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Confused

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  • Confused

    Ok, so yesterday I set an entire day to cooking pizza, trial and error style. I live in an apartment in Chicago so I can't have a wood fried oven. This is what I did. I grabbed some red clay bricks laying around (6 of them) and washed them with soap and water. I rinsed them clean and let them dry in the sun. The I heated up the charcoal grill with wood chip coals for about 1.5 hours. I made my dough (3.5 cups of 00 flour, 2 packets of yeast, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoons of sugar, 1.25 cups of warm water, a little cornmeal and a splash of milk) I let the dough rise for 3 hours. I prepared the dough and and put on some sauce and cheese and floured up my peel and put it on the bricks. The first one turned out ok, the second one was great. The third one was a complete disaster. This time I used 5 teaspons of sugar and half wheat flour. Was that my mistake? The pizza stuck to the bricks and it was a complete mess not to mention I wasted about 5 dollars worth of mozzerella. I had to throw the bricks away because they were covered in nasty pizza. Anyone have any tips? Thanks. Oh and I'm striving for a thick crust, browned, crusty and soft.

  • #2
    Re: Confused

    Timmy,

    When you say it was the third pizza, you also say you have modified the recipe for the dough. Is this all in the same cooking event? You heated up the bricks one time and cooked three pizza? I don't think the changes you made to the third dough created the change in the BBQ.

    My guess is the bricks had cooled down, by the third pizza, and didn't have the heat to give to the pizza.

    I am used to making a pizza dough that is not 'enriched'. I use flour, yeast, salt and water; and don't use milk or sugar. These additions make the dough less able to tollerate the heat of a WFO.

    And to bad you tossed out the brick; one of the beauties of this style of cooking is the 'self cleaning' aspect of the high heat environment.

    JED

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    • #3
      Re: Confused

      Jed, thanks for responding to my post. I wasn't clear. I actually added more coals and started a new fire. It was definitely hot enough because I waited 1.5 hours to start cooking. As for the bricks, I only tossed two because they were completely trashed with pizza that I could not peal off. Should I try your recipe? Could you give it to me? No sugar? Thanks. PS I am well aware of the seasoning and self cleaning because I have a deep dish stone pan that I have been using and I have made about 60 stuffed pizzas in it. It now has a nice blackened look to it.

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      • #4
        Re: Confused

        Two packets of yeast for 3.5 cups of flour? 3 1/2 cups of flour is 440 grams. I use 1/2 teaspoon of instant dry yeast (about a quarter of an envelope) for 500 grams. It raises enthusiastically.

        I also second the "ditch the sugar, corn and milk" advice. Sounds like a good recipe for parker house rolls, not so much for pizza.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: Confused

          Wow, interesting. So how does this sound for a recipe:

          3.5 cups of 00 flour

          .5 teaspoon of yeast

          4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil?

          no sugar, no cornmeal, no milk

          1 teaspoon of salt?

          thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Confused

            Search for the forno bravo pizza recipe on the forum. I think your measurements are about right, but leave out the olive oil. Sugar and oils are added to commercial pizza so that they will brown at a standard house oven temperature. If you are using your barbeque, you are probably in the 500 to 650 F temperature range. The oil and sugar will just burn your crust. Oddly enough, adding a little EVOO on top of the pizza will not have this effect.
            At these temperature ranges you are probably cooking for about 4 to 6 minutes. A soft browned crust can be achived without the added sugar/oil though good dough handling techiques. I rountinely cook a thick crust pizza @ about 675 F. My wife likes it very bread like with lots of toppings. So I cook it with very few toppings and then add them on top during the last 3 minutes of cooking. This works great without making a sloppy unevenly cooked pizza. Keep on cooking. I am convinced the secret is perservance and uh uh uh .. not quitting
            Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

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            • #7
              Re: Confused

              An earlier email from Timmy referred to "seasoning" a stone/hearth. The hearth should NEVER season for the fires you build should vaporize anything that gets on or in the hearth. The coals from the fire will/should get rid of all organics and leave you with a perfectly clean surface. If you are building up "color" on your hearth something is wrong.

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              • #8
                Re: Confused

                Hey Texassourdough, I'm sorry I am the one creating confusion. I was referring to my deep dish pizza pan not the hearth or oven. I have been "seasoning" or coloring the pan since I bought it by cooking with it and not washing it thoroughly.

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                • #9
                  Re: Confused

                  Originally posted by Timmy Pizza Man View Post
                  Should I try your recipe? Could you give it to me? No sugar?
                  Hey Timmy,

                  Looks like the fella's have addressed your questions. I use the recipe from Forno Bravo. I'll adjust the water to get the consistency that feels right, but the basic is just a high protein flour, yeast, salt and good water.

                  The one suggestion I might add is that you get set up to weigh the ingredients. I find it easy to adjust the size of the batch to meet the needs of the event; more people, just increase the quantities of the ingredients by the same percentage and you can make any quantity that you need. Generally more accurate than measuring the ingredients.

                  JED
                  Last edited by Jed; 08-10-2009, 10:17 AM.

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                  • #10
                    The recipe...

                    So I used that recipe (4 cups of 00, 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, 2 tspns salt, water) and the pizza turned out like cardboard. it didn't rise at all. I cooked it on quarry tile over charcoal. Now I'm confused. Its like it had no substance. Every one else is saying use oil, sugar, a little more yeast.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Confused

                      How long did you let it rise?
                      BTW... I'm near Chicago. Where did you find 00 flour?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Confused

                        I let it rise for about 2.5 hours. It turned out like *$*%. I'm doing one right now. I'm letting it rise. I switched to a teaspoon of yeast, 1 tspn of olive oil, 4 teaspoons sugar, 3/4 cup warm water (I bought imported water instead of the hard tap water I have, also a new idea). Now I'm heating the coals and crossing my fingers. I'm gonna try to cook the dough for 2 minutes each side, then top it then put it back on. this way it will be evenly crispy ( i hope). Go down to Bari at 1120 W Grande. They have 3 types of 00 flour to choose from for 3.79. Do you have a brick oven? I live in Wrigleyville in an apt and i use a Weber charcoal grill. I put three bricks on the grill then I put 4 quarry tiles on the bricks. I dust it with cornmeal, it gets hot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Confused

                          You are still a bit light on yeast - if you want to make dough fast. Normal would be about 1.25 t. instant yeast for 500 grams of flour/4 cups.

                          If this doesn't show life and rise you need to check your yeast - what kind are you using, what is the expiration date, did you just mix it in or did you proof it first to make sure it was alive?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Confused

                            Unless your yeast was dead and ancient, you should have had some rise. Tell us what kind of yeast you're using, and your procedure for putting together your dough. We'll try to help.
                            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Water

                              I bought some fancy mineral water instead of tap water for the dough. any thoughts?

                              Comment

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