Author Topic: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza  (Read 11248 times)

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #180 on: October 03, 2014, 07:39:50 PM »
Breakfast of Champions........ 8)
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Offline Lespaul20

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #181 on: October 20, 2014, 10:14:02 PM »
This weekend I attempted the Casey's Clone. I used Jake's version from reply 160. Overall it turned out close but not exactly what I remember. It's been several months since I've had Casey's so my memory is may not be perfect.

I scaled the recipe to 14" , see below, but I still found it thinner than I expected, even though my pan was 13"(dark non stick) .  I used King Arthur Bread Flour. Great Value Whole Milk Mozzarella, and a tomato paste based sauce. Things I plan to change for next time:

Larger ball - 14.4oz, I think, was a little small. Probably scale it up to about 16oz for a 14".
Slightly higher hydration, it was a little too crispy and most of the Casey's pizza I've had are just above undercooked(I'm going for accuracy).
Slightly lower sugar, may have been my sauce but the dough seemed a little sweet.
Little more cheese. I used about 7.5 ounces. Will shoot for 8-8.5 ounces next time.

Jake - I found a packet of whey protein at Hy-Vee. I tossed the package but I think it was this: http://www.teraswhey.com/organic-whey/1-oz-organic-plain-whey-protein.html It was in the the supplement section. There was a larger bag of Bob's Mill Sweet Dairy Whey available but it was $16.



Flour (100%):    243.24 g  |  8.58 oz | 0.54 lbs
Water (50%):    121.62 g  |  4.29 oz | 0.27 lbs
IDY (2%):    4.86 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.62 tsp | 0.54 tbsp
Salt (2%):    4.86 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.01 tsp | 0.34 tbsp
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (5%):    12.16 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.68 tsp | 0.89 tbsp
Sugar (5%):    12.16 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.05 tsp | 1.02 tbsp
Sweet Dried Dairy Whey (4%):    9.73 g | 0.34 oz | 0.02 lbs | 3.22 tsp | 1.07 tbsp
Total (168%):   408.64 g | 14.41 oz | 0.9 lbs | TF = 0.093636

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #182 on: October 21, 2014, 09:44:12 AM »
Nice lookin pizza Les.  :chef:
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #183 on: October 21, 2014, 10:25:24 AM »
LesPaul20,

Your pizza does look good.

I think the changes you have in mind are reasonable under the circumstances. As noted in Reply 106 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,32972.msg329860.html#msg329860, I estimated a hydration swing of between 45% and 55%, so there is room for playing around with the hydration value. As for the sugar, there were gaps in the Casey's nutrition information that prevented calculating an amount of sugar to use. That applied to the oil as well. So, some tweaking of these ingredients may be required so long as the pecking order remains the same. Remember, also, that the type of oven you are using at home will not perform the same as the conveyor ovens used by Casey's. Conveyor ovens have controlled top heat that works differently than with a standard home oven. I learned this when I worked on reverse engineering and cloning the Papa John's pizzas.

Peter

Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #184 on: October 21, 2014, 05:37:53 PM »
Lespaul, I am glad to see that you tried this pizza.  Looks pretty darn good and I am glad you think it is close.  Thanks for trying it!

I will say it is not a perfect clone but pretty close.  I suspect that is due to the lack of all the chemical additives.  I stand behind my belief that the pizza being sold today at Casey’s is not the stuff of yesteryear.  I know we used to pull dough that had been fermenting from the cooler, and I believe all of the chemical additives in today’s mix are trying to recreate that flavor in a same day dough.

That being said, it took some time, and tweaking of ingredients, before I felt it was the right flavor.  I think that the cheese and sauce are as important to the overall flavor of the finished pie as the crust is.  I tried the Great Value whole milk mozzarella and feel the flavor of that cheese was not in line with the flavor profile of Casey’s.  The closest I have come so far is Trader Joes, but I may try the Stella at some point (maybe not?) 

I would also recommend upping the weight of both the dough ball and the cheese even more!  We have confirmed these things to be true for a large 14” Casey’s

Dough: 17 or 18 ounces (depending on location)

Cheese: 379 grams, or 13.37 ounces

Pepperoni: 33 slices weighing 57 grams, or 2.01 ounces

Sauce: 130 grams, or 4.59 ounces (maybe a little less)

Bake: 465 in a Lincoln impinger conveyor for 6 (or 6 ˝ ) minutes

I have been cooking at 480 for up to eight minutes to get the cheese to melt.  This has led to a darker crust but never have I had any kind of crispy crust.  I will agree with you that old Casey's pizza was just shy of being under cooked, and I kind of liked that.  However it had been some time since I had purchased Casey’s when this thread was started, and the pizza they are selling today is thinner, darker, and crispier than any pizza I remember from my youth. 

A note on the thickness factor ; 
Dough (18 ounces) is for a large (14") pizza; the corresponding thickness factor = 18/(3.14159 x7 x 7) = 0.11693
17oz will result in TF 0.110434
TF 0.09  (18 ounces) is for a 16" pizza which is what I have been using lately.  This was initially a mistake but we liked the result and feel it is closer to what we have actually purchased lately.

As for the whey, I was under the impression that the whey protein concentrate supplement, was not the same as baker’s whey.  I would be interested if anyone has more information than I have been able to find on this matter

Anyway Lespaul, I hope you liked it enough to try it again and hope to hear from anyone else who may try it.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 07:53:08 PM by Jakew81 »
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Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #185 on: October 27, 2014, 05:51:37 PM »
LesPaul20

After thinking about your experience with the Casey's pizza, I decided to try out a few of your thoughts about this pizza to see if I could achieve the desired result.  I took the hydration up 3%, and as you suggested about 16oz for 14inches (TF 0.103937) I decided to round to TF 0.1.  I left the bakers percents the same in regard to sugar, but adjusted my sauce to include even less sugar, salt, and spices.  Same 480 degree bake, but about 7 1/2 minutes at a greater thickness factor resulted in a less done (but in no way raw) crust.  About 14 ounces of wmlm cheese.

I found just three percent change in hydration made this dough more difficult to work with, and had a little bit of difficulty picking up and placing 16 plus inches of loose dough in the pan after rolling on the counter.  My dough usually holds it's shape well but this was much more extensible and led to a thin spot, oversized dough,  and some frustration on my part.  Cooler heads prevailed (my wife talked me down) and I resolved the issues without reballing.  Docked with a fork in the pan dressed per usual experimentation topping of pepperoni. 

This pizza was definitely softer, less chewy, and miles away from crispy. The sugar and salt in everything but the sauce was the same as every other attempt, and this pie was bland.  I actually reached for the garlic salt, and even then only ate one small slice.  This suggests to me that your sauce may have affected the overall flavor of the whole slice.

This pizza wasn't bad, but I have never had Friday night pizza still in the fridge on Sunday night before.  The family still liked it but said it was not as good as the last pepperoni I made.  I really just underseasoned the sauce, and it was just too soft for me.   

I believe if your pizza was too thin and crispy before you may want to try these changes and see if you get results more in line with what you were looking for.  I however am going back to the 0.09 TF and longer bake.
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Offline Lespaul20

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #186 on: October 27, 2014, 07:24:36 PM »
Thanks for attempt and sorry it didn't turn out well.  :(

When I made my first attempt I made two dough balls. I froze the second and used it this weekend. I'll post it later but with that experience and yours, I won't be as aggressive with the changes for my next attempt.

For the transfer, although you may never have this problem again (and I having never actually tried this) I'd try folding the skin in half with piece of parchment in between and maybe underneath if possible and then unfolding on the pan.


Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #187 on: October 27, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
No problem man.  ;D
I am happy experimenting. I usually fold my dough in quarters to transfer from counter to pan and this was just so slack and wet it didn't work out. Like I said it wasn't bad, just not as good as previous attempts.  All of it still got eaten. My son said I haven't made a bad pizza in a long time!
I like this pizza and am soooo happy someone else has even tried it!  I look forward to any attempts you may make in the future!
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Offline Lespaul20

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #188 on: October 27, 2014, 08:26:55 PM »
This weekend I used a ball from my first batch which I froze in the meantime. It seems to thaw well so I'll be doing this like I do with most of my other formulas.

To change this up a bit and to help verify some things, I tried a taco version. IMO, Casey's has the best taco pizza I've tried(To be fair only a few ). Probably the Doritos. 

In order to be able to do the fold-over crust, I rolled it a little thinner.

The topping consisted of refried bean and salsa mixture for the sauce, seasoned ground beef and Mozzarella. Then post baked fresh topping of lettuce, green onions, Jalapeno, sour cream and Doritos. This is not accurate to what Casey's offers. But as long as Doritos are involved it's pretty close.

I cooked at a slightly lower temp 450 versus 465.

Things I learned:

I still want to try a little thicker version.
It didn't taste sweet, so I agree with Jake, it was my sauce.
I still plan to up the hydration a little, but maybe only a point or two.
Still plan to add more cheese. I didn't track how much this time since I had a bunch of other topping going on it.
I may try a higher temp of 485. 

It will be a couple weeks before my next attempt, I have some other types in the freezer, but I'll try and post an update when I do.

Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #189 on: October 28, 2014, 08:30:20 AM »
Great looking pizza LesPaul20.  Glad to see you try the taco, and will be looking forward any insights you may have. 
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Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #190 on: February 06, 2015, 06:12:15 PM »
Hi all!
Just saw today that Mila Kunis told the good people of Reddit that her favorite Gas Station snack is Casey's Breakfast Pizza from Iowa. 8)
 
 http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/dmjuice/2015/02/05/mila-kunis-caseys-pizza/22959309/

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Offline jsaras

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #191 on: February 06, 2015, 08:45:43 PM »
Well then, that settles it!
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #192 on: February 06, 2015, 09:15:27 PM »


  Now....who is she again?  :D
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #193 on: February 08, 2015, 10:33:11 AM »

  Now....who is she again?  :D

She's Meg Griffin (Peter and Lois Griffin's daughter).
Ryan
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Offline PrettyTony

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #194 on: April 05, 2015, 03:41:52 PM »
Jake,
I just read through this thread, and am impressed at your Casey's clone. I've eaten Casey's pizzas for 20 years, and it looks like you've pretty much nailed it.  I never worked for Caseys, but I always tried to spy on the pizza makers as I waited for my pizza to bake.  I noticed that most stores started transitioning from scratch made dough to a mix about 6-7 years ago.  I still find it tasty, but it was better when the dough was from scratch.  Corporate expansion will obviously cause this.  I do know that they used to get their sausage from the Burke meat processing plant in Nevada (Iowa), that used Casey's special recipe.  Don't know if that's still true.  I also don't know where the pepperoni and cheese come from.   

I read where you may delve into making a thin and crispy pizza, as well as your fondness for La Pizza House.  I would look forward to seeing what you could produce.  I have tried for years, and have even spent time in their kitchen as an observer, but I can't nail it.  I've come close, but can't get the crust just right.  They make their own dough, sauce, and sausage and Tom (the owner) is very secretive about his recipes.

Attached is my best attempt so far.

Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #195 on: April 05, 2015, 09:25:28 PM »
Tony, welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the kind words.  I have done some recon over the years at La Pizza House, and for anyone interested I will post what I know. 
Tom Polito is on to me.  He's a nice guy but if I go in there when he's around I see him, watching me, watch the process, havent been in there in months. 
The Original La Pizza House was just that, a house, that sat just south of the large building it occupied until just recently.  The oven in that larger location was a custom built oven with several cooking surfaces that rotated around in a ferris wheel type of action.  Noah's Ark in Des Moines had a similar oven that predated the Pizza House by a few years.  Since the move to the smaller location a year or two ago they are now using a blodgett deck oven. 
Dough makes its way to a sheeter and run though a few times, left in an oval oblong shape, topped on a peel dusted with flour, and lauched in the oven.  Sausage is definitely precooked.  Lots of fennel!  The pizza dough was Tom's father Abbie's recipe that was tweaked by business partner Russ Peel. Abbie Polito sold his share to Peel and moved to Arizona? years and years ago.  Tom bought the old La Pizza House and changed the recipe back to his dads original.  Russ Peel lost it to debt and taxes.  His wife died a few years back and he died within the past couple of years as well. 
Sometimes the crust is soft and floppy, sometimes it is stiff and crunchy.  Sometimes the cheese is on top, sometimes the sauce is on top, not as good in my opinion.  The onion rings have changed as well.  He dropped the yellow food coloring they used in the 50's though the 80's, and is pretty inconsistent IMO.  Still a fun place for pizza if you are not a pizza snob, as I have since become. 
I still enjoy this place as it brings back a lot of memories.  Here are some pics.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 04:27:43 PM by Jakew81 »
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Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #196 on: April 05, 2015, 09:34:02 PM »
The sauce is puree with a lot of herbs and spices, forgot to mention that.  Also the pies come spiced to order.  Hot, medium, or mild.  My friend's brother works there on fridays and saturdays, I need to grill him sometime. 
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Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #197 on: April 05, 2015, 09:47:15 PM »
I have tried to duplicate this only once, I almost started a new thread for  this but it was my understanding of Casey's that led me to this, so I will include it here.  I made a "emergency" dough of 100% flour, 50%water, 2%salt, 2%oil, and 2%yeast, and rolled it thin in a very hot oven with a stone in the lowest position and came up with these.  Pretty close in my opinion.  Not exact but I have only tried it once.  Would roll even thinner next time.  Used precooked Graziano's sausage.
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Offline PrettyTony

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #198 on: April 09, 2015, 12:19:44 AM »
You absolutely got the back story right on La Pizza House.  Tom does swear that he is using the old onion ring recipe and says there was never food coloring in the original rings, but doesn't know what made them yellow/orange in the past.  The sauce is supposed to go on the dough and on top of the toppings and cheese.  My experience has always been a consistent product, sans the brief period a few years back.  Also, the spice level is simply crushed red pepper sprinkled over the pizza before it is cooked.  Honestly, I never would have guessed that, if I hadn't seen it myself.

Offline Jakew81

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Re: Attempt at making "Casey's General Store" gas station pizza
« Reply #199 on: April 09, 2015, 12:54:48 PM »
Tony
I would never have guessed the heat level is just crushed red pepper either.  I find that surprising.  I guess when I said pretty inconsistent that was a few years ago as well.  Now it is consistently not as good as it was many years ago.  When Tom first opened Politos Pizza in Bondurant  in 2009 or 2010, we would eat there.  He was serving the same pizza he is today.  It is close to what La Pizza House was serving, but not quite the same.  He may be using Abbie's Original recipes, but that is not the pizza or onion rings Russ was serving at the same time, in my opinion.  At the time, I chalked it up better ingredients and the custom oven.  But when Tom bought the business from Joe Negrete I knew the oven was not the secret.  Before Joe Negrete owned La Pizza House, Bob Etzell had reopened it and brought Russ Peel back in.  That was the best the Pizza had been in years.  They were doing so much business they changed the hours and were open Mondays and for lunch.  I was told years ago that it was in fact food coloring in the onion rings, but who knows.  What really bothers me about La Pizza House now is the cheese never seems to melt in to the sauce like it used to, and then congealing into one thick gooey layer as it cooled.  When I was a kid I thought it was just orange cheese.  That is really what I miss.  It is still good though.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 10:17:08 AM by Jakew81 »
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