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Author Topic: Spinach Deep Dish?  (Read 589 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Spinach Deep Dish?
« on: April 10, 2021, 10:07:28 AM »
Calling on the spinach aficionados for help here--

I want to make a sausage n spinach DD.  I don't dig stuffed pizza as much as I dig "The Lou," the signature pie from Malnati's.  I've got that one down pat (Detailed Recipe for "the Lou" here: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38224.0).

Questions:
1. If I were to add sausage to The Lou, do I assemble The Lou as usual--spinach first, then cheese layer--and then add sausage on top of that with the other toppings?  That seems to make sense to me.

2. If I didn't want to just add sausage to a Lou but make a classic DD sausage with spinach, do I assemble this differently from The Lou method of spinach first?  That is, do I go cheese first like normal DD and then sausage and then pile on the fresh spinach?  I'm thinking this will leave me a very wet pie on top, or am I worrying over nothing?  In the past, I used to wilt the spinach first and squeeze the ever-living daylights out of it before adding it to the pie.  Is this the right move?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Cheers!
Garvey
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:44:56 PM by Garvey »

Offline vcb

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 12:19:07 PM »
Calling on the spinach aficionados for help here--

I want to make a sausage n spinach DD.  I don't dig stuffed pizza as much as I dig "The Lou," the signature pie from Malnati's.  I've got that one down pat (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38224.0).

Questions:
1. If I were to add sausage to The Lou, do I assemble The Lou as usual--spinach first, then cheese layer--and then add sausage on top of that with the other toppings?  That seems to make sense to me.

2. If I didn't want to just add sausage to a Lou but make a classic DD sausage with spinach, do I assemble this differently from The Lou method of spinach first?  That is, do I go cheese first like normal DD and then sausage and then pile on the fresh spinach?  I'm thinking this will leave me a very wet pie on top, or am I worrying over nothing?  In the past, I used to wilt the spinach first and squeeze the ever-living daylights out of it before adding it to the pie.  Is this the right move?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Cheers!
Garvey
For a base reference:
Malnati's describes "The Lou" on their ordering page as: "Spinach mix (enhanced with garlic, basil & onion), mushrooms and sliced Roma tomatoes covered with three cheeses, on a garlic Buttercrust™."

I've included in this post a photo from a Phil Vettel article on The Lou so we can see the slice layers.

They're adding the spinach mix to the base of the dough, before the mozz goes down.

RE: Adding sausage to "The Lou":
I've seen a few interviews where Marc Malnati says the main reason they use sliced mozz as a base was so the sausage would have something to stick to (I'm paraphrasing),
so I think the build order would be:
dough,
spinach mix,
sliced mozz,
sausage goes on top of the sliced mozz layer,
then add the mushrooms,
then cover with the usual crushed tomatoes,
then the cheddar (and other shredded cheeses),
additional tomato slices,
and topped with their grated cheese/herb blend.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:34:09 PM by vcb »
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Offline vcb

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 12:35:14 PM »
check out this short promo video from Lou Malnati's facebook showing "the Lou" being built.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=412650119369762
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 12:42:21 PM »
Yeah, man.  Thanks.  I've got all that detailed out in the recipe linked in the OP, but the sausage thing I wasn't sure about.  So thanks for confirming.

So, Ed, if I didn't want to make a besausaged "Lou" but a sausage/spinach DD only, you think I should assemble as if I were and just omit the sliced romas, cheddar, mushrooms?  That's question #2 in my OP.  It seems like a good method but maybe there is another way I should be assembling it?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:47:13 PM by Garvey »

Offline vcb

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 01:22:46 PM »
Yeah, man.  Thanks.  I've got all that detailed out in the recipe linked in the OP, but the sausage thing I wasn't sure about.  So thanks for confirming.

So, Ed, if I didn't want to make a besausaged "Lou" but a sausage/spinach DD only, you think I should assemble as if I were and just omit the sliced romas, cheddar, mushrooms?  That's question #2 in my OP.  It seems like a good method but maybe there is another way I should be assembling it?

Thanks.

Bonus points for "besausaged". We also would have accepted "sausage-inated".  ;D

Spinach mix under the mozz, sausage above the mozz, and if you're leaving out the sliced tomatoes, you can use the normal amount of "the usual tomatoes/sauce" instead of the scant amount they use on the Lou.

That would be the likely way with a spinach/sausage combo.

I haven't made a spinach deep dish in some time, but most of my tests had the spinach pre-wilted/sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and honey to balance out the bitter, cooled to room temp or refrigerated, then added on TOP of the mozz, but under the sauce.
There were a few times I tried fresh baby spinach on top of everything, but I wasn't very happy with the results.

Here's pics from a sausage, spinach, pepperoni deep dish I made in June of 2014 (I have a LOT of deep dish photos).
If I recall, I put raw baby spinach on top of the mozz, added a layer of pepperoni, stuck pieces of sausage on the pepperoni, then sauce, then more spinach.
It was a delicious mess, but I don't recommend this build. Way too much liquid.
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 01:38:27 PM »
Great info!  Thanks!  So the modified way of "The Lou" it is, then!

Offline PizzaManG

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2021, 11:02:40 PM »
Oh no ya didn't!!! The "Lou" a pizza so good we gave it his name! Spinach mix, mushrooms and sliced roma tomatoes covered with blend of mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese on garlic Buttercrust. Now that's what am talking about...you guys are making me hungry up in here  :drool:
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 11:21:21 AM »
“The Lou” (no sausage)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 11:31:20 AM by Garvey »

Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 11:51:32 AM »
Sausage / spinach
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 12:00:06 PM by Garvey »

Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2021, 12:55:31 PM »
Verdict: excellent.

"The Lou" used 550g dough, and the sausage/spinach was 450g of dough.  With the spinach layer being pretty stout and "The Lou" having so many layers, I've found that 540-ish is just about right.  For the sausage pie, not having quite as much stuff going on, 450 seemed to be good.  For reference, my usual dough weight is 398g - 440g.  Going with the high end of that range for the bespinached pie was right on.

For those wondering, the spinach wasn't watery at all.  Having the shredded cheese in there helps, I'm sure, but the oily crust and the layer of sliced mozzarella basically seals in that layer nicely.  The spinach cooks but doesn't wilt into nothingness.

BTW, you can see on the raw pie (sausage one) that the tomato was ample but the baked pie makes it look too light.  Looks are deceiving in the latter.  The tomato chunks baked into the pie and it was actually quite tomatoey and the perfect amount.  Dialing in the right amount of tomato product over my last many pies has been a revelation.  Oversauced pies are delicious, too, but getting the balance right absolutely changes the game.

Anyway, spinach DD using this overall process is highly recommended.  I'll go ahead and say I'll never make a stuffed pie (i.e., with a top crust) ever again, based on how good this turned out.  There's really no need.

Cheers!  And thanks for the help and encouragement, y'all!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 01:01:05 PM by Garvey »

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Offline PizzaManG

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 03:08:23 PM »
I spy with my little eye two beautiful casseroles pizza pies. Food porn at its finest...I can look at those DD's all day :-D Good job bud!
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Offline Garvey

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Re: Spinach Deep Dish?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2021, 12:51:28 PM »
I think I'm never making any other kind of DD for myself ever again.  Spinach-sausage-mushroom.

I sprinkled a little Chihuahua cheese on top before baking, which was tasty but not required.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:53:20 PM by Garvey »

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