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thezaman 07-25-2009 05:18 PM

burning crust in my primavera 70
hi, i am having a hard time cooking in my primavera 70. i want to list my problem and possible reasons ,hopefully someone can help rule out certain items, so i can cook a constant pizza.
i fire my oven hot trying to do a pizza in under 90 seconds,850 deg floor top about the same . my pizzas burn before the dough sets enough to turn it. i use caputo flour at 60 % hydration salt and yeast. the oven interior is only 28 inches so the pizza sits within four inches of the flame. also, my stand allows water to get under the oven ,which pours out of a hole under the floor, this water get very warm and i am wondering if it is allowing steam to build up and absorbing into the oven floor. am i cooking to hot? and to close to the flame? i had better success when the oven was newer . i should be getting better not worse. i am going to go for a 750 deg floor and top tonight to see if i have better luck. can any one tell me if that 850 range is realistic or wether the water under the floor may be a cause. i am very happy with my oven but experimenting with higher temp has me frustrated thank for any help. larry

RTflorida 07-25-2009 05:30 PM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
Since I have a brick built Pompeii the only thing I can say is - 850 degrees is doable, BUT you can't take your eyes off of it for more than a second. I actually prefer hearth temps around 825, 850 max. My dome is usually kissing 1000 degrees. Usually 2 turns about thirty seconds apart.....and they are done. I would drop down in temp, like you mentioned, also maybe have less fire and coals in while cooking. After all, it is a small oven, once up to temp it shouldn't take a big fire and pile of coals to have great results. So we are told, the Primaveras are very efficient.

Hopefully James will chime in...he has the most experience with the Primavera.


david s 07-25-2009 07:13 PM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
my oven is small and I find that there are too many coals and not enough floor space for cooking, so I usually remove half the coals and then if cooking a large number of pizzas (over 10) I maintain a fire on the side. If I don't remove some coals then the pizza tends to burn on the outside edges because they're too close to fire.

thezaman 07-25-2009 07:17 PM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
Thank you for your response I hope James can respond . I had a pizzaiola from cleveland visit last week and he had to cook in the oven entrance. I am trying tonight at a lower temp. I love Wfo and am talking to Forno bravo about one for my restaurant .

DrakeRemoray 07-25-2009 09:38 PM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
Try bumping up the hydration, I am at 65 to 67 percent with caputo.

dmun 07-26-2009 03:17 AM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
I really don't like the water coming out of the pan bit. Wet insulation is ineffective insulation. As I don't know the Primavera, I can't say anything, and I hope James will jump in at some point.

As to the burning crust, two observations. Make sure your fire's been pushed to the side for quite some time before you cook on the floor. A floor that's just had the fire on top of it may be too hot.

Second, are you sure it's the crust that's burning? You aren't using cornmeal as your release agent, are you? (it's full of sugar) That's a common crust burning problem.

thezaman 07-26-2009 06:57 AM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
thanks for all of the responses ! I think that 850 plus degrees is to hot for the primavera ,the close proximity to the coals makes the front edge cook to fast. By the time that the dough bakes enough to spin it, the front by the coals is smoked. I am using james recipe with less hydration 60 % ,i do not add anything to the dough as i am trying to make a vpn margarita . If i settle on about 725 to 750 floor temp the pizza cooks in under 90 seconds. plus, i can uses less wood so it sits further away from the pizzas. The only negative is my pizza crust is a little to chewy. the vpn pizzeria i am trying to get my pizza to taste like has a very soft easy to chew crust .So any thoughts on that?

ERASMO 07-26-2009 07:08 AM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
I have a Primavera 60 and have had fantastic success with it. I start cooking the pizza (using the Forno Bravo VPN recipe) at around 750 degree floor temp. Pizza is about 3 minutes but turns out very good. I think the higher hydration dough may help you out. Also, I tried using cornmeal in the very beginning and it burned up immediately and made a mess. I just use the tipo flour for dusting.

thezaman 07-26-2009 07:27 AM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70
Thanks for your response, what is the characteristic of your dough, is it a soft chewy dough,or is it a tougher chew, mine is a tougher chew.I have a hard time stretching the hi hydration dough. Can you tell me your method?

dmun 07-26-2009 07:44 AM

Re: burning crust in my primavera 70

I have a hard time stretching the hi hydration dough
tough crust + hard to stretch may mean too much dough handling. You should handle your dough as little as possible once it's been portioned and balled. Any attempt to re-kneed your dough after your second rise makes it impossible to stretch, and tough.

Higher hydration doughs do need practice to handle. I tend to think that super-hydrated doughs absorb so much bench flour that you're going to a lower hydration anyway. I've settled on 63 as a good medium.

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