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Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

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  • Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

    do any of you folks ever have problems with the bottom of your pizzas turning too black while cooking? i'm not talking about expected charring but, rather, very black bottoms. i know that over-fermentation might case this due to the increased sugars caramelizing or even excessive bench flour - but are there any other obvious problems that might cause this?

    so far it's been hit and miss for me - i haven't had any problems with the top of the pizza cooking but much too often the bottoms become just too blackened even when the rest of the pie is perfect. any thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

    It would help to know what procedures you are using while firing your oven.

    Such as: how long of a firing, how hot, how much wood, etc.

    Do you have a way to measure floor temps?

    How long are you cooking the pies?

    Do you allow the oven to rest a bit between firing and cooking? The resting period helps to even the heat out.

    After my dome goes completely white. The floor is very hot. If I put pizzas in at that time, they will burn on the bottom as well. Sometimes I just watch the bottom. When it is done to my liking, I lift the pie up with my peel, and hold it close to the top of the dome, allowing the top of my pizza to "catch up" with the bottom.


    Dave
    Last edited by asudavew; 12-14-2007, 11:05 AM.
    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

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    • #3
      Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

      Aeneas,

      It might be helpful to know what dough formula you're using as well. Some enrichments, additions, are not suited to high heat WFO baking. Are you using in infrared gun? If not, probably time to get one.

      Jim
      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

        It also woud be helpful to know what you are using on the bottom of your peel/pizzas. I found that cornmeal has lots of sugar and tends to burn. I switched to rice flour and now have no problems. I also mop the floor with a medium wet towel to drop the floor temps prior to placing the pizza's. Last thing is that when I initially place the pizza in its not overly close to the coals. After the crust begins to set and I feel safe sliding the peel underneath. I rotate the pizza and place it a little closer to the coals.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

          thanks for the replies guys and i apologize for not being more specific. i've tried many different formulations and have had burning with all - frankly, i believe it must have something to do with the heat balance in my oven.

          types of formulations tested:

          flour - caputo 00 pizzeria
          hydrations from 58%-65%
          2.5% starter (camaldoli or ischia) or .5% fresh yeast
          2.7% sea salt
          24 hour room temp rise @ 68f-72f
          24 hr cold rise w/ 3 hr room temp proof
          48 hr cold rise w/ 3hr room-temp proof
          240-260gr dough balls

          mix 75% flour 3-5 min, 30 min autolyse, 20 minute knead with addition of remaining flour
          oven floor 800f-900f
          oven wall 6" mark 900f-1000f+
          cook time 45-180 sec

          dough - perfect extensibilty, very easy shaping, great oven spring, great flavor and texture. minimum amount of bench flour used during shaping and on peel for transfer to oven.

          here's a photo of the type of burning i'm getting much too frequently:



          types of charring i've also achieved, which i want, but much too INfrequently:





          note: i obtained the above photos from different sources on the net - they aren't mine but very closely resemble my experiences.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

            Aeneas,

            This kind of thing tends to be tough to answer, because all our ovens have their own personalities. It may be that you have a serious hot spot in your oven floor, but I doubt it. Baking pizzas at above 800 F on the floor takes practice. Given your formulas, I'd say, for a start at least, to begin your pizzas with a floor temp of 750 F. Once you're confident at that heat, you can move up. You should be rotating your pizzas to make sure one side does not get overbaked, while the opposite is under baked. Do you have a round peel for this purpose? If not, you should probably get one.

            Hope that's some help.

            Jim
            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

              I get that burnt pizza effect if I fire the oven longer than when it first turns white, and then don't push the fire to the side at least 20 minutes before cooking pizza.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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              • #8
                Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                Agree with others in that you really need to know what your floor temp is.

                Once my dome is 1/3-1/4 white (approx 1.5-2hrs) I push the fire to the back, wrapping it around if I have a big one. I then brush the floor clean and soak a terry shop towel and mop the pizza area. Let it sit for 10 minutes and start the pizzas. My floor thermocouple (center of brick, 9 inches from dome) has never been above 350 deg F at this point and the one time I used the gun to shoot a temp of the floor, I got about 600-650 if I remember correctly. Pizza's always under 2 minutes done and never had a burned one yet.
                Wade Lively

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                • #9
                  Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                  That is pretty seriously burned on the bottom even for the 800-900 degree range. Personally I prefer making pizza in that range, I'm getting the perfect char on both the top and bottom in about 90-105 seconds.
                  I tried the 750-800 range and it just wasn't to my liking.
                  Also, I never let my pizzas sit more than 30 seconds without rotating at this temp. Usually turning twice for a 10-12 pie, three times for anything larger.
                  I shoot the floor temp immediately before and after each pizza and again before the next.....and regulate by raking coals over any cooled down spots between pizzas.
                  Just my opinion, but I have to question the accuracy of you tempuratures - could they be higher than you think? Also, are you rotating the pizza a couple of times at these temps? I think mine would burn too, if I left them in the same spot for a 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.

                  RT

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                  • #10
                    Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                    very helpful replies folks and much appreciated....

                    to answer some of the questions:

                    - i'm fairly certain my temperature readings are correct unless there is something very wrong with my laser thermometer, which i doubt.

                    - i do not let the pies sit in one place longer than 15-20 secs and always rotate. the severe burning seems to occur almost on contact with the oven floor. because of this i first assumed that it was excessive bench flour that was becoming singed on contact.

                    - i have an arsenal of professional pizza tools including several perforated and non-perforated "turning" peels.

                    - i have never mopped the oven floor. ever. just good brushings from time to time with my copper-bristled brush. could it be that what i think is a clean oven floor is actually one that is covered with soot or ash? perhaps this is the case but i have to say the floor appears spotless at time of bake. and, also, if this was the case how would one explain the few bakes that come out perfectly? i'm certain that it's not a matter of the good bakes happening to hit the only "clean" spot in the oven.

                    - as far as having an excessively hot spot in the center of the oven is concerned due to where the fire was started, this isn't an issue in my case. i've been experimenting with my oven for use in a commercial application and have not let it cool in the last month or so. each day the oven is at about 500f-600f when i begin my testing - with the old logs and ashes from the previous day already pushed to one side, i add some more wood and it gets up to temp rather quickly. i do remove some ash before adding new logs (although there is not a great deal to remove) and brush the floor well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                      It simply seems to me the floor is too hot.

                      What else could it be?
                      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


                      • #12
                        Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                        OK,

                        I'm going to recommend something CJ (CanuckJim) recommends for all of the bread bakers looking for consistancy. Only change ONE variable at a time.

                        Its easy to say the floor is too hot, too much bench flour, etc. But only you know the differences (no matter how slight) between each pizza bake.

                        Pick a dough formula, a firng temp - equalization, and cooking routine that you think has worked in the past. Follow it exactly a few times to establish a benchmark.
                        Personally, if I were faced with your dilemma, I would go the simplest route with proven results. Try the dough instructions listed here on the FB forum for Caputo flour. You can try being creative AFTER you have consistant results. I would also drop to 750-800 degrees. I still think there is something going on with your floor temp, but could be (and probably am) wrong.

                        I went through a similar situation (no burning, just inconsistancy) early on, MY problem was due to experimentation (tweaking things every time I made pizza). I would add a little more water, then a little less, I added EVO, and strayed a bit on the knead times. The problem was that I didn't perfect the basics first and kept changing things a little each time - searching for that "perfect" pizza. Finally,I went back to "square one" and followed the basic instructions to the letter a few times. My consistancy was there, but still not perfect. I then went higher with my hearth temp, as I mentioned before, 850-900 works for me. Since then I have eliminated EVO from my dough (which early on, really gave me a nice crust a few times), and I've lowered the salt a bit. I'm REALLY close to perfect (for my taste) at this point. I learned to take notes of my changes, AND more importantly, try each new routine several times for consistancy (even if I didn't like it) - simply to be sure.

                        RT

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                        • #13
                          Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                          i'm convinced that it must be a temperature issue with the oven floor and i will be experimenting with all week and report back. fwiw i did "swab the deck" tonight and discovered that it probably needed a good wipe - nothing that would cause the burning mind you (imo), but it needed a wipe nonetheless.

                          as far as eliminating possibilities via establishing a benchmark in formulation and oven temp is concerned and proceeding from there, i've already gone down that road quite a few times. imo the bottom line is that there is a huge range of of hydration/formulation/proof/temp combinations that produce excellent results without burning. in other words, outside of obvious potential problems such as excessively low hydration levels, bubbling of the dough due to extreme over-proofing, under-proofing, oven floor of 1200f+, etc. there really is no reason that burning should occur on a consistent basis imo. anyway, i'll be at it again this week (most likely daily) and will post my experiences.

                          thanks again for all of our input!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Burnt / Overdone Crust Bottom...

                            When you fire your oven and bring it too temperature, the coals heat the floor and it gets very, very hot... RED hot. You will see this if you fire up your oven in the dark. When you bank the coals off to the side, the oven floor will be glowing, red hot where the coals were. Bank the coals to the side, let the floor cool at least 15-20 minutes. When you put the pizza in, put it off to the opposite side of the coals initially and move the pizza around. This helps it to cook evenly as different areas of the oven have different cooking temps.

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