Author Topic: What if I like browned cheese?  (Read 2128 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline franzel

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
  • I Love Pizza!
What if I like browned cheese?
« on: December 05, 2006, 04:57:46 PM »
Hi all,

I'm very new to amateur pizza making, so I have a pretty basic question:

What's the best way to preserve any kind of cheese stretch and still get decent browning?  The reason I ask is because both my wife and I enjoy browned cheese, but from my reading of the boards, that will kill the stretchiness.  Is there any way around this conundrum?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

franzel


Offline pizzoid

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 168
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Cape Cod, MA
  • A Hideous, Addictive, substance dependency
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 05:13:37 PM »
What's the best way to preserve any kind of cheese stretch and still get decent browning?  The reason I ask is because both my wife and I enjoy browned cheese, but from my reading of the boards, that will kill the stretchiness.  Is there any way around this conundrum?

Many with more knowledge are on this board, but I would posit  that making the cheese layer thicker, would, in a high enough temperature oven, lead to surface browning with a sufficient amount of un-browned cheese below to provide the stretch. Remember to make the rim thicker to hold in the extra cheese!

- Al

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22017
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 05:59:10 PM »
Another possibility, although I haven't personally tried it, is to use both a whole-milk mozzarella cheese and a relatively thin layer of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese over the whole-milk mozzarella cheese. The part-skim mozzarella tends to brown faster than the whole-milk mozzarella because it contains less milk fat. If this combo works, the part-skim mozzarella might brown enough to suit your tastes while leaving the whole-milk mozzarella below it soft and stretchy. For some reason, I have found that the lower-priced low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheeses sold under house brand names in the supermarkets tend to brown faster than other, better known brands.

You might also put part of the mozzarella cheese (whole or part-skim) on the skin before putting on the sauce, and put the remaining mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza after all or some of the toppings have been added. With a sufficient bake time, the top cheese might turn brown while leaving the cheese that was put directly on the skin soft and stretchy and create the proper mouthfeel you are after. You don't want to put an excessive amount of the cheese on the skin since that might lead to a doughy crust.

I have also found that cheeses brown faster when I move a pizza from a lower oven position to a higher oven position toward the end of the bake. Using a broiler will also brown the cheese quite quickly. However, the top heat can also adversely affect toppings like pepperoni that are typically put on top of the cheese.

I suspect that there are also different cheese blends that might have an overall browning profile that meets your personal preferences while remaining soft and stretchy. 

Peter

Offline gschwim

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 382
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 06:34:17 PM »
You might try turning on the broiler near the end of baking.

Offline mivler

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Westchester, New York
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 10:11:25 PM »
Pre-shredded cheese browns faster than blocks of mozzarella. You can sprinkle a little on top of the other cheese before you pop it in the oven.

Offline lilbuddypizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 353
  • Location: Chicago
  • Cheesy dude
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2006, 04:23:03 AM »
You might try turning on the broiler near the end of baking.
Bingo! Use shredded Whole-milk mozzarella and then place under the broiler and keep a close eye on it. All of the Chicago area pizzas in the early 70's were like this---brown bubbles all over the top(not that they broiled it). Nowadays the cheese is white and barely melted. Amazing how things change......

Offline gschwim

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 382
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2006, 04:54:17 AM »
Instead of putting the pizza on top of the pizza stone, have you tried putting the pizza stone on top of the pizza?   :-D

Offline franzel

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: What if I like browned cheese?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2006, 01:31:52 PM »
Another possibility, although I haven't personally tried it, is to use both a whole-milk mozzarella cheese and a relatively thin layer of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese over the whole-milk mozzarella cheese. The part-skim mozzarella tends to brown faster than the whole-milk mozzarella because it contains less milk fat. If this combo works, the part-skim mozzarella might brown enough to suit your tastes while leaving the whole-milk mozzarella below it soft and stretchy. For some reason, I have found that the lower-priced low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheeses sold under house brand names in the supermarkets tend to brown faster than other, better known brands.

You might also put part of the mozzarella cheese (whole or part-skim) on the skin before putting on the sauce, and put the remaining mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza after all or some of the toppings have been added. With a sufficient bake time, the top cheese might turn brown while leaving the cheese that was put directly on the skin soft and stretchy and create the proper mouthfeel you are after. You don't want to put an excessive amount of the cheese on the skin since that might lead to a doughy crust.

I have also found that cheeses brown faster when I move a pizza from a lower oven position to a higher oven position toward the end of the bake. Using a broiler will also brown the cheese quite quickly. However, the top heat can also adversely affect toppings like pepperoni that are typically put on top of the cheese.

I suspect that there are also different cheese blends that might have an overall browning profile that meets your personal preferences while remaining soft and stretchy. 

Peter

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the response.  As always, you are the pizza czar.

I was thinking of doing something like what you suggest with two different cheese layers, although I'm not sure about putting the whole-milk mozzarella below the sauce.  What I'm after is the stretchy, chewiness of good mozzarella (which I have not successfully duplicated on pizza yet but I haven't tried Grande or something like it) coupled with the browned goodness that I get when I layer thin slices of fresh mozzarella on top of my baked ziti.  I guess I'll just have to experiment and let you know how it goes!

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!  I'll try the broiler as well.  That might make the difference.

franzel