Why add water to your sauce?

I’ve been in business for 10 years now and been a Executive Chef for over 30 before opening my own place, and have read many post here on the think tank concerning pizza sauce recipes. My ? is, other that saving a few pennies per pie. WHY in the world would you want to dilute the flavor of your sauce with water? To me that’s defeating the purpose of serving the best pizza ever. Do you think Stanislaus waters down there products? I don’t think so.

We all change the base sauce in some way. We all have our reasons for doing it and how we do it. But we all do. The sauce you start with is just a base, like with cooking. We add spices, different types of sauce (crushed or ground etc), cheese etc etc.

Adding water is just another way of modifying the sauce, done correctly it can be quite useful and tasty.

Disclaimer: i have never used water in sauce, but know quite a few do and i see nothing wrong with it personally.

I add water to the sauce so I can easily and evenly spread it onto my 17"X25" pizzas that we sell. The dough is raised and CANNOT be touched by the ladle. We all have a good reason Tony.

I add it for ease of spreading as well. We also make Sicilian pies that have dips in them. What we make is a bit too thick for that.

The amount of water we add is negligible in taste as far as I can tell and if anything makes what might even be a slightly overpowered sauce more subtle.

Rather than adding water I use a couple cans of 7/11 ground tomatoes to get the extra liquid. This eliminates the diluted flavor problem.

Daddio that is exactly what I do. 1 batch of sauce for me is 6 #10 cans of 7/11 and 1 can of extra heavy puree. Along with my spice blend. To me it just doesn’t sound like a good idea to add water to my sauce. To me the 3 most important aspects of a great pie is, Crust, Sauce and Cheese. I use fresh Artisan dough, Stanislaus tomato products and Grande’ Cheese. Why would I want to screw around with that. I sure Stanislaus has invested millions of dollars to develop there recipes, why would I want to dilute the wonderful tomato flavor of there products?

94% of a tomatoes weight is water…

Oh, wait. Is that the purpose? I thought the purpose of a business was to make money.

I am a fan of Stani products and we use them exclusively… but no. They key to the quality is the packing… not “recipe”.

Ingredients: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, salt and naturally derived citric acid.

Here it is straight from the source: http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/products/not-from-concentrate

If you used 7/11 as the basis of a sauce no water would be needed for many uses… but if you use a more concentrated product some water may be required to get the product the way you want it for somes uses. No right or wrong here.

If you serve the best pizza ever, the business will follow.

We use Stanislaus products, the puree, and the 7/11
The 7/11 is used only on our Margherita pie
the puree is too thick to spread in its packaged form, and it gets thicker when it is baked, so we cut it down to get proper consistency, not to get cheap, or to extend the product

we use Saporito and add water for the same reason…viscosity, not to cheapen the product…I know if I used 7/11 it would save me almost $5 case so if I wanted cheap that save me more money but it’s not like I am mixing in mozzarella from Costco to Grande, etc to save a few bucks.

We use the Saparito also and add water. It would not spread without it. Just getting it out of the can is a project.

In addition when onion and/or garlic is added to the sauce without first boiling it, the onion/garlic acts to catalyze the pectins in the tomato causing them to gel and thicken the sauce, this is why if you add onion/garlic powder to a sauce and refrigerate it for use on the following day the sauce looks more like tomato jelly than pizza sauce resulting in the addition of more water to thin the sauce back to spreading consistency. This problem can be avoided by placing the onion/garlic in a small bowl of water and heating it just until it comes to a boil prior to addition to the sauce. My own favorite sauce is really quite simple, lightly oil the pizza skin, apply some sliced or diced garlic, fresh basil and top with tomato filets then dress to the order.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Another method that works nicely it to caramelize the garlic. We used chopped garlic in oil. We put it in a pan and run it through the oven. The caramelizing adds a nice flavor and solves the pectin issue as well.

Amen to that! I love lightly caramelized garlic. I was introduced to it in Korea a long time ago (I think the Koreans eat more garlic than the Italians do) and really became addicted to it. I have been known to make a paste of it and spread it on the dough before adding the basil and tomato filets. This talk is making me hungry. :slight_smile:
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tony, that’s quite the resume. You are amazing. Clearly you have this figured out, come open up across the street from me. My water sauce will run you out of town in 6 months.

Excellent as I will be visiting Korea four months from now for the Rotary international convention. Looking forward to some garlic!

Make sure you try the KFC Korean fried chicken. And op just be quiet, better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Pizzanow. You can have your watered down sauce. With Oregon’s flooding last year you should have enough water to dilute just about everything, including your sauce!