The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bitter tasting crust

netfan's picture
netfan

Bitter tasting crust

We have a great homemade clay, sand and straw oven in our back yard.  Temp gets well over 1000 deg F when we fire it for pizza, then we start when we see around 900 deg F as the fire dies down a bit.  We have an awesome system for pizza parties where the pizza maker gets their dough in the kitchen, prepares the pizza and brings it out to the oven for the pizza baker on a wooden peel. 

In order to keep the dough from sticking we use a generous sprinkling of corn meal on the peel - that way it slides off into the oven easily.  We were finding that the first couple of pies were tasting bitter and after some searching it looks like the corn meal is the culprit.

Has anyone else had this issue?  Ideas to resolve?

Thanks in advance!!

ds99303's picture
ds99303

Make sure the bottom of your crust is dry by dusting it with flour.  A wet crust will stick to the peel more easily.  A dry crust will slide more easily on the peel and allow you to use less cornmeal.  Of course you don't want a flour-coated crust either.  Just use enough so the bottom of the crust is dry.

hodgey1's picture
hodgey1

Be sure to take a damp towel and wipe your baking surface prior to putting your pizza in. It could be that the bitter taste is ash. Also, I use semolina flour not corn meal, it works great. Others I’ve read are using rice flour with good results also.

netfan's picture
netfan

Thanks for your responses... I do damp mop when baking and I have a stiff brush that I use to scrape the floor before baking and after each pizza.  I changed my dough to an overnight ferment and got generous with the flour while shaping the dough, keeping the bottom pretty well floured.  This seemed to do the trick as we used no cornmeal and there was no bitter taste!!  Pies came out very nicely :)

hodgey1's picture
hodgey1

nice looking pie! Try using semolina, it works great. Too much flour during shaping can give your pies raw flour taste.