The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bottom of my pizza burning

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Bottom of my pizza burning

Seems to be a common theme with my oven...or with me :)

I'm using a baking steel, pre-heated at 550F for 1 hour. The bottom seems to burn before the top is fully cooked and gets some nice color.

Any tips on how to prevent this?

Update: just to clarify, I'm talking about pizza, not bread. Sorry for the confusion.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Too hot.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Will try. I thought with pizza you want it as hot as possible to where home ovens can't even go though.

zachyahoo's picture
zachyahoo

 

I agree, too hot for too long!

 

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

But I'm only using it for pizza. Nothing else.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

burning means too hot.  Its plain evidence.  I suppose you could use a pizza screen under the pizza or parchment (fun to watch burn.)   Semolina under the pizza can sometimes help.  How about another steel above the pizza.  Is the steel a tight fit in the oven, does heat get aroung it?

A little burnty is nice.  Got a picture?

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Do you think a higher oven rack could help?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to the top of the oven?  Most definitely!  That would give you more heat above the pizza to cook it at the same time as the bottom of the pizza.  Clever!

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

My oven is weird. I don't know what to expect anymore

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

tell us about your oven.  Got lots of dials?  Big oven?  Little oven?  Got a picture?  What century is it from?  Gas? Electric?  With "broil?"   Ooooo that might be fun switching to broil after the steel is hot!   We probably got someone here who knows your oven.  :)

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

It's a pretty standard 30" slide-in gas oven / range. Whirlpool model GW397LXUS.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

most likely burning on the bottoms from the bottom heat.  Try putting a buffer under the pizza iron.  You can make a matt of alu foil or fold a sheet several times or put a cookie sheet between.  A little experimenting is needed.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Gotcha. Are electric ovens considered better for baking?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

From a quick web search, it looks like that model does have an electric top/broiler element, and convection mode.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Convection is not available in my model unfortunately. I already checked. Do you typically recommend convection for baking?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

(re convection)... not for bread.  For pizza, it might be good, but I've never had a convection oven.

--

It may take a couple of 90 degree rotations during the cooking process, but sometimes, it's good to use a little broiler action to finish off the top of a pizza.  But then I tend to make thick crust pizzas with heaped on toppings. And I usually pre-bake my crusts.

There are plenty of youtube videos about baking pizza on steel plates.  And Will F ("Roadside") has a great method with a steel and a mesh screen.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Hello, Dan.

You are correct, your home oven could never reach the high temperatures required for the quick searing bakes and un-bromated flour used in wood fire cooked Neapolitan pizza. However, your home oven can approach temperatures too hot for the longer slower cooking times of N.Y. style. That being said your preheat and temperature is the same as mine. This is what works for me. Get yourself a pizza screen. These are cheep readily available in all sizes and work a peach. Here is my oven set up. I crank the oven as high as it will go for one hour + (The steel surface temperature can approach 600F) The steel lives on the lowest rack in my oven. My pies are done to our liking in 10-12 minutes. I get a nice melt and a great crisp bottom. We like are pies on the well done side ten minutes would be average doneness. The setup I described has been giving me very consistent results. If you decide to go this way, I will instruct you on seasoning the screen. No use going into that now. 

 

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Thank you! That pizza looks delicious btw :)

The pizza screen is interesting, I may have to give that a try. I am making a NY-style, and it cooks in like 5 minutes, so perhaps that is additional evidence the oven / steel is too hot. The other thing is I probably need to stretch my dough thinner.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Your pizza skin should be a uniformly thin, even playing field. 

bridgebum's picture
bridgebum

Do you have a fan (convection oven)?  If so, that may cook the top fast enough so that the bottom won't burn.  In my home oven (baking on unglazed tiles at 500F.), my pizzas are ready to pull after 7 minutes.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

DD:  As Mini said, a lot depends on your oven configuration.

Just as importantly, it depends a lot on the kind of pizza you are making.  Baking steels, and temps at 500+ , are mainly for thin styles of  pizza.

Go thicker, as in Sicilian, Roman, Detroit, pan, or Granny style, then you want lower temps.

When you go with thicker crust, or start to pile on toppings, you have to lower the temps, and cook longer, which means not using a steel, or go with Roadside's thing of using a screen.

I go for thick crust, lots of sauce and cheese, wall to wall mushrooms and pepperoni, plus green peppers, black olives, and sliced onions.  Sometimes beef sausage.

I pre-bake my crusts, and my pizzas usually take 24 minutes to bake, at around 400 to 425 F.

---

I haven't followed your bread journey too closely, so I don't remember your oven config.  But I have picked up that you have picked up the "multi dimensions" of bread baking:   not all bread is the same, not all flour is the same, etc.  

It all must be handled and treated differently.

Well, in like manner, not all pizza is the same, not all pizza crust is the same.

--

I have 3 really great pizza books, that cover a wide variety of pizza styles:

1. The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani. https://www.amzn.com/B00JYWW490?tag=froglallabout-20

2. Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish. https://www.amzn.com/B012KJYR3O?tag=froglallabout-20

3. American Pie, by Reinhart. https://www.amzn.com/B0047DW4KA?tag=froglallabout-20

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

I am making NY style. But I probably didn't stretch it out thin enough...