Eddie, I think you were an angel from heaven sent here just for me. He feeds his yeast molasses?
Wow, I have some experimenting to do. You hit the nail on the head about Vincent's. The crust is not only one of the most, if not the most flavorfull I have ever had, but that cheese.............. I would trade my left nut to know what brand it is. All I can get out of them is that it is from Wisconsin, it is a mootz/provalone blend, and that it is sometimes soupy in consistency. From what I have found, Grande is never soupy, and even with their provolone blended in myself it does not have that much flavor. Has anyone ever witnessed a soupy Wisconsin mootz? Is Byrnes and Keifer a food-service distributer in Pittsburgh. If so, maybe I can try all the cheese that they sell to find the magic mozzarella. On thing I notice every time I ask about the cheese at Vincent's though, is that they say they "get their cheese from Wisconsin", and not "we get cheese made in Wisconsin", or "we use Wisconsin cheese". Is it possible that they actually buy in a large enough quantity to go around a food-service provider, and just buy from the cheese factory?
I am also with you about sir pizza. It is by no means in the same league as Vincent's, or Mineo's, but still better than just about everything up here in Boston. The Pittsburgh location is in The North Hills, and there is nothing chainlike about it. It has been there forever, and is very much a family run business. I went to high school with one of the owners nephews. I can pretty much guarantee that the Pittsburgh one uses way better ingredients than what is going on in Nashville. I have spent a few months there in Nashville making a record at Woodland Studios (You and I have a lot in common), and I thought Nashville area had some of the worst pizza in the country. I spent about six years of my life living out of a tour bus going form city to city, and that was a rough town for pie to say the least! Thank god for hush puppies and BBQ, though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have never been to Pizza Italia, is it as good as Vincent's? I have a lot of new places there to check out next time I visit home. It is going to be a busy trip, as I also think the burgh has the best sandwiches, Chinese food, and Vietnamese food I have ever found..... well, except for maybe a tie with NYC on the Chinese. What is that bakery that provides the bread for all the good sub shops etc? It is totally insane. My brother found out it has lard in it...... no wonder. That is also the secret to Mc Donalds fries.
I just remembered, Mancini's bread. I am going to try to figure out how to make that stuff once I have a pie as good as Vincent's.
You are scaring me with your talk of having a hobart, Italian flours, wood-fired oven, and (maybe not) getting a crust as good as Vincent's. I know I am not there yet, but if it is that hard, maybe I should just open a franchise up here as well. I have been seriously thinking about opening up a pizzeria. I always knew the Vincent's crust was something special, but I figured it wouldn't be that hard if I just had a little time. I am so busy with the 65+ hours I have to dedicate to recording bands that I rarely have time to experiment. Right now I feel like I am living vicariously through Pete-zza, PFT, and Jeff V, and others. Changing this little thing in technique, trying a slightly different combination of flours. Then in the end we all get to try out the recipe they have been slaving over. This forum is so much fun. Eddie, I'll quit my day job, we can start a Vincent's Reverse engineering thread here on the forum, then we can open up our own version of Vincent's when the whole thing is figured out, what do you think?
Oh, and I almost forgot WELCOME TO THE FORUM. You are going to love it here!