Author Topic: Burts/Pequods  (Read 37460 times)

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Offline PuRowdy

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2012, 02:57:55 PM »
This is the 2nd best pizza I've ever had and by far the best Chicago Style I've had.  I lived in the city for 3 years and didn't find anything that compared to Pequods.  Here is a video I found that goes into pretty good detail on how they make the pizza and get that crust to carmelize. 



They are just using mozzarella cheese, and as you can see it gets lined up all around the edge right over the crust.  Can't wait to try this next time I make deep dish at home.



Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2012, 02:09:07 PM »
This is the 2nd best pizza I've ever had and by far the best Chicago Style I've had.  I lived in the city for 3 years and didn't find anything that compared to Pequods.  Here is a video I found that goes into pretty good detail on how they make the pizza and get that crust to carmelize. 



They are just using mozzarella cheese, and as you can see it gets lined up all around the edge right over the crust.  Can't wait to try this next time I make deep dish at home.


Pequod's/Burt's,2 places....I don't know that I would call this a "Chicago Style" ?  Actually, I think it is some sort of Greek style. Ev and others make this in a square pan over on the Sicilian section I believe.
Tasty look'in pizza for sure though....
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2012, 10:46:48 AM »
Pequod's/Burt's,2 places....I don't know that I would call this a "Chicago Style" ?  Actually, I think it is some sort of Greek style. Ev and others make this in a square pan over on the Sicilian section I believe.
Tasty look'in pizza for sure though....

I totally agree, Pequod's is NOT Chicago Style pizza! It amazes me that "Chicago's Best" would choose Pequods as a local favorite rather than Aurelios, who have been a local favorite in Chicago a lot longer than Pequods. I guess they'll be picking Home Run Inn Pizza next.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2012, 12:10:27 PM »
I totally agree, Pequod's is NOT Chicago Style pizza! It amazes me that "Chicago's Best" would choose Pequods as a local favorite rather than Aurelios, who have been a local favorite in Chicago a lot longer than Pequods. I guess they'll be picking Home Run Inn Pizza next.
Well, if they make that mistake at least they'll have chosen a Chicago (thin crust) "style".   ;D
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Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2012, 02:40:39 PM »
Well, if they make that mistake at least they'll have chosen a Chicago (thin crust) "style".   ;D

I would qualify Pequod's/Burt's style pizza as a Chicago style, but I call it a "modern" variation of Chicago Deep Dish.
In the early seventies, two major variations of Chicago Deep Dish were invented: Stuffed, which has become a category of its own, and Pequod's "Pizza In The Pan", which some call "medium dish".

The origins of the Pequod's style are still a bit of a mystery.
I had been calling Pequod's a Detroit/Chicago Hybrid, as it has the characteristics of a Detroit/Sicilian style of pan pizza like Buddy's (burnt cheese on the edges), but baked in a round Chicago deep dish pan (sauce on top).
The geographic proximity of Detroit and Chicago made sense at the time, but as I'm learning more about regional styles, I also see major similarities to the rectangular pizzas from L & B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, New York, who make a rectangular Sicilian pan pizza with the sauce on top.

However, if you follow the history of Burt Katz , the guy who invented the Pequod's Style of pizza, you'll see he grew up in Wicker Park (Chicago) and been influencing pizza in the Chicago area for many years.

Here's an article from Chris Borelli of The Chicago Tribune with a little background on Burt Katz, where he pretty much says he took his own path to develop his style.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/ct-dining-0929-burt-katz-20110929,0,5069213.story

an excerpt:
Quote
Asked, instead, what a Burt Katz pizza tastes like, Burt Katz's back lowers and he replies earnestly, "It's all one thing. I make my pizzas myself, only me, so I don't see the evolutionary aspects, to be honest. I've been busy making it, adjusting it, playing with it, until I arrived at a pizza where frankly I can't see the point of doing any more research on it. But here's why I think it works: It's not too much of any one thing.

"It's not too much cheese or spice. Overwhelm it with any one ingredient, you kill the whole meal. Life is balance. So this is balanced. You concentrate on overall taste. The crust is not a platform for the ingredients. To taste my pizza, you have to eat the crust of my pizza. Eat the whole damn thing, please! Otherwise don't eat it."

So we can only use educated guesses on where his original pizza influences come from, unless someone manages to get the old man to talk more about them before he has another coronary. Personally, I hope Burt finds a way to live forever.  :chef:
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2012, 06:55:12 PM »
I would qualify Pequod's/Burt's style pizza as a Chicago style, but I call it a "modern" variation of Chicago Deep Dish.
In the early seventies, two major variations of Chicago Deep Dish were invented: Stuffed, which has become a category of its own, and Pequod's "Pizza In The Pan", which some call "medium dish".

The origins of the Pequod's style are still a bit of a mystery.
I had been calling Pequod's a Detroit/Chicago Hybrid, as it has the characteristics of a Detroit/Sicilian style of pan pizza like Buddy's (burnt cheese on the edges), but baked in a round Chicago deep dish pan (sauce on top).
The geographic proximity of Detroit and Chicago made sense at the time, but as I'm learning more about regional styles, I also see major similarities to the rectangular pizzas from L & B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, New York, who make a rectangular Sicilian pan pizza with the sauce on top.

However, if you follow the history of Burt Katz , the guy who invented the Pequod's Style of pizza, you'll see he grew up in Wicker Park (Chicago) and been influencing pizza in the Chicago area for many years.

Here's an article from Chris Borelli of The Chicago Tribune with a little background on Burt Katz, where he pretty much says he took his own path to develop his style.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/ct-dining-0929-burt-katz-20110929,0,5069213.story

an excerpt:
So we can only use educated guesses on where his original pizza influences come from, unless someone manages to get the old man to talk more about them before he has another coronary. Personally, I hope Burt finds a way to live forever.  :chef:

Burt has influenced his own style of pizza, but with all due respect...he has NOT influenced "Chicago Style" pizza one iota. Nice story though.

Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2012, 07:03:05 PM »
Burt has influenced his own style of pizza, but with all due respect...he has NOT influenced "Chicago Style" pizza one iota. Nice story though.

I think you misunderstood what I meant.
When I say "influencing", I am talking about the handful of pizza restaurants that he started in the Chicago area that were then sold and continued to operate (Pequod's, Gulliver's).
Perhaps, I should have said "introducing his interpretation of pizza".

But feel free to be unnecessarily offended.  :chef: :pizza:
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2012, 07:44:32 PM »
Jeeez....I think everyone knows that "Chicago Style" pizza is either thin crust greasy 'lil squares or deep dish pan pies.   ;)"
Well, except for PuRowdy, "This is the 2nd best pizza I've ever had and by far the best Chicago Style I've had.".....but he's new at this.  :-D
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2012, 08:16:17 PM »
I think you misunderstood what I meant.
When I say "influencing", I am talking about the handful of pizza restaurants that he started in the Chicago area that were then sold and continued to operate (Pequod's, Gulliver's).
Perhaps, I should have said "introducing his interpretation of pizza".

But feel free to be unnecessarily offended.  :chef: :pizza:


I'm not offended...I just do NOT believe Burt had much to do with "Chicago Style" pizza. But, then again I only lived in Chicago for most of my life and ate mostly thin crust or cracker crust pizza's. How anyone can possibly think that thick crust pizza defines "Chicago Pizza" is beyond me. Thick crust came along LONG after thin crust in Chicago. What defines "Chicago" pizza is the sausage (I lived in the 'back of the yards') and the thin crispy crust. When someone asks me what the difference between Chicago pizza and New York pizza is...I simply say, if you can fold it in half without it (crust) breaking than it ain't from Chicago!


Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2012, 09:12:49 PM »
I'm not offended...I just do NOT believe Burt had much to do with "Chicago Style" pizza. But, then again I only lived in Chicago for most of my life and ate mostly thin crust or cracker crust pizza's. How anyone can possibly think that thick crust pizza defines "Chicago Pizza" is beyond me. Thick crust came along LONG after thin crust in Chicago. What defines "Chicago" pizza is the sausage (I lived in the 'back of the yards') and the thin crispy crust. When someone asks me what the difference between Chicago pizza and New York pizza is...I simply say, if you can fold it in half without it (crust) breaking than it ain't from Chicago!

Most everyone outside of Chicago has a distorted perception of what Chicago Deep Dish is and even more don't even know that we have thin crust.
That's one of the reasons why I started RealDeepDish.com
So, although I share your frustrations with the casual use of the term "Chicago Style",
we may disagree on minor semantics of pizza designation.

That's why I say that Pequod's is "A" style of Chicago pizza, but not "THE" style, as it is clearly not the authentic style of deep dish pizza created in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno, but was a later variation developed by Burt Katz at several of the Chicago area pizzerias that he ran over the years.

I have an article where I talk about the two main Chicago pizza styles that we all know - Deep Dish and Thin Crust.
http://www.realdeepdish.com/2011/12-29-deep-dish-101-lesson-3-chicago-pizza-styles-and-maybe-a-dough-recipe

Anything beyond those two styles I consider a variation. Pequod's is a notable variation, but I agree that it does not "define" Chicago pizza.

I do bring up Stuffed as a legitimate 3rd main style, but I don't really talk about Pequod's on that article because :
A) The dough is thicker and more pillowy than a traditional deep dish .
B) Although Katz is from Chicago and developed his style here, I consider it a hybrid of more than one regional style (the jury is still out on the specific origins).
3) It's not yet a city-wide established style (aka - not every pizza joint in the city has tried to duplicate it yet)

So, if what you're saying is that Pequod's isn't a good example of authentic Chicago Style pizza, you are correct.
It's not the style that comes to mind when people say "Chicago Style".

If this style were created in any other city, I might have called it Chicago-inspired "pan pizza",
but Burt's own origins and his Chicago pizza history are just as relevant to the conversation.

So, I say that yes, it is "a" style of Chicago pizza - not a main style, just a notable variation:
The similarities: cheese on the bottom - sauce on the top - baked in a round pan.
The variations: a thicker, puffy, pillowy crust, caramelized cheese on the outer edge, a zestier, tomato sauce.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2012, 09:27:38 PM »

So, I say that yes, it is "a" style of Chicago pizza - not a main style, just a notable variation:


Is it OK if I call it a variation of the Chicago deep dish pizza style?    ;D
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Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2012, 09:35:31 PM »
Is it OK if I call it a variation of the Chicago deep dish pizza style?    ;D

I'm fine with that, but I think the concern some of us have is that a distinction be made that a style is or is not an authentic style.

i.e. - Pequod's is not authentic Chicago Deep Dish, but a very tasty and awesome modern variation.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #62 on: August 26, 2012, 09:41:21 PM »


i.e. - Pequod's is not authentic Chicago Deep Dish, but a very tasty and awesome modern variation.

I think that's what I just said   ;)
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Offline OTRChef

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2012, 09:29:55 AM »
Most everyone outside of Chicago has a distorted perception of what Chicago Deep Dish is and even more don't even know that we have thin crust.
That's one of the reasons why I started RealDeepDish.com
So, although I share your frustrations with the casual use of the term "Chicago Style",
we may disagree on minor semantics of pizza designation.

That's why I say that Pequod's is "A" style of Chicago pizza, but not "THE" style, as it is clearly not the authentic style of deep dish pizza created in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno, but was a later variation developed by Burt Katz at several of the Chicago area pizzerias that he ran over the years.

I have an article where I talk about the two main Chicago pizza styles that we all know - Deep Dish and Thin Crust.
http://www.realdeepdish.com/2011/12-29-deep-dish-101-lesson-3-chicago-pizza-styles-and-maybe-a-dough-recipe

Anything beyond those two styles I consider a variation. Pequod's is a notable variation, but I agree that it does not "define" Chicago pizza.

I do bring up Stuffed as a legitimate 3rd main style, but I don't really talk about Pequod's on that article because :
A) The dough is thicker and more pillowy than a traditional deep dish .
B) Although Katz is from Chicago and developed his style here, I consider it a hybrid of more than one regional style (the jury is still out on the specific origins).
3) It's not yet a city-wide established style (aka - not every pizza joint in the city has tried to duplicate it yet)

So, if what you're saying is that Pequod's isn't a good example of authentic Chicago Style pizza, you are correct.
It's not the style that comes to mind when people say "Chicago Style".

If this style were created in any other city, I might have called it Chicago-inspired "pan pizza",
but Burt's own origins and his Chicago pizza history are just as relevant to the conversation.

So, I say that yes, it is "a" style of Chicago pizza - not a main style, just a notable variation:
The similarities: cheese on the bottom - sauce on the top - baked in a round pan.
The variations: a thicker, puffy, pillowy crust, caramelized cheese on the outer edge, a zestier, tomato sauce.


I think we agree on more than we disagree on. My only point was Burt has influenced his own style of pizza but has not influenced "Chicago Style" pizza in the least bit. The oldest pizzeria in Chicago is on the South side at 84th and Pulaski (originally on 80th and Halsted). Vito and Nicks has been serving "Chicago Style" thin cracker crust pizza since 1932. That's 11 years before Numero Uno and 38 years before Burt hit the seen with Pequods. To this day, Vito and Nicks does not serve thick crust pizza. They were on Diners Drivins and Dives:
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 09:46:40 AM by OTRChef »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #64 on: August 27, 2012, 12:44:45 PM »
Most everyone outside of Chicago has a distorted perception of what Chicago Deep Dish is and even more don't even know that we have thin crust.

Having never eaten a thin crust pizza in Chicago, here's my take on why people outside Chicago don't realize there is a "Chicago style" thin crust: There's nothing that clearly differentiates "Chicago style" thin crust pizza from pizza you can get in other cities, states, or regions. When I look through Chicago thin crust threads, I see pictures of pizzas that look a lot like what I can get at most pizza joints in Columbus or Dayton, Ohio, as well as what I've heard may be common in Pittsburgh.

If I buy a pizza in Columbus or Dayton, am I buying a Chicago style pizza? Hell no. But I bet it's pretty similar. And have you ever heard of Columbus style pizza or Dayton style pizza? I doubt it. If you want to know why you've never heard of Columbus style pizza or Dayton style pizza, I'd say it's probably because there's not much that differentiates it from pizzas you can get in plenty of other places, such as Chicago. So maybe what you consider Chicago style thin crust pizza is actually Midwest style pizza.

However, if I go to Chicago and buy a deep dish pizza, I'm gonna be served a pizza I can get almost nowhere outside of Chicago. That's why people outside of Chicago don't know there is thin crust pizza in Chicago. That, and how we've been "educated" by Food Network, the Travel Channel, and Uno's Chicago Grill (or whatever the chain is called these days).

Like I said, I've never eaten a thin crust pizza in Chicago, so I may be wrong.

But based on what I know about the history of pizza in the United States, if I take a few seconds to try to figure out why Chicago thin crust is similar to Ohio thin crust, one of my first thoughts is that the two styles of pizza likely have the same origin (or share the same branch on pizza's family tree). If so, that origin is probably not in Chicago; it's probably somewhere east of Chicago.

So maybe to eliminate all the confusion, instead of lumping Chicago style thin crust and Chicago deep dish into the same category, there should be a new category called something like Midwest Style Thin Crust.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #65 on: August 27, 2012, 01:02:42 PM »
Having never eaten a thin crust pizza in Chicago, here's my take on why people outside Chicago don't realize there is a "Chicago style" thin crust: There's nothing that clearly differentiates "Chicago style" thin crust pizza from pizza you can get in other cities, states, or regions. When I look through Chicago thin crust threads, I see pictures of pizzas that look a lot like what I can get at most pizza joints in Columbus or Dayton, Ohio, as well as what I've heard may be common in Pittsburgh.

If I buy a pizza in Columbus or Dayton, am I buying a Chicago style pizza? Hell no. But I bet it's pretty similar. And have you ever heard of Columbus style pizza or Dayton style pizza? I doubt it. If you want to know why you've never heard of Columbus style pizza or Dayton style pizza, I'd say it's probably because there's not much that differentiates it from pizzas you can get in plenty of other places, such as Chicago. So maybe what you consider Chicago style thin crust pizza is actually Midwest style pizza.

However, if I go to Chicago and buy a deep dish pizza, I'm gonna be served a pizza I can get almost nowhere outside of Chicago. That's why people outside of Chicago don't know there is thin crust pizza in Chicago. That, and how we've been "educated" by Food Network, the Travel Channel, and Uno's Chicago Grill (or whatever the chain is called these days).

Like I said, I've never eaten a thin crust pizza in Chicago, so I may be wrong.

But based on what I know about the history of pizza in the United States, if I take a few seconds to try to figure out why Chicago thin crust is similar to Ohio thin crust, one of my first thoughts is that the two styles of pizza likely have the same origin (or share the same branch on pizza's family tree). If so, that origin is probably not in Chicago; it's probably somewhere east of Chicago.

So maybe to eliminate all the confusion, instead of lumping Chicago style thin crust and Chicago deep dish into the same category, there should be a new category called something like Midwest Style Thin Crust.

You're right on the money about Midwest-style thin crust, though I'd gamble there's a little more regional variation depending on which city is making it. For example, St. Louis makes a thin crust square-cut pizza that looks like Chicago thin crust, but I'm told that they don't use yeast and many use this cheesy abomination known as Provel.

From the faded memory of my college years, I remember Pizza Hut producing a thin & crispy, mid-western style pizza very similar to our Chicago thin crust, which I think they still serve nationwide. I'm sure toppings vary by location, and they never really got the italian sausage right.

I'd be very interested in learning the box-cut thin crust pizza's origin, but I imagine many mid-west cities will lay claim to it.
But that's for another forum thread. :-)
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #66 on: August 27, 2012, 01:06:44 PM »
I understand what Ryan is saying. But once you've had Chicago style thin...you'll definitely recognize it outside of the area (throughout the Midwest as he stated).
I'm not so sure about the history part though ("it probably came from somewhere Eat of Chicago").I don't know the whole history about it. Chicago was once a major stockyard for the Country's meat market and I tend to want to think that may have had something to do with the "flavor" of Chitown thin. You often hear that the best way to experience Chicago thin is to order a sausage only pizza.....
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #67 on: August 27, 2012, 01:34:37 PM »
From the faded memory of my college years, I remember Pizza Hut producing a thin & crispy, mid-western style pizza very similar to our Chicago thin crust, which I think they still serve nationwide. I'm sure toppings vary by location, and they never really got the italian sausage right.

I'd be very interested in learning the box-cut thin crust pizza's origin, but I imagine many mid-west cities will lay claim to it.

Thin & crispy is Pizza Hut's original pizza.

Pizza Hut started in Kansas, right? Maybe Wichita? My guess is that as pizza spread west from the Great Lakes region, its next progression was to become a little stiffer and more "cardboardy" (in St. Louis, perhaps?). From there, I'd imagine its evolution in Kansas made it even a little stiffer and more cardboardy.

(But I think they teach creationism in Kansas, so surely I'm wrong.)
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #68 on: August 27, 2012, 01:39:50 PM »
To get us back on topic, here's a few pics of a test-quod I made a few days ago.

I actually used a deep dish dough modification I'm working on (yes, still tinkering with that thing), to which I added a 1/2 tsp of baking powder to see if I could get a little more rise out of the dough while baking. It worked a bit, but wasn't really the pillowy texture I was looking for, so I'm going to dig into the L&B Spumoni Gardens thread to see if I can get some hints for a new 'quod formulation.

I'm still tweaking the "pizza oven simulation" , but I think I'm getting closer.
You have to protect the toppings from burning while you try to get that cheese to char on the outside,
so I'm baking the pizza on a preheated stone on the bottom rack while using a sheet of aluminum foil covering the top rack.

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #69 on: August 27, 2012, 01:46:38 PM »
That's coming along nicely Ed. Do you have a slice shot of the dough you are trying to get more rise out of?
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Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #70 on: August 27, 2012, 01:53:10 PM »
That's coming along nicely Ed. Do you have a slice shot of the dough you are trying to get more rise out of?

Here's a side shot, though it's kinda hard to see the crust height because of all the cheese.

As I said, the baking powder worked, but the texture of the crust wasn't pillowy, like a pequod slice.
So my deep dish dough formulation may not close enough to make a minor mod.

They probably use more water, less oil, and knead the dough more, but that's just a guess.

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #71 on: August 27, 2012, 02:05:36 PM »
That video from earlier went pretty fast at the kitchen part....any chance they proof the dough in the pan for a bit?
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #72 on: August 27, 2012, 02:08:30 PM »
Having never eaten a thin crust pizza in Chicago...

I see pictures of pizzas that look a lot like what I can get at most pizza joints in Columbus or Dayton, Ohio, as well as what I've heard may be common in Pittsburgh.

Except that those pizzas suck.  :-D

Seriously, the sauce on a Chicago thin is different.  The sausage certainly is different.  The crust is even different.  These other rust-belt/Midwest thin crusts may have superficial similarities, but all of the Ohio pizzas I've ever had--in many, many places throughout the state--are terrible.

Nice trolling, tho', bro.  Why don't you try this over in the NY forum, and explain to everyone that there is no such thing as NY pizza, since you can get mall pizza calling itself NY just about anywhere.  :P

Cheers,
Garvey

   


Offline vcb

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #73 on: August 27, 2012, 02:15:45 PM »
That video from earlier went pretty fast at the kitchen part....any chance they proof the dough in the pan for a bit?

A very good possibility.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Burts/Pequods
« Reply #74 on: August 27, 2012, 02:15:59 PM »
Except that those pizzas suck.  :-D

Seriously, the sauce on a Chicago thin is different.  The sausage certainly is different.  The crust is even different.  These other rust-belt/Midwest thin crusts may have superficial similarities, but all of the Ohio pizzas I've ever had--in many, many places throughout the state--are terrible.

Nice trolling, tho', bro.  Why don't you try this over in the NY forum, and explain to everyone that there is no such thing as NY pizza, since you can get mall pizza calling itself NY just about anywhere.  :P

Cheers,
Garvey

   


:-D   :-D
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