Author Topic: Chicago Thin - a labor of love  (Read 70200 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #125 on: April 29, 2012, 09:30:07 PM »
mykall:

Quote
"Despite how this looks..."?

Whatchu talkin' about--it looks delicious.  I'd eat that any day of the week.  Nice going.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:45:43 AM by Garvey »


Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #126 on: April 29, 2012, 11:51:22 PM »
BTB, 

Great looking pizza there.  I noticed your blurb about the sargento mozzarella.  When I first started my pizza making adventures I was using that.  Have you tried the Borden whole milk mozzarella yet?  I find it tastes even better.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #127 on: April 30, 2012, 07:27:57 AM »
mykall, that's a great looking pizza.  Very nice job.  When I return to my summer home where I have an electric oven with visible heating elements, I'll have to bring along my pizza stone and use it on a low rack along with my cutter pan.

Nate, I don't recall seeing Borden's cheese at the grocery stores. I'll be on the lookout for it and try some.  Thanks for the tip.  I go in cycles on ingredients and right now I prefer the Whole Milk Mozzarella (but not fresh).  And while I added some sharp cheddar in the above pizzas, another great option is to add instead some white, mild (not sharp) Vermont or Canadian cheddar, which I sometimes have problems finding except in the specialty deli's, altho I think Fresh Market has it.

This pizzamaking can be so rewarding and fun when we freely trade our thoughts, ideas and opinions on all of this.

                                                                                --BTB                    :D

Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #128 on: April 30, 2012, 10:08:18 AM »
I was actually very disappointed in two of my grocery stores this weekend in that the selection of cheese was not what I've remembered in the past.  I could not find that square of Poll-O or Sorrento whole milk or any whole milk for that matter. Farm Fresh usually carries these but this weekend there was none.   I've never seen that version of Sargento that BTB posted but I'll be sure next time to look more carefully.  I used Kraft Italian 5 cheese mix on this pie but honestly I would not use it again.  I also mixed in a little cheddar.  I'm also going to go back to the workshop and reformulate the sauce closer to what I remember from my Chi-pies from the burbs.

Offline dwighttsharpe

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #129 on: April 30, 2012, 02:10:15 PM »
Garvey, after rolling out, is your dough docked/pricked?

Thanks.
Dwight

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #130 on: April 30, 2012, 02:46:32 PM »
dwighttsharpe,

No need to dock it. I have experimented with docking but this recipe is not designed with docking in mind.

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline dwighttsharpe

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #131 on: April 30, 2012, 03:08:49 PM »
dwighttsharpe,

No need to dock it. I have experimented with docking but this recipe is not designed with docking in mind.

Cheers,
Garvey

Thanks.
Dwight

Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #132 on: April 30, 2012, 06:57:42 PM »
dwighttsharpe,

No need to dock it. I have experimented with docking but this recipe is not designed with docking in mind.

Cheers,
Garvey

FWIW I didn't dock mine either.       

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #133 on: April 30, 2012, 07:45:44 PM »
mykall, interesting pantry of tomato supplies.  Among my favorites is the 6 in 1's, of course.  Trader Joe's is known to have some great products, too.  Enrico's pizza sauce (pic below) is the best pre-made pizza sauce on the market IMHO and the only one that I will use.  I think I've tried them all, but dislike all except that one brand.  A relatively "mild" but very tasty sauce that one can spice up as they like.

At my local Publix store this afternoon, saw some of the cheeses you mentioned.

                                                                                 --BTB


Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #134 on: April 30, 2012, 09:21:44 PM »
Enrico's pizza sauce (pic below) is the best pre-made pizza sauce on the market IMHO and the only one that I will use.  I think I've tried them all, but dislike all except that one brand.  A relatively "mild" but very tasty sauce that one can spice up as they like.

At my local Publix store this afternoon, saw some of the cheeses you mentioned.

                                                                                 --BTB

BTB,

Thanks for reminding me about the Enrico's.  You're not the only person who likes it so I'm going to shoot for some on the way home from work tomorrow.  I was able to pick up a square of the Sorrento tonight at Harris Teeter-I had no luck with any whole milk yesterday and I used to see Polly-O squares all the time.  I guess it's only when you're looking for something that it's hard to find.  Also I did see your Artisan Sargento and they had 5 varieties but no mozzi.  I'll try again tomorrow at a different store.

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #135 on: May 01, 2012, 09:20:43 AM »
I only saw the Artisan Sargento Whole Milk shredded mozzarella for the first time about two weeks ago, so I think it is pretty new and the stores may just be starting to put them into inventory.  It's not too bad to shred up some Polly-O or Sorrento, tho.  I've previous tried some of the other Artisan Sargento cheeses and am very favorably impressed with them.                         

Encourage you to try the Enrico's for thin crust sauce and add some things to reflect your likes and tastes.  I've generally used 6 in 1's undrained but spiced up a bit for thin crusts -- and I still think 6 in 1 is great -- but right now I'm on an Enrico's kick and think its excellent.  (I know I'll get a "boo" or two from many out there, but different strokes . . . )  LOL

                                                                                      --BTB              :)

Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #136 on: May 05, 2012, 04:39:54 PM »
Found it BTB.  Knew I'd seen it somewhere and Fresh Market was the place.  I also found a house brand of whole milk shredded in the package I'm going to give a try.  Never know...sometimes house brands surprise you.

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #137 on: May 05, 2012, 05:01:40 PM »
I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, which adversely affects the texture of the melted cheese.

Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #138 on: May 05, 2012, 07:34:10 PM »
I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, which adversely affects the texture of the melted cheese.

That I did *not* know.   However IIRC I have used some pre-shredded that were actually better than a block I shredded myself.  This
also makes me wonder if the Artisans from Sargento have cellulose since they're supposed to be "high end".

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #139 on: May 05, 2012, 07:38:06 PM »
all pre-shredded cheeses are coated with cellulose, as it prevents sticking.  if they didn't add that, the cheese would just form into big messy clump of cheese.

with respect to sargento artisan blends, here is what they say on their website (http://www.sargento.com/our-company/faq/):

"Q: Ingredients listed on the shredded cheese packages include powdered cellulose, calcium carbonate and potato starch. What are those?

A: Powdered cellulose is a white, odorless, tasteless, totally natural powder made from cellulose, a naturally occurring component of most plants. It won’t absorb moisture because of its fibrous, non-gel structure. When added to shredded cheese, cellulose prevents the cheese from sticking together. Calcium carbonate and potato starch are also natural ingredients. They pass through your body as any food does. They’re not harmful.

Sargento sprinkles very small amounts of these anti-caking agents on all varieties of our shredded cheeses, which helps ensure our cheese is easier for consumers to use."

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #140 on: May 05, 2012, 07:45:15 PM »
I might also add that pre-shredded cheese is more expensive, less flavorful, melts poorly, and doesn't have as long of a shelf life.  I just can't justify using it, particularily since it only takes me 1 minute to shred it by hand - and I use about 10 ounces of cheese on my pizzas LOL.  It takes  even less time if you cube with a knife or use a food processor!


Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #141 on: May 05, 2012, 07:52:37 PM »
True but sometimes pre-shredded is easier to come by and divides easier for freezing.  I have terrible trouble timing my pies WRT work schedule etc.  Speaking of "melted texture" what is the diff you experience between pre and your own shredding?  In other words what is the difference when you bite into the pie?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 09:22:43 PM by mykall »


Offline Chi-town Gal

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #142 on: August 29, 2012, 08:25:24 AM »
Garvey:

Wow!  Now THAT is a REAL Chicago pizza!  I was thrilled to see that you put the cheese on LAST rather than on first with the ingredients sitting on top of the cheese.  I don't know where that idea came from!  I was also glad to see you cut your pizza in squares!  YEAH!!  Chicago rules!  I don't think most people realize that the kind of pizza you make is the typical pizza you'll find in neighborhood pizza joints.  The famous deep dish Chicago style pizza is NOT what most Chicagoans prefer.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a deep dish now and again, but when I have the cravin for a real pizza, the thin pizza has no rival! 
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #143 on: August 29, 2012, 01:33:13 PM »
I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, which adversely affects the texture of the melted cheese.

Not exactly true. If cellulose alone was used as the anticaking treatment, your observations would be correct. However the addition of potato starch reduces FO (free oil) formation making the packaged shredded cheese as good as fresh shredded cheese, and maybe slightly better...because at the high temperatures pizzas are cooked at, the melting is more uniform and the height is ever so slighly higher.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2012, 12:31:37 PM »
Garvey,

Finally got around to trying the Kenji sausage recipe in this thread.  It was awesome.  My wife who prefers pepperoni was even raving about it.  Thanks so much for that link.  I see you add cheap wine to yours; what does that add to it?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 11:14:21 PM by pythonic »
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #145 on: December 27, 2012, 12:53:07 PM »
Hey Pythonic--sorry for the slow response.  I was on Maui with the family for the past couple weeks.  (Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.)

Yes, the Kenji recipe is great.  After many years of my own disappointing trials and many errors, that recipe explains the technique that eluded me.  I tried the Kenji style straight up, tasted its awesomeness, but sensed that it was really close, but not all the way.

So I made four different variations, based on commenters in the two sausage threads on Serious Eats (the recipe page itself and the Food Lab write up, too).  There was an original Kenji, one from someone here whose name escapes me at the moment, a composite recipe made up of averages, and then one where I basically did the Kenji but with a white wine addition. There are a couple reasons for that.  The main reason is that my homeboys and I remember a faint wine taste in the original Pizza Factory.  We once thought the origin was in the sauce, but my buddy Dave debunked that, since he had worked there and used to make the sauce and said it was only paste, water, and the secret blend of herbs (premixed by Joe, the owner, and put in a giant bucket).   

Then I took all four variants to a get together of seven people who all were Pizza Factory fanatics from the olden days.  Over the course of a long weekend, we made maybe 15 or 20 pizzas (haha--no kidding) and tried all the variants.  Within one bite of the white wine version, everyone universally declared, "Oh, yeah, THAT is pizza factory." So that is the default recipe now.

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #146 on: December 27, 2012, 02:17:17 PM »
Garvy,
Is post #7 the recipe I should use for the sausage? http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17662.msg171285.html#msg171285

Also, have you come up with a favored brand of mozz to shred....you ever tried Sorrento(not Sargento) yet? Just recently got my hands on some Scarmorza and thought I'd try blending it with Sorrento. Thanks.
Bob
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #147 on: December 28, 2012, 08:08:20 PM »
Garvey,

I am just using ground pork so should I add the white wine initially when I mix all the other ingredients?  Also, are you putting it raw on your Chicago thin crust pizza?   I have only used it on New York style precooked so I am probably missing out on all the extra grease to enhance the crust.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #148 on: December 28, 2012, 11:22:04 PM »
Bob--yes, that link is the recipe.  And I have used Sorrento before.  Good stuff.  I bought a 5-lb brick of Stella today and will be making this pizza on Monday.  It performed admirably for DD today as well.  Where did you get the scamorza?  How is it?  (I, too, live in NC, and this place is an ingredients wasteland.  We take what we can get, generally.)

Nate--I have used ground pork pretty frequently, too, when I can find at least 80/20 stuff.  The Smithfield in my grocery store has been pretty good for that.  When using ground pork, I mix all the ingredients except the wine and let sit in fridge for 8-24 hrs before kneading it into the final sausage product.  It is at this kneading stage when I add the wine.

And yes, absolutely go raw.  I like to put down maybe a third of the shredded cheese on the pie, then the raw sausage, and finish with the remaining two thirds of the cheese.  That way, the sausage peeks out a little but is anchored down to the pie as well.

Hope it goes well!

Cheers!
Garvey

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #149 on: December 29, 2012, 11:10:33 AM »

And yes, absolutely go raw.  I like to put down maybe a third of the shredded cheese on the pie, then the raw sausage, and finish with the remaining two thirds of the cheese.  That way, the sausage peeks out a little but is anchored down to the pie as well.

Hope it goes well!

Cheers!
Garvey
+ 1000 !!   :D


Garvey, Member Gregg sent me the Scarmorza. I've used Stella(Sam's club) and it's great for these pies. Cheap too, like $2.14 a pound at Sam's.
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