Author Topic: Generic Chicago Thin Crust  (Read 61991 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #120 on: November 13, 2010, 05:16:56 PM »
I have presented below two V&N clone dough formulations as mentioned in the preceding post. In coming up with these formulations, the only option I had with the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html was to use the Thickness Factor option. If I knew how much water V&N uses to make its full dough batch with 37.5 pounds of flour, I would have been able to add up all of the numbers and use the Dough Weight option.

For the thickness factor, I elected to use 0.08. I would have preferred to use a larger value, possibly 0.09, but with all of the bench flour that is used to get dough balls to a workable stage without sticking to the peel, I decided to use the smaller thickness factor value with the understanding that the finished dough ball weight might be greater than what the expanded dough calculating tool shows. Because of all the estimating and use of bench flour, I also decided not to use a bowl residue compensation. Hopefully, members using the dough formulations will determine the best dough ball weight for each of the two pizza sizes. If that happens, our lives will be made easier on a going forward basis. The dough formulations are simply to give members something to start with and, if they work, to fine tune them or make them even better.

One of the things that will be noted in the two dough formulations is that there really isnít a lot of milk at the single dough ball level. When one views the V&N video and sees a half-gallon of milk being poured into the mixer bowl, it seems like a lot. But it really isnít when you consider that there is also 37.5 pounds of flour in the bowl.

As it turns out, when the water in the milk is taken into account in calculating the total water content, including the formula water, the ďeffectiveĒ total hydration is almost 66%. Of course, that value will drop when the bench flour is added to get the dough to a manageable condition.

V&N Clone Dough Formulation for a 12Ē Pizza
Ceresota Flour (100%):
Water (55%):
IDY (0.283%):
Salt (1.58%):
Milk (fresh) (11.98%):
Total (168.843%):
151.92 g  |  5.36 oz | 0.33 lbs
83.56 g  |  2.95 oz | 0.18 lbs
0.43 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.14 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
2.4 g | 0.08 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.43 tsp | 0.14 tbsp
18.2 g | 0.64 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.64 tsp | 1.21 tbsp
256.5 g | 9.05 oz | 0.57 lbs | TF = 0.08
Note: Dough is for a single 12Ē pizza; thickness factor = 0.08; no bowl residue compensation; the formulation does not reflect the addition of bench flour

V&N Clone Dough Formulation for a 14Ē Pizza
Ceresota Flour (100%):
Water (55%):
IDY (0.283%):
Salt (1.58%):
Milk (fresh) (11.98%):
Total (168.843%):
206.78 g  |  7.29 oz | 0.46 lbs
113.73 g  |  4.01 oz | 0.25 lbs
0.59 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.19 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
3.27 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.59 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
24.77 g | 0.87 oz | 0.05 lbs | 4.95 tsp | 1.65 tbsp
349.13 g | 12.32 oz | 0.77 lbs | TF = 0.08
Note: Dough is for a single 14Ē pizza; thickness factor = 0.08; no bowl residue compensation: the formulation does not reflect the additions of bench flour

Peter

EDIT (11/18/10): Heckers flour, which is the same as the Ceresota flour and from the same company, can be substituted for the Ceresota flour
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 11:46:36 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #121 on: November 13, 2010, 08:21:52 PM »
Peter,

Thank you for setting forth a formula for V&N pizza. V&Nís dough does look sticky on the video.  You might be right about the hydration with all the other flour the workers use.

Norma

Since I never have seen V&N pizzas I wondered if anyone knows if V&N does dock their skins.  I looked at the video and at 2.09, it looks like the skin might be docked and also at 4.23-4.24 it looks like the guy on the left has something like a docker in his hand.  Does it look like a docker to anyone else?  Do any members on the forum that have tried V&N pizzas know what kind of sauce V&N uses or even how it tastes.  I would like to try an attempt with this pizza.  I called some local grocery stores near me and the one does sell Ceresota Flour.

Norma
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Online vcb

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #122 on: November 13, 2010, 09:42:03 PM »

I'm going to try to make this dough today, with the 3% oil added back in, and see how it comes out.



I made 2 - 14" pizzas tonight with the milk addition to Loo's first formulation from this thread.
Photos are up on my blog:
http://virtualcheeseburger.blogspot.com/2010/11/saturday-night-pizza-food-pr0n-chicago.html

I did modify the amounts just a bit, conversions are approximate, and some of the numbers are rounded off to simplify measuring, and i did add a little more water to help the dough out while mixing, so the hydration is a little higher than listed (closer to 1/2 cup water):

All-Purpose Flour (100%): 250 g  |   9 oz |   2 cups
Water             ( 30%):  75 g  | 2.6 oz | 1/3 cup
Corn Oil          (3.5%):   9 g  |        | 0.65 tbsp
ADY               (  1%):  2.5 g |        | 3/4 tsp
Salt              (  1%): 2.5 g  |        | 3/4 tsp
Milk              ( 20%):  50 g  | 1.8 oz | 3.6 tbsp

Total            (155.5%):  380 g   TF = 0.09


For the first ball of dough,
I added hot water, milk (2% milkfat), and yeast to the mixing bowl,
then added salt and half of the flour,
then the rest of the flour (and a little more water) and kneaded for 3-5 minutes.

My mixer's speed control went haywire on the second dough and so I had to pulse the power to keep it at a kneading speed, so I don't have exact mixing times.

I placed the dough balls in oiled bowls, covered with plastic wrap, and put in a warm place for 2 hours.
I punched down the dough and let it rise for one more hour, then used it briefly afterward.

I baked them on a pizza stone @ 525 degrees F for 11-13 minutes.

Initial thoughts: Use more flour on the pizza peel (or use semolina or corn meal) so the pizzas release easier. You'll notice the irregular shapes of the pizzas.




-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #123 on: November 13, 2010, 10:10:07 PM »
^^dude, you need ot cut that thing into SQUARES, not TRIANGLES!!!   :P

Online vcb

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #124 on: November 13, 2010, 10:39:00 PM »
^^dude, you need ot cut that thing into SQUARES, not TRIANGLES!!!   :P

LOL

Yeah, I was wondering when someone was going to mention that I didn't cut squares.
I don't really like the middle pieces - they're usually the last ones I eat when I order a thin crust,
 so when I make my own, I usually cut wedges instead of the 'chicago party cut'.
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #125 on: November 13, 2010, 11:33:20 PM »
gotcha!  next time you make one, invite me - those middle pieces are my favorite hahaha!

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #126 on: November 14, 2010, 09:48:22 AM »
I have been trying to study how V&N goes about making their dough skins and if they dock the skins or not.  I found this one article from a corporate chef for Vito & Nicks II.  It is dated 2008, but he explains to make the dough to pierce the dough to keep from bubbling.  http://www.southtownstar.com/life101/1225338,102008life101pizza.article

Do any members think V&N does dock their dough to keep it from bubbling?  I havenít made that many thin crusts before, but would think the dough would need to be docked.  Even when I was experimenting with a no yeast dough, it rose in the oven. I would also like to know what are the best temperatures to use for baking the V&N style of pizza.  Any ideas?

There is a video by staff writer Donna Vickroy, but I canít get the video to work.  I donít know what the video showed, but it was titled, ďMake a pizzeria-style pizzaĒ.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #127 on: November 14, 2010, 09:59:03 AM »
Norma,

Maybe its my aging eyeballs but I could not see either a docking tool or docking step in the V&N video referenced earlier.

Maybe you already know this, but Vito & Nick's II is not affiliated with V&N, the "original". V&N expicitly disavows any affiliation with Vito & Nick's II at the top of its homepage at http://www.vitoandnick.com/.

I think BTB may be able to tell you if V&N docks its doughs since he was a regular at one time.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #128 on: November 14, 2010, 10:13:07 AM »
Peter,

I donít think it is your aging eyeballs, that you couldnít see what is on that video.  I studied that video over and over and kept stopping it at each second and still couldnít decide if the skin looked docked before they put the sauce on at 2.09.  I also donít know what the man has in his hand at 4.23 or about 4.24 into that video.  I was trying to see if it was a docker.  Maybe someone can tell what is on that video, but I sure canít.

I knew Vito & Nick's II is not affiliated with V&N, the "original".  I donít understand enough about this type of pizza, because I have never eaten a real pizza from V&N.  I just thought maybe since that article said to pierce the dough, that might be what V&N was doing.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #129 on: November 14, 2010, 10:25:20 AM »
It's from the first post in this thread. It was probably just an oversight No biggie :



Ed,

I had quickly scanned the thread to see if Loo also decided to leave the oil out when he started to use milk in his dough but didn't see that he did so based on my review. Loo may weigh in on this matter but I decided anyway to revise the dough formulations in Reply 90 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg81363.html#msg81363 to include 3% corn oil. 

Thanks for catching the omission. I am a measure thrice cut once kind of guy but somehow I missed the omission. I must be getting old.

Peter


Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #130 on: November 14, 2010, 03:33:11 PM »
Although it says on vitoandnick.com that there is no affiliation between Vito and Nick's and Vito and Nick's II, both are owned by different members of the same family.  Nick Barracco Jr. (son/grandson depending on how you look at it) opened N&VII.  Maybe it was one of those "famous" family fallouts that are common to competiting italian and pizza restaurants all over the US haha.

Anyhow, I'm guessing that the pizzas are made in pretty much the same way at both restaurants.  There might be minor variaitons in the recipes or whatever, but I would assume that something as fundamental as docking would be done the same way.  Therefore, if N&VII is docking, i would assume N&V is docking, too.

Also, I grew up in the midwest where this style is ubiquitous, and from what I recall, every pie shop docked their dough.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #131 on: November 14, 2010, 04:36:54 PM »
CDNpielover,

I have learned to be wary of advice given by pizza professionals to individuals who are making pizzas at home. I think a lot of the time they make things up--perhaps well meaning but things that they don't do or wouldn't do in their own businesses. They are usually more interested in the publicity than in helping individuals make good pizzas at home. But the answer to the docking question should be fairly easy to find. If members on the forum visit V&N's, they should be able to see workers using dough dockers or, if the workers are out of view, one should be able to tell from the pizza itself if it was docked.

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #132 on: November 15, 2010, 08:49:39 AM »
Regarding the docking question, when you walk into the front door of the original Vito & Nicks, if one goes straight they would approach the pizza counter where you pick up your pizza or just watch them making pizzas right there.  One would go left to go into the bar and restaurant area.  The floured pizza preparation bench is in full view of anyone right on the other side of the pizza counter (actually right adjacent to the counter) and the pizza preparers are facing you at that point -- only a few feet away. 

In the times that I watched them make pizzas, I never saw them use a docker.  However, while I think the overwhelming majority of Chicago thin crust pizzerias in the past did not use dockers, I sense there is an increase in their usage and wouldn't doubt that they use them today.  I don't think they were "in vogue" years ago.  It seems to be a good idea just to use them in general with thin crust pizzas.  I don't know what disadvantage there would be in using a docker (unless you want a lot of large air pockets maybe).

V & N does not par-bake their crusts for those sold for pickup or at the restaurant.  They do, however, par-bake the crust used with their frozen and shipped pizzas.  This brings back to mind the funny story regarding my receiving shipments of V & N pizzas to my home here in Florida almost three years ago.  See pictures of the V& N pizzas that I ordered then at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6066.msg52079.html#msg52079 .  Wow, how time flies.

Peter, thanks for all your hard work on this milk addition question.  I'm in the process of reporting on the pizzas that I made yesterday with some milk added.

                                                                                      --BTB        :'(

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #133 on: November 15, 2010, 09:14:37 AM »
BTB,

Thanks for your answers about the docking and par-baking questions, and also your views on docking a thin crust skin.   :)

It is hard to make a pizza I have never tasted, so I will go have to go ahead and see if any of the members that have tried a V&N pizza think I will ever get close.  I will have no way of really knowing.

Looking forward to seeing how your pizzas turned out. 

Norma
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #134 on: November 15, 2010, 09:38:14 AM »
Ed,

I had quickly scanned the thread to see if Loo also decided to leave the oil out when he started to use milk in his dough but didn't see that he did so based on my review. Loo may weigh in on this matter but I decided anyway to revise the dough formulations in Reply 90 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg81363.html#msg81363 to include 3% corn oil. 

Thanks for catching the omission. I am a measure thrice cut once kind of guy but somehow I missed the omission. I must be getting old.

Peter


I've always used some oil in my thin recipe.  This discussion and results from others may have me rethinking that. 

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline Tampa

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #135 on: November 15, 2010, 07:38:09 PM »
Hi BTB,
I'd like to learn more about your deep dish technique and recruit you into the Tampa Pizza Eaters group.  I sent a personal message.  Also, Peter Taylor says hi.
Dave

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #136 on: November 16, 2010, 09:17:38 AM »
The Milk Experiments

Early on this past Sunday morning I went about making dough balls for two 12" thin crust pizzas with some milk in the dough along the lines discussed here.  I figured it would be a nice treat to eat while watching the football games that day (Go Bucs!  Go Bears! -- and they both won).  And I wanted to experience the effect and taste of the two main recipes here, both the Generic Thin (w. milk and oil) and the V & N Clone (w. milk).
 
The first pizza was the 12" Generic Thin and using the Expanded Dough Calculation Tool, I entered 13" as the desired round pizza size in lieu of any bowl residue and to account for scrap, shrinkage, etc.  I also used the given Thickness Factor of .09, altho I think I rolled it out thinner.  Also, I used King Arthur AP flour as its all I have and used ADY instead of IDY and the 2% variety of milk.  The formulation then came out to:
 
Generic Thin

Flour (100%):  218.49 g  |  7.71 oz | 0.48 lbs
Water (33.3333%):  72.83 g  |  2.57 oz | 0.16 lbs
ADY (1%):  2.18 g | 0.08 oz | 0 lbs | 0.58 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
Salt (1%):  2.18 g | 0.08 oz | 0 lbs | 0.39 tsp | 0.13 tbsp
Corn Oil (3%):  6.55 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.46 tsp | 0.49 tbsp
Milk (fresh) (16.6667%):  36.42 g | 1.28 oz | 0.08 lbs | 7.28 tsp | 2.43 tbsp
Total (155%): 338.67 g | 11.95 oz | 0.75 lbs | TF = 0.09
 
With the V & N Clone, I did similarly, but put in the TF of .08, which again varies, esp. since this dough was harder to roll out.  And like Peter mentioned, much bench flour had to be used. The formulation for this one was:
 
Vito & Nick Clone Thin
 
Flour (100%):  178.2 g  |  6.29 oz | 0.39 lbs
Water (55%):  98.01 g  |  3.46 oz | 0.22 lbs
ADY (.375%):  0.67 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.18 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Salt (1.58%):  2.82 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
Milk (fresh) (11.98%):  21.35 g | 0.75 oz | 0.05 lbs | 4.27 tsp | 1.42 tbsp
Total (168.935%): 301.04 g | 10.62 oz | 0.66 lbs | TF = 0.08
 
I proofed the ADY yeast, of course, in a little water warmed to 100 to 110 degrees F and was happy to see that it foamed up nicely before I added it to the dry ingredients (the advantage of ADY).  I mixed each dough ball up first with a spoon, then by hand and kneaded for a much longer time than I do with my deep dish dough's.  The Generic Thin was a pleasure to work with and the V & N Clone was the opposite.  The V & N Clone was so sticky and tacky that I had to add many extra pinches of AP flour and then some more.  And then clean the fingers alot.
 
I put each dough ball in a slightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap and then put them into a very slightly warmed oven for about two hours.  The dough balls rose very nicely -- even the V & N Clone ball which had much less yeast.  I knocked down the dough balls, reformed them, covered and left on the counter for about 6 to 7 more hours (with again knocking down the risen balls several more times).
 
Then came the time to roll out the dough, put the skins in the pans, dress and bake.  The Generic Thin was again a pleasure to work with.  It rolled out nicely and easily, with a little harder push of the roller here and there, and when it got to a point that it was approx. 13" in diameter, I cut the dough skin into a near perfect 12" circle using the cutter-like pizza pan.  I rolled the dough skin up onto my rolling pin and off onto the slightly oiled pan.  It went on perfectly.
 
The V & N Clone was a different story.  Rolling out was just a little harder, requires more bench flour, but I got it to a 14" size (instead of the planned 13") and then cut the flattened skin (still a little tacky) with my 14" cutter pan.  Then I cut the scrap away and attempted to rolled up the circular dough skin up onto my rolling pin so I can roll it off onto the slightly oiled cutter pan.  It did not go well.  The dough as it rolled up onto the rolling pin stuck to the dough already on the pin as it rolled around and I had a mess on my hands trying to roll it off onto the pan.  I had to pull and tug it off which caused tears and holes and a somewhat deformed circular dough skin on the cutter pan.  But so be it as I patched it up with scrap dough as best I can and moved on to the next step, dressing the pizza for baking. 
 
I threw the skins into the oven for a minute or two to firm them up as I heard from some that for home oven purposes, it may be wise to do so.  That, of course, is never to my knowledge done at the great Chicago thin crust pizzerias with their great old deck ovens.  Guess which skin is which?

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #137 on: November 16, 2010, 09:19:16 AM »
I won't go into the dressing of the pizza as far as sauce, toppings, cheese, etc. as that's often an individual preference thing.  Suffice it to say, I baked the dressed pizzas at around 460 to 470 degrees F on lower level racks (could not fit them both on the same level unfortunately, but shuffled them between levels from time to time).  I first set the timer to 12 minutes, but that was not sufficient time to either brown the crust or the toppings.  Checked again at the 15 minute mark and still not sufficiently brown with either.  I was thinking of putting the pizzas on a high rack to brown the toppings some more, but then realized that the crust will never brown any more if I did that, so I just left them down below.  At 18 minutes . . . the same.  But at 20 minutes I thought to pull the pizzas.  Was a little disappointed that the crust didn't brown a little more.  Some sugar, honey, or some other additive, I thought, may be helpful here in the future.

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #138 on: November 16, 2010, 09:24:04 AM »
Both pizzas were easy to get out of the slightly oiled pans and as you'll notice,  I sliced them into strips or rectangles, another one of my favorite Chicago cutting styles (ala Chesdan's).  In the pictures below, the V & N Clone is sitting on the wooden cutting board and the Generic Thin is on the aluminum serving pan.  Except in some parts, the pieces of pizza were not floppy or limp, but generally held out nice and straight (see the last picture below), which many consider to be a real plus.   

I can't say that the three of us focused much on the difference between the two, especially when screaming at the TV when our teams were scoring touchdowns.  In the heat of the games, we got somewhat confused on which pizza was which.  They both tasted fairly good.  They both were a little crispy, but not much.  They both had a kind of subtle, soft kind of bite to the crust.  The bite or the crunch seemed to give away a little too quickly than I normally like, but I know its hard to describe and express such in writing.

Among the 3 of us partaking in the football watching/pizza munching, there was some saying "oh, the one over there was a little better" and another saying "but the other one's crust was a little tastier."  But in the end in trying to get a "consensus" expression, I can only sum it up in the statement unfortunately that neither one really "blew us away."  We all thought they were good, but not to the level of the many Chicago thin crust pizzas that we had experienced and eaten for so very long. 

I think one mistake I made was not to instead make one of the pizzas with milk and the other without.  I would suggest to anyone interested in following up with a side-by-side test like this to try both varieties.  I'm sensing that for me, tho, the milk additive did not have a desired effect.  But that's just me as many have expressed above some degree of satisfaction with the inclusion of milk in the recipe.  Hopefully others will pursue it and get it to work fine for them.

                                                                                                --BTB

Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #139 on: November 16, 2010, 10:33:11 AM »
BTB, I know you like to use your pans for thin (so do I, I just use black perforated disks...easier and quicker) but when I was at V & N's this past summer there was a fair amount of semolina on the bottom of the crust.  I think that adds more than a little something to it.  I'd venture to guess that their ovens do not have stones and they just bake on the metal floor of the oven as most Chicago places do.  I think a stone will make for a crispier crust as it handles moisture baking out of the crust better than metal, obviously.  I may try it both ways by using the stone and then cooking on a preheated upside down cookie sheet. 

I'm going to tinker with a couple pizzas later this week using this V & N style.  No oil.  I've never done that with a thin but I will this time and post results.

Loo
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