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Author Topic: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style  (Read 938 times)

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Offline PizzaManG

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"C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« on: March 31, 2021, 11:07:17 PM »
Moving on from a corn meal deep dish...I decided to buy a 14 inch cast iron skillet and give it a go. Pizza turned out awesome according to my son. I liked the pizza as well but felt the dough was softer and not as crispy as I would have liked. Even though I put corn oil on skillet and cooked on a stone at 450*F still no solid crisp.  Should I have baked at a higher temperature, less hydration in the dough or ???  I guess my question is has anyone used a cast iron skillet and achieved great crispy results. I used the realdeepdish.com thin crust dough recipe and followed instructions with milk as described. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 10:19:41 AM by PizzaManG »
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Offline fugo

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 10:23:14 AM »
I've done some crispy Chicago thin pies in cast iron.  Here's what I did: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17662.msg511695#msg511695
Doug

Offline PizzaManG

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 11:20:38 AM »
Doug,

The undercarriage looks awesome and so do your pies. Garveys recipe seems to be a real hit with the members and I like the fact you went a different direction using a heated cast iron skillet. This board if full of variations and wonderful ideas. The only problem is so many pies... so little time. The good thing is I have my little guy who loves pizza and has no problem eating it 365 days a year. I will try your approach and post the results soon. Thanks for posting.   
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 12:43:53 PM by PizzaManG »
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Offline fugo

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 10:16:05 AM »
ZManG,

I think putting oil in a cold cast iron skillet, loading up the dough and throwing in the oven is a problem. Cast iron's heat transfer is so inefficient it takes too long for it to get to a temp where the bottom will crisp up. In the meantime, the dough is basically swimming in oil. By the time the cast iron is hot, the rest of the pie is way past ready.

I pulled out my cast iron 14" pan again last night after three years of using other methods and made two pies using the technique I posted previously.  I did not put any oil in the pan at all, just a little semolina (which I probably didn't need). The pies came out real good with some nice crispness to the bottom. We thoroughly enjoyed them. You just have to be careful when handling the hot skillet. Give it a shot!

Doug
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Offline Garvey

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 02:11:56 PM »
I'm with Doug on cast iron being inefficient.  No restaurants use them in Chicago, so I don't.  I think any thin, straight-walled pan is better.  I've even used a shiny cake pan before, and it worked fine.

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Offline PizzaManG

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 11:43:43 AM »
I totally agree about the heating properties of cast iron and the fact that it's not traditionally made this way. But, I am not about the standard method and always like to play around with ideas outside the box. In the end it might be a complete failure on my part and a waste of time, but until I try it for myself I will never know. Making pizza is like a big science experiment which can always lead to new and great things. Look at how pizza has evolved over the years. If anyone told a pizza maker in the 1910's that deep dish crust would be a hit 1940's, they would have looked at you like your crazy. Eventually, someones failures lead them to the stepping stone of success. I guess call me crazy ;)
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Offline SonVolt

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 12:04:35 PM »
You can solve the cast iron inefficiency problem by briefly heating it on the stove top before transferring it to the oven. Just enough where you start to hear the dough sizzling.

Offline PizzaManG

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 01:48:49 PM »
Going to try the heating the pizza on the stove top method to get the skillet nice and hot  ^^^  Thanks for the advice and will post pics this week.
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Offline SonVolt

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 02:33:57 PM »
Alternatively, you can do it after if the top is nice but the bottom is underdone.  Also, your crust look dry around the perimeter. Maybe up the oil in both the dough and the pan. Switching to olive oil will help alleviate the grease bomb feeling from fried dough that regular veggie oil can cause.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 02:37:31 PM by SonVolt »

Offline PizzaManG

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 09:56:16 PM »
I think the dryness came after I removed the pizza from the cast iron and baked for an additional 4 minutes on my pizza stone. The lack of initial heat left my under carriage uncooked and so I tried to save the pie. I would agree that the dough was dry because it had more of a tough bite to it rather than a soft crispness if that makes sense. I will experiment and try to find a balance that hopefully works. I think heating the skillet and using more oil in the dough will be my next step. Stay tuned...
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Offline Wengerski

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2021, 09:32:18 AM »
What kind of sheeter is that?

Offline PizzaManG

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Re: "C" is for Cast Iron Chicago Style
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2021, 11:09:46 PM »
What kind of sheeter is that?

Its a fondant sheeter that I use for dough. Bought off the internet but has no real brand name associated with it. It works fine and does its job once you get the hang of it.
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