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Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


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Just not seeing a lot of danger in non-food-grade steel here-

I'm a mathematician, and we have a pretty harsh standard for proof. Not being able to imagine an alternative does not rule out the alternative. So, not to pick on your sentence but it sent me involuntarily reeling.

In BBQ circles anything galvanized is a no-no, because it off-gases zinc which is a poison. I don't know what "plate steel" is. Surely, aluminum, copper or cast iron it's not. But all steel is iron plus other stuff, there are many, many different recipes for steel and "plating" in use, and many, many choices for what constitutes the "other stuff." Isn't amateur hour metal work the biggest danger, drinking moonshine? I see many ways to poison oneself here without seeing it coming.

(For comparison, the theory that lead poisoning partly caused the fall of Rome is controversial. And some people will use any plastic for sous vide. I just like to err on the side of caution.)

I've always used FibraMent-D baking stones. I know they've tuned the thermal transfer rate, as others have for similar products. In their view, even soapstone has the wrong thermal transfer rate; I didn't ask about metals. Is it the underlying assumption of this discussion that pizza professionals have chosen the wrong value?

We always grind our own flour for everything, but we sieve out the bran. Still, our dough is denser than dough made with white flour, making pizza more challenging. We just don't like the taste of white flour.

I took a pizza class with Rosetta Costantino, the author of My Calabria. (http://cookingwithro....com/index.html) Her first career was as an engineer. She traveled around Italy with an infrared "shooter" thermometer, listening to people describing the extraordinary temperatures at which they baked pizza. Then she'd shoot the cooking surface. It never read over 650 F.

Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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Just not seeing a lot of danger in non-food-grade steel here-

I'm a mathematician, and we have a pretty harsh standard for proof. Not being able to imagine an alternative does not rule out the alternative. So, not to pick on your sentence but it sent me involuntarily reeling.

In BBQ circles anything galvanized is a no-no, because it off-gases zinc which is a poison. I don't know what "plate steel" is. Surely, aluminum, copper or cast iron it's not. But all steel is iron plus other stuff, there are many, many different recipes for steel and "plating" in use, and many, many choices for what constitutes the "other stuff." Isn't amateur hour metal work the biggest danger, drinking moonshine? I see many ways to poison oneself here without seeing it coming.

Obviously, it is not galvanized. It's hot rolled a36 carbon steel plate. It is made of the same stuff as the inside of my oven, just thicker and not enameled. Though I have the steel plate, I've been using an unglazed baking stone most frequently....preheated at 500, then 10 minuteds with the broiler on high. Lahey details this procedure in his My Pizza, and it works fairly well for my standard crust recipe.

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Scott, you bring up many great points...obviously most home cooks (maybe just me?) are limited by our ovens and the temps they can achieve without defeating the built-in safety features. I'm sure you've seen what Jeff Varasano has achieved at home - perhaps the holy-grail of home pizza making, and his house is still standing! But I'm not willing to go with that method.

I am willing, however, to try and find an oven insert which will help with the baking. My pizza stone, after an hour of preheating, gets up to 531 degrees F - so I'll be looking for the soapstone Kinsey recommends or that 1/2 inch steel plate you do - do you have a link?

As for balling the dough before fermentation, it's what I do - once again, following Varasano's advice as well as Reinhart's from another of his recipes.

I stopped using a stone for pizza,and went to a suitable sized 1/4inch thick steel plate,which goes on the bottom rack in the oven it is about 4 inches above the lower heating elements,by the time the oven gets to 550deg,the plate is 750deg,I always get nice crisp crust that way...I also do the crust using Canada Daves recipe and letting it age in the veg tray in the reefer for at least 6or 7daysbefore using,Ialso use an infrared thermometer to measure the plate temp,by the way...Bud
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Glad to hear some praise for quarter-inch steel, because that's about as thick as I think I can handle, for a 12 x 21 inch piece to line my oven racks. I can always double it up if I want to get really fancy and am feeling strong.

Going to ask my mechanic buddy to ask his machinist friend for an estimate for three of them, one per rack, but making sure I know what's in the steel. Thanks for all the replies.

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