Author Topic: amount of toppings  (Read 7883 times)

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Offline nite2332

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amount of toppings
« on: June 23, 2008, 06:01:41 PM »
I love this site.  It has helped me refine my techniques, and inspired me to buy a dough sheeter from Ebay (my wife hates you guys).  Anyway I've been making pizza's every week for a month and I still run into the same problem.  I no longer use my oven, it just doesn't get hot enough.  I use my grill with a stone because it gets hotter than 700 degrees.  My crust is perfect now that I use King Arthur BF.  No, my problem is toppings.  I have this tick where I can only eat pizza's with MOPS (mushrooms, onions, pepperoni/salami, and sausage).  By the time I put all my ingredients on the pizza it'll cook and the crust is thin and crispy, but it's piled too high and slightly soggy.  My dad used to own pizza places in DFW in the 80's and I remember there was a formula or ratio about toppings, but I can't remember for the life of me what it was.  any help? 


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 06:07:01 PM »
nite2332,

Th only post that I can recall on this forum on the subject of multiple topping amounts is this one: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,750.msg6790.html#msg6790 (Reply 13).

Are you prebaking the crusts before putting on the sauce, cheese and toppings?

Peter
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 06:08:54 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 07:52:28 PM »
Mike

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Offline nite2332

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 02:12:56 PM »
Yep, I'm "par-baking" the crust prior to putting the toppings on.  That brings up an interesting question, given that my grill get 700 degrees plus, why do we need to "par-bake" it?  does blodgett ovens get that much hotter?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 04:37:48 PM »
Yep, I'm "par-baking" the crust prior to putting the toppings on.  That brings up an interesting question, given that my grill get 700 degrees plus, why do we need to "par-bake" it?  does blodgett ovens get that much hotter?

nite2332,

Those are difficult questions to answer without knowing more about your dough recipe and especially the hydration of the dough. It is not necessary to use temperatures of 700 degrees F to make a cracker-style pizza, even one with a fair amount of toppings. To the best of my knowledge, the Blodgett ovens are not intended to operate at such high temperatures. Not too long ago, I did a lot of experimentation with cracker-style doughs in which I pre-baked the crusts and used normal home oven temperatures. In some cases I used a fair number and amounts of toppings. The thread where I posted my results, and where other members also posted their results, is this one: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html. As you will see from that thread, there are many ways of baking the cracker-style pizzas, including cutter pan, stone, etc.

Peter

Offline nite2332

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 05:51:00 PM »
Peter

I used the same recipe I found on this site.  The crust really does turn out to be amazing; probably better than 90% of other pizza restaurants in Dallas.  And i buy the best ingredients available to me in Dallas (which is kinda  wasteland, with occasional oasis's (sp?))  Jimmy's foodstore has the best sausage, pepperoni and cheese available.  I think I get carried away, you know.  I mean after browning that sausage all i want to do is put it all on a pizza.  But I know that on a 12' , 15', and 18' inch pizza you have to use the appropriate amount of toppings.  e.g. 4 oz of cheese, 2 oz of sausage and depending on the number of topping less or more .  I'm really trying to perfect it because I'm just so disappointed on most of the pizza that I can order. 

Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 06:09:48 PM »
But I know that on a 12' , 15', and 18' inch pizza you have to use the appropriate amount of toppings.  e.g. 4 oz of cheese, 2 oz of sausage and depending on the number of topping less or more . 

I hope you meant inches, not feet  ;D

Otherwise the toppings would be kind of sparse.

Mike

Edit: Nevermind. I missed the "inch" reference. It would have been to easy... :chef:
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 06:34:44 PM »
nite2332,

Jimmy's is also my favorite food store in Dallas. In fact, the pizza shown at Reply 128 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg53176.html#msg53176 included wild boar sausage from Jimmy's, along with several other toppings. I try not to go wild with the weights of toppings but I have been able to use pretty decent amounts. For the cracker style I also put the cheese down first and then the sauce. Also, I slice the cheese (block) into slices. I think these steps together with pre-baking the crust help keep the pizzas from getting soggy.

FYI, there is a thread on places in Dallas to buy pizza food items, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2629.0.html. There is also a follow-up thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5589.msg47325.html#msg47325.

Peter

Offline nite2332

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 02:05:08 PM »
I've always put the sauce then the cheese.  but I'm going to try it this weekend the other way.  thanks for the tip!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2008, 02:16:32 PM »
I've always put the sauce then the cheese.  but I'm going to try it this weekend the other way.  thanks for the tip!

The idea came from here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/lehmann_crackerstyle.php.

Peter


Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2008, 05:05:40 PM »
After reading through this thread, especially when the subject of too much muchrooms came up, I thought I'd give it a shot at mushrooms piled up (I love 'shrooms  ;D) and see what happens.

It came out fine. No sogginess or puddles of water in the middle of the pizza and had a great taste of mushrooms. The only thing I wasn't too happy about was the crust itself but that's another topic.

Mike
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Offline November

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 05:35:48 PM »
Something to consider about mushrooms is the storage accommodations.  If they get too cold in storage, cell walls will have a greater tendency to burst since fungi cell membranes are composed of chitin.  Chitin is more rigid than cellulose, the main component of plant cell membranes, so fractures could occur more readily at lower temperatures.  Whenever I have a problem with pooling, it's exclusively due to the mushrooms getting too cold in the back of my refrigerator where they sometimes get pushed on occasion.  Frozen mushrooms can even get slimy before putting them on the pizza and in the oven.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2008, 05:46:27 PM »
Mike,

From your photos, it looks like you used your LBE. Do you know what the temperature was above the pizza during baking?

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2008, 06:06:14 PM »
November,

That makes sense. I have made it a routine to let all toppings, no matter what they are, come up to room temperature before using them, especially when they were stored in the fridge.


Pete,

The ceiling stone topped out around 650 F. The bottom had a temp around 700 F. Last time I used the LBE it got way too hot so I decided to bake at a lower temp. Besides that it was windy as hell here last night.

Mike
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2008, 06:14:52 PM »
The ceiling stone topped out around 650 F. The bottom had a temp around 700 F. Last time I used the LBE it got way too hot so I decided to bake at a lower temp. Besides that it was windy as hell here last night.


Mike,

What I was thinking is that the high temperature above the pizza helped evaporate a lot of the water released by the mushrooms during baking. Commercial conveyor ovens don't operate at as high a temperature as your LBE, but hot air is forced across the top of the pizzas to get rid of a lot of the moisture released by the toppings. My home oven doesn't have that advantage.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2008, 06:31:39 PM »
Pete,

I guess you're right.

The LBE does put out a good amount of heat but when you look at the amount of mushrooms that were on that pizza, which was only 11", I was still surprised it came out that way. Especially when the baking time was around 3 mins.

But I know what you mean. When I used that much mushrooms in my regular home oven, pizzas were always soggy in the middle. The problem lies partially, I think, with cheaper stones. I'm talking about the thin ones you can buy at Target or Bed & Bath. They're less than 1/2 inch thick which is totally inefficient, in my opinion.

Plus, I've read on numerous websites that sell pizza stones, that they'd draw moisture out of the dough. That's not true. The moisture still evaporates from the top.

Do you use a second top stone in your home oven?

Mike
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:41:32 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2008, 06:37:31 PM »
Pete,

I forgot to mention...

I don't buy pre-sliced Mushrooms from my grocer any longer, since they're sliced way too thick and release a huge amount of water during baking, even with the use of the LBE.

Nowadays, I slice them myself, using a grater and they come out nice and thin. I let them sit in the container without a lid for maybe 10 mins and turn them over with my hand sporadically.

Mike
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Offline November

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2008, 06:40:28 PM »
Plus, I've read on numerous websites that sell pizza stone, that they'd draw moisture out of the dough. That's not true. The moisture still evaporates from the top.

What makes you say that it isn't true?  Any porous material will absorb water across a diffusion interface when not in equilibrium with its environment.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2008, 06:42:11 PM »
Do you use a second top stone in your home oven?


Mike,

I have two stones but I rarely use them together. For the cracker style, which is what got this thread started, there is no particular benefit to having a second stone. If I need more top heat, I just raise the pizza to a higher oven rack position. Where I have used two stones is where I was baking pizzas made from doughs with 00 flour (alone or as part of a blend). I typically used the two stones to create a "mini" oven within my regular home oven.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: amount of toppings
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2008, 06:46:14 PM »
RN,

Perhaps I misphrased it. My bad.

I'm sure it does draw out a certain amount of moisture out of the dough, otherwise the bottom wouldn't crisp up, right? What I meant was that the stones, especially the thin ones don't get rid of excessive moisture from the toppings. I could imagine that the stone's thickness is a major factor since they provide more mass, which in turn generates or radiates more heat? You're the science buff, so help me out here.  :)

Mike
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:52:07 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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