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jdc 10-23-2009 12:35 PM

Burnt Flour Problems?
 
3 Attachment(s)
I'm about to give up on Caputo flour. Every time I use it I get what I think is burnt flour on the bottom of the pizza and residue on the bottom of the oven (photos attached -- although it's been a lot worse than what's shown). It's really frustrating because I never have this problem with KABF-based dough.

The recipe I use is similar to the one's discussed here for Caputo with 60-65% hydration and no olive oil. I've tried everything from 8-12 hour countertop rises to 48 hour refrigerator rises with no impact on the burning flour issue. My floor temperature is anywhere from 750-900 degrees.

Since others have been able to get good results with just using Caputo flour to keep the dough from sticking to a wooden peel, I'd like to do that to (i.e. no semolina/rice/cornmeal etc.). I've tried different levels of peel flour too, using so little that I've made several calzones as of late.

Are there other causes I should consider?

Many thanks!

Breven 10-28-2009 11:24 AM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
I get the same thing. Just assumed that was part of wfo pizza cooking? It's not really burnt...just a little charred on the bottom. Someone told me that it could be the sugar in your mixture...but I don't use sugar or olive oil...so I'm with you.

vintagemx0 10-28-2009 06:24 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
We had the same thing happen last weekend. We use Caputo, but use general purpose for the peel. We attributed it to just being too hot on the oven floor. We waited about 30 minutes and tried another pie - turned out great, but did take about 2 1/2 minutes to cook. Our oven is new and we've only cooked with it three times. Each time it seems to get hotter, faster, so I think until it is FULLY cured, we won't know what to anticipate.

Ken

dmun 10-28-2009 07:45 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
You can vary the amount of char on your crust by pizza placement: further forward and further away from the fire are cooler locations. BTW, that pizza looks fine to me. I hate those pale, just barely colored pizzas.

RTflorida 10-28-2009 10:04 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
I'm thinking it is excessive flour on the peel. It has happened a few times for me. I think there is a fine line between having 'enough' to keep the dough from sticking to the peel and having having 'black flour ash' burned into the finished product and burn marks on the hearth bricks.
I'm not taking a derogatory swipe at my wife, but this exact problem happened on Friday evening with two pizzas she had prepared (she actually has become VERY good at streching the dough evenly). I knew something was wrong when I slid the first pizza on to the hearth......the excess flour actually poofed from under the crust like a small dust cloud. The flour that landed on the hearth instantly turned to black ash and the flour that was trapped under the crust burned exactly like your photo. Those spots felt and tasted like dry burned flour when the pizzas were done. NOT your typical WFO char.

I use Caputo exclusively in my WFO, so I have nothing to compare it to. By and large, I have no complaints with the basic dough recipe, and overall performance. Every problem I have had can be attributed to 'user error'. You do things right, you get the most phenomenal pizza crust on earth.
Just cut back a bit on the amount of flour on the peel...and see what happens.

RT

texassourdough 10-31-2009 10:49 AM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
I think there are several potential problems. My culprit would be the hearth was too hot. In my experience it is hearth temp that is the primary factor in bottom browning/burning.

IF the charred stuff is loose flour then you need to use less flour in the shaping/on the peel. Try brown rice flour or semolina.

Good luck!
Jay

tgm 10-31-2009 12:08 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
jdc,

Don't give up now as you are on the right track. I would have to agree with RT that it is just 'operator error', so to speak. We also use Caputo exclusively and we have nver had any issues with burnt bottoms. We stretch and prep the dough on my wifes marble slab and then we just rub the face of our wooden peel with some flour off the board just prior to transfering the pizza to the peel. From there it goes directly into the oven. If you leave it on the peel too long it may have a tendency to stick.

Another issue that can cause burnt bottoms aside from excessive flour is placement in the oven after rotating. We were taught never to change the position after it hit a spot on the oven floor as that spot has cooled considerably as compared to the other areas of the oven floor. Turn the pizza and put back in the same spot. If you choose to move to another location on the oven floor that spot is going to be much hotter and you stand the risk of burning.

As Jay states above just cut back on the flour and you will be good. You don't need as much as you think.

Good luck,

Tom in PA

texassourdough 10-31-2009 12:50 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
Good comment, Tom!

Moving the pizza definitely can have an effect and is useful when your hearth is below optimal temp but not good if it is hot!
Jay

jmhepworth 10-31-2009 03:03 PM

Re: Burnt Flour Problems?
 
We've found that rice flour makes a big difference. AP flour does burn when it hits the hot oven and it transfers the burn flavor to the pizza.

Joe


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