will want to explore). I'd say play around with the percentages all you want, just be careful with going overboard. The difference between say 1.5% and 2.5% of oil, sugar, and salt can have a huge impact on the end product whereas in a home oven the difference between 62% hydration and 64% might be much more subtle and difficult to discern. By all means though play around with it - that's what you're here for! I look forward to seeing how your next batch comes out.

Before you replied, I was just going to ask about the pizza-dough-calculator website! I had made 4 doughs just a few mins ago.

I did it and I got these measurements!
IDY, salt and olive oil were all really hard to get exact measurements on my Tablespoon.

0.3 Tablespoons of yeast  ::). I really, really tried but roughly 1/3 of a tasblespoon is not going to be very accurate. I don't know how bad my dough could come out because of the precision of my measuring  ???

Also when I try and measure the big ball produced, I got like 862 g instead of 899.6  :-\ some sticks to my fingers.... you think I need to make accurate measurements anc adjust my Bowl Residue Compensation?
Will try all and update you soon! Might get some toppings on!

Anything I can do maybe a table ferment to not wait up to 24 hours!!!?  ;D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 12:02:28 PM by ebenezer1 »

Offline MadMatt

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2021, 12:35:26 PM »
I'm from uk so probably have similar oven


My ovens a convection  electric oven,  the heating element is located atthe back of the oven with a fan pushing it outwards.. different to most Americans on here.   


I preheat steel for 30 minutes max temp which isn't that high on my oven (240 or 260c I believe they're a little faded)    slide pizza onto steel with  cheap 1 roll parchment/baking paper resulting in no fails every time. Take parchment off after around 2-3 minutes.  cook for total 6 minutes.
I must admit I tend to not bother taking pic of the bottom out of habbit.   


Don't bother using high hydration it'll make things harder to deal with it.  Start with 60% hydration.  Regular cheap store brand bread flour works fine,  around 12% or 12g per 100g protein.


Here's some of my pizzas

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26286.msg632168#msg632168

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26286.msg633859#msg633859


Those are 14"  about 58% water 2% oil      1.75% salt,  1% sugar (mostly for yeast)   I do all my doughs at room temp which some dont like because its harder to control temp inside house vs a fridge.








« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 12:42:09 PM by MadMatt »

Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2021, 01:31:39 PM »
I'm from uk so probably have similar oven


My ovens a convection  electric oven,  the heating element is located atthe back of the oven with a fan pushing it outwards.. different to most Americans on here.   


I preheat steel for 30 minutes max temp which isn't that high on my oven (240 or 260c I believe they're a little faded)    slide pizza onto steel with  cheap 1 roll parchment/baking paper resulting in no fails every time. Take parchment off after around 2-3 minutes.  cook for total 6 minutes.
I must admit I tend to not bother taking pic of the bottom out of habbit.   


Don't bother using high hydration it'll make things harder to deal with it.  Start with 60% hydration.  Regular cheap store brand bread flour works fine,  around 12% or 12g per 100g protein.


Here's some of my pizzas

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26286.msg632168#msg632168

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26286.msg633859#msg633859


Those are 14"  about 58% water 2% oil      1.75% salt,  1% sugar (mostly for yeast)   I do all my doughs at room temp which some dont like because its harder to control temp inside house vs a fridge.

Hi, is this your normal built in oven that came with your home that you are talking about here?
Why do you use the baking paper ? What effect does that achieve?

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Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2021, 01:42:48 PM »
I think he's saying he prefers using parchment vs. a peel for putting the pizza in, since the pizza will begin to bake and firm up on top of the parchment, and then after a couple of minutes, he can slide the parchment out from under the pizza so it's in direct contact with the steel.

Also I'd defer to the suggestions around hydration and use of the oven since again - I'm sure my experiences differ quite a bit since the electric ovens here vs. there apparently have drastically different qualities and behaviors (plus his pizzas look delicious  ;D)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 01:45:34 PM by sal951 »

Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2021, 03:05:41 PM »
I think he's saying he prefers using parchment vs. a peel for putting the pizza in, since the pizza will begin to bake and firm up on top of the parchment, and then after a couple of minutes, he can slide the parchment out from under the pizza so it's in direct contact with the steel.

Also I'd defer to the suggestions around hydration and use of the oven since again - I'm sure my experiences differ quite a bit since the electric ovens here vs. there apparently have drastically different qualities and behaviors (plus his pizzas look delicious  ;D)

Okay lovely and yes they do!
How do you deal with some of the bizare table spoon measurements given on the pizza dough calculator? Do you think me not being able to get precise measurements will have so much of an adverse effect?
(I'm using level 1 precision of course  ;D)

Just checked on my doughs and they have a lot of water droplet condensation... maybe it's because it's so close to the back!
If I wanted to put mushrooms or vegetables on a pizza would you first boil them? Same for meats like skinny hotdogs
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 03:28:19 PM by ebenezer1 »

Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2021, 08:45:32 PM »
So like 1.85 tsp or something is an example. It could be like 11g of something, but is that really more or less accurate for salt than a measuring spoons if I do 1 tsp + 1/2 + 1/4 + an extra dash? Some would say yes, I would say it's probably not worth my time, so I'll go with the imprecise small measurement rather than the weight in those cases.

As for veggies it's sort of a case by case or preference thing. I like sausage and white onion as a combo and I don't cook the onion beforehand because I like it to have a little crunch. I make a BBQ chicken pizza with red bell peppers for my wife, and I roast the peppers while the oven preheats because if they're uncooked when baking they'll be crunchy in a bad way when the pizza is cooked. As for meats, I've never put hotdog on a pizza so I'm not sure, since that's precooked and probably alright to just heat in the oven like a pepperoni. I frequently do italian sausage as well as bacon, and I always cook them ahead obviously because they're raw.

Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2021, 10:54:40 AM »
Hi!
Made pizzas today! I'm really, really happy with them! They taste chewy, the crust is perfect in all ways, and the semolina i used on the pizza peel really added to them!

Only thing is it's really high on the chewy side, not too much of a problem. It takes a lot of biting power, not too much, and I think I like it like that, adds to it but ehhh.
I really enjoyed them, really reminds me of pizza chains now!

With the mozerella pizza I did have to squeeze one of the edge pieces of dough in because it was out of shape. That's where you see a nig air bubble in the crust of the mozerella one!

I really enjoyed both pizzas! Still learning a lot. I love how the cornicione tastes and the width. I hope next time I use the recipe I get this same texture and pizza  ;D . hopefully this wasn't achieved as a mistake that I won't be able to repeat  ::)

I still have 2 more dough balls fermenting in the fridge, maybe will make one on sunday and one on tuesday!

Both pizzas were not browning on the bottom as much as I wanted it to maybe because of the semolina used! Anyway, the colouring achieved was still good and I do it like that! Again reminds me and looks similar to pizza chains! I then put it under the grill.

Second pizza hadn't browned on the bottom too much and when I put it into the broiler it actually looks like the cheese was slightly burning, not sure. When you got close it looked like it had tiny holes in the cheese  ???
Second pizza also had less holes in the cornicione to the pizza with toppings.

The circular shape is what I need to improve on achieving now!  :o

Anyway, can still get better, happy at the moment!

What type of pizza is this even called! I've never tasted a real ny pizza but I'm guessing this is an NY pizza with a bit more hydration and it has a neapolitan type cornicone. In other words pizza chain pizza, is there a real name for this  :P
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 01:09:18 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2021, 12:46:55 PM »
Looking much improved each time! The crumb from your cut slice looks a lot better overall and I'd agree - the crust could be done a good bit more. I'd say on one of your next attempts let it sit on the steel in the lower oven until you think it's ready to go, then give it an extra couple of minutes. I found early on that my judgment for when something was ready to go was always just a little bit premature. You're not in danger of burning on the bottom from what I can see, so you probably have a good amount of leeway to try and get it even crispier - in fact, some of the chewiness you mentioned is probably because it's still a little undercooked on the crust. It also looks a little thick on the bottom which could be contributing to chewiness - or at least thicker than I would make NY style. Thickness is just a preference thing, but I'd say if you're looking for crispier crusts either work on getting it spread thinner when you open up the dough, or leave it to cook on the steel for longer (or both).

The shape - well it's actually looking a lot better than the first few. Aside from some of the misshapen areas, a good portion of your pizza looks really good. The picture (IMG_0465) especially has a good area where the cornicione is closer to what I'd personally go for in thickness (both from rim to cheese and bottom to top. Like I said, much of the shaping process is just practice and trying to perfect different techniques. Looks like you're making progress so just keep hammering away at it and I'm sure you'll be exactly where you want to be in no time.

I'd say that if we had to put a label on what style this most closely represents right now I'd say the "American" style in appearance. I'd say NY style is a bit thinner in the crust as well as the cornicione and crispier overall. Of course American style crusts are a lower hydration than 64%. I was getting you started out there since I've found it's typically easier to work with once it's fermented (since you've been trying to figure out getting your dough shaped), though from what I've read with other forum members this might be the reverse of what everyone else's experiences are. I typically stick to 60-62% hydration on my recipes, and most NY style or American style recipes I see around here run the range from 58% to 64%. Lower than 58 or so hydration and you start getting closer to the cracker style dry crusts, which are also very good when executed correctly, or some Neapolitan styles which still get puffy because of the extremely high oven temperatures (which make it unachievable in the home oven setting). I'd recommend if you're interested in trying more "style" specific recipes after this batch to read around a bit on the sub-sections of this forum for NY style, American style, Cracker, etc. One of my personal favorites on this board was figuring out a good Sicilian.

Pete-zza has put together an extensive thread walking you through making a Papa John's clone for example: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.0 which if you're trying to replicate chain pizzas and looking to try out lower hydration I'd highly recommend reading and trying out.

I'm glad to see that you're progressing and having fun with it. I remember the first pizza bake I really got "right" in my opinion and just grinning while eating it because I had finally made something in my home oven by myself which I'd consider to be as good as or better than some of the local pizza places I could order from. I also found it to be a really interesting stress reliever after a hard day at work to just go in the kitchen and make some dough. Anyway congrats on the progress/improvements!

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline MadMatt

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2021, 01:49:34 PM »
Hi, is this your normal built in oven that came with your home that you are talking about here?
Why do you use the baking paper ? What effect does that achieve?


Baking paper stops the pizza sticking to the peel if thats what you use if not how do you get it into the oven?  You can also make pizza a little in advance and put it on the parchment,  don't worry about it sticking to the paper because once cooked it comes off. 

You can remove the paper after few mintues of baking the pizza. I use the same piece of paper several times before I need a new one.



My oven is similar to this..



One narrow but tall oven

one wider but short oven which is what I use for my pizza.. I can get a 14" pizza in there.

The tiny oven above is just a grill..



In an ideal world I'd have a better oven for pizza but I make do.
 


« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 01:53:15 PM by MadMatt »

Offline ebenezer1

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2021, 01:58:54 PM »

Baking paper stops the pizza sticking to the peel if thats what you use if not how do you get it into the oven?  You can also make pizza a little in advance and put it on the parchment,  don't worry about it sticking to the paper because once cooked it comes off. 

You can remove the paper after few mintues of baking the pizza. I use the same piece of paper several times before I need a new one.



My oven is similar to this..



One narrow but tall oven

one wider but short oven which is what I use for my pizza.. I can get a 14" pizza in there.

The tiny oven above is just a grill..



In an ideal world I'd have a better oven for pizza but I make do.

Okay i see. Your oven looks very different to my oven. Here's my oven!
https://assets.products-live.ao.com/Images/9d7a8180-82e7-4eaa-b36b-9f3bdee654b7/1280x1280/KTC611W_WH_usp_01.jpg

Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2021, 03:19:23 PM »
One day we'll all have Breville pizzaiolos and all of our problems will be solved...

Actually, when I move to a new house with an acre lot this summer I'm probably going to build my own wood fired oven outside...we'll see how that project goes

Offline ebenezer1

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  • Location: uk
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2021, 03:53:00 PM »
One day we'll all have Breville pizzaiolos and all of our problems will be solved...

Actually, when I move to a new house with an acre lot this summer I'm probably going to build my own wood fired oven outside...we'll see how that project goes

Let me know how it goes! Thanks so much for your help, in a matter of a few days I went from a terrible pizza to a really darn good one!

Offline sal951

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  • Location: Virginia
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pizza making help with steel, dough, texture everything
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2021, 01:19:05 PM »
Oh when I undertake that project I'll definitely be posting pictures around here somewhere! You're welcome for the help, I feel like I'm just paying it forward from all the great posters here that I've been essentially stalking and learning from for months now, I'm sure in no time you'll be able to offer advice to friends, family, coworkers, or other posters on here too.

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