Pizza lovers: Easy to recalibrate home oven up to 35° hotter
Like many I don't have room for a brick oven (condo) and have tried various ways to try to emulate same. The 550° max setting on my oven makes very good pies, but not nearly as well as my dream 2 minute brick oven pie, nor as good as my 4 minute 650° but "not for everyone" method posted below. I'm happy with the variables re dough, sauce, and toppings, thus the oven temp being the issue.
I just found a link (see bottom of post) that shows how you can calibrate your oven for up (or down) by 35° in 5° increments. This feature is common as it is not unusual to find that ovens are off by up to this amount from the factory, thus the manufactuers provide an easy way to calibrate to the correct temp assuming you tested oven with an accurate themometer. Once that is done, the fun begins:
I have a better use for this feature since my oven is accurate - increase by the max 35° adjustment and hope that my 550° max turns into 585°. That should result in a 5-6 minute pie vs. 9-12 minutes at 500-550°. Given my GE oven has a self cleaning function with insulation designed to withstand 900+ degrees for hours on end, there is no danger with a mere 35° increment- nor would the manufactuers provide for this feature if the insulation could not handle it.
For the adventurous- The above approach will be a departure as I usually run my oven at 650°-675° with a 90 minute preheat resulting in a 3 1/2 to 4 minute pizza as explained in this post: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18417/pizza-baked-home-650-degrees Those pizza's rock and gets me as close as I can absent the real deal. This method works very well for me when the stone is near the bottom of the oven, and after the pre-heat I turn on the broiler (which is on the ceiling of the oven, about 12 inches above stone/pizza. The retained heat of the stone combined with the broiler flame is the closest I've come to emulating a 2-3 minute brick oven bake. Also at these hotter temps the hydration percentage needs to be in the 70-75% range (I use natural leavan and 3 day fridge per the above link) to ensure a moist geletinized inner crust and slightly chared outer crust.
But 90 minutes is a long time to get my stone to 650° thus my interest in trying out what will hopefully be a 585° oven and likely a 45-60 minute preheat. And at 585° I will just let the oven bake rather than trying the broiler after the preheat (but may have to revisit that and try!). Hopefully this weekend...
The following link talks about GE ovens, likely that most manufactuers have this feature either in the owner's manual or on Google. Easy to reset back for traditional baking...