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Rubbery cheese on pizza - how fix?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I was recently diagnosed with celiac, so I'm trying to learn to make decent gluten free pizza.  Before my diagnosis, I had never even made regular homemade pizza, so this is all new to me! Anyway, my first few attempts have been only so-so.  My daughter's main complaint was that the cheese was rubbery.  It did look just too smooth and not very inviting.  It didn't have that bubbly, cooked cheese look to it.  (I should mention that I have a lot of food intolerances and can't actually eat the pizza I make, so I personally don't know how it tasted. I'm making it for my 4 kids.)

 

I'm hoping y'all can help me figure out how to make the cheese come out better next time.  Some details:  

 

I used a pre-packaged Italian blend shredded cheese. If anything, I err on the side of too much cheese.

 

I cooked one pizza on the top rack and one on the bottom.  I switched them halfway through.  I cooked them on metal pans.

 

My gas oven was set to 425 degrees, and I checked the thermometer I keep in there to make sure it really was 425.  Cooked about 18 minutes.

 

I wasn't sure if I needed a higher temp, longer cooking time, only one in the oven at a time???  Thanks for any input!  Any tips that'll help me cut down the number of times I experiment and come up short will help.  Gluten-free crust mixes, flours, etc aren't cheap!  

post #2 of 13

Instead of a pre packaged blend, you might try using some fresh mozzarella. In the cheese section of most supermarket chains, you can usually find fresh mozz that's packed in salted water. If you use this with a blend of fontina, another soft cheese, you should get a pizza topping that's less greasy and chewy. I find that the prepackaged grated cheeses have less moisture than freshly grated cheese, which could be one reason for the "rubbery" feedback you got.

 

Not sure if you know about Bob's Red Mill products, but they make a very affordable gluten-free pizza crust mix:

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Gluten-16-Ounce/dp/B001D0676C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310577636&sr=8-1

post #3 of 13

Poor quality fresh mozzarella reminds me of rubber... just saying. so make sure you get something decent quality or you'll have the same problem.

 

Pre-shreaded cheese is usually inferior quality cheese to the whole blocks. and fact, many brands sell "for commercial use only" products that are VERY superior to what you can buy at the super markets. That's why when I want to make pizza, I buy it from a pizzeria or a deli that makes pizza.  Pretty sure the ones that use Grande Cheese are required to put that big stupid poster on their wall, but it's the brand I've grown accustomed to using for pizza.


Edited by pcieluck - 7/13/11 at 1:15pm
post #4 of 13

To be clear, "domino's" isn't what he was referring to when he said "pizzeria".  Grande offers a premium product and marketing collateral to their customers.  They can buy Grande without plastering it all over the place, but the marketing collateral is there to "add value" to the product by advertising the use of premium ingredients. 

 

Also, using a "blend" can be problematic.  Different cheeses melt differently.  Also, the "mix" itself varies from brand to brand.  Needless to say, the quality of cheeses also varies from one product to the next.

 

I would question what the cheese looks like when it comes out of the oven.  It should be fully melted, very little oil residue, and it shouldn't be "white".  It should be browned, but not overly browned.  Also, if you start with a frozen cheese, the finished product tends to be rather inflexible.  It just seems to "crust" together somehow.  Part-skim is healthier than whole-milk cheese, but the taste of whole milk is better, IMHO. 

 

You can bump the heat up to 500 (if your oven goes that high).  Most pizza ovens run in the range of 450-550 (some considerably higher, but those are very fast baking with a desired char on the crust).

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcieluck View Post
Pre-shreaded cheese is usually inferior quality cheese to the whole blocks. and fact, many brands sell "for commercial use only" products that are VERY superior to what you can buy at the super markets. That's why when I want to make pizza, I buy it from a pizzeria or a deli that makes pizza.  Pretty sure the ones that use Grande Cheese are required to put that big stupid poster on their wall, but it's the brand I've grown accustomed to using for pizza.


 

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

Also, using a "blend" can be problematic.  Different cheeses melt differently.  Also, the "mix" itself varies from brand to brand.  Needless to say, the 


 



I won't blend, but I will layer.  I will pick a good melting cheese (or one that merely softens when baked) and cover it with a finely grated cheese that doesn't really melt at all, but caramelizes well and adds nice salty flavor. Mozzarella covered in romano is a great example of this.  Ricotta covered in romano is a great pizza topper too; provides a different texture than your usual mozzarlla covered pie; and for some toppings is the best cheese to use, especially when using juicier vegetable toppings like tomatoes; and obviously one of the only choices if you're considering putting a cheese on your desert pie.  Really if you're looking to avoid "rubbery" at all costs, pick up any ricotta from any store. Even poor quality ricotta can be spiced up in a variety of ways. 

post #6 of 13

I agree on the ricotta.  I've started using that as a bend with grated cheddar and sometimes parmesan sliced over.  I have no idea how they would work for a celeriac, but they taste pretty fine together.

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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #7 of 13

I could say quite a bit about pizza at this point but I am just going to say that a mix of shredded mozz (50%) shredded jack (30%) and shredded parm or even asiago (20%) makes for a good mix. You can dink around with the percentages to get the flavor you like. Also there are plenty of places to find a really decent gluten free pizza crust recipe so you can actually taste what you are cooking.... isn't that part of what cooking is about? If my computer wasn't in storage I'd have a link to give... but google gluten free goddess and it should get you in the right direction. best of luck.

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post #8 of 13
I made lasagne and topped with generic store brand shredded mozzarella cheese in package. Was so disappointed when I took out of oven! Instead of cheesy, bubbling topping it looked like melted plastic.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Peterson View Post

I made lasagne and topped with generic store brand shredded mozzarella cheese in package. Was so disappointed when I took out of oven! Instead of cheesy, bubbling topping it looked like melted plastic.
So this happens when cheese is cooked too long and at a high temperature. It begins to separate so it becomes rubbery and greasy too. One thing you can do is add the top layer of cheese later in the cooking process, maybe 10 minutes before its ready to come out of the oven.

I have all kinds of problems with pre shredded cheeses and flavor is the biggest one. It doesn't behave like fresh cheese - if you grate fresh cheese its fluffy for a few moments but then begins to clump so in order to avoid that they toss the grated cheese with some kind of starch and who wants that in their homemade lasagna? I know it's an extra step but buy some fresh cheese and grate it yourself in your food processor or by hand. It will make a world of difference!

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post #10 of 13

Some other thoughts besides lesser quality cheese. How thick was your layer of cheese? Thick layers of cheese, even good cheese, are prone to be rubbery too. My friend served take and bake pizza the other night. He "improved" it by adding a thick layer of grated cheddar. Which cooked down to rubber goo and completely ruined the balance of flavors.

 

But more has to better right?  No, it  usually isn't. 

 

And you didn't bake it long enough. For the finishing of a lasagne, don't base it on time. Ovens vary from the one your recipe was tested in for example. And for a lasagne, there's an appearance your baking towards, not just bubbling and melty cheese. But browned and crisped on the top. Sometimes a little time on the broil setting watching closely so you don't burn the cheese helps give it the proper finish. 

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post #11 of 13
I've noticed that lower fat cheese (like the 2% that is sold in packages) doesn't melt as well. Try full fat
post #12 of 13
I agree with not using prepackaged shredded cheese. There are non-clumping/sticking ingredients added to the mix. Use fresh whenever possible, and read the ingredient list. That coupled with sticking it in the freezer and then defrosting (moisture/texture etc.), doesn't give you the taste etc for a good dish.
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post #13 of 13

Low fat mozzarella is going to be rubbery.  More rubbery if you layer it thicker.  I would look to a whole milk mozzarella or whole milk cheese.  Don't go out and pay $11 a pound though, that's highway rubbery.

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