The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pizza crust success - and request for feedback

feedmittens's picture
feedmittens

pizza crust success - and request for feedback

After a lot of experimenting, I finally found a way to make some really good thin crust / Neopolitan style crust.  This crust is crispy on the outside and still has a moist crumb.  I have a gas oven and set it to 'broil' and put one baking stone on the bottom rack, and another on the rack above it and baked the pizza in between (placed on the bottom stone).  For the first time ever it rose perfectly and cooked wonderfully.  A quick pic here and I'll post the whole process once I do it again and get a better set of pics.  A little more details and some more pics are located on my short blog entry at http://www.feedmittens.com/fmblog/2009/09/02/pizza-crust-success/.


So the quesion is: how do I do this better?  Firebricks on either side?  Put the bottom stone on the deck of the oven?



 


BayCook's picture
BayCook

After reading your blog entry, my suggestion would be to put the smaller stone directly on the oven deck (since you have a gas oven- would not work for an electric), and put the larger one 3" above it.  This will trap more heat in your baking area, due to the umbrella effect.


Also, you might consider putting a lightly floured sheet of foil on your peel before moving the dough and assembling your toppings. The foil slides off the peel easliy, and does not change the cooking process.  It also makes it easier to pick up the finished pizza- you can use tongs to hold a corner of the foil while sliding the peel underneath.


could you post the recipe you used for the dough?  It looks nice!

caseymcm's picture
caseymcm

and probably raise the bottom stone.  I have an electric oven, so I don't know how this would apply to a gas oven.


I have had fantastic results recently using the broiler based on a post here on TFL a month or so back.  What I do is:


  • preheat to 500 (as high as it goes) for an hour or so with the stone on the second from the top position

  • about 20 minutes before showtime, the broiler goes on "high"

  • top and load the dough

  • broiler goes down to "low"

  • pizza is done in about 3 minutes and comes out

  • broiler goes back on "high" until the next one is ready

The crust comes out nicely done, light brown with little black spots on the bottom and on the crown.  Cheese is nicely browned a bit just the way we like it.  One downside is it takes a little while to reheat the stone again to get it back up to temperature.  I really want to get an IR point-and-shoot thermometer to help figure out what the temperature of the stone is doing (maybe I'll borrow one from a coworker).  Again, this is what works for my oven and may be totally off for any other oven, especially for gas.  I tried this in an older electric oven while on vacation last week and it didn't work well, I think the broiler wasn't hot enough.


I'm doing our regular pizza night on Friday, plus again on Sunday for a big family get-together so if it goes well I'll try to take some pics to provide evidence.

loydb's picture
loydb

Would you mind sharing your dough recipe please? The available delivery options here in the woods are limited :)


Thanks!


Loyd


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Loyd, have you tried the recipes in the Pizza Primer thread here?


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pizza


Then, I would suggest suggest pizzamaking.com as the best source for pizza recipes.


http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_recipes.html


Besides those on that page, their forums link(on that page), have dozens of threads with just about any type pizza recipe(with discussions) you would want.

caption ten's picture
caption ten

After many years of cooking pizza the main challenge I still face is getting a domestic oven hot enough to cook the pizza. When I have had pizza in Italy, from a wood oven, the cooking time has ranged from 60 seconds to 90 seconds. In the past, using my domestic oven, it has taken anything up to ten minutes to cook my pizza. Today I don't actually oven bake my pizzas. I have take an idea from an English chef, where I heat up a cast-iron pan, in my case it is a 30 cm cast-iron crepes pan, on a hob for twenty minutes on a high heat. While heating the pan I heat my oven grill up to its maximum temperature. When the cast-iron pan it up to temperature I place the pizza on it and put it under the hot grill. Cooking time in now 2 minutes. Note, the crept pan is flat, so if you are using a standard cast-iron pan you will need to turn it over once heated so that the pizza sits on a flat surface. Cooking result, crisp pizza with charred bits which contribute the pizza's flavor. 


 

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish


Your pizza is looking good! In the NY-Neapolitan vein, if I had to categorise it. 


I remember you asked some questions about the pan pizza recipe a month or so ago (answered a few weeks ago - sorry it took so long!).


For neapolitan style, there are several different ways you can approach it in a domestic oven - two stones, broiler, frying pan/skillet (as used by Heston Blumenthal). 


I've tried to cover some of my own experimentation on my blog (got into some interesting discussion on various alternatives etc. in the comments section)


http://foolishpoolishbakes.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/pizza-a-casa-mia-part-2-neapolitan-style-pizza/


Hope that's of some use.


Happy baking!


FP