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  #61  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:27 AM
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 305
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Thanks Jay, I'll try that.
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  #62  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:32 AM
Pizza Man's Avatar
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 25
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

I agree with texassourdough. Work your dough on the countertop. Use your finger tips and keep pushing down on the dough. Hit the dough with the palm of your hand and keep moving the dough around the counter and keep hitting and pushing with your fingers. It will come out fine.

Spend an afternoon practicing. Make a batch of dough and just practice.

Pizza Man
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  #63  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:50 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Good comment, Pizza Man! Making pizza is a lot like fly fishing. No one practices (well, not many) and there are definitely things one can learn from practice without the distraction of other issues...

Jay
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  #64  
Old 03-13-2010, 03:53 PM
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 305
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Jay,
yeah, I think it is too much puff also
that is why I have been having trying to stretch my dough out thinner (as per my comment on the other thread) but thanks to you! I tried your technique with the fists this morning on a left over dough ball I had in the fridge from last night's failures and lo and behold!! the dough stretched out nicely! I easily spread it to an 11" circle in under a minute and after I took the pictures I was able to stretch it to about 24" before it broke!
Great window paning also, check out the pictures.




Maybe it was a combination of leaving the dough in the fridge over night and your technique???
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  #65  
Old 03-13-2010, 08:39 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Hi Joey!

I think you are really close to figuring it out. And a lot of it is what you want. IMO part of the fun of this is having a goal that is personal - others love your pies but you are after something they don't understand so you keep pushing and experimenting and searching...and eventually a small step arrives and it is a bit closer to the desired, but it is never done...

As an aside, it is important to recognize that ON THE WHOLE the first steps are the easiest. One can make big steps with realatively minimal effort. But as the level rises the time between steps of improvement grows and the steps get smaller. Same is true in all arts in my experience. And at some point it all makes sense. The quality is exceptional and the concern for growth diminshess. You are happy with what you know and what you make! I think this applies in many arts - painting, writing, pizza., etc.

Bake On!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 07-08-2010 at 08:31 AM. Reason: spelling corrections
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  #66  
Old 07-08-2010, 07:32 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 15
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

The outer edge of the crust became burned while the middle was still uncooked. I could not turn the pie because the uncooked portion was still sticking to floor while the side facing the fire was getting burned. any advice?
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  #67  
Old 07-08-2010, 08:41 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Couple of possibilities. First question was - did the pizza have a hole? I.e. was there pizza sauce under the pie? That and cheese can easily glue down the center. You didn't mention that as a problem so I assume it was not.

Other possibility (which seems more likely) is your hearth was WAY cold. (Check the temp by tossing a quarter tsp of semolina or flour on the hearth. It should take about three seconds to turn brown. If it is much longer the hearth is too cold and if it is much shorter it is too hot.) If it was hot it would quickly toast the bottom and the pie would be easily release and be moved. That said, there is still something seriously wrong for a cold hearth alone should not cause the problem you describe. The pie should stick to the peel more than it sticks to the hearth. Other possible contributors are a dirty hearth (pull coals out to clean the hearth of stuck stuff and brush it periodically) and placing the pie too close to the flames. There is a good chance you had some cheese on the hearth you didn't recognize. Putting too much on the pies tends to encourage sticky hearths.

Good Luck!
Jay
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  #68  
Old 07-08-2010, 08:48 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 15
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

This was not due to hole in crust, sauce, or cheese. the pizza slid right off the peel, and it was not sticking in just one spot, but the hole underside was undercooked while the side near the fire got scorched. I think that my hearth was too cold. It was about 450. I am now seeing where it needed to be 700 or higher. Did I build my fire wrong or too small? How do I get my hearth hotter for next time? thanks very much for the quick reply
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  #69  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:04 AM
dmun's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

As yours is a new oven, you may still be driving moisture out of the insulation. This will improve with time. You may also be hesitant to build the size fire you need to cook pizza. Does your dome go completely white (all the carbon burnt off)?
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  #70  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:09 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 15
Default Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

I did five consecutive days of small fires, getting gradually bigger each day until I did the pizza last night, so maybe I was not building a big enough fire. Only a small portion of the dome went white, right above the fire when I moved it over to the side.
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