Author Topic: Chicago Thin - a labor of love  (Read 73004 times)

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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2012, 01:21:49 PM »
I agree that those pics look awesome!  Thanks for making them bigger, too!  They were hard to see at first.   :chef:

You've got a bit of bubbling on your rim.  Did you hand stretch the dough, or did you use a rolling pin?  Did you dock it?

I agree with Garvey that these pics are making me hungry.  Good thing it's almost lunchtime here.   ;D


Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2012, 01:31:58 PM »
I used a rolling pin and I docked everything but the very edge of the crust.  I was hoping i would be good with just that.  But, i think the bubbling made it taste even better (it got a flaky type texture).
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2012, 04:02:23 PM »
Hey Garvey,

you say to use a mixer and paddle attachment to beat the sausage when adding the wine.  I don't have a stand mixer - can you recommend another method for doing this?  Do you think I could hand knead/squeeze the mixture until it becomes tacky?  I could also try kneading it in my bread mixer, but that just seems kinda weird haha!

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2012, 04:22:51 PM »
Yeah, just hand knead for a couple mins until tacky.  Or maybe start with a sturdy spoon.

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2012, 09:40:47 PM »
OK I made a 14" pie tonight, using the recipes for dough, sauce, and sausage that Garvey gave earlier in the thread.  It turned out AWESOME!   :chef: :pizza:  

I usually put my stone on the bottom rack and crank my over to 550 F, but this time I put the stone on a middle rack and followed Garvey's baking instructions above.  The pie cooked fine, but I had absolutely zero bottom browning.  I'm not sure if the real Pizza Factory pies were like this, but I do like better bottom browning so I will adjust my baking technique for next time.  

The sausage was awesome, as was the sauce.  I tasted the sauce when I made it, and was actually a bit scared as it contains a ton of fennel and tasted overwhelmingly like licorice.  However, I didn't notice this at all once the pie was made, which was awesome.  I also didn't use Contadina tomato paste since we don't have that brand where I live in Canada, so I'm not sure how that affected my results.

The rim was white due to bench flour, and while I wish it would've browned better, it tasted great and didn't really bother me.  

And finally, the whole pie had a really creepy grey/white appearance...  I don't know what caused that, but it doesn't look very appealing haha!  I used 3 new brands of cheese this time, I don't know if one or all of these contributed to the color.  but it sure looks gross haha!

I didn't get very good top browning this time either.  Usually I just turn on my broiler for the last 2 minutes, but for some reason it didn't want to go on this time...  oh well.   :chef:

EDIT:  oh, and I made my sausages too big, next time I plan to make those like half the size!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:42:50 PM by CDNpielover »

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2012, 10:07:53 PM »
CDNpielover, you nailed it!  Looks great!  Way to go!

As far as the browning bottom goes, yes, that all comes down to your local conditions of your oven.  I am totally sold on the two-stone method, start high and finish low (if needed), as the lower stone browns the crust whereas the top stone cooks the cheese and sausage more.   

All that being said, the pictures look like the correct amount of browning.  Use less bench flour, if you can, and that will also improve browning.  Furthermore, if you changed nothing and just left it in longer, you may have gotten the crust more to your preferences and browned the cheese, too, which is appropriate to style.  I never pull a pie before the cheese is at least a little browned--or a lot!

Indeed, the sauce is fennel heavy when tasted plain.  I have a buddy who uses this leftover sauce as a base for pasta sauce, but I do not like it that way at all.  IMO, it is strictly a pizza sauce.  It just works...sum greater than the parts and all that jazz.  Looks like you discovered that yourself.  :chef:

As for the size of the sausage, it is perfectly acceptable for Chicago thin to have big knobs of sausage on there.  Or go with whatever size you like.  I would say to flatten them out when they're that big--make 'em less like meatballs in that regard.  BTW, how did you like the sausage?

Man, I am totally honored that you made this pizza true to type, even down to the homemade sausage. 

Cheers to you, sir!  Hope you make it again and again.

Garvey



Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2012, 01:18:19 PM »
CDNpielover,

I think the greyness is simply from the sausage being so big, but I'll bet that baby tasted good! I'm going to try this sauce too.

Bob
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2012, 01:35:56 PM »
Dear Bob,

yes I think you are right!  I was looking at the pictures last night and realized the same thing, it seems that the sausage coming through the cheese gives that grey appearance.  I think it also combines with my white rim to give an overall grey color to the pie.  It really wasn't a big deal since the pie tasted GREAT!

Enjoy the sauce this weekend, and please get back with pics and let us know how it tasted!   :chef:

Offline Pizza da pie

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2012, 02:38:11 PM »
Quick question for all you Chicago thin lovers. I'm going to be making a couple of Chicago thins this weekend and I'm trying to decide if I should use my smaller upper oven instead of the main oven. I have a Maytag Genesis double oven that has a main 3.9 cu.ft. oven that has convection and a 2.1 cu.ft. smaller oven/broiler on top. http://www.homedepot.com/Appliances-Kitchen-Appliances-Ranges/Maytag/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbv56Zz2/R-202381787/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051&superSkuId=202717195.

Would there be any benefit to using the smaller oven? Do I run the risk of burning the crust because it would be so close to the heat source? I would obviously still use my stone so I assume that would reduce the direct heat from the bottom of the oven? I've also been considering using the convection feature on the main oven to increase the heat flow and get higher temps. Just looking for some advice.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 03:14:13 PM by Pizza da pie »


Offline vr6Dad

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2012, 12:21:43 PM »
I don't have an answer to the above question, but I do have a report on my experience thus far.

Like Pizza 3.14, my dough ball hasn't risen much in the first 15 hrs; however, I attribute it to being in my very cold beer fridge, as I didn't have room in the kitchen fridge. This morning, I took it out of the cold fridge and put it in the regular fridge. I made enough for 3 pies, so I'll divide the dough tonight after dinner. I plan to make these on Monday night, which will be at almost 72 hours.

The dough was very scrappy, so maybe a tiny bit more water could help. As a previous poster reported, the dough hook just spun the ball around and I had to knead by hand. It's a sticky dough now. I used corn oil, which I like in thin and thick crust Chicago style. I used bulk jar IDY that I keep in the fridge. It works well for all of my other doughs, so I expect it's working fine for this. If the crust ends up being a keeper, I may mess with it a little as far as prep goes, without messing with the formulation.

I have a hard time finding good pizza sausage, so I may make a pound of the recipe today for Monday night's use.

For the sauce, I will probably use crushed tomatoes instead of the paste. 3/4 cup of water + the paste in the recipe should weigh 18oz, and my can of crushed tomatoes is 28oz. I may adjust the ingredients for weight percentage to work in the 10 extra ounces of crushed tomatoes.

Which leads to my question to those who have made this pizza: Have any of you used crushed tomatoes instead? I don't mind being true to a recipe, but I'm in Nashville and the only Chicago pizza I've ever had is Giordano's in the restaurant and Lou Malnati's shipped to the house.

I have a couple of go-to sauce and dough recipes, but I'm always happy to try new thin crusts :)  :chef:
Cheers, Adrian
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2012, 01:17:20 PM »
^^i would really recommend using Garvey's tomato paste recipe.  i used his recipes for the dough, the sauce, and the sausage, because there are dozens of good midwestern-thin recipes on the site, and I don't really see the advantage of using Garvey's dough over any of the other good ones unless you're gonna do the whole shebang.   :chef:

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2012, 07:47:49 PM »
Of course, I'd agree with CDNpielover on this.  The recipe is the recipe.  The amount of herbs and selection of herbs is optimized for tomato paste.  Even if you used puree or crushed tomatoes or whatever, they are not processed in the manor of paste, so the entire flavor profile would be off.

I guess that's one of the biggest weaknesses of this forum (IMO), that a vast majority of recipes here are dough recipes only...with a few, "meh, I took some crushed tomatoes and sprinkled the pizza with oregano" so-called sauce recipes.  The exception is in the deep dish recipes, which aren't really sauce, per se, but at least directions are given.  (One of the inherent strengths in this forum, OTOH, is that it is truly a crust forum full of real *bakers*.  This is a dough forum first.  I acknowledge it and actually dig it...although I wish someone could clone Aurelio's sauce, but now my digression has a digression...)   

Anyway, this is a complete recipe, from start to finish.  If you don't have paste and the other ingredients, go with one of your tried and true sauce recipes you like.  It just isn't Pizza Factory.

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2012, 07:53:49 PM »
^^Hey Garvey, you might be interested in reading about Pete-zza's excellent Papa John's clone: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg56931.html#msg56931

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2012, 08:00:03 PM »
I'll assume you're joking.  With all due respect to Pete-zza, there ain't gonna be no Papa John's under my roof, cloned or otherwise.

;-)

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2012, 08:02:23 PM »
no, I wasn't joking - Pete-zza did an excellent job reverse-engineering that sauce.  I just thought you might be interested since you were kind of complaining that the forums don't care enough about sauce.   :chef:

I've made Pete-zzas PJ clone dough on a few occasions, too, and while it's different than the midwestern-style thin crust I grew up eating, it's still good and i'm proud to make it!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 08:04:00 PM by CDNpielover »

buceriasdon

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2012, 08:24:05 PM »
Seeing as how I'm one who doesn't believe that one size fits all, this recipe isn't one I would do again.
Don

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2012, 08:41:26 PM »
You never actually did try this recipe, Don.  You changed the dough completely and the sauce completely. 


Offline vr6Dad

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2012, 10:06:28 PM »
Of course, I'd agree with CDNpielover on this.  The recipe is the recipe.  The amount of herbs and selection of herbs is optimized for tomato paste.  Even if you used puree or crushed tomatoes or whatever, they are not processed in the manor of paste, so the entire flavor profile would be off.

I guess that's one of the biggest weaknesses of this forum (IMO), that a vast majority of recipes here are dough recipes only...with a few, "meh, I took some crushed tomatoes and sprinkled the pizza with oregano" so-called sauce recipes.  The exception is in the deep dish recipes, which aren't really sauce, per se, but at least directions are given.

Garvey, you and CDN are correct.  :-[  I will pick up a can of Contadina paste and go from there.  :pizza:

I also made the sausage per the recipe with ground sausage tonight, and will do the "kneading" with my Kitchen Aid tomorrow night or Monday morning.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the lack of sauce "recipes," with the exception of the Aurelio's thread. I've tried several of the formulations, and tinkered with them until I find one that pleases my family. I'll start with the true recreation of your sauce recipe, and either keep it or tinker.  :chef: IMO, that is the great thing about this forum. We share our triumphs and failures, and find things that we like and that suit our families' palettes.  ;)
Cheers, Adrian
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2012, 09:41:20 PM »
Cha Ching!  Used 6-1 tomatoes for sauce though.  I'll be giving Garvey's sauce a run next time.


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Offline vr6Dad

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #69 on: February 24, 2012, 07:49:58 PM »
I made this pizza the other night after about a 72 hour rise on the dough. It had a great 'beer' smell to it when I pulled it out of the fridge to use. It rolled out easily and had a great bite. I am about to make another 3 pizzas' worth for Sunday dinner, and it will probably become my new go-to dough recipe.  :)

I'll be honest - I didn't care for the sauce. I used Contadina 12oz can paste and followed the directions to a tee. IMHO the sauce is very fennel-heavy, to the point of being overpowering for my tastes. That's not to say that other people will like it. There's a lot of complexity in the sauce and a lot of competing flavors in the profile. Maybe (for me) severely cutting down the fennel, or cutting it out completely, will work (for me).

I also made the sausage, and it was pretty darn good. Thanks for the recipe and the link to Slice, because I'd never made any type of sausage before. Now I can tinker with the recipe, or leave it as is.

Garvey - Thanks for the thread on this pizza, as people like you recreating their favorites is great for those of us who can't make it to the big cities very often, so we get a little taste of what we're missing.  :pizza:

Cheers, Adrian
Big Green Egg

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2012, 08:51:11 PM »
Glad you liked the crust.  Sorry to hear about the sauce.  It is true to type, fwiw.  I don't think of it as fennel heavy, but my wife does.  Try cutting back on it.  That's what I do for her.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #71 on: February 26, 2012, 11:56:53 PM »
pythonic,

It was 50:30:20 mozza:white cheddar:provolone. I think Pete used it for a specific pizza clone (PJ perhaps?);but I use it on all of my pizzas.  Since I started making pizzas, cheese was the main thing limiting the quality...  I used many different brands of mozza from all different price points, and it always turned out really SUCKY.  the blend is awesome though, and i find that it's still awesome regardless of what brand/price of cheese you use.  I actually bought a giant brick of private label "pizza mozza" recently, and when it's blended it works just the same as the Saputo Mozzarellissima that costs 2x the price!!!  :chef:   :pizza:

I finally got around in trying this cheese blend and it was excellent!  Before I would just mix Mozz and white cheddar but the provolone really enhances it big time.  This is my new go to cheese blend for sure.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2012, 01:12:55 PM »
CDNpielover and pythonic,

I used the 50/30/20 cheese blend to make a Greek style pizza, as discussed in Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg27482.html#msg27482.

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #73 on: March 03, 2012, 07:23:17 PM »
made this again last night.  toppings were sausage (recipe given earlier in thread), onions, and canned mushrooms.  (I have a soft spot in my heart for canned mushrooms on pizza hahah!).  It was delicious, although I have a nasty head cold so I really couldn't taste it that well haha.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pics.  I changed up the bake method a bit this time, since last time the crust didn't turn out as browned/crispy as I would have wanted.  So I put the stone on the bottom rack and preheated for 1 hour at 450, then I turned the oven to 500 just as I put the pizza in.  Cooked for 10 or 12 minutes, and it turned out great.  The bottom of the crust was quite crispy and had a noticeable crunch, and although i'm not sure if that's how Pizza Factory did it or not, I liked it much more than my last attempt!   :chef:

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2012, 11:03:50 PM »
Sounds great.  Yes, you definitely want that crunch.  You nailed it.  And your method is clever: I used to do the same thing but in reverse: preheat to 500 then turn it down to bake at 450.  (Different stone position.) Now I am a firm believer in the two-stone method--one high, one low--and move the pies accordingly (bottom for more crust browning, top for more cheese browning).  You may want to get a similar setup?