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This is why your pizza bombed


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@fafrd

 

Cornmeal scorches and tastes horrible in my opinion.  There isn't much of it but it still tastes bad when it's scorched.  I use semolina flour.   No problems with that.  

 

I have had no issues cooking dough that I made in 2 hours at 800 degrees or higher.  So that sorta blows the longer time idea out of the water.  The charring is being caused by the 800 degree or higher stone.  What your stone looks like doesn't show me the pizza result.  The pizzas that came off that stone might be perfect.  

 

If I was experiencing what I thought was excessive charring with my dough, I would add a little more water to it next time.  If you made this at 60%, make it at 62% next time and see if the result is any different.  I am also currently doing some experiments at 55% that have been interesting.  

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25 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

Cornmeal scorches and tastes horrible in my opinion

John, we've discussed this before; if you taste the cornmeal, something's wrong. The lubricant isn't part of the pie. I need about 1 gram per pie, only on the peal, and most of that remains behind on the peal and the baking stone. Any meal on the cooked crust rubs off. I see no path for cornmeal to influence the flavor of my pies.

 

I'm not debating the flavor of scorched cornmeal., just questioning how it can affect pizza flavor when used properly. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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2 hours ago, fafrd said:

... Here is a picture of my pizza stone this morning: ...

I've seen this! 

 

My first pizza cook was in an Akorn, and I cooked it directly on the heat deflector. Bad idea. This is what I got in about a minute. One of my few inedible results. It taught me to always have a deflector between the pizza stone and any part of the fire, as I've suggested to you. Radiative heating is hard to control. Convective heating gives you a chance. 

 

Here's a pic of my stone. I've already shown you the extension rack configuration. The stone is always clean with a dusting of burnt cornmeal after the grill cools off. I dusted off some corn meal for the picture. The dark spots are toppings that slid off ahead of the pie. The stone is older than the Big Joe, but I've done about a dozen pies in the Joe, enough to have a process and given the stone a patina. 

724135396_IMG_20190826_pizzastone.thumb.jpg.2b236d6753858f96f6f16a1a331c91e7.jpg

 

Have fun,

Frank

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1 hour ago, fbov said:

John, we've discussed this before; if you taste the cornmeal, something's wrong. The lubricant isn't part of the pie. I need about 1 gram per pie, only on the peal, and most of that remains behind on the peal and the baking stone. Any meal on the cooked crust rubs off. I see no path for cornmeal to influence the flavor of my pies.

 

I'm not debating the flavor of scorched cornmeal., just questioning how it can affect pizza flavor when used properly. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

 

There will be some stuck to the bottom of your pizza crust.  Semolina flour doesn't have that issue.  I'm not trying to talk you out of using cornmeal if you are happy with that.

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1 minute ago, John Setzler said:

There will be some stuck to the bottom of your pizza crust.

True, but at milligram mass levels. Cayenne pepper wouldn't affect flavor at these levels. 

Frank

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3 hours ago, fbov said:

I've seen this! 

 

My first pizza cook was in an Akorn, and I cooked it directly on the heat deflector. Bad idea. This is what I got in about a minute. One of my few inedible results. It taught me to always have a deflector between the pizza stone and any part of the fire, as I've suggested to you. Radiative heating is hard to control. Convective heating gives you a chance. 

 

Here's a pic of my stone. I've already shown you the extension rack configuration. The stone is always clean with a dusting of burnt cornmeal after the grill cools off. I dusted off some corn meal for the picture. The dark spots are toppings that slid off ahead of the pie. The stone is older than the Big Joe, but I've done about a dozen pies in the Joe, enough to have a process and given the stone a patina. 

724135396_IMG_20190826_pizzastone.thumb.jpg.2b236d6753858f96f6f16a1a331c91e7.jpg

 

Have fun,

Frank

 

I've always had a heat deflector 1-3/8" below my puzza stone.

 

My first pizza cook used the placesetter, which was 1/4" small around the entire curcumference than my 14" pizza stone (which was actually 14-1/2").

 

So then I got a 15" heat deflector which sits directly on top of the place setter and 1-3/8" below the pizza stone.  My IR thermoneter tells me my stone is 800F both in the center and close to the edge, so being 'too hot' or having hot spots doesn't like that's the issue.

 

My pizza stone does not have the patina yours has - it's virgin white with black spots forming wherever excessive charring occurred.

 

I'm just using some '00' flour on the peel and if you are using cornmeal and john is using semolina flour, I may need to give those a try to see if they make any difference.

 

Here's a pictre of the set-up I used (14-1/2" stone spaced 1-3/8" above 15-1/2" heat deflector resting directly on inverted placesetter, all about 2-1/2" below top of done):

 

F04FAB03-903E-4110-AC5D-796769F26564.thumb.jpeg.a01d84c4137ea4d4d5cad55c9f0cbc61.jpeg

 

And here is a picture of one if the better pizzas from last night (didn't think to snap pics of the one that was over-charred):

image.jpeg.03ee5d7b25ba04a3280e6dfc14b58754.jpeg

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6 hours ago, John Setzler said:

@fafrd

 

Quote

Cornmeal scorches and tastes horrible in my opinion.  There isn't much of it but it still tastes bad when it's scorched.  I use semolina flour.   No problems with that.  

 

Thanks.  What is the reason you use Semolina rather than more '00'?

 

I've just been using a bit more of the same '00' flour I used to make the dough - it seems to be working fine as far as lubricating the peel and making it easy to slide the raw pizza off, but could '00' flour rather than Semolina or Cornmeal be contributing to the excessive charring I'm experiencing?

 

Also, in terms of the charred spots that have developed on my pizza stone, culd those be contributing to the excessive charring I'm experiencing?  Is there any way to clean and reseason a pizza-stone?

 

Quote

I have had no issues cooking dough that I made in 2 hours at 800 degrees or higher.  So that sorta blows the longer time idea out of the water.  The charring is being caused by the 800 degree or higher stone.  What your stone looks like doesn't show me the pizza result.  The pizzas that came off that stone might be perfect.  

 

Here's a picture of one of the better pizzas again:

 

image.jpeg.684722b6921b7436d5e6ff3f7760cf46.jpeg

 

I know we're supposed to master marguerita before getting carried away with toppings, but my wife saw Forkish's Stuffed Squash Blossom Pizza and insisted on giving it a try for our last pizza of the night.  Komodo and stone had cooled down to ~700F by then and I was timing the cook by looking through the vent and obviously should have been looking more carefully at rhe top crust (probably should have pulled it ~15 seconds sooner) but it was still pretty tasty:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.941f2a23e0f3eebf87010f8b8dd2bbf3.jpeg

 

Quote

 

If I was experiencing what I thought was excessive charring with my dough, I would add a little more water to it next time.  If you made this at 60%, make it at 62% next time and see if the result is any different.  I am also currently doing some experiments at 55% that have been interesting.  

 

That is an interesting suggestion and easy to try next time.  Yes, now that we've backed off a bit from 900F, no need for a true 900F/60% dough.

 

Curious to know whether you think my charred/scarred pizza stone is more typical-looking or the more seasoned/patina-like appearance is more typical.

 

My very first pizza cook was with a too-small heat deflector (place-setter) and while the middle of rstone measured 900F, I suspect the edge was much hotter than that - probably over 1000F.  If that too-hot first cook could have ruined my pizza stone in some way, that might explain why I continue to have issues woth excessive charring even thpugh everything is more correct now...

 

Here is a pic of one of the clearly overcharred pizzas from that first Kamado 900F pizza attempt a month ago:

 

9922DE0F-AF0D-4EB0-A9BF-FF025791D22B.thumb.jpeg.2eb410921ac0cb90145a3a8349f6e7c1.jpeg

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16 hours ago, fafrd said:

My pizza stone does not have the patina yours has ...

 

I'm just using some '00' flour on the peel and if you are using cornmeal and john is using semolina flour,...

 

... What is the reason you use Semolina rather than more '00'?

...Your Kamado is also lacking the patina that comes with use... it's still new! We don't need pictures to see that, it comes through in your enthusiasm!

 

Semolina & Type 00 are related in the same way as corn meal & corn flour (massa). Semolina and corn meal have coarse texture while the flours (type 00 and massa) are very fine powders. The larger particles raise the dough off the peal/stone and roll when the dough tries to slide. The dough is made of flour, so a dusting on a peal can be absorbed by the dough and stick. The "big" chunks of Semolina and corn meal are too coarse to be absorbed. If they stick, they still lift the dough. 

 

John's suggestions are always well thought out, but I have no recipes that call for Semolina flour, making it a uni-tasker. Corn meal has lots of applications, making it a pantry staple. We disagree about flavor, a topic where everyone has an equal say in the matter. If you taste burnt corn meal, use Semolina. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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4 hours ago, fbov said:
Quote

...Your Kamado is also lacking the patina that comes with use... it's still new! We don't need pictures to see that, it comes through in your enthusiasm!

 

It was actually completely brown after the smoked rib cook, but a couple hours at 800F cooking pizzas turned all that brown ceramic back to virgin-white...

 

The only thing that is not getting cleaned after a pizza cook (or with scrubbing) is those dark char markings on the pizza stone...

 

 

Quote
Quote

Semolina & Type 00 are related in the same way as corn meal & corn flour (massa). Semolina and corn meal have coarse texture while the flours (type 00 and massa) are very fine powders. The larger particles raise the dough off the peal/stone and roll when the dough tries to slide. The dough is made of flour, so a dusting on a peal can be absorbed by the dough and stick. The "big" chunks of Semolina and corn meal are too coarse to be absorbed. If they stick, they still lift the dough. 

 

Are you using corn meal (or Semolina flour) purely for it's 'ball-bearing effect' to make it easier to slide the pizza off of the peel, or also because it keeps the pizza from being in direct contact with the pizza stone?

 

I've had no issues keeping the peel 'lubricated' with '00' but I think I can almost see the flour turn black upon contact with the stone so I'm starting to wonder whether I'll get less immediate charring using a courser 'lubricant'.

 

Quote

John's suggestions are always well thought out, but I have no recipes that call for Semolina flour, making it a uni-tasker. Corn meal has lots of applications, making it a pantry staple. We disagree about flavor, a topic where everyone has an equal say in the matter. If you taste burnt corn meal, use Semolina. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

 

I think we have both.  Next cook I may try cornmeal, semolina, and '00' to see whether that's been the source of our overcharring issue (and whether we can taste any difference with the different 'lubricants').

 

 

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6 hours ago, fbov said:

 

 

John's suggestions are always well thought out, but I have no recipes that call for Semolina flour, making it a uni-tasker. 

 

Some people (myself included) will substitute some amount of Semolina flour for regular wheat flour in a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. 

 

Also realize there are different grades of Semolina flour. You want a course grind for use on a peel. A fine grind as a substitute for regular flour. 

 

Semolina (and most flours) are reasonably cheap so if you end up with a course grind Seminole that is good for only one purpose (the peel) who really cares. For the peel that small bag will last you almost a lifetime if stored properly. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Setzler said:

Semolina flour is somewhat of a unitasker in my kitchen also. I use it for this very purpose and for 'lubricating' the proofing baskets I let bread loaves proof in.  I occasionally make pasta with it as well.

 

Thanks John.  We also occasionally use Semolina flour to make pasta, so I should be able to try all 3 (Semolina, cornmeal, and '00' flour).

 

Any insight into whether use of '00' flour might be contributing to the excessive charring I'm experiencing? 

 

Did you start using Semolina (or cornmeal) right from the get-go or have you ever tried using just '00' on the peal?

 

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1 hour ago, fafrd said:

 

Thanks John.  We also occasionally use Semolina flour to make pasta, so I should be able to try all 3 (Semolina, cornmeal, and '00' flour).

 

Any insight into whether use of '00' flour might be contributing to the excessive charring I'm experiencing? 

 

Did you start using Semolina (or cornmeal) right from the get-go or have you ever tried using just '00' on the peal?

 

 

00 flour wont' serve you any purpose at all.  It will absorb water from the dough and stick just like you hadn't used anything at all. 

 

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

 

00 flour wont' serve you any purpose at all.  It will absorb water from the dough and stick just like you hadn't used anything at all. 

 

 

It's worked pretty well for me, if the 'purpose' is having an easy time sliding the pizza off of the peel onto the pizza stone and not having it stick.

 

24 pizzas made 'lubricating' with '00' flour so far, zero issues getting the pizza to slide quickly and smoothly off of the peel.

 

Or are you referring to another purpose, like possibly keeping the dough from direct contact with the stone to reduce charring, or avoiding dough sticking to the peel even if it sits on the peel for 5 or more minutes (mine go from peel to stone immediately)?

 

What do the folks with proper wood-burning pizza ovens do as far as lubricating their peels?

 

 

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