Author Topic: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie  (Read 30154 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #100 on: April 10, 2012, 12:31:27 AM »
First, yeah totally that pic that Scott posted is distorted in such a way that in looks unlike the real thing. I've eaten L&B quite a few times and it never looks like custard. It's a good Sicilian pizza with a great sauce on top of the (little) cheese. Anyone I know who has had it that has any worthwhile opinion has enjoyed it.

--

Chau, retarding or not won't make much of a difference if it is only for a night. Do if it helps your schedule or just go straight to the bake once it is adequately spread and proofed in the pan. This is a forgiving style. The intensive mix I find to be unnecessary. The crumb of the real thing is pretty tender and I find I can get a medium-dense crumb with very gentle hand-mixing (and manipulating other factors) no problem. There are a few ways to arrive at the same end crumb characteristics.

Johnny I agree with you about CF.  My question wasn't so much if folks were cold fermenting, but more if they were doing it in the pan itself or separate and then putting it into the pan and letting it rise.  I don't think it matters much and may just be a preference between the 2 techniques.  For this first go around, I decided to spread the dough in the pan and cold ferment it in the pan.  That way it can relax, spread, and rise in the pan.  I feel the thickness and crumb will be more uniform that way.   

Also, sorry I didn't get back to you about your thoughts on intensive mix earlier, but I absolutely agree.  There are definitely several ways to arrive at the end crumb structure and texture wtihout a lot of mixing.  The tightness of the crumb is only in part due to the mixing, but the strength of the flour, the hydration, and the use of oil in the dough also play their role.   For tonight's dough, I used a weak BF, moderate hydration, and 4% shortening.  I only mixed it for 4min and hope that it is sufficient for the desired crumb.  I'll post some pics up tomorrow.   

Thanks for the help.
Chau


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #101 on: April 10, 2012, 11:40:31 AM »
The intensive mix is needed for the high protein flour that they are using, probably upwards of 14% and spring wheat variety (All trumps or the like). That allows them to achieve the soft texture and height.

John

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #102 on: April 10, 2012, 01:04:20 PM »
John, it depends a lot on batch size. Say you are making enough for just one pie -- it is very easy to hand mix to the degree needed for the desired crumb.

Also there is a "lower protein" version of the All Trumps and some have mentioned to me they believe the flour may not be the highest protein (someone who gives a tour that stops at L&B and is widely regarded as an expert on NYC pizza). Personally I am inclined to think it is some version of All Trumps in all likelihood but there is no certainty about it from anyone so far. Living near L&B I have it pretty regularly and I assure you that my AP based, hand turned/kneaded dough has a virtually identical crumb. In their store, L&B may very well mix a lot, but for those making a home sized version, I haven't found it to be at all necessary. If the pan proofing time is capped at "all it needs" vs a long time, the crumb is still pretty tight and a mid to high 60's hydration level is just about right also. Further, having some oil in the dough aids in keeping the crumb tigher than it would be otherwise. The people with the more open crumb are likely achieving that from having more water in their dough and a longer proof and/or longer time from last shaping/folding etc. and in some cases don't have any oil in their dough. If the oil is added at the beginning of dough making it shortens the gluten strands enough to mostly assure the proper crumb.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 01:06:44 PM by johnnydoubleu »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #103 on: April 10, 2012, 01:17:35 PM »
John, it depends a lot on batch size. Say you are making enough for just one pie -- it is very easy to hand mix to the degree needed for the desired crumb.

Also there is a "lower protein" version of the All Trumps and some have mentioned to me they believe the flour may not be the highest protein (someone who gives a tour that stops at L&B and is widely regarded as an expert on NYC pizza). Personally I am inclined to think it is some version of All Trumps in all likelihood but there is no certainty about it from anyone so far. Living near L&B I have it pretty regularly and I assure you that my AP based, hand turned/kneaded dough has a virtually identical crumb. In their store, L&B may very well mix a lot, but for those making a home sized version, I haven't found it to be at all necessary. If the pan proofing time is capped at "all it needs" vs a long time, the crumb is still pretty tight and a mid to high 60's hydration level is just about right also. Further, having some oil in the dough aids in keeping the crumb tigher than it would be otherwise. The people with the more open crumb are likely achieving that from having more water in their dough and a longer proof and/or longer time from last shaping/folding etc. and in some cases don't have any oil in their dough. If the oil is added at the beginning of dough making it shortens the gluten strands enough to mostly assure the proper crumb.

Sorry, I meant to infer exactly what you are saying - the home user would not need to follow their workflow to get the same results. I would be very surprised if they used a low protein flour given the holding pattern they use and the extreme height involved. But you never know.

John

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #104 on: April 10, 2012, 01:33:29 PM »
Just pointing out that no one has come out and said they are certain of the flour/s used (and what they are), unfortunately.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #105 on: April 10, 2012, 07:37:33 PM »
So here is my L&B spumoni clone.  I was really happy with the results, but have some new ideas to try out next time and a bit more tweaking.  

Lots of unknowns for me for this bake.  I wasn't sure if I would do a straight bake or do a par bake with a small layer of sauce.  I was afraid all the sauce and cheese would weigh down the dough and not let it rise during the bake.   I wasn't sure what temp to bake and how long.  As it stood, I had to change up the temp a few times for this bake and ended up having to finish the bottom of the pie on top of the stove.   But I know what I need to change up for next time.  

Anyways, after all the shenanigans the pie came out great.  A testament to how fairly easy it is to make or hard to screw up as I have heard some of you guys post about.  

Topped pie, finished baked, and first cut.  Yikes the crumb looks gummy, custardy!  Damn!  
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 07:59:02 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #106 on: April 10, 2012, 07:40:46 PM »
A few more minutes of rest and the crumb was looking better.  I started eating and noticed I even got that tiny layer of gummy unbaked dough on top like L&B.  It could be the cheese too, or a bit of both.   I need a darker bottom next time.  

Overall the pie was really good as I ate about 4 squares.  It was slightly heavier than L&B's but next time I will use HG flour instead of BF and see if that doesn't lighten up the crumb.  
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 09:07:33 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #107 on: April 10, 2012, 07:49:14 PM »
Fantastic Chau. You nailed the crumb. Did you use sugar in the dough?

John

Offline JimmyG

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #108 on: April 10, 2012, 08:21:07 PM »
Looks great Chau! I think you have hit the nail on the head with this clone. Just curious, what did you use for a pan? The photo is a little dark, was this a standard cast-iron pan?
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #109 on: April 10, 2012, 09:51:31 PM »
Thanks John and Jim.   John, I used 1% honey in this formula.

Jim, the dish is a pampered chef ceramic deep dish.  You can see another picture of it here.  

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4452.msg92314.html#msg92314

Look at the crumb on that PH clone pie and notice how close it is to the L&B spumoni crumb.  ;)  :angel:

I think a standard cast iron pan will work great for a smallish pie.  I think next time I do one of these, I will bake in a cast iron pan.  
Thanks for the idea Jimmy!

Chau


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #110 on: April 11, 2012, 07:08:49 AM »
Chau - I assuming that you started with this recipe that you referenced in the other thread:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/panpizza.php

I am curious if you did the 10 minute mixing as the workflow describes. Maybe you can elaborate on any variations? As for bake temp, I have found fairly high temps (around 500) work well to get that char on the outside crust using a steel pan. I also use 1.5% sugar and 4% oil. I think the oil is high though.

John

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #111 on: April 11, 2012, 10:59:33 AM »
That's really nice, Chau.  A few thoughts.

Get rid of the pan. Brooklyn Sicilians are longer bakes, so you don't need blazingly fast heat transfer, but you need a lot faster transfer than what ceramic will give you. Cast Iron is also going to be too slow.  You need a fast transfer on the bottom during the first part of the bake (the hearth component) to maximize oven spring.  Aluminum is your best bet- as long as you can keep it from warping- although, it looked to me that many of L&B's pans were a bit warped, so maybe the superior conductivity of the aluminum helped to resolve uneven heating from having a warped pan contact the stone hearth unevenly. I would make sure to go with heavy gauge aluminum.

Along with a heavy gauge aluminum pan, you'll need a hearth with a pretty high heat transfer.  I don't know what L&B sets their ovens at, but my money is that it's the max, or close to it. This could, imo, be close to 4-5 minute traditional NY heat transfer we're talking about here.  I'm just brainstorming here, but a hearth that can bake a 4-5 minute pie, with the delay of the pan, could be 7ish minutes.  I wasn't paying attention to when they move the pie to the rack, but it could be 7.5 on the hearth, 7.5 minutes on the rack. If your bottom burns quickly, then you can always dial back the pre-heat on the hearth, but, to begin with, I'd go pretty intense (thin stone/very high temp or thick, conductive stone, high temp).

Keep the BF. L&B is pretty chewy, so it might be 14%.  If you feel like it wasn't chewy enough, then, I'd go up to HG.  Otherwise, I'd rely on the pan switch to give you a bit more oven spring.

Lower the TF. I would trim your dough ball weight by at least a quarter.  This should help with oven spring as well.

I think you've shown that this pizza can come out of the oven with a wet custardy looking crumb, but, given a few moments, the crumb will dry up a bit and get breadier.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #112 on: April 11, 2012, 11:27:49 AM »
John, when coming up with the formula I used, I faintly remember making a PH clone with a similar crumb. Then recently, newcomer BBH posted his deep dish pie that also had a similar crumb.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18592.msg181239.html#msg181239

Between those two recipes and the ones posted in this thread, I came up with something similar using my workflow for making NY pizza.

Sam's Club BF
Water 60%
IDY 0.6%
Salt 1.5%
Honey 1%
Dry milk 2%
Shortening 4%

Straight mix 4mins.  Rest 30m, gently ball.  Rest another 30m, spread into oiled dish.  Cf overnight and pull 2-3 hours prior to baking.

Thanks Scott.  No can do on the pan until I can source a small steel or aluminum pan.  I have a large steel pan, but it would make too much pizza.  For now though,  the ceramic pan works fine.   I know what adjustments I need to make to make the ceramic pan work even better.

TF - L&B squares are pretty thick.  I thought 0.18 was just right.  25% thinner would be too thin for a clone IMO.
Now with using HG flour, I will probably go with a 0.16 TF and see what I get.

Chewiness - Scotty, the only one square I had there, I didn't think it was chewy at all.  I thought it was quite tender, light, and easy to eat.  On a chewiness scale of 1-10 with 10 being shoe leather chewy, I'd gve them a 2, maybe 3 max.   Did you get a chewy square?  I wonder what Johnny and others who have eaten there a lot think about the chewiness.

As far as my results, the texture was really close with theirs being a bit lighter.  The crumb also looks very close.  I imagine the difference is in the specific flour and oven.  
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 10:02:52 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #113 on: April 11, 2012, 11:31:11 AM »
A few thoughts for next time.  I'll use HG bromated flour, drop the oil to 3%, decrease the dry milk to 1% or ditch it.  Faster and hotter bake.

One other thing.  I'd like to reserve 75% or more of the pecorino or grated cheese to be applied post bake.  I think it would look nicer and taste better.  

Chau
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 12:12:43 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #114 on: April 11, 2012, 11:43:59 AM »
Another way to encourage oven spring/lightness is to cover the pizza with foil for the first third of its bake (steaming it a bit) and/or let it proof longer. I don't think you have to use HG flour to get it lighter (nor bromated). You could though, for sure.

Parbaking would be fine too, but since the sauce buffers the cheese from burning, might as well do it in one shot.

I like the idea of putting most of the cheese on post bake. Probably "pop" more then.

I find the best oven rack placement has a lot to do with where the heat source is. Chau what kind of oven do you have and where is the heating element? Getting the rack "right" will create an undercrust that is adequately firm and burnished -- too close to the heating element and it will be burned and won't release from the pan.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #115 on: April 11, 2012, 12:22:29 PM »
Johnny I agree with letting it proof up a bit more.  That was another concern I had doing this the first time.  I was afraid of over proofing and collapsing so I probably under proofed it a bit.  I did do a par bake for the but next time, and for the sake of simplicity, I'll do a straight bake.

I also agree about the HG bromated flour maybe not being necessary.  I'll try it just to see the difference in this pie.  To be honest, my hydration was a tad low for this bake, so if I use ths BF again, I'll bump it up 2% points.  Rightly so since my environment is drier than most.  That bit more of hydration should lighten the crumb up a bit more. 

I have a Viking gas oven, one of their newer ones with the broiler element providing most of the heat.  I have heat coming from the bottom but it's not much.  I completely agree about finding the right rack position for each oven.  For the bake I baked it on the lowest rack (furthest from the broiler) and with a stone temp of 500.  For the next try, I'll move it up to the 3rd race from the bottom and load with a stone temp of 650f.  That should get me closer.  That is unless I find a small steel or aluminum deep dish pan before then.

So any ideas about the chewiness or TF?  Do you think my pie is too thick? 

Chau

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #116 on: April 11, 2012, 12:28:45 PM »
Thanks Scott.  No can do on the pan until I can source a small steele or aluminum pan.  I have a large aluminum pan, but it would make too much pizza.  For now though,  the ceramic pan works fine.   I know what adjustments I need to make to make the ceramic pan work even better.

The pan is, imo, the most critical aspect of Sicilian. Now, I know that you're the master baker and can pretty much create airy crumbs on command, but I really think this particular pan is too much of a handicap.  If you're leaning towards smaller pans, they don't have to be heavy duty, as smaller pans have better resistance to warping.  In other words, any non teflon aluminum cake pan will perform beautifully. Sam's Club, Walmart and Target should all have something suitable.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #117 on: April 11, 2012, 12:44:09 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions Scott.  Come to think of it, I do have a springform pan for making cheesecake that would be the perfect size and depth for making small pies.  It would have a diamond textured bottom though.   I will also look at Walmart and Target for a smallish deep sided pan.  If anyone has a link for a good heavy duty 12x12 blue steel pan, I'd be willing to spend the extra money for one. 

Chau

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #118 on: April 11, 2012, 12:54:24 PM »
Chau, if it's between a diamond pattern and ceramic, go with the diamond pattern. Ideally, though, you'll want something flat to contact the stone evenly.

Offline norma427

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #119 on: April 11, 2012, 02:03:38 PM »

If anyone has a link for a good heavy duty 12x12 blue steel pan, I'd be willing to spend the extra money for one.  

Chau


Chau,

Peter listed where steel pans can be purchased at Reply 2 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13687.msg137295.html#msg137295  

I did purchase some steel pans at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16473.msg160865.html#msg160865 and so far have used the steel pans for Victory Pig, Jetís, and now the Sicilian pizza I am trying.  I really like the steel pans.

Norma
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 02:05:30 PM by norma427 »
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