Author Topic: pizza sauce  (Read 7430 times)

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Offline dankfoot

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pizza sauce
« on: November 01, 2004, 03:15:51 PM »
Ok, another question from the new guy.
Everyone talks about the 6 in1 and Stanislaus being the best sauce. What about making your own sauce with fresh tomatos and spices? Is that not better than cans?

Thanks


Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2004, 03:42:26 PM »
Probably not. The canned tomatoes are grown in special parts of the country (California for instance) where the soil and general environment produce excellent quality. The actual strain of tomato used in the canned sauces is also much different that what you will typically find in the store. I'm not saying you can't get a good sauce out of fresh tomatoes though... it' really all depends on what you can find locally or grow on your own.

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2004, 03:56:45 PM »
Giovanni,

Thanks for your reply. Well, I guess I will have to use fresh sauce this time since I will need to order some 6 in 1. And I dont want to use jar sauce. I should have my KA tomorrow and I just ordered a 18' screen. I have never used a screen before so is there anything I need to know? Also, why do some people say the stone is harder to cook on? 1 more question. once you make your dough ball do you put oil in the bowl and then put it in the freezer? If not does the dough stick to the bowl after it has risen?








Offline Pete-zza

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2004, 04:09:19 PM »
Dankfoot,

It's possible to make a pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes, but it's not easy to do.  When I used to grow my own tomatoes (organically) and was able to use the excess for sauces, I found that to get good results I had to add tomato paste, puree or other canned tomato products to get the depth of tomato flavor I wanted for pizza or pasta.  It helped that I also had a lot of fresh herbs and garlic and the like, but even those ingredients wouldn't have helped much in the absence of a good depth of tomato flavor.  The best tomatoes turned out not to be the eating varieties that I grew myself but the Roma pear tomatoes that I found in the supermarkets and are best known for their use in sauces because of their firmness and lower water content.  But, even with these, I found that I had to add the other types of tomato products mentioned above to get decent results.

As for the different types and brands of canned tomatoes for pizza use, for a long while I used and liked the Muir Glen organic tomatoes and the imported San Marzanos tomatoes.  I thought at the time that they were the best.  That is, until I tried the 6-in-1 tomatoes from Escalon.  I still like and use the San Marzano tomatoes, mainly for Neapolitan style pizzas and some pasta sauces, but all of the rest of the canned tomatoes are no longer on my radar screen.  It still comes down to personal taste, however, and you should try out and compare the different forms and brands of tomatoes to find those that best meet your needs and tastes.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2004, 04:55:53 PM »
Dankfoot,

I wouldn't automatically rule out bottled sauces. They are not my first choice, since rarely do bottled (or canned) sauces come up to the quality of freshly made sauces, no matter the quality of ingredients and care that go into making the bottled or canned sauces.  To the extent they are used, however, I would select those that are simple, like a basic tomato-basil sauce or a marinara sauce, or possibly a sun-dried tomato sauce.  These sauces, and especially those that do not have a lot of tomato paste (which will often be the first item listed in the ingredients label), make a nice base for pizzas and it is possible to build upon them by adding other ingredients, like garlic, herbs, onions, olive oil, cheese, etc.  Again, these are matters of personal preference and taste.

As a cautionary note, I would tend to avoid those prepared sauces that are overly heavy on the use of sugar, usually in the form of dextrose, or corn syrup (the cheapest industrial form of sugar).  The heavy use of sugar is an indication that the tomatoes used are not of the highest quality and require the sugar to compensate for the lesser quality (usually to overcome sourness or acidity).  Even these sauces can be improved, by combining them with good tomatoes, such as crushed San Marzano tomatoes, if you have them, or even fresh tomatoes.  Among the more notable brands of prepared sauces I have tested and found acceptable when I am too lazy or unable for some reason to make my own are Ceriello's, Muir Glen, Rao's, Timpone's (Mom's), Lidia's, Cucina Antica, Michael Angelo's, Colavita, and, among the major supermarket brands, the Classico brand.  In general, I look for the sauces with the shortest ingredient lists and the fewest chemicals with strange or unpronounceable names.  You will find that, with the exception of the Classico brand, the best bottled sauces are not particularly cheap.  Making your own sauces will, in most cases, be cheaper and better, even with the somewhat higher cost of the tomatoes (like the 6-in-1s, Stanislaus or San Marzanos) you decide to use.

As for the use of pizza screens, the first thing you may want to check is whether the 18" screen you just ordered will fit your oven.  Most home ovens won't take more than about 16-17" with the oven door closed.  I use both screens and pizza stones, which I use both individually and in combination.  The biggest disadvantage I have found in using pizza stones is that they can't accommodate the larger pizza sizes, that is, above 14 inches (although some round stones can handle 15 inches).  This can be overcome by ordering a custom stone design, but that is quite expensive.  It is far cheaper to use a pizza screen for the large pizzas or just tile one of your oven trays with a bunch of tiles from Home Depot or Lowes.  There is an enormous amount of information at this site on screens, stones and tiles, and their relative merits and demerits, and I suggest that you use the site's Search feature to access the postings on those topics.  This will make you an instant expert :).

I will leave to Giovanni, our resident expert on freezing pizza dough :), to answer your question on how to prepare your dough for freezing.  Remember, however, that freezing the dough as Giovanni has done is a short-duration exercise prior to putting the dough into the refrigerator section of the refrigerator.  

Peter
« Last Edit: November 01, 2004, 05:04:14 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline RoadPizza

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2004, 07:14:44 PM »
I've made pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes before.  It's definitely a hassle, especially if you do it commercially.  First of all, you never know what kind of sauce you're going to get.  The taste and/or the color may be off.  It depends so much on the quality of the tomatoes you're using that particular day.  Also, you may need to mix in some canned tomatoa sauce to help you with the color.  

Next, fresh tomatoes are also time consuming (compared to canned peeled tomatoes).  You need to shred them (I used to shred them TWICE in the Hobart which can also be pretty messy if you haven't done it before).  Also you'll have to sift through the sauce and get rid of the hard skin.

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2004, 08:23:37 AM »
Once again thanks to all. I went to lowes foods last night just to look around and I found a organic sauce in a can. The name I think is Muir Glen (Thanks Peter). Also, I think the 18' screen will fit in my oven I hope. I have a huge pizza pan that I got from a small pizza shop at the beach (I talked them out of it) and that one fits so I think the new screen will too. I will let everyone know.

Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2004, 10:26:15 AM »
I have tried those Muir Glen organic tomatoes. They are actually quite good for sauce after you puree them and add the usual spices. As for freezing the dough... this is a step i use to quickly cool down the dough before putting it in the fridge for 24 hours. I usually rub just a little oil at the bottom of the container and leave it in the freezer uncovered for 30-45 minutes. After that i move it to the fridge uncovered for another hour and then tightly seal the container for the duration of fermentation.

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2004, 11:52:09 AM »
Phat, I got my flour. I didnt buy the Muir Glen tomatos I got the Muir Glen pizza sauce. Is that the same?

Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2004, 01:25:41 PM »
Not the same. The tomatos are usually diced and in a watery base. I have personally never seen the sauce.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2004, 01:51:49 PM »
I have tried the canned Muir Glen pizza sauce.  I was making pizzas for friends at their home and didn't have the time or materials to make my own sauce.  I was well aware of the Muir Glen tomatoes and was happy to find an already prepared Muir Glen pizza sauce in a local supermarket.  It turned out fine.  

Peter
« Last Edit: November 02, 2004, 01:53:11 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2004, 08:30:09 AM »
Ok guys today is the day. Im going to try Giovanni's dough recipe. And Giovanni if you see this I have a question. Do you put your pizza screen on the bottom rack or the top?
Also, have you ever used a mixer or do you always do it by hand?

Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2004, 08:41:07 AM »
I put the screen on the rack second from bottom, about 4 to 5 inches away from the element. I have never used a mixer and have always made dough by hand and with the rest periods you should not have a problem with fatigue in your hands. Also rememeber that this is a lot of dough so make sure to fully stretch it to at least 16" or your pizza will be very thick. If the dough is too sticky you can lightly dust it with flour before working it into shape.

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2004, 08:45:52 AM »
well the screen I got is 18' so I hope I can make it that big. Every other crust I have made I have rolled out with a roller. So you say you just stretch it?

Offline Randy

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2004, 11:27:10 AM »
Here is a great online video to help you shape your pizza.
http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/cvt033.asp

Randy

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2004, 11:35:49 AM »
Randy,

Thanks for the info.

Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2004, 01:25:47 PM »
For my recipe an 18 inch screen is ideal for a classic NY. I like mine a bit thicker than traditional NY style so i often just use my 16 inch screen. Whatever you do dont use a rolling pin! You should toss and strech the dough and if needed shape a bit by hand on your countertop. Randy's link is pretty much exactly what i do and I'm sure most people use a similar method.

Offline dankfoot

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2004, 06:54:22 PM »
giovanni or anyone that has tried his recipe.

I just made your dough and it is in the freezer now. One question. It is sticky the whole time you are mixing it? Even at the end it was really sticky? I guess it is suspose to be because I think I did everything right but I never made a pizza dough and it be like that. Just wondering if it was good?

Thanks

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2004, 09:17:57 PM »
Dankfoot,

I haven't tried Giovanni's recipe yet, but I suspect that his dough is quite similar to other NY style pizza doughs.  If I misstate the matter as to his recipe, Giovanni can correct me.  

As a generalization, you don't want your dough to be so sticky as to stick all over your fingers when you handle the dough.  If that's the case, you most likely need to add a bit more flour until the stickiness goes away--just enough to overcome the stickiness.  I personally like the dough I make to be a little bit tacky--the same type of sensation you get when you touch paint that has started to dry.  I believe a slightly tacky dough is more likely to produce a dough that handles, shapes and stretches easily without developing tears.  If the dough is too dry, because too much flour has been used, it won't stretch as well and may develop tears.  You can mend some tears, but it is far better to avoid them if at all possible.

If your dough is sticky, either going into the refrigerator or when you remove it from the refrigerator to work with, the stickiness shouldn't be fatal to your dough.  When you are ready to shape the dough, you should put some bench flour on your work surface and work the dough on it, turning it over once in a while as you are shaping it to be sure that each side is not sticky.  If so, just dust a little bit of additional flour over it, but don't overdo it.  You don't want stickiness at this point--or even tackiness--since this might cause the dough to stick to your peel or pizza screen.  This is also the point in the process where you want to have all your ingredients lined up and ready to go to dress the pizza dough.  The French have a culinary term for this, mis en plas ("everything in its place"), and if ever there is a time to practice this procedure, it is in dressing pizzas.  If you dilly dally in dressing the pizza, or if there are tears (even hidden ones) in your dough (through which the sauce may leak), or the dough is still sticky, the pizza may stick to the peel and be hard to slide into the oven or, if you are using a screen, the pizza may stick to the screen and be hard to remove after baking.

After you have made a few doughs and pizzas, you will get the hang of it.  It is all part of the learning curve that we all go through.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 03, 2004, 09:33:42 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Giovanni

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Re:pizza sauce
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2004, 08:25:26 AM »
It's fairly sticky at first, it will get stuck to your fingers a bit. After the 3rd rest period it should start to become just 'tacky' and not actually stick to your hands. If the dough seems overly wet your flour may have already had a higer than normal hydration level so you could get away with adding a bit more flour to compenstate.


 

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