Author Topic: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee  (Read 10612 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #175 on: April 11, 2014, 10:50:59 AM »
Norma: That looks fantastic. Were you satisfied with the crust bake on this one? What did you do differently? It looks very different. Is it that you did it more "Detroit-style" than "Star style"?

Did you use your same cut-off pan?

Adam,

I was satisfied with the bottom crust bake and the caramelized edges, although it is not exactly like a Star Tavern pizza.  I think it was more like a Greek style pizza.  I don't really know if the Blackstone oven made a difference in how it baked, but I think it could have because the temperature was higher that my deck oven.  I baked until the cheese edges on the pan were caramelized, then took the pan out of the BS and used a spatula to remove the pie to a pan then transferred onto the stone again.  The bottom crust was then baked some in the first bake if you look at my BS thread photos.  Before when I used the cut out pan the bottom crust was white when I transferred it to the stone.  This is the pan I used, and I did season it more.

Norma
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #176 on: April 11, 2014, 10:56:55 AM »
Rolled out very thin for this one. 1/16" to 1/8" (I didn't measure. It was as thin as I could get it.) Used an 18" serving pan as a template to trim around for a 12" straight-sided steel pan (assuming the dough would pull back and shrink up once I cut out the circle—it did).

ANYWAY, the thinness and the oil gave me a crisp crust that was at once tender and a bit flaky. I got _some_ separation of layers the way a cracker crust would, but not as much as what you'll see in those DKM/thin-crust threads or the Aimless Ryan cracker crust thread. (By the way, Ryan if you're reading this: I read your method for laminating on your Shakey's/Tommi's thread, and it is MUCH better/easier-seeming than what I'm doing. I may try to incorporate it if I go down the laminated route.)

I don't know why I didn't see this until now, but I thought that first part sounded familiar. Specifically, it felt like you were doing what I've done with my Tommy's clones. Now I'm curious to see what happens in the subsequent replies, which I haven't read yet.
Ryan
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Offline akuban

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #177 on: April 11, 2014, 11:18:55 AM »
I don't know why I didn't see this until now, but I thought that first part sounded familiar. Specifically, it felt like you were doing what I've done with my Tommy's clones. Now I'm curious to see what happens in the subsequent replies, which I haven't read yet.

Yeah! I tried doing the laminated thing for a while. I could tell that it made a difference. It was a much more tender, softer crumb. Still crisp, but very light. Not exactly flaky like a cracker crust (maybe I did something wrong), but I can always feel the difference when I do the lamination like you talked about.

I stopped doing it, though, because I ended up not being as into the texture. Like I said, I may have done something wrong, but I wasn't getting Chicago/Midwest cracker-crust type flakiness like in your pics, just a texture more consistent with a shortened dough. In the end, I decided going down that path might delay me, so I went back to doing the recipe the way I'd started.

ALSO ... I'm not doing a 55% hydration, which doesn't have as much snap-back as the lower hydration I was doing before. And once I went back to using Crisco to line the pan, that helped too. I was using olive oil, which is too much of a lubricant and allows the dough to contract too much. The Crisco allows the dough to grip a little better...

Anyway, I'm following a formulation similar to Norma's in this thread and doing more of a Star Tavern–style pizza again, with some tweaks.
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #178 on: October 25, 2014, 06:58:24 PM »
There is a video on Star Tavern's facebook page posted 2 hrs. ago.  It shows how thin the sauce is in addition to how thin their pizzas are.  It looks like they change oven decks for the bake. https://www.facebook.com/StarTavern 

Norma
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Offline akuban

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #179 on: October 25, 2014, 10:38:13 PM »
Thanks for the link, Norma! Good eye!
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #180 on: October 25, 2014, 10:47:07 PM »
Could be several reasons for the switch er roo....other than standard baking protocol.   ;)
Anyone have video of this being standard operating procedure?
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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #181 on: March 30, 2015, 12:47:37 PM »
I´ve never had a Star Tavern Pie - but next time I'm in NJ I will definitely have a slice or three!

Great thread, good info - and I'm feeling the urge to tinker around a bit with this style, that strikes me as a hybrid of sorts, somewhere between a cracker style and chicago thin, with some NY influence. Love it!

Il miglior fabbro

Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #182 on: March 30, 2015, 06:01:12 PM »
I´ve never had a Star Tavern Pie - but next time I'm in NJ I will definitely have a slice or three!

Great thread, good info - and I'm feeling the urge to tinker around a bit with this style, that strikes me as a hybrid of sorts, somewhere between a cracker style and chicago thin, with some NY influence. Love it!

Johnny,

To me Start Tavern almost tastes like a NY style pizza, but it is sauced and cheesed to the edges.  That is just my opinion though.  :-D  It is also very thin, but not like a cracker style crust at all to me.  If you want to look at some more photos this is when I visited Star Tavern. 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30978.msg308629#msg308629 

I think Walter might be visiting Star Tavern today.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #183 on: April 01, 2015, 08:34:57 AM »
These are some photos of a Star Tavern pizza that Walter brought to me yesterday.  I didn't reheat any slices yet.  Thanks Walter!  :)

Norma
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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #184 on: April 01, 2015, 05:29:58 PM »
Awesome Norma- thanks! I will have fun with some Star Tavern clones over the next few days. Here's a pic from my 1st attempt a few months ago:
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #185 on: April 01, 2015, 09:39:20 PM »
Awesome Norma- thanks! I will have fun with some Star Tavern clones over the next few days. Here's a pic from my 1st attempt a few months ago:

Johnny,

Looks like you did very well for your first attempt!  ;D  Do you mind posting the formulation you tried?

Norma
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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #186 on: April 01, 2015, 11:34:41 PM »
Norma,

I loosely followed your formula, as you can see here: (reply #3)

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=32433.msg320606#msg320606

It was a same day dough with a very short fermentation time of around 4 hours, IIRC...

I just completed a 5 doughball batch (~245 gm each) with semolina that should be ready in 24 hours. Here is the formula I used (different from the first effort):

100% flour   750 gm total flour: 700gm ap flour + 50 gm semolina
52 % water   390 gm water
1.5% sugar  11.25 gm organic brown sugar
1.7% salt     12.75 gm salt
3% oil          22.5 gm EVOO
.5% CY         3.75 gm fresh CY

Sugar, salt whisked into water. CY whisked in. Oil whisked in. Semolina whisked in. Remaining flour mixed in, kneaded until smooth, divided and balled. In retrospect I could have added more oil. It will be interesting to see how it comes out.

Norma, how would you describe the texture/mouth feel of the Star Tavern pies?


« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 01:38:20 PM by Johnny the Gent »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #187 on: April 01, 2015, 11:50:11 PM »
Norma,

I loosely followed your formula, as you can see here: (reply #3)

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=32433.msg320606#msg320606

It was a same day dough with a very short fermentation time of around 4 hours, IIRC...

I just completed a 5 doughball batch (~245 gm each) with semolina that should be ready in 24 hours. Here is the formula:

100% flour   750 gm total flour: 700gm ap flour + 50 gm semolina
52 % water   390 gm water
1.5% sugar  11.25 gm organic brown sugar
1.7% salt     12.75 gm salt
3% oil          22.5 gm EVOO
.5% CY         3.75 gm fresh CY

Sugar, salt whisked into water. CY whisked in. Oil whisked in. Semolina whisked in. Remaining flour mixed in, kneaded until smooth, divided and balled. In retrospect I could have added more oil. It will be interesting to see how it comes out.

Norma, how would you describe the texture/mouth feel of the Star Tavern pies?

Johnny,

I see you used about the same formulation I did.  Thanks for posting your recent formulation and your workflow.  I agree it will be interesting to see how it turns out since you are using semolina. 

I am not sure, but think since Star Tavern used to get its dough from a bakery it probably wouldn't be anything complicated. 

It is hard to describe the texture/mouthfeel of Star Tavern's pies.  To me I really mostly tasted the cheese the most.  Star uses a very good combination/or one cheese on their pies.  The thinness of the pizza and the saucing and cheesing to the edges also make it a unique style of pizza in my opinion.  I will tell you more after I reheat a couple of slices. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #188 on: April 02, 2015, 05:25:40 PM »
Johnny or anyone else that might be interested,

Two slices of Star Tavern's pizza were reheated a little while ago.  The slices tasted very good reheated. To answer Johnny's question about mouthfeel, to me it tastes very well balanced.  The cheese/cheeses are what stands out for me the most.  Of course the crispness of the bottom crust, the sauce and some of the char parts are all good.  I didn't think the crust was chewy at all.

Norma
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Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #189 on: April 02, 2015, 06:00:30 PM »
Johnny or anyone else that might be interested,

Two slices of Star Tavern's pizza were reheated a little while ago.  The slices tasted very good reheated. To answer Johnny's question about mouthfeel, to me it tastes very well balanced.  The cheese/cheeses are what stands out for me the most.  Of course the crispness of the bottom crust, the sauce and some of the char parts are all good.  I didn't think the crust was chewy at all.

Norma

Looks good Norma - thanks for sharing!
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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #190 on: April 02, 2015, 06:06:18 PM »
Norma:  I am glad you all liked the pies.  I had yours and Star for lunch and diner today.  I loved both of them.  Star brings back  memories of my youth eating there as often as my friends and I could get together enough $ to buy a pie and yours is just plain good pizza :)  I am uploading a video I took of the pies being made at Star Tavern when I was there Monday.  The ordering area for to go is inches from the pizza making area.   I was back in NJ for a family visit and I took my 86 year old mother on a whirlwind 12 hour tour of her beginnings in the USA to everything up to today- Harrison, Newark, Kearny, North Arlington, Orange, South Orange.  We hit 2 pizzerias -star and pizzaland.  Pizzaland is the shop in the opening credits of The Sopranos.  It is in North Arlington and only a short distance from the Holy Cross Cemetery where her parents and siblings are buried.   Pizzaland was much like a star pie and it was my first time going there.  We called these kind of pies bar pies and I see that term is becoming hip again in artisan pizza making.

some funny facts from my trip.  Harrison NJ, where my mother grew up is 1 mile square of concrete (no grass to be found anywhere) and is in the Guinness book of world records for having the most taverns per square mile -90.  My mother told me as a girl the town passed a law forbidding any more to open because the men were coming out of their factory jobs and spending their entire paychecks in the bars on payday.  The other Guinness book of world records entry is North Arlington where her parents and siblings are buried.  They have more people buried in that town than living people.  There are 4 empty graves in my grandparents plot so Judy and I can be laid to rest in good old NJ someday :-D  I had a great visit and learned much about my mothers Italian upbringing and ate tons of great food including her sisters favorite diner in East Newark - Tops Diner which is tucked in between huge brick factories of days gone by. Walter



« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 06:14:12 PM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #191 on: April 02, 2015, 07:13:06 PM »
Norma:  I am glad you all liked the pies.  I had yours and Star for lunch and diner today.  I loved both of them.  Star brings back  memories of my youth eating there as often as my friends and I could get together enough $ to buy a pie and yours is just plain good pizza :)  I am uploading a video I took of the pies being made at Star Tavern when I was there Monday.  The ordering area for to go is inches from the pizza making area.   I was back in NJ for a family visit and I took my 86 year old mother on a whirlwind 12 hour tour of her beginnings in the USA to everything up to today- Harrison, Newark, Kearny, North Arlington, Orange, South Orange.  We hit 2 pizzerias -star and pizzaland.  Pizzaland is the shop in the opening credits of The Sopranos.  It is in North Arlington and only a short distance from the Holy Cross Cemetery where her parents and siblings are buried.   Pizzaland was much like a star pie and it was my first time going there.  We called these kind of pies bar pies and I see that term is becoming hip again in artisan pizza making.

some funny facts from my trip.  Harrison NJ, where my mother grew up is 1 mile square of concrete (no grass to be found anywhere) and is in the Guinness book of world records for having the most taverns per square mile -90.  My mother told me as a girl the town passed a law forbidding any more to open because the men were coming out of their factory jobs and spending their entire paychecks in the bars on payday.  The other Guinness book of world records entry is North Arlington where her parents and siblings are buried.  They have more people buried in that town than living people.  There are 4 empty graves in my grandparents plot so Judy and I can be laid to rest in good old NJ someday :-D  I had a great visit and learned much about my mothers Italian upbringing and ate tons of great food including her sisters favorite diner in East Newark - Tops Diner which is tucked in between huge brick factories of days gone by. Walter


Walter,

The two slices I ate so far were yummy!  My daughter also reheated two slices for lunch and really like them.  I know Star Tavern brings back memories of your youth, and eating there when you and your friends would get together. 

Your Mother looks fantastic!  8) I had to chuckle at what she said. 

Your trip sure sounds like it was fun.  Thanks for explaining all you did, and some history about where you lived. 

I see Pizzaland pizzas look like a bar style pie.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #192 on: April 03, 2015, 05:24:06 AM »
This will be my next style to tackle, I think...
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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #193 on: April 03, 2015, 08:58:32 AM »
This will be my next style to tackle, I think...

Craig: I am sure you will do a great job on it. 

Norma: It was a great trip and I am surprised pizzaland  pizza hasn't gotten much press here on the forum.  Here are a pictures I took of the Star pies right out of the oven.  Walter
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 09:02:01 AM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #194 on: April 03, 2015, 09:27:10 AM »
Craig: I am sure you will do a great job on it. 

Norma: It was a great trip and I am surprised pizzaland  pizza hasn't gotten much press here on the forum.  Here are a pictures I took of the Star pies right out of the oven.  Walter

Walter,

 ^^^ if Craig decides to make an attempt at a Star Tavern pie!

That is great you had so much fun on your trip.  8) I never heard of pizzaland before.  The photos are good of when Star's pies were right out of the oven.  I think a reheat of a Star slices goes well for this style of pizza.

Norma

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #195 on: April 03, 2015, 10:00:57 AM »
Walter, I have to agree with your mother. The pies look good but not as good as yours  ;) I only hope to try it one day!

Also, your mom looks great for 86, God bless her.


Anthony
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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #196 on: April 03, 2015, 10:37:20 AM »
Walter, I have to agree with your mother. The pies look good but not as good as yours  ;) I only hope to try it one day!

Also, your mom looks great for 86, God bless her.


Anthony

Anthony:  Thanks for the compliments.  We are Reno, NV, bound this summer so the odds of trying my pie is going to be high odds :)  I would like to try yours someday too.  I am glad I stopped at Norma's because I doubt I will be that way again.  Walter

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #197 on: April 03, 2015, 11:14:05 AM »
I know, I was thinking that. Reno is a long way from PA and I am certainly not one for planes so it would be the ultimate road trip!  8)However, it's not totally out of the question.
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