Thanks maplesugar and Bill, I really appreciate it!
I'm looking to try a few new recipes, and have had trouble finding two items in Calgary:
- campanelle pasta
Pasta in the shape of a small cone with a ruffled edge. Also known as gigli. Looks like this:
- vialone nano rice
An Italian white rice with short, plump grains, which have a creamy consistency when cooked.
I've tried two Italian grocery stores, Lina's Italian Market and The Italian Supermarket without luck. The cashier at Lina's had never even heard of campanelle.
Just wondering if anyone had seen either of these two items around Calgary ?
Good ideas, thanks guys!
runwestierun: I do have a grill, but not one that can get up to 750F. I've looked on Pizzamaking.com at some of the grill ideas that they have.
Ideally, it would be nice to know if I could get what I'm looking for without investing into a new or modified grill, but I guess there's only one way to really find out!
Just an update on this. I ended up e-mailing the company that provides the cheese to the restaurant that makes the pizza I'm trying to re-create.
This verifies for me that I've been experimenting with the correct cheese all along.
I've done some more experiments including blocking the direct heat from the broiler, which seemed to help a little bit, but I still seem to end up browning the cheese much more than they do.
I'm starting to think it must be related to the cooking process, they're using a commercial pizza oven, I'm using a home oven. I'm not really sure what differences between the two would cause the variation, whether it's the heat level or type of heat, etc. Guess I'll have to do some more research.
It's funny, everyone says the pizza I'm making looks better than the one I'm trying to achieve.
The one I make tastes just great, but I'm still hoping to figure out the key to less browning and more crispness in texture.
Thanks Bryan, that would definitely be appreciated!
So, this weekend we made another attempt. Here's what we did differently based on some suggestions...
- left the toppings out to reach room temperature
cooking method: cast iron pan (pre-heated) into a pre-heated (45 min) oven cranked up to 550F.
Here is a pic of the result:
To us, the coloring of the cheese turned out the same as our previous attempts with 100% mozzarella. The difference this time, was that the cheese was slightly greasier.
We're still not getting the uniform golden color or the 'crispiness' of the cheese that I'm looking for.
In the picture below, the pizza is half vegetarian, and half hawaiian. One thing we noticed about the Atlas Pizza (the one we're trying to recreate) was that the pizza with more toppings gets more of the browned effect like ours does.
But it still seems like we wouldn't be getting the same crispiness even with less toppings.
Great tips, thanks Bryan! I'm using an electric oven. I use a few techniques to get my oven temperature as hot as possible...
- preheat the oven to maximum for at least 30 min
This has resulted in much better pizza than I used to make.
I think there's a few things I'll try next...
- room temperature ingredients and heating the sauce as you suggested
Thanks Fly, I've experimented with the placement in the oven, and putting it under the broiler but it seems to brown the cheese more than 'goldenize' it.
Here's a pic of what I'm going for:
The 2 slices on the right are the best example.
Thanks for the tips, definitely appreciated!
I was getting the same forbidden error as you, not really sure why. I uploaded it here and it seems to work:
^^ what I'm trying to achieve.
I'm definitely going for crispiness, but as you can see in the pic, I'm actually trying to avoid the 'browning'. I'm looking more for what you see in the 2 slices on the right.
For a while now, I've been trying to replicate my favorite pizza from my favorite pizza restaurant.
Here's a picture of what I'm trying to achieve:
The cheese is an almost uniform golden, with a real 'crispy' or almost crunchy texture. I've been told that I'm using the exact same brand and type of cheese as the restaurant (100% mozzarella).
Style of pizza?
Apparently they're using a regular commercial oven with regular pizza pans.
When I try to replicate it at home, my cheese doesn't end up looking anything like this or having the same texture.
Someone suggested that perhaps it's actually a blend of mozzarella and mild white cheddar?
Ugh, sorry to hear TSAW. We make our pizza all the time using cast-iron now, and fortunately they've all been great since our first attempt.
I've found that you almost need to take a scientific approach to heating up your cast-iron pan. Note the temperature that you heated at, and for how long.
Heating up the cast iron too much can definitely result in what you described, it sounds like our first pizza.
Pizzapro: I know it's been a long time since I last posted in this thread, but I've been trying to replicate the 'golden crispiness' of the mozzarella cheese that Atlas Pizza seems to have.
I asked for help on the PizzaMaking forum, and someone suggested that perhaps some type of melted butter was drizzled on top of the pizza before baking.
Just wondering if you had any info on Atlas pizza doing that with their pizza?
Yep, 17th Ave SE - Safeway and Co-Op across from each other. Those were the ones I ended up going to when I lived in the 'wood. Downtown is too big of a pain to access. Mind you I was on the very east side of Inglewood.
I'm having a beer & cheese party this month, and I was wondering if anyone out there had any favorite combinations of beer & cheese?
Ideally beers & cheeses that are somewhat easy to find in Western Canada !
Thanks for the excellent report TSAW! Believe me, it sounds like you were a *lot* more successful than our first attempt, which basically resulted in a cremated frisbee.
By the 2nd or 3rd attempt we were making some really, really good pizza. I love the cast iron method, don't think I could ever go back.
If you ever try it again, would love to hear about it. Maybe together we could make some improvements. I'll have to try the ounce of red wine.
Your cast iron pan is a lot larger than ours (12 inch) so more dough would definitely be required.
I should note that the bottom of our pizza does not really get browned/golden either, but the crust does taste delicious. Maybe it's the lack of oil ? To us, we almost find this to be an improvement over the slightly greasy Atlas pizza, but I wouldn't mind trying to recreate it just for fun.
Should also note that the girlfriend felt the sauce might have had a bit too much oregano. Might try less next time.
Alright guys, here it is! If anyone else gives this a shot, I would definitely appreciate your feedback, especially if you can make it taste even more Atlas-like. To me it's pretty damn close, haven't tried a blind taste test yet though :)
Yields: one 9" pizza (size of the bottom of a 12" cast iron pan)
* 1.5 tbsp of oregano
Note that this makes enough sauce for about 5 pizzas, so if you want to make just enough sauce for one, you'll need to do some math.
I found Lina's to be the most expensive, and Alberta Cheese to be the cheapest ($5 for the 454g, or $2.50 cheaper than Lina's).
1. Heat up the tomatoes on your stove, and then add the oregano, basil, white sugar, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and granulated garlic. Allow to simmer.
2. Put your cast iron pan on your stove top. How high should you turn your heat? This is where some experimenting is required. Here is what happened for us:
- 20 minutes of heating @ maximum stove top temperature resulted in immediate burning of the dough. Not pretty.
- 18 minutes at level 8 of 9 (ie 90% of your stovetop maximum) resulted in a perfectly baked crust.
See what a fine line there is between best pizza ever and a terrible cremated mess? My suggestion would be to try your first pizza at 70% of your stove-top maximum for 18 minutes. If it looks like you can go higher, bump it up for the next pizza.
At the same time, turn on your oven to as high a temperature as it can possibly go, with the broiler on. Move your oven rack so it's in the slot just below the broiler.
3. Now, while that cast iron pan is heating up, start getting your pizza ingredients together. Grate about 75% of that 454g block of mozzarella. This pizza will be really cheese heavy.
4. Take about half of the dough that you bought from Lina's and spread it out on something with flour on it. The size of your pizza pie should be about the size of the bottom of your cast iron pan.
You may also wish to try putting the dough on parchment paper. This is apparently a great way to transfer the dough from the pizza to the cast iron pan. I haven't tried this yet myself, but it sounds like a good idea, especially if you don't have someone to help you with the pizza transfer.
5. Spread the sauce on to your dough. Use a liberal amount of sauce. I don't like to see any bare spots. Add your toppings. Add your cheese (use a lot of cheese, my pizza ends up being a good inch thick from the bottom of the crust to the top of the cheese).
6. Ok, by now your cast iron pan will be extremely hot, having heated for 18 minutes. Using some oven mitts, take the cast iron pan and turn it upside down on top of your stove.
Now comes the fun part, transferring your pizza to the bottom of the cast iron pan. It's definitely a lot easier with 2 people. We use 3 spatulas and that makes it fairly easy. You may also want to try the parchment paper method mentioned in step 4. I'm assuming you can just slide the pizza off on to the cast iron pan.
7. Still using the oven mitts, place the pizza in to your oven, and place it just underneath the broiler. Close your oven door and turn on the light. You'll want to keep an eye on your pizza, it's going to cook faster than you've ever cooked a pizza before.
What you're trying to achieve is a real browning of the cheese, making it nice and crispy. You may need to experiment, for our stove, we like to open the door a few times which seems to activate the broiler (make it glow red hot).
Ideally, you'll be able to get a nice even coverage of cheese browning.
Once it's done, take it out of the oven and sit it on top of your stove (we keep ours on the cast iron pan). We like to let it cool for a bit, but that's up to you I guess.
No problem TSAW. In my opinion the keys are...
- cinnamon in the sauce
- using a LOT of Franco's mozzarella cheese (available at some CO-OPs and at Lina's Italian market). Atlas has a ton of cheese on their pizza.
- using the upside down Cast Iron grill pan method. You also want to make sure your oven is turned up as high as it can go and the broiler is on.
We heated our cast iron pan for a good 20 minutes (highest setting) on the stove top.
Then you turn it upside down and transfer your dough (with sauce and toppings). This can be kind of tricky, you'll want 2 people for sure, unless you have one of those pizza oven shovels. UPDATE: Just read a tip on Chowhound about using wax paper or parchment paper to make the transfer, will try this next time.
So with the pizza now on your upside down cast iron pan you put it into your oven, which has been heated as high as it can go.
We experimented with various placement of the pizza relative to the broiler.
Everyone's oven will be different, and capable of different temperatures. We tried this method in a really good oven (newer) and cooked a pizza in less than 2 minutes.
With our oven at home (kind of old), and with lower placement of the pizza relative to the broiler it took about 5-6 minutes.
I should point out that you want to get the cheese really crispy/browned just like Atlas, but without burning obviously. You will want to keep an eye on it in the oven and see if one section is getting more browned than the other, and possibly move it around.
We also opened our oven door a few times during the process, to allow the broiler to come back on.
Also, we had one failed experiment where we put some oil on the cast iron pan and the dough burned literally as soon as it touched the hot cast iron. Not sure if we just used too much oil or what, but for the next few pizzas we didn't use any oil.
If you give this method a shot, be sure to post and let us know how it goes, maybe we can fine tune the Atlas sauce recipe!
Certainly, I plan to write up a proper recipe, along with info about the cooking method.
The first batch of sauce we made, we just kind of winged it. Next time I'll use proper measurements, and I'd be happy to have someone else try it and see if they can offer any improvements.
Just an update, we made another pie using the 'upside down cast iron grill' method and it turned out amazing.
I'd say it's 95% of the way to being an Atlas clone. The cinnamon in the sauce was a huge key to the puzzle.
I've been looking into this as well. I found this interesting 36 page thread on PizzaMaking.com regarding turning a grill into a pizza oven with temperatures in the 750F range.
Another good page
So the girlfriend and I made yet another attempt to recreate the Atlas pizza. Here's what we used:
It definitely made a difference, and gave me that 'stringy' cheese that Atlas has.
The oven was turned up as high as it could go (dial says 450ish). We cooked it until the cheese looked sufficiently browned/crispy like it does at Atlas.
I think this was because the cheese was more sufficiently browned/crispy as you got closer to the crust.
I think perhaps the one variable I can't really control, the cooking process, might be preventing me from getting that true Atlas taste. I imagine their commercial ovens can get a lot hotter than our regular oven at home (or trailer) and that probably makes a difference with the cheese.
If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions, they're greatly appreciated, as I continue our quest.
Interesting, I've never thought of that!
Would love to hear from anyone else who's eaten at Atlas and can pick up on anything!
Perfect, thanks for all the help, I can wait to try it out.
"The dough is made up of baking powder, sugar, salt, yeast, oil, flour, and club soda."
You don't happen to remember any of the approximate measurements of each?
I'm trying to find a similar recipe on the web, but haven't had much luck.
A big part of my diet consists of eating a large variety of nuts. I was wondering if anyone might know where to find the following in fairly large quantities ...
Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
PizzaPro - you might be my new hero! Here are some specific questions that I can think of...
1. Are the pizzas topped with 100% mozzarella? I always thought it might be 20% provolone, just because it seemed 'stringy', which provolone seems to add.
I notice that the Alberta Cheese website lists 3 types of mozzarella cheese:
Mozzarella - Franco’s
I don't suppose you'd happen to know which one it is?
2. Any idea what the pizzas are greased with? Corn oil perhaps?
3. So no hints at all about what the sauce might contain? (Maybe just based on your personal experience)
4. Anything you can tell me about the cooking method? Is it on a pizza stone? Holes in the bottom?
5. Any other tips you can think of that might help would definitely be appreciated!
Thanks for any help that you can provide. Incidentally, today we tried making another Atlas type pizza, and it was our closest version yet. Still not quite there, but getting there.
Thanks nonlinear! Yep, that was me on Beyond, and I believe you were the one who pointed me to pizzamaking.com I will give Pete-zza's recipe a try and see how it compares.
I'm definitely going to use the 6-in-1 tomatoes, I found them at Lina's Italian Market here in Calgary, they seemed reasonably priced too.
I guess it can't hurt to ask about the cheese blend, for some reason I thought this might be a secret and they wouldn't appreciate me asking.
Pants: Atlas Pizza is at 6060 Memorial Drive NE Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
Atlas Pizza is probably my favorite pizza of all time, and I've been lucky enough to have eaten some darn good pizza in my time.
I would love to try and create it at home. I was wondering if anyone here with excellent taste buds could give me some pointers on the following...
- What 'style' of pizza would you classify Atlas Pizza as?
I once heard it described as 'greek bar style pizza'. Using this as my guide, I tracked down a thread on pizzamaking.com regarding this style of pizza, which can be seen here:
I also found a website that describes the variety of regional pizza making that is out there:
- What blend of cheese do you think Atlas Pizza uses ?
- Any ideas regarding the sauce? To me, the sauce tastes somewhat sweet. I love it!
If anyone Atlas Pizza lovers out there have any tips or ideas regarding how I can try making a similar style at home, I would definitely appreciate it!