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Old 01-30-2012, 11:18 AM   #21
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Since most clay and brick ovens have an active fire in them, they will always have the advantage of direct radiant heat from the fire source that speeds the heating and charring of the top of the pizza to help balance the intense heat of oven deck.

In a conventional oven the only radiant heat that reaches the top of the pizza is reflected from the oven walls an top, so the best placement of a pizza stone is high in the oven instead of the bottom. The high in the oven technique is advocated by both Cook’s Illustrated and Nathan Myhrvold in Modernist Cuisine. CI uses a conventional baking stone while Myhrvold uses a quarter inch steel plate cut to fit the oven. Since steel is a much better conductor of heat, it will preheat faster than ceramic and conduct heat into the pizza more efficiently for faster bottom browning. Using the broiler as a direct radiant heat source while the pizza is cooking is also recommended, but I think many broilers have upper limit shutoff that may interfere with the concept.

Either way, they key to properly cooked pizza is balance between top and bottom cooking. I get good results using my stone without the broiler when it is placed high in the oven so I am not quite ready to search for a 20 lb steel plate to improve my pizza, but since the steel plate will probably cost less than an a premium baking stone it is certainly a move worth considering.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Girl49 View Post
I got an Emile Henry baking stone for Christmas, and it works well in a home oven.

I, too, saw the Jamie Oliver pizza dough recipe...here at DC when a member recommended it. But, even though I found semolina flour at a local specialty food shop, haven't tried recipe yet 'cause it seems complicated (I'm a novice), and it makes a LOT of dough. Rather, used a Cooks Illustrated recipe, subbing King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour for some of the bread flour. It was good. Am going to make some more in a few days and use a little semolina and see how it comes out.

I haven't seen his before but I use a 20% mix of semolina in with my bread flour for making my pizzas. I don't make nearly this much dough when I make mine (unless I am freezing some for later use). I also use a stand mixer to do it instead, makes the whole process very easy peasy lemon squeezy.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Guts, I have a half decent oven and it is only maybe 2 years old. I still don't understand how you can get to 650. What brand/model of oven do you have.
Charlie it's a tapen (sp) range I just turned the temperature dial counterclockwise as far as it goes and uses selector on bake I have done no modifications to the oven. I fire the oven up with the stone in it and when I say 600° oven. I am using a infrared(and not a cheap one) going to shoot the stone and somewhere I have a picture when I first got this infrared again reading 612° on the stone. I just can't seem to find the picture right now. this is a gas oven not an electric oven. I don't know if you get electric ovens that hot.

here's a link to the pizza site that I visit quite often. If you're serious about pizza. This is a good discussion board. This is where I saw the information about modifying the ovens. And if you do searches on the site you will eventually see discussions on oven temperature. If you're really interested. Also on making pizzas. I do not use cups, spoons to measure. Thanks. I use weight to measure all my ingredients.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:12 AM   #24
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Gee whiz, Snoopy: you've never made homemade pizza before....and you're fussing so much about what flour to use....?

I've been making homemade pizza for years and years, even when my kids were small and older and at home....and never even gave a thought to the type of flour. I've used whatever I have on hand, usually regular baking flour, sometimes bread flour; I've tried whole wheat, or adding some wheat bran or oat bran, or even cracked wheat to a plain white flour.

I'd say: to make your very first homemade pizza dough - just go for it! with whatever regular flour you have on hand. You can always improve it later, with more tests . and ENJOY! It does fill the house with great pizza odors. And homemade is so delicious.

I didn't realize that there is an entire forum devoted to pizzamaking! Off to explore....
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:38 AM   #25
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Gee whiz, Snoopy: you've never made homemade pizza before....and you're fussing so much about what flour to use....?

I've been making homemade pizza for years and years, even when my kids were small and older and at home....and never even gave a thought to the type of flour. I've used whatever I have on hand, usually regular baking flour, sometimes bread flour; I've tried whole wheat, or adding some wheat bran or oat bran, or even cracked wheat to a plain white flour.

I'
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I hear ya. I have been making it for years also. I had a restaurant for 13 years also and spent three years in Italy where I watched and learned how to make pizza in the restaurant from experienced pizza cooks. And I also worked for other places that made pizza. It was always just general all purpose flour. It boils down to how you make and handle the dough and cook the pizza. Sure, you may get different results with different flours, but there is no reason you can't get premium pizza crust with all purpose flour. Just dig in and go for it.
This type of discussion reminds me of another hobby of mine which is drumming. On the drum message boards we talk endlessly about the differences and nuances of different drum materials such as steel, copper, maple, birch, brass, and how different depths and dimensions, different drum heads can all change the sound and which is better for certain situations etc. It can be laughable how geeky we can be. When a person listening just hears a "crack" when the drum is hit. It really doesn't make much of a difference to anybody else. I say "just hit the damn thing" Its the player, not the drum. Just like pizza dough. It's the cook, not the flour.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jim262 View Post
In a conventional oven the only radiant heat that reaches the top of the pizza is reflected from the oven walls an top, so the best placement of a pizza stone is high in the oven instead of the bottom. The high in the oven technique is advocated by both Cook’s Illustrated and Nathan Myhrvold in Modernist Cuisine. CI uses a conventional baking stone while Myhrvold uses a quarter inch steel plate cut to fit the oven. Since steel is a much better conductor of heat, it will preheat faster than ceramic and conduct heat into the pizza more efficiently for faster bottom browning.
I just watched a PBS cooking afternoon yesterday where they ran several cooking shows all on the topic of pizza, ATK, Lidia's Italy, even the home gardener guy... which led me to this topic.

The most interesting thing was the America's Test Kitchen show where they recommended putting your pizza stone on the top shelf and setting the shelf within a few inches of the top of the oven. It makes sense! Heat rises. The hottest part of the oven is the top! It makes sense to me that the pizza stone should be placed high in the oven. Also note that professional pizza ovens are short. There's no use in wasting the space that serves no purpose. And if a tall oven worked they'd be putting several pizzas in an oven, stacked... but they don't.

Another program (forgot which one) showed a pizza dough recipe that used only Tipo 00 flour, water, salt and dried yeast. It looked so simple! IIRC they let it rise only an hour before flattening and baking. I was impressed that the chef stretched his pizza dough out in about as long as it took me to type this paragraph--the dough was so supple!

Reading in this topic, I agree you don't need any special flour (although I may hunt down that type double-zero). I've made pizza only a couple dozen times, used bread flour, and it was delicious! Might have something to do with the satisfaction of making your own. (IIRC I had some EVOO in my pizza dough recipe)

I was searching counter top pizza ovens on the Internet and was amazed to find them ranging all the way from about $55 to about $6,600! I saw one at the lower end that said the thermostat was adjustable from 150° to 500°. Five hundred degrees? Sheesh, why bother? I'm sure most ovens get at least that hot. What's the point of having a dedicated pizza oven if it can't get up into that high range that seems to be so often recommended, maybe 650° or so?

So what I got out of my research:

(1) put the pizza stone at the top of the oven

(2) you can make good dough with only flour, water, salt, yeast

(3) pizza flour might be nice but you can use whatever you've got

(4) if you're buying a pizza oven you might not want the $55 model (although it's free shipping!)

(5) you probably want to get your oven pretty hot, maybe 650° if you can get there
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:56 AM   #27
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Guts I use 00 or 65 and 55 for all my yeast baking, the reason is that in the UK all white flour has calcium added by law and this affects the texture of the product ie it is impossible to get the light random holes in focaccia using it unless you add ascorbic acid.
I get good results using a stone in my Bompani at 600f but a wood fired oven would improve them.
Bolas, I've never heard anything about adding ascorbic acid to bread for focaccia. Does it react with the calcium, or is it just something that will always make random holes even if there is no added calcium in the flour? Is it added as a solid or dissolved in liquid before adding? Thank you in advance.

Pizza dough, I like it very elastic, I add gluten to my all purpose flour for all of my yeast doughs.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:14 AM   #28
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So Snoopy104, are you totally confused by now?
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:47 AM   #29
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Greg, I'm guessing that a small pizza oven would use less electricity than an entire stove oven might.....off to do some research. I like small appliances so I don't have to fire up the large one.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I saw one at the lower end that said the thermostat was adjustable from 150° to 500°. Five hundred degrees? Sheesh, why bother? I'm sure most ovens get at least that hot. What's the point of having a dedicated pizza oven if it can't get up into that high range that seems to be so often recommended, maybe 650° or so?
If I recall correctly you currently don't have an oven that can make pizza... The point might be you could, in far less room than a typical oven would take up.
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