#11  
Old 05-09-2011, 06:44 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Faith is right that you could bake a thick crust pizza in a WFO. But the oven will cool rapidly with the door open - and when you open the door. You could load the oven with a bunch of pizzas and bake them...But you might not be able to do two or three batches and get great results. The oven will cool too much. And reloading wood and firing to get it hot again is not a "quick" process. If you like challenges you can do it but it would be very difficult in a commercial environment where you cook to order (so you need continuous operation).
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Quote:
Best with little or no fire and just coals in the oven
I think the key is however you do it, you do it on the declining temperature curve, and that's hard to maintain in a commercial environment, which I think was the intention of the original poster. It's one thing to cook a fruit tart when the fire's burning out, and another entirely to do six minute pizzas all night long.

I think windage's huge oven (81 Inch First Build (and first post)) runs at lower temperatures, but I'm not exactly sure how he manages his fire to do that.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2011, 11:21 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

dmun makes alot of sense (as usual). In the sizes of ovens most of us have, say 32" - 42" , it would be pretty difficult to keep a constant temp in the rage needed for thicker crust. Windage can probably pull it off with that monster oven of his, keeping a small fire going and having enough floor space that the whole oven does not spike in temp when he has to add another log. I'm sure it took him alot of practice but I'm sure it is doable with that amount of real estate. I'm thinking I would have to switch to charcoal to have any shot at avoiding continual temp spikes in my 36"...I'm wishing I had a commercial sized oven (at least for a day) to experiment with this.

RT
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:14 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Hi DMun/RT!

I don't think it would even work in a big oven very well because if you are loading pies you will (eventually) depress that area of the hearth that you are using and with a small fire you won't be recharging it fast enough to keep up. Hearth surface temps get depressed 200 degrees F or so by bread and rely on the refractory heat to build the hearth temp back up as the bread bakes. At 550 start temp and a 40 minute bake the bottom is only "brown". A pizza with all its wet stuff could depress the oven further and while a freshly charged oven should have enough heat load to do a couple of batches, I have my concerns.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Sorry I missed the commercial aspect of the question. I'll bet that if you started out the really thick pizza in a pan and use a second pan as a cover for the first part of the baking perhaps half way to 3/4 pulled the cover off and let brown up you could have a great pizza even in a really hot oven. Some experimenting I'm sure will get you the results your looking for.

Now I need to look for some pans and give it a go myself I was not raised as a "can't do" kinda girl! Love a good challenge. Thanks
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

I think the relevant question would be why bother. You can use a regular oven to cook that type of pizza perfectly.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:46 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Hi Faith!

Your concept is certainly more workable than some. And there are no doubt better and worse pan materials and timing and other details. And for the challenge motivated it will be a steep hill to climb if you are targeting great pizza. But I fear the best available will be rather mediocre. But it is almost certainly far more practical for an individual than a restaurant.

Like I alluded earlier! Take the challenge! Prove me wrong! I love it!

Best of luck!
Jay
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

@ Tscarborough...LOL really? "I think the relevant question would be why bother. You can use a regular oven to cook that type of pizza perfectly."
As one of the highly respected people people here at Forno Bravo I am surprised that you would utter such a statement.

In the words of my parents "Because" That answer always got me hot. But it is a good answer none the less. Because no one else is doing it or thought of it. Because it might just work out really great. Because it's a challenge that people "in the Box" will never attempt. And the because's of the can-do people make life interesting.

@texassourdough, Well I agree the challenge is a great pizza not just mediocre. But with success you can also wear the badge of being unique. In the world of business if you have unique and great you stand out from the rest. That is quite important.

Also as a side thought, You know how some people cover their bread with a bowl or pan for the first bit in the oven to capture the moisture? I'll bet it could have a positive effect on the pizza as well.

I love challenging things!!! Need a good sourdough formula for this...what do you think?
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:30 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

I'm with Ts, an indoor oven gives perfect control and results. As I previously stated, a medium crust is easily doable with the right adjustments, a true deep dish really is a "why bother" proposition for a WFO and would certainly be a huge challenge commercially.
No one is saying it can't be done, as it can. Its the effort and end result that don't add up. Our ovens are amazing but they are not superior in all cooking applications, including deep dish pizza. Remember, we built our ovens because an indoor oven can't duplicate a true neapolitan pizza. A WFO can't match a gas or electric for consistant lower temp control for making multiple deep dish pizzas. As for the average home pizza maker it doesn't make sense to heat saturate my oven and lose all of that energy of the higher temps (that I would normally use use for thin crust) letting it cool down to under 500F for a deep dish that at best, would match the quality of an indoor. Waste of wood and a couple of hrs in time, if you ask me. Just my opinion, based on a few attempts. I may be a bit jaded because I have pretty much perfected (at least to my taste) an authentic Chicago deep dish in my electric oven.

RT
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2011, 02:24 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

To be fair, the OP didn't say deep dish, just thicker, American style with a lot of ingredients. I have made them at the tail end of a bake (pit-pie), and they work, but not well. The long bake turns them ugly and somewhat monochromatic.

In a commercial setting it wouldn't make sense, but to try at home would be interesting. The dough is not much of a challenge, the cheese and toppings would be the hard part.
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