Author Topic: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home  (Read 213 times)

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Offline Porterhaus

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Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« on: May 24, 2016, 07:39:45 PM »
I'm looking for some leads on reproducing the favored pizza of my youth - the so-called 'Minnesota-style pizza' popularized by Sammy's Pizza (https://mysammys.com/) of Hibbing, MN (with over a dozen official locations, and plenty of unofficial ones in neighboring states).  I'm stuck on the west coast where nothing like it can be found...

While certainly a derivative of the Chicago-style thin (the owner admits learning basic techniques from the Windy City), it trades any hint of cornmeal for copious amounts of flour. It also isn't quite St. Louis-style, being flaky rather than crackery. Similar to a pie crust, but cooked well done with a bit of char.

Dough



They definitely use a sheeter to roll out the dough before a few quick tosses, then trim it with a cutter before hand crimping it directly on a (again, well-floured) peel. Only recipe I've found explicitly referencing the style (from Amy Thielen's The New Midwestern Table) omits any yeast, though it is clear from the videos that the dough is yeasted and proofed to some extent.  Do you think I'll be able to sufficiently replicate the sheeter at home with an adjustable rolling pin ( http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Adjustable-Rolling-Multi-Colour/dp/B0091QO3RK/?tag=pmak-20 )?

Sauce



Appears to me to be a thinned out tomato paste base, with the spice profile including some combination of dried oregano (or Italian herb mix?), red pepper flakes, and granulated garlic. Knowing the taste, I'm assuming a small amount of sugar as well. They have fresh tomato and parsley on the counter, but I think this is just dressing for the commercial shoot. Is oil a typical addition to these sauces?

Cheese

Odd choice here, but they use a low-moisture mozzarella cut into thin slices rather than shredded cheese.

Toppings

Very standard, with the only innovation being a fresh ground Italian sausage being dolloped by hand into little balls (one per slice).  I've never agreed with the pepperoni going under the cheese, but that is how they do it.

Here is a video of the entire assembly from start-to-finish:



Am I on the right track? Have you encountered any similar dough or sauce recipes that might give me a place to start?  Thoughts on replicating the deck oven environment at home would also be welcomed. I've got a steel as well as a stone to work with.

Offline Steve

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 09:37:39 AM »
Do you think I'll be able to sufficiently replicate the sheeter at home with an adjustable rolling pin ( http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Adjustable-Rolling-Multi-Colour/dp/B0091QO3RK/?tag=pmak-20 )?

I'm going to have to get one of those rolling pins!

Offline Steve

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 09:42:03 AM »
Actually, this one looks better... it's 18" wide which is better for me.

http://www.amazon.com/Gadgets-Stainless-Steel-Rolling-Adjustable/dp/B014N40WAG/?tag=pmak-20

Offline HBolte

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 09:53:01 AM »
I've eaten at Sammy's in Duluth several times, it is awesome pizza! I'll be watching your progress.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 09:54:57 AM by HBolte »
Hans

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 12:09:04 PM »
In the video, he puts 14 tiny little pieces of onion on the sauced pie before topping with cheese. What does this do?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline akuban

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 04:16:57 PM »
I've tried the adjustable rolling pin, the one with the colored bands. TBH, for me it wasn't super effective, and the bands kept sliding off. It was a real pain in the butt. Personally, I don't think you need a sheeter. You can do this at home with a rolling pin and a pizza serving tray that you can use as a guide — or, better yet, an inverted cutter pan that would work as sort of a HUGE cookie cutter. Figure out what TF you want, make your doughballs X-many grams to comply with that, then roll it out to a just-slightly-larger diameter than the size of your cutter pan or guide pan. Obviously make sure to factor in the diameter for the crimped edge.

Your consistency may suffer a bit at first, but the more you make it, the better you'll get at judging rolling size and consistency of thickness. Yes, you may be off 10-15 grams if you accidentally roll too large, but like I said, you'll get the hang of it, and TBH, I personally don't believe 10–15 grams would make a huge difference. (When I worked at a certain WFO pizzeria, we measured our doughs to within a 10-gram variance, and you really couldn't tell.) If you find it's making a huge difference, increase your doughball weight.

I was in a similar situation as you at first in making my bar pizzas, and I would weigh my waste dough after I cut out my circles and then figure out the average amount of waste I was generating — then I'd factor that into what my starting doughball weight should be. (Eventually I moved toward rolling to nearly-target diameter and then did a final stretch in the pan [my bar pies are cooked in pan first, then turned out on stone, so I don't have to worry about cutting]).

To my mind, it isn't about the sheeter. I use a rolling pin for doing my bar-pizza pop-up, and I'm happy with the crust. I suspect the only reason they use a sheeter (and the chief reason I would use it in a volume operation) is that it saves time and is way more consistent than someone rolling out skins by hand all day. I'm fairly consistent now with thickness and diameter, but even then, if I don't start with a good round doughball, it can throw things off.

You may want to look at Aimless Ryan's blog on cracker crust styles. He looks like he's done something really right to recreate that effect: http://ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com/search/label/Cracker%20style

I tried his Tommi's clone at one point thinking it might reveal some insight into the style of crust I wanted, but eventually I realized I didn't want cracker-style. That said, it may make the flaky kind of crust you're looking for.

IN GENERAL, my philosophy is less about trying to clone a specific thing and more about finding something you love that works for you. If that thing is replicating a childhood memory, then there you go — you'll want to pursue tweaking things until you feel you've cloned the sauce, the toppings, the cheese mix/distribution. For that reason, I can't help you on sauce or toppings. But figured I'd jump in on the rolling pin thing here. Hope that helps!
¡Hasta la pizza!

Offline jkb

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Re: Leads on replicating Minnesota-style pizza at home
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 06:11:18 PM »
In the video, he puts 14 tiny little pieces of onion on the sauced pie before topping with cheese. What does this do?

My guess is it adds onion flavor.


 

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