Author Topic: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas  (Read 52302 times)

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #200 on: September 01, 2012, 08:49:08 PM »
I extended the bake time by two minutes for this pizza, baking on the pan for 12 minutes at 500 (instead of 10 minutes), then finishing directly on the stone for 2 minutes. This pizza still seemed perhaps a little underdone, but not bad. I guess this makes sense because I've been rolling my recent skins a little thicker than I used to.

The crust ended up much thicker than I expected, even though I rolled it to a size I thought would be appropriate for the weight of the dough, as I explained in the previous post.

I think pic 4 shows pretty well what happens when you don't put bench flour between the laminates. This pizza was bready, yet kinda crispy on the bottom, with no real evidence of layers or laminates. (I tried it how you suggested, Bob, but I'm pretty well convinced that there needs to be a lot of bench flour between the laminates.)

Pic 2: In the areas of this pizza that did have some crust separation, it didn't even come close to resembling the lamination structure I'm always shooting for.

Something is telling me maybe I should revert to using an overnight room-temperature bulk ferment.

I'm probably gonna move the stone back to the bottom rack because I just don't feel like the pizza wants the stone on the top. So if I do move it to the bottom, that means I will bake on a pan on the stone, then finish directly on the stone. Also, I will most likely keep a piece of aluminum foil on the top rack.

I think I need to go back through this entire thread and take note of what has worked for me in the past. Not that I'm totally in the dark right now or anything, but I kinda feel like everything is getting blurry because I'm so focused that I can't see the big picture as well as I'd like to.


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #201 on: September 02, 2012, 12:32:46 AM »
I made a batch of dough at about 11:00 tonight and put it in the fridge right away.

100% KAAP flour
52% Water
0.75% ADY
1.5% Salt

I changed everything a little bit with this batch, and I'm just gonna have fun with it instead of worrying too much about making a good clone.

I bumped the hydration up by 2% to make it a little easier on my wrist, which still doesn't feel any better than it felt after I fell the other day. I increased the salt because there has never been any noticeable salt flavor in my Tommy's crusts. I can't really remember why I decided to increase the yeast back to 0.75%.

This batch is made of 19 oz of fresh dough and 13 oz of scraps. I'd prefer to use more fresh dough and less scraps, but I had 13 oz of scraps left from the last batch. What else am I supposed to do? Throw away good scraps? Yeah, right.

I think what I'll do tomorrow is remove 16 oz of dough from the fridge as soon as I get up. I'll leave that dough out for several hours, until whenever I feel like I'm about ready to eat (probably late in the afternoon). Then I'll roll the dough into two layers of four laminates, with a ton of bench flour between each laminate. I'll trim the dough to about 10 or 10.5 oz for an 11" skin, and I'll use the dough shortly after rolling it. I'm thinking about baking it on the grill.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 12:35:50 AM by AimlessRyan »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #202 on: September 02, 2012, 12:44:32 AM »
Sounds good Ryan...gotta be having some fun at this,right?!
I know you are having a hard time right now with your wrist...ever tried/thought about some super thin skins stacked maybe 3 or 4 high? I'm talk'in reeeel thin now dude...jus for fun? 
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #203 on: September 02, 2012, 01:00:21 AM »

The thing is, even though I usually only do this once a day, I'm trying to reproduce precisely what a pizzeria does hundreds of times a day, not what some guy (like myself) does once a day. Also, I'm trying to use procedures that will produce the same results from one pizza to the next, reliably and predictably. Obviously, since I don't have a sheeter or a commercial oven, I can't use the pizzeria methods with every procedure. So I'm already facing a huge handicap with these things. But if I take another next step away from pizzeria methods by warming up the dough, I'll be straying so far from my objective that I no longer have the same objective.


I hear what you're saying, but the thing is you aren't using a sheeter. So why should any of their other techniques apply to what you are trying to achieve? Prior to owning a sheeter I felt quite restricted in how I could handle my dough to get lamination the way I wanted to. A lot of those other techniques in the pizzaria are there because of the sheeter. I would say some of them are almost exclusive to it. So it's very difficult to take the sheeter out of the equation, then try to mimick all the other aspects of the restaurant environment and get a similar product. It just doesn't work that way. I mean don't get me wrong and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I am just trying to help you achieve what you are after with the limitations of a home kitchen. Rather than think of your efforts as cloning Tommy's techniques per se, think of your experiments as being in a microcosm with only the end result guiding you. It doesn't matter if you have to roll it with a pin, fold it 10 times more, undermix, etc. or do anything outside the "Norm" for Tommy's. All that matters is the end result. So I say if warming up the dough makes it easier to roll, try it. You might find a low hydration warm dough gives you a better lamination separation than a less rolled higher hydration. I think if you look beyond what goes on in the restaurant and do your own thing based on the outcomes of your experiments, you may get what you're looking for.

Again, not trying to criticize you, just offering some friendly advice because I have been on the other side of the kitchen with the rolling pin just like you. Once I purchased a sheeter, my dough prep completely changed. Now that I have a conveyor oven, guess what? My cooking routine has completely changed too. Different pieces of equipment affect the final product in different ways, and what defines a great cook from an okay one, is the ability to adapt to the condition (Variable) and still maintain the characteristics of the final product. It's easy to use Tommy's prep as a guide, but without all the pieces in place, you're really limiting your thinking in what is possible. I say "go rogue" and do what works to get you the results you desire regardless if Tommy's does that or not. I enjoy reading your experiments so please keep working away at it. Actually it makes me wish I could taste Tommy's. . . .  ::)

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #204 on: September 02, 2012, 12:42:10 PM »
I've been going back through this thread, trying to re-learn what I may have already learned and subsequently forgotten about making Tommy's-style pizza. This post is a pretty good recap of the best ideas from Page 1.

The first thing I learned, back on December 6, 2010, was to laminate the dough. Laminating the dough was the first spark for someone who wanted to replicate Tommy's pizza but who had no idea how to do it. (Back then I was only using two layers, without any laminates.) Another thing I learned that day was not to par-bake.

In an early reply on this thread, Peter linked to his own laminated cracker crust experiment. In Peter's recap, he described a procedure he used for that pizza, which I have probably done many times but never really thought very hard about. He said he used as little bench flour as possible while rolling the two layers of dough that would become his skin. Immediately after reading that post today, I think I may have had a revelation: Perhaps the main reason why some of my crusts come out dense and lifeless (even when the lamination structure works as planned) is because I work too much flour into the skin during the initial roll. I'm not talking about the small piles of flour I usually apply to the dough immediately before laminating it; I'm talking about the flour I add to the skin as I roll it before I add the liberal dusting of bench flour.

So one thing I'm gonna do when I roll out my dough later today is try to work as little bench flour into the dough as possible. I already know this will be difficult, though, because it's hard to roll a piece of dough when one section sticks to the counter while the rest of the dough does not stick.

Another thing I noticed in Peter's cracker crust post is that he used 0.35% baking soda. If you read this, Peter, I'd be very interested to know how that worked out, especially since you said you detected an unpleasant aftertaste when you used 0.50%. Do you think your use of 0.35% baking powder contributed any noticeably distinguishing taste or texture to the crust? Or any other characteristics I may not have considered?

Here's a good quote from my very first post in this thread:

"Iíll keep working on this in the coming days, and Iíll let you know if I get any closer. If I do, Iíll start taking pictures to upload. (Donít count on it, though.) If you have any ideas, please share."

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #205 on: September 02, 2012, 03:16:41 PM »
Another thing I noticed in Peter's cracker crust post is that he used 0.35% baking soda. If you read this, Peter, I'd be very interested to know how that worked out, especially since you said you detected an unpleasant aftertaste when you used 0.50%. Do you think your use of 0.35% baking powder contributed any noticeably distinguishing taste or texture to the crust? Or any other characteristics I may not have considered?


Ryan,

After I played around with using baking soda in the dough, I had a couple of PM exchanges with member November that suggested that adding baking soda to the dough was not a particularly good idea even though Tom Lehmann had suggested doing so. So, I did not do any more experiments using baking soda in the dough. For your information, this is what November told me in his PMs:

I would like to draw your attention to the real reason why baking soda is added to crackers in the first place.

"After the rise, alkaline soda is added to neutralize the excessive acidity produced by the action of the yeast."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltine#Baking_Process

As you can see from the above statement, baking soda is added to neutralize the organic acids after fermentation.  It is not actually in the dough while yeast are trying to do their thing.  It's still perplexing to me that Tom thinks having baking soda in the dough during fermentation is a good thing.  [Deleted criticism of Tom Lehmann].

If you want to try to maintain soda cracker authenticity with your next batch, try adding a little baking soda to your bench flour to work into the dough, and leave the baking soda out of your dough when you initially make it.  That should give you the closest approximation of a cracker.


and

Adding baking soda at the end of fermentation does act like a leavener because it reacts with the organic acids to produce carbon dioxide.  If you add baking soda at the outset, you'll get very little organic acid from the yeast to react with, which makes it tricky for determining how much baking soda to add.  If one allows the yeast to work uninhibited, then add the baking soda, it's much easier to calculate how much baking soda to add since the amount of acid is at a more predictable level.

Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #206 on: September 02, 2012, 08:02:10 PM »
So I made a whole bunch of changes with today's pizza, beginning with the dough formula, continuing with dough management, and ending with how I baked the pizza. I did it mostly just to change things up and force myself to zoom out a little because I felt like I was too focused to see the big picture.

Or maybe I just knew something but didn't know I knew it, because all the changes pretty much worked.

I'll start where I left off last night.

I mixed the dough at about 11:00. Overnight bulk ferment in the fridge. Took half of the dough out of the fridge at 10:00 this morning. Left the dough alone until 4:45 (6-3/4 hours).

After the room-temperature bulk ferment, I divided the dough into two 8 oz pieces, then rolled to about 12" x 12". When I rolled the dough today, unlike every other day, I was extra careful to use as little bench flour as possible, which should be evident in pic 1. Then came the flood of flour, as shown in pic 2. After adding the flour, I folded the dough in half, then added more flour and folded in half the other way. I repeated with the other piece of dough, then rolled the two pieces of dough together and trimmed the skin to 10.3 oz (TF=0.108 oz of dough per square inch).

To be continued...

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #207 on: September 02, 2012, 08:35:25 PM »
Within 15 minutes of rolling the dough, I sauce-and-cheesed the skin, then placed the pan on the stone on the bottom rack of the oven (see pic 1), which had been preheating at 500 for almost an hour. (Note: I had been keeping the stone on the top rack and baking on the bottom rack with the last several pizzas.)

After baking on the pan (on the stone) for about 9-1/2 minutes, I removed the pan and finished baking directly on the stone for 2-1/2 minutes. The new oven setup made a huge difference with the bake time and cheese browning (pic 2). The results I got from this setup were vastly preferable to what I've been getting with the other setups I've used lately.

Every change I made with this pizza seems to have been a good change, although the pizza was a little thicker than I wanted. I know it seems like I should have nailed the thickness a long time ago, but sometimes the crust seems thicker or thinner depending on other changes that have nothing to do with the thickness. I am beginning to feel pretty confident that the ideal thickness is just a little thinner than I made it today.

I expected the hydration increase to result in an overly soft crust, but the crust was actually very crispy and firm, as you may be able to see in pic 3. I might even increase the hydration with my next batch of dough. The yeast increase does not seem to have caused any problems. The salt increase was not noticeable.

I think my new rolling procedures, which were inspired by Peter and DNA Dan, played a big role in making this pizza turn out well. The evidence is in the wonderfully layered crust shown in pic 4.

No blisters on this one, but I didn't expect any blisters because I'm pretty sure the blisters result from leaving the skin in the fridge for several hours before baking.

Thanks to the good results I got with the extended bulk ferment, tonight I'm going to take the rest of the dough out of the fridge and let it bulk ferment overnight. Tomorrow morning I'll roll the skin pretty early and leave it in the fridge for several hours.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #208 on: September 02, 2012, 09:00:38 PM »
Very nice results Ryan. Tonights oven set up is the same as I use and you got plenty of good top browning/color.
What was your oil % on this one? Non perforated pan? fwiw, I use 9 oz on a 12 in.cutter that has a 1/2 in lip on it.Oh, what was the single pepperoni designating? Thanks
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #209 on: September 02, 2012, 09:38:14 PM »
Very nice results Ryan. Tonights oven set up is the same as I use and you got plenty of good top browning/color.
What was your oil % on this one? Non perforated pan? fwiw, I use 9 oz on a 12 in.cutter that has a 1/2 in lip on it.Oh, what was the single pepperoni designating? Thanks

Yeah, the cheese browned well. Normally I don't like cheese to brown like that, but when I was looking through my actual Tommy's pics on page 2 or 3 earlier today, I noticed that the cheese on their pizza browned a bit, so I'm cool with it. Aside from browning well, the cheese on today's pizza also didn't flow over the outer edge of the pizza because it melted so much differently than it has with the other oven arrangements. (Man, I'm gonna have to start taking my pizzas outside for pictures because the lighting in the kitchen is so horrible. Not much sunlight gets in the kitchen because there is a couple large trees right behind the house, and the kitchen light makes everything look orange.)

Oil=0.

Dark perforated pan.

Single pepperoni = I was about to top the pizza with pepperoni, but after I put one on I decided I didn't really want pepperoni. I'm getting kinda sick of this pepperoni already.


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #210 on: September 02, 2012, 09:48:22 PM »
Ha!  I'm trying out the Boar's Head pepperoni tonight...and some new mozz too.
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Offline ThatsAmore

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #211 on: September 02, 2012, 10:29:13 PM »
Ryan, that pic#4 looks fantastic.
Who put that pie in my eye ?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #212 on: September 02, 2012, 10:33:41 PM »
I would hit that any day of the week. :chef:
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #213 on: September 02, 2012, 10:40:49 PM »
Thanks, guys.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #214 on: September 02, 2012, 11:12:04 PM »
Here's something for me to consider: The first picture in Reply #57 (an actual Tommy's pizza) suggests that maybe the hydration of this dough should be considerably higher than the hydration figures I've been using. You see how the outer 1" or 2" took the shape of the pan? I don't think any of my clone attempts have done that, and the only explanation I can come up with to explain why their dough would take the shape of the pan is that they must use a relatively soft dough; a softer dough than I've been using. Makes sense, right? It seems like I may have said this in an earlier post at least a year ago.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #215 on: September 03, 2012, 09:15:41 AM »
I would hit that any day of the week. :chef:

This should make it a little easier for ya, Gene.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #216 on: September 03, 2012, 12:11:09 PM »
Thanks for the recap, Ryan.  I was wondering if you have done any kind of spreadsheet or chart where you can easily correlate factors and end results.

Also, I know this has been brought up several times, but why not give shortening instead of bench flour between laminations a try?  At least once?

great looking pizza, one of my favorite threads
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #217 on: September 03, 2012, 01:40:32 PM »
Thanks for the recap, Ryan.  I was wondering if you have done any kind of spreadsheet or chart where you can easily correlate factors and end results.

Also, I know this has been brought up several times, but why not give shortening instead of bench flour between laminations a try?  At least once?

great looking pizza, one of my favorite threads

Thanks. Cool to hear that.

No spreadsheet or chart. I've probably never even thought of doing something like that, even though I've made several different dough calculating spreadsheets, which are very useful to me.

It sounds like a good idea, though. Maybe you can give me some tips on how you think I might set one up. Without giving it much thought, I'm picturing something with rows (or groups of rows) representing one pizza, and with columns for details like the date and procedures and characteristics of the pizza.

Now that you've mentioned it, I'm very curious.

Regarding shortening, I've pretty much ruled it out, first of all because I just don't see the use of shortening as being practical in a pizzeria setting. More importantly, though, I don't get the sense that there's any (or much) fat in Tommy's dough. Plus I've come so close to nailing this thing so many different times already without using shortenting, it doesn't make much sense for me to suddenly take it all in a completely different direction.

This doesn't mean my thoughts about shortening are correct, though, nor does it mean I won't try shortening someday. But I really don't see anybody else on these boards using shortening between layers (except for people who try the America's Test Kitchen deep dish recipe), and I've never seen it done in a pizzeria. Why not? There must be a reason.

Plus there is evidence of pizzerias making this kind of pizza very similarly to how I've been doing it. Like in elsegundo's Shakey's threads, which he apparently researched pretty well. And Shakey's probably bears the closest resemblance to Tommy's than any other pizza I've ever had.

Mostly it comes down to time and capacity, though. I wish I could try a hundred different combinations of ingredients and prodecures every day with this pizza, but I can only do one pizza each day.

I don't know if anyone's been trying to make pizzas based on what I've done in this thread, but if so, I'd love to see the results and read about how they arrived at those results. Especially if people are trying the things they've suggested to me (that I haven't done), like using shortening.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #218 on: September 03, 2012, 02:22:50 PM »
Before I forget all this stuff, here's where I am with today's pizza.

I took my dough out of the fridge last night at 11:30 and left it on the counter all night (covered). I used the same rolling procedures as yesterday, then trimmed the dough, panned it, and placed it in the fridge at about 9:30 this morning. (Thats a 24-hour refrigerated bulk ferment, followed by a 10-hour room-temperature bulk ferment.)

To demonstrate that I do have some understanding of why certain variables lead to certain specific results, I'm going to make a prediction: Unlike yesterday's pizza (which was made from the same batch of dough as today's pizza), there will be a considerable amount of blistering on the bottom of today's pizza.

Pic 1 shows the weight of today's 11" dough skin: a hair under 10 oz. (TF=0.105 oz of dough per square inch).

Pic 2 shows why so many of my pizzas look orange and sick.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #219 on: September 03, 2012, 02:42:16 PM »
You could try taking the cover off the light fixture, and either washing it if it looks greased or replacing it.  There's also florescent tubes made for aquariums that will give you a better light to begin with.

Re the chart/spreadsheet:
Try laying it out on a poster-size sheet of paper first, use pencil and be creative about it.  You've done a good job documenting as you go along, so it shouldn't be too hard to research.
I was thinking (in landscape mode) you could start on the left side with your hydration level.  Make a box for each hydration level.  Next column, oil, after that, mixing, then bulk ferment time, then... you get the idea.  Connect the boxes with lines, winding up with your results.  You should be able to see what "path" your most-ideal pizza has taken compared to the others.

After you've put down a few paths, you will start to want a spreadsheet and at that point have a good idea how to lay it out so that it can be used in different ways.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.