Thank you both for responding. My post contained one error; I am kneading 6 minutes (not 9) prior to the 4 minute fold/turn.
Here is my dough recipe; a blend of two flours for the taste I am seeking:
7 oz unbleached KA white whole wheat flour (13% protein)
11 oz unbleached KA white all-purpose flour (11.7% protein)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/1 teaspoons Fleishmans Instant yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water at 95 degrees
Cornmeal for dusting counter

I turn the oven on 90 minutes prior to putting the pie in to allow the stone to fully heat. I DO NOT have an oven thermometer but now realize I need one as I have been told that the stove readout could be inaccurate-rookie error! I would like to hear from others who hand-knead to see if my six minute knead followed by 15 and then 4 minutes turn/fold prior to balling is about right. I do the windowpane test and it appears OK but I am not sure.

Would also like to know when forming the crust finger docking and turning, how much to press down on dough? I avoid touching the cornichona but feel I am "degassing" the crust as I push it out. Does that make sense? Please advise on this as well. All comments much appreciated-I never get insulted when learning from others.

Dual Oven- Smaller top oven better for pizza?

My oven goes to 550 and 15" pizza bake takes 8 1/2 minutes with a 1/3" crust, 7oz sauce and 7oz cheese.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

Parchment worked like a charm-I left it in the entire bake just to see if it would actually ignite at 550. Amazed that it did not. Took parchment out from under pie # 2 to see if the bottom of the crust was any different, but did not notice any appreciable difference. Thanks to all for your insight.

Dual Oven- Smaller top oven better for pizza?

I have the dual oven and I bake my pies on the top (with stone, have not ventured into steel yet). Despite the reduced square feet of the upper oven it keeps heat evenly and the smaller door profile lets far less heat escape when opening. My oven is all white including cooktop and that white cooktop ALWAYS looks dirty-needs constant cleaning so I would never get a white cooktop again.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

Thanks for the advice guys. Much appreciated.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

You guys figured it out for me!! The oil was dripping down onto the peel on the front end and that's where the pizza started to "grab" the peel, causing crust to fold on to itself. So if I forgo the oil, how do you get the cornichona from burning?

HELP with pizza dough recipe

Thank you all for your insight. Great tips about the cornmeal, making small test pies, and the flour. I was using unbleached regular flour but today I switched to 3 parts KA unbleached whole wheat and one part KA bread flour. Also cut back 2 tablespoons on the olive oil. Mixed it up and put in fridge about two hours ago so I will report back in 3 days. Thanks again. Live long and prosper.


Perhaps someone out there can comment on the various factors that contribute to a better oven rise in a 550 degree home oven.

My crust is crunchy and very tasty BUT it is not as "poofy" as I see in photos online of home-baked pies. I have been told that the really hot commercial ovens contribute to the oven rise & shorter bake times, but I know there are folks out there achieving poofy crusts at home.

I am mixing dough by hand and letting it cold ferment for 72 hours, then out of the fridge to sit for 3 hours on the counter.
These are the steps I have tried to achieve better oven rise with mixed results:

1.Increase hydration of the dough
2.Reduce salt and add the salt later in the mix process (with the oil)
3.Cut back on the dough kneading by one minute (for a total of 9 minute hand-knead and 4 minute fold/turn prior to balling).

I also tend to have difficulty with "pinching off" my dough balls prior to CF. I tuck under but never seem to reach a point where I can get the dough to "seal". Not sure why AND not sure if this makes a difference with the oven rise.

Is it possible that I am over-kneading the dough? When I remove dough after 72 hours there are usually 1 or 2 large bubbles on the top, and the bottom is fairly sticky and full of tiny bubble holes. Also, my dough ball weight is 17 ounces and I am stretching it out to a 15.5" crust. Is it possible I am making this crust stretch too much and thus thinning out the dough too much? Would this affect the oven rise?
As always, your assistance and insights are always much appreciated. Regards.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

Thanks for all the feedback re cornmeal and smoky kitchen. So tonight I took some of your advice and cut back on the cornmeal by 1/3 and substituted flour on the stone and peel, as well as being super careful not to get on oven bottom. Well, that part worked well; much less smoke. HOWEVER, I had a small disaster with pie #1 as I could not get it to slide off the peel; it once again got stuck, then came off in a series of folds onto the stone, and some even slid over the edge of the stone. A HUGE OVEN MESS to say the least. It was too hot to do anything so I shut the door and watched the bloody mess bake. Although I lost half the pie, the half that was saved was actually excellent; great crust, wonderful cornichona, excellent crunch.

I did not have the time to cool down,clean the oven & stone and then bake the second pie, so I used a pizza tin and put the pie on top of the stone in the tin. Well, the same dough batch in the tin took 17 minutes to bake at 550 degrees (the stone took about 6 minutes). For reasons unknown, the crust came out very thin and flat, as if all the air had been taken out. There were no poofy holes in the cornichona. I assume the long bake time does something bad to the dough?

Anyway, I don't know how to best solve the peel slide issue. Not sure what parchment paper is-won't it ignite at 550 degrees? If I make any more smoke my wife is going to beat me with the peel.
I watch the guys in the pizzarias and they shake the peel twice and it comes right off-don't get what I am doing wrong. I use a 17" stone and make a 16" pie, putting about 7 oz of sauce, 7oz of cheese, and some olive oil around the edge to prevent charring of the cornichona. My top oven is small and there is not much of an angle to slide the pie off-maybe 25 degrees. The peel is 20" with a long handle.

What would happen if I slid the pie onto the stone BEFORE the sauce, and then added it once on the stone? I know I would lose a lot of oven heat. Thanks guys!

Cornmeal on stone burning

I am a novice pizzamaker and got a great tip about using cornmeal on the stone for easier removal with the peel. However, the cornmeal is baked black and the smoke is overwhelming-sets off the smoke alarms and stinks up the house. I basically sprinkle the cornmeal but some always hits the bottom of the oven. Any suggestions?

HELP with pizza dough recipe

I am new to this site and need the help of pizzamakers.
I have been trying to make a Neapolitan Pizza that crust is about 1/4" in thickness. I have been using a cold rise process, with dough in fridge for 3 days.
Here are my issues:

•Upon removal from fridge, Dough was very sticky and extremely pliable. Seemed to be no resistance at all to it.
•Upon forming pizza, dough was stretching too thin and holes started to form as I was manipulating it.
•When transferring to pizzastone, dough did not maintain it's shape; stuck to stone and started to wrinkle as it was being transferred. (At this point no sauce on pie)
•Sauce put on immediately upon transfer; baked five minutes and then added cheeses and pepperoni.
•Tasty crust but too thin @ 1/8" could not pick up a slice; no firmness at all-limp.

What do I need to manipulate? Am I using too much yeast, too much olive oil, or what? Please help. Much appreciated.

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