Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => New York Style => Topic started by: hammettjr on February 13, 2021, 02:52:19 PM

Title: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on February 13, 2021, 02:52:19 PM
In my decade of pizza making, I believe 3 (at most 3) random bakes have had an extra flavor that I recognize from some pizzerias. It's hard to describe, but it's a different type of tomato sweetness.

A few weeks ago was my third of these bakes. It also included an experiment with MAE of my herbs, which is what I initially attributed the flavor to. After a couple more bakes with MAE, I dont think that was it. (You can see my enthusiastic MAE post here: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38976.msg656331#msg656331)

I luckily took extra detailed notes during that bake, so in theory I have what I need to replicate it. But no luck so far.

One observation I had during the bake, was that the rapid bubbling, or "sauce boil" seemed to occur earlier than normal during the bake. In fact, I pulled the pizza 30 seconds sooner than I was planning, because it looked like it was starting to overbake. Comparing pictures of it to my more recent bakes, this one did have more cheese browining, which I think is a bit of an indication of the extra boil.

I've been a big fan of the "sauce boil" for some time, using a thin sauce, and watching my cheese melt into a beautiful orange hue. But, I recently went back to some posts by RParker (Roy) who went very deep into this detail. His point was that 1) the boil is important for the sauce itself, not for the cheese and 2) the presence of orange grease doesn't necessarily mean that the sauce boiled. One of his posts:

...
Heavy nectar and rapid boils do often happen together, though.  As I discovered with the BS and with some 525F-550F bakes is that the cheese can certainly red-nectar up without the sauce doing a big 100% boil. The sauce getting hot enough to help cheese nectar up and the sauce getting hot enough to cook itself and release it's perfect flavor are NOT one in the same. I need thinner sauce not to help the cheese, but to help the sauce itself. Let itself cook quicker better. More thin-set sauce (without becoming too much) lets me cook it longer, too, as there is more liquid to evaporate before becoming dry.
...
 


So this brings me to where I am today. Questions:
- Anyone have any thoughts generally on sauce boil and the sauce developing flavor through the bake?
- Best way to achieve that special flavor? My thought was to let it cook another minute or even 2 and see what happened. If my cheese isnt browing, then maybe my sauce hasn't cooked enough.
- Surprisingly, pre-cooking my sauce never helped with this...what gives?

I took a video of the very end of my last bake (not the bake that was awesome). And for many views, I admired the "sauce boil" I was getting, and thought maybe I should just let it cook longer.
But, my question now after another look:
Is the sauce is even bubbling in this video? Or is that the fat from the cheese bubbling?

I know this post is a bit whacky, but there's a nuance to these bakes that makes a real difference.

https://youtu.be/Zc1MelIVcFs


Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: nickyr on February 14, 2021, 12:20:40 AM
I have no clue. But have you ever tried putting the sauce on the pizza when the sauce is hot? When you used precooked sauce before, did you let it cool before putting it on or put it on hot? I’m wondering if the boiling while the cheese is on top is important, and I’m wondering if you could jumpstart that with hot sauce.

Also what on earth is that noise your oven is making?!
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on February 14, 2021, 08:50:42 AM
Thanks Nicky! That's a very interesting thought. I think I put the sauce on warm once by accident. I'll need to check my posts, and will think about this. Maybe microwave the sauce on low power just before putting it on?

Regarding my oven sound, sorry! I searched for a way to turn off the sound after I uploaded the video, but wasn't sure how to do it. I dunno why the oven seems to vibrate like crazy. It's very annoying, but I need it to last a few more months until we renovate.

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: nickyr on February 14, 2021, 10:50:03 AM
Thanks Nicky! That's a very interesting thought. I think I put the sauce on warm once by accident. I'll need to check my posts, and will think about this. Maybe microwave the sauce on low power just before putting it on?

Regarding my oven sound, sorry! I searched for a way to turn off the sound after I uploaded the video, but wasn't sure how to do it. I dunno why the oven seems to vibrate like crazy. It's very annoying, but I need it to last a few more months until we renovate.
Yeah microwave could work!

Haha good luck with that :-)
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on February 15, 2021, 09:52:07 AM
Is it possible some element here was warmer than it usually is by the time your bake begins? If the cheese browned more, and the boil started earlier, and the whole bake finished 30 seconds ahead of schedule, then something shifted in your usual melt/boil dynamic. If you account for all other factors—sauce consistency, cheese amount, etc—is it possible you had slightly warmer sauce, cheese, or dough going into the oven, or a slightly hotter oven, or anything like that?
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: jkb on February 15, 2021, 10:37:18 AM
.
But, my question now after another look:
Is the sauce is even bubbling in this video? Or is that the fat from the cheese bubbling?

I know this post is a bit whacky, but there's a nuance to these bakes that makes a real difference.

https://youtu.be/Zc1MelIVcFs


The boiling point of sauce is a couple hundred degrees lower than fat.  My money's on the sauce aided by the hot fat.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: piesofsatan on February 15, 2021, 01:52:08 PM
This is interesting!!

I mentioned in my personal thread about my last bake being the best of all the pies I've made. This was due in part to adding some more sauce and cheese than I initially thought I'd like, but another factor was my bake time - I left the pie in for about a minute longer than I thought I should and I definitely feel like I helped aide the flavor profile I was looking for. My sauce is still an area that needs improvement but it seemed like an inch closer than I was before.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on February 15, 2021, 02:20:44 PM
A couple things in response to WB and PiesOfSatan, and based on more digging through posts.

I agree that something must have caused that quicker boil and the faster cooking of that bake. I'll keep thinking about temps, but 2 things I had changed for that bake, (but also did these for the 2 subsequent bakes that still didn't match the flavor):
1 - reduced stone temp. I don't think this was it, if anything a lower stone temp would slow down the boil, but I'm continuing with it as it works for my crust and it'll help me extend the bake
2 - a bit less dough, reduced by 15 grams to 400 grams. Doesn't sound like much, but it was definitely a thinner crust. And certainly a thinner crust helps the heat penetrate through and reach the sauce. But as I said, my last 2 bakes had this same dough weight. Maybe my rim was bigger and/or the stretch was just a bit different.

I mentioned in the original post that there was one, possibly two other times I've had this flavor. I found one of the posts, it was pretty interesting. Link below to the details, but it was a thicker crust pan pizza baked at 460 for 15:30! I was basically doing a test for my pan pizza crusts and was expecting this to be almost like a breadstick snack to probably through away, but stumbled onto some flavor.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=46482.msg505550#msg505550

The other thing is it seems I only tried cooked sauce twice. I think I didn't notice much of a difference. Then I got a sauce from a pizzeria that was super thin and that changed my whole perspective and I never went back. I really should try cooking my sauce again. I dont think I ever cooked a super thin sauce.

For tonight's bake I'm planning the following 3 changes:
1) Lower my rack to the middle of my oven, protecting the cheese a bit from the upper heating element to hopefully allow for a longer bake. (My oven heats from top and bottom at the same time.)
2) Keeping my oven at 480 degrees for the bake. (The last 3 bakes I preheated at 480 to achieve a stone of 500-505, but I changed to 535 oven setting at launch)
3) Try for a 10 minute bake. I may have to walk away as looking will cause the temptation to pull it....but I'll remind myself that Grande is forgiving, and I know how to get a good melt. I need to see what happens to the sauce, even if I end up with browned cheese one bake.




Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: piesofsatan on February 15, 2021, 02:28:00 PM
3) Try for a 10 minute bake. I may have to walk away as looking will cause the temptation to pull it....but I'll remind myself that Grande is forgiving, and I know how to get a good melt. I need to see what happens to the sauce, even if I end up with browned cheese one bake.

10 mins is what I did last time! It was so hard not to pull it earlier, but I stuck to just pacing around my home until the alarm went off, haha!

My oven doesn't have a window either which drives me nuts!
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on February 17, 2021, 11:56:36 AM
I was curious to test the Thin Sauce Hypothesis on a sauce-on-top style of plain pie, and I’m glad I did. I also found an older thread with some great observations about sauce-on-top cheese melt/sauce boil that vibe with my experiences here, and might be interesting reading:  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=36820.0

Both bakes below were on steel at 560-570F, 3 minutes with the oven off followed by 3-3.5 minutes with the broiler on. I was mainly interested in seeing how the cheese melt was physically affected by thinner sauce with sliced rather than shredded cheese and with the top/bottom order reversed, but I got a major surprise in flavor as well.

First picture below is from a week ago, sauce is 7/11 immersion blended in pulses until mostly smooth, with a splash of water and fairly heavy amounts of spices and seasonings. A good sauce packed with flavor, with parm grated on top after bake. No complaints, but nothing too extraordinary either.

Second picture is from yesterday, sauce is Alta Cucina through a food mill. Such a huge difference—very thin by comparison and less heavily seasoned for the sake of the experiment. The flavor released by the cheese melt/sauce boil was outstanding! Rather than a cheese flavor and a sauce flavor, this pizza had a PIZZA flavor. Thin sauce, take me away. The mill really does just the right thing to the tomato consistency. And Alta Cucinas are excellent for this thinness, as I’ve milled Tomato Magic and 7/11s before and not had this consistency come out, but never really paid too much direct attention to the difference before. That’ll teach me to get complacent.

In tribute to the legendary sauce heroes and their quests for flavor immortality, I actually kept track of my recipe this time:

4 C milled Alta Cucina
6g sweet onion and 5.5g garlic finely minced, lightly sautéed in 3 T olive oil until mellow brown/gold
.5tsp salt
.5tsp onion powder
.5tsp garlic powder
1tsp dried basil
1tsp dried oregano

Whisked together and left at room temp 2-3 hours until bake. Finished pizzas in my house get a pinch of oregano and a couple passing twists of black pepper. It didn’t occur to me to add any parm to yesterday’s pizza post-bake.

Pictures 3 and 4 are “enhanced” to exaggerate and highlight differences. Picture 5 is another angle on yesterday’s thin sauce melt.

(Dough is approximately the same recipe in each case, but in the 1st and 3rd pic it’s a 6-hr rise with ADY and diastatic malt powder; in the 2nd and 4th, it’s also a 6-hr rise but with a 24-hr sourdough poolish at 25% of flour weight, also with ADY and diastatic malt powder. The crust color is better in last week’s bake, but the flavor on yesterday’s was off the charts.)

I can’t see the melt/boil happening live as I also lack a window on my oven door, but I could hear it happen quickly and loudly yesterday. And while I’m nowhere near the 10 minute bake you guys are talking about testing, the difference in flavor from even a shorter 6+ minute bake with thin sauce was undeniable. Again, really glad I tried this out!
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: Peter B on February 17, 2021, 12:41:08 PM
10 mins is what I did last time! It was so hard not to pull it earlier, but I stuck to just pacing around my home until the alarm went off, haha!

My oven doesn't have a window either which drives me nuts!

10 Min is what I am doing now.  Last week, I did this method and it came out really nice - browned crust on top and bottom without being dried out and overly crunchy.
- Pie is loaded onto my disc that is in the 2nd to lowest rack position and preheated stone is on the next rack up
- Pie is there for 5 minutes then I turn it 180 degrees
- After two minutes, I kill the oven heat and start the broiler
- one minute later, I move the screen to sit on the stone and leave it there for two minutes

Since it was new and I wanted to be precise and not just "eyeball it", I stuck to the 10 minutes. 

I love the idea of nuking the sauce briefly before dressing the pie.  I am going to give that a shot!
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on February 17, 2021, 05:47:28 PM
Alot to unpack in these posts from WB and PeterB. But a question for WB while I think all this through - which disc did you use in the food mill? (I'm assuming most mills have 3 options.)

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on February 17, 2021, 07:16:52 PM
I used the one with larger holes out of the two with holes—3rd option was kind of a “slicer” disc.

The holes appear to measure about 3mm across. Looks similar to the size I’ve used in pizza kitchens, maybe a bit finer. Kept 97% of the seeds out, but a few seeds still made it through.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: TXCraig1 on February 17, 2021, 08:35:02 PM
I too have had a few pies with sauce that was extraordinarily good - both at home and at pizzerias. The best ever was a particular trip to Luzzo's in NY/EV. I had them bring me a bowl of sauce, and I dipped my crust in it and ate the rest like like soup. Been back many times since then and never the same. Maybe some cans of tomatoes are just special?
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on February 17, 2021, 09:34:39 PM
Maybe some cans of tomatoes are just special?

May be part of it, but I think a small part. In my case I'm using frozen tomato each week from the same can. The best bake was around the 6th bake of the 9 portion can. Moreover, the flavor I'm thinking of isn't that rare and I think some pizzerias can achieve it consistently.

One factor I'm cognizant of is that our perception of flavor is likely inconsistent from one meal to the next. I remember someone describing to me a ham and cheese sandwich on a croissant he had on his honeymoon in Paris. A bit of an extreme example, but for him that sandwich experience won't ever be duplicated.

That's something I think about regarding the pan bake I referred to above. I remember it was on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, 2 days into a weeks vacation, and I tossed that pie together relaxing in my kitchen watching football. Perfect setting for me to really enjoy a pizza.

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: jkb on February 18, 2021, 12:34:23 PM
IMaybe some cans of tomatoes are just special?



Yup.  Just like wine, some vintages are better than others.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: TXCraig1 on February 19, 2021, 11:32:14 AM


Yup.  Just like wine, some vintages are better than others.

Yes, and some barrels are better than others. Tomatoes aren't blended across the vintage, so I think can come down to the individual can.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: bertanderny on February 22, 2021, 08:39:07 PM
Matt, I don't know if we're both on the same quest but I think we might be. I've been trying to get that deep sweet tomato flavour and I've only achieved it once, by accident, a long time ago before I actually knew anything about making pizza.

The sauce has a depth to it like a puree/paste but without any of the dark slightly bitterness you get, instead being replaced by a sweetness. The time I did achieve it I remember using gustarosso San Marzanos, very thin and probably with just a pinch of salt. It was cooked in my home oven on steel at 250c for about 8-10mins and thats all I remember.

I've tried to recreate it ever since trying every additive but nothing came close to that. These days I just get the feeling the cheese dilutes the sauce because of how thin it is. I make pizza's in a ooni pro now mainly due up the size and sometimes get close to that sauce experience only when I reheat certain slices.

I think I'm going start experimenting in the home oven again, I've got a bunch of different tomatoes and cheese ready to go. I'll try and keep this thread posted.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: gordonderp on April 02, 2021, 08:37:39 AM
How thin of a consistency are you guys getting for your sauce? Don't have access to american canned tomato brands so I don't know how thick or thin they are for reference.

Would I just thin out the sauce with some water? Or could you thin it out with olive oil?
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 02, 2021, 09:28:49 AM
How thin of a consistency are you guys getting for your sauce? Don't have access to american canned tomato brands so I don't know how thick or thin they are for reference.

Would I just thin out the sauce with some water? Or could you thin it out with olive oil?

Depends on what type of tomato you're using and how you process it. I do whole peeled tomato through the fine plate of a food mill. That doesn't require any water or oil (because whole peeled are watery).

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: gordonderp on April 04, 2021, 09:59:37 AM
Depends on what type of tomato you're using and how you process it. I do whole peeled tomato through the fine plate of a food mill. That doesn't require any water or oil (because whole peeled are watery).

Do you have a video to show the viscosity? I usually just use an immersion blender to break town my tomatoes
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 04, 2021, 10:39:17 AM
Do you have a video to show the viscosity? I usually just use an immersion blender to break town my tomatoes

If you're using whole peeled, I'd think an immersion blender would result in similar to mine. Check out the video in this link:
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg598020#msg598020



Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: gordonderp on April 05, 2021, 04:15:40 AM
If you're using whole peeled, I'd think an immersion blender would result in similar to mine. Check out the video in this link:
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg598020#msg598020

Oh wow that's a lot thinner my sauce currently, using crushed tomatoes right now I'll try the whole peel cans
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 11, 2021, 06:11:55 PM
So I never updated this thread...reason is nothing good to report. I also missed a couple weeks of baking, and spent a couple weeks making pan pizzas.

But here's what I tried:

- 10 minute bake. Note I'm usually around 9 minutes so it's not a huge difference. I wrote down that the sauce seemed a bit better. But I wasn't blown away, it didn't seem like a breakthrough. Although I was distracted by my undercrust being more done than I like.

- then inspired by WB's posts above, I tried a cooked sauce that included both fresh and powered onion and both fresh and powdered garlic. I had never done all of them together like that. I liked it. Then I did it again the following week and thought it was too pasta saucy, I think because it was cooked.

- so I went back to uncooked sauce and finally tried anchovy paste. But I think I put too much, and my cheese was likely too old. Botched pie.

- tonight I'm trying just a small amount of Worcestershire sauce. Who knows...

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: quietdesperation on April 11, 2021, 07:49:14 PM
matt, i used to record when sauce boil started and how long the boil lasted out of the oven. i recall more active boiling when tf was smaller, around .07 also, the ratio of sauce to cheese seemed to make a difference. you might try a 14 inch oie with 6 ounce of cheese (for instance).

best,
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 11, 2021, 07:58:47 PM
Cheers QD. Based on my pie tonight I had already decided to go thinner crust next week. It definitely helps get the orange nectar. Not sure I'm willing to reduce my cheese amount though!

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on April 11, 2021, 08:56:11 PM
But have you tried a half cooked sauce with ____,____,_____,____, and _____?!   :p

I’ve started only sautéing my raw onion and garlic, not cooking any of the tomato or anything else with it. Adding that plus the oil it’s cooked in, plus both onion and garlic powder, plus salt and herbs, to the raw tomato. I like this spice blend a lot, but honestly the best change I’ve made is the thinner sauce itself. I feel like these ingredients give the sauce what it needs to be flavorful, but the thinner consistency is what releases the power and makes the pop happen. I used blended Tomato Magic the other night instead of milled Alta Cucina, all other things equal, and it just wasn’t the same.

New to me is having an oven with a window, so I get to watch the boil happen now. That’s a whole new world of observation.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 11, 2021, 09:32:43 PM
Cool. I love to watch the pie bake.

Yeah, part of my discouragement is because I went back through some of my old posts. I hadn't remembered, but have already tried many variations. Cooked, half tomato cooked/half raw, only oil cooked to infuse some flavors.

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: gordonderp on April 12, 2021, 12:13:24 PM
Have any of you guys experimented with putting some msg in the sauce? Might be help unlock that "pizza flavour" you guys were talking about earlier
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 12, 2021, 12:24:14 PM
Have any of you guys experimented with putting some msg in the sauce? Might be help unlock that "pizza flavour" you guys were talking about earlier

I haven't. WB, have you?

A few forum members have talked about this before, and a few use it. I've wondered about it alot. Thank you for the reminder. Thats one that I've never tried.

For what it's worth, I once asked someone who works at a pizzeria distributor about it. He said they don't sell it, and pizzerias don't use it. (He also said no one should use it, so we know where he stands.) But that's not conclusive.



Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on April 12, 2021, 01:04:15 PM
Nope, never used it in a sauce or seen it used in sauce by a pizzeria. Not where I’ve worked, anyway.

Matt, if you hadn’t said earlier in the thread that you got one of your great bakes from a previously frozen portion of sauce, my next guess would have been that a freshly opened can that had never seen a refrigerator might be the biggest remaining difference between what you’re doing at home vs. what most pizza places around you are doing on a daily basis. I don’t take general issue with refrigeration or freezing of tomatoes, but in trying to crack this sauce flavor puzzle I’m thinking a lot about room temperature sauce and cheese and how they cook differently based on whether the oven has to heat them up first before they begin to boil and mingle. At the same time, not every place that gets that flavor is holding both sauce and cheese at room temp, so it can’t be the only factor.


Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: Pete-zza on April 12, 2021, 04:00:16 PM
Have any of you guys experimented with putting some msg in the sauce? Might be help unlock that "pizza flavour" you guys were talking about earlier
gordonderp,

I recall member Jackie Tran (Chau) posting a sauce recipe using MSG. I did a search and found the post at Reply 7 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=4452.msg92245#msg92245

I also posted on the matter in the following post at Reply 8.

Peter
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: psedillo on April 12, 2021, 04:45:43 PM
gordonderp,

I recall member Jackie Tran (Chau) posting a sauce recipe using MSG. I did a search and found the post at Reply 7 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=4452.msg92245#msg92245

I also posted on the matter in the following post at Reply 8.

Peter

Peter,

Your recall of past posts on this forum is legendary, thank you.

My wife regularly uses MSG for stir fry and it makes a huge difference. I need to give Chau's recipe a try as I'd be interested in the results.

Paul
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: Peter B on April 12, 2021, 09:02:07 PM
Nope, never used it in a sauce or seen it used in sauce by a pizzeria. Not where I’ve worked, anyway.

Matt, if you hadn’t said earlier in the thread that you got one of your great bakes from a previously frozen portion of sauce, my next guess would have been that a freshly opened can that had never seen a refrigerator might be the biggest remaining difference between what you’re doing at home vs. what most pizza places around you are doing on a daily basis. I don’t take general issue with refrigeration or freezing of tomatoes, but in trying to crack this sauce flavor puzzle I’m thinking a lot about room temperature sauce and cheese and how they cook differently based on whether the oven has to heat them up first before they begin to boil and mingle. At the same time, not every place that gets that flavor is holding both sauce and cheese at room temp, so it can’t be the only factor.

You bring up a point that I have never seen anyone mention here.  According to an episode of Good Eats, there is a flavor compound in tomatoes that will be permanently turned off when a tomato goes under something like 50-ish degrees.  I have never tried a side-by-side, but I try to never open a can so far in advance as to need refrigeration for this reason.  Now if I have extra to store, I obviously store it - I don't think the flavor difference would be enough to warrant tossing perfectly edible tomato.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on April 13, 2021, 08:34:57 AM
Peter B, here’s one reference from 2005 to the 50 degree mark and the effect of a fresh tomato passing below it, also from Good Eats:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1886.0

I know Craig has said he prefers not to refrigerate his sauce, and on the other hand many people think that refrigerating sauce helps ingredients come together. At this point it’s probably important to differentiate between “tomatoes” and “sauce” like Scott Wiener advises, because if your “sauce” is just adding salt to good tomatoes, there aren’t any other ingredients present that would need melding, and you aren’t really working with a “sauce” at all. There’s also the issue of whether the 50 degree mark is relevant to canned tomatoes, which are already cooked during the canning process and may endure effects to this particular enzyme in other ways. Maybe Pete-zza can address the science there.

Because I’m not versed in the chemistry and I tend to think I have the palate of a toddler, my interest is more in the temperature of the tomato/sauce when it goes into the oven and how a warmer sauce/cheese dynamic (say, 55-60 degrees each vs. 40 degrees each) will cook over the course of the 8-10 minute bake. Certainly boiling would happen more quickly and the resulting melt/boil would go to a more advanced state than if they had begun to cook at a lower temperature, but is this going to produce the specific flavor effect Matt’s talking about? My gut and memory are heavily pushing an aroma theory on me, that maybe if the fats start hitting boiling water faster than normal and you get hit with the smell of cooking pizza at an early stage in your wait for the finished product, your mind anticipates “pizzeria” experiences more readily. Then, when the more developed orange grease hits your taste buds, you’ve completed a circuit that suggests “this is how they do it,” or something like that. Maybe I’m off on this, but it’s a hunch I’m personally exploring, so I thought I’d bring it up.

Paul,

MSG is popular for a reason, no doubt about that! I’d be very, very surprised if it’s present in the sauces of any of the local spots in Matt’s area though. I think the standard daily routine for those pizza makers is to run 10-20 cans through a food mill, mix in cups or even handfuls of salt and sugar—and maybe this or that—and get started making pies.

The one application of MSG I have seen in a pizzeria was as a component of a post-bake spice blend that also included fried garlic, Parmesan, and a few other things.


* Also, it’s not like “room temp sauce” is a new discovery or anything...just thinking about the hundreds of variables that pizzerias would keep consistent from day to day, that might change in home experiments week by week, and that could make a difference between a 9.5/10 pie and a 10/10 pie.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: GumbaWill on April 16, 2021, 10:37:25 PM

 I went back to uncooked sauce and finally tried anchovy paste. But I think I put too much,

Anchovy paste is not the best. Use a few fillets of a good quality packed in olive oil anchovy. I use one 6oz. can for a #10 can of ground tomato. (7/11)
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: GumbaWill on April 16, 2021, 10:43:45 PM
Have any of you guys experimented with putting some msg in the sauce? Might be help unlock that "pizza flavour" you guys were talking about earlier

If I close my eyes and think about "pizza flavor." I am brought back to the pies of my youth and the aroma and taste of oregano. 
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 17, 2021, 02:47:33 PM

Matt, if you hadn’t said earlier in the thread that you got one of your great bakes from a previously frozen portion of sauce, my next guess would have been that a freshly opened can that had never seen a refrigerator might be the biggest remaining difference between what you’re doing at home vs. what most pizza places around you are doing on a daily basis. I don’t take general issue with refrigeration or freezing of tomatoes, but in trying to crack this sauce flavor puzzle I’m thinking a lot about room temperature sauce and cheese and how they cook differently based on whether the oven has to heat them up first before they begin to boil and mingle. At the same time, not every place that gets that flavor is holding both sauce and cheese at room temp, so it can’t be the only factor.

Thanks WB.

To your intended point, my sauce is room temp when I bake. I usually take the sauce out of the fridge 5-6 hours before bake. (And I add the herbs/seasoning about halfway through that rest period.)

I posted about this once before, asking what temp pizzeria sauce is. I only received a couple responses, but both indicated that the law requires the sauce to be cold. I have no idea how closely that's followed though. I always assumed (just a guess) that pizzerias store the sauce in those metal tins in a fridge. Then they take them out of the fridge one or two at a time when needed. If true, that could cause various temps of sauce to be used.

To the point about whether freezing the tomato hurts the flavor, I have not noticed a real difference when freezing milled Alta Cucina. I notice a very slight change in consistency, with the previously frozen being just barely more watery. But its very minor and doesn't impact the bake IMO. (Side note, while freezing cheese results in only minor changes too, I notice it a bit more. The consistency of the melt/stretch seems to change when previously frozen.)

Despite my comment about, I have thought from time to time about experimenting with a different tomato so that I don't have to freeze it. A week or so ago there was a thread on the Sauce board about small "format" tomatoes, and someone suggested small cans of Mutti whole peeled, which I made a note of. If I do experiment with smaller batches, that's what I'll try next.

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: foreplease on April 18, 2021, 09:45:26 AM
Matt, although only a small number of people here would be interested, the law would also allow for sauce to be held hot  - 140° or higher.


Have you tried freezing Alta Cucinas before milling them? I’m not suggesting it but wondered if in all your trials you had tried it.
Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: hammettjr on April 18, 2021, 11:14:01 AM
Thanks Tony. No, I don't think I've tried freezing the tomatoes whole.

Title: Re: "Sauce Boil"
Post by: wb54885 on April 18, 2021, 03:40:21 PM
5-6 hours oughtta do it!

I’ve worked at a couple places that always pulled their sauce out onto the counter to warm up, while most others kept it in a line cooler along with everything else the whole time. The few who let it sit out, I always wondered but never asked what the deal was. A quick search just now brought up some FDA guidance that says “sliced tomatoes,” which I assume includes pizza sauce, can be pulled from and held outside of refrigeration for up to 4 hours before being thrown away, and up to 6 hours if the ambient temperature never gets above 70 degrees F. Maybe that’s what’s going on—places know they’re going to go through the amount they pull in less than 4 hours, so they do what they can to let it warm a bit before saucing pies with it.