Author Topic: South Side Thin Crust..  (Read 12188 times)

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Offline Witt

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South Side Thin Crust..
« on: February 07, 2007, 04:24:11 PM »
I've looked over about 4-5 pages and didn't see much if any talk about South Side Thin Crust..ya know, the nice greasy squares you would find in the south burbs and city.  I'd really like a good recipe to try for think crust..I kinda got the deep dish thing done, so looking for a new challenge.  Anybody..?

Thanks in advance. 


Offline chiguy

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2007, 11:35:15 PM »
 Hi Witt,
 Any place on the south side in particular. A thin crust can be a bit more challenging seeing that so many pizzerias vary from one to the next.
 It will ultimately come down to the proper thickness factor when recreating a particular thin crust. Of coarse the right sauce will help also.
 I do not post recipes much but can tell you that All Purpose flour is king in Chicago and will produce the best results.   Chiguy
 

Offline scott r

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 11:43:04 PM »
witt, I have had killer luck with chicago thin crusts using the new harvest king flour.   It's protein is about half way bewteen an all purpose and a bread flour.

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 07:44:45 AM »
How's this one look?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 08:10:23 AM »
itsinthesauce,

It looks damn good.

Is the crust a cracker crust? I am still a bit confused about the thin Chicago style. I know there is the cracker crust style but is there also a soft Chicago thin style? Is there a difference between the "South" Chicago style and other Chicago thin styles?

Peter


Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2007, 08:15:48 AM »
Peter, Thanks!

I wouldn't call it a cracker crust, as nobody I know in Chicago refers to it as such. It's merely a thin crust made with AP. There is a crunch to it. Hard to achieve in an oven, but possible. Best cooked on the stone.

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2007, 08:20:46 AM »
Regarding your question as to being a difference in "South Side" versus all others. I think the pizzas are pretty much the same. Thay all vary in thickness, sauces, cheese blends, etc. But, they're all good. If they're not, they're out of business in short order.

The Franchised stores don't do very well here as they can't really compete with the locals. Brooklyn Pizza from Dominos is laughed at. LOL

Online Pete-zza

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 08:50:10 AM »
itsinthesauce,

Thanks for the info. Tom Lehmann was raised in Tinley Park (175th Street South) and when someone asks him for a thin Chicago dough recipe, the one he refers them to is this one: http://www.pmq.com/recipe/view_recipe.php?id=85. Recently, at this post on the PMQ Think Tank, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=7603#7603, Tom said that a thin Chicago style crust takes a long time to bake, specifically, “20 to 25 minutes at temperatures on 425 to 450F in a deck oven or like they use in Chicago, a "reel" type oven with 6 to 12 shelves. That's the only way you can get any production capacity with those long baking times. Now you know why you have to wait so long for your pizza in Chicago.” All of the above suggest a fairly dry crust.

Have things changed since Tom left Chicago?

Peter

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2007, 09:52:32 AM »
I guess so. Most shops put the cheese over the sauce, unless it's a deep dish. I cook mine mostly on perforated pans at 475-500 for about 8-9 minutes, turning half way through. A good friend of mine owns Vito 7 Nicks II and they use Blodget Ovens as most shops do and pizzas take about 7-8 minutes.

Offline chiguy

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2007, 12:07:20 PM »
 Pete-zza,
 I have had good thin crust all over Chicago. Although some of the best i have tried has been on the south side. In fact Vito & Nicks that itsinthesauce metioned is one of the finest examples of Chicago thin in my opinion.
 I would not call the place cracker crust, but it is very thin. The crust has a nice balance between tenderness and a crunch.
 I think the Lehmann article is a good reference but not an exact formula or exact bake times to be used. The reason is that there are just too many mom and pop stores in Chicago using different recipes and baking procedures.
It is for these reasons that some pizzas can be thicker,thinner,soft or cracker stlye.
 
 Itsinthesauce,
 Thats a nice looking pizza, looks like a cross between Vince's and Vito & Nicks.
 
 To witt or others attempting to produce Chicago thin crust, using all purpose flour will produce the best results. I will also say that Tim Huff at General mills also recommended All Purpose flour for cracker crust.       Chiguy


Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2007, 12:17:16 PM »
Good guess. I used to work at Vince'sand grew up on Vito & Nicks. Lived 3 blocks away from their shop on 79th & Carpenter.

Lately, I've been using Eagle Mills flour that I picked up at Sam's. The results have been fantastic. Comes in 2 - 10lb bags...cost about $4.00.

Offline chiguy

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2007, 01:46:09 PM »
 itsinthesauce,
 Yeah you told me you used to work at Vince's, i use to live by Vince's as well for many years. The Cerasota is also a really good flour, its presifted like 6 times.
 I think you were the one that turned me on to Vito & Nicks last year. i only had it a couple of times when i visit my Grannies house off 95th & Roberts rd.
 I still like Fasanos(carryout) on 84th & Roberts, amazing sauce, i think.
 A really dumb question but i don't suppose you could get me the Vito & Nicks Formula. Even the dough ball weight/size would be nice to have to get the right thickness factor.    Chiguy
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 01:47:54 PM by chiguy »

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2007, 01:54:40 PM »
Chiguy,

Is that the Fasano's from the city?

I don't have the recipe he uses, besides I fear for my life.

I use 12 oz for a 16", which I bet is real close.

Offline chiguy

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2007, 04:37:52 PM »
 Itsinthesauce,
 I am not aware of a Fasanos pizza in the city, i don't think they are connected.
 I do remember a Fasanos on 65th street but they were a bakery. The Fasasno's in Justice/Hickory Hills is a softer thin crust and has no crust/edge. The topping run to the edge of the pizza. The guy is doing alot of pizzas out of this shop, he is only open 5 days a week.
 
Yes i figured the Vito & Nicks recipe is a closely guarded secret. Thanks for sharing what you could the dough weight and size you provided is just a bit under what i use when making thin crust. I would use 13oz for that size pizza, but will try cutting back to 12oz next time.       Chiguy

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2007, 04:44:13 PM »
Chiguy, you're right it is 13 oz, by the time you trim off the excess it nets out at 12 oz. I remember going to Fasanos on 65th to buy imperfect pies at about 1/3 the price.

Offline scott r

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2007, 05:18:39 PM »
Witt, you might want to go over to the round table thread. Those guys have been working really hard over there to perfect a similar style of pizza.  While round table pizza is not exactly like chicago thin, the recipe for it works very well to duplicate this style if you modify the processing steps to skip the laminated layers, the par bake, and cook it on a stone instead of a disk or pan.   Try the recipe with some harvest king flour (I have a few posts over there with the actual recipe I used).  Top your pizza with some 6 in 1's from escalon seasoned with a bit of oregano, garlic powder and salt. I also like to thicken my sauce a bit with a little paste, but this is optional.

The dough is made in a food processor and fermented at room temperature.  It can be held in the fridge for two days or so once the fermentation is complete.  Once your dough is done fermenting just roll it out to be fairly thin (this is a lot of work because of the low hydration).  Let the dough round sit for a few minutes to rest after the rolling, top it, then right on to your pre heated stone.  I like to cook mine at 475-500 degrees until it looks done. The recipe I posted should be pretty close to chicago thin, but if your dough is too puffy just decrease the yeast amount the next time you try the recipe.  If it is too crackery just wait longer after the dough has been rolled out before you top and bake your pizza. 

I have substituted butter for the crisco with excellent results.

Don't worry if your dough seems too dry once it comes out of the food processor.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 05:23:54 PM by scott r »

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2007, 05:26:04 PM »
Scott, I've tried that and you're right.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2007, 01:53:50 AM »
For me, still living on the South Side, all I do is crank the oven to preheat and use my stone/tile. I marvel at a lot of the "chemists" here because I guess I am like a musician that can't read music. I always wing it---not a single recipe written down.
Anyway, I roll it out as thin as possible and then it only takes 5-8 minutes to cook. I guess it's as cracker-ish as it gets.
That being said, a cultural phenomena is sweeping many parts of the U.S., Chicago in particular. My following description is an honest study into this, and is not meant to be prejudiced in any way.
Mexican immigrants come to the U.S. looking for a better life, as my Grandparents did. Well, some buy pizza joints. Most of the ones that do, had started out as pizza makers or other aspects of the biz.We are at the point that even the 2nd generation of original pizza makers are at retirement age, so a lot are selling because their kids don't want to do the 6 or 7 day week business. Mexican work ethic is work hard, get paid, and don't be frivolous. That unofficial credo is why you can find slices at pizza places and "roach coaches"(catering trucks) that are thick on dough, light on sauce,and so-so on toppings. They work hard and want to be fed well, and for cheap. So a $1.50 slice that weighs 12 ozs. is the ideal thing.
As a Health Inspector for 17 years, and someone who was BORN into the food biz, I have witnessed this. I really hope some people do not think I am making generalizations that are make-believe. It is for this reason that we are seeing less and less of the cracker-style crust. Only enthusiasts will pay $14 for a large cracker crust, and a majority want 3 pizzas for $9.99. They want to be filled-up.
Sorry for the speech.

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2007, 07:04:54 AM »
I'd have to agree with you.

Offline Randy

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Re: South Side Thin Crust..
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2007, 07:23:10 AM »
We see a similar epic play out here where the buffet is king of quantity over quality.

Now, is anyone recomending a recipe for a Chicago thin crust?