Author Topic: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!  (Read 2033 times)

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Offline chickenparm

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It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« on: April 18, 2011, 04:01:44 AM »
I'm really fed up...for a while I have been using WalMart Great Value Cheese,from the large 2 lb bags to top my pies.

I thought everything was A-OK,even after I posted a thread about a bad batch of cheese some days back.I was hoping it was a fluke...

THEN, it happened again with a new bag I picked up earlier today.Im super pissed off because I was using an experimental dough I had not made before,and wanted to to see how it was gonna turn out when the pie was done cooking.

That dough was cold risen and sat in the fridge for 3 days.I really wanted this pie to cook all the way and not have the cheese burn itself before it was done.

It was a waste...I could not finish cooking it.The bad cheese was burning prematurely again and I had to take it out.Here is a link to a few pics as to what happened earlier tonight if you want to see what Im crying a river about.Just my luck!
 :-D

http://s1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff479/BillsPizza86/Burnt%20Cheese%20Again/
-Bill


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 08:04:51 AM »
I can see how that would be a big PITA.  Can you return it for another bag.  It must be a bad batch or something.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 08:57:07 AM »
I gave up buying any shredded cheese.  As much as I dislike grating it, it is worth the effort.

Offline fazzari

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 10:36:37 AM »
Bill
I've never, ever seen anything like that in 36 years of making pies

John

Offline Ev

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 10:37:16 AM »
I gave up buying any shredded cheese.  As much as I dislike grating it, it is worth the effort.

I agree. Find something you like and buy it in by the 5lb loaf.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 02:11:16 PM »
Thanks all,I agree,I'm gonna have to go back to shredding cheese.

Not a big deal...Yet,as far as this goes,for a while this pre-shredded cheese was doing a great job.Out of 3 bags I bought this week,2 have been bad.I think I'm out at two strikes.
 :-\



-Bill

Online scott123

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 02:42:34 PM »
Bill, if you alter your approach, pre-shredded cheese will work just fine.

1. Make sure the pre-shredded cheese is whole milk, not part skim and not a blend. The milkfat goes a long way in helping the cheese melt and with less protein, the cheese browns more slowly.

2. Standardize the consistency of the sauce and, if you're not already, start measuring it. Your cheese, as it stands now, is just melting and then browning.  Pizza cheese should bubble and boil.  In order to bubble, it needs to have sufficient moisture below it.  That means a sauce that's got enough water and is in sufficient quantities.  I work with a can of 28 oz. puree that will almost form a peak when spooned, to which I add 2 oz. water. I also use 7/8 C. sauce for a 16" pie. You want to be careful not to add to much water or the taste will suffer and the cheese will have a tendency to slide, but you need more water and more sauce than what you're using now.

3. In order for cheese to bubble and boil, it has to get heat from below.  A pizza screen is, as I've mentioned before, the kiss of death for fast bottom browning.  In order to get the cheese bubbling, you need a stronger blast of heat from the stone.  To achieve this, you need a more conductive and/or thicker stone and/or hotter oven.  Also, it's a little hard to tell from the photo, but you might want to look at your thickness factor.  Less dough = less insulation underneath the cheese = better bubbling.

4. More fat helps.  I use a part skim/whole milk blend, that, if I bake it without pepperoni, it will brown, but with the fat from the pepperoni, it bubbles beautifully. I've never tried it, but a sprinkle of EVOO might help. A light spray of water on top of the cheese (avoiding the rim), also helps the cheese bubble a bit easier, but you want to be careful, as too much water will have a tendency to promote curdling and cause the cheese layer and sauce layer to combine.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 04:36:20 PM »
Scott,

Thanks so much for all the info.Appreciate it.
 :)




-Bill

Offline sweedld

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 01:20:50 AM »
I think a variable amount of lactose (milk sugar) in the different bags of shredded mozzarella could be causing your problems. While traditional mozzarella is considered a low lactose cheese, it is an unfermented cheese so any milk sugar is still present in reduced amounts after washing and stretching of the curds. The grated mozzarella from Wal-Mart or Sams may be made by several different cheese processors (could vary according to geographic distribution across the US too) and each may have different specs for final lactose content. Nonfat powdered milk solids may be added back to the curds to reduce manufacturing costs and while it has a low price per pound, it also must be  a low margin product for producers to keep the price so competitive.

I had experience with a high end fresh Trader Joe's whole milk mozzarella that would not melt or brown properly no matter what oven temp I tried. Finding a brand you can afford that produces consistent results is very important when each ingredient makes such an important contribution to the final result. So switching brands and products until you get the result you are looking for consistently is the only option.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 08:09:48 AM »
Bill, if you alter your approach, pre-shredded cheese will work just fine.

1. Make sure the pre-shredded cheese is whole milk, not part skim and not a blend. The milkfat goes a long way in helping the cheese melt and with less protein, the cheese browns more slowly.

2. Standardize the consistency of the sauce and, if you're not already, start measuring it. Your cheese, as it stands now, is just melting and then browning.  Pizza cheese should bubble and boil.  In order to bubble, it needs to have sufficient moisture below it.  That means a sauce that's got enough water and is in sufficient quantities.  I work with a can of 28 oz. puree that will almost form a peak when spooned, to which I add 2 oz. water. I also use 7/8 C. sauce for a 16" pie. You want to be careful not to add to much water or the taste will suffer and the cheese will have a tendency to slide, but you need more water and more sauce than what you're using now.

3. In order for cheese to bubble and boil, it has to get heat from below.  A pizza screen is, as I've mentioned before, the kiss of death for fast bottom browning.  In order to get the cheese bubbling, you need a stronger blast of heat from the stone.  To achieve this, you need a more conductive and/or thicker stone and/or hotter oven.  Also, it's a little hard to tell from the photo, but you might want to look at your thickness factor.  Less dough = less insulation underneath the cheese = better bubbling.

4. More fat helps.  I use a part skim/whole milk blend, that, if I bake it without pepperoni, it will brown, but with the fat from the pepperoni, it bubbles beautifully. I've never tried it, but a sprinkle of EVOO might help. A light spray of water on top of the cheese (avoiding the rim), also helps the cheese bubble a bit easier, but you want to be careful, as too much water will have a tendency to promote curdling and cause the cheese layer and sauce layer to combine.

If I am not able to use whole milk mozzarella, I spray olive oil cooking spray on top before putting in the oven.


Offline matermark

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 04:07:08 PM »
I agree. Find something you like and buy it in by the 5lb loaf.

How does a small family or no additional family use up a 5lb loaf before the exp date or mold?

I ask because I'm a family of 1 and my local butcher shop has Empire whole milk mozz 5lb loaf for $9.99.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 04:11:28 PM by matermark »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2011, 12:35:42 AM »
How does a small family or no additional family use up a 5lb loaf before the exp date or mold?

I ask because I'm a family of 1 and my local butcher shop has Empire whole milk mozz 5lb loaf for $9.99.

I have bought in the past,a 7 lbs whole milk mozz loaf from GFS(Gordons Food Service) and froze most of it until I needed it again.No problems with freezing and thawing it out again.


-Bill

Offline scott r

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2011, 09:10:09 AM »
How does a small family or no additional family use up a 5lb loaf before the exp date or mold?

I ask because I'm a family of 1 and my local butcher shop has Empire whole milk mozz 5lb loaf for $9.99.


thats an especially great price, and a really good mozzarella.    Its what they use at the famous boston pizzerias.    chop it up and put it in the freezer in roughly 1lb chunks.   I do notice a difference, but it will work and probably be fine for you.   OR,  you could buy a vacuum sealer at someplace like costco or on eaby for pretty cheap considering the returns.   There are so many uses, but I notice that cheese lasts forever.   Just as a side note, this type of cheese (empire is fairly hard for mozzarella when compared to some like poly 0 or sorrento) its actually best if it really ages for a long time, so "old" cheese thats not moldy yet is actually preferred.   Good luck!    

P.S.   The vacuum sealer has done wonders for my steak costs.   I now just buy whole angus tenerloins at restaurant depot for 9 bucks a pound/ chop em up and reseal them.    They are definitely long lasting, and easy to freeze and thaw if you want em really long lasting.     Large cans of tomato that I can't use up seem to keep forever when bagged and sealed.    Just drop your frozen bags of sauce or meat or whatever in cold water for an hour or two and its thawed.   Couldn't be faster or easier.  

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: It Happens Again? Another Bad Batch Of Cheese!
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2011, 04:35:19 PM »
How does a small family or no additional family use up a 5lb loaf before the exp date or mold?

I ask because I'm a family of 1 and my local butcher shop has Empire whole milk mozz 5lb loaf for $9.99.
I am a one person family too. I buy the block and put aside what I know I'll use within 3-4 days. Then I will either tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in the deli bin . Any left, I vacuum seal and store in the fridge. If there is a large quantity, I will shred/process it and then freeze on an open plate and then vacuum seal it so it doesn't get "smooshed" in a soft state. Either way, I would definitely invest in a Seal-a-meal vacuum sealer. One of the best investment I have ever made and nowadays, it is pretty affordable.