Author Topic: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust  (Read 2464 times)

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Offline Tomster2

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I started my experiments with deep dish several months ago when I ran across this site.  Thanks to all for sharing... FANTASTIC info!!!

During my quest, I was trying to find a way to get a layer of sausage that was very even in thickness... without damaging the crust on the bottom.  I also was trying to figure out a way to prep the sausage ahead of time so it would be minimum fuss during the assembly.  Following is an idea I came up with, accompanied  by attached pictures.  It has worked really well for me, hope it helps others out there.

1) Place your pan on a piece of wax paper or freezer paper.
2) Use a sharpie to outline the circumference of the pan... leaving a circle on the paper.
3) "Fill" the circle with sausage, pressing and spreading it, until you have a circle of sausage and make any desired adjustments in the thickness until it is even.
4) At this point you can

a) refrigerate it: cover the sausage with another piece of wax paper, slide the whole thing unto a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator.  If I do this, I will pull it out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before assembly time. 

b) put aside while you prep the crust in the pan.

5) When the crust is ready, invert the paper and sausage (yes, it will stick to the paper if you have pressed it down firmly when you spread it in step 3) center it over the crust, and lower it in place.

6) remove the paper by pulling horizontally, not vertically (a vertical motion will pull the sausage up).

That's it.  You have an even layer of sausage, and you have not damaged your crust.

See the attached pictures to get a better idea of how this works.


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 09:47:27 PM »
You know, at first I thought, why go to all the trouble, why not just push the sausage into the crust that is already
in the pan, but that's a great idea.

This makes me wonder..... there must be a want for this "giant sausage" , that would be perfect for a giant who orders a
morning biscuit, egg and sausage breakfast sausage ! LOL

Now on a serious note, what about places that are making tons of this type of pizza daily..... they could have stacks
of these ready-made, and just slap them into the doughed up dishes... saving LOTS of time.

Yeah, pretty cool idea.  If I was making a lot of this type of pizza, I'd made maybe 10 of these and freeze them, and have them ready, for nights when I'm really wanting to entertain, but have the minimum amount of effort.

Great idea, thanks for posting your idea and pictures.

P.S. - I guess the only thing I would do differently is to put the wax paper into the pizza mold you have there, and then press the sausage into it, letting the mold create a perfect circle of sausage for me, that would make it quicker too, however, your way could be faster, as you could use the palm of your hand to shape the round of sausage, instead of using the pizza pan to do it.

So yeah, I'd use your way if I was making the pizza at that moment for immediate baking.... but only use my way if I was going to make a bunch of them to freeze......
so toss on another circle of waxed paper if you are going to freeze that sausage circle, and then repeat the process, so it kind of looks like packaged hamburger patties you get in the grocery
store in the frozen section in bags.. with waxed paper between the patties.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 09:57:43 PM by canadianbacon »
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline Tomster2

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 09:14:48 PM »
Thanks!!!

I think if you are going to put two pounds of sausage in your pizza, just putting in the bottom is fine... but we prefer to have only about a 1/2# in a 10" and 3/4# in a 12".  This means that we had to "spread it" pretty thin... and I ended up making holes in the crust. (Holes are easy to fix when you are just shaping your crust, but messy when you have the sausage on the dough.)  Using the wax paper avoids the holes and lets you place things just where you want them.

The other part is really just the fun factor.  When we do the "assembly work" in front of company, I keep the sausage off to the side while I shape the crust. Just shaping the crust draws out some "cool!" comments.... but then pulling out the "patty" and dropping it place really brings on the "wows!".  It also saves a lot of time at the moment of assembly... and avoids the "gross out" factor and mess of pushing all that raw sausage around.

Offline loowaters

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 09:57:19 PM »
Your idea is good and similar to what I did several years ago. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4226.msg35211.html#msg35211

I have to ask, why are you putting the sausage directly on the dough and not putting your cheese down first?

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline Tomster2

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 09:23:52 AM »
Apologies... I didn't see your original thread. You will be the designated "originator" and just consider mine a reminder.

I put the sausage down first as just working from memory, it seemed like that is what my last trip to LM in Elk Grove, IL they had the sausage down first.  Could be wrong.  For what it is worth I use a baking stone from King Arthur that is preheated for about an hour... and a black annodized pan.  Have not had a problem with the sausage being cooked through.  Being able to use a thinner layer (thanks to the wax paper) also helps being cooked through.

On the thread you referenced, it mentions how that when Gino's East opened up shop in Rollling meadows they couldn't sell the sausage patty.  I know one reason.  When they opened, I was thrilled, and went there and ordered a sausage pizza.  Cutting into it, the sausage was decidely uncooked and I never went back.  Suspect that as with any new location it took a while to bring all the staff up to speed on the details and they must have got it right after that as they are still there after all these years.

Offline loowaters

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 09:46:46 AM »
Tomster, I wasn't looking for any honors as the originator, just to help you with finding an original discussion.  As far as the order, if the sausage was on the bottom that was a mistake...a mistake I've made myself.  :-[  The cheese is placed right on the dough and the thought was to seal away moisture of other toppings from the crust.

Not a good early review on that Gino's East sausage patty and a good thing they cleared that up.  Joe told me they used a tortilla press to make the sausage disks for the pizza.  From what I remember Gino's sausage didn't shrink up much at all indicating to me that they would use a very lean sausage even compared to Malnati's, which is pretty lean in it's own right.  Marc said theirs is 90/10.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline BTB

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 10:40:05 AM »
I put the sausage down first as just working from memory, it seemed like that is what my last trip to LM in Elk Grove, IL they had the sausage down first.  Could be wrong.
Yes, you are wrong.  I am mainly a sausage pizza enthusiast.  All the great Chicago Style deep dish pizzerias (Uno's/Due's, Malnati's, Pizano's, Gino's East, etc.) put the cheese down first after the pizza dough for the crust is placed into the pan.  (An exception may be Giordano's.)  It would be "different" to put the sausage directly on top of the dough for traditional Chicago Style deep dish.  While I've done sausage patties in the past, like Gino's East does, but not Malnati's, I prefer to put chunks of sausage down over the cheese and not the patty style. But to each his own and it depends on what one likes.

                                                                         --BTB

Offline loowaters

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 11:04:08 AM »
I might not have been clear in my sausage patty comparison using Malnati's against Gino's.  Malnati's doesn't do a patty in the same pre-pressed sense, however, they're not bashful about completely covering the pizza with sausage.  The reference I was making to Malnati's sausage shrinking is to the Lou to Go sausage pies that seem to take on an "island of sausage" characteristic on top of the cheese and, I know there's pics around here of it somewhere, contract from the sides of the pizza.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 11:17:32 AM »
Having remembered that several members had talked about using the sausage patty method, I decided to use the same method when I made a gluten-feee deep-dish pizza as part of one of the forum's regular Monthly Challenges. In my case, I used a sausage patty as the base of the pizza instead of a flour-based crust. That patty also included rice flour, which is gluten-free. The combination of the sausage and rice flour made the patty easy to roll out without sticking to everything. I described my experiment with this method at Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10399.msg94062.html#msg94062. One of these days I hope to make a larger version, even though I am not on a gluten-free diet. I think it is a good choice for real sausage lovers.

Peter

Offline Tomster2

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 11:46:09 AM »
You all made me go and dig up my notes... I stand corrected.  Cheese on the bottom it is. I had just gotten away from following my own directions.

On a related note, one person I know worked at Malnati's - but not making pizzas.  He advised that you want a completely freshly made one, ask for your sausage crumbled rather than the patty.  He said that way you didn't get one that was "put together ahead of time". 

Not sure what that means relative to the method they use, but apparently the full layer is one of the things they are know for... so most people order that way so they tend to work ahead a bit.




Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 12:30:13 PM »
Why was it damaging the crust?

Was your dough too soft? Too warm perhaps? 

I've pretty much taken a hammer and chisel to deep dish dough and it's fine  :-D

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Offline loowaters

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2010, 09:21:03 PM »
...one person I know worked at Malnati's - but not making pizzas.  He advised that ...


Tomster, does this person have any knowledge of their dough management?  Same day dough for emergency only or overnight fridge rise for most of the volume the store does?  Anything would be a huge help.

Loo
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Offline Tomster2

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Re: Getting a even layer of sausage in a deep dish without damaging the crust
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 08:42:13 AM »
Unfortunately, he did not know.  That was one of my first questions when I learned that he had worked there for a while.

Tomster2