Yes, they really do work, but they only work as part of a baking concept. You can’t just use the disk and have your pizzas come out of the oven looking like they were baked in a deck oven. To make the Hearth Bake Disks work, you must make changes to your baking time, temperature and possibly finger configuration, unless you happen to be the proud owner of one of the new generation, highly efficient, air impingement ovens. In that case, you can simply plug in the Hearth Bake Disks and go. But for the rest of us, these are the changes we’ll need to make to get optimum results:
The baking temperature needs to be in the 475 to 500F range, with most ovens seeming to work best at about 485 to 490F. At these temperatures, any sugar, eggs or milk in your dough formula will most likely only cause the dough to burn, so you will want to make sure you delete these from your dough formula. The baking time will now fall into the 5 to 6-minute range with 5.5 to 5.75-minutes about the norm. The finger configuration will still remain fully open across the bottom, and open across the top with only the last top finger at the exit end of the oven fully or partially closed. Depending upon the type and size of oven you have, you might need to make some additional changes to the top finger configuration, but this should get you close to where you need to be. When the oven is properly set-up for these disks, the resulting pizzas have a bake that is nearly indistinguishable from pizzas baked in a traditional deck oven. As a side benefit, we have found that many deep-dish pizzas can be baked, in dark colored pans, right along side of the thin crust pizzas when using this profile.