Author Topic: corn meal...the debate  (Read 6591 times)

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Offline tomfoolery_79

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corn meal...the debate
« on: July 04, 2005, 12:12:40 PM »
I've seen a lot of debate whether or not to use corn meal in dough.  I've concluded it's personal preference, but I wanted to share two things...

First:  As mentioned by someone else, Dominoes doesn't have it in the dough, but when they are shaping the dough they do it on the tabletop with a 50/50 mix of flour and corn meal.  I know cause my brothers worked there and we know the guy who owns it.

Second:  For a very nice crunch, when I make my pepporoni rolls (or strombolis/calzones), I roll the roll after it's shaped in this 50/50 mixture to coat it.  Then I bake it on a pizza stone.  When it comes out it has a great crunch that you will enjoy (not like a cracker crust though).  To make it look restaurant quality, as soon as it's out of the oven, brush the top with butter for an awesome golden brown look.

Thanks
~Jake


Online Pete-zza

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2005, 01:09:04 PM »
Jake,

Dusting agents can be a problem in places like Domino's, Papa John's, etc., where the workers  handle a lot of pizza dough. Some of the workers have allergies to corn meal, flour or other ingredients in dough, causing respiratory problems or hand rashes. Also, in some cases, dusting agents like flour apparently can wreak havoc with air-conditioning systems. I read somewhere that Papa John's uses a product called Dustinator. I believe it is a combination of flour and soy oil or something similar to it to reduce the "clouds" of flour dust in the air. No doubt many workers use rubber gloves. At least I hope so.

Peter

Offline Randy

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2005, 01:48:49 PM »
papa john's uses a mixture Semolina, Flour and soy oil. in their shaping mixture

Randy

Offline tomfoolery_79

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2005, 09:31:52 PM »
What are you saying?  I was just sharing that information for information sake.  Maybe I should clarify.  I'm a one man show making pizza as a hobby.  I don't own a business.  Sorry.

Offline Randy

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2005, 08:03:49 AM »
When you say cornmeal do you mean in the dough like a Chicago style pizza?
Randy

Offline tomfoolery_79

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2005, 08:38:23 AM »
Another good point to clarify...  I'm actually talking about both.  I put about 1/4 cup cornmeal directly in the dough when making normal pizza.  However when I'm making my pizza rolls, I do not put it in the dough, I coat the outside with it as descibed above.  In the Chicago style forums it seemed there was a lot of debate whether or not to put it in.  So, that's what I meant by personal preference.  Put it in or take it out it won't make or break the dough either way.

piroshok

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005, 06:43:53 AM »
Sorry to butt in but what do you call cornmeal
 Is it polenta or fine corn milled flour?
Thanks
 

Online Pete-zza

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 11:40:52 AM »
piroshok,

In the U.S., cornmeal is made by milling dried corn kernels (maize). The corn can be yellow, white or even blue. Most cornmeal sold in U.S. supermarkets is steel-ground (often referred to as "degerminated" cornmeal) but it can also be stone-ground, which retains more of the natural grain. The stone-ground variety is also often organic. Typically, cornmeal comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds. The fine ground cornmeal is sometimes referred to as corn flour. Polenta is made from a fine ground cornmeal (farina d'avena) but often the corn used to make the polenta flour is a special strain grown especially for this application. The corn is also often air dried and stone ground, adding to its cost. There are parts of Italy, for example, that are well known for their high-quality polenta flours. Masa harina is also a fine ground corn but lime is added to the corn kernels before milling.

All of the above forms of cornmeal can be used as dusting agents to help release a pizza onto a pizza stone. However, the forms that are best suited to that application are the yellow cornmeals, mainly because they are the cheapest of all the forms. You can also use polenta flour but since its cost is usually greater than the other forms (about U.S. $4-$5 a pound) it is best reserved for making polenta. I personally wouldn't use a nice organic stone ground cornmeal for that application and I don't see much point to using masa harina for this application, but it can be used if that is all that is available.

I have used all the yellow and white grinds in pizza dough, especially in deep-dish doughs but also in doughs that are to be used to make grilled pizzas. Because matters of taste are involved here, I would use the best cornmeal products I have.

Peter

piroshok

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2005, 09:11:23 AM »
Thank you Pete zza
Good explanation I still don't undestand quite right why you refer to farina d'avena or harina de avena?
I have masa (maseca) and yellow fine ground cornmeal (some Italian and Jewish stores carry the stock and sometimes I bake my scones with it) I have used polenta as a proxy for cornmeal but you right quite expensive for the use though in my old country it used to be much like Italy a poors' man staple food dish.



   

Online Pete-zza

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2005, 10:49:22 AM »
piroshok,

Good point on the farina d' avena/harina de avena. I used the Google translator, and "corn meal" in Italian is "farina d' avena" according to that translator. "Harina de avena" is Spanish and translates into "oat flour". As you know, polenta is corn meal but for marketing or other reasons the word you usually see on packages of polenta is "polenta". The word "polenta" itself actually means "porridge".  The next time I come across a package of the Italian polenta I will have to read the label to see how the contents are described. In any event, it is best to save the polenta for uses other than dusting a pizza peel :).

Peter


piroshok

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2005, 11:47:15 PM »
Thanks Pete-zza
I get the jist of the meaning and a rough idea how to use it

Offline TimEggers

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Re: corn meal...the debate
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2005, 02:09:22 AM »
I swear by plain non-flavored breadcrumbs as a dusting medium.  No added flavor, very little texture change and the pizza slides sooooo well off the peel!


 

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