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Old 02-14-2015, 03:14 AM
RustyP RustyP is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 45
Default Deep Dish #15 Pizza

So I beefed up the seasoning on my AB&I #15 and had another go at deep dish pizza.

Of course, I forgot to par bake the crust...

But somehow everything came out fully cooked and quite edible.

Yup. That crust is half bread and half mozzarella!

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Old 02-15-2015, 05:05 PM
Bonnie Scott Bonnie Scott is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,705
Default Re: Deep Dish #15 Pizza

It looks delicious to me.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:53 AM
DavidR DavidR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fairfax Va
Posts: 20
Default Re: Deep Dish #15 Pizza

Interesting - how were you able to un-mold the pie from the pan without breakage. I have never succeeded in that trick without a un-natural level of oil in the pan before the dough goes in. Hats off.
Just what is beefing up the seasoning mean? How many layers?
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:34 PM
RustyP RustyP is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 45
Default Re: Deep Dish #15 Pizza

The pizzas keep getting better and better!

By beefing up the seasoning, I just meant adding a few new layers. My pan was new, and I was impatient when I used it the first time.

(Okay, my post became really long, so I'll add headings, lol...)

Oiling the pan
I've tried crisco, crisco+butter, and olive oil, and only my very first pie stuck a little bit (crisco only), and that was with only 2 or 3 layers of flaxseed seasoning on the pan. Now I just use olive oil because it's easier to spread, but I want to play with butter some more because I think it'll taste better.

Pan seasoning
After adding a few more layers of seasoning to the pan, the only thing that sticks is the very top edge of the cheese-crust. Interestingly, the cheese seems to discolor the pan in a good way - it takes away the reddish rust color that I was lazy to clean off when I initially seasoned the pan (not enough time in electrolysis to form black iron / magnetite). You can see the cheese slices in the pic.

Dusting the dough (there's probably a proper term for this..)
One thing that might be important is that I roll the dough in semolina flour and corn meal before plopping it into the pan. I dust with semolina when I bake my sourdough bread, and if I forget to dust it it sticks to my baking cloche. Also, when I press the pizza dough into the pan, I make sure to apply more pressure sideways than downwards. You can feel the difference when the dough is stretching outwards and sliding vs sticking to the bottom and almost rolling as it stretches up top (at your hands) while the bottom sticks. Not good.

Dough recipe
What kind of dough recipe are you using? There's a huge difference in stickyness before and after the gluten has a chance to form, so a 20-minute pizza dough with instant yeast will probably stick like crazy (vs letting the dough autolyse). A few kneads (1-3 times) with about an hour rest in between (30 mins minimum) really helps develop a strong gluten network that keeps the dough in one piece.

Straight out of the bowl vs freshly balled dough
I've also been experimenting with balling the dough right before dropping it in the pan vs dropping it in straight from the bowl after an hour's rest since the last knead. The balled dough had a strong outer skin with zero sticking, but shrunk like crazy in the oven. Rested dough seemed to work a little better - I could feel it stick while I pressed it into the pan, but it released easily after baking. Need to test this out a few more times.

Sorry for writing a whole book, lol.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:39 AM
RustyP RustyP is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 45
Default Re: Deep Dish #15 Pizza

Quick update - It turns out my pizzas have been eating away the seasoning. Today I found a very light layer of surface rust on the pan, but only in the non-reddish area where the crust/cheese made contact with the pan.

I'm going to strip the pan because I want to get rid of some shadows (grid mark in the photo below) and uneven coloring left behind by a rushed electrolysis job.

I'm actually thinking about visiting the AB&I foundry. I'm an engineering student so it seems like a fun trip, and I want to see if they can machine the outside edges of the pan since it's a HUGE PAIN to season. It's so rough that it tears up paper towels and terry cloths, causing bits of paper/lint to get left on the pan.
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