Author Topic: Chicago Thin - a labor of love  (Read 40969 times)

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Offline Pizza3.14

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2012, 05:00:56 PM »
I baked the pizzas today.  They looked far from yours but I think I'm close.  The sauce is very flavorful and compliments the crust and the veggi toppings I added.  I don't think I put on enough cheese, I used 6 oz of shredded mozz but it all baked up pretty fast and didn't have that nice white stringy cheese that was on yours.  It is also possible that I should have pulled it out about 2 minutes earlier.  I cooked it the full 10 min. I would recommend to someone who is trying this dough for the first time to really watch the pizza not just set a timer.  The bottom cooked up well on the stone and the crust had a nice flavor. 

I had never made this style of pizza before thanks for the recipe and info. 

Greg


Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2012, 05:11:33 PM »
^^that pie looks great Greg!  Nice work!   :chef:

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2012, 07:05:28 PM »
Greg, ditto what CDNpielover said--good looking za!  Crust is a nice golden hue.

Go with 8 oz if you like more cheese.  It's a matter of preference.  The fineness of the shred, too, can be a variable, as well as how far to the edge you like to go, etc.  Anything much over 8 oz gets awfully cheesy, though.  I did 6 oz for years but now that I roll out my dough to the exact size of the stone, I probably go closer to 7 or 8.  Plus, I've been going pretty heavy on the sausage, so more cheese helps achieve balance.


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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2012, 07:08:24 PM »
The recipe for the crust turned out well when modified for my oven, very happy with it. I would make some further small changes for myself. I used some of my pickled vegetables for topping, broccoli, heart of palm and red onion. Yum

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2012, 07:37:06 PM »
Go with 8 oz if you like more cheese.  It's a matter of preference.  The fineness of the shred, too, can be a variable, as well as how far to the edge you like to go, etc.  Anything much over 8 oz gets awfully cheesy, though. 

I actually use about 9 or 10 ounces on my 14" pies haha!   :-[

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2012, 08:27:29 PM »
I just made this dough and sausage (day 1).  Holy crap, that seems like A LOT of fennel!   :-D  Although I've never made sausage before, so I don't really have any idea of what goes into it.

Plan to make this pie on Wednesday, really looking forward to it as I haven't made a Chicago thin since December!

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2012, 09:40:01 PM »
Went for the homemade sausage, CDNpielover?  Awesome!  Chicago pizza sausage for thin crust is pretty fennel dominant, but the ratio of 1 Tbs per lb isn't outlandish.

Be careful going as high as 9-10 oz. on the cheese.  This is pretty thin crust.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 09:43:05 PM by Garvey »

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2012, 09:41:46 PM »
Awesome, I'm certainly looking forward to it!  I've never been to Chicago, so I wouldn't know about the fennel sausage haha!  I know it's gonna be killer, though!   :chef: :pizza:

Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2012, 12:45:35 PM »
Just wanted to report back that Garvey's chicago thin crust recipe was a success and it was really good.  The outer crust was flaky and crunchy which is just what I like.  I made a white pizza so I didn't get a chance to test out the sauce but I will soon.  I did a 60 hr cold rise and baked at 450 for about 11 mins.  Stone was preheated at 550 for about 1 hour.

Thanks so much for this recipe Garvey, it's definitely a keeper.


« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 01:02:46 PM by pythonic »
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2012, 01:15:34 PM »
Nice lookin' pie, pythonic!  Bad time for me to be on this forum, looking at these pictures, seeing as how I forgot my lunch today. 


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).
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

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



Online 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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