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  • Tenorio74
    started a topic Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Hi all, ok I'll try to explain as best I can

    I have cooked 7 nights about 15 pizza per night, and the last 3 nights I have had burnt pizza bottoms/dough problems (I am making Neapolitan pies).

    Dough formula:
    flour 100% (80-90%pastry-10-20%bread)
    water 66, 63, 60, 61%
    salt 2.7%
    fresh yeast 0.2% (average)

    All room temp rise, 2 hour bulk followed by 6-8 hour balled until cooking time. First day was over-proofed but had no burning problems. I hand mix with three 5-min rest periods at the end.

    I slid pizza in at a 440?C hearth temp, steam escaped, turned at 30secs, again at 60 and out at 90. Perfect pizza, leoparding and all (pic attached)

    Did that routine happily for 3 more day, then I got burning day 4-5-6, having to cook the pizzas at the oven opening where the floor is around 370?C.

    The best I can describe it is like this. When I have proper dough, you get tiny air bubbles that fill up on the pizza bottom, effectively "raising" the pizza off the cooking floor, sort of like bubble-pack or a waffle grid. This allows only the little bubbles to be in contact with the floor, and you have airflow to reduce burning. You only get black spots where the tiny bubbles are, the rest is golden.

    Last three nights, those little bubbles burst and therefore the pizza lay flat on the floor, and had massive burning (burnt halos where the bubbles burst), and burnt where the pizza was flattest on the floor (anyone ever noticed this?). The nice bubbles that don't burst probably have a tighter gluten structure?!?)

    The gluten development hasn't been good either; the dough has become watery when stretched out (thin parts will shine), and toppings will wet it and have it stick to the peel or create holes when in the oven (this is a mess).


    Can this all be a mixing problem? I changed my technique ever so slightly (but then again I work by feel usually not being a machine mixer).

    We can't afford a mixer right now, and truth be told, I have never had this problem this persistently. I though first it was yeast freshness, then too little bread flour in my mix (but my first four days were fine with my flour formulation - can't get caputo here), but now I'm at a loss.

    We're in the final stages of testing, opening in about two weeks and now I've gotten nervous.

    Any help and/or ideas will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for rambling on, but for the third night I have lived out my nightmares with no way to fix them (and with patrons expecting great pizza).

    Tenorio

  • Tenorio74
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Great! Done.

    Leave a comment:


  • lwood
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Absolutely Ten.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenorio74
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Originally posted by lwood View Post
    Hi Tenorio,
    Even though you are thousands of miles away in Peru (probably over-looking Machu Picchu or something) and me in the Philippines, we are going through the learning curve at about the same time. I see some of your comments and they are things that I can relate to because just went through that...ie 40+ pies in a rush. Getting to know how the oven reacts and maintaining the right conditions.

    As I remember, you started a little after I did and I think you have passed me a while back. Your getting daily experience and I'm just doing it on week-ends (by choice, I could do it everyday of the week if I wanted). Until I get a cook full-time cook, my wife will only let me take reservations on Thursdays, Fridays, Sat. and Sundays. This is definitely is a process and the longer you do it, the better you get.

    May your Margaritas always be light and fluffy and never have to start a cold oven. Good luck Amigo in Pizza
    My friend,

    Thanks for your kind words and wishes. I don't believe I have passed anybody, much less you for that matter. I think we all learn the things our customers demand, and our individual learning is unique to ourselves and what we do and where we do it.

    Unfortunately I am nowhere near Machu Picchu, I am in grey Lima... I know you have a better view than I do!

    I am still learning (and will be for a long time I believe), and trying to figure things out every day (like how to stop my oven from oveheating, and how to get my waiter to process multiple tasks at once)

    May also your Margheritas always be light and fluffy and never have to start a cold oven (get someone else to!!)

    ps. I will steal the margherita phrase for my signature with your permission!

    Leave a comment:


  • david s
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    I always use the 3sec semolina test for the floor. If it's too hot then I cook the pizza more in the entry. Always find the first pizza is not perfect, just like the first pancake. For this reason I usually start with a Margareta. I also find it somewhat amusing when the greediest one who has to have the first pizza gets the less than perfect first one. There is justice in Pizza Land.

    Leave a comment:


  • lwood
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Hi Tenorio,
    Even though you are thousands of miles away in Peru (probably over-looking Machu Picchu or something) and me in the Philippines, we are going through the learning curve at about the same time. I see some of your comments and they are things that I can relate to because just went through that...ie 40+ pies in a rush . Getting to know how the oven reacts and maintaining the right conditions.

    As I remember, you started a little after I did and I think you have passed me a while back. Your getting daily experience and I'm just doing it on week-ends (by choice, I could do it everyday of the week if I wanted). Until I get a cook full-time cook, my wife will only let me take reservations on Thursdays, Fridays, Sat. and Sundays. This is definitely is a process and the longer you do it, the better you get.

    May your Margaritas always be light and fluffy and never have to start a cold oven. Good luck Amigo in Pizza

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenorio74
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Jim,

    Nice to see you're on track. I second Jays comments, and will add that Margheritas are IMO the pizza that cooks best (especially at higher temps) because of the pie's lightness (sorry if I am repeating myself from another part of this thread).... I just have a blast making them more than any other pie.... they are much less heat sensitive (I add to the list many 1 topping pies. Unfortunately my menu is mostly specialty pizzas with 2-3 toppings).

    Sauce wetness and dough proofing are big on my crispness factor. Over-proofed dough gets wet very easily, the gluten breaking and water coming to give a surface shine (kudos to Jay for helping me identify proper rising stages).... I just enjoyed using it because the balls were much quicker to open at the hydration I use (61%) as long as we are hand mixing at the pizzeria (we just got a second hand mixer btw but haven't been able to try it out yet). When I start with the mixer I will raise hydration to get more pliable dough at it's proper proofing stage.

    Pizza is an art that demands practice, and our pizza can vary a bit; there is a threshold I think when working at artisan level especially when you have to do 40+ pies in a straight rush. Your floor temp will vary (mine raises) with a 3 hour constant pizza fire if your don't have time for breathers. Maybe I just lack experience or a proper oven...

    Sorry for the ramble, I think you're well on your way....

    Cheers,
    Tenorio

    Leave a comment:


  • berryst
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    I use 20%+- whole wheat pastry flour

    If the oven is over 750F I use a pizza screen. I never burn pizza any more but I don't cook much over 750F. I can do 800F but above that your playing with fire. I don't think that the flower/water mixture makes much difference....I never measure any more anyway. Buy, a cheep pizza screen and try it on the first pizza see if that helps....also it shakes through any excess flower on the bottom

    Leave a comment:


  • texassourdough
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    The three second "char" on flour is pretty reliably 740 to 750 on my IR thermometer also. Two seconds is closer to 800 in my experience and anything less is virtually unworkable. And more than four or five seconds is too cool for anything but a dessert pizza!

    Crispness is a function of many factors - and toppings (and particularly topping wetness) are among the most critical factors. I routinely make almost crackerlike pies using Neopolitan dough (Caputo 00) but when one puts tomato sauce on the pie it becomes virtually impossible to get that dough crisp in my experience. And it gets soggy quickly as it soaks the water/juice from the sauce.

    A general comment would be to lay down some oil (brush or wipe it on to spread it). That creates a bit of a water barrier to the dough. Second, dry out your sauces somewhat - i.e. cook them down some to make them thicker. And put wet things on top, not on the dough.

    All of those will help.
    Jay

    Leave a comment:


  • PoolishJim
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Tenorio,
    I took the suggestion you and Jay gave me for fixing the burnt bottoms. I cut out sugar in my dough and used less yeast (.75%). I put the pies in the same spot after turning and used the flour test to guarge hearth temp. I counted to 3 before the flour burned. My thermocouples gave a dome temp of 780F and hearth at 740 when I started baking pies. Folks thought these were the best over. I would still like to get a little more crisp in the crusts so if you have any suggestions please let me know. I am going to try and link in some pictures so you can see the results. Any comments apprecitated.

    Thanks for your help,
    Jim

    https://picasaweb.google.com/James.T...eat=directlink

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenorio74
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Jim,

    I donn't have couples in my oven, but I will tell you that superficial floor temp rises quite rapidly with a raging fire going. Your superficial brick temp may be higher that at 1 inch down (if you're not allowing a time for heat equalization), and could effectively be higher than what your couples read - and I guess be the cause of your burning.

    Do the flour test - If it blackens immediately (less than 1 sec), your floor is hotter than what your thermocouples are reading (the advantage here is you don't have to buy an IR thermometer). I have an IRT, and sometimes flour test as well.

    Cheers,
    Tenorio

    Leave a comment:


  • PoolishJim
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Tenorio,
    I measure my oven temp with thermocouples place in the hearth and dome bricks. They are about 1 inch from the oven surface. I have not done the flour test nor used an IR termometer. Is there an advantage to the either oer the method I'm using?

    Jim

    Leave a comment:


  • texassourdough
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Hi Tenorio


    I inserted your questions...

    1) For the experiment you suggest, I would have to do multiple batches with varying amounts of yeast? Like 2-3% IDY for the 4 hour dough?

    No! Just like always. The whole purpose is to figure out when your dough is losing its sugar. I am betting you will like it better earlier than your normal 12 hours. The goal is to gain experience with your process. If you like a shorter time you can probably get closer to it by dropping the yeast even a little more. Or mixing with cooler water...

    2) Do you think I could do shorter proofing times, and make up the lack of flavor incorporating a biga starter? That's the next experiment I've been thinking about....

    This works to an extent and is certainly superior to a straight fast dough. I am not sold on it but I haven't really researched it enough to provide a definitive answer. I suspect one can get really good results if they work on the process. You can also add flavor by simply adding sourdough starter (more properly a levain/preferment) at the point you make the final dough (20 percent seems like a nice amount in my experience). You would probably want to still use commercial yeast to make your final rise predictable. NOTE: you could simply use presoaked flour as I suggested in the preceding message. There are lots of ways to improve flavor!

    The only thing that has happened to me is that with high yeast/high temp/short fermentation times (4-6 hours), the gluten development is not as good, making it more work to open up my pies (a problem when I have a waiting list of 10).... I don't know if incorporating a starter would help in that department.

    This doesn't particularly make sense to me. I have read it before and I don't understand the details of the problem. I have a feeling you are probably referring to a "tightening" of the dough which makes it hard to form pies. They want to spring back and to tear. That is exactly why I ball 00 and BF doughs shortly after mixing final dough. And I store them in trays. My fave pizzaria has ten balls per tray. I use smaller trays that hold six and fit in my refrigerator. The dough needs to be relaxed when you get to the pie making process.

    3) Would you consider refrigerating bulk dough doing 6kg batches? Wouldn't it take to long for the center to cool?

    The center takes longer to cool and longer to warm up so it is a wash. Why not ball it in advance. Yeah it takes more space but...

    Good luck!
    Jay

    Leave a comment:


  • texassourdough
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Hi Tusr18..

    The dough you are making is as simple as it gets and serves primarily as an edible plate. You simply don't have enough time to develop any significant complexity to the flavor. You are also using volumes which guarantees erratic results unless you have great touch.

    Kneading for a half hour is way overkill. AP flour is fine. I use AP a lot (though my personal favorite dough is from organic BF). I usually make two and sometimes three doughs for I have specific doughs I prefer to use with specific pizza toppings! (Based on wetness and topping weight more than anything else).

    Yes, you can overproof in 90 minutes (plus your 30 minutes of kneading which is 2 hours). You have about 7 grams of yeast in 340 or so grams of flour. THAT IS 2% YEAST! And we are talking about .5% to 1%. And you are using hot WATER which exacerbates the problem. Half the package would be more than enough for that recipe.

    As an aside, Gourmet should be ashamed of themselves for attributing that to Chris Bianco (and he should protest) for that is a hollow rendition of his dough.

    Cut back, way back, on the yeast - even if you keep making it as you do - but you can't make great dough fast. Period! If you really want to do it FAST, try soaking half the flour for 12 hours before you add the yeast and salt. It will make a big difference. (Use all the water and half the flour - then add the rest of the flour, the yeast and the salt).

    Jay

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenorio74
    replied
    Re: Help - Burnt pizza bottom!!

    Originally posted by lwood View Post
    Hi Ten,
    Great looking Facebook page. Your place really looks professional.
    Thanks Lwood!! We're definitely learning as we go... The hardest thing has been finding good waiters and dishwashers!

    I've never been organized enough to do a picture essay of my dough process, but with the longer proofing times the balls are super relaxed and easy to open up! I picked up a few hints from your FB page with your dough classes.... thanks!!!

    I do toss them a bit sometimes, just for show (and it helps get excess flour off )

    Leave a comment:

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