Over the weekend, I made two more mini deep-dish pizzas using DKM’s Uno’s/Malnati’s recipe. They were made one at a time on two separate occasions. Before making either, I had to first recalculate the surface areas of the deep-dish cavities to compensate for the way dough forms in the corners and the bottom and to then adjust for the amount of dough that I would need to cover that surface area without being too thick. This time, I got it right. Each dough ball weighed 4.6 ounces, and nothing could have been easier to make. Making the dough was a breeze and took only a few minutes.
The doughs for the two pizzas were made as identically as I could except for the fact that the first dough was subjected to only a room temperature fermentation, for about 5-6 hours, whereas the second dough was subjected to a 24-hour cold fermentation in the refrigerator, followed by a 2-hour countertop warm-up.
The way I pre-coated the two mini pans before dressing the pies was also slightly different. For the first pizza, I put dabs of cold butter on the sides of the pans and light olive oil on the bottom. For the second pizza, I used a clarified butter/light olive oil blend recently suggested by Hi Gluten except that I did not use garlic (either dead or alive). Before using, I had refrigerated it so that it would harden and be semi-solid and easier to spread. The butter/oil blend was smeared on both the sides and the bottom of the mini pan. In both cases, I had no problem placing and pressing the dough into the mini pans except that there was a little bit of slippage on the sides when I used the butter/oil blend as it melted as it warmed up.
After dressing, each pizza was baked on the center oven rack position at a pre-heated oven temperature of about 450 degrees F. It took about 16 minutes for each pizza. The exposed upper crust of the first pizza started to brown too soon, as is usually the case with my oven, and I covered it with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it from over-browning. Surprisingly, the exposed top of the crust of the second pizza did not brown as quickly and did not need an aluminum foil tent. When I checked, I saw that the crust for this pizza had browned more than I had expected. Hence the slightly darker color in the photos below.
The first two photos below show the first pizza and the second pair of photos shows the second pizza. If one looks carefully at the crust of the first pizza, it will be noted that the places where the dabs of butter made contact with the dough are lighter than the surrounding areas. By contrast, the crust of the second pizza was uniform in color throughout. Both crusts were thinner than my original mini crusts and also crispier and flakier. The flavors of both crusts were quite good, although I thought the second crust had more flavor--most likely because of the longer dough fermentation time and possibly also because of the use of the butter/oil blend. In the future, unless time is of the essence, I am likely to use the longer fermentation version. And also the butter/oil blend.
One of the nice things about using a multi mini-pan arrangement is that it is very adaptable. It can be used to make just a single mini pie if that is all that is desired, or up to four mini pies, each of which can be dressed differently from any other. And they can be made in advance, they are compact and easy to wrap and store, and, best of all, they are a snap to make.
My next mini pies will most likely use buzz’s latest Giordano-style dough--once I go through the usual ritual of deconstructing it to arrive at the baker’s percents and thickness factor to accommodate my mini pie pan arrangement. Fortunately, the numbers will allow me to make any size deep-dish pie, not just the rectangular mini pies.