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Crust issues - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Crust issues

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  • Crust issues

    I am moving this post to this section...more suitable topic for here.

    Newbie here...using my indoor 30" electric oven to cook pizzas on a stone at 500F (I think). My oven is a Wolf and it has a "Bake Stone" mode. The owners manual specifically talks about using this mode for pizza cooking, so I guess that's the right mode to be using (and I have used that mode)

    I'm getting an edible result, but would like to have a browner, crispier crust in the center of the pie. The edges and the center ingredients are cooking nicely, browning fine...but that bottom needs help.

    Ingredients were a high protein flour, an instant yeast, a decent EVO, San Marzano tomatoes. Dough was mixed in KitchenAid mixer, gave it about an hour or two to rise.

    My last pie was prepared using EVO, then sauce, then cheese, etc,. I'm wondering of the EVO is preventing the crust from "crisping"?

    I'm really inexperienced...so no question or suggestion is too basic.

    Thanks folks!

  • #2
    Re: Crust issues

    Photos would be helpful!
    I assume you ARE using a baking stone?
    Are you letting it heat up for a good long time--like an hour?
    Can you tell what exactly "bake stone" mode does vs. regular bake?
    Gas or electric?
    Without further info, I would say your stone isn't hot enough and/or you're putting too much stuff on top.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Crust issues

      Photo's...not possible.

      Baking stone....Yes

      Heating for a long time....well yes. However, I lost my argument with Wifey over temp- she thought 450. So thats where things started. I turned it up after first pie, but doubt that the stone had time to really take advantage of higher temp. (Gee, this kinda sounds like the answer here, donnit?)

      Bake mode...not sure and owners manual doesn't explicitly say. Oven is a high end model (Wolf) and I think it probably has to do with which elements are on...but not sure.

      Gas or electric....electric.

      I suspect solution is higher temp...pie was pretty lightly dressed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Crust issues

        Definitely you must try pre-heating at full temp (500 or 550 deg F) for longer time... like 1 hr.

        Also you need to consider where in the oven the stone is located. Different ovens perform differently and finding the best place for the stone takes experimentation. My old Chambers liked the stone on the lowest rack setting. The piece-of-junk oven I'm using now likes it in the middle.

        Also, "recovery time" of a stone is something to be mindful of when baking multiple pies one after another.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Crust issues

          Yes, I think most here would advocate the hotter the better for oven temp (as WFO pizza cooks, we think anything less than about 750F is too cold) but your dough recipe would be a factor here as well.
          If your pies are cooking on the top faster than the bottom, that tells me your oven air temp is too hot in comparison to your stone. As I said, I like to give them an hour or more preheat depending on what oven temp I am shooting for. An IR thermometer like we use for WFO cooking might be worth your while to get an idea of where you're at with the stone temp. About $30 for a cheapie at the tool store or ebay and lots of fun for other stuff, too.
          Is there an upper heating element that comes on during pizza bake mode? That could be part of the problem.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Crust issues

            Originally posted by splatgirl View Post
            Is there an upper heating element that comes on during pizza bake mode? That could be part of the problem.
            I don't know...will try calling my oven mfg'er to ask this.

            Thanks for the help.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Crust issues

              Originally posted by BrianShaw View Post
              Definitely you must try pre-heating at full temp (500 or 550 deg F) for longer time... like 1 hr.
              I did pre-heat..but as I say, it was preheating to 450. We cooked one pie (which brought the temp down) and then tried resetting the oven to 500. But I know we didnt give things time to readjust. I suspect that this may have been the problem.

              Thanks Brian.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Crust issues

                Your dough recipe and crust thickness has a lot to do with how your pizza comes out also. Can you give your dough recipe, specifically the hydration % and oil % and if your pizza's are thick or thin crusts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Crust issues

                  Originally posted by 70chevelle View Post
                  Your dough recipe and crust thickness has a lot to do with how your pizza comes out also. Can you give your dough recipe, specifically the hydration % and oil % and if your pizza's are thick or thin crusts.
                  I really don't have a recipe, per se...I used the recipe on the back of the flour bag (I know, how lame).

                  Just acquired Peter Rheinhart's book (American Pie) and plan to follow one of his recipes.

                  Talked to my oven manufacturer (Wolf). They were not particularly helpful in deciphering what burners operate in what mode. I'm going to try Bake Convection next time and will crank this thing all the way (550- I think).

                  Thanks for your help, chevelle.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Crust issues

                    On stone in a regular oven, try Reinharts NeoNepolitan dough first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Crust issues

                      Originally posted by bobframe View Post
                      I really don't have a recipe, per se...I used the recipe on the back of the flour bag (I know, how lame).

                      Just acquired Peter Rheinhart's book (American Pie) and plan to follow one of his recipes.

                      Talked to my oven manufacturer (Wolf). They were not particularly helpful in deciphering what burners operate in what mode. I'm going to try Bake Convection next time and will crank this thing all the way (550- I think).

                      Thanks for your help, chevelle.
                      One other thing I do in my (non-convection) oven is use 2 stones, one on top and one on the bottom. My pizza comes out very good, top and bottom. Much better than without the stone on top.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Crust issues

                        Originally posted by bobframe View Post
                        Talked to my oven manufacturer (Wolf). They were not particularly helpful in deciphering what burners operate in what mode. I'm going to try Bake Convection next time and will crank this thing all the way (550- I think).
                        That's a real shame that Wolf isn't being informative. What's the secret, after all, that they can't share with their customers and users??? That kind of thing drives me nuts!

                        Suggest pre-heat with convection, but during bake keep a careful eye that toppings don't cook faster than the crust because of the convection. I assume Wolf give you the ability to turn the convection off if you don't want/need it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Crust issues

                          You'd be able to see the upper element cycling on if you kept an eye on it during baking. Unfortunately I am all too familiar with crappy manufacturer service on a range that costs almost as much as a small car. I've gotten better service and support on a $25 blender than on any of my high end appliances.

                          FWIW, I found that I didn't like using convection mode for pizzas in my indoor oven, but I think that just like WFO pizza cookery, it just takes experimentation and practice to find what works best for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Crust issues

                            OK...lunch is over and here's the results.

                            I had a dough ball left over from a couple of days ago in the frig and decided to make it for lunch. I set oven on Convection Bake/550F and let it warm my stone for 75 minutes on the middle rack. The dough sat out on the counter for 2 hours.

                            The results were good..better than before. I would rate the crust 7/10...not good enough to win the gold, but pretty darn tasty. The crust was definitely crisper and more browned than before- so this is progress.

                            Here's what I ate:








                            Last edited by bobframe; 09-30-2010, 09:34 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Crust issues

                              One more of the bottom:

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