Pizza-Making ?

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  • #11152
    Pizza-Making ? 2Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    It depends on what ingredients you use, a pepperoni pizza might cost $5 or so in ingredients.

    The big chains use cheaper ingredients bought in bulk, I use whole milk mozzarella–they generally don’t. That’s how they can afford to sell a pizza for under $10. But as I recall, pizzerias have a higher food cost than most of the restaurant industry; the cost of the ingredients is usually about 40% of the price, but for most sit-down restaurants it’s more like 25%.

    The local pizzeria we order from most frequently charges about $20 for a 12 inch pizza with several added toppings. Pizza Hut it isn’t!

    Buying in bulk is the real key, a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce costs about a dollar, a #10 can (about 110 ounces) costs about $2.50. 50 pounds of pizza flour is running about $14 a bag right now. Sams sells 5 pound bags of mozzarella for about $15, but Pizza Hut probably pays about half that.

    #11153
    Pizza-Making ? 3Joan Simpson
    Participant

    You know what you’re putting on a pizza if it”s made at home,I know if you could see the hamburger that goes on a Pizza Hut pizza it probably has TVP or soy in the hamburger.The texture isn’t there.yes we eat them from there sometime but it’s nothing compared to a local small town restaurant we go to.

    #11154
    Pizza-Making ? 4Italiancook
    Participant

    I’m pleased to report that the lunch pizza I made was delicious! It was KAF’s Thin Crust Pizza, but with mozzarella and only a tiny sprinkling of Parm. The Parm was for my husband. I was uncertain about rolling out the dough. KAF says to roll it between 2 oiled pieces of parchment. I was afraid the paper would slide around on my marble pastry board, but it did not — at least not enough for me to notice. The problem was the olive oil on the top parchment made it difficult to see how thick I was rolling. I ended up with uneven thickness, but it didn’t detract from the pizza.

    I’m also happy to report that I may have climbed up the pizza learning curve. From the time I put the sauce on the stove to heat until the pizza was ready to cut, it took 1 hour. That’s the shortest time I’ve had making pizza. It was worth the time. My husband and I both agreed it was much better than any of the pizzerias around us. So, yes, I’ll keep climbing the learning curve.

    #11155
    Pizza-Making ? 2Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    The last several times I’ve made pizza I used the rectangular pizza pan that I got from King Arthur (though I don’t see it on their site today) and I stretched the dough out mostly by hand. (I did use a small pastry roller to help get it all the way to the corners.)

    But I think the next time I’m going to use the Roman crust recipe from Peter Reinhart’s book, “American Pie”. It can be stretched so thin it is translucent.

    #11156
    Pizza-Making ? 6BakerAunt
    Participant

    Our internet was out for over 24 hours, so I’m just reading these posts. I actually put a LOT of topping on the KAF Ultra-Thin Crust Pizza, and it does just fine. I suspect that the KAF Thin Crust Pizza would be fine as well.

    I always stretch out my pizza dough by hand on the parchment on which I will bake it.

    #11159
    Pizza-Making ? 2Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    Back in its heyday, Godfather’s Pizza used to advertise that their large pizza had 3 POUNDS of cheese on it.

    Nancy’s (originally in the western suburbs of Chicago) does a stuffed pizza that looks like a layer cake. One slice is a meal–and then some. It’s still arguably the best of the Chicago-style stuffed pizza that Nancy’s claims to have invented. (Giordano’s also claims that honor, and possibly Lou Malnati’s.)

    When I was in college, there was a pizza place in Evanston called The Inferno, their specialty was what they called a dubl-dough pizza, the thing had to be at least 4 inches high, not counting the toppings. Somehow, they managed to get all the dough cooked so it wasn’t just a raw mass of pizza dough in the middle, and they were very popular among Northwestern students on Sundays, when the dining halls didn’t operate.

    #11162
    Pizza-Making ? 8aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    I stretch my pizza first by hand then finish by rolling it with a rolling pin. I do this on butcher block with flour. Then I put the pizza on parchment and add sauce, cheese and toppings. I take the parchment out of the oven after the crust has baked and set.

    As for the cost of build vs. buy we just like what we make better. Plus last Sunday we had cheese pizzas, olive pizza, pepperoni pizza, and veggie pizza (sans olives since we used them all on the olive pizza). If we tried to order all that it would be far too expensive.

    I remember going to Giordano’s for the first time during the Watergate hearings so that would be 73 probably. It had recently opened its first location on Kedzie. I remember because it was my first trip out of the house after being laid up for a week with the mumps – during the Watergate Hearings when the only think on television was Sam Rayburn… 🙂

    I went to Nancy’s many years later on a date because the young lady wanted to go there.

    There used to be a place – I cannot remember the name – I think it was on Chicago Ave just on the Evanston town line. It sold pizza by the pound but they ended up on the wrong side of someone from the city who drove them out of business. They were shutdown for their scales being off even though they were under-weighing the pizza.

    For years Hyde Park had two pizza places – Nicky’s and Enriquo’s. Nicky’s is still there or has been reopened. Then came the Medici followed by Giordano’s and now there are too many places to count.

    #11166
    Pizza-Making ? 2Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    Lincoln has had a flurry of pizza places open in the past few years, and another one is opening this Friday in downtown, but most of them use too much garlic in their sauce, some also use it in their crust. And since I’m now limited to one slice of a 12″ pizza at a time, due to the sodium content, going to a sit-down pizza place doesn’t make much sense any more. (We haven’t been big restaurant patrons in quite a while due to garlic issues–it’s in EVERYTHING!)

    When we lived in Rogers Park and then Evanston, our favorite pizza was a hole-in-the-wall place on Main street, but Gulliver’s on Howard was a close second and My Pie (down by the Loyola campus) was another we liked. A lot has happened since we moved to Nebraska in 1977. The hole-in-the-wall place closed (it’s a Giordano’s take-out place the last time I drove past), Gulliver’s changed owners and he change the recipe to use cheaper ingredients, and My Pie moved, though I don’t know if that was under the same ownership. A lot of the places on Howard depended on the fact that Evanston was dry, so the college crowd would head there to drink. But Evanston went wet and business at the Howard places suffered. (You can order beer at the student union now!)

    The owner of Nancy’s sold to a franchise group in 1990 and people tell me it isn’t quite as good. I understand there are two Nancy’s locations that aren’t part of the franchise, they may be better. The last time I was in Chicago, I went to Lou Malnati’s River North location, takeout was a 90 minute wait, but it was pretty good.

    #11169
    Pizza-Making ? 4Italiancook
    Participant

    Thanks to Mike, BakerAunt, and Aaron for telling me about hand-stretching the pizza. I’ll try that next time.

    #11170
    Pizza-Making ? 2Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I’ve never had the nerve (or motor skills) to try tossing pizza dough, but hand stretching doesn’t compress the dough as much as rolling it does.

    #11171
    Pizza-Making ? 8aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    I’ve hand-tossed (Do Not Put extra flour on the dough before tossing it!), I’ve hand-stretched, and I’ve rolled it. Part of the reason I roll it now is that it makes it flatter.

    In college we would have hand-tossing competitions to see the different ways and tricks people had for tossing pizzas. I was never good enough to compete.

    We are actually having Giordano’s tonight. I ordered heart shaped stuffed pizzas. I was going to let them sit outside last night but my we had a bear tip over a trash can Sunday so I kept them in the garage.

    #11174
    Pizza-Making ? 6BakerAunt
    Participant

    I’ve commented a lot on what is not available in our very small town, but pizza can be ordered from Papa’s (a restaurant). I’ve had their pizza at friends’ house; it is expensive although good. A less expensive place, Bourbon Street Pizza (I think it might be a chain, at least in the state) opened last year across from the park. It is less expensive, according to our friends, and also very good. A third place, Culver Wings, on the outskirts of town, was selling pizza and hot wings, but I do not know if they are still in business, and no one I know ever got pizza from there.

    We like my pizza, so if we ever order out, it would probably be because of lots of company.

    I’m making the Ultra-Thin Crust Pizza tonight. I wonder what inspired that choice? 🙂 Could it be because we have been talking a lot about pizza these past few days?

    #15448
    Pizza-Making ? 4Italiancook
    Participant

    For the first time, I made KAF’s “Now or Later Crust.” It has semolina, which I probably can’t have but don’t know for sure. It yields 2 pizzas. It led me to a question:

    (1) What do y’all do when you want to freeze half the dough? Do you let it have the first rise with all the dough before dividing it? Or, do you cut the dough in half and put one-half in the freezer without the rise, thinking it’ll get plenty of rise thawing out in the refrig?

    This recipe calls for par-baking the crust for the freezer, but that isn’t practical with my freezer.

    https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/now-or-later-pizza-crust-recipe

    #15449
    Pizza-Making ? 8aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    I let my dough do the first rise and then cut it up and freeze it. It doesn’t seem to have much of a second rise thawing out.

    I have pre-rolled the dough and then placed them on parchment and then they seem to have more of a second rise.

    I have tried par-baking crusts in the past to reproduce a Chicago, tavern-style thin crust but my family did not like it.

    #15481
    Pizza-Making ? 4Italiancook
    Participant

    Aaron, do you remember what your family didn’t like about par-baking the crusts?

    I made KAF’s Now or Later Pizza Crust today. It’s only my third homemade pizza, and I still find them daunting. Prepare the topping, after shopping for the toppings. And, I’m not the least creative with food, so I agonize over the toppings. Make the dough if there’s none in the freezer. Turn the dough into a crust. Bake, in this case, par-bake and bake. Take it out and cut it. By the time I eat it, I’m worn out.

    When I made the first two pizzas, I chalked it up to the learning curve. After today, I think I’m still near the base of the curve, far away from the peak.

    The good news is that I really liked this crust. It was thinner than the other 2 KAF crusts I made and didn’t like because they were too thick. And, the crust itself had flavor because of olive oil in it. What worries me is that part of the reason I liked the crust is the semolina flour in it, and I’m guessing that’s not good for me medically. Won’t know for sure for a few weeks when I see dietician.

    I made a 3 cheese pizza — mozzarella, fontina & Parm Reg. I used garlic olive oil as the sauce. My husband and I both enjoyed that sauce with the cheeses.

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