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Author Topic: Tips on stone cooking technique  (Read 152 times)

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Online mileniarista

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Tips on stone cooking technique
« on: Yesterday at 05:53:28 PM »
Today I got an IR thermometer and baked a couple of pizzas on my recently acquired pizza stone.

The stone was placed about 5" under the broiler (2nd highest rack). After pre-heating for 50 min with regular heat (up and down) + 10 min with only the broiler the top-center of the stone was 300C / 572F and the ceiling of my electric oven 340C / 644F.

Here's the recipe I used: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=50911.0 cold fermented for 3 days. The pizza was very thin, 200g and 27cm / 10,6" aprox. I tried to cook it in one go, with tomato sauce, grated mozzarella and a bit of oil. I left the broiler on for this one. After 3:30 min the cheese was already getting brown so I took it out, but the dough was undercooked as you can see in the pictures, no crispness at all.

My second attempt went in there when the stone was 280C / 536F aprox. I cooked it first only with tomato sauce and oil and with the broiler off for 4 min. I took it out and quickly assemble the rest of the toppings (mozzarella, blue cheese, parmigiano and some jalapeos) and back in for another 3-4 min. This time only the rim got crisp, no brown spots on the bottom at all. After taking this one out the stone was 210C / 410F.

How can I get that elusive and magical combination of crispy and juicy?

Offline csnack

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 06:04:06 PM »
Put stone on lowest rack, preheat for 2 hours once max temp is reached, and since your max temp is around 540 plan for a 7-8+ minute bake. Unless you're using steel and/or an oven that can go well above 540 don't expect a 3.5 minute bake w/ stone at that temp. Stone transfers heat relatively slow so being close to the broiler like that is naturally causing the top to finish before the bottom really even gets started.

Offline nick57

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 06:08:17 PM »
  Not sure my advice is good. I would place the stone lower in the oven. The stone temp looks good, though being so thick I would do a 1 hour pre-heat. By lowering the stone, and maybe not using the broiler it should take longer for the top to get done while giving more time for the bottom crust to brown up. Your crust looks underdone and I think you should aim for a bake time around 7 to 10 minutes depending on your stove and set up. 3 minutes seems too short of a bake time unless you are cooking at higher temps like around 700 degrees. I just looked at the link you posted. If you can find bread flour with at least 12% protein you should get some good bottom browning.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:18:31 PM by nick57 »

Online mileniarista

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 06:20:47 PM »
Thank you csnack and nick57. I will try the lowest rack next time and a longer pre-heat.

Offline csnack

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:20:28 AM »
I bake on the lowest rack at my oven's max temp of 550 (which is really 575 as my oven runs a bit hot) on a 3/4" stone preheated for 2 hours. My stone's surface temp maxes/averages 584 after an hour, but despite that, the stone still could use more internal saturation. That explains why after an hour, even though surface temp reads 584, the bake time is close to 9 minutes, whereas if I preheat for at least 2 hours the bake time is close to 7 minutes even though the surface temp still reads 584 like it did an hour ago. It's the internal heat that's really getting it done. It's also practically impossible to gauge, hence the longer preheat to ensure it. If you have the broiler shining right on the stone surface it will heat up fast, but the internal temp is probably not matching it in just 40 minutes, especially with your thick stone, which looks to be at least an inch thick. Like Nick said you don't need the broiler.
If you want to really get to know your setup, try the lowest rack, preheat for 1 hour, take an IR read of the stone temp and then preheat for another hour, take temp and then go for more third hour and take the temp. You're trying to see how hot your stone will max/average out at regardless of how long it preheats (within reason; I rarely preheat longer than 3 hours and even at that duration my stone never exceeds the 584 average). Once you know what the max temp is you can probably get away with a 2 hour preheat knowing that you're getting all your stone can offer. Then plan for something like an 8 or 9 minute bake to start, and rotate pie 180 halfway through and then just keep an eye on it from there. Don't worry about getting the full 8 or 9 minutes if the pizza looks like it needs to come out sooner or later, but give it 4-5 minutes before rotating at first. Be checking the crust bottom by lifting the edge a tad w/ a spatula. Eventually, you'll have it dialed in pretty consistently q/ your rig so long as your dough recipe/procedure is consistent. Show us more pictures after you try our tips. Anyway I got like 5 McDonald's cheeseburgers for dinner tonight and I'm gonna start putting them away.

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Offline Randy

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:30:36 AM »
And take the top rack out so it is easier for launching and recovering your pizza.

Online mileniarista

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #6 on: Today at 09:31:33 AM »
And take the top rack out so it is easier for launching and recovering your pizza.

Thanks for the tip, I always take the other racks out when I use the stone.

I baked another pizza today (3 days CF, re-balled only once yesterday). Stone in the lowest rack, pre-heated for 2 hours but no broiler; the stone was 290C / 554F and the ceiling of the oven 350C / 662F. I switched to bottom heating only for 10-15 min and temp went down both in the stone (275C / 527F) and the ceiling (245C / 473F). Back to heating up and down until stone and ceiling were 285C / 545F; at that moment I put the pizza in.

After cooking for 4 min I switched to bottom heating only again and left it for a total of 7 min. The result was better than yesterday; there was some crispness in the crust but I would like it to be a bit less dry. The mozzarella ended-up overcooked, this time it was fresh mozz, patted dry with kitchen paper towels. I don't like the flavor of the grated one you can get here.

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #7 on: Today at 10:10:41 AM »
Do you know if the flour you are using is malted - if so, on the ingredients (somewhere on the bag of flour) it should be listed. Like it is below (in red) - asking because at your cooking temps if the flour is not malted you will need to add some sugar or LDM. That will help it brown up before it dries out too much.
Norm

Offline Dangerous Salumi

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #8 on: Today at 11:17:25 AM »
Thanks for the tip, I always take the other racks out when I use the stone.

I baked another pizza today (3 days CF, re-balled only once yesterday). Stone in the lowest rack, pre-heated for 2 hours but no broiler; the stone was 290C / 554F and the ceiling of the oven 350C / 662F. I switched to bottom heating only for 10-15 min and temp went down both in the stone (275C / 527F) and the ceiling (245C / 473F). Back to heating up and down until stone and ceiling were 285C / 545F; at that moment I put the pizza in.

After cooking for 4 min I switched to bottom heating only again and left it for a total of 7 min. The result was better than yesterday; there was some crispness in the crust but I would like it to be a bit less dry. The mozzarella ended-up overcooked, this time it was fresh mozz, patted dry with kitchen paper towels. I don't like the flavor of the grated one you can get here.

It looks pretty good.
Did you get the 14% protein flour? What % hydration are you using?
Are you using any oil in the dough or pre-bake?
If I understand correctly you have top and bottom heat and a broiler setting?
I would put the stone (nice looking stone btw) 1 rack above the bottom and use bottom heat all the time while baking
I use a steel plate above my pies. It helps with the recovery and browing.

Have a Dangerous day!


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Online Essen1

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Re: Tips on stone cooking technique
« Reply #9 on: Today at 12:07:09 PM »
That stone looks like it has a 1" thickness. It needs a significant amount of time to heat up thoroughly.

I'd put it on the lowest rack at the highest temps for at least 90 mins to two hours. Depending the type of pizza you'd like to make, you can always lower the oven temp 10 mins prior to launching the pizza, IF the stone temp should be too high.
Mike

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