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ckreef

Perfect Pan Pizza

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Saw this on Instagram and grabbed it from Amazon Prime for less than $20. I've read the important parts and it's a good read if your goal is to make the Perfect Pan Pizza. He has some interesting dough ideas and techniques. He not only explains the how but also the why. Will be giving some of this a try next weekend. 

 

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Have seen that, but have found Reinhart’s books to be a bit hit and miss. Looking forward to your complete review...once you’ve cooked the entire book. <_<

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15 minutes ago, Pequod said:

Have seen that, but have found Reinhart’s books to be a bit hit and miss. Looking forward to your complete review...once you’ve cooked the entire book. <_<

 

There are definitely some funky recipes in the book but.........

The way he mixes, proofs, and stretches the dough along with his reasoning behind that makes sense to me. For years I've been trying to recreate a pan pizza I used to get when I was a teenager. I've come close but haven't hit the mark yet. I hope this book gets me even closer. 

 

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Welp. Just bought it on Kindle for $2.99. Looked at the table of contents and appreciated two things right away: 1) sourdough recipes, and 2) Not a single mention of “Chicago”. 

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4 hours ago, Pequod said:

Welp. Just bought it on Kindle for $2.99. Looked at the table of contents and appreciated two things right away: 1) sourdough recipes, and 2) Not a single mention of “Chicago”. 

My first go round will be King Arthur bread flour with instant dry yest as he suggests. Second go around will be sour dough starter. I have about a 1 year starter. 

 

Yea this book has nothing to do with Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas. 

 

 

 

 

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I'm eyeing the Focaccias and Sicilians. I already have one great sourdough focaccia recipe that I love, but haven't done Sicilian. That said, I'll be scaling the size to a 10x15x1 pan rather than the 12x17 he calls for -- just a tad huge for only 2 people.

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16 hours ago, jruddy said:

I haven’t tried the pan recipe in this book but the 72 hour dough is great. 

Good book if you want to be overloaded on pizza details. Tons of info. 

 

The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home https://www.amazon.com/dp/160774838X/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apip_IZcxJLaugsEXB

Lots of people love and recommend that book, and if it works well for you by all means keep using it. Homemade pizzas with homemade doughs are ALWAYS better than the alternative -- store bought doughs, etc. Also, Forkish's FWSY book on high hydration bread is a true gem -- a simpler approach to Chad Robertson's Tartine style. I really, really don't mean to discourage use of that book, but if you REALLY want to up your pizza game, there are other, better sources. I say that by way of introduction to my contrarian view on "The Elements of Pizza", and most pizza cookbooks in general.

The only pizza book I've found to date worth its salt (pun intended!) is Tony Gemignani's Pizza Bible, and even that is heretical in part. It is great for Neapolitan and NY style pizzas. Completely heretical on all things Chicago (Corn meal? REALLY???). The Sicilian section appears to be very, very similar to Reinhart's Pan Pizza book and both seem to be in keeping with what I know about Sicilian style (which is far from expert).

Other highly rated, yet heretical pizza books include:

  • Pat Bruno's Chicago Style Pizza Book -- heresy throughout. I started my Chicago deep dish "career" with this book 3 decades ago (before I became a Chicago expat), and learned how wrong it was with my first bite. Heresy. Saw dust in my pizza. What the hey?? It is what non-Chicagoan's think Chicago deep dish is, but not even close. This book started the world on the path to corn meal being equated with Chicago Deep Dish. An error that is now self-propagating and appears everywhere -- even Cooks Illustrated. This book is the original sin for all bad recipes claiming to be Chicago Pizza. Funny to think how many people think they know what Chicago deep dish is...and they're totally wrong...
  • Peter Reinhart's American Pie -- more heresy. Written by a bread baker (many of whose books aren't very good in spite of all of his James Beard awards) trying to understand pizza. Swing and a miss. Universally panned (another pun!) by pizza nerds everywhere. Salt contents are wrong, process is wrong, almost everything is wrong. And yet...lots of people LOVE this book. Who am I to disagree if it works for them?
  • The Elements of Pizza -- while a noble effort to adapt Neapolitan to a home oven, and it DOES produce an interesting pie, it is in no way Neapolitan. Many of his recipes also state: use 00 or Bread Flour. Huh? There is a VAST difference between the two: texture, protein content, water absorption, malt content. They behave VERY differently. Even different "bread" flours have substantial differences. I have particular flours I use for bread (Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft Plus or Giusto's artisan unbleached), use All Trumps unbromated for NY style pizza, and would use 00 for Neapolitan if I had a WFO that could achieve near Neapolitan temps. Tony Gemignani and pizza nerds everywhere understand these differences. Forkish doesn't. YMMV. Again, if you like the results, who am I to disagree?

Better sources if you want to up your game?

  • For *Chicago* style deep dish: http://www.realdeepdish.com. My own recipe evolved over three decades to something very close to this. This is authentic. This is real. This is delicious. This is Chicago.
  • For all things pizza in general: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php. This is where pizza nerds get really, REALLY nerdy. Pretty much all of my other pizza recipes have evolved from something I found here. Some I use verbatim. Garvey's Chicago South Side thin crust recipe is a near perfect clone of Colucci's from my home town on the south side. Absolutely perfect replica of a hometown favorite...because Garvey grew up in a neighboring town and understands this particular style.
  • The Food Lab: Most of Kenji's pizza recipes are pretty darn good. I've used his Detroit style recipe with fantastic results. Love it. 
  • @ckreef look for his pizza dough tutorials and recipes on this forum. They are all pizza nerd approved -- would fair well on pizzamaking.com

 

 

Edited by Pequod
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My thoughts on different pizza books..... 

 

I'm guessing you could learn a little something from every book but you really need to take most of the book with a small grain of salt..... Cross reference and cross reference some more. 

 

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9 hours ago, Pequod said:

 

  • @ckreef look for his pizza dough tutorials and recipes on this forum. They are all pizza nerd approved -- would fair well on pizzamaking.com

 

I appreciate the sentiment. Any pizza dough recipe I've posted started somewhere. I tweaked it and tweaked it for months until my family finally cried "uncle". We didn't eat pizza for months after that.

It all started with attempting to recreate a Sicilian pan pizza I had as a teenager. I never really succeeded but came close. I also vearded off that course a few times. 

I'm going back to my original goal of the best Sicilian pan I've ever had from back when I was a teenager. We'll see if I get any closer. 

 

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12 hours ago, Pequod said:

Better sources if you want to up your game?

  • For *Chicago* style deep dish: http://www.realdeepdish.com. My own recipe evolved over three decades to something very close to this. This is authentic. This is real. This is delicious. This is Chicago.
  • For all things pizza in general: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php. This is where pizza nerds get really, REALLY nerdy. Pretty much all of my other pizza recipes have evolved from something I found here. Some I use verbatim. Garvey's Chicago South Side thin crust recipe is a near perfect clone of Colucci's from my home town on the south side. Absolutely perfect replica of a hometown favorite...because Garvey grew up in a neighboring town and understands this particular style.
  • The Food Lab: Most of Kenji's pizza recipes are pretty darn good. I've used his Detroit style recipe with fantastic results. Love it. 
  • @ckreef look for his pizza dough tutorials and recipes on this forum. They are all pizza nerd approved -- would fair well on pizzamaking.com

 

Great!  No books to buy AND your list includes the awesome Chicago South Side thin crust which I love.  

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10 hours ago, ckreef said:

My thoughts on different pizza books..... 

 

I'm guessing you could learn a little something from every book but you really need to take most of the book with a small grain of salt..... Cross reference and cross reference some more. 

 

True in general for all cookbooks, I think. Just seems like pizza books are particularly useless even as a reference. There are “canonical” forms of different styles that are not hard to find in the sources above. Any of these are better than anything I’ve found in a pizza book.

That said, I may give some of Reinhart's Sicilian recipes in the pan pizza book a go. His doughs and techniques actually seem to close to my understanding of Sicilian "canon" and in line with the sourdough focaccia recipe that I use. He might not be far off the mark in this book.

Edited by Pequod
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Wow pizza is like fighting words around these parts LOL. Just kidding, nothing wrong with a little passion.

I appreciate the links and insight and will check some of them out. 

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1 hour ago, Pequod said:

 

That said, I may give some of Reinhart's Sicilian recipes in the pan pizza book a go. His doughs and techniques actually seem to close to my understanding of Sicilian "canon" and in line with the sourdough focaccia recipe that I use.

His dough techniques are defiantly more in line with what I've found works best. I will start with his basic instant yest bread flour dough. I'll follow his techniques to the T and see what happens. 

I also liked his thoughts about super charging a starter and extended rise times when using a starter as the only levening agent. Also the trick about adding sugar to get a more sour taste. We'll try all this too. 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, jruddy said:

Wow pizza is like fighting words around these parts LOL. 

Pizza is fighting words no matter where you are - LOL 

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4 hours ago, jruddy said:

Wow pizza is like fighting words around these parts LOL. Just kidding, nothing wrong with a little passion.

I appreciate the links and insight and will check some of them out. 

Well...you are a KK'er now. Passion, obsession, and other disorders are all part of it! ;)

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4 minutes ago, Pequod said:

Well...you are a KK'er now. Passion, obsession, and other disorders are all part of it! ;)

Haha true that :)

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1 hour ago, Pequod said:

I saw the pics. Report!

Ha you cheated - LOL 

Alrighty I followed the white dough with instant yeast recipe to the T. Followed his dimpleing technique and all. I even made his crushed tomato sauce following the exact recipe. I will say this turned out to be a great pan pizza. I believe the stretch and fold, the rise regiment, and the dimpleing techniques made a difference compared to other pan pizza attempts in the past. 

Next weekend I'm going to follow his 100% Sourdough levening recipe and techniques and see where that takes me. 

The pictures say it all. Two personal pan versions a pineapple and feta cheese, and a ham, pineapple, and feta cheese. The big one was a sausage and Jalapeño. Dough was initially par-baked. A very light, airy, soft texture - pan pizza heaven. 

 

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For a bonus round I made a Ranier Cherry Crumble for desert. 

 

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Edited by ckreef
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