Author Topic: need a lil bit of help  (Read 5265 times)

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Offline braddonbach

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need a lil bit of help
« on: September 03, 2010, 07:01:48 PM »
I have been at home working on recipes for sauce and dough with all regular grocery store bought ingredients. So far I have a sauce taste that I like and my family does also, however after putting all the ingredients together the family says it tastes similar to frozen pizza  >:( . Any ideas on if thats a good thing or if it would be because of using grocery brand ingredients? My intention is to eventually open a pizza place.
Any suggestions on how to proceed with getting it from frozen quality to pizza shop quality?


thanks
Brad


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 09:20:30 PM »
Brad you wouldn't happen to be using frozen ingredients would you?  :-D  JK I had to.  Post up your recipe and a few pics and there will be lots of anxious members willing to help. 

A good thing to try is to start buying high quality ingredients.  Spend a few extra bucks and see if you or your family can notice the difference.   What are you unhappy with? The dough? The ingredients? or the whole pizza in general? 

A good test is to give the pizza to your pet dog.  If he won't eat it then keep practicing.  ;D


Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 11:04:48 PM »
lol no, no frozen ingredients here. My mother and fiance both don't like the dough. thats really the main concern I believe. However here are my ingredients. all sauce ingredients except spices are giant store brand spices are mccormick
2 cans of 4.5oz whole peeled tomato's
1 can of 15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup of marjoram, basil, oregano, red cayenne pepper.

what I was gonna do was substitute the tomato sauce for some 6 n 1 sauce and add all the seasonings in it does that sound like an equal exchange?

for the dough I have used several recipes so far but the one i liked the best and what they disliked the least was the recipe posted on here by leighman sp? i believe.  I was using pilsbury bread flour, and extra virgin olive oil (cant remember the brand) and "pizza crust" yeast.

i use giant part skim mozzarella cheese to top it all off.

I do feel that a big issue with the dough is my inexperience with tossing a good even dough (they complain of it being to thick/heavy), however all the dough's i have made have seemed to very dry and unpliable as in the ability to stretch it out the dough wants to keep about a 6 inch diameter. I don't have any pictures right now, but i will try to get some next week when I try again. I am going to order high gluten flour, grande cheese, 6 n1 sauce and yeast from pennmac.

sadly, i have an entire menu written out including wraps, subs, and boli's but the main focus Pizza  and calzones I can't seem to get right  :'(

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 11:25:28 PM »
Brad, there may be several issues going on here.  First and foremost, I wouldn't plan on taking it commercial until you can make some decent pizza and food.   The kind of quality that you would be proud of to serve, not just mediocre stuff that you could get by with. 

Next, are you using a scale to measure your ingredients out?  If not, I would invest in one.  You can get one for $20-$30 or less, just look around.   The Lehman recipe is a good one and lots of folks have had success with it.  Pillsbury flour I believe is a good flour as well but I haven't worked with it.  I have heard some positive things about it. 

I can't speak of your sauce and I don't have the time or inclination to try it out.  There are plenty of sauce recipes on the forum as well.  If you don't like your sauce, I would try a new one.  If you like it just keep it.  You'll find that when you use a higher quality tomatoe base for the sauce, your sauce will instantly taste better.  So the 6 n 1's are a good idea. 

It sounds like you need to work on your dough technique and possibly your bake as well.   How do you knead dough?  Are you using a mixer or doing it by hand?   If you have problems opening the dough you are either opening it when it's still cold or you have overkneaded the dough and have developed too much gluten. 

Goto Youtube and search for dough opening techniques.  Watch a few videos and pay attention to what the dough looks like.  Try to make your dough close to that.  There is a certain consistency to the dough for it to open easily.  You can figure out a lot of this yourself.   Sorry if I'm being vague, but I'm short on time tonight.  Just wanted to give you a few things to think about.

Hopefully one of the senior members will chime in an give you some advice.   If you can post up the exact recipe you are using and the exact baking regimen.  What temp and how long? 

Chau

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 11:39:14 PM »
sadly, i have an entire menu written out including wraps, subs, and boli's but the main focus Pizza  and calzones I can't seem to get right  :'(

Having never made pizza, what made you want to open a place with a focus on pizza?

Have you spent time in the restaurant business?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 12:31:44 AM »
braddonbach, please see my reply #10 at this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8103.msg108387.html#msg108387

I'm not trying to be douchebag.  I think that sometimes people fall in love with a dream and they end up with a nightmare.  And most of all, I don't want you to throw your life savings into a money pit.  Most of your friends and family will want to encourage you because that's what they're supposed to do.  Sometimes, you need to face reality.

Let me backtrack a bit.  My dad is a master franchisee for a pizza restaurant.  He's been doing this his whole life.  My first job at a pizzeria in Manhattan was when I was 12 years old (it was under the table).  We now have 25 restaurants and plan to open a 26th by the end of next week.

People come up to us all the time, asking if they could sub-franchise.  And most of the time, we say no because they aren't ready for the actual investment required for it.  I think that they get blinded by the long lines and happy customers/guests and they start envisioning giant dollar signs (or peso signs) in their heads.  What they don't see is the hard work that goes into it; all the training you have to do (because even if you have a very good recipe, there's always some schmo ready to mess it up because he thinks his job is beneath him or he just doesn't care that given day because he's got other problems to deal with); the rising costs of ingredients (not to mention salaries, utilities, & rent); and customers that are difficult to impress (and have a lot of other options for their lunch and dinner money).

Why would I buy a pizza from you?  All you have is a menu.  I'd rather buy it from Norma or Chau if they were to open a place.  JT may lack the restaurant experience, but at least he and Norma show a lot of passion for what they do.  And that counts for a lot.  Everyone wants to be Jeff Varasano, but he perfected his recipes for YEARS before he opened his own place.

Why would you even consider opening a pizza place if you don't have a good dough recipe? a decent sauce recipe? a high quality mozzarella?  Those are the 3 most important ingredients you'd have to work with, so you'd best get them up to snuff.

It's a cut-throat business.  The economy is not helping right now and flour prices are set to go up.

If you still really want to do it, work at a pizzeria for a while.  Learn the craft.  See if you like it.  See if you'd still be happy doing it even if you weren't making a lot of money.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 12:35:00 AM by RoadPizza »

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 02:47:20 AM »
i recently bought a salter 16oz mechanical scale accurate to down to around .75g, for 8.53 from amazon.com. 

it is awesome.

secondly, there is large amounts of beer and such in me so hopefully that doesnt make this a 4 page reply

1. what is your recipe?
2. unusual ingredients like cornstarch or baking powder and/or soda or off the wall ingredients?

any of the first page NY recipe or american style recipe should direct you to a more accurate dough.    too much oil and too fast of a ferment (2 packets of yeast, lots of added sugar,  and less than 1 hour rise time) leads to store quality taste.
Hotdogs kill more people than sharks do, yearly.

Offline sonofapizza

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 05:19:38 AM »
braddonbach, please see my reply #10 at this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8103.msg108387.html#msg108387

I'm not trying to be douchebag....................................

Let me backtrack a bit.  My dad is a master franchisee for a pizza restaurant.  He's been doing this his whole life.  My first job at a pizzeria in Manhattan was when I was 12 years old (it was under the table).  We now have 25 restaurants and plan to open a 26th by the end of next week.

People come up to us all the time, asking if they could sub-franchise.  And most of the time, we say no because they aren't ready for the actual investment required for it.  I think that they get blinded by the long lines and happy customers/guests and they start envisioning giant dollar signs (or peso signs) in their heads. 

Why would you even consider opening a pizza place if you don't have a good dough recipe? a decent sauce recipe? a high quality mozzarella?  Those are the 3 most important ingredients you'd have to work with, so you'd best get them up to snuff.

It's a cut-throat business.  The economy is not helping right now and flour prices are set to go up.


Wow man.... I have read a few of your posts now. 
"My Dad's the King of Pizza" - "I've been stretching pies since I was a zygote" - "It's a cut-throat business" - "You'll never succeed" - "it'll take you years to figure it out" - "We have 26 restaurants!" - "Did I mention my dad is the King yet?!!?!"


.........The old man did a number on you.  You are so competitive (for your dad's restaurants) that you are trying to convince people from other states to give up all hope on their dreams of being self employed.  Like your dad is a genius or something.  He is just like every other person who was able to recognize the money a pizza place can bring in.......Then he said "Hmmmmm, maybe I should take a crack at it..." and started his own place...... and hired his son.

Man....you give the most negative advice.  you are the "Pizza Politician" from now on...

Offline sonofapizza

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 05:26:12 AM »
.I'm not trying to be douchebag........ :-\


By the way...  I just hacked into your Dad's work computer and downloaded all his recipes >:D.

BooYaa-Kaaaa!!!  26 restaurants, here I come! 

I can see the dollar signs already!!!!  People are going to be flying into McCarran Airport to eat my pizza now!!!!

Offline sonofapizza

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 05:33:17 AM »
1.)  "My dad is a master franchisee for a pizza restaurant.  He's been doing this his whole life.  My first job at a pizzeria in Manhattan was when I was 12 years old (it was under the table).  We now have 25 restaurants and plan to open a 26th by the end of next week."

2.)  "People come up to us all the time, asking if they could sub-franchise.  And most of the time, we say no because they aren't ready for the actual investment required for it."

3.)  flour prices are set to go up :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D.

I can't resist...
1.)  Good Lord...Look at the size of those credentials on that guy!

2.)  But if they have the capital, we'll sell those jerks a franchise or two

3.)  Just curious... What size rims do you have on your Hummer?  I'm guessing 26"ers  Bwaaaaaa!! :-D :-D :-D :-D


......alright, I'm done.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 05:42:11 AM by sonofapizza »


Offline sonofapizza

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 06:04:02 AM »
.....flour prices are set to go up.

I just got off the phone with Alan Greenspan, and he has concurred that flour prices are, indeed, set to go up...
He also told me that gas prices, textiles, internet service, and water, and just about everything else will indeed inflate in price.
He also gave me a hot tip..... are you ready?  He said, and I quote: "Buy low..... sell high".  He actually wispered the "sell high" part.  I'm not kidding.

How are you getting this inside information before everybody else, RoadPizza?
And how are you able to hire Architects to design your pizza shops?  These must be very upscale, class "A" dining spots.

Because, usually, most places just  have an inspector come in and tell them where the oven can go.  And maybe figure out a flow plan for a grease trap.  This takes place of course, after the negotiations for the price per square foot have taken place with the landlord.  Next, open a phone book, and take your pick of which shady contrator will destroy your plans of opening any time soon.  Then, once you're done going back and forth with the contractor, and he is paid in full - your pizza joint is ready to open it's doors....and ultimately fail (as you so graciously explained to all who aspire to be self employed)

I've never seen such competitively negative advice given, outside of politics.......
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 06:07:28 AM by sonofapizza »

Offline norma427

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2010, 08:06:38 AM »
I agree with RoadPizza.  His father and him have been in this business for a long while and he has learned the ropes by being in the pizza business for many years.  His knowledge has been learned over the years.

The pizza business isnít as easy as it looks.  I know a couple of owners of pizza businesses and the time they personally have to put in is more than many people would believe.  I only operate a one day a week pizza business at our local farmerís market and that alone takes me the better part of 2 days a week to prepare and 1 day of actually being there for over 12 hrs.  If you want the best dough you can make, that takes practice.  The things many people donít think about when opening their own business whether it is the pizza business or other food related businesses is paying for your own health insurance, (unless you have a spouse that can cover you, or live in a country that has free health care), liability insurance, paying for your own life insurance, licenses, equipment breaking down, taking a safe-serve food course and test, lawyer fees, sourcing your supplies and equipment, dealing with employees, no paid sick days or paid vacation, and so much more.  I read PMQ think tank and see all the problems full-time independent pizza operators do have.

I went into the pizza business blind, except I knew all the other things to expect, because I was in other food businesses before. I surely had my problems when I first tried to make pizza. If it wasnít for this forum and the help I received here, who knows what would have happened with the pizzas I now make. I had a friend that was in the pizza business helping me with my dough and sauce and still I couldnít get my dough right and work with it consistently from week to week. I knew there would be much preparation to opening a business and working for no money for awhile. I only do this part-time because I am partially retired.  Many people fail in any food business even if they have the experience.  With the economy the way it is now, and all the pizza chains, there are many small food businesses or pizza businesses going under.

I wish anyone good luck that decides to go into the a pizza business.  It takes dedication and long days at their business. In the end, if you are really willing to work this hard, there are rewards if you are successful. I am not an expert on opening any business, by these are just my opinions.

Norma
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Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 09:17:57 AM »
Well RoadPizza first off I am taking my time to open a pizza shop I have a menu that I have worked on the better half of this year to get down where everything tastes great, I am in no hurry to open a business as I am still in college (20). I am not "stupid" as your post made it seem you think i maybe. I KNOW how easy it is to fail in this sector of business based on purely on the competition. I came to this forum so I can work out my recipe. I do have a deep passion for pizza which you think I don't because im here looking for help or because I would like to open a shop? I value you your opinion somewhat just because of your years in the pizza business, however you privileged in that aspect, i dont have a father that had the ability or passion to do what your father did, so I never had the opportunity. However I do not respect your tone of arrogance that I have seen in very many of your posts in regards to people who would like to start a shop, sure we don't have the experience like you but we may have just as much passion or more.

Sorry for the out burst but the initial reading got me pissed off

The reason i am on this forum is so I can work out my ingredients I dont care if it would take years or decades to do (i hope not) but main goal is perfecting them before even attempting to open a shop. The only reason I did the menu the way I did was because it was easy to, i have a good amount of the ingredients already at home. As well as I knew the difficulty in making pizza wouldn't be like snapping my fingers and it would be perfect so i saved it for last.

As far as experience, I have worked as a waiter and bus boy in restaurant as well as working at a papa johns (I only did it for a couple months) before I got my current job. I have been actively looking for any of the pizza shops around me to see if they need help, but they can't hire because of the economy.  I also in school have helped plan out a pizza shop for opening last year as in internship for my major.

Jackie Tran:
bread flour (about 2 1/2 c.)
       Water, (about 1 c.)
       IDY (1 1/2 t.)
       Salt (3/4 t.)
       Olive oil  (3/4 t.)
I mix it in a kitchenaid "professional style" blender with dough hook.
salt and water first mixed until salt appears dissolved     
adding yeast and flour mixing on stir speed (1)
then adding olive oil after about 2 minutes and turning it to (3)
I waited 2 days before use they were placed in the fridge for that time (made wednesday night used friday)

I bake them in a regular conventional oven at around 500 on a pizza screen  7-8 min and then transferred it to the preheated stone for 1-2 minutes to get the crust browned and crisp.





Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2010, 10:05:11 AM »
Brad, I do appreciate RoadPizza's take on things.  It maybe on the extreme end for most folks but that is how I was raise so I'm a bit use to it.  I also work in a high stress high intensity environment.  I try to maintain the attitude that I can learn something(s) from anyone even if I don't agree with their perspective or even if  I don't get along with them.  I also work as a nurse anesthetist.  I have worked with trauma surgeons that have screamed at me "what the f- are you doing? during an emergency situation (ie someone is dying)"  Of course that's usually a life and death situation and it's different.   But the jist is still the same.  It's not an environment to not have your stuff together or not know what's going on. But in the real world, the cut throat competitiveness can be a quick shock to most folks if they aren't prepared for it.

It doesn't mean that we have to go out there and be jerks or walk all over ppl to get ahead either.
I think the thing to take away is to over research and be as prepared as you can be.  Then don't let anyone or anything stop you from making your dreams a reality.

SOP - thanks for the comic relief.  :-D

Brad are you saying you have already tried that recipe you posted or planning to?

That recipe looks to be appropriate.  The yeast is a bit high IMO It's probably right around 1% of the flour weight.  The dough made from this recipe will be ready to bake within 2 hours!  :o   For a longer room temp proof time, I would cut that amount in half or less.   Use 1/2 tsp or 3/4 IDY max.  Just watch the dough.  After you knead it, let it sit for maybe 5-10m.   Divide the dough and ball each piece up.  Place them in individual bowls (clear plastic is good) or a pyrex dish or anything you can cover.   Cover with plastic wrap or a moistened cloth and check on the dough status once an hour or so.   You're looking for the dough to rise about 100% (or double its size in volume).  Just eyeball it. 

Also remember, you want the oven preheating about an hour before you plan on baking those pies.  Good luck and don't forget to post up pictures.   We wanna see your progress. 

Chau
 
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 10:40:14 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2010, 10:31:35 AM »
Brad,

I share and respect your entrepreneurial spirit. Let me suggest that people who try to talk you out of opening a restaurant are, in a counterintuitive way, your friends Ė and I donít mean this in a clichť way.

You should seek every possible objection to and criticism of your ideas, skills, ability to pull it off, etc. If you have the rose colored glasses on, you have to get them off and look at this with your eyes wide open. Think about the worst case scenarios before you think about the best. If you donít feel good about all your answers, you still have work to do.

Those people who tell you go, go, go are not helping you. They may not be hurting, but they are not helping. Itís easy to be optimistic when itís someone elseís capital at risk. Itís also a lot easier to see and talk about the reasons why you could succeed as compared to the reasons you may fail. Unless they are there offering the cash to finance you, donít pay them a lot of attention as they are wasting your time.

You want all the potential problems, challenges, risks, threats, and other downsides out in the open up front. Itís a lot easier to address and mitigate them now than it is after you open your doors.

Think about it like the upset customer who complains Ė it may be unpleasant to hear and deal with, but he is doing you a favor because it gives you a chance to improve and prevent other similarly unhappy customers. The angry customer who smiles and looks happy when he leaves only to go and badmouth your place to all his friends is the one that really hurts.

Iím not trying to discourage you Ė far from it. By all means follow your passion, but be prepared. Remember the 6 Pís Ė Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

I would also point out, based on your comment above, that competition is far from the only reason businesses fail. It may even be one of the lesser reasons. Most of the reasons are things you have at least some measure of control over.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2010, 11:24:42 AM »
jackie tran, I had just made my first batch of pizza using that recipe last night. one thing I myself don't like about the crust is the bread dough taste, it just doesnt seem to have the "normal" shop taste would the higher amount of yeast contribute to the thicker bread like crust?
these pizzas have been in the fridge over night.
first pic is just the crust of a pep. slice
side view of the cheese slice
over top view of cheese slice


« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:27:03 AM by braddonbach »

Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2010, 11:27:19 AM »
sorry guess I can't post pictures  :-[

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2010, 11:29:00 AM »
Brad, did it taste better than your usual pizza or the recipe you normally use?   I can't see any pictures up?   Also you mentioned you don't like the "bread dough taste".   Help clarify for me.  Is it the taste of the crust you don't like or the doughy texture that you don't like? or both?

Also what type or style of pizza do you want to make?  If you could copy any pizzeria's pizza out there who would it be?   Do you have a picture of their pizza for us to look

I wouildn't think the amount of yeast is responsible for that.  Yeast actually has an opposite effect.   The doughiness in the crust might be due to a couple of factors.  It could be the brand or type of flour you are using.  Some BF's give me a doughier crust despite using the same recipe and baking regimen.  it could also be how thick you are stretching the skin.  It could also be how hydrated the dough is (how much water is in it).  And it could also be the temp at which you are baking.  To get a light and airy crumb, you will have to manipulate all these factors and find a happy balance to achieve this type of crumb.


Maybe just a few more posts and you'll be able to post a picture.

Chau
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:33:45 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2010, 12:12:45 PM »
im gonna try again on this computer i was thinking maybe cuz my home computer is a mac it wasn't workin idk. As far as any pizza it would prolly be the chain of Brothers restaurants, a friend of the family is the one that has the chain he has 5 pizza shops and 1 italian restaurant Giotti's,  I tried asking for some hints on the dough but he wouldn't give me any hints   :-\ here is there link for the new store. http://www.brotherspizzapa.com/ i believe there style of pizza is more of a neopolitan.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 01:06:56 PM by braddonbach »

Offline braddonbach

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Re: need a lil bit of help
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2010, 12:13:35 PM »
cheese slice side these were made yesterday and fridgerated over night
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 12:15:14 PM by braddonbach »


 

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