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straffordoven 11-28-2012 11:50 AM

pizza crust
i"m have trouble getting the bottom crust of my pizza cooked even though the dough is rolled thin and the oven is up to temp....any advice???

JAG 11-29-2012 10:24 AM

Re: pizza crust
Hello Strafford,

A couple questions, what temp is up to temp, and are you using Italian flour or American?

If you are using Italian it takes a whole lot of hot to "color" the crust, and even then it is somewhat pale but you can aquire the "leopard" char spots.


straffordoven 11-29-2012 10:34 AM

Re: pizza crust
thanks jg.....i"m using king arthur a.p. flour mixed with 1/4 semolina flour....the oven temp is around 750 f. the top of the pizza is text-book perfect...but the bottom lacks color...and is chewy instead of "crisp"

JAG 11-30-2012 01:47 PM

Re: pizza crust

Is your floor temp 750 or the oven in general? That would be one of the things to look at. There is probably a long list of other variables to consider and I will throw out a few off the top of my head, so, if others would like to weigh in..........

So, one is floor temp. Is oven floor directly on concrete or do you have insulation directly under your baking floor.

location of pizza during bake, typically my top gets done rather quickly so I need to position my pizzas a good distance from the fire to get an even bake and be crisp all over at the same time.

Another consideration might even be your dough recipe.


straffordoven 11-30-2012 03:36 PM

Re: pizza crust
thanks again for the baking tips...i do position the pizza pretty close to the time i'll try to give it more distance from the flame and see if i get better results....

cobblerdave 11-30-2012 03:39 PM

Re: pizza crust
A new oven often has a bit of residual water in the hearth insulation so I think it will come better with a few more firings

Regards Dave

straffordoven 12-03-2012 05:11 AM

Re: pizza crust
thanks for the reply dave....i"ve had the oven for 1 1/2 years it's not new....but i'll keep at it....and try a few different things in search of the "perfect crust"....

texassourdough 12-03-2012 06:27 AM

Re: pizza crust
Troubleshooting pizza baking begins with one simple mantra... "The heat from the hearth and the dome need to be balanced." If the bottom is browned and the toppings are not then your dome is too cold or you need more flames to increase the heat from the top. (There is the possibility that your hearth is TOO hot but...that should not be a troublesome issue if you simply check your hearth temp.) The converse is that if the top is cooked, dough browned, etc. and the bottom is not as cooked/dark as you want then your hearth is not hot enough and you need to increase the temperature of the hearth - i.e. rake coals out onto the hearth for X minutes where X depends on how cold it is, Then push the coals back into place, give the hearth a minute or two to equalize, check the temp of the hearth, and (assuming right) bake.

Your fundamental problem is your hearth is too cool. The simplest test is to throw semolina (or flour if you don't have semolina) on the hearth and count one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three until the flour suddenly turns black. That should take about three seconds. If it turns black on two it is too hot and you should hold off cooking until it cools down some. In your case you would probably get to five or more before the flour burns. That is way cold.

Next question is why is your hearth cold. There are three primary options. First, and most likely based on history, your hearth is wet and you need to dry out your oven with a series of fires. Another possibility is that you didn't fire the oven long enough to heat load the hearth and a related possibility is that you let ash insulate the hearth and prevent heat loading the hearth.

With experience you can recognize a wet oven because the hearth will not hold heat and will cool off too fast relative to the past. It is important to NOT have a bed of ash in the oven that insulates the hearth. Ash is a superb insulator and really hinders getting the hearth properly loaded.

My guess is wet hearth. But only you know how you build and manage the fire.

Good luck!

straffordoven 12-03-2012 08:03 AM

Re: pizza crust
thanks jay...i'll take all of your points into consideration .....maybe move the fire to the opposite side of the oven and try and bake on that part.... i appreciate the advice and will give it a're right though...that part of the hearth is not up to temp....thx again....

shuboyje 12-03-2012 08:18 AM

Re: pizza crust
I personally feel just the opposite, I think your hearth is too hot for a crisp crust. Although 750 is low if Neapolitan style pizza was the goal, it is still going to produce a relatively fast bake. Fast bakes and crisp crusts don't go together. To get a crisper product you need to drop the temperature and extend the bake time. I'd personally shoot for a 600-650 degree hearth and a 5-6 minute bake if crisp is what you are after, even a New York style pizza in the 4 minute range is not going to be crisp.

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