I was born and raised in Upper Arlington, home to the famous Tommy's Pizza. Tommy's Pizza is woven into the fabric of my childhood, my teens and beyond. I live a couple of hours away from Columbus now but make regular pilgrimages to Cbus and I often return home with a Tommy's Pizza in hand. A few years ago I was pondering moving out of the country, and the thought of never having Tommy's Pizza again filled me with dread, honest to goodness dread. My pathway led me here to Pizzamaking.com and to my personal savior, Aimeless Ryan. I cannot offer enough thanks and salutations to Sir Ryan. I will forever be indebted to him for giving me the gift to create my own Tommy's Pizza clone wherever this life takes me. Thank you Ryan. I had been following along Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza Clone thread but I never thought I had the skill set to actually replicate his ideas and know how. Any attempt at making pizza at home was lackluster at best. When I thought to check back in with the thread and came upon Ryan's September 29, 2013 Reply #332 with his perfectly concise directions and weights and measurements, I thought to myself: "I think I can do this!" A revelation indeed.
I printed out the directions and I read and re-read then read them again, and again. I felt confident. Following along with his directions he said he had a big mixer. I did use my KitchenAid standard stand home use mixer and she performed quite well. I was prepared, thanks to Ryan's specific instructions on what to expect from such a stiff dough. After I loaded in all the ingredients I wrapped an extra large piece of foil around the top of the mixer anticipating the flour to go flying, and I held it down as it began mixing. That worked, you could tell the mixer wasn't exactly happy at that moment but she mustered through just fine. As far as the ingredients the only difference was I used King Arthur AP. I sat the dough on the counter, covered, for exactly 4 hrs. (I set a timer because it was late and I knew I was going to fall asleep) I then put the dough into the fridge at Midnight and left there until the next day when I was ready to start the process of "making skins". How exciting!
I removed the dough from the fridge and divided the dough by weighing them into 4 equal pieces, thank you Ryan. I put 2 pieces into covered containers and left them to rest from 12:40pm-3:15pm. The other dough went back into the fridge for a later experiment to see how it fared after a stint in the freezer. After the rest, the dough was much softer. I rolled that dough from 3:15pm-4pm non stop. I have since purchased a large marble rolling pin, because the sad excuse for a wooden roller that I used made it quite labor intensive. I am not one to shy away from hard work so I relished the experience, thanks for mentally preparing me for it Ryan. I tried to get as close to the target skin weight as possible but I only made it to 14 5/8th oz. I put my prepared skin into the fridge for a couple hours. When it was time to dress it up I began to get a little nervous. I just kept thinking to myself that it was okay to fail, it was just my first time and I'm a newbie after all. I did not dock the dough. I also chose to bake the pizza on a perforated pizza pan on top of my preheated stone. I was worried about the pizza missing it's mark off the peel since it was my first time. I saved my newly purchased pizza peel for another time. As for toppings, only pepperoni on a Tommy's pie will do, anything else would be an abomination. The pepperoni type is KEY! Thank you Ryan for dumpster diving to find out, I mean what other person has that much passion to do that? You are so awesome. I ordered the pepperoni fro Penn Mac as others have done. I called the manufacturers first and we had a laugh during the conversation when I asked if anyone else had called in looking for the Ezzo 38mm pepperoni, she said: "all the time!" I won't even reference the sauce I made and used as it was not like Tommy's at all but fit the purpose for my first go round. For cheese I went with 50%provo/50%mozz but I didn't know what brands to use etc...so I just went with what I bought which is also not worth mentioning. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning across the top. I had a few hiccups in the baking process as was expected. Man was I nervous, I definitely have an anxiety issue, just to make note of that. So I baked it until it looked nice on top and I pulled it out and as expected the bottom was not nicely browned, so at that time I decided to be brave, and slide it off the pan and onto the stone directly. Some sauce and cheese had run over the edge and glued the pie to the pan, rookie mistake, yes I know but whatever. I soldiered on despite the pie now being a little misshapen. It landed on the stone which was great but then I quickly realized that yes indeed it was true, I had made the skin to fit the 16inch pan and my stone was...15 inches. I trudged on! Some air pockets formed and I popped them as best I could with a large bbq fork. I also lost some toppings to the bottom of the stove as it ran over the edge but guess the hell what...when I pulled that pizza out of my stove and into the kitchen, I thought to myself...Meg, I think you've nailed it. Okay maybe not nailed it exactly but I was very happy to have gotten to that point. As I sliced it up into squares I could tell by the sound of the crunch, as the cutter made it's way through the pie, that I had come pretty frickin close. Upon the first taste, I knew that this was, most certainly a Tommy's Pizza Clone, in all it's perfectly misshapen glory. Hallelujah. There are so many things I have since changed but won't address them here. I can move out of the country now...if I so choose, and none of this would have been possible without the tireless effort of Aimless Ryan. Thanks for everything Ryan.