The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

4 minute pizza...the steel is the real deal !

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trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

4 minute pizza...the steel is the real deal !

It is Friday and pizza was in order. I wanted to try a different crust from last time . I made up a batch of Sullivan Bread dough yesterday. This AM it was full of bubbles. I divided it into 4 pieces and tossed them with Durum flour and placed them in containers in the fridge. At 3 PM I took two out, just as we got back from our 25 mi bike ride. At 5 PM I put the oven on with the steel in place 6 " below the broiler. Temp set to 550. At 5:45 I turned on the broiler to high/550. The dough balls stretched so easily I thought there must be some mistake :)  I topped with a smear of sauce a  bit of pepperoni and some fresh mozz and asiago. Into the oven they went ..I turned off the broiler and put it on surround  ( a Miele setting that resembles the brick oven...their description) at 4 minutes the first pizza was done !  I took it out and R cut it while I topped #2 and placed it in the oven. I didn't turn the broiler back on till the last minute...perfection. The bottom crust has the best char and it is crisp !!  

And...the best part...the Durum flour was so perfect as a non-stick surface that I was able to slide those babies right from  the peel to the steel and no swearing or mess ensued !!  Amazing. There are two balls aging in the fridge. I am going to do them Sunday night for Chef son and see what he thinks :) 

#!  photo IMG_6935_zps640e7080.jpg #2  photo IMG_6934_zps44712119.jpg perfect char on the bottom !  photo IMG_6937_zpsa4ffceb3.jpg

Comments

emkay's picture
emkay

Your pizza looks perfect! When you say steel do you mean the Baking Steel or something else?

-Mary

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

that's the one . It is amazing. There is a learning curve..at least there was for me since I didn't do what they suggest. You have to put it 6" from the broiler. Preheat it in the oven to 550 or your hottest temp for 45 min. then turn on the broiler. When the broiler cycles off put in the pizza and turn it back to regular convection oven or non-convection..I don't think it makes a difference. Before the next pizza either turn on the broiler again or else leave it on the 550 oven and turn on the broiler like I did for the last minute. If I was doing a bunch of pizzas in a serial fashion I believe that is how I would continue...alternate hot oven/broiler/oven...it really is amazing and my oven never loses any heat..in part because it is a Miele and also the steel keeps the temp regulated. 

Lodge Cast iron has also come out with a cast iron pizza pan that has great reviews and is only $46. I sure am tempted to get it but have sworn off of more stuff for now. Here is a link. http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Pro-Logic-P14P3-Pizza-14-inch/dp/B0000E2V3X

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

It is round and a bit smaller and has a lip. So it is better for pressing the dough and not as good for using a peel. 

emkay's picture
emkay

I've been lusting after the baking steel for months. This might be the push I need to pull the trigger. Thanks for the review!

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Your pizza looks great! I have been debating whether to go this route (my pizza comes out pretty well on the pizza stones, after LOTS of experimentations, but I still would prefer a crisper crust). Now the question is: steel or the cast iron pizza pan? I just read through some of the reviews on Amazon on the cast iron, and it seems that most people don't see the need to heat the pan for a long time (unlike pizza stones and the steel surface), so that is a definite bonus in my book. Do you think that both will create pretty equal outcomes? I also see David's point above, that the handles will make the use of a peel more tricky, on the other hand a lot of people mentioned them as very handy for transferring and using the pan. Advice? Why would you want the pan if you have the steel already? Is there anyone in this forum who has used both?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Those are great. it is the round lip around the pan. A piece of steel or a stone is flat so the peel us easier to use on it. Plus it is round so takes more careful aim. 

chouette22's picture
chouette22

I understand. Thanks David!

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

There are a couple problems with the Cast Iron. One is you can only make one pizza on it if you are going to shape it on the pan as the pan will be hot. Bummer...we like to make several when we are going to do it. The other as David said is the lip. Not a problem if you are making only one but pretty insurmountable if you are using a peel. I probably won't get it but I do love the idea of using it for other things like grilling on the charcoal grill. We use our steel wok that is +40 yrs old on our charcoal grill and achieve wok-hay every meal. It is a pure pleasure. Let us know if you get it and how you like it. c

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

par baking the crust for 3 minutes fiirst and then loading it up to get the crust crisp, it helps to get it really thin to begin with too. and putting some cheese down before the sauce.  I keep looking for some baking steel at Goodwill but folks must be recycling them instead.

Your pizzas look terrific and crisp with a thicker crust - NY all the way.  Well done.

Happy baking

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

thank you !! They were very tasty and other than making it SD I can't think of anything I would change. The crust is stretched till it is paper thin...can read through it ...so it is really easy to get it crisp on that approx 550 -600 degree steel. Only edges are thicker. I use very very little sauce...or cheese and with this method it is enough..I am so pleased. And not having to parbake is such a great treat. I have done that all the years I have made pizza and now I am free !!  Also just love being so good at getting peel to steel... I felt like a pro :) c

Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

Nice Za's!

Do you invert a pot on the steel and bake bread on it?

Cheers,

Wingnut

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Love the Za's :) I have done that and it works great I have also just baked 4 small boules at a time and misted them every few minutes and they did great without covering. I used a roaster lid for a batard and that worked. Some folks get the top to a restaurant pan and use that...it is almost the same size as the steel and you can get one that is 6" high. I haven't tried that yet. My chef son has the lids at his restaurant and I keep forgetting to bring one home. Will let you know when I try it and post a pic. 

isand66's picture
isand66

Great looking pizza!  Your crust looks perfect and I don't think it could get any better than this.  So what is this Sullivan recipe you used for the dough?

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Thank you ,,,you know  I am hooked on pizza now so will be trying to improve every time I make it LOL ! Sullivan Bread was made popular by Jim Lahey at the Sullivan St bakery in NYC.  He was the first to do the "no knead" bread. It is so easy...tiny amount of yeast...1/4 tsp...high hydration..stir and leave it on counter for 18 hrs. shape lightly and rise 2 hrs and into hot pot..voila...amazing easy bread. Doesn't have the flavor of an SD but you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days and it gets better. Here is a link to the NYT article. It was the first wet dough we ever made back when this article came out. c

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=0

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I got the baking steel version through KAF. It's the same product, basically. I've just used it once so far. The pizza turned out great, but it was a 10 minute bake. So, I really appreciate your tips, and I am going to use them!

The pizza I made on the steel was with the SD pizza crust recipe from the KAF web site that uses starter discard. That time, I used AP flour rather than Caputo 00. I don't think it made much difference. What did make a difference was an overnight retardation of the divided dough. The crust was much more flavorful than the time I just gave the dough 2 or 3 hours resting in the fridge.

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Was hoping to grab you from "retirement fun " :)  I know you only have so many hours to devote to TFL  !  I let the steel rest for MONTHS and then finally tried once and hated it...ha...did everything wrong out of the chute. But now...whoa...preheat...broiler...oven...broiler..I am on a roll. My husband says we are in business LOL !  Amazing pizza. 

SD is the key but the Sullivan is not too shabby. I have no more Caputo..this from the girl that bought 25Kilo in Atlanta !  Where did it go ????  They refuse to sell me another bag...old manager has moved on. I am going to be there next weekend to help daughter move and believe me I am going to do a sell job..and buy lunch at their pizza place ..I have to have another 25kilo bag of Blue Pizza Caputo !  

I have 2 balls of dough in containers waiting for chef son tomorrow...he has been in Charleston SC doing a "stage" for 4 days...will be ready for pizza and wine on the porch...it is mid 70's here in AL. 

I will post as to the difference in the Sullivan after 3 days. I am SO glad you chimed in..expertise is wanted here. c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Oh, no! I thought you brought it! 

I'm activating starter tonight.

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Ha...my starter is activated..but no more pizza or bread for a bit...I over did last week . You post and I shall take notes...

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

The link you posted to suggests that this flour is not any good if baking in home oven temperatures because the dough won't brown. That seemed an unusual characteristic of flour not made from asbestos. Do you find it true?

 

isand66's picture
isand66

If you use the broiler method per Caroline on this post it will brown just fine.  You can also mix it 50-50 with bread or AP flour and it will come out great.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And bumblebees can't fly.

Pizza made with 100% Caputo 00 flour

David

cranbo's picture
cranbo

David, what temp did you bake this pizza? Care to share your recipe? 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I have two dough balls left..I only have KA AP at present. I am going to use them tonight. Hope they still have some oommph after a couple days. Yours looks fabulous ! Please do share all the specifics.  I am topping with artichoke hearts and feta and pesto on one and mushrooms and onions on the other. Is there cheese on yours ??? Under the 'shrooms ?  c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

That pizza had olive oil, finely chopped fresh rosemary, sliced garlic and mozzarella. The dough was the one in Pizza Bliss. My oven's top temperature is 500dF. I get an effective 525dF with Convection.

Your pizza plan sounds delicious, Caroline!

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Bliss !  How could I forget. I have so many bookmarks:) I won't live long enough to make them all. I am going to endeavor to make pizza every  Friday night for a while and see where it leads. Thank goodness I am biking so many miles !!  Thank you David. c

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

:)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Not only is it aerodynamically impossible, but the Transit Authority will not allow them on the plane.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

And the Crumb Shot, because pizza porn would not be pizza porn without the crumb shot.