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Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
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Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique

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  • Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique

    I've been pretty set on getting my oven as hot as possible (it goes up to 550F) to heat the pizza stone and get a nice crisp crust. I bake my pizzas inf 4 minutes this way - this has been my routine for the past year. Last week I tried something different, and lowered the temperature to 450, and cook it for 6 minutes. What I'm finding is the crust is a lot crustier and crunchier on the outside, with a nicely cooked interior.

    I'm struggling to make sense of this because I've been striving to emulate the WFO setup (ultra high heat and short cook times), to get that unique consistency.

    Anyone have any input on this?
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique

    Pizza and bread are two different animals...<j>
    Pizza is bake at higher temps than breads to obtain his particular crust, chewy outside, smoothly in the center and perfectly charred and developed edges, even when using only flour, salt, water and preferment.
    If the cooking temperatures are on the lower side, do you need to add fats (oil, butter, eggs) to the dough (or she goes dry) and sugars (sugar, honey, molasses) to increase the final color.
    Nothing wrong doing a pizza on this way, if you enjoy bread like crusts.
    At the end, the best pizza is always the one that you like more.
    Now, if you are a purist or if you had experienced the taste of a higher temperature baked crust, nothing better than raise your oven to the 800 F.
    I bet you wish a wood fire oven <G>

    Luis

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    • #3
      Re: Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique

      Michael J - what is your dough recipe? That has a lot to do with your results. I make different doughs based upon where I plan on cooking them (ie: Home oven or WFO) Here are the 2 recipes I have come to rely upon:

      Pizza Dough – WFO – NO OIL OR SUGAR

      100% - Flour (Caputo)
      65% - Water
      .56% - IDY
      1.5%-2% - Salt

      250g Dough Balls for 12” pizza’s

      Pizza Dough - Regular

      100% - Flour (KA Bread Flour or Con-Agra Kyrol Hi-gluten)
      63% - Water
      .56% - IDY
      1.5% - Salt
      .5% - Oil

      390 gram dough balls (Thicker/larger crust)
      250 gram dough balls (thinner/12" crust)

      4-6 hour bulk counter rise (punch down & separate into dough balls. Then freeze, counter rise for 2 hours, or overnite in fridge)
      Overnite bulk rise in fridge (punch down & separate into dough balls. Then freeze or counter rise for 2 hours)


      If you only have your home oven to cook in, don't despair. I've had great results with my "regular" dough in the oven on a stone, but I also place an additional stone on the top rack. So, the my pizza is placed on the bottom stone it gets reflective heat from the top stone. Just make sure you preheat your stones for 45 minutes or more. Better yet, if you have an IR therm, check the surface temp of the lower stone to see if it's close to the ambiant temp inside the oven. If you prepare a thin dough, similar to WFO pizza's, I've found that the outer rim gets good spring, the dough & cheese cook very evenly and I even get some char marks on the outer rim and cheese. (depending on how long it's in the oven) I don't time, I keep a watchful eye on the pizza and pull it when I feel it's done. Good Luck.

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      • #4
        Re: Temperature experiment has me rethinking my technique

        thanks for this info
        i will definitely try pizza stone

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