Author Topic: Pizza Ex-Pat  (Read 592 times)

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Offline jhorace

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Pizza Ex-Pat
« on: March 09, 2015, 06:45:15 AM »
I learned a new phrase recently: "Pizza Expat". That fully describes me! I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago (when Naperville had a population of just 12k!!). Never realized how unique "Chicago Thin" was until I moved away to the East Coast (Philly). There are a few good pizzas out here but much of it all the same: "new york floppy crust" is found at 95% of the joints -- and nothing like Chicago thin. So...... my answer was to take matters into my own hands. Built a wood burning oven on my patio to get the heat needed for a nice cracker thin crisp crust, and tapped some of the fantastic recipes from this forum (I was just an interloper then!!). Below are a few pics.....

Joining now because I am always looking to improve my game!!

John



Offline pythonic

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 07:44:01 AM »
Beautiful pies and backyard John.  I lived in Naperville for a few years as well.  Funny thing is we are moving near Pitt in about a year.  Long trek to Philly though.   Would only go there for the sandwiches :)

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline jhorace

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 08:13:57 AM »
Good luck in Pittsburgh -- great town! BUT.... if you love the Chicago Thin style, get all you can before you move or plan to take on my plight and make your own because you won't find it there. Also, might want to load up on Portillo's style hot dogs and Italian beef because if you like those -- also nowhere to be found in Pitt!!

John

Offline Garvey

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 09:01:26 AM »
John:
Thanks for posting those.  Looks like a great spot to hang out and make some pizza! 

Nate:
Pittsburgh is a great food town.  It just doesn't have *those* things.  So at least you got something.  It's not like you're moving to Richmond or Indianapolis or Raleigh, none of which anyone has ever said, "That's a great food town!"  You should be able to get some great cheese in the 'Burgh.  Sausage, too.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 09:03:34 AM »
Good luck in Pittsburgh -- great town! BUT.... if you love the Chicago Thin style, get all you can before you move or plan to take on my plight and make your own because you won't find it there. Also, might want to load up on Portillo's style hot dogs and Italian beef because if you like those -- also nowhere to be found in Pitt!!

John

I hear you.  Good thing I have a decent Chicago thin recipe and a deli slicer to make my beef :)
I lived in Pittsburgh about 15 years ago briefly.  That is where I met my wife.  Pitt has very good 'zones.  They also have Primanti Bros.  At least I will be able to get some grande mozzarella again.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 09:06:03 AM by pythonic »
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Garvey

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 09:05:06 AM »
John:

There are a few folks on here to do Chicago thin in a WFO.  Have you had to modify recipes much, or do you just get your oven to the right (lower) temp and use recipes as-is?  I'd like to go this route someday myself.  But I may put in a smokehouse first.  I dunno. 

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline jhorace

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 09:27:27 AM »
Below is a recipe I have had great success with on the WFO; it basically takes some of these forum recipes and has been modified in a few small ways. First, the  hydration on the high side because the temp is so high. This gives you the nice browning and dark flecks on the bottom of the crust without burning. Secondly, I use 1/2 the recipe with Tippo 00 Italian flour. This you find mostly in the Brooklyn style Neapolitan recipes, but its very fine milled so in Chicago Thins, it gives you the nice crackery edge.

......Most importantly, however is NOT to get distracted once the pizza is put in the oven. Done time is only 4-5 minutes once you get the temp up to ~700 or so and you need to rotate it a few times or you get a burn on one side of the pizza. You can see this on one of the pics I provided -- that was an early attempt before realizing you cannot take a beer break once the pie goes in!! Whats nice however, is the dome provides constant downward heat so you get the nice browning effect on the cheese if you manage it right.

6.1 oz King Arthur Pizza Flour
6.1 oz Tippo 00
6.6 oz Water - weigh on scale
2/3 tsp IDY
2/3 tsp Salt
2 1/4 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp garlic powder

John

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 10:33:19 PM »
Great looking pies dude!!   and nice oven and shangri-la i mean backyard!!!   I too do chi thin in WFO!  and yes i need to rotate quite often.  i wait for the floor to get back down in the 600 range and been hitting about 10min since i worry about the raw sausage not being cooked enough!  again your pies look awesome!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

Offline scott r

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 07:38:26 AM »
I grew up in pittsburgh.  Im not sure how close you are to sir pizza, but they do a great chicago thin crust pizza.   I have a feeling they wont top what you are making however :)

http://www.sirpizza-pittsburgh.com/index.php


Offline jhorace

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 08:08:15 AM »
I too had worried about the sausage getting done in such a short time. For a while I was pre-baking them for just a short time to kill the bugs, but now have started to use raw, but smaller pieces and flatten them out a bit, always putting on top and not under the cheese. This has worked great and I have yet to send anyone to the hospital!! I have a great recipe for sausage if anyone likes to do it from scratch:

1 lb   Coarse ground pork (shoulder, from butcher -- to fresh grind, tell him "2 passes on the medium hole grind setting")
½ t   Paprika
¼ t   Garlic Powder
1 t   Salt
1 t   Coarse Ground Black Pepper (pestal)
1 ¼ t   Fennel Seed (1/2 whole ; ½ pestal pressed)
1/8 C   Chopped fresh Parley (flat leaf Italian)
½ t   Oregano

Offline pythonic

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 10:29:08 AM »
I grew up in pittsburgh.  Im not sure how close you are to sir pizza, but they do a great chicago thin crust pizza.   I have a feeling they wont top what you are making however :)

http://www.sirpizza-pittsburgh.com/index.php

I have heard of the place and will try it out.  Their pizza looks excellent.  Last time I was in town I tried out police station pizza in Ambridge (silcilian hybrid).  It was pretty good too.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Pizza Ex-Pat
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 11:34:21 PM »
I too had worried about the sausage getting done in such a short time. For a while I was pre-baking them for just a short time to kill the bugs, but now have started to use raw, but smaller pieces and flatten them out a bit, always putting on top and not under the cheese. This has worked great and I have yet to send anyone to the hospital!! I have a great recipe for sausage if anyone likes to do it from scratch:

1 lb   Coarse ground pork (shoulder, from butcher -- to fresh grind, tell him "2 passes on the medium hole grind setting")
½ t   Paprika
¼ t   Garlic Powder
1 t   Salt
1 t   Coarse Ground Black Pepper (pestal)
1 ¼ t   Fennel Seed (1/2 whole ; ½ pestal pressed)
1/8 C   Chopped fresh Parley (flat leaf Italian)
½ t   Oregano

thank you!!  appreciate your advice!!  and thanks for the sausage recipe!  does your recipe remind you of any place in particular?  thanks!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"