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Author Topic: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline typecase

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Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:58:37 PM »
Hello,

I've been making Neapolitan pies in my Blackstone for a little while and I've not been able to solve a couple of vexing problems.

1) My first pies usually turn out great but as the night progresses, the bottoms of the pies get progressively blacker

2) Some ingredients on my pies make the pies too liquidy. I'm not sure what the problem there is. How do I avoid this. While I prefer my NP pies sparse on toppings (mainly margherita) some of my guests love adding toppings to the pies

One theory for the bottom I have could be flour on the bottom burning but I don't have good luck transferring from the peel to the oven with a small dusting of flour. The other theory was that the oven temp keeps heating up but my IR thermometer seems to register it as pretty even.

The first pic is an early pie and the second pic is a later pie.

Any help greatly appreciated.





Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 06:09:56 PM »
What are ALL the ingredients in your dough?
Do you have an IR thermometer to measure the deck temperature?
How long is the bake of the first pie? Second pie?

Offline stevenfstein

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 06:52:10 PM »
you can try rice flour as well. A little goes a long way. Never tried with Neo but use for my NY style in Blackstone. A couple of people suggested it. Prior I was using flour and like you, 1st was fine but subsequent pies were getting burnt. Would a screen help? A minute on the stone then transfer to the screen?

update: I use the rice flour on the peel to launch. Don't use that much bench flour since my dough is getting much better and easier to open thanks to several members who have been very helpful.

Best.... Steve
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 07:38:27 PM by stevenfstein »

Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 10:03:26 PM »
What are ALL the ingredients in your dough?
Do you have an IR thermometer to measure the deck temperature?
How long is the bake of the first pie? Second pie?

Yes. The IR thermometer registers the same temp throughout the bake. My ingredients for neapolitan are flour, water, salt and yeast. Nothing else. Sometimes, I'll do a naturally leavened bake with no yeast.

My NYC pies add sugar and olive oil and they seem to suffer from the same problem.

you can try rice flour as well. A little goes a long way. Never tried with Neo but use for my NY style in Blackstone. A couple of people suggested it. Prior I was using flour and like you, 1st was fine but subsequent pies were getting burnt. Would a screen help? A minute on the stone then transfer to the screen?



I'll look into the rice flour Steve.

Does anyone brush the stone between pies? Will this help?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 10:05:56 PM »
What kind of flour in the dough? What kind on the bench?

I always brush the deck between pizzas, but I don't use a Blackstone.

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Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 10:49:52 PM »
I use Caputo Pizzeria flour to make the dough and on the bench.

Offline italdream

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 08:34:40 AM »
This is a bit unusual. Seems like you are doing everything well for BS. How long do keep the pies in the BS and at what temps?  There may be some heat imbalance where you keep the pie for too long in order to get good top bake. The BS stone is not particularly suited for the very high temp sessions.

My suggestion. First Make sure the IR thermometer works, it seems like you had some questions on that. Assuming that it does I would try using a deflector to redirect the flame towards the side/top of the pie (search the main BS thread) This might speed up the top baking reducing cooking time for the bottom.
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Offline italdream

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 08:40:51 AM »
Additionally, even if the stone rotates, you should still move the pie around with a peel during the bake. If all else fails (including deflector), as soon as the bottom cooks but is not burnt, take the pie out, place it on the peel without touching the stone and try to finish the top by orienting each side of the pie toward the flame.
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Offline vtsteve

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 09:24:05 AM »
Have you done the "washer mod"?
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 10:32:55 AM »
Have you done the "washer mod"?

This would be my suggestion as well. Get 6 or 8 thin (1-2mm) stainless steel washers and arrange them evenly spaced on the metal platter that holds the stone. This will create an "air gap" between the metal and the stone that will help slow the heat transfer to the stone. Several people making really good looking NP on the BS use this simple mod.
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Offline schold

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2017, 12:48:19 PM »
you can try rice flour as well.

I was about to suggest the same. I have never tried it myself, but I've heard that it works well.
Cooking is not a recipe, it's a philosophy - unless it's pastry, then it's chemistry.

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Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 07:04:24 PM »
Have you done the "washer mod"?

I have not. But will definitely be doing it this  weekend.

This would be my suggestion as well. Get 6 or 8 thin (1-2mm) stainless steel washers and arrange them evenly spaced on the metal platter that holds the stone. This will create an "air gap" between the metal and the stone that will help slow the heat transfer to the stone. Several people making really good looking NP on the BS use this simple mod.

Thanks for the advice TXCraig1.

How do you guys handle fresh ingredients to prevent moisture leak during the bake? Do you let them dry first?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 07:06:55 PM by typecase »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 07:37:45 PM »
How do you guys handle fresh ingredients to prevent moisture leak during the bake? Do you let them dry first?

Like what?
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Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 09:03:32 PM »
Like what?

Stuff like green peppers, mushrooms and sometimes tomatoes. I feel like these are sometimes troublesome for me and lead to soupy pie. How do you avoid it?

Offline vtsteve

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 12:35:50 AM »
One or more of the usual moisture control techniques:
  • Slice thin/very thin
  • Drain on towels/in a colander (with or without salting)
  • Sauté & drain
  • Bake in an air impingement conveyor oven with the fingers adjusted for more top heat  (Hi Tom, I've been paying attention :-D )
  • Etc.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 01:20:57 AM by vtsteve »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 07:38:06 AM »
Mushrooms are about the only potentially problematic ingredient I use regularly. In that cas, I either cook the pie so fast that the water doesn't come out (45-50 seconds) or I roast them ahead of time.
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Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2017, 12:38:21 PM »
One or more of the usual moisture control techniques:
  • Slice thin/very thin
  • Drain on towels/in a colander (with or without salting)
  • Sauté & drain

This was very helpful.


Mushrooms are about the only potentially problematic ingredient I use regularly. In that cas, I either cook the pie so fast that the water doesn't come out (45-50 seconds) or I roast them ahead of time.

Thanks TxCraig. I figured it might be the mushrooms over the peppers.

Do you guys drain cheese too? I try to press most of the moisture away. Do you guys do any more?

Offline typecase

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2017, 07:28:26 PM »
So I added the washers (stainless steel fender washers) and had to double them up to make it about 2mm thick and the results were spectacular!  I also brushed the stone between pies which also seemed to help a lot by getting rid of launch flour and not allowing it to build up.  I baked my best pies in a while. Not sure what the deciding factor was since I changed two variables but the washer mod definitively helped. Thanks for the tips guys!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 12:07:51 AM by typecase »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2017, 08:10:30 PM »
Looks great.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline italdream

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Re: Need some help on charring bottom on NP pies
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2017, 08:38:25 AM »
Nice.
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