Category: baking

2014! New year – New Recipe!

No, it’s not the Chicago Thin Crust recipe. I’m still working on that.
(If you are up for trying an intermediate level recipe and you have some skills,
here’s my latest test recipe for Chicago style thin crust: click here to download the PDF )
Follow RealDeepDish on Facebook to check out the progress and join in on the fun.


I have updated the main recipe for Deep Dish Pizza.

(some of you know it as the Deep Dish Holy Grail Recipe)

You can find it here: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF


Why the update?

Two reasons:
1) My crusts were turning out really thin (not always a bad thing), so I was a bit concerned about stability, and I thought you could benefit with a little bit more dough to work with.

2) I wanted to make the dough less stiff and closer to the soft puffy cloud, memory-foam-mattress-like texture that you see when Marc Malnati presses out his dough on TV.
Overall, I wanted to give you all a better dough that was easier to use. While I was at it, I did a slight revision on the instructions as well.
I favor hand-mixing and kneading instead of using a mixer,
because it is not hard to do (especially with the new recipe), and it shouldn’t take you very long.

Tips:
Use 3/4 lb (3 links) of Italian Sausage for a 12″ pizza.
Place dabs of sausage down on top of the cheese so they are just touching, until you have a “web” of sausage covering your whole pie. This is better than pressing out a large patty, and you will reduce the possibility of your sausage shrinking into an island in the middle of your pizza. It’s also easier to do this with food service gloves.

Go easy on the sauce.
For a 12″ deep dish, use 14 to 16 oz (by volume) of crushed tomatoes (drained, if your brand of tomatoes is on the watery side). Cover the whole pie, all the way to the inside edge.

Use protection.
No, not that kind. Put a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil over the top rack of your oven to keep the top burners from burning your pizza before it’s done.
Check out the “Pizzafication” page for more info.

Don’t Overbake.
A 12″ deep dish should take 35-40 minutes in a preheated 450-460 degree oven.
Smaller pizzas will bake faster. A 9 or 10 inch pie will take 25 to 30 minutes.

Give it a rest.
You just took your pizza out of the oven. I know it’s tempting but don’t cut into it.
Not yet. Give it 5-10 minutes to settle. Your pizza is still technically cooking. The moisture needs to get reabsorbed by the sausage and there’s still steam coming off of those tomatoes. Cut into it too soon and you’re going to have a puddle of liquid in your pan. If you still have puddles forming, it’s not the end of the world. Click here for a video tip on grease control.

If you liked one of the previous versions of the Deep Dish recipe,
you can still find them at the links below:
Deep Dish 2013Deep Dish 2012Deep Dish 2011


If you’re counting calories:

One slice of deep dish sausage pizza is about 620 calories.
That’s if you’re cutting a 12″ deep dish into 6 slices.
If you cut a 12″ deep dish into 8 slices, each slice is about 465 calories.

You can now get the nutritional breakdown of a Real Deep Dish recipe slice of cheese or sausage deep dish pizza (both 1/6 and 1/8 portion sizes from a 12 inch pie) at MyFitnessPal.com .
Just search the food database for “RealDeepDish.com”
or start at the link below:
Realdeepdish.com Nutritional Listings on MyFitnessPal.com

On that site, you can track your calorie intake, watch your sodium and potassium levels, and set fitness and weight goals. YOUR GOAL is to be as healthy as possible so every once in a while, you can eat a slice of Deep Dish Chicago Heaven without having a coronary.

Hey Look! Pizza! (aka Deep Dish Heaven)
RDD-Sausage-2014019-001
RDD-Sausage-2014019-002
RDD-Sausage-2014019-003
RDD-Sausage-2014019-004
RDD-Sausage-2014019-005

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Deep Dish 101DD101 Extra: Pizzafication Of Your Oven


To follow up a bit on things I mentioned in
Lesson 4: Nuts & Bolts (go read the YOUR OVEN part if you haven’t yet),
here’s a little diagram of how I prepare my home oven to bake pizzas.

Pizzafication - Pizza Oven Home Mod - diagram - CLICK to view this image full size in a new window

This is a 30″ standard size oven. Your results may vary, but this should get you in the ballpark.

Tips:
Preheat your oven for 45 to 60 minutes, to get the pizza stone up to temperature.
If you don’t preheat your stone, it will act as a heat barrier (the opposite of what you want)
and the bottom of your pizza won’t get crispy, and/or your pizza will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to bake.

If you’re one of those impatient types, you don’t have to bake on top of a stone.
Just make sure to use an aluminum foil shield on the top rack to protect your pizza from burning on top.

I recommend starting your oven at 500 degrees F, then turn down the oven to your target baking temperature once you’ve put your pizza in the oven.

Questions?
Post a comment on this article and I’ll do my best to answer.
Good luck! Happy Pizza-ing!

Looking for a Pizza Stone?

American Metalcraft Economy Rectangular Pizza Stone, 15″ x 14″

from: AbestKitchen.com

 



Hi. Welcome to

Deep Dish 101: Lesson Four – Nuts and Bolts.

 

In the previous lesson, I told you about the main styles of Chicago Pizza : Thin crust (box-cut), Deep Dish, and Stuffed,
and then finally gave you a workable Deep Dish dough recipe with detailed instructions to make your deep dish pizza at home. Soon, I’ll give you more on pizza assembly and dough preparation, but first I’d like to briefly go over a sometimes overlooked part of pizza-making.

I call this lesson “Nuts and Bolts” because I want to talk a bit about the hardware part of making deep dish pizza.

Without the proper hardware, you may not get good or consistent results with your pizzas. If, while impatiently waiting for the next DD101 lesson, you finally got around to reading The Pizza Rants like I told you to, you would know that one of the first things I did on my journey for the perfect deep dish pizza was to locate a deep dish pizza pan.

Do you REALLY need a special pan just for deep dish?

Yes and no.
Ideally, you want a pan that is sturdy and heats fast, hot and evenly.
Original deep dish pans were made of straight-sided round cake pans made of steel, possibly tin-plated, that, having been “seasoned” over time with repeated use, had darkened on the outside of the pan, helping it to absorb even more heat.

I use my 9″ Wilton dark non-stick cake pans all the time for deep dish, but I have a few lighter colored, super thin cheapo 8″ aluminum cake pans that don’t work so well.

Is a darkened pan necessary for good deep dish pizza?
That depends on who you ask, but I’ll say no, it’s not a deal-breaker. I have a 12″ heavy-gauge silver-colored non-stick straight-sided cake pan that I’ve been using since day one of my deep dish baking excursion, and have found that it makes really good pizzas without having a super dark coating. Dark pans do, however, absorb heat faster, which could make your outer crust crispier than a lighter colored pan.

Why does a dark pan absorb more heat than a lighter one?
Ever go outside on a hot day wearing a black tee shirt? Dark colors absorb more light and heat than light colors. Isn’t science awesome?

My optimal pan for deep dish pizza is a round steel cake pan with an aluminum coating (aka aluminized steel).
The steel is mainly for strength and the aluminum coating is for better heat conduction. Aluminum also extends the life of the pan, as it is corrosion-resistant. What happened to the tin-plated steel? Tin melts at about 450 degrees F, so I don’t expect tin to be used widely in deep dish pans any more **(see note below), but many bakeware manufacturers interchange the words “tin-plated steel” with “aluminum-plated steel” or “aluminized steel”, so you’ll have to verify if your pan supplier is using tin or aluminum. Many modern varieties of this pan also have special coatings to improve durability and/or baking performance. PSTK (Pre-Seasoned Tuff-Kote™) is one of the popular coating processes. Allied calls their coating “Black Buster” and Chicago Metallic calls theirs “Bakalon”.

** 1-28-2018 UPDATE: When provided with new information, I try to correct inaccuracies when I can. In an earlier “Pizza Rant” and on this page, I had mentioned that tin melts around 450 degrees F and that tin bakeware is not likely being made any more. I’ve learned that tin-plated bakeware IS still being made, and while it’s true that tin melts at 450, it doesn’t necessarily melt when baking a pizza in a tin-plated pan because the pizza (or whatever you’re baking in the pan) contains moisture that acts as a heat-sink, sucking heat from the pan so it never reaches that melting point. Steel and Aluminum both have higher melting points, so if they were tin plated, the other metal would also assist in preventing the melting.  **

You can also still get the non-plated, or “bare” steel pans from restaurant supply houses. Often, those pans have been coated in some kind of oil (or protective mystery substance) that must be baked empty, (preferably in a well ventilated area, or outside on your bbq grill), then cooled, before your first use.  This ‘seasoned’ coating will darken with use, improve the performance, and extend the life of your pan.
If your pan is bare or un-seasoned, you can do it yourself by applying a thin layer of vegetable oil, lard, or shortening (anything with a high-smoke point) to your pan, and pre-baking it like the method I described in the previous paragraph. You can also repeat this (as many times as you like) for a pan you just seasoned, but using the pan to make pizzas will also continue to season your pan. The more times you season your pan, the better your seasoning should be, and the darker your pan should get.

It is also recommended that once you have seasoned a pan, you should never use soap to clean it, only hot water and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. If you do use soap on occasion to clean your pan, you can use a mild one, but then you may have to re-season your pan.

Straight or Slanted Pans?

Some pizza makers use straight-sided and some use slanted pans. The slanted variety might make it easier to remove a whole pie, although I have seen skilled deep dish bakers pop a deep dish out of a straight-sided pan with a trained flick of a wrist (unknown whether future wrist injuries have ensued). I own both and from my limited experience with the slanted pans, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference which one you use. There are the minor adjustments needed for more or less dough, more or less ingredients, due to the slanted pans having that variable of about a half inch to an inch in size between the bottom of the pan and the top.

The Deep Dish Pan is only PART of the puzzle.

Of course, you’ll want to invest in some serving tools, like a square-edge turner/pizza cutter/spatula, a pan gripper or two, a sauce ladle, and other stuff, some of which which you can find at: www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment ,
but the other big part of the puzzle is:


Bakers Pride Pizza Oven Deck-Type (2) 28″ – EB-2-2828 – $4,891.15

from: AbestKitchen.com

YOUR OVEN

Optimizing Your Oven For Deep Dish:

It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to shell out five to twenty grand on a commercial pizza oven, so we want to do the best we can to simulate the best characteristics of one with just a few tweaks to your home oven.

There’s two things you can do that will make a huge difference.

1) Get a pizza stone (sometimes known as a baking stone) and keep it on the bottom rack of your oven.

2) Keep a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (or a baking sheet) on the top rack of your oven.

Along with preheating your oven to make sure the pizza stone is hot when you start baking, these two things should improve your efforts to simulate the effect of a commercial deck oven at home.
Deck ovens are typically not very tall, and that can make a huge difference when you’re trying to simulate one with a standard 30″ range, so you may have to decide which position is best for that top rack aluminum foil radiant-heat “ceiling” that you are creating.
Keep in mind that all ovens are different, and you may need to make adjustments depending on the results you’re getting, what altitude you live at, and how accurate your oven thermometer is.

Can I use the “Speed-Bake” or Convection Setting on my oven?

I don’t recommend it. Convection baking typically bakes faster at a lower temperature by circulating the air inside the oven. Because of its density, a deep dish pizza may not cook evenly in the center. (Although I did read about this expensive spiky metal ‘heat sink’ from American Metalcraft that you can get that you place in the top center of your pizza and heats the center of your pizza so it cooks more evenly).

** After I wrote this Lesson, I wrote a little DD101 Extra followup article on how to pizzafy your oven.
You can click HERE to view it.

For your convenience, I’ve located a supplier where you can find some of the deep dish supplies I mentioned above:


Allied Deep Dish Non-Stick Black Buster Pizza Pan – 12 Inch

from: AbestKitchen.com

I’m a big fan of American Metalcraft  (also known as AMCO) pans. Depending on the coating, they don’t get much darker from repeated use, but heat up quite well and have made many a tasty deep dish in my home.


American Metalcraft Hard Coat Pizza Pan – 12″

from: AbestKitchen.com

Chicago Metallic is also a great brand for bakeware.


Chicago Metallic Bakalon Deep Dish Pan 91120

from: AbestKitchen.com


Mercer Hells Handle 6×3 High Heat-Square Edge Turner

from: AbestKitchen.com


Pan Gripper for Deep Dish Pans

from: AbestKitchen.com

Find more deep dish equipment options, check out the link below:
http://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment

If the shop links on this page don’t work for some reason,
you can try going straight to the A Best Kitchen website and search for pizza.
They have a PAN-LOAD of items! Just let them know that RealDeepDish.com sent you. 🙂

Deep Dish 101 – Lesson 3 : Styles of Chicago Pizza and Maybe a Dough Recipe

Deep Dish 101: Lesson 5 – Making Deep Dish Dough – VIDEO

deepdish-equipment-2014

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