Author Topic: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie  (Read 838 times)

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Offline kellmax

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cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« on: December 29, 2013, 01:16:38 PM »
I made 2 deep dish pizzas recently , one 9" and a 12" pie using the malnati dough recipe (80/20 semolina).

The 9" baked perfectly and had gooey cheese....but my 12" ended up with more golden and FIRM cheese center...I assume I cooked it too long but I wanted my crust to be perfectly crispy and golden. Any ideas or helpful tips for next time? 


Offline kellmax

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 01:08:40 PM »
Anyone???

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 05:42:37 PM »
Anyone???
Did you bake these 2 pies side by side or 2 different rack levels and did you in fact cook the 12 incher longer?

Bob
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 05:48:49 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline kellmax

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 01:30:25 PM »
I cooked the 9" in a convection oven... and the 12" in my gas oven, on a stone.   Which do you prefer? Gas or convection? Any temp preferences?

I can't seem to get the crust as crispy on the 12" without compromising the cheese! It's so hard to know if it is fully cooked as I want it unless I take it out of the pan.

Offline kellmax

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 01:32:00 PM »
Forgot to add: the 12" that i was having trouble with-- I am baking it in a commercial grade, chicago metallic pan I got from my husband who works in restaurant equipment sales, so I know at least i have the proper pan!  I baked it on the stone, center rack.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 01:55:58 PM »
Forgot to add: the 12" that i was having trouble with-- I am baking it in a commercial grade, chicago metallic pan I got from my husband who works in restaurant equipment sales, so I know at least i have the proper pan!  I baked it on the stone, center rack.
Keller, I use the same type of pan always with good results. I believe there was just recently(somewhere :() on the forum where a person was having the same problem as you and the pizza cooked properly after we got him to cook without the stone...this may be your solution. This style of pizza can be a bit difficult to bake. One reason being that it can be difficult to check doneness on the bottom. A 12 in. is easier though because the larger rim radius will allow for you to "man handle" it a bit with a narrow spatula(I use a butter knife)to lift up the rim and take a peek. Without the stone, just do a normal oven pre-heat and keep track of your bake time...by the second time using above methods you should have yourself a pretty reliable "bake time" figured out so that in the future you can pretty much "set it and forget it".
Hope this helps...

Bob




« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 02:31:29 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline kellmax

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 02:04:42 PM »
So you recommend NOT using the stone?


Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 02:53:12 PM »
Are your portions/proportions consistent from one size to another?

Here's some info about what portions I use from one size to another. Although I haven't made many deep dish pizzas in any size other than 9", these numbers seem to have translated well to 14". And it's all based on some pretty intricate math, rather than guessing or using math that doesn't account for all the variables that exist with deep dish pizza.

6" deep dish
3.97 oz dough
3.34 oz cheese
3.96 oz sauce

9" deep dish
8.2 oz dough
7.79 oz cheese
9.21 oz sauce

12" deep dish
13.91 oz dough
14.08 oz cheese
16.66 oz sauce

14" deep dish
18.55 oz dough
19.31 oz cheese
22.85 oz sauce

Bake at 450, on stone, for 22-25 minutes (at least with the 9" pizzas). I haven't really timed the 14" pizzas because I've been so busy when I've made them (at parties). 14" pizzas may bake for a little longer, but I can't say for sure. I also usually add raw sausage, but probably only 50-75% as much as you'd get on a Malnati's pizza. More toppings = longer bake.

Visually, when the sides of the crust have pulled away from the sides of the pan, that tells me the pizza is probably done if I want a lite bake. I usually leave it in for another 3-5 minutes after this point, I think. (It's been several months since I've done it.) If the sides of the crust start to get very brown, you probably have a well-done pizza.

My pans are very well seasoned (black) on the outside and inside.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 05:34:05 PM »


Bake at 450, on stone, for 22-25 minutes (at least with the 9" pizzas). I haven't really timed the 14" pizzas because I've been so busy when I've made them (at parties). 14" pizzas may bake for a little longer, but I can't say for sure. I also usually add raw sausage, but probably only 50-75% as much as you'd get on a Malnati's pizza. More toppings = longer bake.

Visually, when the sides of the crust have pulled away from the sides of the pan, that tells me the pizza is probably done if I want a lite bake. I usually leave it in for another 3-5 minutes after this point, I think. (It's been several months since I've done it.) If the sides of the crust start to get very brown, you probably have a well-done pizza.

My pans are very well seasoned (black) on the outside and inside.
Ryan,
Given the long bake time on these pizzas and the ability to rotate the pan once or twice on oven rack do you think it absolutely necessary to go through the pre heat up time for a stone to get an even bake?
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Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 06:42:03 PM »
It makes sense to me to always preheat a stone if you're gonna bother using one.

Reach your arm into a hot oven. Doesn't bake your arm, does it? Now touch the hot stone with your bare hand and leave it there, as if your hand was pizza pan. How's that feel? Your pan experiences the same thing, which means your dough starts baking sooner if you put a pan on a hot stone (instead of just proofing while the dough waits for the pan to get hot).

Makes sense, right?

I don't ever rotate my pizzas. Never needed to until I raised my stone with the most recent two NY style pizzas, but that was only because I got uneven top heat on those pizzas, since they were so much closer to the top heating element. I need an IR thermometer.


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 07:24:46 PM »
It makes sense to me to always preheat a stone if you're gonna bother using one.

  " Ryan,
Given the long bake time on these pizzas and the ability to rotate the pan once or twice on oven rack do you think it absolutely necessary to go through the pre heat up time for a stone to get an even bake?"

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear.
 If one can bake on a rack(no stone), then why bother with the stone and the extra heat up time a stone requires?

I believe that most all the great DD recipes around here, with their recommended bake times and oven temps do not call for using a stone and I was thinking that may be kellmax bake problem. It may work for you, but you have a lot of baking experience. When you started baking your DD's did you cook on the rack....when you cook on the stone have you had to adjust time and temps from what the old time recipes here call for?
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Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 07:57:15 PM »
Oh, OK.

As far as I remember, I've always used a stone for my deep dish pizzas. I suspect not using a stone would produce similar, acceptable results, though. But last I checked (and every other time I checked), Malnati's bakes on stone. Obviously without a stone, a long preheat is not necessary.

Would rotation be necessary without a stone in my oven? I don't know.

I'm moving in a few days. Next pizza will be baked in a different oven. No idea when I'll make another pizza.

Offline Garvey

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 12:52:43 AM »
A stone adds thermal mass, which helps when you're throwing a 29-lb casserole into the oven.  Should help maintain the heat.  That being said, every oven is different, and I have found that every recipe here has to be adapted to one's own home conditions.  Just because I'm a stone guy doesn't mean everyone should be.  I don't rotate pies, while many folks do.  My baking quirk is to use two stones--one high and one low-- and regulate the cooking that way.  YMMV.

Edit: for DD, I think the stone helps shield the bottom of the pizza from the raw blast of heat from below.  This is especially important in an electric oven, fwiw.  This allows the whole pizza to cook instead of just the bottom of the crust.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 08:23:36 AM by Garvey »

Offline vcb

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 03:07:18 PM »
You need to pre-heat a pizza stone or it will have the opposite effect:
it will block heat from getting to the bottom of your pizza and the top will overcook before the bottom sets up.

You don't NEED a pizza stone, but like Garvey said,
Quote
A stone adds thermal mass, which helps when you're throwing a 29-lb casserole into the oven.  Should help maintain the heat.
If you don't plan on pre-heating your stone, then it's best not to use it.

Back to the topic of cheese:
I think the answer is overbaking or underbaking.
If you underbake, the cheese won't melt.
If you overbake, the cheese loses water and it won't be melty.

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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 05:45:57 PM »
The convection oven cooks differently than your gas with stone.  I assume you are looking for a less brown cheese but crust cooked through.  I prefer gas plus stone.  If that what you want to try, set oven to 425 , preheat stone for 20 minutes at 425, bake pizza for 20 min, check your cheese often, if it starts to get too brown for your liking cover with aluminum foil to keep the heat off.  Your pizza will take 20-30 minutes, so keep an eye on it.


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014, 09:09:54 PM »
How can the cheese get too brown if it is covered with Lou's famous tomatoes?
How can a stone become "preheated" @ 425 degrees for just 20 min.?
Is that one of those new "wafer" stones?

Bob
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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2014, 12:27:53 AM »
Oven stones are typically 1/4 inch, with preheat plus 20 at 425 it will be at temp. That are in my oven.  The OP said they used the malanatis dough recepie which some put  fresh mozzarella up top as well. I also do that and on occasion put a lot of cheese on top, so, some assumptions.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 12:34:54 AM »
Oven stones are typically 1/4 inch, with preheat plus 20 at 425 it will be at temp. That are in my oven.  The OP said they used the malanatis dough recepie which some put  fresh mozzarella up top as well. I also do that and on occasion put a lot of cheese on top, so, some assumptions.
Now you've added a preheat and he said "cheese center".

Bob
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 10:33:39 AM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline pythonic

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 06:49:31 AM »
How can the cheese get too brown if it is covered with Lou's famous tomatoes?
How can a stone become "preheated" @ 425 degrees for just 20 min.?
Is that one of those new "wafer" stones?

Bob

Convection sir.  My stone preheats on bottom rack in 25 mins.  Convection burns the cheese too.  I always turn convection off after stone preheats.
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Offline Garvey

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Re: cheese too firm/hard on lou style pie
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 07:00:11 AM »
Cook's Illustrated did a consumer grade pizza stone test--cooked pizzas on stones preheated at 30 mins, 60, etc.--and showed that pizzas cooked on the 30 min stone came out blonder than the longer preheats.  But I don't have a convection oven, so I'll defer to your experience. 


 

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