web analytics
Crispy bottom - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


No announcement yet.

Crispy bottom

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Crispy bottom

    Hi, I'm a new member to the forum.
    My problem is that while my pizza is delicious, It cooks quickly on the top but the bottom is too soft.
    Smaller fires (lower temps) help a little but I am looking for the crispy crust and can't seem to get it.
    Maybe a better dough recipe is needed....

  • #2
    There could be a few reasons.
    How long are your pizzas taking to cook? Are you cooking directly on the floor or in trays?
    If you cast a little semolina onto the oven floor it should take 3 secs to turn black. This indicates the correct floor temp.
    How long are you firing the oven prior to cooking?
    How thick is your oven floor?
    What thickness and type of insulation do you have under the oven floor?
    Of what sort of material is your oven floor made?
    Last edited by david s; 02-15-2017, 10:19 PM.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      Thanks for responding. The pizza usually only takes a few minutes to cook. I start the oven at least 4 to 5 hours before I start cooking. The oven floor is fire brick (see photo) with 2" thick insulation under it.
      I cook directly on the floor. I will try the semolina test the next time I use the oven.
      Do you think it is not hot enough? I will take temp measurements also.


      • #4
        are you hand stretching your dough to a see through thin crust? or thicker that may take longer, but if really hot will burn too. What kind of wood are you using and do you have a infra-red thermometer?
        Texman Kitchen


        • #5
          Those answers eliminate some possible causes. Normally the pizzas should take 2 mins to cook. If your oven is new or it's had some water entry then it's possible the underfloor insulation is wet and therefore not insulating. Don't forget that water can also wick up from the stand into the supporting slab and into the insulation too. This results in having both difficulty getting the floor up to temperature and the floor holding heat. When eliminating water from an oven the last place for it to dry is under the floor. The remedy is to keep firing for a couple of days. I hope that this may be your situation, if not I'm not sure what else could be the cause.

          last year I had an experience with my mobile oven where my bases were not cooked enough yet the tops were fine. I concluded the floor was too cold on account of the oven facing a cool breeze. A partial fix in those cases is to place a piece of wood in the entry in front of the pizza. Thin crusts for WFO's work best.
          Last edited by david s; 02-16-2017, 01:21 PM.
          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


          • #6
            Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered working with the dough. I try to stretch it, but end up rolling it instead, usually pretty thin.
            i will be trying a new recipe based on what I have been reading in the forums.

            regarding the water in the insulation, I will take a closer look but I don't really think water is getting under it. I will take your advice and fire the oven often before my next use. the wood I am using is mostly red oak, some cherry as well.

            i do have access to an infra-red thermometer and will be sure to measure the temp of the oven floor. What should t be?


            • #7
              Use the semolina test. Cast a little onto the centre of the oven floor. It should turn black in 3 secs. 2 secs too hot 4 secs not hot enough. Very reliable and impresses guests. When firing up, the floor is invariably too hot for the first pizza so pull it back into the entry a bit. By about the third pizza it should be perfect. You must maintain a fire on the side while cooking pizzas or you won't maintain the high temps. Pizzas should take 2 mins cooked directly on the oven floor, or less if you're brave.Thin bases suit wood fired ovens best, make them as thin as you can.
              Last edited by david s; 02-19-2017, 01:24 PM.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


              • #8
                Originally posted by NJpizz View Post
                Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered working with the dough. I try to stretch it, but end up rolling it instead, usually pretty thin.
                i will be trying a new recipe based on what I have been reading in the forums...............
                Same goes for me NJPizz. (I'll probably get a blasphemy from the real pizzaiolas on the forum for this .) We do pizza, but not that often. Some time back, I picked up a tapered French rolling pin. Working from the middle outward it seems to stretch and thin the dough at the same time. You can also still have the usual thick edges for the pie. We usually finish the edges with our fingers.
                Last edited by Gulf; 02-19-2017, 04:15 PM.
                joe watson

                "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

                My Build
                My Picasa Web Album


                • #9
                  Two tips for the dough - first, use a lower gluten flour. I have made crust using my standard bread flour and it tends to be very rubbery and does not want to stretch. I have had good luck using Caputo 00 and Pivetti from a local import store. You can also get Caputo from our FB hosts. The other thing that works is to let the dough balls sit for quite a while to relax. If mine are really relaxed I just flatten them to 6 or 7 inches, then stretch over my knuckles. This works well and I don't have any spring back.
                  My build thread


                  • #10
                    After 1-2mins near the fire, try moving your pies to the outer edge of your heat range. I've found that this will make you dough crispier. It really also depends on what type of "crisp" you are looking for. You'll never get a "Jersey Bar Pie" crispiness from a wood fired oven. Like other members have said, using a rolling pin will make your dough thinner thereby crispier. Lots of tweaks with flour, hydration, and fermentation time.