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Author Topic: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help  (Read 667 times)

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Offline Nuke83

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Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« on: September 09, 2020, 10:21:43 PM »
I'm beginning to zero in on my dough recipe.  Gotta say, it's been a labor of love.  Hours and hours reading all the posts by Loowaters, VCB, Pete-zaa, Pythonic & Garvey to name a few.  I don't post much because I don't have much to contribute, but I've been reading and testing for years, so I feel like I know you guys.  Many thanks to all of you for your contributions.

The toughest part is trying to learn from all your different trials.  Seems like every one of your latest posts begins with "This is my best yet!".  Only to be followed with yet a different recipe two pages later claiming "now I've got it!".  The one thing I've learned is that none of us will ever be satisfied that we've achieved Chicago Deep Dish nirvana.

So on that quest the two things I'm trying to really narrow down on is total dough weight for each of my pans to get just the right amount of crust (tonight's 12" had total dough of 517, and it was a bit much, so will tweak next one down). and to try and find a cheese(s) that melt and give me that flowing melt at cut and that good, long pull.  Obviously, geography poses a huge challenge being in the Atlanta area.  While I'll challenge anyone's BBQ (with the exception of Austin, TX), we simply don't have too many Italian influences to have legitimate cheese and meat options.

So I'm asking two things.  First, what blends of cheeses will give me a good melt.  I'm typically using the pre-heat stone for an hour at 500, put in pie and set oven to 450, bake between 28-35 mins depending on size (last 10-15 mins are watching for that dough color).  Everything is cooking well, sausage, pepperoni, crust browning, etc., but I'm not getting a really good melt on the cheese.  I've been using Boars Head, getting slices from the deli, so its fresh, whole milk, low moisture Mozzarella.  For my 12", I'm using about 12 ounces on the 12" pie.  Not sure if I need to try 50/50 Mozza/Provolone, or something else.

So question 1 is should I be trying a blend of different slices or is Mozza fine, just either not right temps/times cooking, or....

Question 2, does Boars Head simply not have a good melt point and should I be trying a different brand.  Remember, not too many local dairy options here, so pretty much need to find a national brand.

Below is tonight's pie.  I removed a few grams of dough while pressing, so I'm open to suggestions about what total dough weights are good for 9", 10" and 12" pans.  As I mentioned above, based on tonight's effort, I need to get below 500 grams.  You'll notice, not much melt/ooze from the cheese.  I'd love to get what Pythonic gets in the pic at the bottom of this post.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=53648.msg538658#msg538658


« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 10:24:41 PM by Nuke83 »

Offline nickyr

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Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2020, 10:34:04 PM »
I am not an expert on deep dish, but it looks like you could do MORE CHEESE. Thatís definitely part of the Giordanoís strategy. Makes a more noticeable cheese pull for sure.

Pizza looks good though!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 10:35:42 PM by nickyr »

Offline vcb

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 04:47:03 PM »
Need more cheese.

For a 12 inch deep dish, I've found the sweet spot is 1.25 to 1.5 pounds of mozzarella.
Low moisture part skim will be stretchier, but you can use whatever kind you like best.
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Offline Nuke83

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 05:25:28 PM »
Great, thanks for that input.

I've read on several posts with recipes that most were using about the same amount of cheese as I had, so I'll try that 1.25-1.5 lb range.

I'll also mix a blend between whole milk and part skim.

What would be the flavor/melt impact of using some Provolone as well?

Maybe a 50/25/25 of whole milk/part skim/provo?

Offline Garvey

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 08:15:55 PM »
Try some average grocery store brand presliced cheese.  I use 1lb for a 12" pie, half mozz half (unsmoked) provolone.

I'm with you on the less dough thing.  I used to do 398g for a 12", but a little more makes it easier to work with.  I like 440.  Sometimes 480.

Dial back all that tomato?  Seriously, that could be affecting your cheese results.  It looks like an inch of tomato.  Lots of wetness, impacting melting, cooling things off with evaporation, etc.  (It's all right: we all use too much tomato.)

Cheers!

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Offline Nuke83

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 08:43:04 AM »
Try some average grocery store brand presliced cheese.  I use 1lb for a 12" pie, half mozz half (unsmoked) provolone.

I'm with you on the less dough thing.  I used to do 398g for a 12", but a little more makes it easier to work with.  I like 440.  Sometimes 480.

Dial back all that tomato?  Seriously, that could be affecting your cheese results.  It looks like an inch of tomato.  Lots of wetness, impacting melting, cooling things off with evaporation, etc.  (It's all right: we all use too much tomato.)

Cheers!

Appreciate the dough weight tips.  I'll try that mid 400 range and see how that does.

As much as I would love to dial back the tomatoes, my wife actually thinks I don't use enough.  I'll try more cheese first and see if that helps.  Maybe pull that first cut sooner as well.  I may be giving a bit too much rest time after pulling from oven.  I'm going to make a 10" test pie this weekend and see if I can find that right dough proportion and if more/blended cheese helps.

Garvey, what are your thoughts regarding whole milk vs part skim on the mozza?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 11:27:33 AM by Nuke83 »

Offline nickyr

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 11:44:28 AM »
Appreciate the dough weight tips.  I'll try that mid 400 range and see how that does.

As much as I would love to dial back the tomatoes, my wife actually thinks I don't use enough.  I'll try more cheese first and see if that helps.  Maybe pull that first cut sooner as well.  I may be giving a bit too much rest time after pulling from oven.  I'm going to make a 10" test pie this weekend and see if I can find that right dough proportion and if more/blended cheese helps.

Garvey, what are your thoughts regarding whole milk vs part skim on the mozza?
Serve a side of tomato soup?

Offline Nuke83

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 01:54:55 PM »
Serve a side of tomato soup?

Funny you say that. 

I actually told my wife earlier that I may put a small pan of tomato topping in with the bake to add after, so yeah, probably going to do just what you suggest.  Pull the pizza, let it rest while leaving the extra tomato in the oven.  Then add the extra topping, sprinkle with some freshly grated parm & romano, then serve.

Offline Garvey

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 02:32:46 PM »
I typically use part skim.  I might be less picky on this aspect, so YMMV.  I probably can't give you a good reason on that except that it is widely available in sliced form.

I still say use less tomato.  How much are you putting on there, by weight, approx.?  And I like your idea of making some on the side, but I'd suggest going a step further by serving it up as a sidecar of marinara instead of dumping it on top of your now perfectly balanced and baked pizza.   :D

BTW, you can try different cheeses within one pie by doing half and half.  Just mark the halves somehow, like a line of grated parm down the middle on top of the sauce to divide them and then a single olive slice or something on side A or B.  Of course, this doesn't work if you're trying different *weights* of cheese, but a brands/styles test would work.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 02:36:06 PM by Garvey »

Offline Nuke83

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2020, 05:22:41 PM »
I typically use part skim.  I might be less picky on this aspect, so YMMV.  I probably can't give you a good reason on that except that it is widely available in sliced form.

I still say use less tomato.  How much are you putting on there, by weight, approx.?  And I like your idea of making some on the side, but I'd suggest going a step further by serving it up as a sidecar of marinara instead of dumping it on top of your now perfectly balanced and baked pizza.   :D

BTW, you can try different cheeses within one pie by doing half and half.  Just mark the halves somehow, like a line of grated parm down the middle on top of the sauce to divide them and then a single olive slice or something on side A or B.  Of course, this doesn't work if you're trying different *weights* of cheese, but a brands/styles test would work.

I can't tell you by weight how much tomatoes are on the pizza pictured.  I drained a 28 oz can of Muir Glen crushed w/basil, and used about 70-75% of that, then sprinkled some diced tomatoes from a different can (couldn't find Muir Glen, so used 14 oz Publix brand of diced tomatoes w/basil) just to give it some more solid chunks.  Probably didn't use even 10% of it.  I'll try your suggestion, cut back on the topped amount for the bake and serve a sidecar for those who want.

Great suggestion on going half and half.  I'll give that a shot with some different blends and see which we like best.

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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 10:31:46 PM »
There is a restaurant depot in the Atlanta area which offers some of the commercial brands of cheese.

A good all around combination with flavor and stretch:  buy the blocks and slice yourself, check dates on the plastic wrap you want age to be between 14 and 21 days, no greater than 30 days

Good all around combination
Galbani low moisture part skim @ 50%
Cedar Valley low moisture whole milk @ 50

I like Provo as well some do not, nice melt for sure and very smooth

Galbani low moisture part skim at 50%
Cedar Valley low moisture whole milk at 25%
Galbani provolone at 25%

A flavor mix with tons of flavor and need to be balanced with the rest of the DD

Galbani low moisture part skim at 50%
Cedar valley low moisture whole milk at 20%
Galbani provolone at 20%
Belgioioso Fontina at 10%

The combinations are best when shredded and put on thin crusts etc...but DD is typically sliced.  I slice all the various cheese and layer onto the DD with the larger percent cheese on the bottom and layering, itís sort of a pain.  You can also shred, place in the pan and hand place the sauce or dribble on until the surface is smooth, you canít really use a ladle if shredded.

If you donít want to mess with it, use sliced part skim and whole combination, or just whole.

Add the good stuff on top Percorino Romano, grated fine and a nice 1/2 handful.  Kirkland brand is really awesome as is Locateili but expensive.   Donít forget this part it does add to the flavor and in my opinion a must.

Offline foreplease

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 03:30:50 PM »
BTW, you can try different cheeses within one pie by doing half and half.  Just mark the halves somehow, like a line of grated parm down the middle on top of the sauce to divide them and then a single olive slice or something on side A or B.  Of course, this doesn't work if you're trying different *weights* of cheese, but a brands/styles test would work.
I like your idea but donít understand why different weights of cheese could not be tested this way. Is it because you would bake them for different lengths of time?
-Tony

Offline Garvey

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2020, 10:18:57 PM »
I like your idea but donít understand why different weights of cheese could not be tested this way. Is it because you would bake them for different lengths of time?

It wouldn't cook evenly.  One side would be underdone or overdone...or ya even screw up both.

Offline Nuke83

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2020, 09:07:32 PM »
I like your idea but donít understand why different weights of cheese could not be tested this way. Is it because you would bake them for different lengths of time?

Pizza Garage, Thanks a ton for the suggestions.  I'm not a RD member but will try and find some of the brands you recommend.  I always top with freshly, finely grated blend pecorino romano and parm, and as you suggest, I don't skimp.  Completely agree with the flavor boost.  I top before the bake, then give a dusting before cutting the pie.

To foreplease and Garvey.  I did bake a 10" pie and tested with the following cheeses.  One half had 50/50 between whole milk and part skim mozza (used the store pre-packaged for the part skim and Boar's Head for the WM).  The other half was 50/50 WM and Provolone.

I used food coloring dots along the crust rim on one half so I'd know which sides were which.

Wife, son and I all tested and we all preferred the mozza only side.  I did take Garvey's advice and put the plus side of a pound of cheese slices down and it made all the difference.  I didn't get great melt, so perhaps if I go lighter on the tomato and bake a few minutes longer.  Still haven't found that sweet spot.  I did have some nice string/pull and definitely good influence of flavor from the additional cheese.  The provo side tended to be a bit rubbery and tougher to chew, which I can only attribute to the provolone.


Offline mugwump

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2020, 07:18:33 PM »
I find the Galbani has a chew like pure rubber but I haven't tried the part skim version.   

I would also love to get those long cheese strings but so far unable to.  I believe the boar's head doesn't melt well.

The deli near where I used to live in Calfornia sold a brand Gardina which is actually the east coast Saputo.  A nearby grocery store also sold Frigo which is also Saputo but they discontinued it. 

I may try a block of Trader Joe's as I remember having family good results with that. 

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Offline kafo33

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2020, 12:29:19 PM »
There is a restaurant depot in the Atlanta area which offers some of the commercial brands of cheese.

A good all around combination with flavor and stretch:  buy the blocks and slice yourself, check dates on the plastic wrap you want age to be between 14 and 21 days, no greater than 30 days

Good all around combination
Galbani low moisture part skim @ 50%
Cedar Valley low moisture whole milk @ 50

I like Provo as well some do not, nice melt for sure and very smooth

Galbani low moisture part skim at 50%
Cedar Valley low moisture whole milk at 25%
Galbani provolone at 25%

A flavor mix with tons of flavor and need to be balanced with the rest of the DD

Galbani low moisture part skim at 50%
Cedar valley low moisture whole milk at 20%
Galbani provolone at 20%
Belgioioso Fontina at 10%

The combinations are best when shredded and put on thin crusts etc...but DD is typically sliced.  I slice all the various cheese and layer onto the DD with the larger percent cheese on the bottom and layering, itís sort of a pain.  You can also shred, place in the pan and hand place the sauce or dribble on until the surface is smooth, you canít really use a ladle if shredded.

If you donít want to mess with it, use sliced part skim and whole combination, or just whole.

Add the good stuff on top Percorino Romano, grated fine and a nice 1/2 handful.  Kirkland brand is really awesome as is Locateili but expensive.   Donít forget this part it does add to the flavor and in my opinion a must.


I'm a fan of the Galbani Sorrento LM mozz. I believe I read in another forum on here Publix in GA carries it. Worth checking out.

Offline LambertPizza

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Re: Deep Dish-Getting Close-Need Cheese Help
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2020, 12:01:38 PM »
I have been having great success with shredded mozzarella. Low moisture of course but it MUST be Whole Milk NOT part skim.... park skim DOES NOT WORK

I use 16oz of low moisture WHOLE milk mozzarella. I cook for about 15mins then I pull it and sauce it up. Finished with sauce a Romano on top for about 10mins. That is my preferred amount of cheese. You can certainly go to 18oz - 22oz.

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