Congrats on your purchase! I've of read many who love their PSTKers, so it may be worth the extra dough (mind the pun
Next week I plan on just a quick less than 1 minute mix with the blade and then mix by hand for about 2 minutes.
There is no one way to mix the dough, that's for sure!
Simply for the point of contrast, I payed closer attention to what I was doing with my doughball last night, specifically, order of operations, how long I mixed and how long I kneaded. I started by adding a quarter (maybe a third) of the flour blend to the wet goods (water-sugar-yeast combo, melted butter and oils) so as to make a batter (forum member vcb brought this technique to light for me, and I've found it definitely keeps my mixing times down to a minimum). After adding the remainder of the flour, I used bowl and spoon for maybe 30 seconds - just until the ingredients made a cohesive ball, though it was a little scrappy and not homogenous. I then dumped it onto a cutting board and kneaded for a maximum of 60 seconds (the ball looked homogenous by about 20 seconds in and the last 40 was just for good measure... stress release, maybe?
). Now some might say I kneaded too long and others might say I didn't knead long enough... I've concocted some pretty bready nightmares in the past, so nowadays, I tend to err on the side of caution!
Was also thinking about corn oil and semolina flour rather than the canola oil and corn meal.
Okay, all kidding aside, the reason I landed at these forums is because I was trying to avoid cornmeal. Nearly every recipe I found on the web had freaking corn meal in it! I wasn't a pizza expert (I'm still not) but I knew that cornmeal had no place in my deep dish pies. Now as a disclaimer, that is my "opinion," but it is an opinion I strongly encourage others to adopt.
In fairness to cornmeal, it adds a flavor element that some find positive. If I could get past the grittiness, I would likely agree. That's why I think some have taken to Semolina: The flavor of cornmeal, a delightful crunch, and no distracting grits.
For AP flour are they all acceptable for the Chicago crust or are some better than others? I have Gold Metal AP
I personally have not distinguished a noticable difference between brands, but I may not have the palette others do. My only rule of thumb, is not to buy the bargain-priced own-brands... and I'm not even sure if this practice has merit! (I use GM AP as well, and have had no complaints, if that makes you feel any better
Clive, if you go to Savoys check out the dark green spice they add to the sauce so far I've decided that its not oregano or basil but they sure as hell won't tell me what it is. The crust is no big deal at Savoy's but, it all about their sauce and the homemade sausage.
I've put it on my calendar for next week and am really excited. I read the review on "Slice" (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/02/st-paul-minnesota-reds-savoy-pizza-review-twin-cities-mn.html
) and they seem to agree that the crust is "purely functional" -- but that's totally fine. I love a good mound of sauce, sausage and cheese, I don't need to be distracted by a crust as well!
Hopefully the next Chicago will actually be worthy of some photos to post. The last one I made I would have been banned from this forum for posting the pics....
Hahaha, I've seen a lot of flops on the forum - even posted some of my own - but no resulting bans yet
Maybe you could be the first!
I look forward to seeing your results!