Author Topic: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline skunker

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My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:28:12 PM »
Hi all,
 Made my 2nd pizza ever....today. I followed the recipe on realdeepdish.com for a 9" pie.

It was very good and I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing! I made some mistakes that I wanted to talk about so perhaps some here can give advice on how to improve the pizza (see pics below!). Ingredients were: Walmart's Crushed Tomatoes in Puree (excellent taste!), Walmart's Low Moisture part-Skim Mozzarella, KA AP flour, veg oil, olive oil, a pinch of salt, ADY, a pinch of dried leaves of Basil and Oregano.

  • Walmart Tomatoes in Puree
- I think I should've left the pizza in a little longer becaue the sauce was a little runny/watery. I tried to drain it but I didn't want to wait an hour or whatever it takes to do that. It seemed the sauce got sweeter after baking (something I've seen mentioned in the forums here, as well).
  • Walmart's Mozzarella
- didn't care for it too much. The cheese seemed to not much of a flavor and felt "dry" and a bit too elastic. I will try Polly-o next. I also think I need to add more cheese. I only put one layer.
  • Crust
- this is where I made my major mistake. I made the dough ball this morning and put it in the fridge for 7hrs. When I got home, I noticed it did not rise at all. Also, the crust was very hard to cut with a fork after  baking. is this because the dough didn't rise during proofing? Since I'm new to kneading, I think I also didn't knead it correctly.
[/list]

All in all, a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to making the next one! I have 6n1 and Polly-o for the next along with Semolina.


[/list][/list]


Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 07:53:20 PM »
use ground or a blend with chunky tomatoes.  let the sauce sit in a large bowl before using to evaporate some moisture off, too.  placing the sauce bowl, uncovered, in a fridge will also help with thickening it
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Offline vcb

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 08:24:44 PM »
        Looks like you had pretty decent results.  :chef:

Here's some feedback, suggestions and checklist items, as requested:

Using cold dough or a slow yeast rise can cause a really thin and overly sturdy, and less pie-like crust.
Did you do a first rise in a warm place for at least 1-2 hours before you put it in the fridge?
Did you give the dough time to warm up after taking it out of the fridge?
Don't expect much rising to happen during refrigeration.
Refrigeration slows down yeast activity. If you like your dough on the puffy side, you might want to skip refrigeration altogether and just punch down the dough every few hours until you're ready to use it.

Different brands of tomatoes vary in the amount of water they have in them. If the brand you use gives you a watery pie, you'll need to strain them, even 10 minutes can help. You can always speed up the process a bit by pressing on the tomatoes in the strainer with a spoon.
Try not to use too much tomato sauce on your pie. Start with a small amount in the center (for a 9" pie, start with maybe 8 oz of sauce) and with a ladle (or your clean hands), work the tomatoes out to the edge. You can always add a little more if you think your pie needs it.

Use mozzarella that tastes good before you bake it in a pizza. I like Stella brand that you can get from many deli counters, but also have used Boars Head, Kraft, Sargento, and Jewel-Osco (SuperValu) and Mariano's (Roundy's) store brands, . Some store brands are better than others. I've also been a fan of the 5lb block of Bakers & Chefs brand (Stella) mozzarella that you can often get from Sam's Club.

Also, consider using more than one kind of cheese.
I've used provolone, swiss, cheddar, wisconsin brick, white american, and even gruyere in combination with mozzarella.

I suggest a single overlapping layer of cheese as a starting point, but you can certainly use more.
Try not to go overboard though, or you may end up with a river of cheese when you try to take it out of the pan.

And finally...

I'm not sure if you used it, but if you are using the speed-bake feature on your oven... STOP.
Don't use speed-bake with deepdish. It over-bakes parts of the pizza before other parts are done.

All in all, it seems like minor adjustments will get you where you want to be.

Good luck with your next one!

Hi all,
 Made my 2nd pizza ever....today. I followed the recipe on realdeepdish.com for a 9" pie.

It was very good and I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing! I made some mistakes that I wanted to talk about so perhaps some here can give advice on how to improve the pizza (see pics below!). Ingredients were: Walmart's Crushed Tomatoes in Puree (excellent taste!), Walmart's Low Moisture part-Skim Mozzarella, KA AP flour, veg oil, olive oil, a pinch of salt, ADY, a pinch of dried leaves of Basil and Oregano.

  • Walmart Tomatoes in Puree
- I think I should've left the pizza in a little longer because the sauce was a little runny/watery. I tried to drain it but I didn't want to wait an hour or whatever it takes to do that. It seemed the sauce got sweeter after baking (something I've seen mentioned in the forums here, as well).
  • Walmart's Mozzarella
- didn't care for it too much. The cheese seemed to not much of a flavor and felt "dry" and a bit too elastic. I will try Polly-o next. I also think I need to add more cheese. I only put one layer.
  • Crust
- this is where I made my major mistake. I made the dough ball this morning and put it in the fridge for 7hrs. When I got home, I noticed it did not rise at all. Also, the crust was very hard to cut with a fork after  baking. is this because the dough didn't rise during proofing? Since I'm new to kneading, I think I also didn't knead it correctly.
[/list]

All in all, a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to making the next one! I have 6n1 and Polly-o for the next along with Semolina.


[/list][/list]
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline goosen1

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 09:26:02 PM »
If you think your sauce was to runny, Do what vcb said on straining your tomatoes. Out of a 28oz can, I get over 4oz of water after straining.

When I make my deep dish pizzas I use a half and half mix of Mozzarella and Provolone. I did try it with smoked Provolone but it didn't taste that good to me.
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 12:00:07 AM »
Cheese limited the quality of my pies for about 2 or 3 years, until I read a post by Pete-zza somewhere where he mentioned the use of mozzarella:white cheddar:provolone ratios of 50:30:20 (I think that's right).  I've used all different brands of each, and it's always been awesome because the blend is the key.  the mozza provides stretchiness, the white cheddar gives flavor, and the provolone gives creamimess (or something like that, haha!!!  :-D ).  give it a try.  I was making really good crust and really good sauce for quite some time, but the pie always tasted second rate because of the cheese. 

Offline BTB

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 08:52:11 AM »
Skunker, uncertain about some of the things you experienced.  But nice pictures and thanks for them.

I heard Walmart's brand crushed tomatoes were good but have not tried them myself.  Did you use "crushed" tomatoes?  I used to drain crushed tomatoes for an hour or so BUT the tomatoes became too dry and have since learned to drain only from roughly 10 to 20 minutes and that's all.  Regarding the flavor of the cheese, mozzarella has never been known to be a very flavorful cheese.  Of almost all the regular part-skimmed, low moisture mozzarella, they all seem to taste similarly.  That's why I add about 1/4th to 1/3rd provolone often times.  Polly-O is really good, I think, but remember it usually comes in two kinds.  I prefer the whole milk, low moisture kind, which is a little more tastier.

Suggest you get a small bottle of corn oil and use it instead of the vegetable oil and see if that tastes better to you.  And I've heard it so often . . . "wish I had left it in a little longer."  Sometimes its length of time, sometimes its the temperature of the oven, sometimes its the kind of pan used (dark or light colored), sometimes its the oil used in the bottom of the pan, and often times its "rack level" used. 

Home ovens are notoriously different from commercial types and its difficult to duplicate how those ovens in a real pizzeria bake their pizzas.  We often have to figure out some tricks and ideas to get closer to the real thing, being handicapped with a home oven.  And there are so many different types and styles of home ovens, too.  My electric GE Profile is totally different from any other GE or other brand oven.  I forgot what kind you may have said you have; is it electric and one with the bright red/orange heating elements visible at the bottom of the oven?  At my summer home I have one like that and its the most difficult and challenging one to bake in.  While others swear by it, I don't like "mid-level" baking in any kind of oven.  One or two levels down from mid-level (depending on oven characteristics) is best.  Suggest experimenting and first just doing one level down. And often with home ovens, we have to move the pizza to a higher rack to get to the browning we think we need at the end of the baking cycle.

Uncertain about the crust issue you mentioned.  If same day use, suggest to skip the refrigerator and just put on counter from 6 to 12 hours.  Kneading is so minimal at 30 to 45 seconds that I don't know if one can call it kneading, but that's all you "knead" to do!

Oh, one last thought.  Yes, one layer of cheese is usually too little, but two layers is too often too much (makes for a finished pizza in which the toppings move about a lot when one tries to extract it out of the pan).  After the first layer of cheese, I often break some sliced cheese in pieces to fit onto the first layer and I would "guesstimate" that I have around 1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4's layers of cheese, if that makes any sense.  Trial and error will tell you what is best.  And after the first layer, a good provolone is nice to put on top of the mozzarella and I like some of the suggestions here from other posters.

One thing about your posting is that you got many of us thinking about our pizzamaking experiences, practices and ideas.  And as Martha said . . . that's a good thing. 

                                                                                                     --BTB

Offline AmsterdamPizza

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 04:45:30 PM »
I will add two more in here...

If you are making sausage in the pizza do not cook it first. The bake times for deep dish are long enough that the pork will cook through.

If you find the sausage is turning your pizza into soup try dusting it with before forming it into shape!





Offline Jet_deck

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Re: My 2nd pizza attempt...please critique! It was good...but...
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 07:15:28 PM »
.. I tried to drain it but I didn't want to wait an hour or whatever it takes to do that....


I have an extra simple (for me) way of draining any type of tomatos.  Before you start any prep for the pizza, dump the can of tomatoes/sauce/whatever at one end of a 9 x 13 glass dish.  Leave it flat on the counter.  As you work getting other stuff done, take a spoon and push all of the solids back toward the end you dumped them in on. After a few minutes grab a hotpad or napkins or something and elevate the dish, just a little at a time, and keep pushing the solids back to the top.  In 20 minutes time, you'd be suprised how much water you'll get seperated...

Horrible picture, second one down. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16144.msg157965.html#msg157965
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