Author Topic: Thick crust and even cooking at home  (Read 602 times)

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Offline Muttdog

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Thick crust and even cooking at home
« on: October 20, 2016, 07:25:17 PM »
My preference for pies is NY style and thanks to the pros here I have a "go to" recipe that I make 2-3 times a week. Every now and then change is good so for the last few months I've been experimenting with thick crust Sicilian style doughs. First attempts came up with uncooked and certainly not fried crust with almost burnt toppings. Cooking temps have been all over the board from 450-550, stone on top, bottom rack no stone, etc, etc. Best solution yet has been to par cook the crust in the oven for 5 minutes and that gets me Oh so close with perfect fried crust however the toppings don't stay on the slice. One bite and everything comes off in your lap. I'm getting real close now, tonight we used the Americas Test Kitchen recipe with a 48 hour cold ferment. Crust didn't stick to pan and was perfect fried golden brown, very good. I'm thinking of putting the sauce on the crust before par baking. Make sense?

Offline Muttdog

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 07:37:37 PM »
Americas Test Kitchen recipe. I cut in in half for a 1/4 sheet pan and used All Trumps instead of AP.

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 08:50:43 PM »
My preference for pies is NY style and thanks to the pros here I have a "go to" recipe that I make 2-3 times a week. Every now and then change is good so for the last few months I've been experimenting with thick crust Sicilian style doughs. First attempts came up with uncooked and certainly not fried crust with almost burnt toppings. Cooking temps have been all over the board from 450-550, stone on top, bottom rack no stone, etc, etc. Best solution yet has been to par cook the crust in the oven for 5 minutes and that gets me Oh so close with perfect fried crust however the toppings don't stay on the slice. One bite and everything comes off in your lap. I'm getting real close now, tonight we used the Americas Test Kitchen recipe with a 48 hour cold ferment. Crust didn't stick to pan and was perfect fried golden brown, very good. I'm thinking of putting the sauce on the crust before par baking. Make sense?

That crust looks really nice.  I put a layer of thinned out tomato sauce + water on the top of the dough in pan for parbake making sure not to overbake it, just until lightly golden.  Then, for the final bake, more sauce and the cheese.  It adheres better. 

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 09:40:06 PM »
Muttdog;
What you are proposing (putting sauce on the dough prior to par-baking) I think is the key to successful par-baking of pizza crusts. The approach that I normally recommend, and take myself, is to apply not more than 1/2 of the sauce prior to par-baking, this helps to keep the top from bubbling if the dough is so minded, and it also goes a long ways to conserving the moisture content of the finished crust, then after baking apply the remainder of the sauce and dress as desired before placing back into the oven for the final bake. If you are so inclined, you can also set the par-baked crusts aside (wrapped in stretch wrap) and stored at room temperature for up to four days and then make a pizza on the spot if friends stop by or if you get a pizza urge.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline jkb

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 10:16:20 PM »
Tonight, I did a couple of Sicilian pies. One was L&B inspired (I've never been there,  but they make a damn good pie if they're even remotely close).  The other was inspired by a cheesy pie in a bar in college.  I was afraid of cheese slide.  I par baked it with shredded mozz and then added sauce and then a complete coverage of large mozz slices.   The top cheese stuck to the bottom layer.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 06:38:17 AM by jkb »

Offline Muttdog

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2016, 08:23:54 PM »
Muttdog;
What you are proposing (putting sauce on the dough prior to par-baking) I think is the key to successful par-baking of pizza crusts. The approach that I normally recommend, and take myself, is to apply not more than 1/2 of the sauce prior to par-baking, this helps to keep the top from bubbling if the dough is so minded, and it also goes a long ways to conserving the moisture content of the finished crust, then after baking apply the remainder of the sauce and dress as desired before placing back into the oven for the final bake. If you are so inclined, you can also set the par-baked crusts aside (wrapped in stretch wrap) and stored at room temperature for up to four days and then make a pizza on the spot if friends stop by or if you get a pizza urge.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Thank you Tom. I'll give that a try on the next attempt.


Online invertedisdead

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 03:59:40 PM »
Do you have convection? I used to have good luck on the rack one down from center, fried the bottom but still received enough time and top heat to evenly cook the top. What is your bake time?

Ryan

Offline Muttdog

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2016, 08:08:13 AM »
I think the good Dr.'s tip did the trick. Made the pizza hut clone last night by first par baking the crust with half the sauce in a 550 oven for 5 minutes before adding the remaining toppings and baking at 500 for additional 14 mins. Next time I'll leave it at 550 the whole bake but I couldn't be happier. My wife and I devoured it so fast there was no time for pics! So far we've tried the pizza hut clone, ATK and serious eats thick crusts. Any other suggestions?

Edit: forgot to mention, I did add a teaspoon of barley malt syrup instead of sugar and cut the recipe in half to fit a 1/4 sheet pan
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 08:11:02 AM by Muttdog »

Offline norma427

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2016, 09:13:46 AM »
Muttdog,

Your Sicilian's look very good.

By any chance did you try the Americas Test Kitchen's recipe at this below link?

https://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/8256-thick-crust-sicilian-style-pizza   

The reason I asked is because I would like to try that recipe to make a fine-textured, almost cake-like crumb.  I don't think I ever achieved a cake-like crumb in a Sicilian pizza.

Norma

Offline Muttdog

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Re: Thick crust and even cooking at home
« Reply #9 on: Today at 08:49:12 AM »
Muttdog,

Your Sicilian's look very good.

By any chance did you try the Americas Test Kitchen's recipe at this below link?

https://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/8256-thick-crust-sicilian-style-pizza   

The reason I asked is because I would like to try that recipe to make a fine-textured, almost cake-like crumb.  I don't think I ever achieved a cake-like crumb in a Sicilian pizza.

Norma

 So sorry for not replying, I never set up email notices and kind of forgot. I'm making thick crust now and thought about it. Yes I did the America's test kitchen recipe and yes it definitely had a finer texture but so far my favorite has been the Pizza Hut Clone on this site. I use the ingredients in the Pizza Hut recipe but use the exact same techniques with handling the dough as Americas test kitchen. I think the way they use the pan to lightly pressure the dough as it rises also helps with texture. Today I'm trying out a new food processor to make the dough

Edit: ATK also rolls out the dough before placing in the pan. I think this also has a dramatic effect on the texture. Really we notice little difference between the 2 recipes texture wise when dough is handled with ATK directions.
« Last Edit: Today at 08:52:48 AM by Muttdog »