Author Topic: "runny" cheese  (Read 4777 times)

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Offline bennynihon

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"runny" cheese
« on: December 08, 2007, 07:48:40 PM »
One of the qualities that defines NY or East Coast Style pizza is a cheese that is somewhat runny.  Right after the pizza is cooked, the cheese will tend to flow off a piece if held vertically.  The cheese will also be quite oily and drip.

The part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella I buy and grate comes no where near that quality.  When it cooks, it sort of cooks as one sheet of cheese.  You can literally peel it off of the pizza.  And instead of having that flowing quality, it is sort of hard.

What kind of mozzarella are people using for their cheese to achieve the classic flowing, oily NY style cheese?  Thank you.

I should mention that I'm originally from NJ and am now stuck in pizza hell in CA.  Most NJ pizzas use ingredients from Roma.  I'd love to know what kind of cheese and sauce they use.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 08:07:32 PM by bennynihon »


Offline scott r

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 12:59:41 AM »
Whole milk!!!!

Offline creampuff

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 03:04:44 PM »
One of the qualities that defines NY or East Coast Style pizza is a cheese that is somewhat runny.  Right after the pizza is cooked, the cheese will tend to flow off a piece if held vertically.  The cheese will also be quite oily and drip.

The part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella I buy and grate comes no where near that quality.  When it cooks, it sort of cooks as one sheet of cheese.  You can literally peel it off of the pizza.  And instead of having that flowing quality, it is sort of hard.

What kind of mozzarella are people using for their cheese to achieve the classic flowing, oily NY style cheese?  Thank you.

I should mention that I'm originally from NJ and am now stuck in pizza hell in CA.  Most NJ pizzas use ingredients from Roma.  I'd love to know what kind of cheese and sauce they use.

You might want to try some whole milk mozzarella, like a 1/4 to what you use in part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella, and some provolone.  I'm a Jerseyan myself now in AR.  Took me almost 4 years to create a good pie.  You think CA pie is bad...if you could try the "you know what" they call pizza (say pie, and they think apple)here, I wonder if we could compare notes.

Offline bennynihon

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 03:12:30 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  I'll try a little whole milk mozzarella and provolone.  We'll see how that works out.

That's too funny.  I still remember when I first moved out here, I had to order a pie from Round Table for some co-workers since we were staying late.  The guy had no idea what I was talking about when I said "i'd like to order a large pie".  He said something to the effect of "we don't sell pies, only pizza".  I knew at that point I was in for a long night.  Pizza was the worst I've ever had.  Their slogan is "the last honest pizza".  I like to say it's the most dishonest pizza.


Offline creampuff

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 03:28:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  I'll try a little whole milk mozzarella and provolone.  We'll see how that works out.

That's too funny.  I still remember when I first moved out here, I had to order a pie from Round Table for some co-workers since we were staying late.  The guy had no idea what I was talking about when I said "i'd like to order a large pie".  He said something to the effect of "we don't sell pies, only pizza".  I knew at that point I was in for a long night.  Pizza was the worst I've ever had.  Their slogan is "the last honest pizza".  I like to say it's the most dishonest pizza.



C- I knew you would know what I'm taking about!  Not sure what kind of LM-PS mozzarella you are using, but I have found (not a big Wal-Mart shopper or advocate) of all the mozzarella available to me at least in the grocery stores, WM Great Value 32oz block has fair melting quality for store bought, especially when mixed with the Whole Milk & Provolone.

Starting my own shop soon, will sell pie by the slice...WOW new concept in AR, unless visiting pizza hut buffet.  Scary though, they might not like real pizza ??? Taking a big chance here...I'm all about risk.

Still would like to get more stretch in the chesse...lucky enough I have a ROMA supplier that can deliver once a week.

Hackettstown NJ born in Clifton...spent plenty of time as a youngster in Brooklyn.




Offline scott r

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2007, 04:03:07 PM »
One of the qualities that defines NY or East Coast Style pizza is a cheese that is somewhat runny.  Right after the pizza is cooked, the cheese will tend to flow off a piece if held vertically.  The cheese will also be quite oily and drip.

The part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella I buy and grate comes no where near that quality.  When it cooks, it sort of cooks as one sheet of cheese.  You can literally peel it off of the pizza.  And instead of having that flowing quality, it is sort of hard.

What kind of mozzarella are people using for their cheese to achieve the classic flowing, oily NY style cheese?  Thank you.

I should mention that I'm originally from NJ and am now stuck in pizza hell in CA.  Most NJ pizzas use ingredients from Roma.  I'd love to know what kind of cheese and sauce they use.

In CA I have had good luck with Boars Head.  you can find it at the deli counter with the sliced meats at Ralph's and other stores. Don't fear getting it sliced because this does melt well on pizza.  They use sliced mozzarella at Pepe's and Sally's in New Haven.

Your Whole Foods is also very likely repackaging Grande brand cheese, and you should them and they will tell you if this is indeed happening. If not they can order grande for you. 

I have also had very good luck with precious brand mozzarella which is everywhere in CA, and with this cheese make sure you get whole milk. 

No matter what brand you buy (other than grande) do not get any cheese pre shredded
GOOD LUCK!

Offline humpty99

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2007, 06:48:47 PM »
Could it have anything to do with the heat at which the cheese is being melted?

Offline petef

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 07:38:54 PM »
Most NJ pizzas use ingredients from Roma.  I'd love to know what kind of cheese and sauce they use.

Hi, I'm living in NJ and the only brands of cheese I find at the grocery store
are Sargento, Maggio, and Frigo. Also Fresh mozzarella by Bel Gioioso, but none
of these provide the same runny texture and taste of the cheese in the typical
NJ pizzaria pizza pie.

Just recently I started using the Frigo brand of mozzarella cheese because
it says it's low moisture. So I use equal amounts of whole milk and part
skim Frigo brand. The other trick is to sprinkle extra virgin olive oil over
top of the cheese just before baking it. I use Bertolli brand Rich & Fruity
olive oil. This is the closest I've come to reproducing the texture and
taste of NJ pizzaria pizza cheese. I'm open to suggestions.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the runny texture
and the taste of NJ pizzaria cheese comes from using Grande brand
mozzarella which is rich in oil. True?  Is so, where can we buy this cheese?

---pete---
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 07:44:33 PM by petef »

Offline bennynihon

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 07:56:18 PM »
Could it have anything to do with the heat at which the cheese is being melted?

I'm baking my pies at 550 degrees.  Admittedly I've struggled getting my dough to bake fast enough, so I wind up leaving it in the oven a bit longer.  So perhaps that's also contributing to the cheese not having the correct texture.  Maybe it's being cooked too long.

Typically, how long do you guys bake your pies for at around 550 degrees?

I also need to look into getting a better cooking surface.  I did try buying a few ceramic tiles (supposedly unglazed) and using them, but they all cracked on the first use.  Ideally I want something that has the best heat transfer properties, so that its surface is scorching hot and the dough will bake faster, before the cheese over cooks.

Ben

Offline creampuff

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2007, 08:12:35 PM »
I'm baking my pies at 550 degrees.  Admittedly I've struggled getting my dough to bake fast enough, so I wind up leaving it in the oven a bit longer.  So perhaps that's also contributing to the cheese not having the correct texture.  Maybe it's being cooked too long.

Typically, how long do you guys bake your pies for at around 550 degrees?

I also need to look into getting a better cooking surface.  I did try buying a few ceramic tiles (supposedly unglazed) and using them, but they all cracked on the first use.  Ideally I want something that has the best heat transfer properties, so that its surface is scorching hot and the dough will bake faster, before the cheese over cooks.

Ben

Hey Ben, I have a round pizza stone kinda on the thick side for home, and my home gas oven will not go past 450.  So in order to get a good brown slight crunch crust with just the right color cheese melt, I heat the stone on the grill full blast for about 10-15 minutes and tranfer it to my preheated oven.  I heat the oven for about 45 mins B4 heating the stone.  Careful if you should do this...have heavy mitts on and pot holders for transporting and do it quick.  Cooks in apx 10mins
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 08:42:09 PM by creampuff »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2007, 10:59:22 PM »
Over time, I have tried pretty much all of the major brands of processed mozzarella cheeses but unfortunately where I live I have not been able to get a steady enough supply of any of the better brands to be able to conduct multiple experiments in my oven with any one brand. However, of all of the brands I have tried, my favorite is the Grande mozzarella cheeses, and especially the whole-milk version. Even though some people prefer the flavor of other mozzarella cheeses, in my oven the Grande holds up the best for just about any style of pizza I make and for pretty much any bake temperature and bake time I use. With lesser cheeses, I have to worry whether they will break down and become oily or brown prematurely before the rest of the pizza is done. In fact, when I use such cheeses, I often reverse the sauce/cheese sequence and put the cheese down first and then the sauce, which I usually put down in dollops to shield a good part of the cheese from direct oven heat during baking but still leave some of it exposed and visible after baking. Sometimes I put the cheese down in the form of slices, which has become my standard method when making cracker-style pizzas that require a fairly long bake, even after using a pre-bake of the crust. An additional positive attribute of the Grande mozzarella cheese is that it freezes better than most other brands and is not as crumbly when shredding after defrosting it. In my case, I cut the Grande mozzarella cheese into fractions of a pound and seal the pieces in my Deni vacuum sealing unit before the pieces go into my freezer.

Grande cheeses are available from a few online sources or by telephone, but the shipping charges makes the cheeses very expensive on a per-pound basis, and even more so if you are some distance from such suppliers. Some wholesalers will sell to individuals but the minimum purchase requirements are hard to meet as individuals. Some Whole Foods stores carry the Grande mozzarella cheese under their own name, but not all Whole Foods stores do that. The ones I have heard of that do that have been on the West coast. In my case, I was unable to convince the Dallas Whole Foods store to order the Grande for me. I usually wait until I am back east where I am able to buy several pounds from a pizzeria, albeit at a stiff price. But, for me, it is well worth it. When I run out of the Grande, I try to find cheeses locally that are produced by Saputo, which has several brands of pretty good overall quality. Some of the Saputo brands that I have tried are Frigo (noted above by petef), Stella, and Dragone. I have also had good results using the Precious brand of mozzarella cheese as noted by scott, and also with Polly-O. However, with all of the brands other than Grande, I take into account how I will use such cheeses based on the type of pizzas I plan to make and how I plan to bake them.

Another factor to consider when it comes to the “runniness” of mozzarella cheese is the shape and size of the shred. I believe it was scott r who said in another thread that commercial places have a longer shred—either as purchased or as shredded using attachments to their Hobarts—than what we can produce at home using a standard box grater (or maybe a food processor). That different shred may be responsible for the stringy and stretchy character of the cheese on the pizza, possibly along with using whole-milk mozzarella cheese, as scott noted earlier.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2007, 12:02:16 AM »
Yes, that was me Peter.  This is why you are better off using slices or doing your own dice at home.  Standard home cheese graters will always leave you with a sub standard finished pizza.

Offline csacks

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 01:26:16 PM »
At least one Whole foods store in Colorado carries a mozz named California Gold.  I preferred it over Grande for taste.  Perhaps it browns a little sooner than Grande.  Surely you can find California Gold in California.  CraiG

Offline BenLee

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 04:55:09 PM »
cheese running off has more to do with the total moisture of the pie.  You can control that with the hydration level of your sauce.  If you add some water to you sauce, the pie will be more runny.  I've gotten the run off with Maggio low moisture mozzarella.  I've even gotten runny cheese using dried pecorino romano on a clam pie(by adding some clam juice to the cheese).  It really doesn't matter what cheese you use.  To prove it, I would tell you to make a white pie with no tomatoes or wet toppings.  Every single cheese you use would not run off the pie because there wouldn't be a lot of moisture. 

I suggest taking a can of crushed tomatoes and adding different increments of water to them.  Make a pie with each increment.  At a certain level, the sauce is so wet that the water runs off the sauce during baking.  While this runoff occurs, it's gotta go somewhere.  Some of it boils off.  But the only other thing it can do is mix with the cheese or penetrate the crust.  To avoid it penetrating the crust, I would put a thin layer of mozzarella or olive oil on the pie first.  I usually put dabs of sauce on top of the cheese anyway when using low moisture mozzarella.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: "runny" cheese
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2007, 11:59:21 PM »
Look for Sorrento whole milk Moz cheese. Great flavor and it's on the runny side.  8)
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