Author Topic: My Experiments  (Read 5035 times)

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Brent

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My Experiments
« on: June 05, 2005, 02:00:37 PM »
I have been experimenting making chicago pizza for some time. Sometimes its so hard to make chicago pizza because there are so many bad recipes out there. I even bought "THe Great Chicago-Style Pizza" CookBook. The author definitly has some good tips and pointers but at least some of his recipes are flawed. For his first Chicago Style Pizza recipe he calls for 1/2 cup of water to 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 3.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup of oil which is not nearly enough water. You really need to at least double the water for it to come out ok.I can imagine people buying this cookbook for an authetic chicago style pizza and giving up because getting frustrated cause the recipe doesn't work. I am the type that never gives up though. He also calls for quite a high temperature 475 for 35 minutes. I think this is way to long for 475 you usually end up with a burned pizza crust in my case. I usually the temperature to about 450 and it takes about 30 minutes.

I got my first experience at chicago pizza when i was in training for my work in Elk Grove (a suburb of chicago). We went to this place which had won awards for the best chicago style pizza in the area. I tried  it and OH MY GOSH. It was the most awesome pizza i ever tasted. I went home and tried to duplicate this and this is when i started cooking so i didn't have much experience with either pizza or anything else. I tried many times and horrible failed. My pizza usually wouldn't even be editable. With increased experience in cooking and specifically pizza cooking (other types than chicago). I learned much experience and started to jot down what i like and dislike about the pizza. Another probably was that im 4 hours south of chicago and don't go there all that often so i failed so many times i started to forget what authentic chicago pizza should taste like. I went to chicago 3 months ago and i decided i was going to eat at Gino's East in Oak Lawn since Ginos was known for chicago pizza. Well i thought it was horrible. IT was editable but i really didn't like it all that much. There cheese sticks where good though :). A week ago i got sent to Rosemont (another suburb of chicago). For those that don't know that is where O'Hair airport is located. Anyways i decided to give chicago pizza another try and went to Giordanos and oh my gosh it was so good. It was just as i remembered. Very good light cormeal crust. I was very impressed. Today i decided to try to make chicago pizza again. This time it was good but not nearly as good as Giordanos. First thing is it had to much cornmeal in the crust. I think 1/2 cup cornmeal to 3.5 cups of flour is to much. I don't like the texture of the dough. I think that might be one of the reason i didn't like Ginos. I think they put to much cornmeal in thier crust. Next time i will go with 1/4 cup of cornmeal. Another thing is i made a 14 in pizza and i though 1 can (28 oz) of hand crushed tomatoes would be enough. I was wrong but that was my fault. I also let the dough rise in the frige over night cause in the past i think it leads to a better tasting crust (at least for other types of pizza). The next time i make chicago pizza i will definitly use less cornmeal. I think if i did use less cornmeal and had more sauce the pizza would have been perfect.

Is there any other tips you guys have?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2005, 02:12:58 PM »
Brent,

Welcome to the forum.

Since you already have a lot of experience with the Chicago style and making adjustments to recipes--which by itself puts you much farther ahead of the game than most--I would just go to the post entitled "Chicago Style" and read all the posts there. There are two pages of threads, but they are quick reads. I am confident that you will find answers to many of the nagging questions you have, as well as find recipes that you may want to experiment with. Members DKM and buzz have done a lot of good work with the Chicago style, so you may want to pay close attention to what they have said and done relative to that style.

Peter

Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2005, 11:18:20 AM »
See my recipe for Giordano's already posted (although I just had a talk with a guy who used to work for Giordano's and he said that their raw dough literally dripped with oil, so I'm going to experiment with more!).

I've eaten many, many, many Chicago deep-dish pizzas, and have never once tasted cornmeal in the crus (granted, I haven't been to Gino's for years because their downtown restaurant is flithy and I just swore it off). Giordano's has no cornmeal in their deep dish crust. Maybe they used to years ago (and some still use it on the peel as a lubricant for sliding thin crust in and out of the oven). Again, I think this goes back to Jeff Smith's incorrect recipe which has been floating around the internet for years and ripped off by many recipe writers, including Pat Bruno, whose instructions will not make a "real" Chicago deep-dish pizza. if you like cornmeal, put it in by all means, but my aim has been to re-create as closely as possible the restaurant pizza served in Chicago.

As for tomatoes--Giordano's uses 6-in-1's.

Offline Randy

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2005, 04:31:46 PM »
Buzz it may not be true Chicago but I like adding 2 tablespoons to my dough mix.  I left it out last time and got family complaints.

Randy

Offline DKM

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2005, 09:35:33 PM »
See my recipe for Giordano's already posted (although I just had a talk with a guy who used to work for Giordano's and he said that their raw dough literally dripped with oil, so I'm going to experiment with more!).

I've eaten many, many, many Chicago deep-dish pizzas, and have never once tasted cornmeal in the crus (granted, I haven't been to Gino's for years because their downtown restaurant is flithy and I just swore it off). Giordano's has no cornmeal in their deep dish crust. Maybe they used to years ago (and some still use it on the peel as a lubricant for sliding thin crust in and out of the oven). Again, I think this goes back to Jeff Smith's incorrect recipe which has been floating around the internet for years and ripped off by many recipe writers, including Pat Bruno, whose instructions will not make a "real" Chicago deep-dish pizza. if you like cornmeal, put it in by all means, but my aim has been to re-create as closely as possible the restaurant pizza served in Chicago.

As for tomatoes--Giordano's uses 6-in-1's.

None of the "Top" Chicago deep dish pizza makers use cornmeal.  In fact at this point Gino's East is the only one I know of that uses any type of coloration (food coloring).  There are several pizza shops in chicago that make deep dish pizzas that do use cornmeal, but again these are not the places that people think about when they think Chicago style pizza.

DKM
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Offline Randy

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2005, 07:02:36 AM »
DKM, are you taking corn meal out of your recipe?
Making my recipe Thursday but I am going to try it with plain with great value walmart crushed tomatoes.

Randy

Offline DKM

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2005, 11:30:59 AM »
Nope.

I have lots of recipe without cornmeal, but I prefer mine.  I like the flavor and texture it gives. As I have stated before my recipe was developed for what I like.  Iím just glad that others like it as well.

DKM
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Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2005, 09:16:05 AM »
If you like cornmeal, put in it!!!!!!!!! I'm just trying to duplicate at home the well-known restaurant pizzas.

Offline DKM

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2005, 09:30:12 PM »
I do that as well beacause, well, I'm a pizza freak!!!!
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Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2005, 07:25:26 AM »
Giordano's definitely does not use cornmeal in any of their pizzas. As far as cornmeal  in that Chicago Pizza book goes, that is what Pizzeria Uno and Due's, and the old Gino's USED to be like. Now, they use coloring, which doesn't make sense because the cornmeal should be in there for flavor, not color. That "dry" recipe for deep dish is right though. The dough shouldn't be very pliable. Basically, you plop it in a pan, and just press it out to all sides. There is no rolling involved. It should also be so rich, that oil is not needed in the pan. Unfortunately the Gino's chains are exactly that--chains. They are a shadow of the original. It's been years, but I would hope that the original Gino's downtown(Chicago) still does everything fresh. The Gino's in Oak Lawn has prebaked crusts, and sausage "patties" that are simply placed in the pizza. They used to use raw italian and smash in in there, and the pizza would take 45 minutes minimum to cook. Now you can get it in 20 minutes.
 Jeff Smith did a special Chicago show years ago, and had this old Afro-Amer.sweetheart on there making the pizza. She was working at Gino's for 25+ years or something. I think she used cornmeal.
For home use, I like the cornmeal ground, instead of out of the box. I think you can also use Masa Ahrina (?), which Hispanics use for their cooking.


Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2005, 09:56:39 AM »
I'd like to find out if they ever really did use cornmeal, or if people like Jeff Smith (that African-American woman worked at Uno's) just guessed it was cornmeal from the color.

Giordano's sheets their deep dish dough (twice). So does Connie's. If I were to guess from looking at the Uno's and Malnati's pizzas I've had, so do they. Don't know about Gino's--haven't been there in years (although they opened one not too far from me--I'll have to try it). It's all about production these days!

I think Uno's used to use hand-crushed whole tomatoes--last time I was there, it was obviously diced tomatoes from a can.

Masa harina is made from corn cooked in lime water--don't know how that would taste! Lol!

Offline Randy

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2005, 11:17:20 AM »
Have you tried with semolina flour instead of cornmeal or Emril's recipe?  If I could find semolina I would try Emil's recipe.
Either way I love the Chicago style pizza and of all the pizzas it reheats the best straight from the freezer.

Randy

Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2005, 12:52:54 PM »
I would think that semolina would be too hard for the biscuit-like crust that is the hallmark of Chicago deep dish.

Deep dish does re-heat very well!

Offline DKM

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2005, 07:37:19 PM »
Giordano's sheets their deep dish dough (twice). So does Connie's. If I were to guess from looking at the Uno's and Malnati's pizzas I've had, so do they. Don't know about Gino's--haven't been there in years

At one neither Uno's or Malnati's sheeted and based on the Frozen ones I have gotten from Malnati's they still don't.

DKM
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Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2005, 10:04:37 AM »
That's interesting--those I've had in the restaurant don't look hand-made, but sheeted. I'll investigate!

Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2005, 01:20:07 PM »
Now that I recall, the Travel Channel had the owner of Malnati's maing a deep dish pizza and he pressed it into the pan by hand, so maybe that's what they still do!

Offline DKM

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2005, 01:38:20 PM »
According to the shows I have on tape, Gino's, Uno's, and Malnati's all press out their dough with there hands.  You can see "cooks" doing this in the background as well as when they do it for the TV crew.

What they don't show, but according to my source (A guy who gets paid to eat, lucky dog) is Gino's par-bakes their crust to keep cooking time down.

I know Uno's will take orders while people are waiting in line.

DKM
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Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2005, 03:31:58 PM »
I'll rely on your expertise for the Uno's and Malnati's--I just don't like their pizza, so it's been a long time since I've gone to either of them. But the ones in the restaurant don't look hand-made, anyway.

To my taste buds. both Connie's (even though they have slipped quite a bit recently) and especially Giordano's are far, far superior and both sheet their dough. I think this helps to create a more biscuit-like texture due to a lamination-type process--they sheet the dough, then fold it in half and sheet it again.

And that reminds me--that's the step I left out of my last deep dish. No wonder I didn't like it as much! You half to fold it in quarters and rolll it out--twice! Now I'm going to have to try another one with the higher oil content! My mind is defintely going--too many pizzas!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2005, 09:42:46 PM »
Buzz,

I saw some interesting (and sometimes amusing) commentary on the different Chicago deep-dish pizzas from the usual suspects, at the pizzatoday forum at http://www.pizzatoday.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=000359.

Peter

Offline buzz

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Re: My Experiments
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2005, 08:58:21 AM »
I've seen that one before--it is funny!