Results of my latest pizza making adventures.
Recipe is on my wordpress blog for those who are interested.
Lovely looking pizza, FP, and very nice write and photos on your blog. Thanks for posting. Great charring too.
Please fax me a slice. Now!
Great looking pizzas.
Mouthwatering Pizza! Im drooling on my keyboard... Like Pamela..I love the charring too!
Thanks Pamela, David (Will do, but make sure you've got plenty of toner for the char) & Sylvia.
Rustic pizza is way more appealing than the mass produced. Looks mouth watering good. dave
Beautiful photos of FP's Neopolitan pizzas -- very inspiring! In fact, I've got some Biga food brewing now. My questions are twofold: are the lava rocks you would use to line a a grill sufficient for this purpose? Also, I use a one-inch kiln shelf made out of cordierite in place of a standard pizza stone. Do you think this would stand up to the heat required for this recipe? I routinely heat my oven to 550 for an hour before baking pizzas and I've had no problems yet. Any thoughts welcome. I am planning on making this pizza this weekend.
Re: lava rocks - absolutely fine. I picked mine up in the grill/outdoors section of the supermarket.
I'd be slightly more worried about the kiln shelf you're using. Heating up to 550 is not the problem - it's the intense radiant heat from the broiler that can cause cracking. Honestly, I'd recommend getting a 12" stone specifically for the purpose. (I got mine from Target if that's any help). My stone cracked once down the middle and repeated baking sessions after that caused no further cracks. So, I can use it again and again for making pizzas.
Hope that answers your questions. Have fun making pizza!
Have you heard of anybody cracking a kiln shelf by baking on it? In general, they are made from Mullite and are very resistant to thermal damage. Kilning of pottery takes place at 700 to 1300 degrees centigrade, which is about 1300 F to 2400 F ...pretty dang hot. I'd be surprised if the thermal shock associated with putting room temperature bread dough onto a 500+ F degree kiln shelf would ever crack it ...but hey, I'm open to new info. If anybody actually knows of someone cracking a kiln shelf like this, I'd like to hear about it. I've been thinking of buying one myself...
Thanks so much for the quick and helpful response. You've convinced me. I don't want to risk cracking my kiln shelf, so it seems a separate baking stone would be a worthwhile investment after all.
I'll post my results this weekend, and thanks again.
... I don't think it's the gap in temperature heat is transferred that is important.
You can expose your face to the heat of a 400 degree oven and its like, so what. But if you expose your face to the heat of a 400 degree oven full of steam, red face.
If a drop of air falls on kiln stones, so what. But try dropping a tablespoon of room temperature water on it. My guess is it would crack instantly.
Is it food for thougth?
Well, I don"t want to beat a dead horse or start anything emotional, but since you ask ...I"ll answer. First, I was looking for a bit of case history. I know that kiln shelves are used as the floor in pizza ovens and can give you a commercial supplier reference for that if you like. Second, I"m not sure why anyone would put water on the baking stone, although it can certainly happen by accident while pouring water into a pan below it. I"m not convinced that a little splash of water is much different when it comes to thermal shock than say a couple of big fat cool loaves of bread. I do know that kiln shelves are specifically formulated and designed to withstand thermal shock though, kind of like an even bigger and tougher version of Pyrex (which is small and light and does not break from thermal shock.)
There, that"s all I know and all I"ve got to say ...and exactly why I was looking for case history to provide some meat to the fears about breakage. I"ve known many who"ve used kiln shelves for baking (including with steam but I won"t mention that) for a couple of decades (I"ve been baking for 35 years) and have never heard of one breaking from thermal shock ...why send people off in fear if there is no reason to fear? You can buy a 1" thick full-sized, custom cut, kiln shelf for about 60% the cost of a single FibraMent baking stone and they are only 0.75" thick.
All the best, and I mean that. If someone knows of a case where ...well, I think you know what I"m hoping to hear.
PS: Yes, I do know the difference between a quotation mark, ", and an apostrophe ...my keyboard is malfunctioning and won"t let me type apostrophes or forward slashes... I"m not really that bad of a typist!
Brian.... using a kiln shelf sounds like a great idea to me. Where can you buy a custom cut kiln shelf? Thanks, for further info...
You might check your local phone book. I've found kiln supply companies in most towns that I've lived in ...until I moved back to Alaska that is. If that doesn't work, then here's at least one company that'll provide custom-cut kiln shelves (below.) Basically, you order a shelf then pay a set fee for each cut. The price for one that fits my stove comes out cheaper than buying a FibraMent stone would cost, but they don't ship to Alaska and I didn't find anyone that did ...so I have a FibraMent on the way now. Here's the supplier that I know about (in Seattle, WA):
Seattle Pottery Supply
http://www.seattlepotterysupply.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc (Their e-store)
http://www.seattlepotterysupply.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=KS (Kiln supplies)
http://www.seattlepotterysupply.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=RMS (The rectangular Mullite shelves that they recommend)
This is the company that I referred to that makes floors for professional pizza ovens using the same materials and thicknesses as their kiln shelves. I'm sure there are other suppliers out there as well ...it seems every town of any size has a need for them.
Brian, I just wanted to say "Thank You" for your links to buying kiln shelves. Still sounds like a great, ...and economical way... to get a baking stone. Please forgive my tardiness. Appreciate your input very much.
I enjoyed your post, and got a real kick out of your flour mix.
I have used the same two flours for my pies for about a year and a half, except I've settled on 75% Hodgson AP and 25% KA Bread Flour.
I really think the Hodgson Natural White AP is a great flour!!
p.s The char on your crust looks absolutely perfect - I'm going to try your method, as the results in these fotos are fantastic.
Thanks. Yep I like the Hodgson AP. Good stuff.
I would have liked to try the KA organic range. Will next time I'm over the other side ofthe pond. It's a littlle pricey imho.