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Author Topic: Oil or Sugar for more Crust Browning on Top?  (Read 324 times)

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Offline boatsydney

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Oil or Sugar for more Crust Browning on Top?
« on: August 25, 2020, 01:03:18 PM »
I make pizza on a grill which ranges in temp from 575 - 775 F.

At the lower end of that range, it takes longer to bake, but I do get more browning on top of the crust.

At the higher end of that range, it bakes in about 3:45, the bottom of the crust turns out well, the cheese is fully cooked, but the top of the crust is still pretty white. Longer than 3:45 would result in the cheese overcooking and blackening.

So the baking is more even at the lower end of the temp range, but I like the taste on the bottom of the crust I get at the higher end.

My dough formulation is about 65% hydration, and is only flour, oil, water, yeast.

I've read here that I can add oil or sugar to get more browning. I don't really want to add sugar because I don't want any sweetness. (I don't like any sweetness in bread either.)

How do you decide whether to use oil or sugar?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Oil or Sugar for more Crust Browning on Top?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 02:12:24 PM »
Not knowing what your dough formula is I cannot say if adding sugar will impart a sweet taste to the crust, but keep this in mind; you will not get a detectable sweet taste in the finished crust until the sugar (sucrose) level is 4% or more. With that said, the addition of sugar will result in the entire crust developing more color and at a faster rate on both the top and the bottom. The problem you're experiencing is most likely due to the high crown in your grill which does not provide sufficient top heat directly to the pizza as it's baking. An application of oil to the top of the dough not covered by the toppings might help a bit. You might also try brushing it with whole milk too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline boatsydney

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Re: Oil or Sugar for more Crust Browning on Top?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2020, 09:50:12 PM »
Thanks!

Lots of variables to play with there, including fixing my heating method.

Offline boatsydney

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Re: Oil or Sugar for more Crust Browning on Top?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 11:58:57 PM »
I did some testing on the grill with a thermometer probe.

I found that even though the thermometer built into the grill was clocking 750+ F, a probe an inch or so off the pizza stone surface was only measuring about 400. The stone itself was measuring 650 with IR.

Given that disparity, I think Tom was spot on that the uneven crust browning was due to the grill more so than the ingredients.

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