Author Topic: Thickness Value suggestions  (Read 4933 times)

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Offline veloboy

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Thickness Value suggestions
« on: October 31, 2010, 12:58:33 PM »
Hey,
     I had found a pretty good "chart" on here that had suggestions for thickness values for the different kinds of pizzas. I had it saved on my computer, but then my computer crashed and I hadn't backed it up at the time. I just spent some time searching around and couldn't find it again.  Anybody have that link or the info saved somewhere?
                  thanks


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 02:13:31 PM »
veloboy,

I have written on this subject on many occasions over the years but I found that as I got smarter I (solely as a passage of time) I found reason to adjust the thickness factor values that I may have recommended in earlier times. Rather than cite an old post or two on the subject, I thought I would use this post to give my latest numbers:

Thin crust (general): 0.10
NY "street" or "slice" style crust: 0.085-0.10 (I personally like 0.10-0.105; some will argue that that is too high for a NY style)
"Elite" NY crust thickness: 0.065-0.085
Medium crust (general): 0.11
Thick crust (general): 0.12-0.13
Neapolitan 1 crust: 0.07-08 (for high-temperature applications)
Neapolitan 2 crust: 0.095-0.11 (for home oven applications, e.g., A16 clones)
Thin "crispy" cracker-type crust: 0.05-0.08
Thin "tender" cracker-type crust: 0.09-0.10
American style: 0.12-0.14
Chicago deep-dish style: 0.11-0.135
Sicilian style: 0.12-0.13 (however, I have seen as high as 0.15)

It is important to keep in mind that the above values are my best estimates from both making the different types and styles of pizzas and my review and analysis of many dough formulations, perhaps hundreds over the course of years since I have been a member of the forum. No punishment will be rendered in case someone uses a value that is different from those given above. For example, I have seen recipes from famous people--like Peter Reinhart--that do not conform to the above table. My feelings will not be hurt if you or anyone else elects to go with his numbers than mine. I also invite members who have better numbers than mine based on their experience to bring them to our attention.

Peter

Offline ponzu

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 02:20:57 PM »
Pete-zza,

Any opinion on the TF for New haven dough?

Thanks,

Alexi


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 02:42:10 PM »
Alexi,

Many people, including Peter Reinhart (at page 112 of his book American Pie), put the New Haven style pizza in the same category as Lombardi's, Totonno's, John's, Grimaldi's and Tacconelli's, all of which, other than Tacconelli's, which is in Philadelphia, are usually considered "elite" NY styles. So, absent better data, I would use the elite NY style thickness factors.

Peter

Offline veloboy

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 04:54:08 PM »
Thanks Peter. This is exactly what I was looking for.  I liked having something to base my experiments on as far as a fairly good starting point.  With the temperatures here now getting cooler, we've already had snow flurries this week, I figure I'll be more apt to fire up the oven now.  Didn't really seem like a good idea when it was constantly in the high 80's low 90's in a house with no a/c. 
                       Thanks again! 
                                       Brian

Offline ponzu

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 05:40:32 PM »
Alexi,

Many people, including Peter Reinhart (at page 112 of his book American Pie), put the New Haven style pizza in the same category as Lombardi's, Totonno's, John's, Grimaldi's and Tacconelli's, all of which, other than Tacconelli's, which is in Philadelphia, are usually considered "elite" NY styles. So, absent better data, I would use the elite NY style thickness factors.

Peter


Thanks Pete-zza.  I think I've seen 0.89 as the TF for Pepes which goes right along with your assertion.

Did you enjoy American Pie?

AZ

Offline scott r

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2010, 05:52:05 PM »
Guys, I think .89 is a little bit too thin for a pepe's clone.   Maybe I am crazy, but I am pretty sure its more in the .10 range.    Some of the elite places mentioned above are much thicker than others, so im not sure its a good idea to generalize that Ny "Elite" pizzeras are all the same thickness factor.  I think the common thread is the coal oven, not the thickness factor.  Pepe's is more of a standard NY street style thickness, but with a flatter rim.   There is some taper to it as well.  If they cooked a thin pizza at Pepe's as long as they sometimes do it would snap like a cracker!     
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 05:56:34 PM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 06:51:05 PM »
scott r,

Thanks for the feedback. Some time ago, Evelyne Slomon gave me some input on probable dough ball weights/pizza sizes for some of the elite NYC pizza places like John's, Tottono's and Lombardi's. I noted the conversions at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12029.msg112601/topicseen.html#msg112601, along with a comment for people not to place too much reliance on the numbers because they are based on volume measurements and Evelyne's best recollections. However, the thickness factors can get fairly low, as I noted with the Grimaldi's pizza that I had in Arizona.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 07:12:58 PM »
Did you enjoy American Pie?

Alexi,

I did enjoy reading the book. I think it is a good book for people to learn basic principles of dough making. It would be a useful book for beginners to read before they come to the forum because it would save time educating them on the basic principles.

Peter

 

Offline scott123

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 07:33:00 PM »
Guys, I think .89 is a little bit too thin for a pepe's clone.   Maybe I am crazy, but I am pretty sure its more in the .10 range.    Some of the elite places mentioned above are much thicker than others, so im not sure its a good idea to generalize that Ny "Elite" pizzeras are all the same thickness factor.  I think the common thread is the coal oven, not the thickness factor.  Pepe's is more of a standard NY street style thickness, but with a flatter rim.   There is some taper to it as well.  If they cooked a thin pizza at Pepe's as long as they sometimes do it would snap like a cracker!


I pulled up a few images of Pepe's pies and they all look pretty darn crackerish/thin.  This video, in particular shows a slice that I can guarantee is not thicker than .089.

<a href="http://vimeo.com/1726324" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://vimeo.com/1726324</a>


Look at the slice she's waving like a fan at :08.

Another picture here reveals a relatively cracker-y thin pie as well:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/blogphotopages/FrankPepesPizzeriaPhoto.html

Now, with a lower temp/long baking time, you're going to see less spring, so this will naturally create thinner/denser crusts, but it won't be dramatic enough for .1 thickness skins to ever bake up like this.


As far as my thoughts on thickness factors as a whole go, you might find .1 or thicker in some of the crappy Famous Ray's places in Manhattan, but award winning NY style in the NY metro area is always going to be in the .7-.85 realm.

I think part of the reason why home bakers gravitate towards thicker skins stems from poorly conductive stones.  With a garbage stone, you get crap oven spring. With impaired spring, in order to make it look like the real thing, the tendency has been to just add more dough. At the end of the day, a .8 TF skin baked for 4 minutes has about the same volume as a .1 TF skin baked for 9 (but tastes SO much better! :) ).


Offline scott123

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 07:42:54 PM »
It would be a useful book for beginners to read before they come to the forum because it would save time educating them on the basic principles.

I think The Bread Baker's Apprentice would be a better jumping off point for beginners.  That way they get most of the terminology of bread making without all of the misinformation found in American Pie.

Offline scott r

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Re: Thickness Value suggestions
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 11:43:30 PM »
Scott, you are right, those do look like more in the .8 range, but unless my memory is fooling me that pizza looks thinner than what I often get at pepe's.  At least when I get a GOOD pie there!  ;D   Like their bake time, I think their thickness factor may not be very consistent. I never realized it before, but now that we are talking about this, I think the unusually good pies I have had there tend to be the ones on the thicker side, and thats because there is still at least some softness left in the middle after their insane bake times.    It could be that they are eyeballing the dough like they do at many neapolitan joints, rather than using a scale.   The video is of people showing how crackery the dough is by knocking it against their plate.   Its interesting to see a video from someone who dislikes pepe's, as its considered the holy grail by most of my friends!  I agree with the people who shot this video, this is definitely from a bad pie, and I hate it when they get too crackery like that as well.   I also think the small pizzas at pepe's (shown in the video) are thinner than the large, and thats one reason why most people I know consider the small pizzas there to be inferior to the large.  They end up too dried out.   If you watch the pizzeria for a while you will see that they sell many more large pizzas than small. 

For me at home making new haven style, the .1 thickness factor works the best because of the really long bakes, but maybe I have a bad stone, or I am just remembering it wrong.  I do have a pretty killer imported italian oven that can hold a really even coal oven style temp on the bottom because the heating elements are running through the stone itself. 

One thing I also want to add, is that their TF can fool you because most of the time they use a very well fermented dough that has very little rise and oven spring, which along with their opening style leaves  almost no rim to the pizza.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 01:20:04 AM by scott r »