Author Topic: Sliced or Shredded?  (Read 3199 times)

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Offline Stavs

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Sliced or Shredded?
« on: November 05, 2006, 05:56:28 PM »
I used to use shredded cheese(Sargento, Kraft, Sorento whatever was in the store-they al stunk), but I've recently switched to slicing it off the block when I started making deep dishes. I've used it on my traiditonal style pizzas as well, and I think its better, but I'm thinking maybe its just the quality of cheeses I was getting.

Do you guys use shredded cheede or sliced cheese on your pizzas? Also, why is one better than the other (style-not brand)

Thanks,

Stavs


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sliced or Shredded?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2006, 06:37:18 PM »
Stavs,

I recently used a diced blend of cheeses to make a Little Caesars clone pizza (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1515.msg33473.html#msg33473, Reply 73) and I thought the cheeses held up very well to baking and was chewy and stretchy. I started out with slices which I cut into long thin strips and then diced to simulate the diced cheeses that Little Caesars uses. The diced cheeses provide more uniform coverage and are easier to distribute over the pizza than the shredded cheeses.

Normally I use shredded cheese for regular pizza and cheese slices for deep-dish. More recently, I have been using a combination of shredded cheese and small, generally round cheese pieces about 2"-3" across. I got the idea for the latter from Dom Demarco at DiFara's, where I saw him use the side of his box cutter with the wide cutting edges to create that size and shape of cheese pieces. I think adding the round pieces slows down the cooking of the cheeses a bit.

I almost never use the bagged shredded cheeses because they usually contain chemicals and other additives to keep the shreds from sticking to each other.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Sliced or Shredded?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2006, 08:07:46 PM »
Peter,

Technically, LC uses crumbled cheese.  It's not as uniform as diced, but it does offer a lot of surface area for heat absorption.

All,

I've been thinking about this for a long time.  The shredded versus sliced versus crumbled versus diced discussion is one of the oldest out there.  My biggest concerns (not counting flavor) when it comes to pizza cheese is time, money, consistency, and thermal performance.  Not that cheese costs a lot, but it does cost more than any other part of my pizza (dough: $0.55, sauce: $0.48, cheese: $2.12 - for a 14"), so I always have an eye on cost.  I hate grating, or even worse crumbling my own cheese because of the time involved, not only in the actual preparation, but also in the greasy cleanup.  For consistency I like to buy shredded cheese because I always know it's shredded the same way every time, good or bad.  For good thermal characteristics I prefer crumbled cheese.  As you can see, I have mixed feelings about this, so I've been working on coming up with a way to satisfy all my concerns.  I wasn't prepared to share this with anyone yet because I haven't had a chance to try it out, but the concept is sound, and you're asking the question now, so here it is now:

1) Slice a block of cheese into slices approximately 1/4" using your favorite cheese slicer.  (You can go thicker if you like more cheese on your pizza.)
2) Lay all the slices you intend to use on the pizza flat against a cutting board.
3) Take a dough docker and start rolling it over the cheese like you're trying to aerate a lawn.  (If you don't own a dough docker you can hammer the cheese with the spiked surface of a meat tenderizer.)
4) Keep rolling until the cheese is almost falling apart, but still held together enough to pick up as slices.

This process offers the following: cheese that takes on a shredded/crumbled openness for better heat distribution, better uniformity of the cheese layer across the whole pizza, low time penalty as the whole process takes under a minute, and low item cost as you can buy blocks of cheese rather than pre-anything.

- red.november


 

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