Author Topic: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone  (Read 455 times)

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Offline Floridian

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MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« on: July 19, 2016, 08:50:32 PM »
A little back story before I delve into the actual detail of my attempt today at replicating Tommy's pizza
I, (like Meg and others) grew up in Upper Arlington. My very first pizza in life was Tommy's, when I was around four years old. I was HOOKED!
Pretty much my entire childhood, we had Tommy's for dinner on Friday nights. When I had my first date, I took the lass to Tommy's for dinner. When I graduated from UA, we went to Tommy's. When my mom died (seven years ago next week), at her memorial service we had ten large Tommy's pepperoni pizzas for the reception after the service. She was beaming at us from above as we destroyed those pies in short order. She loved Tommy's as well.

Every pizza I have ever had is instantly compared to Tommy's. I realize there are many different styles of pizza out there and there are some good pizza choices elsewhere. I always come away from eating "other" pizza with a wistful sigh of "It wasn't Tommy's".
I ran across this forum a couple of years ago and found Aimless Ryan's thread. At the time, I didn't have the opportunity to try and follow his work
This past January, we bought an old house and started the remodel. To say it has been a nightmare would be a gross understatement. I won't bore with the sordid details. When we were looking at this house, I had a four foot space to the left of the oven. I envisioned a 48"x24" bakers table for that space. We closed on the house and I ordered the table (a John Boos butcher block), put it together and installed it where it sat very nicely next to the oven. I knew I would be doing a lot of pizza making and also starting to make bread from scratch as well. We bought a Samsung dual door convection oven and an extra "beater" fridge to hold my dough and meat (I do a LOT of smoking of brisket, pork, ribs, chicken, my own bacon from scratch, and much more. I also compete in BBQ competitions) so I would have plenty of room to create.

I had ordered a marble rolling pin, a bench knife ( I have one somewhere but have not unpacked it yet), a bowl scraper, the same pan Meg has (Calphalon 16" non stick pan) and other assorted pizza making equipment. I went today to the  Restaurant Depot and got the Bel Gioioso mild provolone ($3.24 a lb. vs. the $9.99 a lb. Meg paid at Giant Eagle). Meg, there is a R.D. on N. Wilson Rd in CBus. If you are interested, I can let you know how to get a membership. I saw a slot for the pizza sauce Ryan suggested but they were out of stock. I will look for it next time I go. It was $5.28 for a #10 can, not bad at all. I ended up getting the 28 oz. Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes from Wal Mart.

I have the KitchenAid 600 series stand mixer with the bowl that raises. I followed the instructions to the letter but used the lard Meg suggested in her thread. I have used my mixer only twice prior to today for brioche hamburger buns and that dough is very wet. I didn't have the bowl raised up enough and I had some flour that didn't get mixed in, much to my chagrin. I proofed it for four hours and put it in the fridge overnight, actually for two nights; couldn't get to the dough yesterday. I followed the instructions and rolled and rolled and rolled...lol. I had my wife pinch hit for me for a while on the roller and she muscled the dough nicely. I was not happy with the shape of the dough but soldiered on. I did the folding and more rolling and got the shape where I wanted it to be. I used the pan and cut around the edge as instructed and got to 16 3/8 oz. I rolled again and cut but the dough weighed 14 5/8 oz. Oops. Instead of adding the dough back in, I just covered it and put it in the fridge. I was only able to leave it in the fridge for two hours as my daughter had to be at work at 4:30 and she INSISTED on being able to taste my first Tommy's endeavor. I told her "You can have the leftovers when you get home" but she rolled her eyes and said "Yeah, sure there will be leftovers". She knows me well  ;D.

I fired up the Samsung range and set the pizza stone on the second to lowest rack. I let it heat for 70 minutes. I shredded the provolone on my KitchenAid food processor. I was using that product for the first time and didn't read the instructions (insert male joke here). I will put the cheeses in the freezer for 15 min. next time. The cheese wasn't very shredded but since it was going to melt, I wasn't overly concerned. I weighed out the cheese, around 11 oz. I sauced the pizza with 266g. I applied 11 oz. of the provolone cheese. I weighed out 161g of the Ezzo pepperoni and was rather shocked at how many pieces of pepperoni 161g of pepperoni actually looks like. I ended up using 128g of pepperoni. I would be curious to know the actual physical count of individuals pepperoni's on a Tommy's pizza (paging Meg, paging Meg). I added the Parm-Rom cheese. I put the pan on the stone and set the timer for seven minutes because my oven was set at 550 degrees. I turned the light on the oven and didn't see any bubbling at all. I was a a bit disappointed after what Meg had experienced. I cooked the pizza for 7 minutes, popped the oven open to take a look and let it go another minute. I was looking for the well done pepperoni curled up with puddles of grease pooling. I did as Meg did and put the pie under the broiler for a minute. I liked the way the pie was looking so I put it back in for another minute under the broiler. Big mistake, went 30 seconds too long. I got a few burnt spots but not too bad.

Taste: the all important factor. I lost my sense of smell 4+ years ago (still can taste but smell is an important aspect of taste) so I relied on my wife and daughter for input. I thought the crust wasn't as crispy as Tommy's and they agreed. The flavor was pretty close and they both commented on the smell as authentic Tommy's.

Some pics:

         
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 09:36:25 PM by Floridian »
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2016, 08:56:32 PM »
I don't know how to add multiple pics to an single thread so forgive my multiple posts

The above pic was the skin

The dough:

 
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 08:57:18 PM »
The cheese and sauce

Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2016, 08:58:54 PM »
The Parm Rom cheese (I didn't want Ryan kicking my ass  :P)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 09:07:11 PM by Floridian »
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 09:00:04 PM »
The pie ready for the oven

Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2016, 09:01:15 PM »
My Samsung oven display
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2016, 09:02:11 PM »
The finished product
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2016, 09:02:54 PM »
Side view
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2016, 09:06:34 PM »
The bottom. Will be using the non diastatic malt powder next time with trepidation after Meg's latest post  :-\
Hopefully I will get a browner crust. I have already started Batch II, will be cooking that tomorrow. Batch II has the non diastatic malt.

All in all, I was pretty happy with my first attempt at making a pizza crust from scratch. Looking forward to more attempts!!!

Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline 333meg

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 10:29:22 PM »
I am so happy for you and your first attempt, it's a lot of fun. There is always so much to learn. To be able to make pizza at home was a great revelation, I thought it was impossible. To feel that it was actually possible and to make it happen? Wow. Can I ask u, do u remember by chance that there was a time when Tommy's pizza had smaller pepperoni that significantly curled up and had the little pools of grease in them? It was thicker too. I remember this from the 70's. The pepperoni changed after that if I can remember. As far as the amount, the Ezzo is a dry pepperoni. If you look at the pictures from my recent taste of the real Tommy's, look at the pepperoni on the pie, it is very plentiful! My pepperoni slid off and Tommy's stayed quite beautifully. We are on a quest, I look forward to our future ventures.
Pursuing pizza has put me into an airplane, in a car and on road trips of hundreds of miles...

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2016, 09:06:41 AM »
Meg, I do remember back in the day the pepperoni being more curled up with the subsequent pooled grease. I am guessing they changed suppliers or their old supplier either changed the formula or went out of business.

I did my second attempt yesterday and I took a lesson I learned from doing Meathead's recipes at www.amazingribs.com. When you change a recipe, only change ONE item in the recipe or ONE part of a technique. That way, you can evaluate the results and draw a conclusion. If you try more than one, you can't pinpoint the resulting change.

That being said, the second attempt the item I changed was subtracting the sugar and adding the non diastatic malt. I was a bit leery after Meg's latest post in her thread but I got BUBBLES!!! After not getting any bubbles the first attempt, I was pretty happy to look through the oven door and see several bubbles rising up. I got my long fork and pierced the bubbles. I cooked the pie for a bit over 8 min. While the pie was still in the oven, I turned the oven off and turned the broiler on, then moved the pie to the top shelf. I let the pie broil for 90 seconds (2 min. the first time was a bit too long) and when it came out, it looked like this:
The side view looked pretty good but the bottom didn't get as brown as I would have liked to see.
The second pie I did I used a normal pizza pan and it wasn't nearly as crunchy as the pie using the perforated pan. I won't be using that technique again.   
I will e doing my third attempt on Saturday. My youngest son is at Scout camp and he is dying to try my rendition of Tommy's. I keep texting him pictures and he had to tell me to stop...lol. Not sure what I am going to add or change, I am open to suggestions  :D
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 09:16:24 AM by Floridian »
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline 333meg

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2016, 11:07:53 AM »
Congratulations on your air bubbles! You are completely right to say only change one thing. I loved the way your pepperoni browned up. If you are open to suggestions for your next pie, have you tried baking directly on your stone rather than on the pans? Maybe that could be your next experiment. In your opinion how was the crunch of the crust? Did you notice any difference in that in regards to the non-diastatic malt? When I baked my first pie I used a perforated pan on top of my stone and from the pan onto the stone for the last few minutes and I did get a lot of crunch. Also, did u notice any malt flavor coming through in the crust? Good job Floridian. I am making pizza today and I'll do a whole write up because things have already gotten very interesting and the dough is just resting now. I have no idea what will happen with the changes I made.
Pursuing pizza has put me into an airplane, in a car and on road trips of hundreds of miles...


Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 07:35:03 PM »
Congratulations on your air bubbles! You are completely right to say only change one thing. I loved the way your pepperoni browned up. If you are open to suggestions for your next pie, have you tried baking directly on your stone rather than on the pans? Maybe that could be your next experiment. In your opinion how was the crunch of the crust? Did you notice any difference in that in regards to the non-diastatic malt? When I baked my first pie I used a perforated pan on top of my stone and from the pan onto the stone for the last few minutes and I did get a lot of crunch. Also, did u notice any malt flavor coming through in the crust? Good job Floridian. I am making pizza today and I'll do a whole write up because things have already gotten very interesting and the dough is just resting now. I have no idea what will happen with the changes I made.

I will try baking on the stone only on Saturday. The crunch was pretty close to what I was looking for. The NDM gave me a slightly browner crust and the BUBBLES. I will ask my wife and daughter about the malt flavor as I couldn't discern a difference.
Looking forward to your cook tonight!
BTW...had leftovers today and OMG, so good!!!
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2016, 09:40:05 AM »
OK, attempt #3 was yesterday. As suggested by Meg, I cooked directly on the pizza stone. Apparently my stone is a bit too small. Will be looking for a larger stone on Amazon. Are the steel stones worth looking at in lieu of a traditional stone. There is one on Amazon that says it can go up to 1000 degrees. I would think a steel stone would be more durable as well. My trusty Weber kettle can get pretty hot when asked.

I had to roll both pies by myself and it was a chore. I finally got both crusts rolled out and had to leave for four hours. I asked my neighbor to turn the oven on at 550 at 4:00. I got home and the oven was 350. I bumped it up to 550 and started dressing the pies. When the oven reached 550, I used my IR thermometer and the stone was at 517. I slid the first pie onto the stone using the peel for the first time. That was pretty cool! The pie cooked eight minutes. I used the peel to transfer the pie onto a pan and then put the pie under the broiler for 90 seconds.
My son who was at Scout camp tore into the resulting result. He hasn't had Tommy's in quite a while so he was impressed. My daughter, who had Tommy's last November while we were up for a tOSU game, said "Spot on".
   
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 09:41:36 AM by Floridian »
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline 333meg

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2016, 01:51:46 PM »
Looking good!
Pursuing pizza has put me into an airplane, in a car and on road trips of hundreds of miles...

Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2016, 05:34:52 PM »
Looking good!

How did your Thursday cook go?
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe

Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2016, 03:20:33 AM »
Are the steel stones worth looking at in lieu of a traditional stone. There is one on Amazon that says it can go up to 1000 degrees. I would think a steel stone would be more durable as well. My trusty Weber kettle can get pretty hot when asked.

Floridian,

I use baking steel in my oven a lot and like it better than a stone.  I don't know how it would work in a Weber kettle -- the bottom of the crust may get too hot in that environment.

I spoke a little about backing steel in this post:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30434.msg306291#msg306291


Offline Floridian

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Re: MY attempt at Aimless Ryan's Tommy's Pizza clone
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2016, 11:53:13 AM »
Floridian,

I use baking steel in my oven a lot and like it better than a stone.  I don't know how it would work in a Weber kettle -- the bottom of the crust may get too hot in that environment.

I spoke a little about backing steel in this post:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30434.msg306291#msg306291

Thanks RMP. I also saw the steels that Mary Ann had made for her in your thread. I think I am going to try her way. I have put a post on FB looking for a company that can make those plates for me.
Tommy's pizza fan. Trying to emulate Tommy's using Aimless Ryan's recipe