Author Topic: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...  (Read 2685 times)

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Offline cameron

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Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« on: May 02, 2006, 02:08:23 PM »
This is my first post to the forums!  A little history: I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.  Last year we moved to Texas, and I've been missing all the good pizza, particularly Giordanos stuffed pizza.

I tried buzz's recipe over the weekend on our new pan.  It was mostly a disaster, but that is my fault.  Let me explain.  Deep dish pizza pans are hard to find down here, but I found a gormet kitchen shop with a 14".  Much larger than what I wanted, but I figured - what the heck?  We'll certainly eat the leftovers.  I transated buzz's recipe up to 14" by doubling the ingredients from his 9".  I had originally figured out that 2x the dough and 2.5x the toppings would scale correctly, but I found that 2x the sauce was already plenty.  More on that later.  I found 6-in-1 ground tomatos at my local grocery store, but could not find Stella cheese anywhere.  I have about 2-3 more places to look for Stella or Sorrento before I give up on that.

I made a bunch of little mistakes along the way, but the biggie was that I forgot to scale the time in the oven to correpsond to the larger size!  The dough came out severely undercooked, but some of it was done enough to eat.  The flavor was about right, so I think the recipe is perfect, I just need to tweak my preparation methods.

Here are specific problems and what I propose to change next time I try it.  Do you guys have any other suggestions?
  • Sauce was a little bit thin and there was a bit too much...  Draining the 6-in-1 tomatos a little bit should help both issues.
  • The pizza was floating on a pool of oil...  Use less margarine to coat the pan.  (I used a whole stick on a 14" pan!)
  • The crust was undercooked... Precook the dough before adding toppings longer, and increase total baking time.
  • The crust was not bread-like enough...  I kneaded the dough for about 90 seconds, but I think 2-3 minutes with this size of batch would come out better.

Then, I have some questions that I don't know the answer to at all:
  • How long should a 14" be in the oven?  buzz called for 30-40 minutes total for a 9".
  • Should I use shredded or sliced mozzarella?
  • What oven rack should I use?  I used next to the lowest for my last attempt.
  • The biggest problem of all was the fact that the sides of the pizza "shrunk" down immediately when I started pre-baking the crust.  Has this happened to anyone else?  If I had to guess at the cause, I would say it was a combination of my dough being too thin and not pressing down into the pan well enough (too much elasticity left to pull it inwards).

It is pretty expensive to experiment on a 14" pan, so I think I will buy a 9" pan to work with until I get it right.

Thanks for the help!  Thanks especially to buzz for his great recipe!  I can't wait to nail this recipe and show all these Texans what they are missing. :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2006, 04:06:18 PM by cameron »

Offline loowaters

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Re: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 09:15:13 AM »
While not one of the experts here I will say that I've been making deep dish for a long time and can help on some of these issues.  I haven't made Buzz's recipe (I've been using foodblogger's Gino's East baker's formula recipe of late) but a lot of the execution is the same in Chicago style deep dish.

Crust -

First, addressing the "sides shrinking down issue".  Chicago Style DD dough has a high hydration level and can be kinda "blobbish" and try to puddle to the bottom of the pan.  I keep pinching the crust up the sides against the pan right up until it's going into the oven.  There should be enough oil in the pan and the dough that it will not stick to the sides once cooked so go ahead and try to get it to stick to the pan walls during prep.  Also, get your finger down into the bottom corner and work the dough out of there so that it's not too thick down there.

You don't mention if you're using a stone.  If not, get one.  I'm not sure if this is fact but it stands to reason that the bigger pies especially benefit from having that hot stone in contact with the pan.  Even heat = even crust.  I heat the stone as hot as my oven will go for an hour then back off the temp when the pizza goes in to 475*.  I don't prebake the crust, either.  The pizza should be done, no matter how many toppings, in about 25-30 mins.

Cheese -

go with sliced over shredded.  I'm not certain that's the way all the big Chicago guys do it but I do know that Gino's and Malnati's do.  Total coverage guarantees a good seal from the toppings.  I don't worry so much about which cheese I'm using, but Stella is very good for Chicago Style DD, just get the bulk stuff at the deli, have them slice it thin so you can control the thickness with layers.  I went to high school with a guy that owns a smaller neighborhood pizza place that has done very well and he uses only provalone on the DD.  I use about 1 1/4 lbs. for a 14".

Sauce -

I've found less is more, almost like you should seem to not have enough to cover all the cheese and you have to borrow from another spot on the pie to cover some areas.  Too much sauce and you've got a soup that becomes a big problem once you cut the pizza.  The sauce will run down and soak the crust.  I've found that when I use too much sauce, next day leftovers are better than the fresh from the oven pie.  I don't drain the 6 in 1 but I stop short of using the entire can on a 14".  I usually have a good serving spoonful, if not more, left over.

I'm sure even though it didn't turn out exactly how you'd like, it was still probably pretty good.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 04:48:41 PM by loowaters »
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline buzz

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Re: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 12:35:40 PM »

I would definitely experiment with smaller pizzas until you get it right!

I think you would have way too much dough (which would not cook properly) by doubling the 9" recipe for a 14" pan. You should multiply it by 1.5. I have never par-baked a deep dish in my 9 (actually 9.5)" pan and have never had a problem with the crust not cooking at 450. My oven generally takes 35-40 minutes, but yours could be entirely different. I don't make big pizzas, so I can't answer your baking time question for the 14", but I would suspect that it would take about the same time as a 9". You don't need a stone.

I don't drain the 6-in-1's--they are fairly thick as they are.

A whole stick of margarine (Giordano's uses butter) is way, way too much--all you want to do is grease the pan with maybe a teaspoon at the most!

If you knead your dough for only 90 seconds, it will be extremely biscuit-like; once you get past the 2-minute mark, it starts to move into bread-like territory-you'll have to experiment to see what appeals to you.

Giordano's uses shredded cheese--but it doesn't matter at all. To duplicate their pizza, it requires half a pound of cheese for a 9" pie.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 03:15:31 PM »

There are a few ways to get a handle on how much dough should be used for the 14" deep-dish pie.

The first way is to calculate the surface area of a 9.5" pan that is to be covered by dough, and then do likewise for the 14" size. The ratio of the two numbers should be the scaling factor. Using this approach, you may want to compensate for the fact that the dough that covers the bottom of the pan uses up about 1/4" of the depth of the pan. This means you will need slightly less dough than the ratio would suggest. I went through some calculations for the 9.5" vs. 14" pan sizes, and came up with a ratio of around 1.88. This assumes a pan depth of 2", with the bottom dough using up 1/4" of the sides of the pan. The ratio goes to 1.90 for a 1.75" deep pan. So the numbers don't change that much based on pan depth.

Another way to calculate the amount of dough you will need for the 14" pan is to use the approach described by Tom Lehmann, of the American Institute of Baking, at this link: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/25868. Using this approach, the amount of dough that one would use for a 9.5" deep-dish pan using Tom Lehmann's deep-dish dough recipe comes to 8.78 ounces (3.14 x 4.75 x 4.75 x 0.12389 = 8.78 ounces). The corresponding number for the 14" size is 19.07 ounces. The ratio in this instance comes to 2.17. This is a little bit more than the first approach, but it is unlikely that you would be able to differentiate if you are using volume measurements rather than weights.

As for the bake time, all else being equal (same pan style, material and depth, same oven temperature/preheat, same oven positioning, proportionate toppings, etc.), the 14" deep-dish pizza should take longer to bake than the 9" size simply because of the greater mass of the 14". The total bake time will depend not only on the quantities of ingredients but also on the oven temperature and bake time. A 14" deep-dish pie is a big pie, so I would tend to go with a lower oven temperature and a longer bake time. Otherwise, the crust might be done before the cheeses are done melting and the toppings are properly cooked. Some pizza operators deal with this problem by using spider-like heat sink devices that are placed in the middle of unbaked pies to help bake the pizzas faster and more completely.


Offline cameron

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Re: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2006, 09:19:19 PM »
Thanks for all your advice.  My last attempt didn't come out quite like Giordano's, but it was tasty nonetheless!  The dough this time was much different from my last batch.  I think it is as a result of the flour being settled differently than last time.  It was a 100% humidity day, too.  Last time was extremely dry air.  This dough was much more moist, and I accidentally kneaded it for 3 minutes, making it far too bread-like.

I did not have too much of a problem with it shrinking down the sides this time, so I think it was just my dough the first time.  I used about 1 Tbps of margarine to coat the pan, and that seemed to be just perfect.  I set the deep dish pan directly on my round stone, which had pre-heated with the oven.  This time I got very even cooking of the crust.  I drained the 6 IN 1's, and it almost came out too dry.  I think draining them ever so slightly would be perfect.  I wish Escalon had their chunky product in the 28 oz size instead of just the #10 cans!

I'll try the tablespoon measurement trick for the flour next time to try to improve my scooping consistency.

Trying a new technique each weekend is getting fun!  If it comes out particularly well this weekend, I'll post pictures.  My pan is tapered, so it doesn't look quite exactly like Giordano's, but I'm aiming to make it taste the same. :)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 09:22:02 PM by cameron »


Offline buzz

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Re: Help! Disaster with buzz's recipe...
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 10:20:28 AM »
It sounds like you're making progress. The trick is to keep experimenting (try DKM's version, too) to find out what you like!