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Author Topic: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal  (Read 332 times)

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Offline Old Goat

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Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« on: August 23, 2021, 12:07:44 PM »
This site is amazing, thanks to all that contribute! I am searching for the elusive Chicago thin crust formulation from the 70's through the early 80's. I have read all of the thin curst and cracker crust topics in the forum and was hoping top hear opinions about the use of cornmeal (med, I prefer, or fine) in the flour mixture. An old pizza guy once said 15% of your total flour, but this seems high to me. Maybe 5%? Any advice would be greatly, appreciated, Thanks!   
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2021, 01:54:00 PM »
I've never tried cornmeal, but I think (in general) at 5% an additional flour can be noticed, and at 15% it's present in the dough/bread/taste.

Best is just to try it, and see how you like it.  Maybe it's great, or maybe you think NAY..  It will probably also change the properties of the dough a bit.

I'd try with maybe 10% and go from there.
Jack

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Offline Old Goat

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2021, 02:16:23 PM »
Thanks, I'll work 1 5, 10, 1nd 15 this week.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. -
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2021, 06:11:00 PM »
What place are you thinking of that put cornmeal in the dough?

Offline Old Goat

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2021, 06:18:22 PM »
I am experimenting with 95% AP / 5% cornmeal; 90/10; and 85/15. I am mixing directly with IDY and AP, then hydrating, resting and adding remaining ingredients. 24 hour bulk ferment. Ball, 48 hours slow ferment. I will test with medium grind cornmeal, then fine grind, and based on those results possibly corn  flour. Your thoughts? and Thank You!
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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2021, 02:47:02 PM »
Yellow med grain Cornmeal. Not Course or Fine

Use Cornmeal in the sheeting process which essentially embeds the cornmeal into the dough and finished crust.  This is the typical old school usage of cornmeal.  Cornmeal on the wooden peal as well when making the pizza and sliding it into the oven.

If you want in the dough, it's a mix.  Barnabys @ approx 15%, the rest are variable really when used from 5-10 %.  For me the Cornmeal flavor starts at 7%.

Keep your yeast at .3 don't go too high with that process.  The old school places actually bulk ferment in storage bins over night and of course there are variations.  I would not bother doing a bulk then 48.  You can get better control by balling and into the fridge for 48-72. If you want both, I would use .3 and BF at RT for 12, then CF at 36 for 48.  This process will create some nice micro blistering if you like that, I sure do

Ceresota is the defacto standard, a better old school I think can be done with GM Full Strength which handles the process much better.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 02:58:47 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline Old Goat

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2021, 03:05:29 PM »
Thanks I will do as you have suggested and let you know my results. I am curious though, if I am putting the cornmeal into the dough wouldn't fine grind hydrate better? Does corn flour just turn into a gummy paste that deadens the rise? Thank you again.
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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2021, 04:57:39 PM »
I like the mouth feel of cornmeal, medium is perfect for that and what most shops use.  Course is like sharp little hard chunks in the dough and terrible in my opinion.  Medium gets to some of that crunchy corn meal bite, I've used the finer grind and it does get you the flavor but not the mouth feel - think of corn bread or muffins, you get the flavor.  I've tried corn flour as well but only a couple of attempts and honestly forgot the effect.  Try what you want to see what you like.

Offline Old Goat

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2021, 05:10:03 PM »
Thank you again, 5 test balls going in the fridge tonight. Next, I'm reading everything on the forum about durum semolina; the adventure continues. I appreciate all your help!
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. -
Sir Winston Churchill

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Chicago thin crust and use of medium or fine ground cornmeal
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2021, 10:32:28 PM »
What place are you thinking of that put cornmeal in the dough?

Did Barnaby's use cornmeal in their dough? Or did they just coat the outside of the crust with it for ease in moving the pizza to and from the oven?
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