Posts

Showing posts with the label pizza gear

My (Alternative) Pizza Cheese Blend - Bar Pie - February 2022

Image
I've been a proponent of a low-moisture cheese for pizza making for a number of years.  A special cheese, specifically:  Chellino Scamorza Cheese .  It isn't smoked and is most-similar to the traditional low-moisture Mozzarella that you find at the Jewels or Marianos.  But, I've been experimenting with a different set of cheeses with my Bar Pies.   I took that class with the OG Pizza-online-guy Adam Kuban last year where he talked about his "KuBlend" where he talked about how he blends a couple of cheeses for Bar Pies.  For some recent Bar Pie experiments , I've moved away from the Chellino Scamorza and have begun to trial this 2 parts Whole Milk Mozzarella (low-moisture) and 1 part Fontina.   Fontina has been on my radar for a bit as the folks at Via Napoli in the World Showcase at EPCOT Center use it (see this post from 2017 that shows a few cheeses they use including: Robiola, Parmesan, Provolone and Fontina.) Below are the two products that I've been

Tracking Chellino Scamorza Cheese at Frankie's Deli - November 2021

Image
I've long held that this Chellino Scamorza cheese - out of Joliet - is the best pizza cheese for home bakers.  I started buying it when we lived in Elmhurst and picked it up at Angelo Caputos up in Addison.  Since we moved to Downers, the sourcing of the cheese has been spotty.  They have it at Angelo's on 55th here (shared in 2018) , but I had a bad experience with flavor and don't love that store.  I've since gone back and have had no problems.  I also tracked the price at Nature's Best Market in Westmont where they were selling it for $2 cheaper than Angelo's at $5.99 .   I haven't settled on a source, but buy it where I can when I need it.  I recently picked up a meal at Frankie's Deli in Oak Brook Terrace (near my folk's place) and noticed they carry the stuff.  Here's the tag below showing their price:  $7.99. I haven't done enough of a close examination of the price of Chellino Scamorza Cheese over the years, but I think $7.99 is abo

Aurelio's Pizza Pre-Panning Their Dough - Pizzamaking 2021

Back in  this post from October of 2015 , at the very end, I mention that in a video , the franchisee of the Aurelio's in Geneva "points out that they roll/sheet their skins out ahead of time and let them kind of dry out. They don't want the top 'sticky'. Not 'doughy'."  I thought that was interesting.  They pan their doughs ahead of time.  That kinda makes sense in terms of a production environment, right?  But, I wasn't sure if that was just unique to the Geneva franchise.   Welp, over on their Instagram handle , the folks at Aurelio's pizza confirm for me - as fact - this pre-panning of the dough that I've been thinking about for years.   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aurelio's Pizza (@aureliospizza) I've been making Bar Pizzas the past few weekends and this is something I'm going to incorporate into my tests to see what impact it has on the finished product.  Also, note...they use cutt

Deep Dish Stacking Pan Added - February 2021

Image
Ahead of the virtual Bar Pizza class I am taking today, I added a new pan to my pizza making gear at home.  It is another pan from Lloyd's Pans out of Washington State .   I've been very happy with my Lloyd's pans over the years including the long, narrow ones that I bought last year during quarantine and the cutter pans that I've been using for years.   For the Bar Pizza Class , the instructions provided by the instructor (Online Pizza OG Adam Kuban) recommended a specific pan, but provided for a couple of alternatives including a cheap one from Target and using cutter pans that I have on hand.  I figured that I should go all-in and spring for the *right* pan.    That pan is the one you see below from Lloyd's Pans - a 12" Deep Dish Stacking Pan .   Here's how it came in the box: A close look at the label shows the specs and mentions the PSTK coating that Lloyd's puts on their pans. One thing to mention, I ended up buying this pan via Lloyd's stor

Sclafani Crushed Tomatoes - Bulk Buy for Pizza Making

Image
 I took the Sclafani Crushed Tomatoes plunge.  Via a 12 pack of these 28 ounce cans from Amazon.  They don't seem to be available locally and the price on Amazon comes out to $2.32 per can , so I figured I'd give them a try.  I can get the Kroger brand of Crushed Tomatoes for $1.49, so there's certainly a premium, but these are (by all accounts) a good, quality item .  When they arrived, I opend up the case and saw those adorable cans. In the post from a couple of weeks ago , I mentioned that online pizza OG Adam Kuban was who recommended these via the instructions that SlowRise sent out related to Adam's Bar Pizza online class.   I've long been a user of 6-in-1 tomatoes, which are billed as "ground tomatoes" , but unfortunately, our local Mariano's (Kroger) stopped carrying them in 28 ounce cans.  They, occasionally get the gigantic, food-service-size cans, but I'm not equipped to deal with that volume of crushed tomatoes.  The guys over at Zeppe&

Hormel Cup N Crisp Pepperoni - Nice Cups - November 2020

Image
Just about two years ago, I posted some photos of the new (to me) Ezzo pepperoni that I bought online that was billed as 'cup and char' pepperoni .  I was a little bit late to trying the Prince Street Pizza square that seemed to have kicked off the cupping pepperoni trend, but I was able to get to it in April of 2019 and found it to live up to the hype .  For me, the Ezzo stuff was hard to get (had to order online), so it wasn't something that I was getting all the time.  I had a really nice, thick-cut replacement that Mariano's carried, but they stopped carrying it for some reason during the pandemic. That's when I put my antenna up about new pepperoni.  Over the past year or so, I've been hearing/reading about Hormel introducing something called Rosa Grande .  It is, however, foodservice only.   After reading up on the PizzaMaking.com forums , it turns out that most people there believe that this latest market entrant:  Cup N Crisp from Hormel is really the sa

Long Pizza Pans - For Double Frico Edge Squares

A few weeks back, I saw in Adam Kuban's Instagram Stories (he's the "OG pizza blogger" that I've posted about from time-to-time ) that he had purchased some new pans from Lloyd's Pans that included a long/thin pan that had a pretty unique shape.  I think...he then included a 'repost' (is that what we call them on Instagram?) of a story from TheKitchenWhisperer.Pizza where she was talking about how she was using similar pans.  Here's one of her posts .  And if you look at her feed, there are a bunch .  This one appears to be when she first acquired the pans .    Here's one of a full topped pie below: View this post on Instagram ๐ŸŽต “I’m feelin’ Hot! Hot! Hot!” This pizza was SPICY ๐Ÿ”ฅ in all the best ways! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I couldn’t let another day go by without using my 18” Long Pan from @lloydpans . A girl’s gotta eat after all! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Layers of ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸŒถspicy banana pepper sauce, cheese blend,

Cup and Char Ezzo Pepperoni - Added to Pizza Toolkit

Image
Over the years, I've honed by at-home pizza game.  First it was the discovery and use of Chellino Scamorza Cheese out of Joliet .  Won't make a pie without it now.  Then it was the acquisition of new cutter pans , serving pans and stands .  And now it is buying cup and char pepperoni on the internet. PennMac sells Ezzo 38MM Pepperoni in 1 lb bags and I took the plunge recently.    The bag you see above is one of two that I bought online - but I also bought an Ezzo stick that I haven't sliced.  If you follow the instagram account /ronicups (which I don't know why you wouldn't be, right??), or visited a hip, new pizza place that is making Detroit or bar pies, you've undoubtedly come across Ezzo cup and char pepperoni. View this post on Instagram Roni Cups on a square pizza by @danwongishungry at @psp_nyc #squarepie #squarepizza A post shared by Pepperoni - Roni Cups ๐Ÿ• (@ronicups) on Oct 8, 2018

What do YOU do with Cutter Pans and Pizza Skin Transportation?

Image
Here's a situation that I'm faced with at least a few times a year:  Make the dough for thin pizzas at home.  Do a cold rise overnight, take them out in the am and spread the skins on the pans.  Then, later in the day... pack up my gear, get in the car and head to someone's house (my Mom's, Nat's Mom's, etc).  Where we dress and bake and serve the pies. With Detroit-style pizzas, that's a breeze.  There are a bunch of vendors who sell plastic lids that snap on to the blue steel pans that I use.  But, what about round cutter pans?  The ones I use are from Lloyd's Pans and have a 63-degree angle with just a shallow lip.  I press the dough into one of these and when it rises, it comes up to almost meet the edge of the dough.   At home, that's fine.  But what about transporting?  These things aren't the easiest to handle and there isn't a lid that I have on hand that works.  I've been recently using these black plastic dimpled serving t

Pizza Gear Upgrade: Heavy-Duty Pan Gripper

Image
For the last ten or so years, I've been relying on your typical pan gripper when it comes to trying to extract my pizzas out of their pans.   It looks like this one .  But, at some point, I was turned on to the one you see above:  a heavy-duty version.  And it ended up on my Christmas list to Natalie.   It is $5.75 and can be bought from Northern Pizza Equipment .  Nat's brother was looking for ideas for Christmas gifts this year and she sent him along the link and he ended up gifting it to me.  Because of the move, it ended up in a box with some other pizza gear - awaiting the day when it can be used to help with my pizza making. A few weekends back, this thing made it's debut.  And I don't know how I lived without it.  It is super strong and has a very wide lip on the mouth of the gripper that allows me to - with one hand - grab a cutter pan from Lloyd Pans directly out of the oven and put it on the stovetop.  No more need for even an oven mitt - which is pretty

What's This? The Pizza Ring?

Image
Came across this kitchen gadget near the checkout aisle at the local Jewel here in Elmhurst:  it is called The Pizza Ring and it apparently comes out of St. Louis, Missouri.   Here's the product website with a video , but the basic premise is that frozen pizza companies are increasingly asking consumers to take the pies out of their boxes and place them directly on the rack in your oven.  That, in turn leads to all sorts of messy disasters that leave your oven dirty and full of frozen pizza residuals which, in turn, lead to smoke. It is sort of interesting, but we cook so few frozen pies - and I haven't really experienced any sort of mess trouble with them - that I'm not moved to buy it.  Most of the time, we make the kids those little personal Home Run Inn pizzas that would likely just slip right through the middle ring of this thing, right? For ten bucks, this unitasker (although, they point out that you can use this for pies that spill over, too!  So...techni

More Pizza Clues - Aurelio's Uses A Sheeter and Bagged Flour?

Image
Over the weekend, I stopped into the Aurelio's takeout location in Downtown Downers Grove while I waited for the Babe to emerge from the basement setting for a birthday party at the Tivoli Lanes right next door.   When I was there, I came across three things:  First was this art glass piece above that is right when you open the front door.  Hadn't noticed it before, but I really like it and it seems like this belongs in one of their *real* restaurants.  And, by 'real', I mean a sitdown place.  This one in Downers is just a takeout joint.  Sure, they have 3 tables and sell (sadly) slices, but it isn't a restaurant, at least to me.  (Also, the fact that they are selling pie-shaped slices is a bummer, right?  I mean...Aurelio's is a tavern-cut pie by nature.  I get that they're trying to sell slices, but being a pizza crazy person, I don't like to see the bastardization of a tavern-cut pie.   Why not 'big squares'?) Anyway, on to the second and

New Pizza Gear: Stands and Pans

Image
Thanks to Nat and the girls and what might be the best Father's Day gifts ever, I'm now the proud owner of these new stands and pans.  The pans you see above are from here on Central Restaurant and are simply called "Plastic serving tray", but if you've been to a southside pizza joint where they serve tavern cut thin crust, you know these as the 'anti-sogginess' devices.  You don't cook the pies in here.  Nope.  After you pull them out of your cutter pans, you cut them on a board, then slide them into one of these to make sure you keep your crispy bottom.  My favorite place Aurelio's uses these and that's where I started to chase them down. The stands that the trays/pans are standing on are from Amazon here and cost about ten bucks.  The catch is that you have to buy these little plastic sleeves that kind of clip on to the stands.  They are here on Amazon and are just six bucks for a set of three.    Now, you're probably wonder

Trying Sanfratello's Pizza (Chicago's 'Other' Pizza)

Image
Earlier this year, I came across this story in Full-Service Restaurant Magazine (yes...I occasionally read pizza trade outlets!) that spoke about how Sanfratello's was expanding in the Chicago area .  What struck me was that that this place that calls themselves the 'original Southside pizza' was crowing about how they were expanding to the 'Northside'.  The problem?  The new location is in Naperville.  Not *exactly* what I'd call the 'Northside', right?  Anyway...from the story: Sanfratello's Pizza, Chicago's original Southside pizza since 1969, announces its first north side location. The fifth location is company-owned and is celebrating its grand opening on March 30 at 1299 S. Naper Blvd. in Naperville. To celebrate the company's venture to the north, Sanfratello's is giving away two styles of Southside pizza—tavern style thin crust and pan. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 30, all carryout guests will receive a free small cheese t

New Cutter Pizza Pans From Lloyd Pans

Image
Well, well, well.  Look at what showed up over the weekend at our house.  That's three brand new, pre-seasoned, permanent-coated 14" cutter pans for Chicago-style thin crust pizzas.  If you are looking for your own set, you can find them here .  I will caution you that they actually manufacture your pans and don't have them in stock.  Really.   Like it took a month to get them.  I first heard about Lloyd Pans and their cutter pans on the PizzaMaking.com forums .   Same place that I sourced my Detroit-style blue steel pans that I've put through their paces over the past four-ish years. This is part of the email I had with the Lloyd Pans customer representative - who couldn't have been nicer. We are the manufacturer of the pans you see on our website. We build them here in Spokane, WA so these will be "hot off the press" for you! :)   We are booked heavily in production right now, but are running extra shifts to get the work out sooner if possible

KettlePizza Fires Up (Round Two)

Image
Over the weekend, I put the KettlePizza through it's paces for the second time and the results were much better.  I upgraded the dough and went with a lighter hand on the toppings but I also made sure that the peel was set up right and the pie could slide off properly. The first time, I got the oven up to about 800 degrees, but this time it was topping out between 600 and 700.  I used the Kenji Lopez-Alt/The Food Lab hack by putting the Pizza Steel in on the top grate to create both thermal mass and a top heat source. My pie didn't have great leopard spotting, but it was cooked close to right and had a nice combination of crisp/chew on the cornicione .  (What...you don't use the words in the pizza glossary ??)

KettlePizza Arrives at the Parrillo Household

Image
After many a year of dreaming about building my own wood-fired pizza oven, we have come to a sort-of compromise.  Introducing...the KettlePizza.  It takes a 22.5" Weber grill and transforms it (with some slight modifications) into a wood-burning 800 degree beast. I put it through it's paces over the weekend and the results were less than stellar.  Lots to learn about this thing including the dough formulation, how to get them in the oven, how to top the pies and how to get them out of this beast without burning myself like crazy. Good thing Summer is almost here and we'll have plenty of time to experiment.

Bakerstone Grill Pizza Oven Box At Costco

Image
On my most recent stop at Costco, the item that caught my attention the most was this Bakerstone grill pizza ovenbox.   On their site, they list it for $129 .  What's most interesting to me is that this thing has a baking stone at the bottom - but ALSO at the top - of the box. From the description: The BakerStone Professional Series Pizza Oven Kit provides you with everything that you need to turn your grill into a restaurant quality pizza oven and transform your backyard into a gourmet pizzeria. With the BakerStone Professional Series Pizza Oven Box, you'll be able to bake gourmet pizzas in around 2 to 4 minutes, bake artisan quality breads, sear and roast steakhouse quality steaks, pork chops and fish, roast vegetables, and even bake bakery quality cookies and other delicious baked goods.   The BakerStone Professional Series Oven is easy to use. Just place on the cooking grates of your grill and preheat like normal. The BakerStone Pizza Oven Box absorbs the heat p

Blue Steel Pizza Pan - Seasoning Not Sticking

Image
Bummer.  The seasoning isn't taking.  Might have to start from scratch on this pizza pan.  I recently picked up 2 more pans (4 total) so we can have a nice sized Detroit-pizza-party.

Seasoned Pizza Pans - After 2 Weeks

Image
Just throwing down a marker her to note what a 'new' pizza pan looks like after a few dozen hours of seasoning in the oven and a few skins baked on it. Nothing for anyone to see here just yet.  We can just move along.  By Christmas-time, these babies should have a nice thick coat on 'em.