Author Topic: Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions  (Read 2444 times)

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Offline john3198

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Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions
« on: January 11, 2006, 10:11:07 PM »
Used Buzz'z recipe for the crust last night and came out pretty good for my first time. Used all EVOO and that was a bit much, so will cut that down and use part Canola and part EVOO. Also used instant yeast and seemed to work great. Didn't want to wait 8 hours. Buzz - have you tried that and is there a difference?

Two questions for the group - should you par-bake the crust prior to adding the filling? I see on Buzz's last post he does this. If you do, do you weight it down with dry beans or something like you do with pie crust to keep it in the pan.

Second - I made a sausage with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. I pre-cooked the sausage and also sauteed the vegetables prior to adding to the pizza. What do you folks do? Should you saute veggies or put them in raw? Anybody know what Giodano's does?

Thanks in advance for the help. Finding this web site was a godsend because I have been STARVED FOR DECENT PIZZA since moving from the Chicago area to Houston 10 years ago. I love Houston, but when it comes to pizza made here, I'd rather eat the box.





Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2006, 10:46:27 PM »
john3198,

buzz may be the best one to answer your questions but from all my reading I have not heard of any professional pizza operators pre-bake or par-bake their deep-dish crusts using beans or anything similar as you typically do when pre-baking or par-baking a pie crust. Usually the crust is pre-baked or par-baked for a few minutes after proofing, at around 400 degrees F. buzz may have pre-baked his crust because he is now using a countertop convection oven and experimenting with that approach. Typical of the abovementioned par-baking approach is the following discussion: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/1186.

As for the veggies, my practice is to saute the vegetables in oil. Fresh veggies are likely to make the pie too wet. Even sauteed vegetable will give up some more liquid as they cook. One approach that I read about to deal with this problem is to leave the sauce off and bake the pie until the toppings are fully cooked (steam from the moisture from veggies should escape the pie). Then put the sauce on the pie and continue baking until the sauce heats up. I haven't tried this approach yet but plan to do so since I am a big fan of sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms in my deep-dish pies.

Another thing you might want to try is to drain the sauce to remove the bulk of the liquid before putting it on the pie. This will help keep the pie drier. You can also pre-cook the sausage and drain the pan fats, or use paper towels to soak them up. I have even cooked pepperoni slices in the microwave for a few seconds (and only a few) to release some of the fat, which I absorb using paper towels. Doing this sort of thing with sausage and pepperoni does take away some of the flavor and mouthfeel of fat, but it is perhaps a healthy thing to do. If you'd like, you can always add a teaspoon or two of a healthier fat, like canola or olive oil, to replace the saturated fats.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your future efforts along these lines.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 11, 2006, 10:50:50 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline buzz

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Re: Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 11:46:41 AM »
As Peter said, with my new convection oven I tried par-baking the crust (covered with foil) as an experiment and found the results to be superior. Haven't tried it yet with the gas oven, but I will. I know Giordano's and Connie's don't par-bake, but others might for the sake of time and expediency. It certainly won't hurt, so give it a try.

Usually I make plain cheese deep dish, but if I'm going to add veggies (especially wet ones like green peppers or mushrooms), I've found it best to saute them in a little oil, or just with a bit of water (less calories!). As far as I know, Giordano's does not saute. In my convection oven, I have made thin crust with raw green peppers, onions, and mushrooms with no problem at all with excess liquid. I will try it with deep dish when I can!

Offline buzz

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Re: Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 10:27:53 AM »
John 3198--

The problem with the short knead for Chicago deep dish is that the dough will not rise as much as a more longer-kneaded dough--therefore a longer rise is preferred. I've tried making a deep dish short-knead after a 2-hour rise and was not happy!

Offline john3198

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Re: Pre bake and pre cook veggies questions
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2006, 03:34:30 AM »
Thanks to Buzz and Pete for the help.

Made pizza No. 2 last night and was very pleased (remember that my baseline in Houston may not be quite as high as yours in Chicago!!). Cut the EVOO on the crust to about 1/3 with the remaining 2/3 Canola. Pre-baked the crust for about 10 min at 450f or so (don't necessarily use these times as I have an old POS Kenmore with a busted thermostat - so my temperature measurement is approximate. To be replaced soon). I think this helped the crust stay a bit firmer during the cooking. I will keep doing that as I think it helps and is easy. Also tossed in a 1/2 cup or corn meal to see what this did. Did see a bit or texture change. Can take this or leave it. Haven't had time to try Buzz's long rise version. Will have to do that another day.

Sauteed the onions, peppers, and mushrooms prior to adding. Did the onions and peppers in EVOO with a bit of garlic and did these separately from the mushrooms so I could cook the mushrooms longer until they gave up their water. Very dry in the end, but not overcooked.

Got stuck using Contadina crushed tomatoes and these worked OK, but I did not like them as well as Conte. Hard to find stuff in Houston. Drained them for 30 min at least in a fine mesh strainer. Got rid of a lot of juice and had the makings of a darn good bloody mary for the morning!!

With all this, had no problem with soup and the pie stood up well to cutting.

Layered it a bit differently - cheese, sausage, veggies, cheese, sauce. Liked the result.

Biggest improvement came from making my own hot Italian sausage. Not necessary for youse guys from Chicago, since you can get good quality sausage on any street corner.  Our choices in everyday Houston markets are pretty limited, so I dug up a recipe from Lagasse and it worked well. An added benefit of this is that you can make it very lean by using lean pork roast cuts and adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Loads better than my store bought local stuff - even the Johnsonville.

The adventure continues. Thanks for the help and the numerous posts to this site to help us new guys along. It is much appreciated!!!!


 

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