Author Topic: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese  (Read 4338 times)

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Offline Levi

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I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« on: February 09, 2008, 04:20:22 PM »
Why is it that when I make a pizza at home the mozzarella never tastes like it does at the restaurant? ???  I have tried various brands and whole milk and have even brought cheese home from a local pizza shop that always tastes great and it didn't even taste the same!

Is it the temperature of the commercial ovens that does it?  Does the cheese have to reach a certain temperature to release the fats or undergo some other changes?  It doesn't even look the same for the most part.

Any tricks to try?

Thanks,

Philip


Offline Plexiprs

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 05:25:28 PM »
First, ask your favorite Pizzeria if they use 100% Moz, or a blend with Provolone or others.

We like the Moz/Prov at home over any cheese straight.  Others we use are Asiago, Pecorino, Parm, Jack, Cheddar, Provolone Picante, and others. All depends on the other toppings ....  :chef:

Offline scott r

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 03:29:07 AM »
time how long your local pizzeria (that you bought the cheese from) takes to bake a pie.  Then time your pie.  I am curious to hear your findings.

Real pizza ovens heat mostly from the bottom.   Is your stone on the bottom rack?

Offline Randy

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 07:24:14 AM »
Try Poly-O part skim if you have it in your area, walmart carries it.  Avoid preshreaded cheese since it has paper added to it.  Another source for decent cheese is the deli section in the better stores. 
Cheese is really taste driven thing, some like a stronger tasting cheese like that made with water buffalo milk and others like me prefer the taste to be very mild.

Offline Link

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 08:47:46 AM »
Levi,

I to am having the same problem. I am beginning to believe it is being over cooked.
My cheese looks like melted plastic, very oily, and I have tried every cheese I can get my hands on.
I've tried Sorrento, Stella, GFS, all the brands that kroger, wall mart, giant eagle, etc, all turn out like plastic. I've tried whole mile grande and polly-o (couldnt for part skim for these two), plastic with more oil.
I have used same cheese as one of my favorite pizza shop (GFS), but mine doesnt look/taste anything like theirs.

I cook at 550 on a stone preheated for an hour, near the bottom rack.
Near the end of cooking my pizza's, I notice the cheese is intensely boiling.
I can almost see the oil being boiled out of it.

How long do I cook my pizza's? Well, I'm a newbie that has be concentrating on the crust, so I cook it until the crust is done. Now that I have my crust where I want it, I'm addressing the cheese problem. Yesterday, I tried putting the cheese in the freezer until near frozen, same thing, oily plastic.

My next pizza, I'm going to preheat at 550 for an hour, but when I put the pizza in, I'm going to turn the oven down to 450 or so.

Any other suggestions?

Link

Offline scott r

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 11:13:29 AM »
Put your cheese on in slices or larger chunks.

Offline scott r

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 11:14:30 AM »
Put your cheese on in slices or larger chunks.

This is what they do at places like Defara's and Pepe's where they use very long bake times to get a well done pizza.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 11:53:01 AM »
Link,

I agree with scott's assessment. He has also pointed out before that the shred of cheese used by professional operators is different from what we can produce at home using a standard box grater. Professionals who do their own shredding use attachments for their Hobart mixers to convert blocks of cheese into shreds.

Another factor to consider is that the typical home oven is much deeper than a standard deck oven. So there are certain tradeoffs when using a home oven. For example, if you bake your pizza entirely on the stone so that you get the desired degree of bottom crust browning and crispiness, the cheese can bake too long and start to break down and release an orange-colored (usually) oil on the pizza. The same thing can happen to the pepperoni (you will start to notice the loss of red color) unless you put the pepperoni in the middle of the pack and at least partly covered by any other toppings you may decide to use. In your case, if you move the pizza off of the stone to an upper rack position before the bottom crust is as you would prefer, you might be able to shorten the total bake time yet get the cheeses melted and a bit brown. By so doing, you will perhaps give up some of the crispiness and coloration of the crust, and the crumb may be a bit softer. Another way to reduce the total bake time for the cheese is to pre-bake the crust. That way, the pizza will be done before the cheese has a chance to break down.

It is important to also keep in mind that different cheeses behave differently in the oven. In my oven, I have found that the Grande cheeses hold up to the heat better than other cheeses, without much browning, although the higher-fat versions will release more oil than the lower-fat versions. If you are able to keep the total bake time down, you may not reach the stage where the cheese breaks down or browns excessively.

Peter

Offline Levi

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 01:48:40 PM »
So if there is much oil present then the cheese is probably being overcooked?  I had sort of assumed that the oil was where the flavor was and getting it released might be a good thing. 

Currently I am using the 5lb block of Stella from Sams and shredding it right before using it. 

So it might actually make a difference if it was shredded 'larger'?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 02:45:15 PM »
Levi,

I elaborated a while back on my experiences with cheeses in my oven at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5728.msg48597/topicseen.html#msg48597 (Reply 10). See, also, Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5442.msg45965/topicseen.html#msg45965. For a good example of how the wrong cheese can mess up your pizza with oil from breakdown, at least appearance-wise, take a look at the photos in Reply 91 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg41430.html#msg41430.

Peter


Offline hopgeek

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2008, 05:52:45 PM »
Avoid preshreaded cheese since it has paper added to it.

 ???  Paper?!


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 06:16:27 PM »
I believe Randy is referring to cellulose.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 06:30:16 PM »
And not just paper ! (cellulose, to keep the cheese from clumping)  They also use potato starch and calcium sulfate to prevent clumping... and add salt.  Then, there are also mold inhibitors to lengthen the shelf life.  Shredded cheeses tend to mold faster than brick because there is more surface area is exposed to the air.  Some companies also pump gasses into the bag and who knows what effect that has on the cheese when it is heated.  So, if using preshredded cheese, especially from the pegged displays in the grocery store, you are putting more than just cheese on your pizza.   :P

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Offline goosen1

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2008, 02:10:30 PM »
Does that include the larger 5lb bags?

Goose
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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 02:47:06 PM »
Goose,
I can't answer that one because I have not noticed the 5# bags at the store where I normally shop and, since I wouldn't be able to use that much cheese for just the two of us, I wouldn't have been interested to look.  Probably depends on the brand... if it's sold for pizza operators, all the additives would not be as necessary because of higher inventory turns than the home refrigerator.  I brought in 5# bags in my grocery store deli, but the 30# cases were always broken so that I never saw the ingredient list on the box.

Just a guess, but I'm sure that some other member can help you more than I can. 

~sd
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 03:12:20 PM by sourdough girl »
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Offline scott r

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Re: I Give Up - What's the Deal With Cheese
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2008, 02:52:49 PM »
I have not been able to find ANY brand of pre shredded cheese other than Grande brand that does not include at least cellulose powder.  That is including all the brands sold in large 5 lb bags to pizzerias, and anything in a normal grocery store.


 

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