Thursday, January 05, 2012

Grandma Pizza Recipe


Since documenting the variety known as Grandma Pizza back in October of 2010, I still had not introduced it to my rotation of homebaked pies and  tried to bake one myself.  That all ended last night.

*UPDATE on Feb 3, 2012* I recently bought 2 Detroit-style Blue Steel Pizza Pans and changed my recipe a bit.

We had a few friends have babies recently, so Nat decided to bring them over a ready-made meal.  I was able to help and put together a few deep dish pizzas.  While I was making the skins, I threw together the ingredients for a 3rd one - that we could keep.  I modified my deep dish dough recipe a bit by adding more water and oil to make it more match the Grandma recipe from Slice.   I modified the recipe for both the dough and the sauce a bit, but the science behind it is all Kenji's from Slice.

For the Dough3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
A couple of scoops of rapid-rise yeast (I have a big tub of the stuff so I don't measure that well, unfortunately)
pinch of sugar
8 oz of hot water
4 oz of cold milk
1/2 cup corn oil  (yes...corn oil.  not olive oil.  It is just a personal preference with pizza for me.)

Cheese, meats, etc.  
2-3 cups of cheese of your choice.  I prefer Chellino Scamorza - it is the best!
as much Soprasetta/pepperoni/sausage that you'd like.  
1 cup of hard parmesan cheese shredded
1/2 cup of Giardiniera - if you're into that stuff....

For the Sauce1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes packed in tomato juice, drained
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt
1.  Start with the dough mix.  Add the yeast, sugar and the hot water to the bowl of your kitchen mixer.  Let it proof for a few minutes.  Then add the milk, flour and salt.  Stir a bit with your dough hook.  Then start adding in the oil.  Mix until it comes together and there isn't any dry bits.  This will be a bit sticky.  

2.  (This is totally optional.)  Dump a tablespoon or two of oil (your preference) into a ziplock bag and after kneading the dough up in your hands into a ball, dump it into the bag.  Squish it around a bit so the dough ball is covered with the oil and won't stick to the bag.  Stick it in the fridge for a night or two.  Two days of a cold rise is my preference, but I don't often plan that well, so one night is better than nothing.  (you should check on it occasionally and see if you need to release some of the pressure in the bag.)  On the day you are going to make the pie, pull your dough bag out of the fridge about 4-5 hours ahead of time.  Let it sit on your counter for 2 hours to warm up. 

3.  Two hours before you want to start baking, dump your dough onto a well-oiled baking sheet.  Most of us have the typical 12X18 rimmed baking sheets.  Those are fine, but if you have a rectangular blue steel pan - and we all really should - use that.  This is where the science of Slice came in.  This was their invention and it worked.  Just cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm spot to let it work it's own magic.  (I put mine in our oven with the oven light on to warm it up.)  The dough just finds it way out to the edges of the pan and you don't have to do much stretching/pulling at all.  

4.  Now to start the sauce.  Again, I used a modified version of the Slice recipe.   I don't want to take too much credit for the sauce, so go over here to read the recipe.  It is step 4 &5.  I normally don't like to cook my sauce at all.  But, this turned out good and I'll use it again with a few modifications.  

5.  To bake the skin, first crank your oven up to 500 degrees.  Put your pizza stone in there, too.  Let it warm up for 30 minutes or so.  I suppose you could do this as you cook the sauce.  

6.  Peel back the plastic wrap from the skin and make sure the dough is spread out to all four corners.  Pop it into the oven for 4-5 minutes to par-bake and set the crust.  

At this point, the skin should be nice and bubbly.  Mine had a lot of activity - which I hoped would lead to a nice hole structure.

7.  When you take it out, carefully distribute the parmesan cheese around the exterior of the pie - along the edge where the skin meets the pan.  This is going to make that crunchy, dark edge.  Then take a cup of your sauce and spread it around (up to the parmesan cheese on the edge).  Stick it back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes.  This helps set the crust and will make sure that your top doesn't get too brown while you wait for your crust to darken up.  

8.  After you take your pie out again, top it with the rest of the cheese and your meats.  Then spoon on the rest of the sauce in either diagonal lines or just dollops where ever you'd like.  Bake for another 12-15 minutes until it is brown to your preference.  

9.  Cut it into squares and enjoy the Detroit-style goodness.  Because of the oil in the pan (and the recipe) the skin basically fry's itself.  Your upskirt should look golden and crispy.

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