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Old 05-17-2012, 09:43 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Jim is right. I didn't think it through. A pizza stone isn't going to "draw" any moisture out of a pizza at 500 degrees. Any moisture present at that temperature will flash directly to water vapor--a gas--and mix with the other hot oven gasses. I can't imagine any type of stone or steel can have any other effect than conducting heat directly into the bottom of the pizza. The better the conductivity the better the heat transfer. The better the thermal mass the more heat can be stored in the stone or steel. Any thermal mass insufficiently low will result in a drop in cooking temperature and presumably inferior cooking, although I presume properly designed stones and steels are selected to have sufficient thermal mass.

What do they use in commercial ovens? What do they use in pizzerias? Even if they all use stones it could be because it's tradition.

Here's how I picture it. When the raw crust dough hits the hot stone, the moisture in the dough is vaporized by the heat (turned to steam). It's trapped between the dough and the pizza bottom. Either it stays there longer and effects the crust with its moisture or some escapes into the pores of the stone.

If the steam is trapped, the crust won't dry and cannot start browning and crisping. Think about how we are always instructed to dry meat before browning to improve the process.

From what I've read, seen, heard, commercial pizza ovens are lined with some sort of brick/firebrick/refractory brick.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #52
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Certainly you don't want the steam to be trapped.

OK commercial pizza ovens are lined with brick, but what is the cooking surface the pizza sits on? Also brick?
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
...but what is the cooking surface the pizza sits on? Also brick?

Yes, the whole inside of the oven is lined with the same material.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #54
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There is a big difference between AP
and bread flour. The flavor and oven spring are not the same.

Aunt Bea, if you are looking for a cheap great tasting bread flour try the Gold Medal "better for bread flour" sold at Walmart. I can get a 5 lb sack here for $2.80.
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #55
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Can somebody explain to me what the poolish is in a simple terms, please. I googled it, but still don't get it.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Jim is right. I didn't think it through. A pizza stone isn't going to "draw" any moisture out of a pizza at 500 degrees. Any moisture present at that temperature will flash directly to water vapor--a gas--and mix with the other hot oven gasses. I can't imagine any type of stone or steel can have any other effect than conducting heat directly into the bottom of the pizza. The better the conductivity the better the heat transfer. The better the thermal mass the more heat can be stored in the stone or steel. Any thermal mass insufficiently low will result in a drop in cooking temperature and presumably inferior cooking, although I presume properly designed stones and steels are selected to have sufficient thermal mass.

What do they use in commercial ovens? What do they use in pizzerias? Even if they all use stones it could be because it's tradition.
The Little Caesars 'round the corner from me uses cast iron pans.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:54 AM   #57
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Can somebody explain to me what the poolish is in a simple terms, please. I googled it, but still don't get it.
Poolish is french for Polish. Its a type of preferment where I take some of the flour,half of the yeast and all of the water (this is not the classic method) mix and leave in a cool place for 24 hrs then add the remaining ingredients.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #58
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Yes, the whole inside of the oven is lined with the same material.
I have worked at 3 diff pizza places when I was in college. All 3 used thin aluminum pans because they outline the size of the pizza, they easily slide in and out of the pizza oven (which has a very small opening, height wise), and they heat up quickly. The dough was never laid directly on the firebrick. Unsanitary to say the least. But thin metal conducts heat quicker than an unheated stone, and a holey pan or a screen lets the moisture escape quickly.

Now to cooking at home... I prefer to make my dough at least 24 hours in advance, and I "feel like" 3 days in the fridge is better. I often make the dough, put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge, then into the freezer for 2-3 months ( but they NEVER last that long!! ). When we want pizza, we take the dough out the night before to thaw in the fridge, then take it out of the fridge 2-3 hours before making to come to room temp for handling.

I have a pampered chef pizza stone. If I preheat it, I get crispier pizza crust. If not, I get chewier crust (everyone loves the supreme cooked this way), and for my BBQ chicken pizza, I prefer a thin, holeyy metal round pizza pan. Makes for a nice, crispy crust. And I have learned to cook one pizza at a time on 550* on top shelf... But if I MUST cook 2 at once, the stone goes on the lower rack, or else the metal pan burns while the stone under cooks.

To do a stone pizza properly, one needs to preheat the stone, and a peel to transfer the pizza onto it. If using a cold stone, I just slap out my dough and make the pizza directly on the stone itself.

Many who have eaten my pizza tell me it's better than anything in the restaurant. Fresh ingredients and letting the dough "proof" for at least 24-72 hours is what I feel is the secret. That and MINIMAL tomato sauce. I have made the dough and cooked it right away, and it is also good... But slapping out fresh dough is not as easy. Letting it proof at least an hour is preferable.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #59
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I have worked at 3 diff pizza places when I was in college. All 3 used thin aluminum pans because they outline the size of the pizza, they easily slide in and out of the pizza oven (which has a very small opening, height wise), and they heat up quickly. The dough was never laid directly on the firebrick. Unsanitary to say the least. But thin metal conducts heat quicker than an unheated stone, and a holey pan or a screen lets the moisture escape quickly.
A lot of pizza joints use screens because it is much easier for people to handle the pies going into the oven.

I can't imagine why you would think it is unsanitary for the pizza to touch the brick when these ovens run 700-800F, what is gonna survive that for more than a fraction of a second?
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #60
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I have eaten at dozens of diff pizza joints and they don't use pans at all. I prefer NY style pizzas with a thin chewy crust.

Gas fired pizza ovens with a ceramic floor. The pizza is built on the peel and slid off the peel onto the oven floor.
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