Using fresh mozz on pizza

I am doing my first tests in my updated ovens (yeah had them a year already, so sue me) making simple pies using fresh mozz, my sauce and choffonade of basil on cutting. I have tried a couple different times, and get a lot of water coming out of the cheese, and basically making the pie ultimately tasteless. I am using Sorrento Ovolini sliced in about 1/4" slices. On a 12" pie, using 6oz in about 12 slices, so 1/2 oz each or so . . . . 13 oz dough . . . . 3.5 to 4 oz pretty thick sauce . . . . and baked on screen @ 550F for 8 to 10 minutes, deck then another minute or so to brown bottom.

Water starts to pool just a little around 3 minutes in, then by 6 minutes, it’s pretty sloppy in there. by the time the pie is done, I have a tablespoon+ of water around the pie. Cut, and the crusts sogs up bad. I have not tried a different cheese yet, in case my method or conceptualization is off.

BTW, I put some of the same cheese in a grilled ham and mozz sandwich and got lots of water there too. My thoughts are to let the balls sit out of the brine ovenight or a couple hours at least, try slicing and draining slices for a couple hours to overnight . . . or try a different cheese. Bang away at me boys (and girls) anyone got the goods? I am sorta brainblocked on this one.

Ovaline fresh mozz in water really should
only be used in salads, maybe sandwiches. I’m not a big fan of “drying” the product. As far as pizza and some of your other uses they make a fresh mozz loaf. These loafs are a larger dried version of fresh
mozz, absolutely no water comes out while melting the product. I’m pretty sure everyone carries it these days(except grande, they refuse to make it) if you can locate it
I’ll give you the name off the label.

Perhaps your answer lies here:

Types of Mozzarella
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) speci­fies four types of mozzarella, divided according to moisture (i.e., water) and milkfat content. Note that the percent of milkfat is not based on weight of the cheese but on the weight of solids in the cheese. The solids portion of cheese is what’s left after all moisture is evaporated off and, so, is sometimes called dry weight. As an example, a cheese that is 45 percent moisture would be 55 percent solids.

So when a cheese is said to have, say, 50 percent milkfat, it does not mean that the cheese consists of 50 percent fat but, rather, that the solids portion of the cheese is 50 percent fat. This percent is referred to as milkfat-in-solids. It’s also called FDB, meaning Fat Dry Basis, and also FTS, meaning Fat in Total Solids.

             Four Types of Mozzarella

                               Moisture %  Milkfat-in-solids %

Whole milk mozzarella 52-60% 45% or more

Part-skim mozzarella 52-60% 30-45%

Low-moist. whole milk mozz. 45-52% 45%or more

Low-moist. part-skim mozz. 45-52% 30-45%

Low-moisture mozzarella was created from a need to lengthen the product’s shelf life and also to make it easier to process for the pizzeria. Most mozzarella produced today is of the low-moisture type (45 to 52 percent mois­ture). However some suppliers offer part-skim moz­zarella as a low-priced “economy” option. (Buyers should be aware that there’s a difference between regu­lar part-skim and low-moisture part-skim.) Regular whole milk mozzarella is seldom seen in a pizzeria because it neither processes easily nor bakes up well. However, with shred­ded and diced frozen cheese, shelf life and processability have become of lesser concern. So higher moisture mozzarella is becoming more common.

From here on, when we speak of mozzarella we are referring to the low-moisture types only, even though the term “low-moisture” may be omitted for sake of brevity.

Low-moisture whole milk mozzarella—sometimes call­ed full-cream mozzarella—is made from whole milk, which contains 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 percent milkfat. Low-moisture part-skim mozzarella is made from part-skim milk, which contains between 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 percent fat. Clearly there’s a wide range of milkfat within each category. So, in comparing brands a buyer should focus on the per­cent of fat in the cheese rather than on the type of milk used to make it.

Low-moisture part-skim mozzarella was originally created from a desire to produce a lower cost product and also reduce oiling-off on pizza. However, with the removal of govern­ment price support for butter­fat, part-skim is no longer cheaper to make than whole milk mozzarella. Still, part-skim is the most popular, although whole milk mozza­rella is common along the East Coast and in the South­west.

Although uncommon, smoked mozzarella is also avail­able.

Fresh Mozzarella
A variation of mozzarella that comes in small balls is known as “fresh mozzarella.” The balls range in size from 1/3 oz to 16 oz size and are packed in tubs of cold water. Fresh mozzarella is sometimes referred to as scamorze or scarmorze. It’s a softer, higher moisture cheese that ages or breaks down quickly and, so, must be used within 10 days of manufacture. It has a pleasant, sweet, mild flavor that some pizzeria owners like for their pizza. Delis sell it for dessert cheese. After ten days the flavor begins to sour. For storage it can be kept in cold water—as in olden days—although it must be dried for 30 minutes before processing. Another option is to wrap it in parchment paper and refrigerate it in a plastic bag.

Click the link for even more info: … cheese.htm

Gregster, thanks for the information. those unfamiliar with the mozzarella family will find an absolute wealth in there. The real key was from Pakula’s. . . . knowing to use a completely different product. I didn’t clarify that I was letting them sit for about 30 minutes +/- to get surface moisture gone, and bring to room temp before use. Razor sharp knife was key for slicing them . . . talk about soft.

I will try the idea of wrapping in parchemtn and refrigerating . . .not hopeful since its mild flavor will likely pick up ‘off’ flavors like onions from the cooler.

I have a pre-sliced loaf that I will try next. It maybe the key tomy success. I have a few sources for loaf fresh mozz, and can get it easily. Is there a brand that someone assures is the bomb-diggity? One that is a nightmare to be avoided? Even a PM would be fine on this if you don’t want to bash a product. I am using decks at 550F

You may want to try a different brand to see if that waters out as bad, or you may have better luck using a higher heat oven.
Most places that I know of who are using fresh Mozz are cooking at, or near 900 degrees in a WFO. the liquids probably evaporate out at that temp and do not cause any issues.

Sliced loaf was WAAAAAYYYYYYY more better. It justs needs a little adustment to zero it in. Great pie so far. A little kosher salt, maybe cracked black pepper . . . . and gotta get the fresh basil! Mine was wilty, so didn’t have it.

I don’t know exactly how you are going to prepare your pizza but the kosher salt and black pepper is a great touch. If you are going to include fresh basil only throw it on the pie right at the end. I actually throw it on after the pie comes out. Good luck with your Margharita pie.

Definitely last minute to let the heat of the pie work the basil. I’ve seen whole leaves, whole sprigs . . . . I envision a broad chiffonade (cut in strips) of basil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of fresh crasked peppercorn to finish after the cut. Salt and pepper may be a distraction, but the crunch and seasoning may be a welcome USP for my version.

My own personal favorite pizza is made using tomato filets (well drained) instead of sauce, fresh, green leaf basil for a wonderful flavor, and fresh, diced or sliced garlic. This is covered sparsely with pieces of pealed (like pealing an orange) fresh Mozzarella (I use the 4-ounce brine pack cheese balls from Grande) I always drain them very well, about three hours in the cooler works well, then pat of any remaining moisture when I pick up a cheese ball to use. For a 12-inch pizza, I never use more than one, four ounce cheese ball. I don’t have any problems with the cheese watering out or pooling up on top of the pizza.
Note: If I don’t drain and pat dry, I do experience some pooling of water on the finished pizza in a deck oven. In an ait impingement oven, the water is not as much of an issue as it is pretty well all evaporated off.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, that’s momey! I have a can of filets from Stanislaus on the shelf, as well as peeled whole tomatoes (2 varieties) that I will work with this week. Will try drung out the cheese balls longer to see what I get. Not Grande, but could still work out.

With those whole, peeled tomatoes, just roll up your sleeves, and break them up real well (I think the scientific term is to “squish” them up real well), then drain, like the filets, and apply. This is what I used to do until I discovered the filets. By the way, I like the 74/40’s almost as much as I like fresh tomato slices.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

74/40 is exactly the can I have. Been wondering what to make with it . . . now I know! It’s always exciting to find a new way to bring in a Stanislaus tomato product (sorry for the commercial) since they are so naturally sweet right out of the can . . . . and the anemic plums and slicers we get ‘fresh’ just aren’t making the cut rhis season.

One of the most common comments that I hear when using the tomato filets is “Wow! you can really taste the tomato in your sauce!” No sauce, just tomato filets and fresh, green leaf basil. The filets really provide a lot of flavor and texture, plus, the fact that we aren’t adding all of the dried herbs (basil and oregano) the true flavor of the filtes really comes through, and that tomato texture seals the deal.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

The best pizza I have ever eaten in my life was in a little Italian restaurant in an inner Sydney suburb. I was by myself and not wanting anything to heavy to eat.
The owner led me to a table and brought out a bottle of wine I ordered, a fresh salad to die for and the peice 'd resistence - a woodfire margherita pizza. It was a thin and crispy base, with roughly mashed roma tomatos mixed with chunky garlic and topped with slices of boccocini. Full fresh basil leaves were topped after cooking and the best tasting olive oil I have ever had was drizzled over the top. My mouth is watering just writing about it. Many times I have tried to replicate it but can never quiet get to the same level and I don’t think it is achievable.
What you are doing my friend is sounding very much like what I have described as my pizza utopia.
Hope you reach a similar level because you will kick some serious ar$e if you do.