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Author Topic: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?  (Read 1178 times)

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Offline wotavidone

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2021, 06:45:36 PM »
Submitting some photos of your finished pies would help us a lot to diagnose the issue. Also, your dough formulation is a big player. Every oven is a little different, and so is every dough. My thinking is that maybe there's something about your dough that needs to be tweaked a little bit so that it's getting baked to your desired finish at the same time that the cheese has melted to your ideal standard.
 I suggest this as the first option because that's something you can control a lot better than the cheese. You can only control so much of what the cheese does in the oven. The length of time the pizza gets baked is one of the only things you can control directly that really determines the way it comes out of the oven. That, and the way that it's handled before it's put on the pizza. With some cheeses, it's best to keep it as cold as possible right up to the point where it goes on the pie, and with others, it's better to delay their addition somewhat. This is one of those careful balancing acts in the art of pizza making that I don't think necessarily gets talked about a lot, or at least not that I've seen. We talk about cheese and dough separately all the time, but the synergy between the two in the finished pizza is of paramount importance, and that's soemthing that can take a while to perfect.
Yep. I like the way you put this.
I have had to give this some consideration of late.
I fell into a bit of a trap. My pizzas started disappointing me.
I was allowing my guests to say not only what, but how much went on top of the pizza,
Result was pizzas that didn't meet my standards - usually burnt crusts with undercooked toppings.
It is a question of balancing the dough and the toppings and the temperature. In my case the dough hadn't changed but I got into a rut of pushing both the temperature and the toppings load.

So back to basics I went. Realise this isn't quite relevant to a home oven situation, but unless I'm looking for a Margherita, I tone down the temperature a bit. I'm working with a floor temperature closer to 700F than it is to 800F for a 2 and half minute bake.
As you say every oven is different and my floor bricks, while not as thermally conductive as firebrick, aren't Saputo Biscotto either, so toning down the floor temps allows longer for the top down heat to cook the toppings.
In this regard, even my firewood needed revisiting. For my technique to work, I need plenty of thin stuff to maintain that rolling flame over the top.

As y

Then too, I've reduced the amount of toppings, in particular the cheese.
I strive for 12 inch pizzas, though if I'm honest they could be called 11 inches plus.

I buy a 500g mozzarella ball and use that on 6 pizzas. That's about 83g or a touch less than three ounces per pizza. Add about an ounce of red leicester I like to put on last and its the equivalent of putting about 6.5 oz on a 14 incher.

I slice things like onions and capsicums thinner. They cook quicker, and contribute less moisture to the finished pizza.
Results of some fairly minor changes is that now my toppings and crusts are ready about the same time, I get a little bit of that oiling I like from the cheese, but it isn't over the top.
So like you say, it isn't just one thing, it all has to be brought together, your dough can have an influence on how your cheese works.

For example, I wouldn't use my "00" flour in a home oven situation - it would take a long time to brown, unless I added some malt or sugar. Or as I like to say, I'd have to add another layer of complication.

I am now proud of my pizzas again and confident enough to resume inviting people to dinner.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 07:29:50 PM by wotavidone »
Mick

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2021, 07:42:50 PM »
I suppose just generally I find my cheese results to not be as good but the chief issue would be overcooking and a grease layer as has been mentioned.  On my last pie I used walmart whole milk mozz, 6 0z for 13 inches. for the first time I forgoed shreds for larger cubes and I ended up with dried out cheese blobs, cooked it at 550. I'm not someone that actually likes a ton of cheese on my pie but perhaps that's the reason I'm not getting the best melt, could probably up it another couple oz and drop the temp to 500.
What is overcooked? Do you mean that by the time your dough is cooked, your cheese has had far longer than you would like?
I have scanned back through here and haven't seen the answer to question that springs to mind - are you cooking directly on the stone or on a tray?
Mick

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2021, 10:34:19 PM »

I was allowing my guests to say not only what, but how much went on top of the pizza,
Result was pizzas that didn't meet my standards - usually burnt crusts with undercooked toppings.
Yeah, that's a tricky thing there. It's hard to say which situation is worse- having guests for dinner and politely asking them not to interfere with your cooking processes, or taking something to a friend's house, like an expensive cut of meat for a cookout, and expecting them to cook it exactly how you like it, without being overbearing. Not only is every entree and cooking process unique and demanding of it's own special approach, but every different person has their own palate and preferenes. You can't please everyone, and I think it's best to sincerely create your best work according to your own standards and hope other people will appreciate the meal for what it is,  rather than tweak every entree you make for every individual person and make something that's not at all representative of your best efforts.
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Offline pizzaman7693

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2021, 09:14:22 AM »
What is overcooked? Do you mean that by the time your dough is cooked, your cheese has had far longer than you would like?
I have scanned back through here and haven't seen the answer to question that springs to mind - are you cooking directly on the stone or on a tray?
Yes, that's basically the case, I can't give you an exact time but I'll check a few minutes in, my dough ring will still be stark white and my cheese will already be in that telltale bubble state, not burnt but where the grease is leaking out. I use a few tablespoons of oil in my dough recipe, bread flour, no sugar, cooked on a stone with just a layer of parchment paper. Besides the obvious of adding a certain percentage of sugar, is there anything you'd suggest?


Offline scott r

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2021, 09:21:34 AM »
This is most likely a fermentation problem.  90% of dough problems come down to this in my experience, and both an under fermented or an over fermented dough would give you a less colored look.   Its the hardest thing to nail down in pizza making.  My guess is that the problem isn't with the cheese, but with the dough itself not having any or enough coloration for you to think the pizza is done when it is.    That forces you to bake longer than you normally would with a perfectly fermented dough that will give you some browning.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 09:25:04 AM by scott r »

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2021, 09:24:49 AM »
Yes, that's basically the case, I can't give you an exact time but I'll check a few minutes in, my dough ring will still be stark white and my cheese will already be in that telltale bubble state, not burnt but where the grease is leaking out. I use a few tablespoons of oil in my dough recipe, bread flour, no sugar, cooked on a stone with just a layer of parchment paper. Besides the obvious of adding a certain percentage of sugar, is there anything you'd suggest?
Okay, now we're getting somewhere, I think. Why are you using parchment paper?? The whole purpose of a baking stone is to give your pizza that thermally conductive surface to bake on, so that it can get brown and nicely crisp. You're defeating the whole purpose of it by putting that layer of parchment paper between the stone and the pizza. Stop doing that immediately, and report back on your next bake. That's all I can say for now. Just do it. I can't say for sure I'm right about this. Maybe it won't make any difference at all. But it can't hurt to try.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 09:35:32 AM by RHawthorne »
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Offline pizzaman7693

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2021, 09:58:39 AM »
Okay, now we're getting somewhere, I think. Why are you using parchment paper?? The whole purpose of a baking stone is to give your pizza that thermally conductive surface to bake on, so that it can get brown and nicely crisp. You're defeating the whole purpose of it by putting that layer of parchment paper between the stone and the pizza. Stop doing that immediately, and report back on your next bake. That's all I can say for now. Just do it. I can't say for sure I'm right about this. Maybe it won't make any difference at all. But it can't hurt to try.
I guess I had worried a little about the parchment paper being a problem, I've had enough stuck pizza landing at the bottom of the oven mishaps that parchment paper just seemed like a responsible choice. If it does indeed have a negative effect I'll try the old fashioned way again.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 10:03:08 AM by pizzaman7693 »

Offline pizzaman7693

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2021, 10:06:01 AM »
This is most likely a fermentation problem.  90% of dough problems come down to this in my experience, and both an under fermented or an over fermented dough would give you a less colored look.   Its the hardest thing to nail down in pizza making.  My guess is that the problem isn't with the cheese, but with the dough itself not having any or enough coloration for you to think the pizza is done when it is.    That forces you to bake longer than you normally would with a perfectly fermented dough that will give you some browning.
well for what it's worth on my last bake I used a 2 day poolish, and then the day of had the final dough sit out at room temp for six or so hours. 2% yeast.

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2021, 10:11:36 AM »
well for what it's worth on my last bake I used a 2 day poolish, and then the day of had the final dough sit out at room temp for six or so hours. 2% yeast.
By my reckonging, that is an incredible amount of yeast to use. I don't imagine that could have an impact on browning, but at any rate, I think most any experienced pizza maker is going to tell you to cut that quantity way down, to something more like 0.2% to 0.5%. You just shouldn't need anything more than that if you're doing everything else correctly, and a dough that's too high yeast can have real problems.
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Offline pizzaman7693

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2021, 10:21:20 AM »
By my reckonging, that is an incredible amount of yeast to use. I don't imagine that could have an impact on browning, but at any rate, I think most any experienced pizza maker is going to tell you to cut that quantity way down, to something more like 0.2% to 0.5%. You just shouldn't need anything more than that if you're doing everything else correctly, and a dough that's too high yeast can have real problems.
sorry I was way off on that % I gave you, the yeast I used was fairly typical I believe, roughly a teaspoon for ~1000g of dough.

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2021, 10:38:10 AM »
sorry I was way off on that % I gave you, the yeast I used was fairly typical I believe, roughly a teaspoon for ~1000g of dough.
It's up to you, but I would get in the habit of actually weighing your yeast, for consistency's sake. One teaspoon of yeast for 1 kg of flour is probably fine, but it's still best to know for sure. A high accuracy scale that can measure in the hundredths of grams is not expensive at all if you don't already have one.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 10:40:22 AM by RHawthorne »
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2021, 10:39:17 AM »
Side note regarding the parchment paper, you can also use it for the first 3 minutes of the bake, then pull the paper out for the rest of the bake. Best thing you can do at this point is to post a picture here.
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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Why can I never match restaurant/chain cheese application?
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2021, 12:52:09 AM »
On the Cheese question...

Store bought is typically overaged, especially in the isle.  Go to the deli and ask them to slice a chunk of whole milk and same for part skim.  Deli cheese is typically fresher especially if itís busy. Get a hand shredder and shed it yourself. Try 50% part and 50% whole

Lower your temp to 475.  The oil issue that you have is oil off due to overaged cheese ( typically) and too high of a temp for the cheese to handle try 475 and deli cheese and see how that goes.  Then once you have that under control to reduce oil off you can then starting raising the temps by 25 degrees to get the finished pizza you want.

I like percorino romano on top it adds good flavor.

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