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Tenorio74 03-16-2011 08:38 AM

Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi all, ok I'll try to explain as best I can :confused:

I have cooked 7 nights about 15 pizza per night, and the last 3 nights I have had burnt pizza bottoms/dough problems (I am making Neapolitan pies).

Dough formula:
flour 100% (80-90%pastry-10-20%bread)
water 66, 63, 60, 61%
salt 2.7%
fresh yeast 0.2% (average)

All room temp rise, 2 hour bulk followed by 6-8 hour balled until cooking time. First day was over-proofed but had no burning problems. I hand mix with three 5-min rest periods at the end.

I slid pizza in at a 440șC hearth temp, steam escaped, turned at 30secs, again at 60 and out at 90. Perfect pizza, leoparding and all (pic attached)

Did that routine happily for 3 more day, then I got burning day 4-5-6, having to cook the pizzas at the oven opening where the floor is around 370șC.

The best I can describe it is like this. When I have proper dough, you get tiny air bubbles that fill up on the pizza bottom, effectively "raising" the pizza off the cooking floor, sort of like bubble-pack or a waffle grid. This allows only the little bubbles to be in contact with the floor, and you have airflow to reduce burning. You only get black spots where the tiny bubbles are, the rest is golden.

Last three nights, those little bubbles burst and therefore the pizza lay flat on the floor, and had massive burning (burnt halos where the bubbles burst), and burnt where the pizza was flattest on the floor (anyone ever noticed this?). The nice bubbles that don't burst probably have a tighter gluten structure?!?:confused:)

The gluten development hasn't been good either; the dough has become watery when stretched out (thin parts will shine), and toppings will wet it and have it stick to the peel or create holes when in the oven (this is a mess).


Can this all be a mixing problem? I changed my technique ever so slightly (but then again I work by feel usually not being a machine mixer).

We can't afford a mixer right now, and truth be told, I have never had this problem this persistently. I though first it was yeast freshness, then too little bread flour in my mix (but my first four days were fine with my flour formulation - can't get caputo here), but now I'm at a loss.

We're in the final stages of testing, opening in about two weeks and now I've gotten nervous.

Any help and/or ideas will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for rambling on, but for the third night I have lived out my nightmares with no way to fix them (and with patrons expecting great pizza).

Tenorio

tusr18a 03-16-2011 04:44 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
I had the same problem. Went through many frustrating cycles. Simply could not figure out why some pizzas burned and others did not. I ended up watching a lot of youtube videos to watch how the pros did it. What I found was that the pros pay special attention to ensure that there is a minimal amount of flour on the bottom of the pizza. My problem was that I was so afraid that the pizza was going to stick to the peel that I put way too much flour on the peel. When I move the pizza from the peel to the hearth, all that flour ended up between the hearth and the pizza dough. In the end, it was the excess flour that was burning and causing the crust to burn. Once I started tapping all excess flour off of the peel before moving the dough onto it, I rarely burn a pizza. If I burn a pizza now, it is usually the first of the night. Another secret is to make sure that when you rotate the pizza that you do not move it around on the hearth. Keep it in the same location. When you put the dough on the hearth, you immediately start taking heat out of the hearth. If you move the pizza during rotation, you are moving the dough to a hotter part of the hearth risking bottom crust burn. One more thought is to consider letting the hearth cool until it is in the mid 700 degree F range. When I try to cook pizzas at higher temperatures, I found that the risk of burning the crust was simply too high. Hope this helps!

Tenorio74 03-16-2011 05:25 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Thanks Tusr,

My oven's heating up as I type, so in a while I will be able to put your suggestion into practice (I always rotate the pizza to the same spot).

I think relative humidity here has skyrocketed and may be affecting my dough (or maybe I'm grasping at straws)...

JoeyVelderrain 03-16-2011 05:41 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
440c = 884f sounds a bit on the hot side for the dough I mix up (68percent hydration). I like to run my oven at about 700f and it cooks a pie in under 2 minutes. golden brown with some leapording.
http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/100_0317.jpg

http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/100_0309.jpg

http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/100_0320.jpg

http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/000_0008.jpg

Lburou 03-16-2011 06:13 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Tenorino, you have a Private Message :)

fishn4daze 03-19-2011 07:46 AM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Joey, very nice looking pizza's...I'm with you, 700f is the perfect temp.

Tenorio74 03-20-2011 11:40 AM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeyVelderrain (Post 109678)
440c = 884f sounds a bit on the hot side for the dough I mix up (68percent hydration). I like to run my oven at about 700f and it cooks a pie in under 2 minutes. golden brown with some leapording.

Thanks Joey, nice pies!

At 750F and under I can do fine. I just don't know why my first days I WAS able to cook at around 830F without burning. I don't know where I veered off track...

I find it easier to keep the oven floor at 830+ over the entire surface, than at 750F and lower. At lower temps, with 51" internal diameter, the middle and back near coals will be at 750 but sides will be at 700, too far from the small flame.

At roaring flame covering halfway+ across the dome, I can keep a pretty steady 800+ floor average....

Tenorio74 03-20-2011 11:40 AM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lburou (Post 109680)
Tenorino, you have a Private Message :)

Thanks Lee, I replied and expanded!!

Tenorio74 03-20-2011 12:49 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
1 Attachment(s)
This has been what's been happening at over 770F+ aprox....

lwood 03-20-2011 06:11 PM

Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!
 
Hi Ten, I have a 60" oven and I understand how the perimeter can be a little cooler than the center of the oven. That said, I still keep my oven temp. down in the 650 to 750F range during cooking pizza. Maybe I'm a novice and can't manage the pies at the higher temp but I get the same result at the higher temps. If you feel you need to cook at those higher temps, you can lift the pizza up to the dome to do the final browning once the bottom is done. You also might try raising the hydration level to 70% and see if that is better.


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