Thanks, @FredipusRex. I saw where @Andrew said "much higher than 500...", so I wonder why the discrepancy.
@shuboyje: "cannot produce Neapolitan pizza"? Where does it say that? Have you read the book? (@Andrew: what is the upper temp limit?)
Regardless, there could be a lot of reasons to have an outdoor oven. To reduce the heat put into one's house (warm climate, cooking in summer). Or maybe some people like entertaining outside, being outside, cooking outside. Or recovery time--maybe someone likes doing big sessions of lots of pies. Most home ovens hobble along after the first couple of pies. Etc.
@Adam, you're welcome. What I do ain't perfect, but it works. There is probably a better method, but it's the best I've come up with from many trials and errors.
Truth be told, usually when I have dough, etc., at the end of a session, I just crank out one last pie and then cut it (party cut, of course) and store in the fridge. Then I eat a few lil' squares at a time over the next couple days.
HRI takes some coaxing in the oven to cook just right. For my oven, I usually cook at lower temp (415) than what the box says (450) and then cook it for much longer. Gotta let the dense, oily, flaky dough cook all the way through and let the cheese get nice and browned on top (like a true Chicago thin).
And yes, they do parbake them. They even use a heated press for the dough, supposedly, which begins the process.
For freezing homemade pizza, I've had good luck with parbaking or even fully baking my pizza. I do make a couple of adjustments, though.
First, I brush oil on the dough before saucing, to help keep the crust from absorbing too much sauce after it's cooked. Secondly, I go extra heavy on the sauce for this same reason--that even if the crust does absorb some sauce/moisture, it will still be a saucy pie.
Another major consideration is storage. Most people don't have a shrink-wrapper or such (I sure don't). I get those 2-gallon ziplock bags (or are they 2.5-gal?) and then figure out how big of a pie they can hold. From my recollection, it can hold something slightly smaller than my usual pies. I may sometimes wrap the cooked and cooled pie in foil before putting in the bag. And think about where you're gonna put it in the freezer. Do you have a cardboard disk or something to keep it from bending? Putting it on top of another boxed, frozen (store bought) pizza already in the freezer works pretty well, but plan ahead.
If parbaking, it's pretty much *just shy* of full baking. I'd say right before the cheese browns.
Reanimate on a stone, and keep an eye on it.
Is it as good as fresh? Nah. Of course not. But it's your pizza--or a version of it. Tastes like leftovers. Good leftovers, but leftovers nonetheless. The only time I really bother with something like this is when I have dough, sauce, and cheese remaining at the end of a pizza session. I'd never do this from scratch, with the sole purpose to make frozen pizza. I'd rather eat HRI, actually.
Dude, Home Run Inn on the left side of the graph, next to the Jeno's 99 cent krep? You're high.
HRI is a fine pizza. Not a fine frozen pizza, but a fine pizza, period. It is better than 99% of all restaurant pizza here in my city Down South, and I would gladly have HRI any night of the week.
Re-reading this thread, and reconsidering everything about Great Lake, their biggest issue is the fact that knowing how to make tasty pizza isn't the same thing as knowing how to run a business. It's that old adage--I'm paraphrasing--"quality, price, or customer service, pick any two." Well, GL decided to just pick one. And really, only hipsters can abide by that kind of thing, a reverse/perverse cred thing, to put up with such awful service as a badge of honor.
And cpd007 nails the bigger picture: that the elevation and veneration of Great Lake is nearly always done sneeringly, at the expense of the Chicago thin crust parlors that are beloved by generations of Chicagoans. So the outsiders come in and declare, in full chauvinistic glory, "There is finally a pizza worth eating in the whole city of Chicago!"
Preach it, brother cpd007! We need to eat some tiny little squares of pizza together someday when I'm in town.
"Pope of chili town."
Don't quit your day job, Chief...whatever that is...
Save the drippings!!! And believe me, there will be a couple quarts of the stuff. It is pure flavor.
Check out the forums at pizzamaking.com. Could be cracker. Could be midwestern thin. But I bet the someone over there knows the very place you're talking about.
Advice for take out or delivery: ask for the pizza uncut, and have a heated pizza stone waiting in your oven. Slide that baby onto the stone for a quick reanimation (3-4 mins), remove, and slice.
This thread is disgusting. I thought overtly political stuff would be removed. WTH? The biases shown here are as laughable as they are predictable. One of the things I have liked about SE is the avoidance of politics. Instead, these big politically correct, leftist rants are now polluting things around here. Ugh.
If you are a home pizza maker, I *highly* recommend the housemade Italian sausage. It is very much a pizza sausage and the recipe was developed in Chicago. As a Chicago expat, it is a huge help to be able to get genuine Chicago pizza sausage.
That foldable bread taco they call pizza in NY is pretty good if drunk enough.
It turned out all right. A little more alcohol heat seemed to accentuate the fennel. Tasted like absinthe sausage. I wouldn't necessarily repeat this, but it worked in a pinch. Thanks, all, for the encouragement!
Thank you, @Littauer. I just need to relax and assume the best! Will definitely report back. Cheers!
Brought back some good memories! The Dough Bowl used to be called Dino's Pizza in my day. Nice place for a cheap, greasy slice. And as @aledort said, such a post will inspire everyone to chime in with faves, but I am surprised Brigtsen's didn't make the cut, given its proximity to campus.
A&S '92, baby!
Pot roast. Use chuck. Braise until it's falling apart. Thicken the gravy. This would be easiest of all. Hard to beat pot roast for its beefy goodness and simplicity.
Great write-up. What's the price differential between the old and new shops? I'd imagine the Lincoln Square place has a healthy markup.
So how do y'all feel about the opinions and laws against homosexuality that are found in the controlling members of OPEC? I assume everyone here stopped buying gasoline a long time ago, eh?
Selective outrage must be exhausting.
"a less homophobic alternative"
Guh. SE is now infected by politics? I was hoping the Two Minutes of Hate was over.
"It's the bake time that defines the style."
Hyperbole at best. I'd say other things define the style more so. Plus, the home baker must make adjustments.
Go to pizzamaking.com and the forums there. I love SE, but that site is the real deal. Plus, you'll see all these same folks over there, discussing technique in great detail--with pictures!