Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => American Style => Topic started by: Pizzacrazy7 on February 09, 2009, 02:21:17 PM

Title: Big Cheese Pizza Recipe
Post by: Pizzacrazy7 on February 09, 2009, 02:21:17 PM
Hey, I finally found a clone recipe for a popluar pizza place here in the NW.  It's called Big Cheese.  Our Big Cheese is now Little Ceasars so I might have to give this one a try.  It looks like this one if for their original crust and not their deep dish(sicilian), which was much better than the original.  Anyway, here it is:

Big Cheese Pizza Sauce and Crust

Big Cheese Pizza Sauce

This recipe has been created to match the taste of the pizza sauce for the now defunct Big Cheese Pizza chain. This is not the official recipe, but it comes close to the real thing.

For a large (16 inch) pizza;

16 oz. canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes in puree (for fresh tomatoes, see note below)
1 1/2 tbsp oregano
3/4 tbsp basil (sweet or spicy globe)
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp marjoram
3/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp minced dry garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

With the exception of the onion powder and the coriander, the above spices should not be fine ground. If so, reduce amounts to accommodate for the higher density of the spice.

Thoroughly mix spices in sauce, then simmer covered, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce on pizza crust, add toppings and bake according to the pizza crust recipe.

If making sauce from fresh tomatoes (a real treat), start with 32 oz tomatoes crushed to a puree in a food processor (with or without seeds, I'm lazy so I leave the seeds in). Simmer uncovered with spices to reduce to 16 oz.

Big Cheese Pizza Crust

Here is a recipe based on crust I remember making at Big Cheese Pizza, a pizza parlor I worked at a decade ago - scaled back from the industrial size to an amount appropriate for a single family. For the record, Big Cheese Pizza is now defunct, and this is not their official recipe.

Dissolve in:
1 1/4 cups of warm water (110-120 degrees F)
1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/4 tbsp sugar

Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes (builds a good froth, so make sure this is in a 2 cup or larger container, glass is best as it holds the heat nicely)

While yeast water is brewing, place in either a mixing bowl of a mixer with a dough hook or the bowl of a bread machine set on manual (no bake cycle):

3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

When water is ready, add to flour. Mix thoroughly for about 4-6 minutes, being ready to add flour or water if necessary (flour can vary from brand to brand) to make a smooth, springy dough. Dough should only be slightly sticky to the firm touch.

Remove dough from bowl and place in an airtight bag. Do not seal bag, but leave open in a nearly closed drape (that is, not wide open, but enough to allow gasses from yeast to escape). Set in a warm place for at lest one hour and fifteen minutes. This is the crucial part. Most people don't allow the dough to properly rise, resulting in a tough, unpleasant dough. Try not to allow the dough to rise more than two hours.

Note for bread machine users: Allow to run on manual cycle, and leave dough in closed machine to allow adequate rising time. Again, at least one hour and fifteen minutes. No more than two hours.

Roll out to cover a 14 inch pan for thicker crust, 16 inch pan for thinner crust. Permeate crust with fork in a similar fashion to the way used to keep pie crusts from bubbling. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise an additional 15-20 minutes. Briefly repeat permeation with fork, though not as thoroughly.

Prepare toppings and sauces as desired. Cook pizza at 475-525 degrees (the thicker the toppings, the higher the temperature) until crusts turns golden brown on edges and cheese is browned and bubbling (presuming your has cheese on it). The bottom will be a smooth, medium amber in color.
Title: Re: Big Cheese Pizza Recipe
Post by: Mad_Ernie on February 09, 2009, 05:13:59 PM

I found that recipe on the internet a few years ago, too.  I found it at this link by a guy who said he used to work for a defunct chain called "Big Cheese":

I am not sure WHICH Big Cheese pizza chain it was referring to.  If you do a Google search you will find several pizza places around the country that use the name "Big Cheese".  For example, we used to have a Big Cheese pizza chain in the Kansas City area, too, but that chain was essentially a knock-off of Godfather's Pizza.  The recipe does not create a clone of that Big Cheese pizza.

If you are going to use this recipe, my one bit of advice is to use high-gluten flour.  Using all-purpose flour will yield a fairly wet dough and will be harder to manage.  Also, the sauce recipe is VERY herby.  I would recommend following the author's advice and using mostly fresh herbs.  If ground herbs are used, cut back to about 1/2 of the oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme that are listed.