Hello all, ok I’ll try to explain as best I can
I am doing dry-runs, have cooked 7 nights about 15 pizza per night, and the last 3 nights I have had burnt pizza bottoms/dough problems (I am making Neapolitan pies).
flour 100% (80-90%pastry-10-20%bread)
water 66, 63, 60, 61%
fresh yeast 0.2% (average)
All room temp rise, 2 hour bulk followed by 6-8 hour balled until cooking time. First day was over-proofed but had no burning problems. I hand mix with three 5-min rest periods at the end.
Cooking in a wood fired oven, first night I slid pizza in at a 440ºC hearth temp, steam escaped, turned at 30secs, again at 60 and out at 90. Perfect pizza, leoparding and all (pic attached)
Did that routine happily for 3 more days, then I got burning day 4-5-6, having to cook the pizzas at the oven opening where the floor is around 370ºC.
The best I can describe it is like this. When I have proper dough, you get tiny air bubbles that fill up on the pizza bottom, effectively “raising” the pizza off the cooking floor, sort of like bubble-pack or a waffle grid. This allows only the little bubbles to be in contact with the floor, and you have airflow to reduce burning. You only get black spots where the tiny bubbles are, the rest is golden.
[b]Last three nights, those little bubbles burst and therefore the pizza lay flat on the floor, and had massive burning (burnt halos where the bubbles burst), and burnt where the pizza was flattest on the floor (anyone ever noticed this?). The nice bubbles that don’t burst probably have a tighter gluten structure?!?)
The gluten development hasn’t been good either; the dough has become watery when stretched out (thin parts will shine), and toppings will wet it and have it stick to the peel or create holes when in the oven (this is a mess).[/b]
Can this all be a mixing problem? I changed my technique ever so slightly (but then again I work by feel usually not being a machine mixer).
We can’t afford a mixer right now, and truth be told, I have never had this problem this persistently. I though first it was yeast freshness, then too little bread flour in my mix (but my first four days were fine with my flour formulation - can’t get caputo here), but now I’m at a loss.
We’re in the final stages of testing, opening in about two weeks and now I’ve gotten nervous.
Any help and/or ideas will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for rambling on, but for the third night I have lived out my nightmares with no way to fix them (and with patrons expecting great pizza).