Author Topic: Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)  (Read 29076 times)

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Offline BenLee

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #100 on: June 20, 2007, 06:33:18 PM »
I just made a pie with Maggio cheese and assembled it Delorenzo's style.  It was one of my best.  My sauce is entirely different than Delorenzo's and that's the one thing I really have no clue on how to duplicate.  I had a similar bottom compared to Delorenzo's but my outer crust had a lot more spring.  I really need to get a camera to take some pics. I agree, they probably still use Maggio cheese.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2007, 08:27:04 AM »
Yesterday, I made another De Lorenzo’s clone pizza. This time, I took the advice of forum member MTPIZZA and decided to use all-purpose flour and a higher hydration. However, since the only “old dough” I had on hand was the original master dough using KASL high-gluten flour, the final dough would be a mixture of doughs using both the all-purpose flour and the KASL. The all-purpose flour was King Arthur organic flour, the only all-purpose flour I had on hand.

In addition to the above changes, I also decided to bake the dressed pizza on parchment paper on the middle oven rack of my oven. This is a technique that I experimented with before when making a take-and-bake style pizza based on the Lehmann NY style dough formulation as I modified it to use a natural biga-like preferment. My main motivation for using this bake protocol was to avoid having to heat up my pizza stone to its normal high temperature. I would only need to heat up the ambient air of my oven, which would require only about 12-15 minutes to get it to 500° F. I also felt comfortable about this overall approach since my earlier experiments had demonstrated that a dough using a preferment will produce a crispy crust quite nicely in a conventional home oven without the need for a pizza stone. 

To make the latest dough, I took a piece of the original master dough and let it warm up at room temperature for about an hour. This piece represented the “old dough” that would be used to leaven the entire new dough. It was about the size of a large walnut, weighing 1.38 ounces, or about 20% of the final total dough weight I wanted to achieve. By this time, the old dough was a bit over eight days old, having remained in the refrigerator all that time. Its composition is presented in the first set of data below, as taken from the dough-calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html.

I combined the piece of old dough with added additional ingredients to produce a total dough weight of 6.89 ounces. To increase the hydration of the final dough, I used a hydration of 61% for the remaining ingredients. Combined with the 50% hydration of the piece of old dough, I calculated that the total effective hydration was around 59%. The second set of data below represents the ingredients and quantities I combined with the piece of old dough to prepare the new dough ball. I trimmed the final dough ball to get it down to about 6.8 ounces, which was in line with the dough ball weights I used in my previous De Lorenzo clone efforts.

Old Dough Composition                         
Flour (100%):
Water (50%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (158.5%):
24.65 g  |  0.87 oz | 0.05 lbs
12.32 g  |  0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs
0.37 g | 0.01 oz | 0 lbs | 0.07 tsp | 0.02 tbsp
1.23 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.27 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
0.49 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.12 tsp | 0.04 tbsp
39.07 g | 1.38 oz | 0.09 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: The flour used for the old dough is KASL; the leavening is the Ischia starter

Additional Ingredients for the Final Mix
Flour (100%):
Water (61%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (169.5%):
92.16 g  |  3.25 oz | 0.2 lbs
56.22 g  |  1.98 oz | 0.12 lbs
1.38 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
4.61 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.02 tsp | 0.34 tbsp
1.84 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.46 tsp | 0.15 tbsp
156.21 g | 5.51 oz | 0.34 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: The flour used is all-purpose flour; the water temperature was 75.9° F and the finished dough temperature was 82.1° F.

To prepare the dough, I used the alternative KitchenAid dough making method as previously described. However, this time I added the piece of old dough, which had warmed up for about an hour as noted above, to the mixer bowl at the end of the final mix. This step was taken since the old dough had already been kneaded as part of the original master dough and, hence, did not have to be kneaded again. It only had to be combined with the rest of the ingredients to complete the final dough. In retrospect, it occurred to me that I could have used warmer water than I used, which would have spared me having to wait an hour for the old dough piece to warm up. That remains for a future experiment.

Once the dough was prepared, it was allowed to sit at room temperature for about five hours. During that time, I estimate that the dough rose by about 40%. I punched the dough down, reshaped it, and placed it into the refrigerator in a covered container. The dough remained in the refrigerator for almost two days. When the dough was taken out of the refrigerator to make the pizza, I allowed it to warm up at room temperature for about 1 ½-2 hours. Part way through that time period, I flattened the dough and shaped and stretched it out to about 12”. I did this to provide a top surface that would be exposed to the ambient air and dry out a bit, as one of our members indicated was a practice he had observed at De Lorenzo’s. This surface would later become the bottom of the pizza and, if successful, would help produce a drier, crispier bottom crust.

I might add that I had no difficulty in stretching out the dough to 12”. It was more extensible (stretchy) than my previous De Lorenzo clone doughs--no doubt due to the higher overall hydration of about 59%--so I was careful not to develop any thin spots or tears as I stretched the dough out to 12”. With a dough based on a thickness factor of 0.06, which translates to a very very thin crust, stretching out a piece of dough weighing only 6.8 ounces to a diameter of 12” will always be a challenge for the average home pizza maker, especially one who is stretch-and-toss challenged. Unless I am wrong on the dough thickness, this may also help explain the relatively small pizza sizes at De Lorenzo’s, although I suspect that De Lorenzo’s has an easier time with its dough because of its overall better structural quality that comes from using a commercial spiral mixer.

Fortunately, the dough did not exhibit any tendency to want to stick to anything, although this was not a critical issue since I was planning to use parchment paper on which to build the pizza. Otherwise, the “non-stick” characteristic would be a very important one. I can also now better see why De Lorenzo’s puts the cheese down before the sauce. If the sequence were reversed, I can envision how the sauce could migrate into the dough, and especially any thin spots, and cause the dough to stick to the peel before the pizza has been completely dressed.

To prepare the dough for baking, I took a double fold of parchment paper and placed it on my wooden peel. I then put some semolina flour on top of the parchment paper, and flipped the dough skin over onto the peel such that the “dried” top surface would become the bottom. I then dressed the skin with shredded mozzarella cheese (Best Choice brand), some grated Pecorino Romano cheese, a mixture of 6-in-1 tomatoes and a few La Regina D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes that I had crushed by hand and added to the 6-in-1s, and triple “stacks” of thin Hormel pepperoni slices that were added both under and on top of the sauce. The only other things I added to the sauce was a bit of sugar and a bit of salt. I also drizzled an 80/20 blend of olive oil and canola oil over the pizza.

The pizza was deposited from the peel into the oven onto the middle oven rack position. As soon as that was done, I lowered the oven temperature from 500° F to 450° F since I was after a long bake time to allow the finished crust to bake more slowly and become crispy. After about 10 minutes, I removed the pizza and parchment paper from the oven and returned the pizza to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes, also on the middle oven rack position. The total bake time of 14-15 minutes was within the typical bake time used for take-and-bake pizzas when baked in a conventional home oven. That was helpful to know for future reference.

The photos below show the finished pizza. The long bake time at lower oven temperature combined to produce a finished crust that was very crispy and crunchy at the outer rim. Again, my jaws got a good workout. As in recent efforts, the non-rectangular slices did not droop. The rectangular-shaped sliced did. The bottom of the finished crust was not as browned as my recent efforts, but I somewhat expected that since I was using all-purpose flour as the bulk of the formulation flour. Although both all-purpose flour and high-gluten flour will work to make a thin, crispy crust, it would still be interesting to know what kind of flour De Lorenzo’s is actually using.

Overall, I was satisfied with the results although, given a choice, I think I would rather use the KASL and the preheated pizza stone, mainly because I like the flavor of the KASL and its contribution, along with the pizza stone, to a darker bottom crust. Using a higher dough hydration as suggested by MTPIZZA also seems to have merit, and is something I will explore more fully in future De Lorenzo dough clones. It was also useful to confirm that the parchment paper approach is a useful alternative when it is desired to make a good pizza without having to unduly heat up my kitchen, an advantage now that summer has arrived.

Peter

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2007, 09:03:29 AM »
Peter, I noticed in your recipe the old mother dough has the salt and other ingrediants in it. I would make a suggestion here and try to dilute to the point of being pure- the old dough so when its used it will be "virgin" so to speak with no other ingrediants in it.. I never contaminate the original old dough with salt and sugar or oil.... its just the flour and filtered water. I believe that the wild yeast culture in it will react better without the other things blocking its growth- salt especially. So, my suggestion here would be to start diluting the old dough as you would a refreshing a sour dough culture. Take out some and keep refreshing to get it "clean" of all other ingrediants.. Then keep this seperate when making your pies... the culture will improve tremendously in my opinion.
I can see from the bottom of your pie pic that it needs more heat as you stated, but another great effort!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #103 on: June 25, 2007, 10:03:21 AM »
MTPIZZA,

What you are suggesting is along the lines of the direct method rather than the indirect method. One of the inherent aspects of the old dough method in which a piece of one day's dough is used to make the next day's dough is that the old dough will include all of the ingredients of the dough formulation, including salt, oil, sugar, etc. The advantage of this method is that there is no need to have two separate doughs working all of the time, one without the added ingredients and one with the added ingredients. I was operating on the premise that if De Lorenzo's is using the old dough method, they would not want to keep two separate doughs working at the same time. That seems to me to be more efficient for a commercial operation. In a home setting, I would use the direct method as previously mentioned and leave out the salt, etc., in the starter dough. For my experiments, I have been trying to recreate what De Lorenzo’s is doing, to the extent that I am able to figure that out.

I don’t want to suggest that it is not possible to use a separate starter dough. When this is done in a commercial setting, the separate starter dough is usually made to be much like the dough into which it is to be incorporated as part of the final mix, especially the hydration. This is done such that there is no need to make adjustments to the hydration or anything else in the final mix. You will see this in the method that a former forum member bakerboy employed when he made pizzas professionally, as described in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1288.msg11535.html#msg11535. In his case, bakerboy used commercial yeast (all of the dough formulation yeast) in the “new” old dough (pate fermentee), as noted in Reply 9 in the above thread. In his case, he chose not to use a pure natural starter, although I suppose he could have had he chosen not to use any commercial yeast. Who knows? Maybe De Lorenzo’s is using the same or similar method as bakerboy, including the use of commercial yeast. That would be a snap to do.

I still have some of the original mother dough in the refrigerator. If it is still capable of leavening a new dough, I plan to use it for that purpose, along with using a higher hydration, KASL, a larger thickness factor, and a slightly larger pie size (maybe 13" or so). In revisiting the photos of the De Lorenzo pies, I think I also need to let more of the cheese show through. Also, I may need to thicken my sauce, and possibly even cook it to darken it to look more like the sauce I see in the De Lorenzo photos. If it isn't too warm here in Texas, I will perhaps go back to the stone.

As I was making the last pizza, I wondered whether all of the De Lorenzo pies are fairly light on the toppings. With a thin crust, I would think that the cheeses and toppings would be kept on the light side so that the crust bakes up with a nice crisp. Is there such a thing as a "fully loaded" De Lorenzo pie and, if so, what are the characteristics of such a pie?

Peter

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2007, 11:22:08 AM »
Yes you are correct the cheese is on the light side... most everyone that goes there knows the tomatoes are the show. But not overpowering, they don't totally cover the top.. there is a balance. The tomato flavor is just fabulous and is center stage- along with that great crust!

Offline JoeyBagadonuts

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2007, 12:31:11 PM »
Wow peter that crust looks great.

Like MTPIZZA said about the tomato.  There is  a light layer of cheese, then dollops or spoon the hand crushed, chunky tomato on top of the cheese, then ad just a small sprinkle more of cheese. dont completely cover the tomatos though. the tomatos should be in small piles/spoonfulls all over the pie...not a sauce completely covering it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 12:32:57 PM by JoeyBagadonuts »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #106 on: June 25, 2007, 01:01:22 PM »
Joe,

Thanks for clarifying the tomato/cheese matter. I was covering all of the cheese with the sauce for the most part.

I assume that a customer can order a wide variety of toppings. If there are too many, especially vegetables with high water content, will the pizza crust still be crispy? I recall discussion about peppers but most of the discussion and photos seem to be for plain, sausage, or pepperoni pies. I know that some places, like Di Fara's, put on pre-cooked vegetables after the pizza has been baked. Does De Lorenzo's do anything like that?

Peter


Offline BenLee

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2007, 02:13:02 PM »
Joe,

Thanks for clarifying the tomato/cheese matter. I was covering all of the cheese with the sauce for the most part.

I assume that a customer can order a wide variety of toppings. If there are too many, especially vegetables with high water content, will the pizza crust still be crispy? I recall discussion about peppers but most of the discussion and photos seem to be for plain, sausage, or pepperoni pies. I know that some places, like Di Fara's, put on pre-cooked vegetables after the pizza has been baked. Does De Lorenzo's do anything like that?

Peter



Delorenzo's pizzas have the perfect balance of cheese, tomatoes, and toppings.  The toppings are very light.  They don't overcrowd the pie with the toppings.  You don't need much because each topping they use has so much flavor.  The toppings I know you can order are pepperoni, sausage, sweet or hot peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and I think anchovies.  I'm sure there are others but there is no menu, so I have no clue. They also have a clam pie.  The toppings don't change the crust at all because the vegetables are sliced thin.  As for the meats, the pepeperoni is pretty small and when they put sausage on, they grab raw uncooked small chunks and disperse it.  My favorite is sausage and sweet peppers.  The sausage is so rich and the peppers are so sweet and combined with the sauce, it is heaven. 

Oh, and they put all the toppings on before they are baked. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2007, 02:32:03 PM »
BenLee,

Sounds like the makings of success: serve small, skinny pizzas, with little cheese, small pepperoni slices, and sparse thinly-sliced vegetables, baked in an old, long ago paid-up deck oven, and no need for maintaining the non-existent restrooms :-D.

Peter

Offline BenLee

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2007, 03:58:27 PM »
definitely.  And nothing goes to waste.  They know exactly how many pizza's they are able to churn out every single day being that they operate at max capacity for both eat in and take out orders. 


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #110 on: June 30, 2007, 08:46:10 PM »
The photos below show my latest pizza in the De Lorenzo series.

There were several differences from the pizzas I have made to date, as will be discussed below, but the dough formulation itself was essentially the same as my last De Lorenzo clone dough. This time, however, I made a slightly larger dough ball so that I could make a 13” pizza, as opposed to the 12” pizzas I have made to date in this series. The piece of “old dough” was also several days old by the time I used it to leaven the new dough, and the final dough into which I incorporated the piece of old dough was itself kept in the refrigerator for 5 days before I brought it to room temperature to use to make the most recent pizza.

For the record, the composition of the piece of old dough was as follows:

Composition of Old Dough
Flour (100%):
Water (50%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (158.5%):
32.55 g  |  1.15 oz | 0.07 lbs
16.28 g  |  0.57 oz | 0.04 lbs
0.49 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.09 tsp | 0.03 tbsp
1.63 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.36 tsp | 0.12 tbsp
0.65 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.16 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
51.6 g | 1.82 oz | 0.11 lbs | TF = N/A

The piece of old dough with the above composition was combined with the following additional ingredients and quantities as part of the final mix:

Additional Ingredients
Flour (100%):
Water (61%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (169.5%):
124.94 g  |  4.41 oz | 0.28 lbs
76.21 g  |  2.69 oz | 0.17 lbs
1.87 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.34 tsp | 0.11 tbsp
6.25 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.39 tsp | 0.46 tbsp
2.5 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.63 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
211.77 g | 7.47 oz | 0.47 lbs | TF = N/A
(Note: The flour was KASL and the water temperature was 97° F; the finished dough temperature was 78.3° F, and the finished dough weight was 9.29 oz.--enough for a 13” pizza)

The dough was prepared using the alternative KitchenAid dough making method as previously described. However, rather than allowing the piece of old dough to warm up to room temperature before adding it to the remaining ingredients, as I did the last time, I instead used warmer water, at 97° F. As before, the piece of old dough was added at the end of the kneading process since it had already been kneaded before and required no further kneading. Also as before, I allowed the dough when it came out of the bowl to ferment at room temperature for about 4 hours, following which it was put in a covered container in the refrigerator. As noted above, the dough remained in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

In preparation for using the dough to make the most recent pizza, I brought the dough to room temperature for about 1 ½ hours. Once the dough warmed up sufficiently, I pressed and shaped and stretched it to 13”. I did not cover the skin so that the top surface could dry out a bit and later serve as the bottom of the pizza. Without a doubt, the latest dough had the best handling qualities of all the doughs I have made to date in this series. I easily stretched the dough out to 13” and could have gone much farther had I chosen to do so. It saw no imperfections when I held the stretched-out dough up to the light.

To dress the pizza, I departed from my previous efforts. This time, I used a cooked sauce, and I used several toppings, as will be noted below. The sauce was made from a combination of 6-in-1 tomatoes, La Regina D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes (including the puree and juices), a bit of salt and sugar, a small amount of dried Italian oregano (from leaves from my garden), and a bottled sun-dried tapenade which, according to the ingredients on the label, includes canola oil, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, citric acid, spices, salt, dehydrated garlic and sugar. After mixing everything together in a small pot, I brought the sauce to the point of simmering and allowed the sauce to cook until most of the water had evaporated, about 1 hour. The flavors were concentrated and rich with a deeper red color than the pre-cooked tomatoes.

While I was preparing the sauce, I sliced mushrooms, green peppers and red peppers and cooked them on the stove in a skillet at high heat to “roast” them to get additional flavor. I added some olive oil at the end to provide additional flavor. I also had prepared and set aside some sausage that was made using a recipe recently posted by Dave H at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5285.0.html. It turned out that the sausage was a very good choice. It was turkey-based, but I couldn’t detect a major difference from one that was based on using pork. Next time, I may add some dried red pepper flakes in order to contribute a bit of heat, but otherwise leave the rest of the ingredients as is.

To dress the pizza once it was on my wooden peel (lightly dusted with semolina flour), I first put down some shredded mozzarella cheese (Best Choice brand). I tried to use the mozzarella cheese sparingly, as was recommended by MTPIZZA, I believe. Next, I grated some Pecorino Romano cheese over the mozzarella cheese. I then put dollops of the sauce on top of the cheese. I added some of the other toppings next, followed by a bit more mozzarella cheese, and some more of the toppings. I drizzled a bit of olive oil/canola blend over the top.

The pizza was baked directly on a pizza stone that I had placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 500-550° F. After about 7 minutes, I removed the pizza from the oven and, seeing that the cheeses had melted to the point where I could not see it as vividly as I wanted, I added a bit more mozzarella cheese and returned the pizza to the upper oven rack position to bake for about another 2 minutes.

The photos below show the finished pizza. As before, the non-rectangular pieces of the pizza were crispy and the rectangular pieces were not for the most part. The entire rim, however, was crispy and chewy. It even had a few large bubbles that no doubt were due to the much longer fermentation time I used this time. The color was good in all places. The top of the pizza was wetter than my previous efforts, but that may have been because of the wetter toppings. It occurs to me that maybe in a future effort I can put the veggies on top of the pizza toward the end of the bake, as does Dom DeMarco at DiFara’s. That should allow the crust to become a bit more crispy. Even as it was, the pizza was delicious. The sauce was rich and flavorful and the toppings contributed nicely to the overall eating experience, especially the sausage.

I hope others who are able to visit De Lorenzo’s in the near future will keep their eyes open for further clues. As Yogi Berra once noted: You can observe a lot just by watching :chef:.

Peter

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #111 on: July 01, 2007, 09:58:21 AM »
Nicely done Peter, I even noticed on the picture of the piece you have showing the bottom crust --it has little tiny bubbles cooked into the dough which was a result of the 5 day rise. I also like a crust that has this result, it makes for a nice crunch with lightness not dense. The toppings with the sauce look great I bet it tasted as good as it looks. You really have duplicated the DeLorenzo look and taste from what I can see. Thanks for sharing your discoveries in this recent journey for tomato pie perfection!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #112 on: July 01, 2007, 10:36:21 AM »
MTPIZZA,

It is difficult trying to reproduce a pizza that you have never tasted. The only way to know is for someone else who has had the De Lorenzo's pies to try to reproduce what I have done and compare the results with a real De Lorenzo's pie. I went through a similar exercise a while back at the Donatos thread. I developed a test dough formulation based on input provided by one of our members, Wazatron, who is intimately familiar with the Donatos pizza, and he kept tweaking and working on the formulation until he was satisfied that his results were close to the real thing. As an expression of appreciation, he even offered to send me a Donatos pizza to sample, even though it would be only a pale imitation of the real pizza by the time I got it. I suggested that I might await the possibility of a trip to the Midwest someday where I would be able to go to a Donatos to get a hot pie right out of the oven.

There are still some open questions on the De Lorenzo's pies from my perspective, such as whether all of the slices are crisp from the outside to the middle, or only the edge pieces, and the relative amounts of cheese and sauce, and whether the sauce is cooked or not (in addition to brands of tomatoes). Of course, the big open question in my mind is still the question of whether an old dough method is actually used by De Lorenzo's. With all the pizzas I have made recently, I've proven that such a method can be used, even with old dough that is over a week old (I think it was about a week and a half with my original master dough). I also wonder about the use of a cold fermented old dough at De Lorenzo's because I didn't detect significant flavor contributions to the finished crusts by the old doughs I used to leaven new doughs. Nor did I get the really pronounced odors of fermentation. To get the really pronounced flavors, I think one would want to use only a room-temperature fermentation for the final doughs, not cold fermentation. Otherwise, one would be better suited just to use a commercial yeast. For comparison purposes, I may give that approach a try at some point.

It's also important, I think, to keep in mind that Joe just recently made his first pizza ever. I'd hate to see him go off on some wild goose chase making and maintaining a starter culture if none is actually used at De Lorenzo's, even though he would get a good education on the behavior and performance of starter cultures.

Thankfully, all of the pies I made tasted fine, whether they captured the De Lorenzo's experience or not. Plus, I learned a lot about the old dough method and some of the challenges baking a crispy crust pizza on a pizza stone in an unmodified home oven.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 10:52:58 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #113 on: July 02, 2007, 03:42:14 PM »
hollyeats.com/DeLorenzosTomatoPie.htm

for another picture...of the finished and raw....

the best member of the pizza family I've ever experienced; the holy grail...

Like it better than any pizza in Philly, the Jersey shore (north or south), New York or New Haven.....

just purely great stuff....that's all...
Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #114 on: July 02, 2007, 04:09:35 PM »
beaunehead,

Thanks for the link (http://www.hollyeats.com/DeLorenzosTomatoPie.htm) to the photos. The photo showing the relationship and topography of sauce/cheese should be helpful to me the next time I make a De Lorenzo's clone pie.

Peter

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #115 on: July 02, 2007, 05:19:14 PM »
Pete-zza/others:

This thread is really exciting for me.....I grew up near Federici's in Bruce Springsteen's hometown and thought for most of my life it was the "holy grail" of pizza. I still love it (it is cracker style; a machine flattens it out). I first went to Delorenzo's Hudson in 1985; my wife decided it was the world's best in the mid-'90s, though I took longer to come around (still holding onto Federici's). For the last decade, I've been on board that Delorenzo's is the very best: crisp, yeast-bready, very thin pie with the simplest of ingredients and probably not all that complicated to make-- if you have their recipe , of course. (I've been to all of the legendary places: Regina's and another in Boston; Pepe's/Sally's/Modern in New Haven; DeFara/Totonno's in Brooklyn; John's in Manhattan; a place on Staten Island; and all of the now-defunct places at the northern (ie, Asbury Park area shore). DeLorenzo's is the best, by a long shot (and the Hamilton one, owned by cousins, doesn't come close). I just hope Sam's new place 15 minutes from Trenton, opening in October, can recreate the magic. Waiting in line in the winter; no bathroom, etc...no salad or anything else, can be a pain. But, hopefully, the original place will be less crowded..so...

Anyway, to me , pizza is the "holy grail" of cooking-- and I cook a lot. And, to me, DeLorenzo's Hudson is the holy grail of pizza. So, I've been trying to re-create it for several years, with varying success, last night being right up there, though it was too close to cracker style, as I used a rolling pin, because I injured my elbow a couple of weeks ago. As my wife says, though, "it's all in the crust"; the toppings are not that difficult to emulate.

The people who own DeLorenzo's are not too worried that someone is gonna come in an steal their secret. Part of it is the place itself. They have been generous in answering my questions over the years and I have watched them a whole lot, too. (Frankly, even if I could recreate it, I'd keep driving the hour it takes, as it is a great experience; my wife asked what I wanted for father's day: and that Sat. night she, our younger son and I went to DeLorenzo's). I have even posted the question to Pete-zza of what he thinks the recipe is...before.....and Pete-zza responded, though frankly, it wasn't all that helpful to my rudimentary efforts.

So, here's what I know (I hope the Amicos don't think it "disloyal", but I've always thought "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:

a. They use "regular" all purpose flour. Pillsbury or Gold Seal or some common brand.
b. Because it's regular flour, they say you have to be careful stretching it by hand, or it will break; no flipping/spinning crusts there. Just pulling it out very patiently after dragging it through some flour on the counter.
c. They cook at around 550. (Originally, I thought that was the "secret"; I love their crunch and am not a big fan of the 800-degree coal ovens like in New Haven, as it is crunchy on the bottom and cruchy on the top, but chewier (more gluten) and bread-like in the middle for my taste.
d. Only the father and son make the dough and know the recipe. I think they don't really have a regimen for timing the dough; they claim they follow no regular pattern, but make it as needed.
e. They do put it in balls and put them into what I assume is a cooler under counter. I've seen the doughballs looking "aged", gray and greasy; and I've seen them looking much less aged out.
f. I've always assumed they use a fair amount of yeast (and some books call it "yeasty" pizza). The reason I think this is that often the pizza will have bubbles in it; crisp bubbles, which I adore and is the sign of real artisanship rather than formulaic pizzzailo-ing. But, the crust isn't all that consistent from time to time in that regard.
g. Sometimes the middle of the pie will be a firm as a spatula; other times it will be droopy. It depends, I think, on the weather and how long it is proofed and, of course, the toppings used.
h. I know they use oil in the dough formula; but "not that much" considering the amount of flour"...they've said.
i. They pull it out by hand and then sprikle some light amount of semonlina or corn meal onto the wooden peal to slide the pie in.
j. The ingredients seem to go: dough, cheeze, toppings, tomatoes and into the oven.
k. About halfway through they remove the pie, sprinkle some mozzarella over the pie and then, with their long-beaked can, twirl some oil onto it and put it back into the oven for further cooking. (I've never seen any grated hard cheese being used, but I could be wrong.)
l. Their cheese is pre-grated whole milk mozzarella. They used to use Maggio, but found it "inconsistent" and now use a source in northern New Jersey that is very similar and comes in big bags. (I don't think the cheese is all that special vis a vis others' pizza).
k. They use Red-Pack whole tomatoes (I assume plum-tomatoes, but recently, have wondered if they use the regular tomatoes; I think, though, it's the plum ones. They do not cook their "sauce"; I guess the tomatoes are cooked somewhat when canned??
m. They crush them by hand, by squeezing them into a bowl and continuing to use their hands to do so. (Remember, this place started when things were a lot more rudimentary, and they had the sense to keep the original methods; "progress isn't always better").
n. I believe they add salt to the mix (maybe some oil and some sugar) and let it rest for  a while.
o. Their sausage is great; it is local and they say they have it made for them. They once told me where to get some, but it wasn't the same. Frankly, I think they just were telling me where to get good sausage in Trenton, not where they bought it.)
p. Like others here, I think the formulation of the dough is a pretty dry one. (Some guides say wet dough is the answer for thin, crisp pizza; but, I don't think that's their answer")
q. They only use wooden peels; no metal ones.

FWIW, I crank my oven to 500 (with a convection setting) and I've been using a contraption I really like to create a hearth-like setting in my oven. (I read about it in Peter Reinhard's pizza book). It keeps the oven around 550 for cooking; that's not my "problem"; the dough making and stretching is. The hearth insert is at [/b]hearthkitchen.com/[/b]. Worth looking at at least. And, great for other baking and all kinds of roasting, too.....

OK, I'm sure I've forgotten something. But, I think I've about said everything I know.

I've never re-created Delorenzo's, and doubt I ever will. But, it's been fun trying....and Pete-zza's efforts have seemed to get close (pix in a Pete-zza post around #111 of this thread look about right).

I've come pretty close, and have created really good cracker style pizza in the process, but Delorenzo's is in between cracker and a more Neapolitan texture, with lots of charring.

Even if I get there, I won't stop going there and really hope that Sam's new place creates the best of all worlds: continued prosperity for his parents on Hudson Street and loads of new and old customers for Sam's "Delorenzo's" in Hamilton , NJ. (And, of course, an easier, less-waiting, less-"holding it" experience for us devotees.

Ok, Pete-zza....now let's see what you can do.....

The one thing I'd say is: don't overestimate the way the pizza is made. They kept it simple in the '40s when Chick started and had the sense to leave it like it was: the very best there is!!

« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 05:51:14 PM by beaunehead »
Stuart

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #116 on: July 02, 2007, 06:24:44 PM »
beaunehead,

Thank you for the additional information.

Before you posted and I had a chance to read and digest your comments, I had already started another dough using the KASL high-gluten flour and commercial yeast. I retained the oil, salt and sugar at the levels formerly used. I used the basic Lehmann dough calculating tool to calculate the ingredient quantities I would need for a dough with a hydration of 58%--which is neither too high or too low, but with the prospects of good extensibility and dough handling qualities. The dough is in the refrigerator at the moment, with plans to use it within a day or so. I should be able to incorporate a few more ideas from what you said into the pizza I make with that dough, but it looks like I may have to change direction somewhat in future doughs.

From what you have said, it would not appear that De Lorenzo's is using the old dough method. I have always believed that it was technically possible for them to use the old dough method, although I probably made the whole process seem more complicated that it really is. That is because I had to first use a natural starter to get the process going, make a master dough, and then use pieces of the master dough to leaven other doughs. In a commercial setting, one would only need to keep some dough balls aside to use to leaven the next day's dough. But, even then, there has to be careful management of the dough making and management processes. If I didn't have the dough calculating tools at my disposal, I would still be crunching the numbers for the quantities of old dough and the other ingredients and quantities required to make a lot of dough balls. But I'm glad I went through all the effort. I now have a much better understanding of the old dough process, and particularly one using a natural starter culture.

Your post has given me a few more ideas to consider, including the use of all-purpose flour and less oil. It's possible that the amount of yeast isn't as great as you think. It could be that they are using a fair amount of yeast, but it is also possible that they are using long fermentation times, which can also manifest itself in bubbling in the finished crust. A sign of this is the gray color of the dough that you mentioned. The last dough I used had five days of fermentation, and it baked up with bubbles, which I did not get with younger doughs. If De Lorenzo's has both gray dough balls and normal creamy colored dough balls, that suggests that they make their dough balls based on expected volume, not based on a regular schedule. After years of experience, they know how to do this by heart. Also, if they have a mix of old and new dough balls, the results will not be consistent, as you noted.

The two-step baking process is also an interesting development. When I made the last pizza, I too added some more cheese part way through the baking process. I will perhaps do this next time also, along with dribbling on the oil blend. I think I will also put the moist veggies on at this time too.

Thanks again for all your help and taking the time to elaborate on the De Lorenzo's dough and pizza making methods.

Peter


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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #117 on: July 05, 2007, 09:21:43 AM »
Yesterday, I used the dough mentioned in my last post to make the latest iteration of the De Lorenzo clone pizza. The dough formulation I used this time was very similar to the formulations for the doughs I made most recently and discussed earlier in this thread, except that for leavening purposes I substituted commercial yeast—IDY in this case—for the old dough. The specific dough formulation I used, as provided by the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html, was as follows:

Flour (100%):
Water (58%):
IDY (0.375%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (166.875%):
137.33 g  |  4.84 oz | 0.3 lbs
79.65 g  |  2.81 oz | 0.18 lbs
0.51 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.17 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
2.06 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.37 tsp | 0.12 tbsp
6.87 g | 0.24 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.53 tsp | 0.51 tbsp
2.75 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.69 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
229.16 g | 8.08 oz | 0.51 lbs | TF = 0.0609
(Note: The flour was KASL, and the water temperature was 74° F; the finished dough weight was 8 ounces, and the finished dough temperature was 80.9° F; the residue compensation factor was 1.5%)

When I originally used the dough calculating tool, I used a thickness factor of 0.06 and a pizza size of 13”. As discussed below, I ended up stretching the dough out to 14”, which effectively lowered the thickness factor to 0.051969, based on a finished dough weight of 8 ounces as noted above.

To prepare the dough, I used the alternative KitchenAid dough making method. More specifically, I started by dissolving the salt and sugar in the formula water, which I had placed in the mixer bowl. The water was at about room temperature, 74° F. I then combined the flour (previously sifted) and IDY and added the flour/IDY mixture to the bowl at about a tablespoon at a time, and combined the ingredients using the whisk attachment at stir speed. Once the whisk attachment had taken on as much flour as it was going to easily handle without groaning, I added the oil and mixed that in, which took about a minute. I then switched to the flat beater and continued to add the rest of the flour/IDY mixture, also at stir speed. Once all of the ingredients added to the bowl up to that point were reasonably well combined, I switched to the C-hook for the final machine knead. The dough was kneaded for about 5 minutes, at speed 2. Once the dough was done, I did a little final hand kneading and shaping and put the dough ball (lightly coated with oil) into a covered Rubbermaid container and into the refrigerator. The dough remained in the refrigerator for just shy of 2 days.

When the dough was removed from the refrigerator to be used to make a pizza, it was allowed to come up to room temperature for about 1 ½ hours. During that time, I flattened and shaped and stretched the dough out to 14”, or about an inch more than I had originally intended. The decision to use 14” instead of 13” was made at the last moment when I saw how easily and beautifully the dough handled. It had a very nice balance between elasticity and extensibility and exhibited a uniform structure without “spidery” or other imperfections (which I could tell by holding the stretched-out dough up to the light). My thinking at this point was that I might be able to get a crispier crust by using a thinner dough. As I discovered later, such was not the case. While the oven and pizza stone were preheating, I allowed the stretched-out skin to rest on my work surface uncovered so that the top surface and the rim would dry out and hopefully contribute to increased crust crispiness.

To prepare the pizza on my wooden peel (lightly dusted with semolina flour), I flipped the pizza skin over onto the peel so that the dry side of the skin (the top) would become the bottom of the pizza. I then put down the mozzarella cheese (a shredded blend of leftover Precious and Best Choice cheeses), followed by dollops of the sauce (leftover from my last pizza), pieces of home-made raw sausage (turkey-based), and a few Hormel pepperoni slices. The pizza was then baked for about 6 minutes on my pizza stone, which I had placed on the bottom oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at about 500-550° F. After the 6-minute bake, I removed the pizza from the oven, and added some more shredded mozzarella cheeses and also a mixture of previously sauteed sliced mushrooms and green and red peppers. I then drizzled a blend of olive and canola oils over the pizza. The pizza was then returned to the oven, to the uppermost oven rack position, and allowed to bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, to allow the added cheeses to melt and to heat up the veggies without adding a lot more moisture to the pizza. 

The photos below show the finished pizza. As in my previous efforts, the rim of the crust was chewy but a bit crackerier, no doubt due to the thinner dough skin that I used this time. The non-rectangular slices were also crispy but the rectangular shaped slices were still droopy. So, using a thinner skin (a thickness factor of about 0.05 instead of 0.06) did not contribute to crispiness of the crust across the entire pizza as I had hoped. The color of the crust was similar to what I had previously achieved using the old dough. However, perhaps more importantly, I cannot say that the flavors of the crust based on using the IDY were materially different than the crusts I made that were leavened by old dough. This pizza was as delicious as the previous ones. And the dough clearly was much easier and less time consuming to make.

For my next try in the De Lorenzo series, I plan to use all-purpose flour and reduce the amount of oil to about 1.5%, along the lines recently suggested by beaunehead and MTPIZZA. Otherwise, the dough formulation is likely to be the same as the one presented above. I think I will return to a thickness factor of 0.06, at least for now. I would like to use some RedPack tomatoes, but according to the website of the parent company Red Gold, the RedPack tomatoes are sold mainly on the East Coast. The Red Gold tomatoes started to appear in the Texas market about a couple years ago, so maybe there is a Red Gold product that is comparable to the RedPack product.

Peter

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #118 on: July 05, 2007, 11:53:45 AM »
It's sure got the right look, crust-wise, Pete-zza.

Just a question, you've probably answered many times: what about instant yeast....I use SAF. (My wife worked for them when they first came to the U.S. from France in the very early '80s).....I like it and it is certainly more convenient....

I made some dough yesterday using all purpose and just baked the crust...it seemed crisp enough....but didn't stretch as well...but, I think now, I've learned that stretching it withouot also squeezing it results in ripped dough....

still not sure if their "secret" is using the dough quickly...or "aging" it in the fridge like you did....

thanks again for your efforts....it's fun...to think about....
Stuart

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #119 on: July 05, 2007, 12:00:38 PM »
beaunehead,

SAF IDY is fine. That is what I use. However, any IDY brand should be fine.

Usually, high-protein, high-gluten flour is recommended for a thin, crispy crust. I will be able to get a better feel when I try the all-purpose flour version. I may lower the hydration by a percent or so because of the lower rated absorption for the all-purpose flour. I have been assuming all along that De Lorenzo's uses cold fermentation.

Peter