Author Topic: Chi-town thin pics  (Read 17019 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #100 on: May 21, 2013, 10:28:00 PM »
I love the wood fired Chicago thin, Mojo Man!  Every time I see such pix, it is inspirational.  That will be my "someday" project.

Cheers,
Garvey


Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #101 on: May 21, 2013, 10:37:54 PM »
They are fun Garvey! you got to keep it spinning like every minute a quarter turn.  but im such a novice! but lts sure good fun learning. and a lot of fun cooking them! keeps you engaged the whole time.  I wish I was rich. id buy you one as a thank.you buddy! 

Offline Garvey

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #102 on: May 21, 2013, 10:45:48 PM »
Ha!  I wish you were rich, too!

Kidding aside, it kinda blew my mind to see you making that style of pizza in a WFO.  These days, there is such a collective foodie woody over Neapolitan/Neo-Neapolitan, cooked-for-19-seconds pizza, that I had basically given up on the idea of having a WFO.  I never considered it as a tool for other styles of pizza.  Well, you've proved that wrong!

Have you done a DD in there yet?  That would be a workout!  :D

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline wrm2012

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #103 on: May 22, 2013, 06:13:53 AM »
Shff I am also pretty much a beginner and have had great luck using the recipe I posted of CBís earlier in this thread.  Iíd like to suggest going very simple.  Ditch the stone for now and just use the pan.  Iíd place it right in the middle of the oven and use 500 degrees or what ever you like for a temp.  Roll the dough out as thin as you can get it then roll it a little more.  I use a good amount of flour when doing this.  Once it is really thin place it in a oiled pan.  I have to fold it to pic it up and place in a pan.  Bake for about 10 min depending on the amount of toppings you have.  The last one I made the dough ball didnít rise much and really I didnít leave it out long enough.  About 2 hours before I made the pizza was all the time I gave it.  It turned out great.  I really believe the biggest factor in doing this style of pizza is get that crust really really thin.

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #104 on: May 22, 2013, 03:02:27 PM »
Thanks Garvey, When I started making pizza at home last year I actually started on your recipe.  It was very good but I was having trouble figuring out the right cheese to use at the time, I was not getting the results I wanted and I became discouraged for a while.  Until I came across this thread, I was using the pizza stone for a lot of different recipes but none of them were as successful as yours.  Recently in Tampa, a Chicago pizzeria opened up called Rosati's that I used to frequent in the west suburbs of Chicago.  I then correctly remembered that the crust that I liked was soft and foldable.  I think I need to make your recipe again with the metal pan.  Also thanks for your sauce and pizza recipes.  Because of your blog I have been tempted to get my own pizza boxes so I can deliver them to myself LOL!


Thanks Chicago Bob, I used the Lehmann dough calculator for a 16" pizza and a thickness factor of 0.09
Flour (100%):         330.9 grams
Water (33.33%):    110.3
Milk (16.66):           55.16
ADY (1%):              3.31
Salt (1%):              3.31
Corn Oil (3%):         9.93
Total:                     512.91
My digital scale from target only measures to the nearest gram so I usually just round the ingredients...

Also from Loowater's recipe are these directions I followed:
Stand mixer instructions: In the mixer bowl, add water and salt to dissolve.  Addanyeast and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.  Add half of the flour and combine fully on mix setting then knead for 8 minutes on 4 setting.   Add remaining flour and attempt to fully combine.  Note: Because the dough is very dry, it will not form into a cohesive ball; rather it will be loose and scrappy with some raw flour left unincorporated.

Rising: After proper mixing, the dough will be very stiff. Place dough in oiled bowl and allow to rise for a minimum 1 1/2 in oven with light on and hot water along with for humidity.  Divide and let rise on counter for another hour or two or move to fridge for later use.


Instead of putting it in the fridge I used it right away. 

I am really excited to start making 16" pizzas in my new pan than my 14" stone.  That way I can make just one pizza instead of two.  Maybe I can try switching to the gold metal flour and eliminate the milk and make it all water.  All of your pies look great, if I take out the milk and use the flour you use, maybe I can eliminate some variations from your 1st pizzas on this thread.  I can also try doubling the yeast and salt, that in combination with the new pan might produce results similar to yours.  I am really just a novice that started making pizzas at home August 2012 so your advice is very much appreciated.
OK Shaffer, here's a 'lil something to get you going. As I indicated in my PM; I'm working on something new and it's not ready yet(using All Trumps flour ;)).
Any way, this is my standard AP flour same day deal and I've scaled it for your new 16in. pan. I keep it simple and just do it in a small bowl and finish on countertop. Mix all dry together; pour the water on top of that and then pour the oil on top of the water...give the water/oil a little swish with a spoon and then work it all in together. Takes about a minute and then you will have some unincorporated flour moving around in there...dump all on to counter and knead it all together for maybe 3-4 minutes. That's it. You can make a pizza right now with that if you want to...I put it back in the same bowl: no oil, none of that fool'in around stuff, just put a paper towel over it and I then go into 100 degree oven for a couple hours. I don't use a crazy bunch of flour to roll this out...in fact, I use as little as possible and then I do not oil the pan.
For your oven use center rack at 450 degrees. Take that stone out of there and put a rack on top shelf just in case you need to move pizza up there for last 5 min.. Bake for 10 min. and then take a look and make the call if ya want to move it up. Easy peazzy.  ;)

As for your cheese we discussed...don't put that Provo on in whole slices separately last on top. You can fold those rounds up and get it to pass through your grater. It's kinda awkward but try, you got to sort of shmooz, press it against the grater. Then, mix it 50/50 with your shredded mozz.  Done!  :chef:

Let me know if I've missed anything and please try not to screw this up man.   8)
Good luck!
Bob

Flour (100%):
Water (50%):
IDY (2%):
Salt (2%):
Corn Oil (4%):
Sugar (1%):
Total (159%):
   231.79 g  |  8.18 oz | 0.51 lbs
115.9 g  |  4.09 oz | 0.26 lbs
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.54 tsp | 0.51 tbsp
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.97 tsp | 0.32 tbsp
9.27 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.06 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
2.32 g | 0.08 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.58 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
368.55 g | 13 oz | 0.81 lbs | TF = N/A
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Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #105 on: May 23, 2013, 02:30:00 PM »
Thanks Chicago Bob,

I'm going to give this recipe a try tonight and follow your exact instructions.  I now have the Gold Medal non bleached all purpose flour but I do have a few complications though.  I don't have any IDY and haven't seen any in the stores around me for a couple of months.  Therefore I only have ADY.  I'll activate it with warm water, I'm just not sure if I should still use the same amount (2%?).

How do you have your dough rise at 100 degrees.  Do you preheat it for a min or does the light do all the heating?  I didn't use it last time but I have a proofing 5 gallon bucket.  The lid has an appliance light bulb that doesn't display the wattage.  I know its between 25 - 40 watt and the inside gets to a maximum of 90 degrees.  The lightbulb is connected to a dimmer switch to control the temp.

I also seasoned my new pizza pan yesterday.  I put a thin coat of corn oil on it and threw it in the oven (preheated) at 450 for 20 min.  Then I turned the oven off and let it sit in there for another 40 min.  I was trying to season it similar to the way I've seasoned some black cast iron pans I have.  I'm thinking the seasoned pan might bring a better crust and I was intending on coating it with more oil when I cooked my next pizza.  Do you think I should use this seasoned pan without coating it with any more oil, or do you think that I should use my perforated pan instead?

I have the before and after pics here:

« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 02:44:26 PM by shff1984 »

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #106 on: May 23, 2013, 03:49:05 PM »
Thanks Chicago Bob,

I'm going to give this recipe a try tonight and follow your exact instructions.  I now have the Gold Medal non bleached all purpose flour but I do have a few complications though.  I don't have any IDY and haven't seen any in the stores around me for a couple of months.  Therefore I only have ADY.  I'll activate it with warm water, I'm just not sure if I should still use the same amount (2%?).

How do you have your dough rise at 100 degrees.  Do you preheat it for a min or does the light do all the heating?  I didn't use it last time but I have a proofing 5 gallon bucket.  The lid has an appliance light bulb that doesn't display the wattage.  I know its between 25 - 40 watt and the inside gets to a maximum of 90 degrees.  The lightbulb is connected to a dimmer switch to control the temp.

I also seasoned my new pizza pan yesterday.  I put a thin coat of corn oil on it and threw it in the oven (preheated) at 450 for 20 min.  Then I turned the oven off and let it sit in there for another 40 min.  I was trying to season it similar to the way I've seasoned some black cast iron pans I have.  I'm thinking the seasoned pan might bring a better crust and I was intending on coating it with more oil when I cooked my next pizza.  Do you think I should use this seasoned pan without coating it with any more oil, or do you think that I should use my perforated pan instead?

I have the before and after pics here:
This is easy peazzy pizza my friend...we don't sweat the small stuff.  8)
Swap out the yeast @ 2% and you'll be fine, no biggie. You can proof it in all the formula water if you want. Forgot to mention I use HOT water; straight out of the hot water tap, it's a perfect temp for ADY activation too. If using a thick glass to mix it in, heat the glass up under the hot running water for a couple seconds.

I have a gas oven and can get it to set at 100 degrees. But this all doesn't really matter. Throw it in your oven with light on for an hour or 2 an you'll be Golden.

I would not have seasoned that pan; but it don't matter, gotta try it out sooner or later and now is better than never so let's give it a shot. You'll be fine. It's OK if there is a 'lil flour left on bottom of dough skin after rollin out(I prefer that ;)), just NO MORE oil in that pan please.! This ain't PH "fried" pan pizza bruddah.  :chef:

Do you have some Premio brand MILD It.sausage? This pizza is best made with sausage ONLY or maybe one or two light handed toppings along with the sausage.
Good luck!
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Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #107 on: May 23, 2013, 04:29:26 PM »
Sounds like I screwed the pan up a little, maybe it will be ok.  This sounds like a great recipe and I hope it turns out.  I'm already imagining visiting friends and family on vacation and still have the ability to make Chicago thin pizza without my kitchen aid. 
I'm ready to go!

I have access to some really good sausage about 40 min from Tampa.  If anyone from Tampa reads this, Mazzaro's Italian market in St. Petersburg has great mild Italian sausage with fennel seeds in it (I think, could be anise).  This place makes their own mozz daily, has a huge selection cheese, and has some great imported peperoni to buy.  I don't get out there enough but there isn't enough to say about that Italian market, they are open mon to sat and it doesn't matter what time of the day they are always packed, its like a bad Walmart times 3.  They even have Chicago style giardiniera.  http://www.mazzarosmarket.com/

For right now I have Johnsonville's mild Italian sausage sold without the sausage skins.  I used a mortar and pestle to grind up some fennel and added it to the sausage. 

Will post pics soon!!!

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #108 on: May 23, 2013, 04:35:41 PM »
Sounds like I screwed the pan up a little, maybe it will be ok.  This sounds like a great recipe and I hope it turns out.  I'm already imagining visiting friends and family on vacation and still have the ability to make Chicago thin pizza without my kitchen aid. 
I'm ready to go!

I have access to some really good sausage about 40 min from Tampa.  If anyone from Tampa reads this, Mazzaro's Italian market in St. Petersburg has great mild Italian sausage with fennel seeds in it (I think, could be anise).  This place makes their own mozz daily, has a huge selection cheese, and has some great imported peperoni to buy.  I don't get out there enough but there isn't enough to say about that Italian market, they are open mon to sat and it doesn't matter what time of the day they are always packed, its like a bad Walmart times 3.  They even have Chicago style giardiniera.  http://www.mazzarosmarket.com/

For right now I have Johnsonville's mild Italian sausage sold without the sausage skins.  I used a mortar and pestle to grind up some fennel and added it to the sausage. 

Will post pics soon!!!
Search...TXCraig Johnsonville sausage.

I think my Premio is sold in Florida Walmarts. Sells for under $3 a lb. and after searching for years it is the closest thing to good old Chicago fennel sausage.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 04:37:23 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #109 on: May 23, 2013, 04:38:25 PM »
One more thing about Mazzaro's,  You can buy 2 different kinds of 00 Caputo flour there.  Here is a pic of some sausages from their website.  Its not a close up...


Just read your post Chi Bob, Thanks a bunch!  I will be on the lookout for Premio!!!


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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #110 on: May 23, 2013, 04:39:51 PM »
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Offline wrm2012

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #111 on: May 24, 2013, 12:48:13 AM »
You didn't screw up your pan at all.  I seasoned mine with corn oil and ran it through about 5 times and the seasoning is great.  CB I'll have to try the unoiled pan I don't know why but I always have lightly oiled the pan when doing your Chicago thin.

Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #112 on: May 24, 2013, 02:29:07 PM »
OK Shaffer, here's a 'lil something to get you going. As I indicated in my PM; I'm working on something new and it's not ready yet(using All Trumps flour ;)).
Any way, this is my standard AP flour same day deal and I've scaled it for your new 16in. pan. I keep it simple and just do it in a small bowl and finish on countertop. Mix all dry together; pour the water on top of that and then pour the oil on top of the water...give the water/oil a little swish with a spoon and then work it all in together. Takes about a minute and then you will have some unincorporated flour moving around in there...dump all on to counter and knead it all together for maybe 3-4 minutes. That's it. You can make a pizza right now with that if you want to...I put it back in the same bowl: no oil, none of that fool'in around stuff, just put a paper towel over it and I then go into 100 degree oven for a couple hours. I don't use a crazy bunch of flour to roll this out...in fact, I use as little as possible and then I do not oil the pan.
For your oven use center rack at 450 degrees. Take that stone out of there and put a rack on top shelf just in case you need to move pizza up there for last 5 min.. Bake for 10 min. and then take a look and make the call if ya want to move it up. Easy peazzy.  ;)

As for your cheese we discussed...don't put that Provo on in whole slices separately last on top. You can fold those rounds up and get it to pass through your grater. It's kinda awkward but try, you got to sort of shmooz, press it against the grater. Then, mix it 50/50 with your shredded mozz.  Done!  :chef:

Let me know if I've missed anything and please try not to screw this up man.   8)
Good luck!
Bob

Flour (100%):
Water (50%):
IDY (2%):
Salt (2%):
Corn Oil (4%):
Sugar (1%):
Total (159%):
   231.79 g  |  8.18 oz | 0.51 lbs
115.9 g  |  4.09 oz | 0.26 lbs
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.54 tsp | 0.51 tbsp
4.64 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.97 tsp | 0.32 tbsp
9.27 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.06 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
2.32 g | 0.08 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.58 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
368.55 g | 13 oz | 0.81 lbs | TF = N/A


Ok, Gave the new pan and new recipe a try last night.  It was still delicious but unfortunately my crust was still more of a pale white than I wanted.  This dough formulation for a 16" was much thinner than my last 16".  I thought for sure this would cook more because of the thinner crust and the addition of sugar.  I really like both the thickness of loowater's pizza and this thinner one.  If I got the browning I wanted I don't think I would prefer one over the other.  Another thing I like about this recipe is that you can mix and knead by hand, the short mixing and kneading times make it really easy.  If you were in someone's kitchen you could make this easily without a KA mixer.

This pizza was in the oven at 450 for 20 min.  The cheese mix was around 40% mozz and 60% shredded provolone.  I ran out of the mozz to make it a 50/50 mix and I still wanted more cheese on top.  This pizza also seemed to have less cheese on it than my first one and the top cooked more. 

I think the perforated pan cooked my previous thicker crust a little more so I am undecided about this new pan.  I looked up the specs on this new pan and it is make of 18 gauge aluminum and I'm finding some commercial pans that are make of a thicker 14 gauge aluminum.  It is possible my pan is not up to commercial quality and does not transfer heat as well.  I'm thinking for my next pizza I'll use the perforated pan put on top of a hot preheated pizza stone for the first 10 min and check for browning.

Here are some pics:
The first one is before the rise, the second one is after and also right before I rolled it out...

Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #113 on: May 24, 2013, 02:32:06 PM »
And the before/after oven:

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #114 on: May 24, 2013, 02:46:24 PM »
The perforated pan alone should get you the browning you're after. One of the reasons I like this style of pizza is because you don't have to run the oven so long in pre heating a stone.
I think your pizza looks great; good job!  :chef:

If you want to try something tasty; roll your dough out a little under sized and sauce it right up to the edge. While baking a 'lil sauce/cheese will spill out onto pan and give caramelized goodies on the crust edge.  :drool:

Bob
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 02:50:55 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #115 on: May 24, 2013, 03:23:22 PM »

Ok, Gave the new pan and new recipe a try last night.  It was still delicious but unfortunately my crust was still more of a pale white than I wanted.  This dough formulation for a 16" was much thinner than my last 16".  I thought for sure this would cook more because of the thinner crust and the addition of sugar.  I really like both the thickness of loowater's pizza and this thinner one.  If I got the browning I wanted I don't think I would prefer one over the other.  Another thing I like about this recipe is that you can mix and knead by hand, the short mixing and kneading times make it really easy.  If you were in someone's kitchen you could make this easily without a KA mixer.

This pizza was in the oven at 450 for 20 min.  The cheese mix was around 40% mozz and 60% shredded provolone.  I ran out of the mozz to make it a 50/50 mix and I still wanted more cheese on top.  This pizza also seemed to have less cheese on it than my first one and the top cooked more. 

I think the perforated pan cooked my previous thicker crust a little more so I am undecided about this new pan.  I looked up the specs on this new pan and it is make of 18 gauge aluminum and I'm finding some commercial pans that are make of a thicker 14 gauge aluminum.  It is possible my pan is not up to commercial quality and does not transfer heat as well.  I'm thinking for my next pizza I'll use the perforated pan put on top of a hot preheated pizza stone for the first 10 min and check for browning.

Here are some pics:
The first one is before the rise, the second one is after and also right before I rolled it out...

It looks like you're heating the top too much relative to the bottom, which is resulting in an overcooked top and undercooked crust.  This is happening for two reasons:  1) you are using the center (not bottom) rackm and 2) you are using a pan (not a stone).

The lower your pizza is the the bottom of the oven, the more radiant heat from the bottom heating element it will "see."  This basic heat transfer theory and is described with the first 10 pages of any introductory text.  If you want to encourage bottom browning, you need to move the pizza to the bottom, not the top.  This is exactly why most people here are putting their stones on teh bottom.  On the other hand, if you want to discourage bottom cooking, move the pizza to the top of the oven.

Also, a pan "holds" very little heat, so the heat it gives to the pizza crust will be whatever it gains via radiation from the heating element and via convection from the surrounding air.  With a pan, this means you have to essentially cook the top and bottom of the pizza at the same temperature.  You cannot independently vary top and bottom temperateness with a pan.  The benefit of using a stone is that you can preheat it to a given temperature and then adjust your oven temp to a different temperature - thus giving you the ability to impose different temperatures on the bottom and top of the pizza.  This works because the stone "holds" heat very well.  I ALWAYS cook my pies like this, and in my oven I heat my stone and then turn UP my oven to increase top browning, but it of course will depend on your specific oven and what you are trying to achieve. 

In your case, you need to increase the heat on the bottom relative to the top, so I would suggest heating the stone on the bottom rack and then reducing the oven temp (although you will have to do some trials with an actual stone to work this out properly).  If you continue with a pan on the center rack, you'll continue to have an overcooked top and undercooked bottom.   :chef:

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #116 on: May 24, 2013, 03:51:26 PM »
The instructions I give on this here thread are for making a Chicago 'burbs thin crust pizza as learned back in the '70's. If you want the results as in my thread opening pics...I can help.
If you want to bake a Detroit style pizza on a stone; more power to you...but I cannot help with that.  :)

Bob
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Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #117 on: May 24, 2013, 04:25:26 PM »
I'm wanting a pizza like the ones at the beginning of this thread.  CB, I really like the browning on the underside of the crust.  I agree it is very nice not to have to preheat a stone for an hour.  I was thinking if I have the stone on the very bottom rack I could put the pizza pan on top just to get the crust cooking, and then transfer to the middle rack.  The way the cheese has been cooking I really don't want to go over a 20 min cook at 450.  Unless you think I could achieve a browner crust cooking for longer at a lower temp. 

CDN I agree, the bottom rack will help cook the bottom crust faster.  So far I have just been doing trial and error.  That in combination with a couple of new pizza pans have thrown some complications to my success.  Before I got these pizza pans all I cooked on was a stone. 

I am very happy with the sauce and cheese.  This alone will help me not get discouraged.  It has been great working with everyone on here.  I always said that when it comes to sauce, cheese, and crust, you need to get at least two of the three right for a half decent pizza.  I am so close to a great pie.  All I can do is keep trying and adjusting. 

I'm going over to my cousin's on the east coast this weekend and I just whipped up a Loowater's batch of dough (no milk).  I added 2% sugar to the dough to help with browning, and I'm bringing my pan and stone over to her house.  I don't know what kind of oven she has but I'm hoping to get good browning on the crust.  The pizza will probably be cooked Sunday so it will have a 2 day cold ferment. 

Will post pics when I get back  :chef:

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #118 on: May 24, 2013, 05:07:56 PM »
I'm wanting a pizza like the ones at the beginning of this thread.  CB, I really like the browning on the underside of the crust.  I agree it is very nice not to have to preheat a stone for an hour.  I was thinking if I have the stone on the very bottom rack I could put the pizza pan on top just to get the crust cooking, and then transfer to the middle rack.  The way the cheese has been cooking I really don't want to go over a 20 min cook at 450.  Unless you think I could achieve a browner crust cooking for longer at a lower temp. 

CDN I agree, the bottom rack will help cook the bottom crust faster.  So far I have just been doing trial and error.  That in combination with a couple of new pizza pans have thrown some complications to my success.  Before I got these pizza pans all I cooked on was a stone. 

I am very happy with the sauce and cheese.  This alone will help me not get discouraged.  It has been great working with everyone on here.  I always said that when it comes to sauce, cheese, and crust, you need to get at least two of the three right for a half decent pizza.  I am so close to a great pie.  All I can do is keep trying and adjusting. 

I'm going over to my cousin's on the east coast this weekend and I just whipped up a Loowater's batch of dough (no milk).  I added 2% sugar to the dough to help with browning, and I'm bringing my pan and stone over to her house.  I don't know what kind of oven she has but I'm hoping to get good browning on the crust.  The pizza will probably be cooked Sunday so it will have a 2 day cold ferment. 

Will post pics when I get back  :chef:

I'm confused...  If you're concerned about preheating a stone, why would you cook on one initially, only to then remove the pizza?  If you preheat the stone, why not take advantage of it and use it the whole time? 

Again, the problem is that you're heating the top too much compared with the bottom.  The only way to change that is to increase the heat at the bottom (or decrease top heating) using a stone and/or the bottom rack (probably both). 

Apparently in his oven, Chicago Bob is able to get good browning on the bottom using just a pan on the middle rack, but ovens are different and clearly isn't working for you.  This is why humans have developed heat transfer theory!  There really isn't any question - you can keep trying the same thing again (and getting the same results), or you can use one of the methods I've described to better heat the bottom.   :chef:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 05:14:07 PM by CDNpielover »

Offline shff1984

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Re: Chi-town thin pics
« Reply #119 on: May 24, 2013, 05:14:27 PM »
I'm confused...  If you're concerned about preheating a stone, why would you cook on one initially, only to then remove the pizza?  If you preheat the stone, why not take advantage of it and use it the whole time? 

Again, the problem is that you're heating the top too much compared with the bottom.  The only way to change that is to increase the heat at the bottom (or decrease top heating) using a stone and/or the bottom rack (probably both). 

Apparently in his oven, Chicago Bob is able to get good browning on the bottom using just a pan on the middle rack, but ovens are different and clearly isn't working for you.  This is why humans have developed heat transfer theory!  There really isn't any question - you can keep trying the same thing again (and getting the same results), or you can use one of the methods I've described to better heat the bottom.   :chef:

I understand this...