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Detroit Style Pizza Techniques

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  • coreyo
    Club Member
    • Aug 2015
    • 38

    #31
    I had a very busy weekend, but I managed to do a few pizzas on Friday. First, let's look at the new equipment.

    https://lloydpans.com/landing-pages/detroit

    Behold! My new Lloyd 8" x 10" Detroit Style Pizza Pan:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pan accessories.jpg Views:	1 Size:	892.5 KB ID:	679143
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pan 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	717.8 KB ID:	679144
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Lloyd Pan 2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	764.8 KB ID:	679145

    My first impressions really are very good. From the moment that I held it in my hands, I could tell that this was a high-gauge, high quality pan. I was actually quite surprised that the inside of the pan resembled your standard, non-stick Teflon pan. The literature says that these pans are rated for up to 700F. The literature also points out that this is a commercial pan. As such, the focus is on full functionality, not aesthetics. Because of the processes they use, you can see all types of imperfections that happen during manufacturing such as weld marks, rivet marks, marks from the clamps used to manipulate the pan during construction, etc. They refer to these as "beauty marks":
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Lloyd Pan Welded.jpg Views:	1 Size:	396.9 KB ID:	679146
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pan beauty marks.jpg Views:	1 Size:	393.7 KB ID:	679147
    Personally, I do not mind these at all. The pans are still beautiful to me. I've never owned a high-end commercial-grade pan before. This is easily the nicest, highest quality pan that I have ever owned. The lids are very nice to have, especially if you want to get several of these pans and stack them on top of one another while the dough is proofing. I also bought the 7" mini pizza peel. In all honesty, this is not something that really has much of a function. I'm not sure how often I'll use it. It's too wide to slip into the short side of the 8" x 10" pizza pan. I'll let you know if I find a good use for it. I'm excited to see how well this pan holds up over time and just whether or not they are worth the money. I can tell you they are definitely over-priced, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy them.

    A word on the pans that I'm using: It should be noted that most of the cast-iron and baking pans are flared. Like all of my other pans, even though the Lloyd pan measures 8" x 10" at the top, the surface area on the bottom of the pan is only 6.25" x 8.25". The pan is actually much smaller than it seems in the pictures. Likewise, my Bayou Classic 8" x 8" cast-iron pan only has a bottom area measuring 7.5" x 7.5". Regardless, At 51.56 square inches and 56.25 square inches respectively, I was delighted to see that the ingredient proportions would be the same for both of them. I still think that this is the perfect size for a Detroit-Style pizza.

    Now onto the pizza! I wanted to show a comparison between the products of my cast-iron Bayou Classic 8" x 8" pan and the Lloyd aluminum 8" x 10" pans. For both of the pizzas, I used about 10oz of Alton Brown's dough with a slow rise overnight in the refrigerator, and a 4-hour proof in the pan before baking. I also used about 7oz of my cheese mixture for each of the pizzas. The pizza oven was set between 600F and 650F.

    My mom flew in for Mothers day, and so ended up making a much more boring cheese pizza for my wife and mom. For this, I used my tried and true cast-iron pan. Because I was not adding pepperoni, I decided to allow the crust and cheese to bake for 9 minutes, then add the sauce and allow an additional 3 minutes to finish. As usual with the cast-iron pan, the olive oil under the crust began to boil right about the 4-minute mark.

    Here are the results:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese pizza top.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.62 MB ID:	679148
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese pizza angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.57 MB ID:	679149
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese pizza side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	931.5 KB ID:	679150
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese pizza bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	835.7 KB ID:	679151
    I was eager to make a cheese pizza because I wanted to show a few things.
    #1. You can see how the overall shape of the pizza is light and puffy in the center with a thin, jagged, crusty cheese perimeter. It's like a little square puffy pillow.
    #2. This is the optimal way to apply your tomato sauce: One wide, thin dollop of sauce in the center of each individual slice of pizza. This obviously requires you to plan where you are going to cut your pizza ahead of time. Here you can clearly see that this pizza was made to have 4 pieces.
    #3. You can see the caramelization of the cheese on the top. Even better when the pepperoni turns crunchy. This is one of the reasons that I have really enjoyed using the hotter pizza oven as an alternative to the cooler kitchen oven.

    Overall, the crust looked beautiful. You can see the the thin crusty layer on the bottom that fried in the olive oil. Only a few millimeters in, you can see the light. fluffy-white center of the bread. I'm not sure why, but a small part of the crust did stick to the bottom of the pan this time. You can see on the bottom left where it ripped a little bit as I was releasing it from the pan with a metal spatula. My wife is not particularly fond of pizza, nor has she been particularly excited about my weekly pizza experiments. Even so, after wolfing down a bite of this pizza, she described it as "Great!".

    Next I made my usual pepperoni pizza in my new Lloyd pan. I knew from previous attempts with cheap, thinner cake pans that I would probably need to alter the temperature, bake time, or both. I lowered the heat down just a smidge (closer to 600F). The layer of olive oil underneath the dough began to boil in under 2 minutes (less than half the time it takes with the cast-iron pan). I ended the first cheese-and-dough phase a minute early, allowing only 5 minutes. I piled the pepperoni on top and cautiously placed it back in for another 5 minutes. Being afraid of the blazing pizza oven now, I noticed that the pepperoni and cheese didn't get quite as much time to really crisp up and caramelize as I would have liked. It was still pretty good, just not ideal. I pulled the Lloyd-pan pizza out after 10 minutes of total bake time. Here were the results:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pizza 0.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.25 MB ID:	679152
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pizza 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	869.1 KB ID:	679153
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pizza 2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	846.4 KB ID:	679154
    Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd pizza 3.jpg Views:	1 Size:	917.4 KB ID:	679155

    As you can see, even with the temperature lowered just a smidge and the cook time reduced by a total of 2 minutes, the crust was significantly darker all-around. The cheez-it crust around the perimeter of the crust was the most noticeable difference. Not only is it darker, but the smoother, non-stick finish of the Lloyd pan made it look almost glossy. Overall, the results from the Lloyd pan are not as visually appealing as with the cast-iron. The cast-iron pan seems to provide a buffer that slows down the heating process and spreads it more evenly. It is yet unclear to me if lowering the temperature when using a thinner pan will produce the same results. I will need to do at least 2 or 3 more cooks with it to properly experiment.

    I also took the time to cut some cross-sections and document them in photos.

    Here is a cross section of the cast-iron cheese pizza:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese cross 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	567.5 KB ID:	679156
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cheese cross 2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	886.2 KB ID:	679157

    Here is a cross section of the pepperoni pizza done in the Lloyd pan:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	pepperoni cross 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.18 MB ID:	679158

    You can see that the inside of the crust on both pizzas was fluffy, moist, and spongy regardless of the color on the outside. The inner consistency of each pizza was very close. I think that the cast-iron crust was a just a little bit fluffier. It felt a little bit lighter in the mouth. In the pictures, it looks like the sponge cells (air pockets) are slightly larger in the cast-iron pizza than the Lloyd pan pizza. Let me know if you think that I'm imagining it.

    Despite being less visually appealing, the darker Lloyd pan pizza had a more satisfying "crunch" factor. Cutting the Lloyd pizza was a louder affair. Each bite had a little extra crunch to it. In some ways, it was preferable to the prettier cast-iron pizza. This only raises more questions! How can I split the difference for the perfect mix of crunchiness, flakiness, pillowy-ness, and sex appeal?

    I wanted to take this opportunity to note that this is not a knock on the Lloyd pans. From what I can see, these pans are about as good as they come. Being a fan of cast-iron, I know how it is generally superior to even the most expensive all-clad pans when seasoned and utilized properly. Any comparisons are purely due to the fact that the cast-iron pans have significantly more mass and a better ability to store and distribute heat. My approach here has been a major departure from Detroit-Style tradition, and I will have to experiment more before I can claim any superiority over the cast-iron approach.

    From here, I will continue my experiments with the aluminum pans vs the cast-iron pans. I might also try experimenting with some additional chemical leaveners to see if I can get just a bit of extra lift in the final bake process. Does anyone have any ideas about how to do that?

    Until Next Week...

    Comment


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      I'd happily eat either one of those.

    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      I have those pans on my wish list. The company that makes them is local to me too. Wish they had a retail store or sold factory seconds or something like that.
  • JeffJ
    Charter Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 2409
    • Michigan
    • Jeff

    #32
    You are KILLING me with these pics. I'm on a diet, for Pete's sake.

    Comment

    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 9273
      • Kansas Territory
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      #33
      Thanks, still very much enjoyin yer post!
      Beautimous lookin pies, Brother!

      Comment

      • au4stree
        Former Member
        • Aug 2018
        • 554
        • Birmingham, AL

        #34
        Outstanding, you’re in your element.

        Comment

        • klflowers
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 3216
          • Tennessee

          #35
          Excellent looking pizza. As usual.

          Comment

          • coreyo
            Club Member
            • Aug 2015
            • 38

            #36
            Sorry for the delay on this one guys. I've been a little more waylaid at work this week. First, I wanted to share some news. I ordered a Roccbox last week directly from Gozney as a birthday present to myself. I was vacillating between this or the Ardore, but ultimately I liked the more versatile, compact and portable design of the Roccbox. I have no idea when it will arrive, but I really look forward to posting my results using my new $600 toy soon. If anyone in this thread is as of yet unfamiliar with the product, here is a link: https://www.gozney.com/store/us/rocc-ovens/roccbox

            If anyone else is considering a pizza oven, the 3 most advocated camps are the Ooni Pro, Roccbox, and Ardore.

            Completely off topic... I recently got into playing DCS world with a VR headset. VKB Sim actually got some of their joysticks in stock for the first time in ... well I have no idea. It's been at least 8 months since I began watching them. I saw a notification in my inbox right as I was about to leave for the gym. Long story short, I was late to the gym this morning because I had to order the gunfighter MK.II Pro and MCG Pro grip before they were gone again for who knows how long. 2 birthday presents for me? Have to give a shout-out while I'm writing this up if anyone else is interested and missed their current in-stock status: https://vkbcontrollers.com/

            Okay, to the good stuff:

            I prepared 3 pizzas last Saturday. I have learned that, without a doubt, THE most important part of the Detroit style pizza is the crust. There are subtle nuances in the crust that can make or break the experience. My focus as of late has been on precisely the crust itself. My experiment this week included dough recipe, pan type, and temperature tweaking.

            Firstly, I tried the dough recipe from the Detroit Style Pizza Company here:



            Secondly, I have noticed that they are using much lower temperatures than me. I lowered the temperature on my pizza oven topper a bit and cooked two pizzas this way. I cooked the pizza in the Lloyd pan a bit lower than the cast-iron pan to avoid the overly dark crust that I had last week. I cooked a third pizza in my cheap, nonstick 8" x 8" cake pan in my kitchen oven at its maximum temperature setting (500F). I decided to use the lowest baking rack, and I did not want the pan to make contact with the pizza stone at the bottom of the oven. This would give me an idea of how well I could reproduce these pizzas in other people's setups. As is now my protocol, the dough proofed in the pans for about 3 hours before I began the baking process. The results were interesting, and I have included some pretty detailed pictures below. Take note of the crust with a special focus on the cheez-it crust around the side of the crust, the color on the bottom of the crust, and the fluffy texture inside the crust.

            Thirdly, I tried adding some onions to see what would happen. Long story short, not bad, totally a preference thing ... can't give any major insight on this one.


            1. Cast Iron | Pizza Oven Topper | 575F - 600F (cheese w/ onions on half)

            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron top.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.08 MB ID:	683167
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.74 MB ID:	683166
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron side crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	928.4 KB ID:	683163
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron bottom crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	773.8 KB ID:	683161
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1,014.2 KB ID:	683162
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza cast-iron cross-section2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	490.6 KB ID:	683160

            2. Lloyd Pan | Pizza Oven Topper | 500F - 525F (pepperoni)

            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd top.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.64 MB ID:	683175
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.23 MB ID:	683176
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd side crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	645.3 KB ID:	683169
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd bottom crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.02 MB ID:	683164
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd bottom crust2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	698.3 KB ID:	683165
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza lloyd cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.10 MB ID:	683173


            3. Cheap Nonstick Pan | Kitchen Oven | < 500F (pepperoni w/ onions) - No PIzza Stone

            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza oven top.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.05 MB ID:	683174
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza oven side crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	692.7 KB ID:	683170
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza oven bottom crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	564.0 KB ID:	683168
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza oven bottom crust2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	687.4 KB ID:	683171
            Click image for larger version  Name:	pizza oven cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	860.5 KB ID:	683172


            The basic takeaways from this week are as follows:

            1. The DSPC dough recipe is likely responsible for some gains in the lift that I received. One universal is that the water ratio of the dough should be quite high. The dough should be soft, sticky, and hard to handle without oiled hands. This results in a lighter fluffier dough with more rise. The added bit of semolina flour may also have helped this. Unfortunately, I didn't quite enjoy the taste of this pizza crust as much as the Alton Brown recipe that I have used the last two weeks. I suspect that it needs more salt. The dough also had a much softer overall texture that seemed to have little or no chewiness. While kind of nice for the center of the dough, it was a turn-off for the crust. I found it to be a net-negative.

            2. I suspect that the lower baking temperatures make for a higher, fluffier rise in the dough. Unfortunately, they also make for a much lighter crust. You can see, as compared with my previous pizzas, the bottom and sides of the crust are much lighter in texture. This was a net-negative, and it simply was not as enjoyable as having that solid flaky crunch that my previous pizzas had.

            3. The Lloyd pan still had the least amount of rise and lift, but you can see that it was still pretty good overall. I believe it's just a matter of locking the temperature in for that specific pan. The final lift was still better than most of my previous attempts from any pan.

            4. The kitchen oven pizza was clearly the least enjoyable here. I cooked the pizza for a combined total of 15 minutes as recommended in the video. Since I opted not to put the pan directly on top of the pizza stone, the underside of the crust did not darken AT ALL. You can see how it is an abysmally light yellow color. The texture was not particularly pleasant by comparison. The longer baking time did however produce plenty of brown on the cheese, crispiness on the pepperoni, and some nice bubbles in the dough. Interestingly enough, this pizza had the darkest cheez-it crust around the edge of the pan and the fluffiest rise out of the 3. It looks like the heat hitting the top of the pan is all that is needed to form and darken the cheez-it crust.

            Coming Up:
            1. I'll try hybridizing The dough recipe a bit to see if I can find a good mix of lift, texture, and taste
            2. Turn the temperature back up.
            3. I might try starting with a slightly lower temperature, then jacking up the heat on the last half of the bake to see if I can get a little more rise from the dough before darkening the crust.

            Thanks again for all of the kind comments and encouragement. I hope to see some other people posting pictures of their attempts as well.

            Comment

            • RonB
              Club Member
              • Apr 2016
              • 12689
              • Near Richmond VA
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              #37
              Thanx for doin' this. I am following with great interest.

              Comment

              • coreyo
                Club Member
                • Aug 2015
                • 38

                #38
                My Roccbox just appeared at my gate! Took about 1 week to receive it directly from Gozney. I'll post some Roccbox pizza in a few days.

                Comment

                • coreyo
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2015
                  • 38

                  #39
                  I was able to continue my experiments this weekend on my new Roccbox. In many ways, this was like starting over. I was just beginning to get the hang of my Camp Chef "Italia" pizza oven with all of its nuances. The characteristics of the Roccbox are quite a bit different. While I was doing a test run of the oven and its propane burner, I noticed that the flame was extending out the front of the oven mouth and scorching the face of the oven. After contacting Gozney about it, they said that my burner was "overperforming" and have offered to send me a new propane adapter. I'm not sure how this will change the way that the oven cooks. Here's what I was experiencing:

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	roccboxflame.jpg Views:	1 Size:	309.7 KB ID:	687058

                  Here's a Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/LB3e6AfTV4W9e4aY6

                  At any rate, the big difference is that the Italia Artisan pizza oven is heated by standard propane stove burners underneath. This causes the temperature of the stone on the bottom of the oven to be hotter than the top of the oven. This seems to be a very good thing where pan pizzas are concerned. The Roccbox, however, is driven by an open flame that licks the top of the oven. It takes significantly longer to preheat the stone underneath, but is rated for higher overall temperatures by several hundred degrees F.

                  Even at only 1/3rd of the max temperature on the Roccbox's built-in thermometer, the pizza stone on the bottom was hitting temperatures in excess of 600F. I cooked my first pizza in the cheap, thin non-stick pan. The flame at the top is quite intense. The oil under the crust was boiling within about 45 seconds and the cheese quickly began to bubble and brown. Air bubbles rose in the crust itself. The top of the pizza looked amazing and was about to become overdone. I feared that the crust was burning anyway, so I took it out after only a 7 minute cook. QUITE THE OPPOSITE. It seems now that my new oven has the opposite characteristic. Because the pizza stone on the bottom is heated by the flame above, it seems that only the residual heat on the stone is transferred into the pizza pan. While the cheese was a beautiful dark, golden brown, the crust was abysmally light:

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cheap-top.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.59 MB ID:	687061
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cheap-angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.51 MB ID:	687060Click image for larger version  Name:	cheap-crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	682.1 KB ID:	687059

                  It became clear to me that the heat needed to be higher. I cranked the internal thermometer up another 100C. The pizza stone was reaching temperatures of over 700F. The next pizza was prepped in the Lloyd pan. Once in the oven, the olive oil was bubbling in under 30 seconds! I kept the pizza in as long as I could stand to see the top of the pizza stand up to the flame. Large air bubbles rose violently up toward the open flame on the ceiling. I kept trying to rotate them away from the back of the oven, but they kept rising. The places that rose too high quickly became charred and blackened. The taste of those charred bubbles was not pleasant. However, the finished product yielded a much better crust underneath (for those taking notes, this one had way too much tomato sauce):

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd-angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.27 MB ID:	687045
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd-crust.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.33 MB ID:	687046
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd-bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	790.4 KB ID:	687047

                  My third pizza was prepped in the Bayou Classic cast-iron pan. This was my "pepperoni mountain" pizza. The gozney integrated thermometer is in Celsius, so I waited until the thermometer read about 425C before I put the cast-iron pan into the oven. The oil began bubbling after about a minute and a half. I figured that I could leave the pizza in a little bit longer, since I was going to add a buffer zone of sauce and pepperoni halfway through the bake. After some time, I turned up the flame a little bit higher to make sure that the pepperoni got crispy. This proved to be a mistake. The pepperoni began to char. Once I pulled the pizza out of the oven, I was quite disappointed. The bottom was almost as light as the first pizza. The cast-iron, in this case, was proving to be a negative. This is a frist. The dough did not even properly stand up to removal from the pan (as you will see). Here are the results:

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cast-iron-angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.71 MB ID:	687049
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cast-iron-bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	566.4 KB ID:	687048

                  Here is a lineup of the underside of each pizza:

                  Cheap pan, lower temp:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cheap-bottom-slice.jpg Views:	2 Size:	589.6 KB ID:	687050

                  Lloyd pan, higher temp:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd-bottom-slice.jpg Views:	2 Size:	682.3 KB ID:	687052

                  Cast-iron pan, higher temp
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cast-iron-bottom-slice.jpg Views:	2 Size:	747.9 KB ID:	687051

                  And here are the shots of the cross-sections from each pizza compared (cheap pan, Lloyd pan, Cast-Iron pan from left to right):
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	comparison side-by-side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	551.6 KB ID:	687053

                  Cheap Pan:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cheap-cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	893.7 KB ID:	687064

                  Lloyd Pan:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	lloyd-cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	754.7 KB ID:	687066

                  Cast-Iron Pan:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	cast-iron-cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	913.4 KB ID:	687065

                  Lessons Learned:

                  - I love a good "pepperoni mountain" pizza. I make at least one each week. However, there is something elegant about the traditional Detroit style pizza with only cheese and sauce on top. For my first pizza, I decided to do the traditional "pepperoni under the cheese" method. I found some great Boar's Head "3 Pepper Colby Jack" cheese at the local grocery deli. This is really just a fancy variation on a pepperjack cheese, but a particularly good one. This time, instead of 25% provolone in my cheese mix, I used 25% of this "3 pepper colby jack". Mixed with the spicy sauce and spicy pepperoni, it was FANTASTIC. It was noticeable but not overpowering. The final product was still somewhat elegant. I'm not saying that it's better than a traditional blend, but it is definitely nice to have the variety when you're making more than one. I highly recommend trying this one.

                  - A rocket blast of heat on the top of the pizza makes the final toppings better

                  - As with before, heat from above the pan seems to drive the dark cheez-it crust around the edge. This does not come from the pizza stone underneath the pizza.

                  - The lightest crust still had the highest rise, although the total disparity between pizzas wasn't significant. Lower temperatures definitely help to lift the crust.

                  - The original DSPC dough recipe simply did not have enough flavor to it. Every time that I mix a batch of the Alton Brown dough recipe, I become uneasy at the amount of salt that goes into the crust. The raw dough seems overly salty right out of the mixer, but it seems to be just right once it emerges from the oven. This week, I used the DSPC dough recipe, but used twice as much salt (4 teaspoons instead of 2). It was definitely an improvement.

                  - The newer generation of flame-on-top pizza ovens require additional time to heat the bottom stone thoroughly. The stone seems to work as a heat battery, which quickly depletes once the pan is placed on top of it. For this reason, stone temperatures must be much higher at the surface than with other bottom-up ovens to achieve similar results.

                  For next weekend:

                  - I will be heating the Roccbox until the integrated thermometer reaches between 415 and 500C, then trimming the burner back to its lowest setting before inserting the pizza. I might also try leaving the pizza in its pan for an extra minute or two after the bake and before moving it to the cutting board.
                  - I will try using the Alton Brown pizza dough recipe as my base this time, replacing 1/2 cup of the bread flour with semolina flour to see if that gives me the same taste while achieving similar lift to the DSPC recipe.
                  - I will be arming myself with a long bamboo skewer. As soon as I see a dough bubble begin to rise toward the flame, I will pop it to prevent the charred black spots.

                  Thanks again for all of the support. I hope that this is useful to those looking to tackle the Detroit Style pizza.
                  Last edited by coreyo; May 30, 2019, 02:03 PM.

                  Comment


                  • EdF
                    EdF commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Appreciate your detailed analysis!
                • coreyo
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2015
                  • 38

                  #40
                  I was losing a bit of steam after the mediocre batch that I had last week. So much of the process has been figuring out how to deal with specific ovens and their temperature differentials. This week I had a bit of a breakthrough with the Roccbox which resulted in some of the best crust textures that I have yet achieved. Gozney has sent me a replacement propane adapter and It should arrive before my next batch. I'm hoping that this will allow me to dial the top flame back even more during cooks. I'm looking forward to next weekend.

                  The Roccbox must be preheated properly, and this was party of my problem last week. My current strategy is to allow the Roccbox's internal thermometer to reach 400C and then give it at least another 15 minutes to ensure that the heat is thoroughly saturated. I'm finding that the temperature does not seem to dip during cooks once I've done this. It's also necessary to dial the flame back to its lowest setting before placing the pan into the oven to keep the top from burning. Additionally, I had to give the pan a quarter of a turn waiting no more than 1 minute between turns. I used a bamboo skewer to pop and flatten any bubbles that arose from the top of the crust as quickly as I could to keep them from burning in the flame up above. I ultimately figured out that I could kill the flame entirely for the last minute of the bake to prevent to top from being too dark.

                  Now that I have established a protocol to deal with the massive amounts of heat, I can see the benefits of having it. You can think of searing a steak or flash frying pastries. The high heat darkens the outside of the food before the heat can evenly be distributed into the center of the food. In this case, it allows you to achieve maximum crustification without over-cooking the center of the dough. My latest pizzas had an incredibly pleasant feeling in the mouth. Cutting the pizzas and biting into them yielded a satisfying crunch, but the inside of the dough was still moist, steamy, and very soft. Let's take a look:

                  I wanted to start with the results from the Lloyd pan (my second attempt). Using this method, it seems to be yielding the best results. I dialed the flame back to its lowest setting, then I placed the pan into the oven. I set the timer for 5 minutes, turning the pizza a quarter of a turn every 1 minute. After 4 minutes, I turned off the flame completely, gave the pan another turn, then and allowed the pizza to remain in contact with the bottom of the oven for another minute to help darken the bottom of the crust. I just want to reiterate that this pizza was cooked entirely in no more than 5 minutes!
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	2l-angle.jpg Views:	2 Size:	1.01 MB ID:	689203
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	2l-side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	681.2 KB ID:	689202
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	2l-bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.13 MB ID:	689204


                  I used the cheap, non-stick cake pan for my first attempt. The oil was frying within 30 seconds. The cheap quality of the pan was finally beginning to show here. The sudden high heat caused the pan to temporarily warp like a cup while at temperature. The center touched the bottom of the oven while the edges curled up a little bit, causing the bottom to brown a little bit unevenly. The pan spun around like a top when I tried to grab it and rotate it. The very center of the pan was a little overly dark, while the rest of the bottom could have been a little bit darker. I did not turn the flame off completely for the last minute of the cook, so you can see that the top is also a bit darker. See Below:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	1c-angle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.17 MB ID:	689206
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	1c-side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	602.3 KB ID:	689205Click image for larger version  Name:	1c-bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.21 MB ID:	689207



                  My last attempt was again the Cast-Iron pizza. I knew that it would take longer to cook the crust, so I allowed 4 minutes for the first phase, then I allowed for another 3 minutes after I added the sauce and pepperoni. I killed the flame entirely during the last minute. The toppings and cheez-it crust results were very good. To my dismay however, the cast-iron pan yielded the worst results underneath. Although I am a major fan of Cast-Iron cookware, I'm not sure that it will be suitable for future bakes using this technique. I simply can't seem to get the bottom of the dough as dark and crispy as I would like. The thick layer of iron causes too much of a heat buffer. Don't get me wrong, the pizza was still pretty great. If it had been my first introduction to Detroit-Style pizza I would have still been impressed. However, the bar has been raised since my introduction to this style of pizza and it is no longer good enough. Even after an extra 2 minutes, you can see how much lighter the bottom of the crust was. It was too soft and floppy:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	3-side.jpg Views:	1 Size:	465.3 KB ID:	689201
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	3-bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	391.2 KB ID:	689200


                  The heat-buffer that the cast-iron produced still gave an ever so slightly higher rise to the dough, though it was imperceptible in the mouth. Here is a final side-by-side comparison of the cross-sections and bottom crusts (Cheap-Pan, Lloyd Pan, Cast-Iron Pan) from left to right respectively.
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	comparison cross-section.jpg Views:	1 Size:	579.7 KB ID:	689198
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	comparison bottom.jpg Views:	1 Size:	673.4 KB ID:	689199


                  A Few Final Notes On The Pans:
                  I've been concerned that the cheap non-stick cake pan is not designed to withstand the types of heat to which I am subjecting it. So far, the pizza inside the pan is preventing the cooking surface from being damaged, and I hope that it's not releasing anything toxic. However, you can see that the sheer heat from above is causing the non-stick surface to become scorched:
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	pan scorch.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.66 MB ID:	689197


                  The Lloyd pan is holding up very nicely and not showing any signs of wear or stress. At such high temperatures, I did have to work just a little bit to cleanly release the cheez-it crust from the perimeter of the pan, however it was still fairly easy. I also wanted to note that the heat transfer of the commercial-grade aluminum seems to be much better than the cheap cake pan. The oil was sizzling in less than 20 seconds after placing it in the oven.

                  The Cast-Iron pan required even more work and finesse to release the crust cleanly from the sides of the pan. All-in-all, it still released cleanly and remained suitable in this respect.

                  Final Thoughts On The Dough:
                  As planned, I used the Alton Brown dough recipe as my base this week. As usual, I used 500g of water instead of the prescribed 455g. I also substituted 1/4 cup of the bread flour with semolina flour (this turned out to be 75g). All-in-all, one of my more successful experiments where the ingredients are concerned, but I found that the semolina flour changed a few things:

                  1. The semolina flour does not absorb as much water as the bread flour. My dough was overly wet, sticky, and difficult to weigh and transfer between containers. The initial rise yielded something that resembled more of a sponge (for those of you who don't know, that's the term used for an intermediate rise in 2-part dough recipes where the liquid-to-flour content is very high). Next time I will probably stick with the prescribed 455g and see how that looks before adding any more. Once allowed to proof in the final pans, the overly-wet dough did just fine, although I had to be more careful and precise while building the pizza.

                  2. The semolina flour has a slightly different flavor. The 20g of salt (which translates into 5 teaspoons) resulted in a slightly over-salty crust. I will probably go with 15 - 16g of salt next week

                  3. My wife complained that the dough wasn't sweet enough. I do think that the pizza might benefit from a little extra sugar, so I will try to use double the sugar on my next batch.

                  Final Thoughts On Appearance:
                  As I have noted in past weeks, it seems to me that the most visually appealing attempts were not always the most pleasant tasting, nor did they have the most pleasant texture. As you look at the pictures from this week, you might feel that the cheez-it crust around the perimeter seems a bit overly dark. You might also note that the pizzas seem to be a bit thinner and think that the bottom of the crust seems a little overly dark. I wanted to compare one of my best-tasting (top) and one of my most disappointing pizzas (bottom) to show the difference. To me, the one on the right looks much more appealing. However, I would choose to eat the one on the left:

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	best.jpg Views:	2 Size:	1.01 MB ID:	689209Click image for larger version  Name:	oven.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.49 MB ID:	689208


                  Final Thoughts On High Heat:
                  There are a few trade-offs that come with using such a high heat to cook these pizzas. As I've mentioned, the dough does not have quite as much time to rise before the dough sets. However, the sheer contrast between the crunchy outside and soft, steamy inside gives this technique the most pleasant texture in the mouth in my opinion. Likewise, because the cheese melts and caramelizes so quickly, the cheese does not have time to climb the pan and create high legs around the edges. To me this was one of the more visually appealing aspects of pizzas cooked at lower temperatures. However, I do not believe that it added anything to the taste and texture.

                  That's it for this week. If there are still people following along, let me know and I'll try to continue a bit longer before I do a final re-write of the initial post.
                  Last edited by coreyo; June 3, 2019, 01:08 AM.

                  Comment


                  • au4stree
                    au4stree commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wow, these pizzas look great!
                • RonB
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2016
                  • 12689
                  • Near Richmond VA
                  • Weber Performer Deluxe
                    SNS
                    Pizza insert
                    Rotisserie
                    Smokenator 1000
                    Cookshack Smokette Elite
                    2 Thermapens
                    Chefalarm
                    Dot
                    lots of probes.
                    CyberQ

                  #41
                  Please continue with your experiments and post the details when you finally nail it. I have a few ideas for you though.

                  Have you considered putting the CI pan on a hot stove burner when you pull it out? That should give you a darker crust.

                  Also, I was going to suggest that you use something like a pizza peel to shield the top from the flames during the last minute or two to prevent burning the top, but you seem to have solved that by turning the burner off.

                  I'm lookin' forward to your final recipes. I may just take a whack at it when you are happy.

                  Comment


                  • coreyo
                    coreyo commented
                    Editing a comment
                    RonB I appreciate the suggestions. I'll try out your stovetop method next weekend. I worry that browning after-the-fact will produce a different consistency, but it's worth a try.
                    I'll also experiment more using my crappy kitchen oven. I suspect most people here will not buy an Italia Artisan pizza oven, Roccbox, Ardore, etc. I'd like to give everyone a solid method for approx had an idea to use my 10" or 12" cast-iron skillet as a baking steel underneath the 8" pans. Te Be Continued ...
                • JeffJ
                  Charter Member
                  • Feb 2015
                  • 2409
                  • Michigan
                  • Jeff

                  #42
                  How many times do I have to tell you that I'm on a diet and your pics are absolutely killing me??!!??

                  Comment

                  • RonB
                    Club Member
                    • Apr 2016
                    • 12689
                    • Near Richmond VA
                    • Weber Performer Deluxe
                      SNS
                      Pizza insert
                      Rotisserie
                      Smokenator 1000
                      Cookshack Smokette Elite
                      2 Thermapens
                      Chefalarm
                      Dot
                      lots of probes.
                      CyberQ

                    #43
                    If you are going to use your home oven, I suggest you calibrate it. They are notoriously inaccurate. The best way is to use a leave in probe from a digital thermometer, (a Thermoworks ChefAlarm works great because it records min and max temps). Note the high and low temps and adjust to the middle of that range. You can google your brand and model number to get directions.

                    A simpler method, (but less accurate), is to take a can of refrigerator biscuits and bake them according to directions. If they are overcooked at the min time, your oven is too hot. If they are not browned at the max time, the oven is too cool.

                    Edit to change "temp" to "time" in the above paragraph.
                    Last edited by RonB; June 4, 2019, 05:48 PM.

                    Comment

                    • coreyo
                      Club Member
                      • Aug 2015
                      • 38

                      #44
                      RonB There are a plethora of problems using a standard kitchen oven for Detroit-Style pizza in general. In my opinion, 550F is the minimum temperature that you need for a good crust. Even at a proper 550F, the top of a pan pizza still seems to cook faster than the bottom. To get a proper crispiness on the bottom, simply cooking in the center of a typical oven will not cut it. I noticed that all of the big-name Detroit pizza places put their pans in a traditional commercial pizza oven that includes heated stones underneath the pans. I will be experimenting with my giant cordierite pizza stone, using a larger cast-iron pizza pan as a pizza steel, and even simply cooking the pizza on the bottom rack just above the bottom heating element. I hope to do some of these experiments in a couple of weeks so that other folks don't need to buy special equipment to get a crispy bottom on their crust.

                      As for my personal kitchen oven, it's an oven/stove that I got for free from someone who was throwing it away. Our new house has a kitchen that is an abomination before God, and we just wanted something provisional until we decide to completely renovate it. This oven cannot even be set past 500F, let alone actually reach that temperature. Perhaps I can calibrate it up.

                      Comment

                      • RonB
                        Club Member
                        • Apr 2016
                        • 12689
                        • Near Richmond VA
                        • Weber Performer Deluxe
                          SNS
                          Pizza insert
                          Rotisserie
                          Smokenator 1000
                          Cookshack Smokette Elite
                          2 Thermapens
                          Chefalarm
                          Dot
                          lots of probes.
                          CyberQ

                        #45
                        On one of the pizza forums, I have read that you can get your oven over it's max temp by cooking your pie at the max temp and then switching to broil with the door closed. You would need to have the pie on the bottom shelf to prevent the heat from the top element from over cooking the toppings.

                        Comment


                        • coreyo
                          coreyo commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I was mulling over this idea and I was thinking that using the broiler in a pan-pizza scenario might be counter-productive. I can see why it would work well for more traditional pizzas like Neopolitan pizzas. However, It did give me a different idea. What if we use the broiler for 20 - 30 minutes to heat the pizza stone or pizza steel before placing the pizza in the oven? We could then back it off to a standard 550F bake once the door is closed.

                        • RonB
                          RonB commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Great idea. If you have a stone, (not steel), I suggest heating slowly so as to not stress the stone.

                        • coreyo
                          coreyo commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Right, I think the plan would be to preheat the oven on bake as high as it will go, wait at least half an hour, then set the oven to broil, wait for 20 - 30 minutes, then place the oven back on high bake and stick the pan directly on the pizza stone. I'm also eager to try this with cast iron underneath the 8" x 8" pan. It seems a great way to sneak in a seasoning session during an actual cook.

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