Author Topic: My First Chicago Style Disaster  (Read 2824 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
My First Chicago Style Disaster
« on: December 18, 2005, 10:50:16 PM »
My first attempt at making a pizza was a total disaster.  The crust turned into a thin brittle cracker so the entire pizza was a glop of tomato paste.  Luckily, since i followed one of Buzz's recipes for the sauce, the glop was still edible.  I could not tell from the postings here how thick the crust should be.  Can anyone provide some pointers on getting the crust right?


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22023
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2005, 10:58:44 PM »
ecarballo,

Can you tell us, or post, whatever dough recipe you used to make your deep-dish, and also what size pan (diameter and depth) you are using for the deep-dish? And what was the process you used to assemble your pizza?

Peter

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2005, 11:45:32 PM »
I used a 9 inch pan (Chicago Metallic cake pan I picked up at Bed Bath and Beyond) and I believe I under-estimated the precision to which one must adhere to recipes posted here by the more senior members.  In my rookie case, I used one of Buzz's dough recipes as a guide but used the following ingredients and modified some parameters:

2 cups Gold Medal all purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (Fleischmans)
.50 cups water, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon sugar
.50 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons oil (5 canola, 1 extra light olive oil)

Now, the mistakes I made as a rookie were probably the following:

I figured Buzz's recipe was for a pan larger than 9", so I used about 60% of the dough.  This is probably what led to the extremely thin crust.

I am not sure how yeast is proofed exactly.  Following Buzz's instructions I dissolved the 1 teaspoon of yeast in .50 cups warm water (110 degrees F).  I am not sure is this was a factor in my pizza disaster.

Lastly, in my excitement, and because I was hungry, i didn't let the dough rise at room temperature for 8 hours as Buzz recommends.  Instead, I went in and punched the dough and immediately rolled it after about 6.5 hours. 

For the toppings I used the following:

28 Oz Contadina crushed tomatoes
about .5 teaspoon sugar
sea salt, seasoning, and pepper "to taste".  I quote "to taste" because I have no clue what chicago pizza is supposed to taste like.
2 cloves pressed garlic
8 Oz. part skim shredded mozarrella
a dash of oregano leaves
Mild Italian Sausage
Peperoni.

I greased the pan with a tablespoon or so of extra light olive oil, placed the dough on top, then the mozarella, pepperoni, mild Italian sausage, and finally the tomatoes and salt, seasonings, oregano, and pepper on top.

Regarding the sauce, I didn't know if I should mix the sugar, seasonings, garlic, and oregano into the sauce.  Although most likely I should have mixed these in, I simply sprinkled on top of the tomatoes.

Although the sauce was edible (a bit acidic, will add more sugar next time and maybe less salt), the crust was really the catastrophic element.  It was thin and brittle.  At the bottom, the crust was somewhat soggy although this might be inevitable.  The whole thing fell apart because of the crust.




Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22023
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2005, 12:28:48 AM »
ercarballo,

I believe you answered your own questions. At least as to the crust.

I assume the recipe you started with is the one that buzz posted at the thread entitled "Authentic Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza". If that's the case, that recipe will produce a crust that is fairly thin to begin with. And even though you increased the amount of flour and other ingredients, taking only 60% of the resulting dough was your undoing. You proofed the active dry yeast (ADY) properly, and six hours of fermentation, though maybe not the optimum, should have worked, as best I can tell. So, I think the villain was the overly thin crust that you used. You may want to go back and repeat buzz's recipe and then check the crust to see if it is to your liking. If not, maybe I can restructure the recipe to give you something that you think you will like better.

As for the sauce you made, you should have mixed the sugar, seasonings, garlic, and oregano in with the tomatoes so that the different flavors meld together and produce a more harmonious end result. BTW, the expression "to taste" refers to your taste, not a characteristic of a deep-dish pizza. So, you should adjust the salt, pepper and seasoning until they satisfy your particular taste buds.

I'm fairly confident that the next time you repeat the original buzz recipe you should get improved results. You might also want to invest in some 6-in-1 tomatoes, which are among the best to use for a sauce for a Chicago deep-dish style.

Peter

Offline buzz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 559
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 11:30:14 AM »
Pete has pretty much summed it up. 2 cups of flour should give you a fairly middleweight crust, which is Giordano's style. Using only 60% of this is just not enough for all the sauce and toppings (the recipe is for a 9-10-inch pan). 6 or 8 hours for the rise won't matter, except for flavor, and more expansion time due to the lack of gluten formation in the short knead.

Different brands of tomatoes have different acid levels (and even seem to vary within the same brand), so you can adjust the added sugar to compensate.

Try it again and see what happens!

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2005, 12:20:51 PM »
Thank you kindly for all your good advice.  I stand to benefit greatly from all of the skilled guidance available here.

Is Chicago style crust generally thinner and cracker-like? 

In regards to bread, I am looking for a thicker and softer kind of crust perhaps.  This may not be what Chicago style is. For my personal taste I feel that a pizza with so much sauce should have crust that can absorb more tomato.  I'll keep trying things.  Thanks.

Offline chiguy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 560
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2005, 12:36:46 PM »
 Hi ecarballo,
 There are two styles of pizza in Chicago, the deep dish and a thin crust/cracker in some cases. This section is designated mostly for the Chicago deep dish version which is buzz's expertise. I would figure a Chicago deep dish to be about 3/8inch give or take.The first time out can always be difficult but i hope this does not deter you. You are well on you're way to making a great pizza with the help of guys like buzz & pete-zza.
                                                                                                                Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22023
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2005, 12:48:17 PM »
ecarballo,

For the sake of comparison, you may also want to take a look at DKM's deep-dish dough recipe on the front page of the site, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dkm_chicago.php. DKM's crust is quite a bit thicker than the Giordano's style crust that buzz has been emulating, and uses cornmeal, but the recipe is one of the most popular deep-dish recipes on the forum. DKM's recipe is for a larger pan, but it can be scaled down to your 9-inch size. I might be inclined to try buzz's recipe again and then try DKM's recipe to compare the two styles. I can help you downsize DKM's recipe if you decide to try it at some point.

Peter

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2005, 01:36:42 PM »
I would definitely like to try the DKM recipe.  How would I go about downsizing the recipe?  Is there an easy explanation of this baker's percentages formula?  If it isn't alot of work, please downsize for a 9 inch pan or point me to references on how to do this.  Thanks.

Offline buzz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 559
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2005, 02:44:17 PM »
Ecarballo--

It depends on your personal tastes (and this is where experimentation comes in). The Giordano's-style crust that I prefer is more biscuit-like. DKM's is more bread-like in texture. With either recipe, you can make it as thick or as think as you'd like, but for deep-dish I would stay with a middleweight to thicker crust (as opposed to rolling it out very thinly, like a cracker crust). You might want to try pressing it by hand into the pan instead of rolling it out. I like to experiment all the time to see what I come up with!

Try a couple of recipes and see what you like. Experiment with different fats--Crisco, butter, different oils. Everybody has their individual palate, and this you have to find out for yourself.


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22023
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2005, 03:16:34 PM »
ecarballo,

What buzz says is correct and I wasn't trying to steer you in one direction or the other, but rather to point out the two different styles for you to consider, hoping that you would try both.

Some time ago, I used DKM's baker's percents for his particular recipe to come up with a table that could be used to arrive at the weights of the ingredients to be used for different size deep-dish pans. That table appears at Reply # 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,560.0.html. The calculations presented there presuppose a pan depth of 2 1/4 inches, and they require that you use the various baker's percents to calculate the amount of each ingredient needed for the selected pan size. If you will tell me the depth of the pan you plan to use, I should be able to calculate the applicable quantities for you, if you'd like. I will assume at this point that you do not have a scale and will require volume measurements.

Peter

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2005, 05:24:18 PM »
I do not have a scale and my pan is 2 inches in depth.  Thanks for all your help.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22023
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2005, 06:59:40 PM »
ecarballo,

OK. This is what I come up with:

DKM's Dough Recipe for 9" x 2" Deep-Dish Pan
100%, Flour (all-purpose), 7.34 oz. (207.86 g.), (1 3/4 c. plus 2 t.)
61.1%, Water, 4.48 oz. (127 g.), (between 1/2 and 5/8 c.)
19.5%, Cornmeal, 1.43 oz. (40.53 g.), (a bit over 4 1/2 T.)
19.5%, Canola oil, 1.43 oz. (40.53 g.), (a bit under 3 T.)
1.4%, Active dry yeast (ADY), 0.10 oz. (2.91 g.), (a bit over 3/4 t.)
2.1%, Sugar, 0.15 oz. (4.37 g.), (a bit over 1 t.)
1.4%, Salt, 0.10 oz. (2.91 g.), (a bit over 1/2 t.)
Total dough weight = 15.03 oz. (462.12 g.)
Thickness Factor (TF) = 0.1329

Although you don't have a scale, you will note that I indicated the weights in both ounces and grams for the benefit of those who have scales or work in the metric system. In your case, you need only to pay attention to the volume measurements.

Since you will be working with volume measurements rather than weights, in measuring out the flour I suggest that you use the following simple methodology to get as close as possible to the weight I indicated: 1) Stir the flour in the bag to loosen it; 2) Using a simple kitchen tablespoon, scoop the flour from the bag into your measuring cups and spoons without shaking or tamping the measuring cups/spoons to settle the flour; and 3) Level off the top of the measuring cups/spoons with a flat edge, such as the flat edge of a kitchen knife. You should use the same methodology for the cornmeal but you will only need to use a tablespoon measuring spoon. Following these simple steps will give you pretty much what I weighed on my digital scale. In my case, I used the King Arthur all-purpose flour. Using some other brand shouldn't have a material effect on the final outcome of the dough if all the instructions are properly executed. As you follow the instructions, you may find it necessary in any event to tweak the flour and water to get the final dough just right.

The dough from the above formulation should fit fairly well in your 9" x 2" deep-dish pan. If you feel that the dough is a little too thick for your taste, then you should feel free to use less of the dough or simply press the dough on the bottom and up the sides of your pan and trim any undesired excess. Or you can just leave well enough alone and experiment with another thickness the next time if you find that you like DKM's recipe and want to repeat it. Once you feel comfortable with the process, you can then experiment to your heart's delight along the lines mentioned by buzz. My experience is that the deep-dish style tolerates a multitude of variations--especially in the amounts and types of fats used--more so than other styles of pizzas.

If you have any questions before attempting the DKM formulation given above, feel free to ask.

Peter

Offline ecarballo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: My First Chicago Style Disaster
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2005, 01:13:30 AM »
Pete,

Thanks for all your help.  I made another Chicago using your numbers but for some reason the dough was not quite enough. I probably did something wrong.  Still, I think for my taste the biscuit-like texture of Chicago style is not inviting.  I am more in favor of a chewy soft pizza crust.  I am particularly trying to replicate a gourmet pizza local to me.  I will pick up on your efforts on New York style pizza.  You are the Einstein of pizza making Pete.  I like your use of math to rationalize the pizza making process.