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Offline dbgtr

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Thickness factor
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:07:36 PM »
I've always struggled with soupiness and the dough in my pies.  In watching the attached video, it seems that Malnati is using a fairly thick base, and their tomatoes appear to not be drained.  How do they manage this?  Is it the deck oven and its shallow height that both set the base of the pie and drive off the moisture of the tomatoes?


Offline vcb

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 01:45:44 PM »
Hi, dbgtr.
Your subject line was a little misleading, because "thickness factor" is a setting in the pmdc deep dish dough calculator.

I've always thought Malnati's was one of the more "soupy" of the deep dish pizzas,
but I can sympathize with your struggle for moisture control.
(Malnati section of the video you linked to starts about 5 minutes in, btw)

To answer your questions, I'll guess it's a combination of factors that contribute to the thickness of the base/less watery pizzas:

1) Malnati's does a 48 hour cold ferment for their dough, so there's likely a lot of little bubbles in that pillow soft dough that help the dough hold it's height.
2) After a number of tests at home, I've determined they're using a good amount of cheese (think between 1 and 1.5 pounds for a 12 inch).

That accounts for the initial height and also for the potential moisture barrier.

3) If sausage is used, they're likely using lean pork (less grease=less soup).
4) Malnati's also uses a custom blend of rough cut/mostly whole peeled tomatoes in a heavy puree. You see them apply the tomatoes by hand to be enough just to cover. The tomato pieces are mostly large chunks and the remaining puree cooks down during the baking process.

But the thing in the video that was a little surprising to me, and probably a huge factor, was:

5) A 25 minute bake for what looks like a 12 inch sausage pizza!
That's not really possible in a home oven, is it?
They must be baking pretty hot, right? If not, the commercial deck oven may just be better at driving out moisture.
Hey commercial deck oven owners, can you please confirm this?

A recent article from Pizza Today suggests baking deep dish between 425 and 500 (kind of a big gap in temps);
I'm sure they're talking about commercial ovens though.
https://www.pizzatoday.com/departments/in-the-kitchen/pizza-styles-think-thick/

Here's what I do (your results may vary):
I "pizzafy" my oven to simulate that shallow deck height you mentioned.
http://www.realdeepdish.com/2013/05-27-dd101-extra-pizzafication-of-your-oven/

Then I start with a 500 degree preheated oven & stone (1 hr), then turn down to bake at 460-465,
and bake a 12 inch sausage deep dish for about 35 minutes.
If I'm baking a 9 or 10 inch deep dish, it's about 25 to 30 min.
On those rare occasions when I break out the big 14 inch pan, it's about 35 to 40 minutes.

These are times and temps for my home oven, and I still give the pizza 5-10 minutes to settle before cutting it; 
and it will still weep on occasion if I've used too much sauce or sausage.

Final tomato advice (feel free to tell me where I can go crush my tomatoes if your opinions vary):
One brand of tomatoes will be more watery than another;
Pick a consistent brand that you like and stick with it;   
(or learn to accept the inevitable variables of your pizza when using a different brand)
Learn how much is the right amount for that that brand and the size of pizza that you're baking;
Practice.

I've always struggled with soupiness and the dough in my pies.  In watching the attached video, it seems that Malnati is using a fairly thick base, and their tomatoes appear to not be drained.  How do they manage this?  Is it the deck oven and its shallow height that both set the base of the pie and drive off the moisture of the tomatoes?


-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
http://www.realdeepdish.com/
http://facebook.com/realdeepdish/

MAKING PIZZA AT HOME?
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB!
http://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment/

Offline dbgtr

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 02:50:49 PM »
I've been using a thickness of .125" and less cheese on a 14" pie.  I put a combination of canned romas and RedPack crushed tomatoes in thick puree, and I put them in a mesh sieve and they are much more drained than what is in the video.  The juice I save for bloody Marys.  I pre-cook the sausage to keep the pie lean, and I don't completely cover the top with tomatoes, just mostly.  I use a baking steel, but I had been using it on the lower rack, with the oven pre-heated to 475 for an hour, trying to get the bottom cooked before the top.  My bake times are closer to 25-30min for a 14" pie.  My oven is not a convection.  One thing I notice from the video is how light the crust is.  I don't know how they could not have a soupy pie, the color being a measure of how done it is.

Offline vcb

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 06:36:25 PM »
I've been using a thickness of .125" and less cheese on a 14" pie.  I put a combination of canned romas and RedPack crushed tomatoes in thick puree, and I put them in a mesh sieve and they are much more drained than what is in the video.  The juice I save for bloody Marys.  I pre-cook the sausage to keep the pie lean, and I don't completely cover the top with tomatoes, just mostly.  I use a baking steel, but I had been using it on the lower rack, with the oven pre-heated to 475 for an hour, trying to get the bottom cooked before the top.  My bake times are closer to 25-30min for a 14" pie.  My oven is not a convection.  One thing I notice from the video is how light the crust is.  I don't know how they could not have a soupy pie, the color being a measure of how done it is.

I found my 12 inch pies are much less soupy than the 14 inch ones I used to bake. 30 minutes may not be enough time for a 14 inch pizza in a home oven. After your preheat, try lowering your heat by about 10 degrees and bake for an extra 10 minutes for a 14 inch pizza. That could help bake out some of the moisture and keep your crust from browning too much.
How much tomato by volume are you using for a 14 inch deep dish? between 16 and 20 oz ?
When I use my favorite Muir Glenn Crushed w/Basil, I typically use about 14 to 16 fl oz for a 12 inch (out of a 28oz can).

Also, I would not use the shade of a Malnati crust to gauge doneness, as their crusts tend to bake up to a light blonde.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:38:14 PM by vcb »
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
http://www.realdeepdish.com/
http://facebook.com/realdeepdish/

MAKING PIZZA AT HOME?
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB!
http://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment/

Offline dbgtr

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 07:00:18 PM »
I found my 12 inch pies are much less soupy than the 14 inch ones I used to bake. 30 minutes may not be enough time for a 14 inch pizza in a home oven. After your preheat, try lowering your heat by about 10 degrees and bake for an extra 10 minutes for a 14 inch pizza. That could help bake out some of the moisture and keep your crust from browning too much.
How much tomato by volume are you using for a 14 inch deep dish? between 16 and 20 oz ?
When I use my favorite Muir Glenn Crushed w/Basil, I typically use about 14 to 16 fl oz for a 12 inch (out of a 28oz can).

Also, I would not use the shade of a Malnati crust to gauge doneness, as their crusts tend to bake up to a light blonde.

Hard to say.  Since I use a mesh colander, I lose a lot of liquid.  I use a can of crushed and a can of whole romas, but I only put in the tomatoes themselves which are split open, hulled and seeded.  But its a lot less.

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Online Garvey

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 12:59:43 PM »
Ed brings up all the great points and things to mind.  The biggest one is: "learn how much is the right amount for that that brand and the size of pizza that you're baking;
practice."

Nine times out of ten, home cooks simply use too much tomato.  We've all done it.

Offline dbgtr

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 07:24:14 AM »
This is fairly typical, of my pies.  The third is more recent where I cut down on the amount of dough.  475F -- oven on preheat which engages both baking and broiler elements, baking steel on lowest level, ~30min bake time for a 14" pie.

Online Garvey

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 04:11:31 PM »
If you're still having soupiness problems, the veggies could be to blame, too.  As Ed pointed out, "the commercial deck oven may just be better at driving out moisture", so in addition to his tips (leaner sausage, etc.), you may want to take a look at your veggie protocol and maybe your cheese, too.  Are you using whole milk mozz or skim?  BTW, you'll also notice that Malnati throws a generous handful of grated parm on top, which will also wick some moisture.

But regarding the veggies: knowing that my home oven can't drive out moisture like a commercial deck can, I pre-cook my veggies in the microwave just long enough to  allow me to heavily blot out as much moisture as possible with paper towels.  I'm not truly cooking them cooking them but heating them up just enough to release all that water.  Works great on mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.  Give it a try and see if it helps.

The other thing I do when I have a wettish pie is to let it drain.  After cutting out a slice, I'll prop up the pan with the cut side at the bottom of the tilt to allow rogue moisture to seep down there.

All of this is an imperfect science of making commercial grade food in the home kitchen.  Embrace the casserole.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 04:13:10 PM by Garvey »

Offline dbgtr

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 04:58:41 PM »
If you're still having soupiness problems, the veggies could be to blame, too.  As Ed pointed out, "the commercial deck oven may just be better at driving out moisture", so in addition to his tips (leaner sausage, etc.), you may want to take a look at your veggie protocol and maybe your cheese, too.  Are you using whole milk mozz or skim?  BTW, you'll also notice that Malnati throws a generous handful of grated parm on top, which will also wick some moisture.

My sources being limited, I've been using the whole milk Frigo from Costco -- ok, but despite comparable levels of salt, it's a little bland.  My preference is for part-skim.  I par-cook the sausage, and brown off the mushrooms -- more flavorful that way.

Quote
But regarding the veggies: knowing that my home oven can't drive out moisture like a commercial deck can, I pre-cook my veggies in the microwave just long enough to  allow me to heavily blot out as much moisture as possible with paper towels.  I'm not truly cooking them cooking them but heating them up just enough to release all that water.  Works great on mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.  Give it a try and see if it helps.

Perhaps the lower oven temperature, the foil on the rack above (as mentioned in a previous post) and having the whole thing higher in the oven will help.  I'll have to give it a whirl.

Quote
The other thing I do when I have a wettish pie is to let it drain.  After cutting out a slice, I'll prop up the pan with the cut side at the bottom of the tilt to allow rogue moisture to seep down there.

All of this is an imperfect science of making commercial grade food in the home kitchen.  Embrace the casserole.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 02:19:34 AM »
your pics look pretty stellar to me!!!  really nice chi dd!   i always found sometimes it could be great 1st piece but then get soggy... the temps are dropping, cooling...there's steam, evaporation and then condensation, and as things cool water moves and gathers....so as garvey says getting it tilted or put the whole pie out onto a tray with air flow and drainage.......even my chi thin crust can suffer the moisture issue post 1st cut! most DD try to get as many slices out of the pan on 1st serving and will even put rest on a rack or different tray.  i bet the ovens fix most of the issues....i would love to try my best pies on a deck oven someday and see if they are better!! 
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

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Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 02:34:24 AM »
i mean the crusts by their nature are a sponge!  we should invent a pizza fan that gently blows the steam and keeps the moisture away!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

-John Candy(Stripes)

Offline vcb

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Re: Thickness factor
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 07:09:51 PM »
I really need to make more of these videos:
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
http://www.realdeepdish.com/
http://facebook.com/realdeepdish/

MAKING PIZZA AT HOME?
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB!
http://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment/

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