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.
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!
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?
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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