Author Topic: Chicago Thin - a labor of love  (Read 49845 times)

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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #140 on: May 05, 2012, 07:45:15 PM »
I might also add that pre-shredded cheese is more expensive, less flavorful, melts poorly, and doesn't have as long of a shelf life.  I just can't justify using it, particularily since it only takes me 1 minute to shred it by hand - and I use about 10 ounces of cheese on my pizzas LOL.  It takes  even less time if you cube with a knife or use a food processor!



Offline mykall

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #141 on: May 05, 2012, 07:52:37 PM »
True but sometimes pre-shredded is easier to come by and divides easier for freezing.  I have terrible trouble timing my pies WRT work schedule etc.  Speaking of "melted texture" what is the diff you experience between pre and your own shredding?  In other words what is the difference when you bite into the pie?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 09:22:43 PM by mykall »

Offline Chi-town Gal

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #142 on: August 29, 2012, 08:25:24 AM »
Garvey:

Wow!  Now THAT is a REAL Chicago pizza!  I was thrilled to see that you put the cheese on LAST rather than on first with the ingredients sitting on top of the cheese.  I don't know where that idea came from!  I was also glad to see you cut your pizza in squares!  YEAH!!  Chicago rules!  I don't think most people realize that the kind of pizza you make is the typical pizza you'll find in neighborhood pizza joints.  The famous deep dish Chicago style pizza is NOT what most Chicagoans prefer.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a deep dish now and again, but when I have the cravin for a real pizza, the thin pizza has no rival! 
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #143 on: August 29, 2012, 01:33:13 PM »
I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, which adversely affects the texture of the melted cheese.

Not exactly true. If cellulose alone was used as the anticaking treatment, your observations would be correct. However the addition of potato starch reduces FO (free oil) formation making the packaged shredded cheese as good as fresh shredded cheese, and maybe slightly better...because at the high temperatures pizzas are cooked at, the melting is more uniform and the height is ever so slighly higher.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2012, 12:31:37 PM »
Garvey,

Finally got around to trying the Kenji sausage recipe in this thread.  It was awesome.  My wife who prefers pepperoni was even raving about it.  Thanks so much for that link.  I see you add cheap wine to yours; what does that add to it?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 11:14:21 PM by pythonic »
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #145 on: December 27, 2012, 12:53:07 PM »
Hey Pythonic--sorry for the slow response.  I was on Maui with the family for the past couple weeks.  (Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.)

Yes, the Kenji recipe is great.  After many years of my own disappointing trials and many errors, that recipe explains the technique that eluded me.  I tried the Kenji style straight up, tasted its awesomeness, but sensed that it was really close, but not all the way.

So I made four different variations, based on commenters in the two sausage threads on Serious Eats (the recipe page itself and the Food Lab write up, too).  There was an original Kenji, one from someone here whose name escapes me at the moment, a composite recipe made up of averages, and then one where I basically did the Kenji but with a white wine addition. There are a couple reasons for that.  The main reason is that my homeboys and I remember a faint wine taste in the original Pizza Factory.  We once thought the origin was in the sauce, but my buddy Dave debunked that, since he had worked there and used to make the sauce and said it was only paste, water, and the secret blend of herbs (premixed by Joe, the owner, and put in a giant bucket).   

Then I took all four variants to a get together of seven people who all were Pizza Factory fanatics from the olden days.  Over the course of a long weekend, we made maybe 15 or 20 pizzas (haha--no kidding) and tried all the variants.  Within one bite of the white wine version, everyone universally declared, "Oh, yeah, THAT is pizza factory." So that is the default recipe now.

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #146 on: December 27, 2012, 02:17:17 PM »
Garvy,
Is post #7 the recipe I should use for the sausage? http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17662.msg171285.html#msg171285

Also, have you come up with a favored brand of mozz to shred....you ever tried Sorrento(not Sargento) yet? Just recently got my hands on some Scarmorza and thought I'd try blending it with Sorrento. Thanks.
Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pythonic

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #147 on: December 28, 2012, 08:08:20 PM »
Garvey,

I am just using ground pork so should I add the white wine initially when I mix all the other ingredients?  Also, are you putting it raw on your Chicago thin crust pizza?   I have only used it on New York style precooked so I am probably missing out on all the extra grease to enhance the crust.

Nate
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #148 on: December 28, 2012, 11:22:04 PM »
Bob--yes, that link is the recipe.  And I have used Sorrento before.  Good stuff.  I bought a 5-lb brick of Stella today and will be making this pizza on Monday.  It performed admirably for DD today as well.  Where did you get the scamorza?  How is it?  (I, too, live in NC, and this place is an ingredients wasteland.  We take what we can get, generally.)

Nate--I have used ground pork pretty frequently, too, when I can find at least 80/20 stuff.  The Smithfield in my grocery store has been pretty good for that.  When using ground pork, I mix all the ingredients except the wine and let sit in fridge for 8-24 hrs before kneading it into the final sausage product.  It is at this kneading stage when I add the wine.

And yes, absolutely go raw.  I like to put down maybe a third of the shredded cheese on the pie, then the raw sausage, and finish with the remaining two thirds of the cheese.  That way, the sausage peeks out a little but is anchored down to the pie as well.

Hope it goes well!

Cheers!
Garvey

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #149 on: December 29, 2012, 11:10:33 AM »

And yes, absolutely go raw.  I like to put down maybe a third of the shredded cheese on the pie, then the raw sausage, and finish with the remaining two thirds of the cheese.  That way, the sausage peeks out a little but is anchored down to the pie as well.

Hope it goes well!

Cheers!
Garvey
+ 1000 !!   :D


Garvey, Member Gregg sent me the Scarmorza. I've used Stella(Sam's club) and it's great for these pies. Cheap too, like $2.14 a pound at Sam's.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


Offline android

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #150 on: January 05, 2013, 02:44:14 PM »
incredible pizza crust recipe, thanks very much for sharing your hard work with us. this dough produced some of the best pizzas I've ever made. my wife and I (mostly I) devoured both pizzas.

made one at 48 hrs in the fridge and the second after 72. both were great, slight edge to the 72. i baked the first one in a perforated 16" pizza pan on a preheated stone on top of a stone at 550 for about 10-12 minutes, which turned out nice, but the second one I made without the stone (same temp and time), and the bottom of the crust was much better developed without using the stone. not saying do it one way or the other, but for my tastes, the pan w/o stone proved the best (IMHO).

thanks again!

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #151 on: January 07, 2013, 02:41:36 PM »
made one at 48 hrs in the fridge and the second after 72. both were great, slight edge to the 72.

Glad you liked it!    :pizza:

There isn't a ton of difference between 48 and 72, but 72 is definitely the "sweet spot" for that dough.  It behaves better for me.  Much more consistent.

Quote
i baked the first one in a perforated 16" pizza pan on a preheated stone on top of a stone at 550 for about 10-12 minutes, which turned out nice, but the second one I made without the stone (same temp and time), and the bottom of the crust was much better developed without using the stone. not saying do it one way or the other, but for my tastes, the pan w/o stone proved the best (IMHO).

One of the things I've learned is that ovens vary greatly.  At the last place I lived, I had to do 550.  Where I live now, 450 is the only way to get the pies to come out right.  And I use a two-stone set-up: one low and one high.  I start low and finish high (crust cooks faster low, toppings cook faster high).  And sometimes, when the oven seems to be humming along beautifully, I can do the whole bake on the bottom stone.  Go figure.

Overall, I think Chicago thin is pretty forgiving in this regard.

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #152 on: February 07, 2013, 07:35:06 PM »
I decided to give this recipe a try considering all of the comments it had gotten.  I gave it a spin last weekend.  I made the dough on Saturday exactly per the recipe.  The dough was refrigerated for ~30 hours.  At prep time, I prepared two 14" pizzas.  I had plenty of my own sauce still available so I used that up.  The cheese is my standard 70:15:15 of skim-milk mozzarella, sharp cheddar and provolone.  The first was my gold standard of Italian sausage and mushrooms.  Next time I will try using the sauce recipe that Garvey posted with the dough recipe.  The second pizza was simply a 1/2 cheese, 1/2 tomato + basil (Midwestern Margherita).  Pizzas were cooked directly on a pizzastone heated at 500 degrees for 1 hour.  I used small dusting of semolina on the peel to help with sliding it onto the stone.  The pics below should give you a pretty good idea how it turned out, which is to say, pretty good. ;D

Comments: I like the recipe.  The dough performed well.  It is a little more hydrated than my standard recipe of 47-48% and it contains A LOT more oil than my typical Midwestern thin crust.  When I first took the dough out of the containers from the refrigerator, it reminded me a fair amount of my BTB-clone Chicago deep-dish dough because of the amount of oil.  I like the final result.  I would say it is as good as some of the other recipes that I use, but no better.  Definitely a keeper, I think I am going to tweak it a little for my own personal taste by reducing the hydration a couple % and cutting the oil to about 1/2 of what the current recipe calls for.  Thanks Garvey! 
-ME :chef:
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #153 on: February 07, 2013, 07:37:30 PM »
^^that pie looks awesome -- except you ruined it by cutting it into triangles!!!   :P 

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #154 on: February 07, 2013, 07:46:06 PM »
I decided to give this recipe a try considering all of the comments it had gotten.  I gave it a spin last weekend.  I made the dough on Saturday exactly per the recipe.  The dough was refrigerated for ~30 hours.  At prep time, I prepared two 14" pizzas.  I had plenty of my own sauce still available so I used that up.  The cheese is my standard 70:15:15 of skim-milk mozzarella, sharp cheddar and provolone.  The first was my gold standard of Italian sausage and mushrooms.  Next time I will try using the sauce recipe that Garvey posted with the dough recipe.  The second pizza was simply a 1/2 cheese, 1/2 tomato + basil (Midwestern Margherita).  Pizzas were cooked directly on a pizzastone heated at 500 degrees for 1 hour.  I used small dusting of semolina on the peel to help with sliding it onto the stone.  The pics below should give you a pretty good idea how it turned out, which is to say, pretty good. ;D

Comments: I like the recipe.  The dough performed well.  It is a little more hydrated than my standard recipe of 47-48% and it contains A LOT more oil than my typical Midwestern thin crust.  When I first took the dough out of the containers from the refrigerator, it reminded me a fair amount of my BTB-clone Chicago deep-dish dough because of the amount of oil.  I like the final result.  I would say it is as good as some of the other recipes that I use, but no better.  Definitely a keeper, I think I am going to tweak it a little for my own personal taste by reducing the hydration a couple % and cutting the oil to about 1/2 of what the current recipe calls for.  Thanks Garvey! 
-ME :chef:
Yes sir! That crust looks like it has a lot of action going on ME, really nice. What flour did you use on this one...bottom looks like it had the thin egg shell snap to it, no?
Great pizza...but let's tighten up those cutting skills bro.  ;D j/k
Bob
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #155 on: February 08, 2013, 12:08:50 PM »
^^that pie looks awesome -- except you ruined it by cutting it into triangles!!!   :P  

Ha!  Beat me to the punch, CDNpielover!   :D

Glad you liked the recipe, Mad Ernie.

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #156 on: February 08, 2013, 12:38:44 PM »
Yes, yes, I know - I performed heresy by cutting the Chicago-thin into slices instead of squares.  ::)

I grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin as a lad, and I probably had as many pizzas cut into squares as I did slices.  I did think about the party/tavern cut before I made the slice decision, but for us as a family, the slices work better, so I fudged, but hey, it's the taste that counts.  :D

Chicago Bob: I used King Arthur all-purpose flour.  Most of my photos came out a little dark so I lightened them up before uploading.

Thanks again, Garvey.

-ME
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Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #157 on: February 16, 2013, 10:08:06 AM »
Just a side note.

I tried the sauce recipe Garvey posted
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17662.msg171274.html#msg171274

I used it on a Lehmann New York style pizza I made last Sunday, AND I saved the scraps of dough from the Pizza Factory clone dough I made the week before and made a 11" pizza from the scraps.  Both came out well, but I have to say, the sauce was even better than the dough!  It had tomato-sweetness to it, with just enough added flavor from the herbs to kick it up a notch.  This is DEFINITELY a keeper! :chef:

Great job, Garvey, and thanks again!  ;D

-ME
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #158 on: February 17, 2013, 07:40:30 PM »
Thanks, Mad Ernie.  I had to eat a LOT of pizza to get that sauce recipe correct. :D

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Chicago Thin - a labor of love
« Reply #159 on: March 04, 2013, 08:26:35 AM »
Garvey, great crust recipe! I had much success with last night's Thin Crust in regards to all around taste. Loved the taste of the crust, I used Trader Joe's Mozzarella both fresh and Low Moisture Whole which was a winner too.. the sauce was a thrown together sauce using 6in1 as a base (added with the usual suspects) and it was a prefect base for this pizza. I will be experimenting further with this combination for sure....I didn't take a ton of pics, but did snap a few. As usual I could always get my crust a tad more done... but using a Toaster oven is an art of getting it done vs burning the top....smile...

thanks again for the recipe Garvey.....

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 08:28:31 AM by spacelooper »