Help! Burning Crust!

Hi there. I have a nice homemade pizza oven. Firebricks on the floor, walls, and ceiling surrounded by clay bricks. At first, I was cooking the pizza close to the fire and rotating it every 30-60 seconds. The result was a very burnt crust on the edges and the bottom. The bottom of the crust wood burn within the first 30-60 seconds of being in the oven. Oven floor temperatures ranged from 600-700 degrees.

Then I modified my construction by elevating 2 pizza stones with brick along the walls and putting the fire under the pizza stones with a small gap in back to allow for air circulation and heating up and over the pizza. The temperatures remained the same and I eliminated the burnt crust edges, but the burnt bottom crust remained.

I have experimented with 100% 00 flour and half 00/half bread flour crust recipes. The results are nearly identical. What is my problem–too many toppings, too much sauce, bottom crust too thin, too much direct heat? Something else?

Floor temp of 600-700 is good. I start mine off around 750. What’s the dome temp? should be about the same. Is it insulated?

Can’t comment on the toppings without seeing a pic

Letting the pizza sit for 30-60 seconds before rotating is definitely a concern. You have to watch that thing like a hawk. You can see the crust rise and brown and this is an indication that you need to rotate it. You can also move it closer or further from the fire to speed up or slow down the cook speed. At those temps the pizza should cook in about 90 seconds.

Then you can dome it for a couple seconds to brown up the top. Doming means to put the pizza on the peel and hold it close to the firebrick near the peak of the dome. This takes practice. Be prepared to set a couple pizzas on fire during your first few attempts.

Hope that helps.

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Hi Cameron,

In addition to Ken’s excellent comments, just wondering about the design of your oven in general. Do you have enough space inside to place the pies further away from the fire? That you’re getting so much heat on the crust bottom is something that many folks here would be envious to hear (but it’s not helping you!).

I agree that The Most Important Thing is to keep a strong eye on your pies from the moment they land on the floor to the moment they start smoking. As soon as you see any sign of smoke from the side facing the fire you have to turn it.

It is slightly possible that you’ve achieved a kind of Holy Grail and you’re getting your floor too hot. Using a 00 flour is not a guarantee that your dough will stand up to those temperatures. There are particular varieties that are mixed specifically for high-temperature baking. I got it in bulk from a mail-order company near me that breaks down large bags, but it looks like they are going through a change of ownership. :frowning:

You can get it on Amazon, but most of the offers are for very small quantities and will jack your costs a bit:

The “Blue” variety is the stuff you want, though. If you can eliminate other causes, then try a high-temp flour like this.

Good luck and let’s keep talking.

In addition you can also find a 55 lb bag of the Caputo Tipo 00 blue label:

Caputo Tipo 00 Pizza Flour

You can make a LOT of pizzas (and other stuff) with that much flour. For storage I premeasured some batches and put them in gallon sized ziplock bags. I also bought a 6.5 gallon beer fermenting bucket with airtight lid. Note: 55lbs of flour is more than 6.5 gallons :slight_smile:

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Yes, the 55 pound bag is much less expensive per pound, and that’s the way I’d go long term if the right flour solves the issue.

For storage, I use Cambro storage buckets. They are a bit more expensive than the beer bucket, and the lids are usually sold separately, which adds another $5 or so to the cost. But they are space efficient, and two of the 20 liter buckets will handle that 55 pound bag. (Plus you only need to buy the storage once because these will last for a very long time.)

I use a smaller round Cambro container as my mixing/hydrating container for dough. Perfect size for a single or double batch and cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

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