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Author Topic: Last (good) pizza for a while  (Read 7682 times)

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Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2016, 10:47:53 PM »
your pies came from a really long way i must tell you. if you ever find yourself living in NY and I have my pop up or restaurant running you'll have a job. these look mighty tasty

Thank you! I appreciate the comment.  If I am ever up in NY I will try and stop by to try your pies.
Dan

Offline wahoo88

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Ghetto College Pizza
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2016, 12:16:19 AM »
So I finally got around to making pizza in my small school dorm/apartment kitchen! I did a pan pizza similar to my last post in this thread except I took several shortcuts and was far less precise.  I will only post really rough amounts of ingredients for the dough as
I do not have my scale here at school.  The 12'' cast iron skillet is really great for making easy pizzas and cleanup is quick.

Dough:
2 cups flour, scooped right out of the bag (generic store-brand AP flour)
warm water to get 65-70% hydration
~1/2t ADY
~1t Morton's Kosher salt
~1t corn oil

Mixed only in the bowl, not really and kneading whatsoever.  I did not want to clean what little counter top we have.  Cold fermented overnight and proofed in the corn oil-greased pan for about 3 hours.  Pizza was topped with jarred pasta sauce (have your laughs) and, wait for it... pre-shredded mozzarella (very funny I know). Baked at "500F", which I put in quotations because I don't believe this cheap little oven really ever gets to 500.

Anyway, there is no denying that this pizza tasted pretty damn good. Maybe it was the adventure of making pizza in my dorm, but I really enjoyed this 'ghetto' pizza. Next time I'll probably use just salted crushed tomatoes instead of the jarred pasta sauce, as this sauce was fairly sweet.  I don't have a cheese grater currently but I may try and use diced LM mozz next time.

Pics to follow!

Dan

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2016, 12:18:07 AM »
Pics:
Dan

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2016, 12:18:55 AM »
Pics:
Dan

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2016, 12:19:24 AM »
Pics:
Dan

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Offline rparker

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2016, 11:02:48 AM »
That's quite an admirable pizza baking effort. Dealing with what you have on hand and doing a good job of it. I couldn't pull it off. My baking coordination stinks.

On the sauce, if the folks let you take a little blend of seasonings with you, the MAE method could be done with minimal effort and maximum flavor. beats the tar out of any canned sauce I've ever had. His method is outlined in this link and contains everything in the pantry. One does not have to use everything. Just a few herbs should be sufficient for a moderately simple flavor. I've seen professional versions of this method with only a few things.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3735.msg32136#msg32136

Embrace the challenge. Do not accept difficult as impossible. Enjoy the journey. Become your own pizza memory.

(Please assume all appropriate genre identification disclaimers as rendered.)

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2016, 11:13:21 AM »
Wahoo, it's really cool that you are starting your pizzamaking journey relatively early in your life. You are already very knowledgeable so I think you have the makings of a really great pizzamaker.  Thanks for sharing your pizzas. The "student ghetto" pizza looks delicious.  Amazing what you can do with a cast iron pan. 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2016, 12:25:09 PM »
That's quite an admirable pizza baking effort. Dealing with what you have on hand and doing a good job of it. I couldn't pull it off. My baking coordination stinks.

On the sauce, if the folks let you take a little blend of seasonings with you, the MAE method could be done with minimal effort and maximum flavor. beats the tar out of any canned sauce I've ever had. His method is outlined in this link and contains everything in the pantry. One does not have to use everything. Just a few herbs should be sufficient for a moderately simple flavor. I've seen professional versions of this method with only a few things.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3735.msg32136#msg32136

Thanks for the reply and for link to November's sauce recipe.  I agree that I could significantly improve the sauce with just a few herbs and spices.  I already have garlic powder and I will probably choose oregano and basil to start with.  Do you think these two herbs would be a good start?
Dan

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2016, 12:28:08 PM »
Wahoo, it's really cool that you are starting your pizzamaking journey relatively early in your life. You are already very knowledgeable so I think you have the makings of a really great pizzamaker.  Thanks for sharing your pizzas. The "student ghetto" pizza looks delicious.  Amazing what you can do with a cast iron pan. 

Regards,

TinRoof

Thanks TinRoof!  The cast iron pan really makes things easy since I don't have to worry about a stone, a peel, or opening dough balls.  Next year I'll be living in a house and will be able to experiment a bit more.  My worst fear currently is setting off the fire alarm for the entire building and making everyone stand out in the cold for an hour. :-D
Dan

Offline bigMoose

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2016, 12:59:11 PM »
Dan, I really enjoyed this thread on your pizzas and breads!  You are doing great, experimenting, documenting and refining. 

I learned from my Italian Grandmother in the 1960's but let marriage, career and children take me from baking.  I restarted upon retirement.  I now realize the mistake I made by not having a "pizza night" for my children every week. 

Keep up the good work, and please never stop!

Here are some of the things that I learned the last two years.  Perhaps they may help on your journey.
As time permits, see if you can get into Restaurant Depot so you can start to get a hand on some food service products.  Stanislaus tomato products do make a difference. (7/11 and Full Red Pizza Sauce with basil [note it is just a base, still needs your spice package])  Also try some cheese blends, white cheddar is one of my favorites to add.  Also a light dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesian) before or after the bake adds depth.  I have learned that General Mills Full Strength flour is a great base flour for all my pizzas and breads.  I have tried GM All Trumps, but I do not have the skill to produce consistent pies with it.  FS is a very "forgiving" flour.  Tom Lehmann also shared a tip that I use during the summer of thin slicing plum tomatoes from the garden and putting them on our pie.  I have also learned that less is more, and balance is the key.  I thank Norma and Walter for that key!

I have found that folks break into two camps here in Ohio with respect to sauce.  A small portion (~25%) prefer the bright, simple sauce that I like.  That is a Stanislaus 7/11 base with less than a tsp of oregano and basil, a clove of garlic crushed, and a squeeze of olive oil to a #10 can.  The dominant portion of folks I cook for (like church groups/family gatherings) prefer the Red November sauce.  The younger the age, the more sweet they like it.  After cooking for these groups for 2 years, I now know why sugar is put into things...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 03:56:46 PM by bigMoose »
All the best, Dave

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Offline rparker

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2016, 02:09:22 PM »
Thanks for the reply and for link to November's sauce recipe.  I agree that I could significantly improve the sauce with just a few herbs and spices.  I already have garlic powder and I will probably choose oregano and basil to start with.  Do you think these two herbs would be a good start?
I defer to others on that front. My preference is plain and simple. Crushed tomatoes, a smidgen of granulated garlic, salt and some olive oil. that's a different pie that what you did, though. I like a bolder sauce for thicker pies. like Detroit or Chicago Deep Dish. The only thing I would caution is that some folks believe that basil in almost any quantity can take over a sauce and cover up all the other flavors. I've not added basil to a pizza sauce in a year.
Embrace the challenge. Do not accept difficult as impossible. Enjoy the journey. Become your own pizza memory.

(Please assume all appropriate genre identification disclaimers as rendered.)

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2016, 06:00:59 PM »
I defer to others on that front. My preference is plain and simple. Crushed tomatoes, a smidgen of granulated garlic, salt and some olive oil. that's a different pie that what you did, though. I like a bolder sauce for thicker pies. like Detroit or Chicago Deep Dish. The only thing I would caution is that some folks believe that basil in almost any quantity can take over a sauce and cover up all the other flavors. I've not added basil to a pizza sauce in a year.

I think that whatever sauce I use will be cooked at least to some degree.  I am a huge fan of simple bright sauces on NY pies but I do like a bit more cooked flavor on these pan pizzas.  What kind sauce do you make for a thicker pizza?

Here are some of the things that I learned the last two years.  Perhaps they may help on your journey.
As time permits, see if you can get into Restaurant Depot so you can start to get a hand on some food service products.  Stanislaus tomato products do make a difference. (7/11 and Full Red Pizza Sauce with basil [note it is just a base, still needs your spice package])  Also try some cheese blends, white cheddar is one of my favorites to add.  Also a light dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesian) before or after the bake adds depth.  I have learned that General Mills Full Strength flour is a great base flour for all my pizzas and breads.  I have tried GM All Trumps, but I do not have the skill to produce consistent pies with it.  FS is a very "forgiving" flour.  Tom Lehmann also shared a tip that I use during the summer of thin slicing plum tomatoes from the garden and putting them on our pie.  I have also learned that less is more, and balance is the key.  I thank Norma and Walter for that key!

I have found that folks break into two camps here in Ohio with respect to sauce.  A small portion (~25%) prefer the bright, simple sauce that I like.  That is a Stanislaus 7/11 base with less than a tsp of oregano and basil, a clove of garlic crushed, and a squeeze of olive oil to a #10 can.  The dominant portion of folks I cook for (like church groups/family gatherings) prefer the Red November sauce.  The younger the age, the more sweet they like it.  After cooking for these groups for 2 years, I now know why sugar is put into things...

How does one get into a Restaurant Depot?  Do I need to befriend people in the restaurant business?  When I'm back home I could definitely get into whatever store I needed as one of my relatives is a chef.

I recently finished a 50# bag of Pillsbury Best Bakers (my second bag, I believe) at home over break but I don't want to buy a new bag until I'm back home for the summer.  The PBB flour is a good middle of the road flour at 12.9% protein, bleached, and bromated. 

Looking on the General Mills website, which Full Strength do you use?  Are you using the bleached and bromated one or the unbleached unbromated one?  Also, when you tried All Trumps, which one did you use?  I recall people saying that unbleached unbromated AT was like shoe leather.
Dan

Offline bigMoose

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2016, 06:16:44 PM »
To get into Restaurant Depot all you need is a state vendors licence to set up an account. It can be for any business, and need not be a restaurant.  I used mine consulting business for the "employee commisary" and got in just fine.  They charge any credit card that you have at checkout; but you must show the RD card at checkout.  I am sure your chef friend might help you out.  You will get two cards that are good at any restaurant depot. 

As to flour, both the All Trumps and the Full Strength were bleached and bromated.  Your current flour is likely just fine.  The FS is at 12.6% protein, and works in a number of recipes for me just fine.  If you get into French baguettes, I mix 50% FS with 50% All Purpose and it seems to match the French flour pretty well.  Two friends that are professionals recommended the GM FS to me, so I listened to them.  The price at RD is so cheap at $14/50 lbs that became my baseline flour.  I split bags with another friend that cooks like me, so they only last two months at the most.

Instead of simmering your sauce, try the Microwave Assisted Extraction method.  It is a home run.  A couple of minutes at 30% power.  Use water or oil to moisten your spices a bit in a heat safe container.  I tend to use mostly water, and have been putting in a little olive oil to capture some of the oil soluble flavors lately.  I think you don't want to get the mixture over 160 degF if I recall correctly.  I was so excited about this method that I was blabbering to a friend who is an executive chef at a known good restaurant in my area... he smiled and explained how I had happened upon one of his "signature secrets!"  :D  ... but my thanks go to Red November.

PS: Our member Norma427 just won the Caputo Cup for the best NY style pizza this last month.  When you have some time, read some of her threads.  She has been actively experimenting for years to perfect her pies, and has shared all the steps with us on the board.  It is quite a volume of material, and I think she could author a number of books from the material so far!  The judges say her NY pie won because of the "balance,"  so she is a good source for tips in that area.   
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 06:21:46 PM by bigMoose »
All the best, Dave

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2016, 06:33:10 PM »
PS: Our member Norma427 just won the Caputo Cup for the best NY style pizza this last month.  When you have some time, read some of her threads.  She has been actively experimenting for years to perfect her pies, and has shared all the steps with us on the board.  It is quite a volume of material, and I think she could author a number of books from the material so far!  The judges say her NY pie won because of the "balance,"  so she is a good source for tips in that area.

Oh I know about Norma haha

I've tried some Greek style pizzas, some NJ boardwalk pizzas, and Detroit style pizzas all because of her. To be fair though, keeping up with her threads is like trying to reread War and Peace every week.
Dan

Offline bigMoose

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2016, 07:05:06 PM »
...keeping up with her threads is like trying to reread War and Peace every week.
Amen to that!

I make her Detroit sometimes (I only have 1 pan) and when I do, everyone votes it best!  I think her recipe for it is spot on.
All the best, Dave

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Offline rparker

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2016, 10:25:36 PM »
I think that whatever sauce I use will be cooked at least to some degree.  I am a huge fan of simple bright sauces on NY pies but I do like a bit more cooked flavor on these pan pizzas.  What kind sauce do you make for a thicker pizza?

I use the Mutti Crushed tomatoes and add oregano, pepper, salt, olive oil, a bit of garlic and a bit of paste. I also thicken up the watery bit with as little paste as I can get away with.
Embrace the challenge. Do not accept difficult as impossible. Enjoy the journey. Become your own pizza memory.

(Please assume all appropriate genre identification disclaimers as rendered.)

Offline wahoo88

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Re: Last (good) pizza for a while
« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2016, 01:28:31 AM »
Pizza #2 is fermenting in the refrigerator.  Higher hydration at what feels like 75%.  Of course, I only estimate these values to the nearest 5% as I don't have my scale here.  I'm interested to see what the effect of the higher hydration is.  Toppings will be the same since I need to finish the open sauce and cheese.
Dan

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