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Author Topic: Wengerski's Chicago Pan (an adaption and combination of Pequod's and Burt's)  (Read 737 times)

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Offline Wengerski

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  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
Developing this recipe has been my life for about 3 years now. After endless emails, questions, and conversations with the owners, workers, and lovers of Burt Katz's style of pizza, I have finally come to a place where I am confident and proud of this recipe, and want to share it in a separate thread from the Burt's/Pequod's Thread

Pan Seasoning (Burt Katz method):
Standard seasoning 450F thin layer of oil for about an hour (1x). Let cool.
THEN
Preheat oven to 500F.
Fill pan a generous layer with combination finely minced onion, garlic, some potato, lots of salt, and corn oil.
Scorch/blacken the hell out of it, then scrape it off. Repeat until the pan is essentially black.

Wengerski’s Chicago Pan
Developed and derived from the recipes of Burt’s Place and Pequod’s.


Equipment
Pizza Stone
Well-Seasoned American Metalcraft T90152 15" x 2" Tin-Plated Steel
Oven that can reach 500F (600F if possible)


Dough – Base Flour Weight 400g
100% Gold Medal “King Wheat” Flour (All Purpose Works)
62% Warm Water (90-110F)
2% Instant Dry Yeast
6% Corn Oil
1% Salt
1% Sugar


Pizza Sauce - Uncooked
#10 Can Pizzaiolo Autentico
#10 Can Full Red Pizza Sauce with Basil
8 Tbsp Dried Oregano
6 Tbsp Dried Thyme
4 Tbsp Marjoram
¼ Cup Fresh Chopped Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

All herbs are listed in estimations. Follow according to your taste.


Cheese
1.25-2 lb Thick-Sliced Whole-Milk Mozzarella
   Part Skim will do fine, but in sacrifice to some flavor.

Topping
Dried European Oregano
Mixture of Finely Grated Parmesan and Romano (25%/75%)



Making the Dough
1.   Activate yeast in warm water (5-10 minutes).
2.   Combine dry ingredients.
3.   Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients.
4.   Mix until combined and forms a shaggy dough and rest for 10 Minutes.
5.   Add oil and knead until very smooth and elastic. Dough should be slightly tacky.
6.   Rise in corn oiled mixing bowl for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
7.   Preheat the oven to its highest setting (500-600F) with the pizza stone on the middle rack. Oven must preheat for at least 1 hour, as the pizza stone takes
        longer than the oven.
8.   Oil Pan—spread corn oil with a paper towel.
9.   Sprinkle a dusting of Garlic Powder and fine cornmeal (25%/75%) directly onto the pan.
10.   Move dough to the oiled pizza pan.
11.   Lightly stretch and press the dough down into the pan. There should be an even, flat layer of dough across the bottom of the pan. Do not pull the dough
        up the sides.
12.   Cover with foil or cling wrap and prepare ingredients for topping the pizza.

Building the Pizza
1.   Lay Mozzarella Slices on top of the dough. Slices should lay up the side of the pan and overlap by about 1/3. Cover all of the dough.
2.   Ladle and spread an even layer of sauce on top of the cheese. There is enough sauce when you can barely to not at all see the cheese under it. The only
        visible cheese will be the cheese that laid up the sides of the pan.
3.   Add preferred toppings. All topping should be placed on RAW.
4.   Top the pizza with a generous sprinkle of your grated cheese mixture (75/25 Romano/Parmesan) and dried oregano.
5.   Lower oven temperature to 500F and place the built pizza in the oven directly on top of the pizza stone.
6.   Bake for 20 Minutes. Check for a very dark brown halo around the edge. Bake for another 2-5 minutes depending on doneness of caramelized cheese and
        toppings.

Tips and opinions
1.   Let the pizza rest for 5 Minutes after coming out of the oven or until it stops speaking to you.
2.   Use a butter knife to release the outer edge of the pizza from the pan. If it was cooked long enough it should release easy and solidly.
3.   Chicago Style Pizza is Sausage Pizza. Lots of fennel seed, oregano, rep pepper flakes, and garlic.
4.   Be overly generous with toppings. This kind of pizza is meant to handle it. 
5.   My favorite topping is Sausage and Red Bell Pepper with a sprinkle of minced garlic.
6.   Cheese pull is cheese that is not in your pizza, but rather on your plate.  It is a tourist trap.

Offline Wengerski

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
To extend, I wanted to talk about my philosophy about the recipe and my approach to deep dish.

I believe that Chicago deep dish need to be, at their core, very simple dishes without too many flavors, components, and complexities. The experience is so robust that it is very easy to over do it in every component: too much dough, sourdough starters, butter cheese and onions in the sauce, over seasoning, too much cheese, using cheese blends. It all makes it so heavy and cumbersome to the average eater which leads to the misunderstanding of deep dish being a 2" thick greasy soupy casserole of cheese and sauce that destroys the stomach after one slice.

The dough should be pillowy and soft to balance with the heaviness and heartiness of the toppings and sauce. The sauce shouldn't have too many components or be over spiced so that it does not mask the subtle flavors of the dough, cheese, and toppings.

I just wanted to share my thoughts. Take them or leave them! I don't really care. I just want to eat pizza.

Offline Wengerski

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
Here are some examples:

Offline Garvey

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  • Posts: 1216
  • I wish could have pizza every day.
I've always been a bit of a hater on this unique style (bread bomb), but I'd eat those!  They look amazing!

Offline Wengerski

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
I couldn't agree more. I find that the new Burt's and current Pequod's are extremely inconsistent. This is was the primary reason I sought to learn the style. I found that 1/5 times I got the best pizza I've ever had, while the other 4/5 times it was a dry dough bomb and pretty imbalanced in ratio of dough:sauce:cheese:toppings. I've just been chasing the high I got from the few amazing pies I've had from those locations.


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Offline Garvey

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  • Posts: 1216
  • I wish could have pizza every day.
Loved reading this whole write up, BTW.  Really, really great.

Offline Wengerski

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
Loved reading this whole write up, BTW.  Really, really great.


I'd love to have this recipe added to the pinned master list!

Offline Pete-zza

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Offline mrmojo1

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  • pizza sans frontières
looks beautiful and delicious!  nice job!!!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

-John Candy(Stripes)

Offline ncpaul

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  • Posts: 12
  • Location: North Carolina
  • I Love Pizza!
Next time you make this can you post a cut slice? 

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Offline thunder

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  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Arizona
  • I Love Pizza!
Great job! We are on a similar mission. I grew up on it.  ;D I would love to see a pic of your assembly and a cut slice if you can next time.

Offline FredipusRex

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  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Chicagoland
  • I Love Pizza!
Those pizzas look amazing and the recipe looks A+.

For those of you who find Burt's/Pequod's to be a "dough bomb", I highly recommend asking for "light dough" at Pequod's. They will put a half portion of dough in the pan.

It completely transforms the pizza. As the dough is thinner, it gets crispier and does not weigh down the pizza (or you) at all. Pequod's has also tweaked its sauce recipe over the past couple of years - they took something good and made it better.

My other recommendation is to try two other pizzerias who are putting out amazing Burt's-inspired pies. The first is Milly's Pizza in the Pan. Robert is doing amazing things with this pizza (currently takeout only from a ghost kitchen in Logan Square). The dough / crust is amazing - it's crispy and light but still substantial enough to eat by hand. Plus his toppings are first rate and the sauce is fantastic. I'd say it's closer to Pequod's than Burt's but that's not a bad thing.

The other pizzeria is Uncle Jerry's in far exurban Cary, IL. Yeah, I know it's a haul, but the pizza there is amazing. It's a hybrid between Lou's and Burt's - structurally it's more like Lou's with a crust that is pressed partway up the sides but it's thinner, way crispiers, has actual flavor and he adds the cheese to the outside to get that caramelized crust. Very good sauce, part Buffalo mozzarella. The sausage is very good (the restaurant shares space with a butcher, who makes the sausage to Jerry's specifications) but the cup and char pepperoni is really special (I do both, because why wouldn't you?).

If you really like modern Burt's (with the new owner), his original partner now owns Lefty's in Wilmette and Highland Park. The exact same pizza, just different name.

Milly's Pizza in the Pan
1801 N Spaulding Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
millyspizzachi.com

Uncle Jerry's Pizza Company
133 W Main St
Cary, IL 60013
unclejerryspizzacompany.com/


Offline Wengerski

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Extra Large, Double Sausage
Those pizzas look amazing and the recipe looks A+.

For those of you who find Burt's/Pequod's to be a "dough bomb", I highly recommend asking for "light dough" at Pequod's. They will put a half portion of dough in the pan.

It completely transforms the pizza. As the dough is thinner, it gets crispier and does not weigh down the pizza (or you) at all. Pequod's has also tweaked its sauce recipe over the past couple of years - they took something good and made it better.

My other recommendation is to try two other pizzerias who are putting out amazing Burt's-inspired pies. The first is Milly's Pizza in the Pan. Robert is doing amazing things with this pizza (currently takeout only from a ghost kitchen in Logan Square). The dough / crust is amazing - it's crispy and light but still substantial enough to eat by hand. Plus his toppings are first rate and the sauce is fantastic. I'd say it's closer to Pequod's than Burt's but that's not a bad thing.

The other pizzeria is Uncle Jerry's in far exurban Cary, IL. Yeah, I know it's a haul, but the pizza there is amazing. It's a hybrid between Lou's and Burt's - structurally it's more like Lou's with a crust that is pressed partway up the sides but it's thinner, way crispiers, has actual flavor and he adds the cheese to the outside to get that caramelized crust. Very good sauce, part Buffalo mozzarella. The sausage is very good (the restaurant shares space with a butcher, who makes the sausage to Jerry's specifications) but the cup and char pepperoni is really special (I do both, because why wouldn't you?).

If you really like modern Burt's (with the new owner), his original partner now owns Lefty's in Wilmette and Highland Park. The exact same pizza, just different name.

Milly's Pizza in the Pan
1801 N Spaulding Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
millyspizzachi.com

Uncle Jerry's Pizza Company
133 W Main St
Cary, IL 60013
unclejerryspizzacompany.com/


I've had Milly's since making this recipe. I loved it. It changed my mind on a lot of things. I was always afraid of adding too much sauce, but he added a decent amount more than I typcally do. It was wonderful (a touch sweet for me but that's just preference). Now where he really got me was the dough. It was more foccacia in nature and a lot less pillowy soft like modern Burt's. I plan to experiment a little more with hydration and oil weights in the future. (60/10?)

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