To Prepare dinner or To not Prepare dinner Your Pizza Sauce?

Q: In your opinion, is it higher to cold-mix or slow-cook a pizza sauce?

A: “To cook dinner or to not cook dinner my pizza sauce? That’s the query.” There appears to be quite a lot of controversy over this topic; arguments will be made for and in opposition to producing a cooked and raw sauce.

These pizza makers preferring an raw sauce say their sauce has extra “recent tomato taste.” That is true should you’re utilizing tomato merchandise which are labeled as “recent pack,” akin to from Stanislaus. These merchandise have had minimal publicity to warmth and have a tendency to supply extra fresh-from-the-garden tomato taste. You’ll topic a cold-mix pizza sauce to heating solely as soon as—on the pie because it bakes. For those who precook your sauce, it will get cooked twice—as soon as throughout its preliminary manufacturing and once more while you bake the pie.

Getting garden-fresh tomato taste depends upon the kind of tomato product that you simply select—i.e., “recent pack” vs. “remanufactured”—in addition to its producer and the strategy for producing the product. Typically, the thicker the tomato product is, the extra it has been subjected to heating (by way of time and/or temperature) throughout evaporation. Producers of tomato merchandise could make quite a few changes to yield totally different leads to the completed product, with temperature and time being probably the most elementary elements that may affect the completed product’s traits (akin to consistency, shade and taste). The seeds and skins within the tomato product may also have an effect on these traits.

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Many profitable pizzeria operators produce cooked pizza sauce by simmering it for hours to develop that deep, strong taste and brownish-orange shade that clients appear to take pleasure in. Cooking the sauce additionally produces a beautiful aroma, which provides to the restaurant’s atmosphere. Nevertheless, the volatilization of aromas and flavors throughout the preliminary cooking course of isn’t the perfect factor for the completed pizza—as soon as volatilized, the flavors and aromas change into diminished/decreased.

In truth, many reactions happen throughout the cooking course of. These embrace caramelization of the sugars contained within the tomato merchandise; evaporation of moisture (should you’re cooking it in an open-top pot or kettle); and the discharge of risky oils from seasonings and spices. By cooking the sauce previous to baking the pizza, you might be exposing that sauce to elevated heating time, which is able to give the sauce much more of a “cooked taste.” Relying on the sort and quantity of toppings used together with the cooked sauce, one might expertise a scorched or burnt taste within the ensuing pizza, notably if toppings are stored to a minimal.

As I discussed, arguments will be made for and in opposition to producing a cooked and raw sauce. In the end, all of it comes all the way down to a matter of desire. Personally, I’ve loved pizzas made with cooked and raw sauces through the years.

Jeff Zeak was a longtime contributor to PMQ and is the previous pilot plant supervisor for the American Institute of Baking (AIB). This text initially appeared in PMQ Pizza Journal in 2013.