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The Highs & Lows or Heat Management - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

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  • The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

    I haven’t posted for a while, so first, the high point –

    A few weeks ago, we got our insulating blanket installed and had the first fire with it on – wow! Even without a vermiculite layer, does that ever make a difference! The coals from a white-dome fire went out around 8 PM and even though the temperature was far below freezing, by the next day at 5 PM the inside of the oven was still not just warm, but hot.

    And now for the lows …

    I don’t know whether it’s our inexperience or various winter factors, or both, but the cooking was dismal that day –

    We ruined a batch of bagels.
    Ended up cooking the bread the indoor oven when we couldn’t seem to get the FWO heat right.
    I burned my arm (scab gone, scars still fading).
    The pizzas would NOT slide off the peel.
    We burned the first two.
    The next ones were undercooked.

    Disgusted with my incompetence, I gave up and that’s been it. I turned my attention to reading some great books, perusing on-line seed catalogues, conducting herb research, hunting for reputable dog kennels and studying a map of the ski runs at Whistler (I’m headed there for Easter).

    I will get ‘back in the saddle’ again soon. I know the oven itself is functioning just fine and we will eventually get a better grip on heat management, but being overly ambitious, in a rush, in the dark, in bitter cold, just does not work. As for getting pizza off a peel without inadvertently folding it into a calzone or smushing it accordion-fashion while dumping the toppings all over the oven floor, I’m not sure if I’ll ever master that!

    Now I’m going to look through posts to see what you’ve all been doing in the last month.

    Ciao,
    Sarah

  • #2
    Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

    Whistler will be an awesome trip, I think. It's supposed to be really nice these days, with great night life.

    Don't get too frustrated with the poor cooking results. I still deal with that on a daily basis, even with my conventional oven.
    GJBingham
    -----------------------------------
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

    -

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

      Sarah, sorry to hear about the oven experience. Practice, practice. Also, there are some good threads on how to approach this issue.

      As for Whistler, it is our family's favorite place to board. As for favorite city, Vancuver, B.C. What a combo!
      An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

      Acoma's Tuscan:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

        I know nothing about whistler. And not much more about snow.

        I went skiing once......
        New Mexico...

        Doesn't skiing require practice, patience, and more practice, and more patience?
        I wasn't good at it, but I sure had fun trying to figure it out.
        The journey...... i love that part.

        Life's a roller coaster... enjoy the ride.
        Can't wait to see pics of the skiing and the perfect pizzas

        Dwats
        My thread:
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
        My costs:
        http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
        My pics:
        http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

          Don't feel downhearted Sarah!

          My experiences haven't been uniformly successful either. Getting the oven to the right heat and the dough risen at the same time is a real challenge.

          What I've worked out so far is: leave plenty of time for rising and then if the oven doesn't cool down fast enough, put the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours... makes everything a bit more flexible.

          For sticking pizzas, maybe try smaller ones to begin with. Probably lots of people will disagree with me on this one, but I find that if you add some wholemeal flour to the dough (or even a lot - I LIKE wholemeal ) it sticks less. Admittedly it doesn't go as thin either. And wholemeal flour is also great for putting under the pizza dough while shaping it.

          Not cooking in the dark and the cold has to be an absolute winner, great advice for any WFO user!
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

            Sarah, rice flower or something mentioned in previous thread speaks of flours to help with pizza release methods. Take some time to locate it, unless someone provides the link to that thread. Trust me, worth the read and benifit.
            An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

            Acoma's Tuscan:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

              Sorry about your injury, I hope it heals quickly and well. Burns are a nuisance.

              Here's the thread on release agents:

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f10/...meal-1715.html
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                I use a little corn flour or semolina between the dough and the peel.
                However, the big secret is to shake your peel and sligthly move the pizza just before it goes to the oven.

                Luis

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                  When I first started making pizza getting it off the paddle was a chore. We developed a technique using a piece of monofilament fishing line wound on my two fists. Anything to save your beautiful creation!


                  --mr.jim
                  --mr.jim
                  ---------------------------------------------------------------
                  The real art of conversation is not only to say the correct thing at the right time, but also to leave
                  unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
                  ---------------------------------------------------------------

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                    scatter corn meal on peel
                    Place dough.
                    shake it, make sure it's loose

                    Sauce dough.

                    shake it, make sure it's loose

                    Add cheese

                    shake it, make sure it's loose

                    Add toppings.

                    shake it, make sure it's loose

                    Head toward oven...
                    keep shaking

                    Place peel on oven floor,

                    Pull peel out quickly.
                    The pizza should sit right on the floor.
                    Practice with just dough and no toppings.
                    Make pitas.

                    Good luck Sarah!!

                    Dwats
                    My thread:
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                    My costs:
                    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                    My pics:
                    http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                      Dave, wouldn't one be able to use parchment paper or some type of transfer sheet that would allow the pizza to slide off the peel with the cornmeal? The method sounds more complicated, "shake it, over and over" than needed. You know more because yours is done, so- your call.
                      An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

                      Acoma's Tuscan:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                        All the parchment I have seen burns at 650F.


                        --mr.jim
                        --mr.jim
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------
                        The real art of conversation is not only to say the correct thing at the right time, but also to leave
                        unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                          Mr. Jim, I was not speaking of parchment in the oven, but rather for prep outside the oven. Then with toppings, moving the pizza to the peel, then to the oven.
                          An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

                          Acoma's Tuscan:
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                            I've had moderate success with putting the pizza in the oven on the parchment paper. The key is to trim the paper so that it barely sticks out beyond the dough. Any paper sticking out more than an inch is pretty much guranteed to immediately burst into flames. In about 2-5 seconds after the pizza is in the oven, the dough will have hardened up enough to edge it slightly off the paper with a metal peel. Then you have to reach in and pull the paper out from underneath. This neccessitates being fast, 'cause there's almost no way to grab the paper with tongs or gloves...but having hair on the back of your hands is overated.
                            With just a little experience, it becomes too troublesome to use the parchment. Our last party, at least 13 pizzas were cooked without having to resort to use of paper. We used a fine ground corn meal without any problems. And some of those pizzas were really loaded up the ingredients.
                            Also don't forget about the little blow-under-the-dough method that was linked to a couple weeks ago on this site. The little cushion of trapped air really helps to slide the dough. Because we had guests, I was using a rubber bulb baster to blow the aire rather than lifting up the dough and blowing with my mouth.
                            Paradise is where you make it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Highs & Lows or Heat Management

                              No no guys, believe me, wholemeal flour is the way to go...

                              (Now why do I feel a bit ournumbered here? )
                              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                              Comment

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