Monday, March 11, 2013

Gagg Pizza!

...Not to be confused, of course, with "Gag, pizza!"  ;-)

You may have guessed... My Gaggenau pizza stone and element arrived!

I received 4 parts... The exposed element, the rack that slides into the oven, the stone that sits on the rack, and a pizza peel, or "wooden pusher," as the included literature call it.  (Does 'pizza peel' not translate well in German?)

This is the new one compared to the one I already use.
Since it's just 1/4 or 3/8" plywood, the handle is less than comfy.
But I didn't expect it at all, so for 'free,' I guess it's OK

The instructions had words that got me started, but with translation like pizza peel = wooden pusher, I found the illustrations more helpful.  When the shapes of the parts in my hands didn't match the shapes of those in the drawing, however, I had to play until it worked.

You might barely be able to see that the wire rack is
shaped differently at the front corner than the back,
which is not the case in the diagram.  This took roughly
2 tries and 10 seconds to figure out by trial and error.  ;-)

You can see here how the stone kind of wraps
over the element

I turned to the instructions again when it was time to turn on the oven and heat the stone for use.  

Again a little unhelpful, as it said only to "preheat the oven to the temperature stated in the recipe."  And that it would require more preheating time than usual, which I'd expected.  Although, the rep told me I wouldn't have to preheat as long as I had with the Wolf, in which I heated the stone for an hour after preheating the oven.

I checked the manual and, also, the recipe book I'd been given at the showroom.  No pizza recipes or pizza baking guidelines in the baking charts.  The only clue was included in the chart of heating modes, their symbols and uses.  I think the graphic was only supposed to be an example, but as it was the only hint I had, I went with it, and set the oven to 550 degrees.

As it heated, I set the 'count-up' timer, so I would know in the future how long I needed to plan for preheating.  I'm sure I'm saving a few minutes, but it was still near an hour to reach temperature.

The count-up timer is at the top left.  This was a couple
minutes after I noticed it'd reached temperature.
The clock is next to the timer.  Did I ever tell you how
tiny it is?  1/8 of an inch.  How helpful, especially from a distance!

I had to make the pizzas much smaller than I usually do, since the stone is only 12" deep.  No more 15" pizzas!  But I could fit 2 on, side-by-side, so that helped.  

Hubby swooped in for the first try... Still hot!

Again, I set the count-up timer, so I could watch the first set and see how long to set the timer for the rest.  In an impressive 5 1/2 minutes, the pizza was beautifully browned on the top and golden brown on the bottom....

Beautiful, yes, but, not too impressive, as it was still too doughy on the inside.  I cooked the next ones a bit longer, but even though the top was getting to the maximum browning I could stand, the crust wasn't done enough inside for us.  

That's when I paid more attention and noticed that with this mode, the convection fan is on.  I have no way to adjust that or turn it off while still using the stone element.  I will have to try a lower temperature next time.

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