Problems with new ovens

Well we finally got rid of our old Lang deck oven dinosaurs and replaced them with Baker’s Pride P44S ovens…

http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/Hearthbake/HB_P44S_P44BL.pdf

For the most part, these ovens are working well for us; much better than the old Lang that I couldn’t even get spare parts for anymore.

Anyway, onto the problem.

We are having problems getting the toppings/cheese to brown before the bottom or upper exposed crust gets too dark to serve to a customer. I have even resorted to cooking the pizza the entire time on a screen, but I still cannot get the top to finish up with those nice brown spots you get on cooked cheese (and we used to get in the old Lang).

The only factor is the new oven. Same Cheese, same toppings, same crust. It doesn’t matter which deck we use or how hot the oven is set to (I have tried temps from 500-550 degrees).

The strange thing is that I called Baker’s Pride and he tells me he has never heard this problem, in fact typically hears the opposite… top cooks, but bottom doesn’t as quickly.

So I am wondering about our dough recipe. What if we cut back on our olive oil? Should that help keep it from getting so dark so fast? Our recipe more less was an evolution of finding something that worked in the old Lang ovens, so I am wondering if it needs adjustment.

Any other ideas?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Here’s a shot in the dark, since we don’t know your dough recipe or prep process:

If you use sugar in your dough recipe, cut it down or out. Sugar makes it brown faster.

You can wipe a little EVOO on your dough edge before you pop it in the oven. That will retard browning, too.

Hi Decidion

There is no adjustment on your ovens for top and bottom heat.

You will have to experiment with your dough until yo get the right recipe for your ovens.

George Mills

Yep, remove any sugar, milk, or eggs from your dough formula and give that a try. This will slow down the color development of the bottom of your crust allowing time for the top to get properly baked.
How are you shaping your pizza skins? By hand, press, or with a sheeter/dough roller? It can make a big difference in how the pizzas bake.
Please let us know.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom,
I thought the sugar was in the dough for the yeast to feed on. I have y600 Baker’s Pride ovens and have a terrible time with the bottoms cooking ahead of the tops. Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.

I’ll try cutting back on the sugar, but like JollyPizza, I thought you had to have sugar for the yeast to feed. Less sugar = less yeast activity, correct?

We current use a sheeter to press out our pies. I shape the doughball by hand, roll it out a bit so that it is thin enough to get fed into the sheeter and send it through. Would using a sheeter cause it to cook the dough faster?

We’ve never added sugar to our recipe and the yeast rises fine. Try removing the sugar entirely and perhaps bump the yeast amount. What does your baker’s recipe look like?

Yes, the “need sugar” thing is a myth. You don’t need sugar if you use your dough within a couple of days. You’ll usually need a little if you are trying to extend using it (in a cold/refrigerated) growth cycle into the 3rd day.

Yeast works just fine until about the 72 hour mark.

If you don’t believe it, try a small test batch.

There is no sugar in Neapolitan or original NY pizzas. Flour, water, salt, yeast and oil. That’s it.

I’d suggest getting intimately familiar with all the baffles in the oven. You have the inside baffles that can increase the cook speed, then the manual knobs can be pulled out to make the tops cooks quicker. Basically, if you can increase the hot airflow into the bake compartment, the top will move right along. Find the balance. This is going to be an often moving target on busy nights. As volume increases, you’ll need different setting than in slower (less open/close) periods. It is an active art managing a BP600 effectively.