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Troubleshooting - burnt bottom

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  • Troubleshooting - burnt bottom

    We recently got an il fornino pizza oven. My problem is that the my go-to dough, which worked very well on a baking steel in my oven at around 550 F, is getting a scorched bottom in the wood fired oven. I can't figure out if the issue is the recipe, or the way I'm handling the oven.

    Technical details:
    Dough: The recipe is the neapolitan pizza dough recipe from Modernist Bread - small amount of preferment 12 hours, plus tipo 00 flour, yeast, diastatic malt powder, water, salt, a little olive oil, cold rise overnight.
    Oven: Fire is built with kindling and hardwood at front of oven, door closed after it catches, then pushed to back after the initial blaze dies down, around 30 minutes. I then add another log to heat it up again and let it go, for probably another 30. I start to cook when I see the temperature at the front of the oven is around 600F, as measured by the temperature gauge on the door. At this point, my IR thermometer typically reads between 700-800 for the floor of the oven.

    Using this setup, I tend to scorch the bottom before I get a nice leopard spotted crust, which I can get at about 2 minutes. Any thoughts on what is causing this? I'm considering two theories - the diastatic malt powder might be releasing too much sugar and the yeast hasn't caught up to it with the cold rise. Or I'm somehow not getting the roof of the oven hot enough to properly cook the top of the pizza.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

  • #2
    I'm a Neapolitan fan. My favourite style. It might be more accurate to call myself a Margherita Tragic....

    Here is my take:
    That isn't a Neapolitan pizza dough recipe.
    I reckon you should ditch the olive oil and the malt.

    I put 600 mL water in the bowl of our kitchen mixer, start the mixer, sprinkle in about half of a one kilo bag of flour, after that is incorporated I sprinkle in 1 level teaspoon of instant dry yeast.
    After that has fully incorporated I start sprinkling in 4 level teaspoons of salt, slowly, allowing it to evenly incorporate as I go,
    When that all seems to have mixed evenly, I start adding the rest of the flour, until I have sprinkled in all of the one kilo bag I started with.

    Then I just let it all mix until I have a nice smooth dough ball. Give it a few stretch and folds then bulk ferment overnight at room temp in winter, fridge in summer. About 4 - 6 hours before use ball it and let it all relax at room temp.

    Also I googled the oven name. It appears the dome is actually a barrel shape and is made of stainless steel. I'd imagine there is a heat mismatch to some extent.
    For Neapolitan style you must keep a flame going, rolling over the top. This ensures you get plenty of top heat before the bottom burns.
    Last edited by wotavidone; 10-17-2018, 02:47 PM.