Author Topic: My first pizza!  (Read 5540 times)

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Offline cdodson

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My first pizza!
« on: September 06, 2005, 12:03:02 PM »
I'm a new member to the group and this is my first post.  After years of living away from Chicago and wishing for ultimate deep-dish pizza from Giordano's, I finally Googled the words "Giordano's pizza recipe" and found this little group.  I will be forever indebted to pizza masters, Buzz, Burn8, Steve, Pete-zza, DKM and many others who have taken the time to perfect this recipe and post their results.  For the record, I took three days of my Spring Break in 2003 to fly up to Chicago, and live off of Giordano's because I resented the shipping charges they attach to their mail-order pizzas.  Guess I showed them, huh?

My first (and thus far only) attempt was a Labor Day weekend project to prepare for a covered-dish dinner on the grounds at my church this past Sunday evening.  In my last-minute obsession to build the perfect pie, I ordered the 6-in-1 tomatoes, a pizza dish and Penzey's spices...and then realized the orders would not be here in time. 

I wound up using fresh imported Italian mozzerella and parmessian that I discoverd at local gourmet cheese shop...very expensive ($20 for both).  Fortunately my girlfriend owns a set of removable bottom pans that she has used for cheesecakes.
We wound up making two pizzas following a 10-hour marathon of prepping the dough exactly as Buzz described.  I bought fennel, Italian spices and minced garlic from my local grocery along with King Arthur's All-Purpose non-bleached flour.
We browned some Jimmy Dean sausage and added fresh Canadian bacon, pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, broccolini and mushrooms.  Oh yeah...almost forgot...we used fresh tomatoes purchased from a roadside produce stand that we peeled, seeded and drained by hand.  I added a little olive oil and fennel to this topping and topped it off with the parmesian.

The meal Sunday evening included a whole plethora of fine homemade Southern cooking (we're in Mississippi) and just as much dessert.  The thought crossed my mind, "Would anyone notice?"  Following the meal our pastor asked if anything stood out among the rest.  The first answer given was "the deep dish pizza"!  Needless, to say I'm thrilled that the first attempt was such a success.  The idea was mentioned to have a pizza drive for our youth fundraiser so I may be stocking up on supplies soon.  Rooms for improvement for next time:

1) Strain the tomatoes more and use more spices for the topping.  I need a larger strainer.  It was a bit soupy.
2) Use the aged mozzerella.  The fresh cheese was wonderful but it added to the soup-iness.  (I recalled this being discussed elsewhere on this site after this happened.)
3) Use a little more dough than the recipe calls for.  The pans were deep and I felt there were places where the dough was a bit too thin...especially around the top.
4) Keep making pizza!  (I'm not a baker and until now my only specialty was a homemade chicken pot pie.)

Thanks again for everyone's input!  I feel as though I've found some new soulmates.

Carey
Carey

The power of cheese


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 12:27:28 PM »
Carey,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on a job well done. The pizza looks superb.

Peter

Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 01:20:51 PM »
That's a good lookin' pie, Carey!

Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 01:26:47 PM »
Thanks nytxy and Pete-zza!  I've been enthralled since I discovered this site.  Pete-zza, I really appreciate the bakers amounts that you posted.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline DKM

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005, 02:14:28 PM »
Looks real good.

I hope you take some time to do some testing and changing and trying and keep us updated.

Wish I had the time I use to have.  I'm stilling having fun making pizza, just rarely have the time to post about it.

DKM
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2005, 02:15:10 PM »
Thanks nytxy and Pete-zza!  I've been enthralled since I discovered this site.  Pete-zza, I really appreciate the bakers amounts that you posted.


Now go try the Stuffed Crust Chicago style. ;)

Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2005, 02:21:09 PM »
Quote
Now go try the Stuffed Crust Chicago style.

Now that's a thick crust!  It also appears to have an upper crust, no?


Quote
Looks real good.

I hope you take some time to do some testing and changing and trying and keep us updated.

Wish I had the time I use to have.  I'm stilling having fun making pizza, just rarely have the time to post about it.

DKM

This is only the beginning for me.  It does take time...but hey...its worth it.  Thanks for kicking it off with your recipe!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 02:35:57 PM by cdodson »
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2005, 02:34:04 PM »
Carey,

I'm glad to hear that you found the baker's percents helpful. However, you still don't have another important component--how to calculate how much dough to make for whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pan you want to use. When I was experimenting with buzz's version of Giordano's deep-dish dough, I was using a 9 1/2-inch pan. My thought at the time was to calculate the amounts of dough for different sized pans once I was fully satisfied with the results of the experiments. I still hope to do that, but if you would like, I can probably come up with the basic mathematical expression that, together with the baker's percents, will allow you to make whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pie you'd like. You might even be the one to test out a different size to see if the math works :).

Peter
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 02:23:16 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 02:40:43 PM »
Quote
I'm glad to hear that you found the baker's percents helpful. However, you still don't have another important component--how to calculate how much dough to make for whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pan you want to use. When I was experimenting with buzz's version of Giordano's deep-dish dough, I was using a 9 1/2-inch pan. My thought at the time was to calculate the amounts of dough for different sized pans once I was fully satisfied with the results of the experiments. I still hope to do that, but if you would like, I can probably come up with the basic mathematical expression that, together with the baker's percents, will allow you to make whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pie you'd like. You might even be the one to test out a different size to see if the math works .

Funny you should say that...the thought had already occurred to me about the crust sizes.  If anyone can nail it, you're the man!  I'll post what I find in the weeks ahead.  But it will probably be more trial by error than my correct math. :P
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 02:48:29 PM by cdodson »
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2005, 03:34:15 PM »
Now that's a thick crust!  It also appears to have an upper crust, no?

Yep. Daz right!


The crust was a little thicker than it should be on mine because the formula I used was for a 15 inch pan. I only had a 13 inch pan.

I made due with what I had.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew


Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2005, 03:22:22 AM »
This past weekend was a  bit of a pizza marathon for this rookie.  We made five pizzas in all (4 deep dishes and one regular crust).  It was a lot of work and a lot of fun combined.  I am presenting a play-by-play scenario for pointers from you professionals and peer advice for my fellow amateurs.

To start with we prepared the dough on Thursday evening per buzz's recipe and let it rise at room temperature overnight. Five dough balls were prepared.  We increased to 2 cups King Arthur All-Purpose flour with 8 Tablespoons Canola oil, 1 Tablespoon Light Olive Oil, and 8 Tablespoons of water, in which the yeast and sugar was proofed at 110 degrees F.  The dough balls were never refrigerated.  They sat overnight covered with plastic wrap and a hand towel.

After sitting out for approximately 18 hours the first dough ball was punched down and rolled out (with a rolling pin) for the first time on Friday afternoon.  Wax paper was placed on the counter with a sprinkle of cornmeal and additional flour.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2005, 03:26:08 AM »
Then it was placed in a 10" springform pan.  Although initially drooped over the edge, the dough began to shrink so we rolled it out again, halved, quartered and let it rest a few minutes.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2005, 03:30:15 AM »
Then it was rolled out again.  After placing it in the 10" pan a second time, it responded by shrinking as before so I got creative and borrowed a little dough from another ball and tried to patch it up a bit.  Basically I made a mess.  When I posed the question regarding this earlier Pete-zza and buzz offered potential solutions on this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.40.html
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2005, 03:33:21 AM »
Running a bit short on time, I switched to an 8" pan.  It was being prepared for a family of four so I was beginning to become a bit nervous.  Other food was being prepared so that relieved some of the pressure.

The bottom of the pan was filled with provolone, mozz and fresh mozz.  The fresh mozz was drained the night before, wrapped in cheesecloth and stored in the fridge to reduce the moisture.  I have an order from Grande cheese on its way from http://www.vernscheese.com so for the weekend I had to use what I could find locally.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2005, 03:35:56 AM »
In prior posts I read about how to roast fresh garlic.  My girlfriend encouraged me to give it a try and I'm glad I did.  We peeled the outer layer of a clove, cut off the top, placed it in foil and drizzled approximately 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.  Note that we used cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for this unlike the light olive oil called for in the dough mixture.  We placed this in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.  After it had cooled we extracted the garlic paste from several cloves.  I was told it doesn't take much garlic to season a small pizza.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2005, 03:38:59 AM »
Our friends have two children that like mainly cheese on their pizzas so we decided to place fresh pepperoni and browned Jimmy Dean sausage on one side only.  The sausage was browned with fennel, Penzey's pizza seasoning (ordered from http://www.penzeys.com) and one shake of crushed red peppers.  Afterwards we drained it by pressing with a paper towel before adding it to the pie along with some fresh roasted garlic paste.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 04:07:40 AM by cdodson »
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2005, 03:47:26 AM »
The next step included adding the 6-in-1 tomato sauce (ordered from http://www.escalon.net).  I did not want to add any seasoning directly to the 6-in-1 after reading what everyone said about the freshness of it so I simply drained it a bit using a strainer and added it to the top.  You guys were right.  You can eat it right out of the can.  The last layer I placed on this pie required a little preparation.  We peeled, seeded and diced a fresh tomato and placed it in the pan with a fresh torn basil leaf, olive oil, more fennel, Penzey's pizza seasoning and one more clove of fresh roasted garlic.  We cooked it down until most of the moisture was gone and placed it on top of the pie.  The aroma was captivating!
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2005, 03:54:28 AM »
This being the first of five pies was the one we let cook a bit too long.  The oven cooks hotter than most and although the pie was not ruined, the crust turned a bit darker than I would have liked and the sauce had that overcooked look that I am use to seeing from our local Domino's.  As fate would have it, the camera batteries died so I didn't get a photo of the final product.  However the pizza itself received rave reviews.

After delivering the meal we went right back to it and prepared the second pie of the evening while the camera batteries were charging.  This one was enjoyed by two teenage girls who pumped up my ego by saying "This is the best pizza ever" and "I think I'm going to choke on the cheese" :)  The pie itself had a more soupy texture which I expected after adding the fresh mozz to the top.  But we prepared it basically the same way as the previous pie.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2005, 04:03:16 AM »
The following evening we hosted my best friend and his family.  His wife has an allergy to cheese so we substituted pepper jack and cheddar rice cheese on one of the pies since that is all we could find at the health food store.  Next time I'll avoid the cheddar.  A little onion and fresh bell pepper were added.  These two pies turned out better than the day before since we strained the 6-in-1 tomatoes a little more.  I knew it had hit the spot when he looked at me and said, "You could sell this."  It was especially gratifying to hear coming from him since several years prior I had mail ordered a couple of Lou Malnati's pizzas when we were on vacation together.  They had wondered at the time why I just didn't order from Pizza Hut and save the money.  This time they understood what I meant when I bragged on Chicago-style deep dish.

I didn't get a photo of the last pie which was a flattened 13-inch pizza but it turned out well in spite of my poor crust design.  I'm still working on the cosmetics of it all.

Like I said, this has been a fun experiment and at some point I will attempt to prepare a thin crust.  Meanwhile I am considering an after-hours part-time position at a local pizza joint to gain "professional" experience.  The closest place that sells deep dish is in Birmingham, AL, 120 miles away (http://www.tortugas.com).  Maybe I'll take my friend's advice and try to sell it. :)
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline buzz

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2005, 10:55:45 AM »
That's a good-looking pizza! I think 9 TBS oil to 2 cups flour is a bit much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

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