Author Topic: Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza  (Read 142055 times)

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Indy Matt

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2003, 01:50:37 AM »
Can someone give me a first hand account of an actual slice of Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza.  The picture I saw on Food TV looked like the bottom had an almost a corn bread appearance.  Is it kind of greasy on the bottom?  What about the taste?
Randy


New poster here, thought I'd chime in on my "description" of the good Chicago style pizzeria crusts.  My ex girlfriend is from the Indiana side of Chicago, and I was able to try a few different pizza places when I would visit.  Most memorable was Gino's East (downtown near Northwestern Univ.), I had ordered their largest deep dish with their signature sausage, green olives, ham, extra cheese, and I believe feta cheese.  It was amazing...truly a "fork only" pizza.  It was the first time I had this style pizza where the cheese was on the bottom, then toppings, then sauce dabbed on top.   Dabbed is the key word here.   Basically it seemed like a blend of crushed tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and seasonings.

I think the reason this pizza reheats so well (its better the next day cold if you can believe it), is that the juices of the toppings arent absorbed into the pizza sauce and diluted (as most puree style sauces would do in a traditional style pizza with the cheese on the top).  Instead the different flavors are kept in layers (crust, cheese, topings, sauce).  Since the bulk of the cheese is on the bottom of the pizza, the cheese doesnt get leathery like NY style cheese would.  

When the Chicago style is reheated, the cheese melts again, but since it's on the bottom, the moisture hasn't been baked out of the cheese and it will retain it's flavor and melting properties.

The crust was great.  It definately reminded me of a pie crust...with the heartyness of a biscuit, but the characteristics of a buttery, flakey croissant.  People have thrown around the word "biscuit" here, and I believe that the key difference is that biscuits are just too dry and have no "personality" (if that makes sense).   When Chicago style crust is reheated, it doesnt get all hot, then in-edibly hard, like NY style does.  Theres not a big poof of crust to hold in that moisture that gets re-heated out, therefore the crust is very good reheated with Chicago style.

I worked for a pizza place in college (non Chicago style, convection oven, timed conveyor) and I'd gotten into a conversation regarding Chicago style crust with my boss (the owner), and he told me that he'd heard the Chicago style pizzeria crusts are refrigerated for a few days before using them, almost to the point where the crusts go bad (dry out).  Also, I could swear I've heard that the crusts are somewhat precooked, then toppings added later.  This also may just save time preparing the pizzas....or could be crap and untrue.

Anyhow, something magical happens when that cheese and crust are baked and fused together, and all the toppings' juices cook and blend together.  The sauce on top adds a nice touch, but definately doesnt dominate the flavor.  The crust comes up really high on the sides, kinda like a flakey crown.  I find its easiest to eat with a knife and fork since the topping can get pretty high and arent pinned under the cheese like NY style pizza.  Nothing worse than a huge lump of sausage and tomato fall in your lap because you tried to use your hands.  

Anyhow, I live in Charlotte, NC now....we have an "Uno's Pizzaeria" chain restaurant downtown.  It's pretty good, however I've not had the original Uno's so I cant compare it.

Hope my description helps,


-matt


Offline DKM

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2003, 10:16:25 AM »
 People have thrown around the word "biscuit" here, and I believe that the key difference is that biscuits are just too dry and have no "personality" (if that makes sense).

Sir, then you have never had a true biscuit!

DKM
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Indy Matt

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2003, 01:28:41 PM »
 People have thrown around the word "biscuit" here, and I believe that the key difference is that biscuits are just too dry and have no "personality" (if that makes sense).

Sir, then you have never had a true biscuit!

DKM

You're probably right.  When I think of "biscuit" I think of Hardees or McDonalds' rock hard and dried out.  I do however use the Pillsbury Buttermilk canned biscuit dough to make "pigs in a blanket", ....and those are really good. ...especially with Coney dog chili drizzled on them.



-m

Offline DKM

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2003, 09:13:53 PM »
You're probably right.  When I think of "biscuit" I think of Hardees or McDonalds' rock hard and dried out.  I do however use the Pillsbury Buttermilk canned biscuit dough to make "pigs in a blanket", ....

You’re scaring me son!

DKM

BTW I'll have real comments to your post on pizza when I have a little more time to sit down and type.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2003, 09:16:28 PM by DKM »
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2003, 09:50:14 AM »
Nice post Matt.  Thanks for  the input.  the only way I think I can settle this is go to Chicago myself and spend a week on tasting research.
 8)
Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2003, 02:35:35 PM »
Nice post Matt.  Thanks for  the input.  the only way I think I can settle this is go to Chicago myself and spend a week on tasting research.
 8)
Randy


I'm ready!
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Offline DKM

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2003, 02:57:46 PM »
Matt,

I would just like to add a couple of comments to your very informative post.

I have also noticed and commented on how well a deep dish pizza reheats.  To quote Jed Clampett “Its just as good the second day!”

I have heard from a source that the dough is normally at least over 24 hours and Marc Malnati has comment on a couple of shows before the dough is about two days old.  Don’t know if he is over stating or not.

I have never heard of ‘true’ Chicago pizza being pre-baked, but I do know that some chain shops (like Pizza Inn back when they had it) do pre-bake the crust.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2003, 04:22:24 PM »
DKM, I am mixing the experimental recipe for a 3 day rise.
I will post results.

Randy

Offline buzz

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2004, 10:25:09 AM »
Lou Malnati's and Uno's are the same recipe. The texture is not like a biscuit, but more "greasy" (that's the only word that comes to mind)--I find it to be unpleasant. I've duplicated it by kneading a Crisco-based dough in the bread machine and making the pizza from the result.

My favorites in Chicago are Connie's (olive oil-based) and Giordano's (which most defintely has a pie-like, flaky texture which indicates the presence of shortening).

Still experimenting!

Offline buzz

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2004, 10:28:34 AM »
Also, I don't detect the presence of cornmeal in any Chicago deep dish pizza I've had. Maybe they used this ingredient years ago, but it doesn't seem like it now. Pat Bruno says that they use a yellow food coloring called "egg shade".


hoover

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2004, 05:13:12 PM »
Hi There,

I am a long time fan of Lou Malnati's pizza.  I have tried all the pizza at the other famous places in Chicago and Lou's is still my favorite.  I do not detect corn meal in the crust either.  I also wonder about the sauce.  I always order a lg. bowl of sauce on the side and they bring me what looks like canned whole tomatoes chopped.  They do not have any oil, cheese or spices in them.  It  seems like, from my reading on the Chicago style pizzason this forum they are using ground tomatoes.  When we have gone to the Taste of Chicago and they are making the pizzas in a tent I have watched them and it looks like they just put chopped up whole tomatoes on the pizzas.  I think they use those 6-1 ground tomatoes for Connies because a friend of ours used to own a franchise and I was in the back of the kitchen and the shelves were loaded with those cans but Malnati's seem sauce seem different to me.  I also do not detect garlic in it.  Their sausage has a lot in it but I don't think the sauce does.  What do you think? ???

Offline Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2004, 07:24:33 AM »
I wonder how the idea of corn meal ever got into the recipes we are using?
That is two people that have said they can't taste corn meal in Lou's pizza.

Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2004, 01:01:15 AM »
Was the cornmeal for texture maybe more than taste???
Hell I just may have to have them ship me one of those from Lou M's can't be that much $, I think I checked once, might be fun to try it. ;D
The wife let me get a new computer to talk to the Pizza Forum, so how bad could it be to mail order a pizza.
Guess I'll find out when I ask her tommorow. ;D
« Last Edit: June 01, 2004, 01:02:45 AM by Foccaciaman »
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

Offline buzz

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2004, 09:33:58 AM »
Lou's and Uno's (it's been a while since I've been to either, since I don't like them) I believe use crushed whole tomatoes, crushed.

I had a talk with a manager at Connie's--they have an olive oil-based crust and don't use 6-in1. Instead they use a very tasty spiced-up tomato sauce (the manager sold me a can)--you can duplicate it by adding garlic, spices, a little olive oil, plus a hint of crushed red pepper to a rich tomato sauce (not as thick as 6-in-1).

One of the problems I've found with 6-in-1 is that the tomatoes can be bitter, but the texture is wonderful! A very close substitute I've found is my grocery store house brand crushed tomatoes.

About the cornmeal--it's possible that when Ike Sewell originated the Uno's recipe, he was using corn meal, and this was popularized by The Frugal Gourmet's recipe (which is oil-based and doesn't taste anything like Uno's)-- this recipe has been around forever and has been ripped off by others (including Pat Bruno).  Bruno specifies corn meal in his first book, then negates it in the second.

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2004, 10:21:14 AM »
Buzz, thanks for the input.  I think I will at least decrease, if not eliminate corn meal altogether in my recipe for an experiment.  Here is what I propose.
 1 package SAF yeast
3 Teaspoons(1 tablespoon) sugar
9.5 oz warm water (90deg)
 ¼ cup Crisco
¼ cup Olive Oil
16 oz Bread flour
2 Teaspoon salt

 KitchenAid instructions
Put everything in the bowl except for the Crisco and mix until a ball forms on speed 1(stir speed) then knead at speed 2(knead speed) for 5 minutes.  Add Crisco and knead for 5 more minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes then place in cooler for overnight rise.  Take out 2 hours in advance of panning and flatten into a disk. Divide the disk in half then form into balls.
When ready to cook flatten one of the balls in a 10 “pan with olive oil in the bottom until the dough covers the bottom. Use fingers from the top to pinch up the sides about ½ way up the pan and about 3/16” thick.  Bake on low rack in oven preheated to 450F for 20 minutes or more.

Offline buzz

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2004, 12:02:57 PM »
Randy--

Let me know how that one goes--that's a lot of fat!

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2004, 01:06:42 PM »
Yes it is a lot of fat and what makes it worst is half is Crisco the ultimate bad fat.  The Crisco is required to get the thick exterior crust.  Since I removed the corn meal and reduced the flour by 2 oz I did miss reducing the fat, a good point Buzz, thanks.

Rev 1  Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza Dough
1 package SAF yeast
3 Teaspoons(1 tablespoon) sugar
9.5 oz warm water (90deg)
 3 tablespoons Crisco
3 tablespoons Clasico Olive Oil
16 oz Bread flour
2 Teaspoon salt

 
KitchenAid instructions
Put everything in the bowl except for the Crisco and mix until a ball forms on speed 1(stir speed) then knead at speed 2(knead speed) for 5 minutes.  Add Crisco and knead for 5 more minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes then place in cooler for overnight rise.  Take out 2 hours in advance of panning and flatten into a disk. Divide the disk in half then form into balls.
When ready to cook flatten one of the balls in a 10 “pan with olive oil in the bottom until the dough covers the bottom. Use fingers from the top to pinch up the sides about ½ way up the pan and about 3/16” thick.  Bake on low rack in oven preheated to 450F for 20 minutes or more.


Offline buzz

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2004, 10:25:29 AM »
Crisco has come out with a non trans-fat shortening. Also Spectrum makes the same. I have no idea if the taste is different.

hoover

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2004, 08:27:22 PM »
Randy,
Are you going to use plain crushed tomatoes for the sauce on your edited recipe?  Do you think they would be to juicy and need to be drained?

Offline Randy

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Re:Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2004, 11:34:26 PM »
Hoover I use the ground and peeled 6 in 1 tomatoes stright from the can with a few spices.
Randy


 

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