Author Topic: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee  (Read 4429 times)

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Offline Mmmph

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #160 on: April 02, 2014, 03:15:34 PM »
How do you think Star keeps theirs from getting too messy?

Here's a pic of Star Tavern's oven.
Adam, I hope you don't make the WFO your borrowing look like Star's stone floor.
You drop cheese on that floor and baking on that spot will be a problem.
But, hey, you know that from Paulie Gee's...Yes?
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato


Offline scott123

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #161 on: April 02, 2014, 03:18:34 PM »
Actually, unlike a deck oven that may not get hot enough to burn off the cheese/grease on the floor, you can spread hot coals over a WFO oven floor and hit temps that will pretty easily burn that stuff off.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2014, 03:25:30 PM »
How do you think Star keeps theirs from getting too messy? Just not cheesing it out as far? Years of experience? The Stamford CT bar pies (Colony and Riko's) don't have cutaway pans, so no mess there. I don't do the cutaway thing with mine, so once it bakes and "sets" in the pan, I can turn it out and there's no mess. Still wondering how Star manages to keep theirs neat.

Adam:  I have eaten there 100 of times and I can tell you their decks are smoking big time all the time.  They have to seriously scrape inbetween runs as well.  They cheese/sauce to the end.  If things get black like in charcol on the ends they trim it before it goes out.   Personally I would not like making pies like this just for the mess factor.  They do not build a rim either.  It is rolled out. 

Norma:  That pie looks good but maybe a tad undcooked for star like.  How did it taste compared to Star?   My hat is off to you for trying it again!  Walter
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Offline akuban

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #163 on: April 02, 2014, 03:48:47 PM »
Here's a pic of Star Tavern's oven.
Adam, I hope you don't make the WFO your borrowing look like Star's stone floor.
You drop cheese on that floor and baking on that spot will be a problem.
But, hey, you know that from Paulie Gee's...Yes?

LOL, that's MY PICTURE from the write-up I did from Slice! Hahahaha. It's still hard to see from that pic what's going on, but yeah, it seems to bear out what Walter says below.

Scott123 is right. Any crud we got on the oven floor burned off the WFO. By the time I'm turning out the pizzas, they're pretty well "set," so not much gets on there. But, yeah, at the end of the night, whatever has, we can just spread some coals over and burn it clean.

¡Hasta la pizza!

Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #164 on: April 02, 2014, 07:01:26 PM »
How do you think Star keeps theirs from getting too messy? Just not cheesing it out as far? Years of experience? The Stamford CT bar pies (Colony and Riko's) don't have cutaway pans, so no mess there. I don't do the cutaway thing with mine, so once it bakes and "sets" in the pan, I can turn it out and there's no mess. Still wondering how Star manages to keep theirs neat.

Adam,

When I talked to Gary at Star Tavern I asked him if the Star pizzas don't make a mess on his deck floors and he said yes his pizzas do make a mess on the stones.  Gary told me the big vents over the ovens and the other big round things on the other upper ceiling also take those flumes and smoke out of their kitchen.  The other big round things on the upper ceiling are also for air conditioning.  I could not imagine trying to deal with something like that at market because I don't have those big vents on my deck oven.

Adam:  I have eaten there 100 of times and I can tell you their decks are smoking big time all the time.  They have to seriously scrape inbetween runs as well.  They cheese/sauce to the end.  If things get black like in charcol on the ends they trim it before it goes out.   Personally I would not like making pies like this just for the mess factor.  They do not build a rim either.  It is rolled out. 

Norma:  That pie looks good but maybe a tad undcooked for star like.  How did it taste compared to Star?   My hat is off to you for trying it again!  Walter

As Walter posted Star does sauce and cheese to the edges.  I also watched that whole operation. 
Maybe that is why other pizzerias don't try to make a pizza like Star with those cut-away pans.
 
Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #165 on: April 02, 2014, 07:09:13 PM »

Norma:  That pie looks good but maybe a tad undcooked for star like.  How did it taste compared to Star?   My hat is off to you for trying it again!  Walter


Walter,

The sauce, cheese blend part, and pepperoni of the Star attempt I tried did taste really good, but the lack of the bottom baking right make my attempt not like Star's.  I also used too much flour when rolling out the skin.  After the bake some flour could be seen on my cut-away pan and that flour could be tasted on the bottom crust when eaten.

Norma 
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #166 on: April 04, 2014, 08:26:05 AM »
The photo below is what Star Tavern's pizzeria looked like years ago.  The photo came from Star Tavern's facebook page and was posted as a “throwback Thursday”.

Norma
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Offline thezaman

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #167 on: April 04, 2014, 12:32:26 PM »
 adam, on your aluminum pans, season them very light with a vegetable oil and bake them for a few hours. a good way to oil you pans for use is block shortening you can apply it with a 4 inch pastry brush and put it on a little heavy till your pans are broken in,then you can back it off if you want. shorting doesn't absorb into the dough and will give you a nice crisp bottom. it will also stop sticking if you apply a nice coat . try american metalcraft for your pans. they make 14 gauge and 18 gauge.i use the lighter aluminum as it takes to long for the pans to heat in my 550 degree oven,and not allowing my bottom to brown. if you are using a wood oven the heavier pan might balance your bake better.not sure this will help, but i wanted to offer you this method. good luck!! larry  oh forgot to mention your bar pie on slice this week looks great!!!! your dough is secret yes??

Offline waltertore

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #168 on: April 04, 2014, 01:21:49 PM »
The photo below is what Star Tavern's pizzeria looked like years ago.  The photo came from Star Tavern's facebook page and was posted as a “throwback Thursday”.

Norma

That might be me in that picture :)  That is how I remember Star as a teen.  That 1960's oldsmobile dates it.  Walter
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Spontobeat- the spontaneous music concept I have created and how I spontaneously live my life   http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=157137 200 of my most current songs http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=157137&content=widgets

Offline waltertore

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #169 on: April 04, 2014, 02:43:07 PM »
Walter,

The sauce, cheese blend part, and pepperoni of the Star attempt I tried did taste really good, but the lack of the bottom baking right make my attempt not like Star's.  I also used too much flour when rolling out the skin.  After the bake some flour could be seen on my cut-away pan and that flour could be tasted on the bottom crust when eaten.

Norma

It sounds like you did a great job at it Norma- congragulations!  Walter
The Smiling With Hope Bakery- A bakery with a purpose
http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20140124/NEWS01/301240031/Bakery-run-by-students-disabilities-earns-pizza-profile

Spontobeat- the spontaneous music concept I have created and how I spontaneously live my life   http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=157137 200 of my most current songs http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=157137&content=widgets


Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #170 on: April 04, 2014, 05:37:17 PM »
That might be me in that picture :)  That is how I remember Star as a teen.  That 1960's oldsmobile dates it.  Walter

Walter,

That would be cool is that was you in that picture!  8)

It sounds like you did a great job at it Norma- congragulations!  Walter

Thanks, but the bottom crust was really off.  I will make another attempt when I find time.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #171 on: April 08, 2014, 10:33:44 PM »
I had wondered what happened to the other Star Tavern dough ball that I didn't have time last week to try out.  I found it yesterday when I went to put some Detroit style dough balls in pans in the one back side of the deli case.  I didn't have time to try the dough ball out today either, but thought it was interesting when I looked at it again today that it did not have any speckles on top of the dough ball and no bubbles on top of the dough ball.  The photos are from this morning.  I brought the dough ball along home to see if I might have time to bake it in a couple of days.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #172 on: April 10, 2014, 06:58:07 PM »
These are a few photos of the Star Tavern attempt in my Blackstone oven unit.  The dough ball was the same dough ball that I posted photos of at Reply 171 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29785.msg311344#msg311344  The rest of the write-up and other photos start at Reply 534 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26483.msg311616#msg311616 

Norma
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Offline akuban

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #173 on: April 11, 2014, 10:03:19 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?
¡Hasta la pizza!

Offline akuban

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Re: Star Tavern NJ memories from former employee
« Reply #174 on: April 11, 2014, 10:32:14 AM »
adam, on your aluminum pans, season them very light with a vegetable oil and bake them for a few hours. a good way to oil you pans for use is block shortening you can apply it with a 4 inch pastry brush and put it on a little heavy till your pans are broken in,then you can back it off if you want. shorting doesn't absorb into the dough and will give you a nice crisp bottom. it will also stop sticking if you apply a nice coat . try american metalcraft for your pans. they make 14 gauge and 18 gauge.i use the lighter aluminum as it takes to long for the pans to heat in my 550 degree oven,and not allowing my bottom to brown. if you are using a wood oven the heavier pan might balance your bake better.not sure this will help, but i wanted to offer you this method. good luck!! larry  oh forgot to mention your bar pie on slice this week looks great!!!! your dough is secret yes??


Larry! Thanks for the tips. I'm sorry for the late reply. I haven't been on PM for a while, and the dang email notifications seem to only get sent a quarter of the time that there are follow-up comments here.

ANYWAY. I'm using Pizzatools.com/Lloyd Pans aluminum pans, 14 gauge (so the heavier ones). I'm doing pretty much what you recommend for seasoning. I've been putting on a very thin layer of flaxseed oil — basically spreading on about a teaspoon with my hands/fingers and then wiping it away with a paper towel. I then place it in a cold oven, heat to 500°F,  and let it bake for 2 hours. I do 4–6 coats of that.

BUT last pan order, I tried out Lloyd's PSTK and was pleased with it. Good to know about American Metalcraft's 18 gauge for home use.

My dough recipe isn't so much a secret as much as that I have never written it down — it's a work in progress. I've basically tried out Norma's formulation, posted very early in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29785.msg299009#msg299009

I use more salt, because I like a saltier dough (3%), and I put a little more oil — 6%.

The rest is basically, cook it in the pan until it "sets," then de-pan onto the oven floor OR baking steel/stone. At home, I place the pan on my Baking Steel (1/4"), which helps turbocharge the cooking. My oven can do 550°F just barely. More like 525°F at most. But the steel gets up to 580–590°F.  At the pizzeria with the WFO, obviously the cooking is turbocharged already and we're doing 650–675°F.

Mostly, though, I do it be visual cues. When the pizza "sets," and can be de-panned easily (edges pull away from sides of pan, cheese is browning nicely), I remove it onto the oven floor. Cook it there for about 45 seconds more… Until the bottom browns up more and is nice and crisp.
¡Hasta la pizza!

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.

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.
¡Hasta la pizza!


 

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