Author Topic: Veggie Moisture  (Read 1482 times)

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Offline DanBSCD

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Veggie Moisture
« on: July 01, 2007, 10:57:12 AM »
Pizzaioli...

How do I prevent high moisture content veggies e.g. onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives (hmmm okay all of them) from weeping so much during baking?  I'm tired of my crust soggin' out when I cut the pizza and all the excess moisture from the veggies run onto the pan.

Daniel


Offline shango

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2007, 11:43:18 AM »
slice the veggies very thinly and spread them out evenly over the pizza. Or, cook them a little first to release some of the moisture.
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Offline DanBSCD

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2007, 11:48:07 AM »
I do have a tendency to cut some of the veggies rather thick.  I'll thin 'em out a bit.  Also, My oven with stone at home only goes to 500 degrees and for the restaurant my oven will be much hotter.  I'm hoping higher temp will evaporate some of the moisture without drying them out.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 11:48:46 AM »
DanBSCD,

The problem you describe is one that plagues even professional pizza operators, especially those who use deck ovens, which we try to simulate at home when we use pizza stones in our home ovens. The problem is the lack of sufficient movement of top heat to quickly dry the veggies as the pizza bakes. Pizza operators who have air impingement ovens have greater success with veggies on their pizzas because of the strong flow of air over the top of the pizzas to help evaporate some of the moisture contributed by the veggies, which they place on top of the cheese. But even they can have problems with moisture from veggies if there are too many of them. They can usually resolve the problem by special tricks they use involving screens, or else they use a lower bake temperature and a longer bake time to allow the pizza to bake longer and get rid of more of the moisture. It is also possible to put a coating of oil down on the pizza skin before dressing to serve as a barrier against the moisture seeping into the dough. A simple solution that I have seen Dom Demarco use at DiFara's is to add the veggies, or at least some of them, toward the end of the bake, just enough to heat them up without contributing too much additional moisture. That doesn't always work, as I can personally testify after having one of his veggie-laden pizzas.

There are also ways of preparing the veggies in advance to mitigate or minimize the "swamp" pizza phenomenon. You can try roasting the veggies, such as peppers, mushrooms and onions, and then coating them with olive oil to seal the outer surfaces. Or you can microwave them and blot as much moisture as possible with paper towels, following which you can lightly coat them with oil if you'd like.

If you are thinking in terms of a commercial oven, one type to avoid if you plan on using a lot of vegetables is the infrared ovens. They are known as being poor at drying veggies on the pizzas, and operators who own such ovens often use the paper blotting method to reduce liquids on the pizza.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 11:54:49 AM »
DanBSCD,

I didn't notice until after I posted that you are planning to use a commercial oven. What type of oven are you planning to use, and what size pizzas are you planning to make?

Peter

Offline DanBSCD

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 11:58:55 AM »
DanBSCD,

I didn't notice until after I posted that you are planning to use a commercial oven. What type of oven are you planning to use, and what size pizzas are you planning to make?

Peter

I'm looking at getting the Modena Twister from Forno Bravo.  Michael there told me that they have been in use in various cities in Italy for about the last 15 years.  I don't know if I'll be allowed to use wood but it is  gas/wood combo; stone; heavily insulated.  One size only... 16"...

Dan'l

Offline DanBSCD

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 12:08:01 PM »
DanBSCD,

..... It is also possible to put a coating of oil down on the pizza skin before dressing to serve as a barrier against the moisture seeping into the dough.......You can try roasting the veggies, such as peppers, mushrooms and onions, and then coating them with olive oil to seal the outer surfaces.....
Peter


Peter,
wow.. thanks..  I'm going to try both these... Q. If I roast first I'm assuming to a partial-done with the high temp (thinking around 850) at the restaurant; will they over-caramelize? (nice way of saying burn)....  I've put oil down first on my pesto/ricotta pizza with good result -- doh.. didn't think of doing it with the margarita versions.

Daniel

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 12:16:47 PM »

If I roast first I'm assuming to a partial-done with the high temp (thinking around 850) at the restaurant; will they over-caramelize? (nice way of saying burn

Daniel,

I don't have any experience with veggies at the high temperatures you mentioned. When I do the "roasting" at home, I heat a skillet without oil, place the sliced veggies to cook to  drive out some of the moisture and get some charring, and then add the olive oil at the end. We have quite a few members who have hearth-type ovens who may be able to give you more direct and useful information when it comes to using veggies on pizzas in such ovens.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 12:26:47 PM »
Daniel,

I recalled that one of our esteemed members, Evelyne Slomon, wrote an article for PMQ about a year ago on veggies of all types of shapes and forms on pizzas. I think you will find it informative and instructive as to your planned use of veggies. The article is at http://www.pmq.com/mag/2006january-february/veggiesupreme.php.

Peter

Offline putnam

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Re: Veggie Moisture
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 02:32:27 PM »
I almost always lightly salt (1/4 - 1/2 tsp per medium onion) and oil (1 tsp) raw very thin onion slices before using them on pizza. The salt pulls out a good pool of moisture. I call it "wilting" the onions. (On pies with more than one layer of solid toppings they are always the last on top.) I'm not sure why oil is essential, but it only works right with it. The oil probably helps transfer heat while the pie bakes.

I do the same ith summer squash and zucchini. Peppers I like to roast over charcoals, skin, salt and oil a week's worth at a time, especially when they're in season.

Salt is like pre-cooking without cooking.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 02:39:17 PM by putnam »


 

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