Author Topic: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!  (Read 1730 times)

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Offline efarley

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How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« on: December 09, 2011, 03:44:01 PM »
I am new to making pizzas but I have some good experience (I've made probably 8-10 pizzas now). I feel I have the crust and sauce down, however my cheese is leaving TONS of grease on top of the pizza.

I don't mean it has oil the drips when you eat it which would be expected I am talking there is a pool of oil that I need 8 paper towels to absorb enough before it could be served in any respectable pizza joint.

I use soft fresh whole milk mozzarella that I cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I then mix with fresh Parmesan and fresh Romano (The mix is around 80/15/5). I have also tried using a dryer mozzarella (still fresh whole milk, not the fake pre-sliced and individually wrapped kind but about that same moisture as that) in place of the soft wetter mozzarella. Nether of these methods have helped reduce the ocean of grease left on top of the finished pizza so any advice you guys can give me on what I am doing wrong would be great!

I will be making a pizza tonight so I will post some pictures of the process for you all in hopes you'll let me know what you think and what I could do to improve the quality of the pie :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 03:48:26 PM by efarley »


Offline tommygun722

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 04:04:21 PM »
Do some experiments .... take a small amount of each cheese and place it on some foil and see where all the grease is coming from.  Try different brands, look for the lowest fat content if that is what you are in search of.  Hope this helps, even if just a little. :)  Please keep us posted on what you have found to work best for you.

scott123

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 04:10:53 PM »
I use soft fresh whole milk mozzarella that I cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Bake time?  Fresh mozz, especially in larger amounts, in combination with longer bakes (longer than 4 minutes), has a strong propensity to curdle.  From the amount of liquid you're describing, it's more than just oil, but oil and water.  It's a little milky, right?

What NY pizzeria are you trying to emulate? With the exception of one or two coal places, it's 99.9% low moisture brick- which, if you get a good brand, will always work better with longer bakes.

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 04:22:35 PM »
My bake time is prob around 10 minutes, but it varies. I go by when the top of the cheese starts to brown in spots and is bubbling more than I use a preset time. I don't have a brick oven or anything like that so I just use a cookie sheet preheated in my oven at 550 F which browns the crust nice and give's it a nice crisp crust.

All of my favorite pizza places are just small local artisan joints with only one location. (Ginos, Anellios, and Ricos are the names if your from the Corning/Elmira area of NY). They all use a modern electric/gas (idk which) oven with the stone bottom not a wood fired brick oven, the only place local with a wood fired brick oven has really soft crust and bland cheese blends that I am not a huge fan of.

scott123

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 05:16:15 PM »
Ginos, Aniello’s, and Ricos all use low moisture mozzarella, the kind you find in brick-like packages in the supermarket.  From looking at photos, it appears that Anellios is using a higher quality low moisture whole milk mozza, but nobody's using fresh.

Fresh mozzarella is incredibly counterproductive in the style of pizza you're attempting to make. Even if you cut your bake time to something more Aniello’s-ish, it's still too long for fresh.  All these places are about as far away from coal pizza as you can get, while still barely hanging on to the NY style label.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 05:18:47 PM by scott123 »

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 06:24:25 PM »
Ginos, Aniello’s, and Ricos all use low moisture mozzarella, the kind you find in brick-like packages in the supermarket.  From looking at photos, it appears that Anellios is using a higher quality low moisture whole milk mozza, but nobody's using fresh.

Fresh mozzarella is incredibly counterproductive in the style of pizza you're attempting to make. Even if you cut your bake time to something more Aniello’s-ish, it's still too long for fresh.  All these places are about as far away from coal pizza as you can get, while still barely hanging on to the NY style label.


Hmmm I am not familiar with the term coal pizza, is that the same as a wood fired brick oven but using coal instead of wood? We have one of thous (Atlas) but I am not a huge fan of their pizza although it is amazing. I wonder if theirs is a more traditional NY pizza.

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 08:26:18 PM »
My local cheese selection, usually I get which ever fresh mozzarella is on sale, tonight I went with the low moisture sorrento.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 08:36:27 PM »
You might also try the Boar's Head or whatever other brand of whole milk mozz they slice from the big logs the deli. That's what I prefer for my cheese and pepperoni pies - and my bake time is 60 seconds, so I can use fresh with no problems if I want to.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 09:26:01 PM »
Here she is, the low moisture cheese helped but I also had to add a little more cheese part way through cooking because I realized I didn't have enough and I noticed the middle where the cheese was in the oven longer was more greasy than the cheese that was in shorter. So I am thinking I am letting it cook too long. Cook time here was 10-12 mins at 550.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 09:28:30 PM by efarley »

scott123

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 06:58:53 PM »
Eric, the oil is pooling towards the center, not because the center is giving off more oil, but because you're forming the skin in such a way that it's slanting towards the center.  This is very common for pizzamakers that are still develop their skin forming skills. As you get more practice forming skins, you'll have a flatter surface, so the oil won't travel and pool.

If you take the amount of oil that's in the center and spread it over the entire pizza, it's well within the parameters of NY style. Many people, myself included, prefer that much oil. If you want less oil than that, then you'll want to use half whole milk and half part skim low moisture mozzarella.

Btw, you aren't adding any oil to the sauce, right?


Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 10:33:50 PM »
Nope the only oil I add is a light brushing around the edge of the crust to help it brown in an ordinary oven. The amount of oil on the pizza I made last night was acceptable, normally (when I use fresh mozzarella) I have around 10x that amount of oil (you can see the problem with that much!). I really think the cooking time had some effect on the cheese in the middle that was in the oven longer producing more oil but you have an excellent point about it the oil form the whole pizza collecting in the middle.

I'll work on both flattening the skin more and reducing cooking time (if possible at only 550...). I try pretty hard to keep it an even thickness other than the edge but I'll admit tossing it tends to thin the middle more than the edges which I always have to try to fix. Practice makes perfect! I can't wait to have a house where I can build a brick oven in my yard :)

scott123

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2011, 02:20:18 AM »
Here's a good video on forming.



Pay close attention to the stretch he does at 1:32.  Also, as you're pressing out the crust, I find it helps to keep the middle from thinning, if I start with a little mound there.

We get quite a few members who wistfully daydream about eventually owning a wood fired oven (WFO), but are not aware that typical home ovens can, with the right setup, produce close to WFO results. In your particular instance, where all your favorite pizzerias use relatively longer bake times, your need for a WFO is even less.

Now WFOs have an incredible beauty and mystique, so I definitely am fully behind your quest to own one, but, as far making an Aniello's-ish pizza (and better), the right stone will do that for you- and not a year or two from now, but now.

Tell me a bit about your oven. Gas or electric? The dial goes to 550, correct?

Offline Jackitup

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 03:13:07 AM »
A lot of that fat/oil is from your parm/romano, asiago is also very fatty. I like those cheeses shredded fine and put on right as they come out of the oven rather than mix with the mozz. Swiss and Provalone I like to blend with the mozz sometimes. Take a selection of cheeses and put a small amount on a small plate and nuke til cheese is melted and almost hard. One, it's a very tasty snack and 2, you'll be amazed at the oil that comes out of parm, romano, asiago and other hard cheeses. Brie will all but disappear leaving a bunch of oil behind. I find that mozz leaves more water behind than oil especially with the fresh ones. Trial and error will get you to the right mixes/blends and brands. Just some thoughts.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline Jackitup

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2011, 03:20:56 AM »
Another thing you can try with the higher moisture fresh mozzerella's is to nuke for several seconds to heat, not melt, and knead between each cycle as if you were makng it from scratch. You want to end up with it being hot to touch but not to the 'melt' point and after a few cycles of heat and knead you will be surprized at the moisture that comes out. That will help with the pooling of water and make the cheese 'less loose' on the pie. Just some stuff to try.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline pizzburghr

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2011, 07:24:22 PM »

      E i think you might want to see if you can get the Bel cheese in part skim moz ,get rid of the parm or
rom. cheese. Salt could be causing the pool with your cheese mix. I do not have enough info concerning
your pizza procedure.To get a browner crust you must preheat your oven for at least 45 min. to one hr.
    I am cooking American pies 14" in less than 8 min., and getting paper bag browning with 475 to 500
degree temps to start my project. Lowest oven rack, 16" screen, KABF with 7 day frig program. I do use
oil in my dough. Cheese is Bel. mild prov. 50/50 with Giant Eagle part skim moz.. I think I could do away
with the prov. cheese. Will be the next pie. The prov seems to take away the mellow blended taste I am
searching for. Tonight I had pepperoni on half, and had virtually no oil on the pie. I will post pics if my
next one turns out as good as this one. I probably could have pulled my pie in less than 7 min. Your pie
looks very tasty. I think its mostly your cheese var. mix.          Dave

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 03:49:22 PM »
Tell me a bit about your oven. Gas or electric? The dial goes to 550, correct?

Thanks for the video, very helpful! My oven is an electric that goes to a maximum temp on the dial of 550. I preheat the oven with the cookie sheet in it so the sheet is also at 550 before the pizza is placed on it. I have another cookie sheet with no edges that I use as a peel (works great by adding a little corn meal between the sheet and dough. I have considered going out and buying some stones or bricks for my oven but honestly I don't think there is that big of a difference if it doesn't cut down cook time. I want a WFO because their beautiful and functional and would just be a great way to bring some friends & family together and cook some pies while having a nice picnic or something.

A lot of that fat/oil is from your parm/romano, asiago is also very fatty. I like those cheeses shredded fine and put on right as they come out of the oven rather than mix with the mozz. Swiss and Provalone I like to blend with the mozz sometimes. Take a selection of cheeses and put a small amount on a small plate and nuke til cheese is melted and almost hard. One, it's a very tasty snack and 2, you'll be amazed at the oil that comes out of parm, romano, asiago and other hard cheeses. Brie will all but disappear leaving a bunch of oil behind. I find that mozz leaves more water behind than oil especially with the fresh ones. Trial and error will get you to the right mixes/blends and brands. Just some thoughts.
Jon

I was just thinking last time I should hold the parm until after the pie is cooked, and I have been debating removing the Romano entirely so maybe tonight I'll try just using mozz and adding the parm later.

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2011, 12:19:36 AM »
Working on getting a thinner more level crust and removing the Ramano helps tons, tonight's pizza was awesome!

Offline chickenparm

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2011, 01:21:12 AM »
Great Job there! Nice pies and slices! Making me hungry at this hour!!
 :pizza:


-Bill

scott123

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2011, 09:28:48 AM »
Eric, your forming practice is definitely paying off. Your pies are improving immensely.

I have considered going out and buying some stones or bricks for my oven but honestly I don't think there is that big of a difference if it doesn't cut down cook time.

The cook time is directly proportional to the thickness and the heat transfer rate (conductivity) of your baking hearth.  The thicker the hearth, the more heat it can store, the faster the bake. The cookie sheet you're using is probably pretty conductive, but it's a fraction of an inch thin, so it can't transfer much heat, if any, to the pizza.  A thicker material will give you a faster bake time, and a faster bake time will give you a better, less bready, better colored pie.

The best material we're seeing right now for fast bake times is steel- 1/2" steel plate. It's readily available and not that expensive. It's heavy, but it's heft is what allows it to store a lot of heat- enough heat to give you any NY bake time that you want, allowing you to match any NY style pizzeria on the planet.  This is, by far, the single biggest barrier to home bakers seeking to reproduce pizzeria quality results at home. Match their bake times and you can match their pizzas.

Offline efarley

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Re: How to I reduce the oil from my cheese, it's an ocean!
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2011, 12:43:10 PM »
Eric, your forming practice is definitely paying off. Your pies are improving immensely.

The cook time is directly proportional to the thickness and the heat transfer rate (conductivity) of your baking hearth.  The thicker the hearth, the more heat it can store, the faster the bake. The cookie sheet you're using is probably pretty conductive, but it's a fraction of an inch thin, so it can't transfer much heat, if any, to the pizza.  A thicker material will give you a faster bake time, and a faster bake time will give you a better, less bready, better colored pie.

The best material we're seeing right now for fast bake times is steel- 1/2" steel plate. It's readily available and not that expensive. It's heavy, but it's heft is what allows it to store a lot of heat- enough heat to give you any NY bake time that you want, allowing you to match any NY style pizzeria on the planet.  This is, by far, the single biggest barrier to home bakers seeking to reproduce pizzeria quality results at home. Match their bake times and you can match their pizzas.

Alright I'll look into a steel plate :) Thanks for the idea, I have only heard of going and buying a stack of fire bricks and loading up your oven which seemed somewhat expensive and bothersome. Just throwing a steel plate in the oven shouldn't be bad at all!


 

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