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Author Topic: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned  (Read 831 times)

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Offline Shanksworthy

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Iím hoping someone can help me solve this the mystery of why the top/edges of my rim are completely white and soft, while the cheese and bottom crust are nicely browned.

I bake in a gas oven, on a 16Ē round 3/8Ē thick steel slab. The steel heats on the top rack for an hour at 550F. Then I bake for 3 mins, turn it 180 degrees, then broil for another 3 mins. By that time, the cheese and bottom crust are nicely browned

I canít broil it any longer, otherwise the cheese would burn. Iím already pushing it. Itís a reasonably high-fat/low-moisture cheese (Saputo Mozzarellissima), which I grate myself, and I use quite a bit óapprox 500g, for a 16Ē pie. Similarly, Iím afraid the bottom will burn if I put it on a lower rack, because it gets just the right amount leopard spotting on the top rack at that 6-min mark.

Iím using a high-protein flour (a 14% no-name bread flour I get at Walmart in Canada), I use ~71% filtered tap water, 3% salt, 2% sugar, 1.1% olive oil, and .3% IDY.

I canít understand how the toppings could get that brown, while the adjacent crust remains ghostly white. Canít imagine itís the process, more likely something about the ingredients?? I recently ran out of my normal brand of Robin Hood flour, and had to settle for this no-name Walmart brand in a pinch. I wonder if this could be the problem. Also note that I didnít have this problem when I used to use a much thinner steel, on the middle rack, with no broil. But that was an 8-9 min bake, which I found yielded a dry-ish dough. The new steel cuts the time by 3 mins and produces a nicer crust, with the exception of this weird anomaly.

Any help would be appreciated.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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So...a lot of baking science guys here for you..I'm not one of them Lol...but if the results were good before and the only change made is the flour, then I think the issue is at least related to the flour. That is quite a high hydration but shouldn't be responsible.
Can you grab a similar but different flour to experiment with and compare?
Also...is there any chance it's organic and has no
Malt? I think at home oven temps, that might be your issue.

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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What are the ingredients of your Walmart flour? Compare to Robinhood - Wheat flour, Amylase, Xylanase, Ascorbic acid, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine mononitrate, Riboflavin, L-Cysteine, Folic acid.

Offline jkb

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The cheese and sauce look overdone.  That doesn't make sense looking at the crust.  Try a different flour.
John

Offline Jackitup

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Why did you add the broil time when your previous pies were fine without the broil? I would go back to your first cooking method. See if that works out.....
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 01:10:04 AM by Jackitup »
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Offline jkb

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Why did you add the broil time when your previous pies were fine without the broil? I would go back to your first cooking method. See if that works out.....

I don't use the broiler, but the broiler takes time to heat up.  To me, it would make more sense to start with the broiler.
John

Offline Shanksworthy

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To clarify my post for people who were wondering why I changed what was apparently working: the reason I moved my bake to the top rack instead of the middle, was mainly because I got a new steel slab that was much thicker than the old one, and I was worried that the bottom would cook faster than the top. So I figured that moving it up and away from the bottom element would slow that a bit, and give the top a chance to cook at the same rate. I was mostly right, but I do seem to need to hit it with the broiler in order for the toppings to keep up with the base.

The reason I upgraded my steel, was because the old one was only 13.5Ē and I wanted to be able to bake a larger family size pie. It was just a bonus that the new steel also happened to be much thicker as well. But additionally, I wanted to cut the bake time; with the old thinner steel, even though the middle rack provided an even bake, it took 8 or 9 mins, so the crust would come out tasting a bit dry. Not terribly so, but enough that Iíd need to chase a slice with a tall glass of water. The new thicker steel cuts that time by 2-3 mins, and it makes a huge difference.

But yeah, the thicker steel gets a lot hotter, and if I were to move it down to the middle rack, I think the bottom would be burnt by the time the top had cooked. Iím basing this on previous experimentation with my old steel, where the very bottom rack would burn the base, but moving it upwards was the fix.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 10:42:54 AM by Shanksworthy »

Offline Shanksworthy

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What are the ingredients of your Walmart flour? Compare to Robinhood - Wheat flour, Amylase, Xylanase, Ascorbic acid, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine mononitrate, Riboflavin, L-Cysteine, Folic acid.
Ah, the Walmart brand is missing the Xylanase and L-Cysteine. I wonder if that makes the difference? Either way, I will most definitely pick up some more Robin Hood next chance I get. They were out of it when I went to replenish my stock, and I just got desperate ó figured it was probably re-packaged Robin Hood anyway, but that was a wild guess. :-)

My next bake wonít be for a few weeks, but if I get a chance before then Iíll pick up more Robin Hood, and will post back with the results. If it doesnít work, then weíll know itís somehow related to my updated baking method, but I canít imagine what that would be, if the toppings are clearly getting enough heat. Maybe itís incorrect to assume that the rim would bake at the same rate as the toppings under the broiler, and the missing element here is just time.

Offline Shanksworthy

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One other thing to consider: Iím doing a cold 72 hr fermentation, and I notice that it puffs up to 3x or 4x itís original size in the fridge. Then I let it sit at room temp for 4 hrs prior to baking, and I notice it is VERY relaxed and has very little elasticity when stretching it. When I pick it up, if I stop spinning it for > 2 seconds it will tear under its own weight. So I wonder if Iím inadvertently over-proofing it, to a point where all the sugar has been consumed?

I didnít consider this initially, because my yeast amounts seemed correct, and I was using cool enough water, so I figured the quadruple sized proof was probably normal. But I also recall reading somewhere that the place I live (Calgary) is considered a high-altitude baking region, which affects yeast behavior and can cause it to be more active at times.

Does anyone think that quadrupling in size in my fridge, and being extra slack, is a sign that it has over-proofed? If so, then whatís the better fix ó colder water, or less yeast?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 06:25:55 PM by Shanksworthy »

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Good possibility it's over..I'd try cutting IDY and give that a shot


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Offline Shanksworthy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2021, 09:58:18 PM »
Good possibility it's over..I'd try cutting IDY and give that a shot
Iíll try reducing IDY to .2%, and maybe increasing the oil slightly.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2021, 12:02:54 AM »
Probably best to only make one change at a time..oil amount change might complicate results.


Offline amolapizza

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2021, 03:34:39 AM »
I have no idea what kind of effect altitude has on fermentation, but yes it sounds like you are over fermenting.  I look for just a doubling or even slightly less.  IMO, the fact that the dough is lacking elasticity and tears all by itself from gravity and also the whiteness of the crust all indicate an over fermented dough.
Jack

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Offline Shanksworthy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2021, 10:31:05 AM »
Probably best to only make one change at a time..oil amount change might complicate results.
Good point. Ok Iíll start with changing only the IDY then. In my search for answers, I looked at several other cold-fermentation recipes and noticed they typically only use .2% IDY ó not .3%. Not sure how I had landed on the latter amount, but even taking elevation out of the equation I was apparently using too much.

Offline Shanksworthy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2021, 10:45:06 AM »
I have no idea what kind of effect altitude has on fermentation, but yes it sounds like you are over fermenting.  I look for just a doubling or even slightly less.  IMO, the fact that the dough is lacking elasticity and tears all by itself from gravity and also the whiteness of the crust all indicate an over fermented dough.
I can stretch it out quite a bit before it starts to tear, but yeah, I gather that level of slackness still isnít ideal. LOL TBH Iíve been dabbling for a year now, and always thought that was normal. In fact, I used to try to push the hydration level, and there were times when using 76% hydration where it would just fall apart instantly after a few turns. I have a lot to learn!

Iím going to make another one this weekend with reduced IDY, and will report back.

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Offline BeanAnimal

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2021, 11:47:51 AM »
The cheese and sauce look overdone.

Hrmm - looks perfect to me!  I really enjoy a well done Pizza where the cheese begins to caramelize.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2021, 12:56:58 PM »
If you are happy with everything other than the light cornicione. Another option is to finish the cornicione post-bake with a searzall.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2P0KNO/?tag=pmak-20
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Offline Shanksworthy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2021, 05:22:52 PM »
Hrmm - looks perfect to me!  I really enjoy a well done Pizza where the cheese begins to caramelize.
Haha Thank you! I prefer some dark bits on the cheese as well, and Saputo brand mozzarella lends itself well to that. The pizza was quite tasty as well, other than the rim being not crispy enough. That one had gyros meat under the cheese. First time trying that, and everyone loved it.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 02:19:12 AM by Shanksworthy »

Offline Shanksworthy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2021, 10:24:10 PM »
If you are happy with everything other than the light cornicione. Another option is to finish the cornicione post-bake with a searzall.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2P0KNO/?tag=pmak-20
What an interesting product! Feels like a bit of a cheat in a way though. 🙂

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Help ó Top of rim comes out white, while everything else is properly browned
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2021, 01:37:01 AM »
. >:D :-D

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