• #41 by November on 10 Jan 2007
  • MWTC,

    From the very beginning of my sauce research, I never wanted to add fresh herbs or spices, especially garlic and onion, for one major reason: flavor concentration.  I am familiar with the taste of fresh garlic in all kinds of dishes, and I think it's suitable in many cases, superior in a few.  The problem I see is in the constituents of the fresh seasonings that don't contribute to flavor, namely water.  The way I look at an ingredient is basically like this: structure (e.g. cellulose, protein), inorganic nutrients (e.g. minerals, salts), sugars, essential molecules (e.g. alkaloids, aldehydes, esters, phenols), and water.  Since the tomato comes with its own water, water from the herbs and spices just isn't necessary, and in my case where I'm trying to maintain a certain specific gravity (density) for my sauce and a little extra moisture is already in play from MAE, it's unwelcome.  Unless you're making a paste out of the fresh garlic, some of it will be going to waste since the sauce will only leach from the surface of the garlic.

    With that said, anybody who likes to use fresh garlic should try it.  My reasons for not using it shouldn't prevent someone else from doing it.  If you roast your garlic and crush it into a paste with a mortal and pestle, you will likely get a very good ingredient for a pizza sauce, and then there's no reason to microwave it.  That's the only way I would be inclined to do it other than what I do now, but it's time prohibitive for me.  I have also used Amore Italian Garlic Paste in my pasta sauces before, but that's because I also add olive oil to my pasta sauces.  I don't add oil to my pizza sauce because water is a better solvent that oil when it comes the cold infusion of seasonings.  When I make pasta sauce, I make it on the stove for immediate consumption.  If I decide I want oil on my pizza, I add it to the dough just before applying the sauce.

    - red.november
  • #42 by MWTC on 10 Jan 2007
  • -red.november,

    Do you think roasting garlic is better than pan frying/cooking it for sauce?  :-\

    MWTC  :chef:
  • #43 by November on 10 Jan 2007
  • MWTC,

    I think that's largely a matter of personal preference.  Obviously you get a nuttier flavor with roasting, but you can also lightly pan roast your garlic dry, then add a bit of oil at the end for a somewhat smoother flavor.  I mentioned (dry) roasting because of how I would do it if.  As I mentioned before, I don't put oil in my pizza sauce, so I would keep things dry.  You'll have to try it both ways and see which way you like better.

    - red.november
  • #44 by pkasten on 12 Jan 2007
  • Quote
    I've always been under the impression that you could not taste test an uncooked pizza sauce because the ingredients needed the heat to release their respective flavors. Is there much truth to this?

    Sorry, guys.. going back to the original question here.  I skimmed the replies and did not really see a solution, so...

    Why not take a little bit of your sauce, put it in a pan, heat it for a few minutes, and taste it to see if it where you want it?  That way, you can have your sauce and taste it too.  ;)
  • #45 by pkasten on 12 Jan 2007
  • Also, if you want a nice, mellow garlic flavor, take raw garlic, put it in some milk or cream, heat it to a boil, take it off the heat and let it steep for a few minutes, strain it, and then use it.  The dairy will absorb a lot of the flavor, drastically reducing the sharp raw garlic bite without adding that nutty roasted flavor that can easily take over the flavor of your sauce.  As we all know, milk, as it ages, absorbs flavors from other stuff in your fridge.  This is just a cool way of harnessing that property of the dairy...  and you can use the milk or cream afterwards to make yourself some great garlic alfredo sauce or something...

  • #46 by MWTC on 15 Jan 2007
  • Interesting,  :D  I'll give it a try!!!

    MWTC  :chef:
  • #47 by November on 17 Jan 2007
  • Per recent interest, here's Red November Pizza Sauce #2 by weight.  This is the definitive quantitative set based on my initial research into complimentary chemical compounds responsible for flavor and aroma.  If someone were to make a really large batch of this sauce, this would be the set of numbers to use, not the volumetric ones.

    tomato puree @ 1.053 g/cc
    kosher salt
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    black pepper
    fennel seed

    - red.november
  • #48 by MWTC on 17 Jan 2007
  • Sweet!!!!!  ;D

    You are the Man.

    Thank-you Red November!

    MWTC  :chef:
  • #49 by MWTC on 18 Jan 2007
  • Red.November,

    What would be the numbers be if the puree was 794 grams? Thats the total weight for 1 can of Escalon 6 in 1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes.

    MWTC  :chef:
  • #50 by November on 18 Jan 2007
  • MWTC, just multiply everything by 0.794.
  • #51 by mivler on 19 Jan 2007
  • November,

    I have been slowly adding to my spice collection. I think I'm going to try the full recipe again. Based on my calculations with a scale with an accuracy of 1/10 gram I get the following accuracy (based on a 794 gram can of puree)
                   % off
    sucrose             0.0000%
    kosher salt    0.0000%
    garlic powder   0.0000%
    onion powder   0.0000%
    black pepper    4.9145%
    paprika             -1.7612%
    rosemary   -6.7392%
    oregano    -6.1822%
    basil               3.7984%
    thyme            11.1327%
    fennel seed   -7.1926%
    tarragon    0.8812%
    marjoram   -29.1107%
    parsley             68.8448%
    Total             0.0000%

    What % accuracy do you think I need to measure by weight rather than volume? I would send or show you my spreadhseet but I don't know how.



    Edit: I just checked my math. It's based on using the numbers you gave rounded to 1/10 gram but the assumption is that I would have to measure exactly, so I don't think my calcuations are that valid. I did see that as a general rule the larger the batch the more accurate the weights are. I'm just not sure how small of a batch I can make based on weight and have it still be accurate. How accurate is the scale you are using when you measure spices?
  • #52 by November on 20 Jan 2007
  • Michael,

    I'm not exactly sure what you're doing with the percentages you listed, but for a 1-gram resolution scale you would need at least 16.884 kg of tomato puree.  If your scale can measure 0.1 g, then you could use as little as 1.6884 kg of puree.  I don't use a digital scale for measuring spices because I only have use for 29 oz. of pizza sauce at a time.  I posted the percentages by weight because of recent interest.

    - red.november

    EDIT: "I'm just not sure how small of a batch I can make based on weight and have it still be accurate."

    If that's what those percentages were for, you definitely took the long road.  To know the minimum amount of puree to use and still be accurate with the smaller quantities, just divide the smallest weight increment your scale will measure by the smallest percentage, and multiply that by the amount of puree (largest percentage).  For example: (0.1 / 0.059226) * 1000.

    Believe it or not, I've actually been working on a tool that will solve the other part of the problem, which is rounding error.  I took a break from its development to reply to your post as a matter of fact.
  • #53 by Wazza McG on 23 Jan 2007
  • Nov,

    If I get 3.5 grams of my choice dried herbs and ground them in a small mortar -  add 10ml of water - give it another pestle to make a dry paste - cover the mortar with plastic wrap.  Shove it in my 1100W microwave for 42 seconds at 30% power and I get a good spoonful of herbs to infuse with a 750g bottle of Italian passatta - brilliant.  Stir it in the passatta thoroughly with other suggested ingredients and back in the fridge for another 6 hours - too easy!  I never ever liked cooking the tomato passatta prior to infuse the ingredients.  Thanks.

    Let me know if my math fairs out - no digi thermo here.

    Good work,

    Wazza McG
  • #54 by November on 23 Jan 2007
  • Wazza McG,

    42 seconds and 10 mL of water might work depending on the herbs you use.  Start with that time if you aren't using garlic or onion powder.  If you are using garlic or onion powder, use up to 52 seconds.  Since you don't have a digital thermometer, poke your finger in the mix after pulling it out of your microwave.  If it's so hot you can't hold your finger to it for even a second, it's too hot.  If it's above your comfort zone (and above hot tap water), but bearable for a full second (and probably not bearable for two seconds), you've hit the right temperature.  Try not to burn yourself.

    - red.november
  • #55 by November on 25 Jan 2007
  • For those using #2 or keeping an eye for changes to it, I have another variation that I thought I would share.  For just a little background, I really like cocktail sauce (mostly for shellfish), and more specifically horseradish sauce (for lots of things).  Recently I determined how much wasabi to add to #2 that would compliment the other flavors without being overpowering.  It seems that adding 0.507326 (by weight according to the previous post by weight) or approximately 0.125 teaspoon (by volume according to the original post) wasabi powder, and substituting white pepper for black pepper hits the mark.  As the small quantity is intended to do, it doesn't alter the flavor much in the front of the mouth, but it takes effect closer to the back of the mouth and throat.  It also just creates a mildly sweet, warm sensation, not a spicy, burning one.

    I expect to use this variation anytime I prepare my "NY Deli Pizza", or anything involving seafood.

    - red.november
  • #56 by MWTC on 07 Feb 2007
  • Red.November,

    With all of you knowledge of spices and flavoring of sauce, have you ever experimented with these two in adding flavor to dough. I'm looking for flavor increase in my dough formulation. I am using a poolish to accomplish some of what I am looking for but a thought came to mind that you might have something that takes off when the dough is baked. A flavor injection of sort. Any ideas? I have not experimented with starters yet, but that is in the near future.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    MWTC  :chef:
  • #57 by November on 12 Feb 2007
  • MWTC,

    See the last paragraph in this reply:,4517.msg39720.html#msg39720

    - red.november
  • #58 by MWTC on 12 Feb 2007
  • November,

    Where do I find such a product? ("Better Than Cream Cheese" by Tofutti)

    And how much will I use for 800 grams of flour?

    MWTC  :chef:

    Glad to hear from you, thought we lost you.  :'(
  • #59 by November on 12 Feb 2007
  • MWTC,

    I would assume near the dairy section of your local supermarket.  I find it in between the milk and yogurt section of the store I shop at.  If your store has a vegan section, it might also be there (assuming it's a refrigerated section).  If you can't find that specific brand, you could always try other soy butter or soft cheese brand equivalents.  How much you use depends on how much oil you want in your dough.  There is 5g of oil per 30g of soy cream cheese.  I only use it as a complimentary flavor, so I blend other oils with it to make up the total oil amount.  Believe or not, I wouldn't worry about this affecting hydration either.  It's fairly hydration neutral despite the amount of water that's in it.  The solids in it are much more hygroscopic than flour.

    - red.november
  • #60 by MWTC on 13 Feb 2007
  • Red.November,

    I went to Whole Foods and they carry the Better Than Cream Cheese but it was out of stock. They will have it in a couple of days. Just a point of clarification, they had some Soy Nut Butter but it is like peanut butter is that what you were talking about when you said Soy Butter or is Soy Butter like margarine? If it like margarine what brand do you suggest?

    MWTC  :chef: