Author Topic: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas  (Read 52610 times)

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Offline thezaman

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2011, 07:38:50 PM »
looks really good ,you nailed the crust as far a getting the laminated texture. they probably use straight provolone for their cheese.


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2011, 07:14:36 PM »
looks really good ,you nailed the crust as far a getting the laminated texture. they probably use straight provolone for their cheese.

Thanks thezaman. My most recent Tommy's clone attempt (the one in the two recent pics) was a long way off, but I'm getting there. I'll figure it out pretty soon (once I start feeling healthy enough to start making/eating pizza again).

One thing I've been thinking about for the last several days is the fermented flavor of the crust. I really don't think you can get that kind of flavor with a straight dough. I'm thinking they get this flavor by adding the previous day's dough scraps (which may already be a couple days old) to each new batch of dough. I think the dough scraps function pretty much like a preferment. I'll give it a try soon.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #62 on: May 10, 2011, 02:09:55 PM »
A few months laterÖ

Well, Iím back at it, and Iím trying some new procedures, along with some minor formula changes. Yesterday I mixed up a small batch of dough, which I allowed to bulk-ferment at room temperature for 21 hours. This dough will function as a preferment (or simulated scraps). I feel pretty sure this is an important step in re-creating Tommyís because Tommyís crust has a very strong alcohol presence, yet it doesnít look or taste overfermented. Hereís the formula I used for this dough:

100% All Trumps HG Flour
37.5% Water
0.63% ADY
0.54% salt
12.5% oil
Pinch of sugar

As I already mentioned, I mixed up a small batch yesterday (using 8 oz of flour), then I let the dough bulk-ferment for 21 hours at room temperature. Iíll call this batch of dough ďscraps.Ē Today I made another batch of dough, which Iíll call ďdough.Ē This batch used the same formula, but it was based on 16 oz of flour (rather than 8 oz).

Before mixing todayís dough, I cut yesterdayís scraps into approximately 1x1x1-inch cubes. I added about half of the cubes to the dough as soon as I began mixing (in a Kitchen-Aid mixer), then I gradually added the remainder of the cubes to the dough while the dough mixed. I estimate the total mixing time to have been about 5 minutes, which was just long enough for the stiff dough to come together.

Right now the dough is bulk-fermenting in the oven on ďdough proofĒ mode (100 degrees). Iím going to leave it alone for at least a couple hours (or more likely 3 or 4 hours). At this point I will roll out a couple skins, each of which will consist of two layers. Each layer will consist of 9 laminates. I will employ the lamination procedure that I used in Reply #58 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12446.msg128774.html#msg128774). However, this time I will use some bench flour, in an attempt to keep the 18 distinct laminates from merging into one layer while the skins retard in the fridge.

Iíll put both skins in the fridge immediately after rolling them (if I have any strength left to carry them). Iíll probably use one of the skins tonight, then the other one tomorrow.

Iím also going to take a stab at re-creating Tommyís sauce this time, even though my own sauce makes a better pizza. In trying to re-create their sauce, I plan to start with tomato paste (yuk!), to which I will add some basil after diluting with water. (Itíll still be pretty thick, though.) Donít know if Iíll add anything else to the sauce. Iíll just wait to see how it tastes with only basil.

I donít expect the first pizza to end up with the characteristics Iím looking for, so donít expect any pics tonight. However, I think the second pizza might come pretty close, since it will sit in the fridge for an extra day, already sheeted. I expect the extra day in the fridge to produce some blistering on the bottom of the pizza, which to me is a signature characteristic of Tommyís.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2011, 01:47:53 PM »
I'm still not getting the results I'm looking for, so no new pics today. However, I have some ideas, and I hope I can get some feedback from y'all.

Check out the first pic in this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12446.msg128771.html#msg128771. The pizza in this pic was an actual Tommy's pizza. Take a look at the area in front of my thumb. Can you see how it took the shape of the pan?

Well, that tells me Tommy's dough must have a much higher hydration than the dough I've been using (which currently calls for 37.5% hydration). Second thing it tells me is that the dough must have been sitting on the pan for a while before baking (probably in a cooler).

At 37.5% hydration, my dough has no chance of taking the shape of the pan. So I'm thinking I should try about 45% (which I'm about to do). I'm going to let it bulk ferment for about 8 hours before shaping into dough balls and retarding for a couple days. After that, I'll roll it out into two layers of 9 laminates, trim and pan, then leave it in the fridge for a few hours before topping and baking.

Other changes I'm going to make: 1) I'm gonna try 2% sugar; 2) I'm going to bump the oil down to 5%.

Any thoughts about this stuff?

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #64 on: May 15, 2011, 06:52:25 PM »
I think I've finally done it. The pizza I just ate was AWESOME!!! It was almost identical to Tommy's.

The one thing that really took this one over the top was my new lamination procedures. Instead of doing two layers of nine laminates, I did two layers of four laminates. Don't know why it took me so long to try it that way, but it changed everything.

I took a few pictures, which I will post later. I hope they turned out all right.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #65 on: May 15, 2011, 08:50:52 PM »
Man, I suck at taking pictures of pizza, but here's what I got. I made the dough two days ago. Tomorrow's pizza will be from the same batch of dough, so I expect it to be even better than this one.

The grease is from the pepperoni. I love the pepperoni, but it's way too greasy.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #66 on: May 15, 2011, 11:07:09 PM »
I just now noticed your thread in trying this style without a sheeter. Here's the deal, if you use a rolling pin you need to get it thin fast without a lot of rolling. The rolling action is developing the dough. With a sheeter this is achieved in 2-3 passes, very fast. But with a rolling pin, the more you have to roll, the more you develop it, the less layering and bubbles you'll see. So that's why you are achieving better success with less laminations, you're simply developing the dough less.

The pain of doing this style by hand is that most of these doughs are very low hydration. The lower the hydration, the harder it is to roll by hand. So you're probably best off striking a balance between a low-mid hydration and something that is manageable to roll. Even if a drier dough would give better results for what you're after, you're going to kill it by trying to roll it out and laminate it.

Another approach to this is rolling a few skins thin independently, then simply laying them on top of each other and "lightly rolling" it to finish it off.  This works quite well but takes a lot a time. Even having a sheeter I find this style just takes a lot of time to produce. It's a 2-3 day process and the sheeter is just one of the tricks in the bag.

You've done well doing this by hand. I am very impressed with your perseverance. Cook on!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 11:14:47 PM by DNA Dan »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #67 on: May 18, 2011, 10:39:15 AM »
I've come really close to cloning Tommy's pizza, but there's one characteristic I still can't seem to reproduce: the blistered bottom of the crust, as shown in the pictures below. Can y'all give me some ideas on what I may need to do to get these blisters?

Briterian's upskirt pic of actual Tommy's pizza: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12446.msg118418.html#msg118418.
My upskirt pic of actual Tommy's pizza: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12446.msg128771.html#msg128771.

Thanks,
Ryan

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2011, 03:23:24 PM »
It looks like it is fried.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #69 on: May 18, 2011, 03:37:32 PM »
It looks like it is fried.

You're right; it does. (I assume you're talking about Briterian's upskirt pic.) I'd never thought about it like that. Maybe I should spray the pan next time and see what that does for me. It might get me a step closer.


Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2011, 01:08:17 PM »
You're right; it does. (I assume you're talking about Briterian's upskirt pic.) I'd never thought about it like that. Maybe I should spray the pan next time and see what that does for me. It might get me a step closer.


See the last post in my thread here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13389.0.html 

I have achieved that without sugar, using no oil on the pan or stone. The only oil I add is shortening in the dough. Blisters are a combination of long/overferments and refrigerated dough.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2011, 02:30:04 PM »
Blisters are a combination of long/overferments and refrigerated dough.

That's the school of thought I've been using all this time, but I still can't get it to blister like the real Tommy's pics (or your beer crust). The last Tommy's clone I made (same batch of dough as my most recent pictures, but two days older) was four days old when I used it. Also, the dough was cold. However, when it was all done, there was only a hint of blistering; nothing like what I'm trying to get. The funny thing is that I think I used to get blisters on the crust in my early days of making pizza (NY style)... Uh oh, light bulb...

In those early days, I always used a preferment of about 100% hydration, which I would allow to rise and fall before adding the salt, oil, and the remainder of the flour, then mixing.

Hmmm... You got me thinking.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2011, 05:06:11 PM »
The only other major factor here that is quite variable on your end is the sheeting. I get very consistent results using my sheeter. Whereas I can imagine using a rolling pin is quite variable.

With the sheeter I do my dough exactly as described in the thread and the blisters are always there.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #73 on: May 26, 2011, 12:57:12 AM »
I made a huge accidental discovery this evening by using what I considered very underfermented dough.

In the mid-afternoon I mixed 23 oz of Tommy's-style dough, to which I added 19 oz of scraps that remained from the previous batch. After letting the dough bulk-ferment for only about 2.5 hours, I divided it into six dough balls. Using two of the dough balls, I made one skin with two layers of 4 laminates. After rolling and trimming the skin, I put it in the fridge while the oven heated up. I then topped and baked the pizza as soon as I removed it from the fridge.

Even though I was just trying to make a quick dinner, this ended up being possibly the AHA! pizza. The texture of this crust was more like Tommy's than any other pizza I've made. Now I know it's because their dough is almost completely unleavened when they use it.

You may ask: If Tommy's crust is essentially unleavened, why does it have such a pronounced fermented flavor?

I didn't say unfermented. I said unleavened.

I now suspect that Tommy's leaves the previous day's scraps out at room temperature all night, then they make dough in the morning, adding the scraps while the dough mixes. After a very short bulk-ferment, they sheet/laminate the dough and trim the skins. Immediately they put the skins in the cooler. Finally, they use the skins straight out of the cooler, with no proof time.

At least that's my hypothesis.

Since I still have enough of today's dough left to make two more pizzas, it'll be a few days before I get a chance to test my hypothesis, but I feel very confident that I'm down to the last few pieces of the Tommy's puzzle. I did take one picture of today's pizza, and I'll post it soon if it's in focus and everything.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #74 on: May 26, 2011, 01:46:48 PM »
Not a great pic, but it's the only one I took. Compare this pic to the real Tommy's pics on the top of page 1 and the middle of page 3. I think you'll see that I'm getting really close to making an almost perfect clone. I should have more pics coming within a few days.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #75 on: May 26, 2011, 05:02:34 PM »
This method has been suspected in the past for some chains that make this style. The only argument I can see against this is what would Tommy's do if they ran out of scraps? sell un-flavored crust? It would totally change the flavor profile if they did this.

Some places also use scraps when they sheet their dough. Laying the scraps on the sheet then folding them into the dough. Again, if people become accustomed to the taste of a crust made this way, what happens if they don't have the ability to use old dough in the process?

Perhaps the question is one of management. If this is indeed the process for a very flavored crust, how does one manage the usage of such a "mother" dough for their operation so that they never run out of it?

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #76 on: May 26, 2011, 05:20:54 PM »
Dan:

You beat me to it.  ;D

But to add on to what you had to say about chains using scraps as part of their dough making process, would it make any sense to simply create a crust or 2, say at the end of a day, to be used for scraps the next day in case they ran out?  I think that would require some attentive pre-planning.

-ME
Let them eat pizza.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #77 on: May 26, 2011, 05:40:49 PM »
The only argument I can see against this is what would Tommy's do if they ran out of scraps? sell un-flavored crust? It would totally change the flavor profile if they did this.

Good question, but I don't think it would be very difficult to manage dough like that. I've already been adding scraps to all the Tommy's-style dough I've made for a while, and it kind of works itself out. The only thing I haven't done is leave the scraps out all night before making the next batch of dough. I'll do that in a couple days, when I make the next batch.

As an alternative to the procedures I hypothesized a few posts back, you could easily use a preferment. By doing it that way, you could end up with essentially the same result, but I just feel like a place like Tommy's would do it with scraps.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #78 on: May 27, 2011, 12:48:50 AM »
Well I am sure some of these places die cut their skins, then take the remaining pieces and consider it scrap. If you just re-roll it the subsequent skins are not as good due to over-development from the sheeter. It has been stated on these forums that some places just reroll the scrap immediately into the next batch of dough that get's processed through the sheeter, but this seems like it's always done in conjunction with NEW dough as you have stated. So in essence they are culturing the yeast indefinitely through their process. It just seems like a lousy way to rely on a trademark flavor. It's well known that this style is quite variable. Sometimes it's really good and other times just so-so. I have yet to visit a place that offers laminated crusts and have it consistenty be the same every time. Even Round Table has their variances. Hell even John AKA Fazzari goes to the ends of the earth just to have a consistent product for his customers.

This is why I have been trying to recreate that flavor with every single batch of dough. Preferment is a good idea I should start playing with. This constantly used then stored dough however just isn't feasible to the guy who makes pizza once every few weeks, let alone once a month.

I kept the scrap from my last batch since this came up in the thread. I am starting another dough tonight for tomorrow evening and I'll chuck it in there when I mix. This week's liquor of choice, good 'ol MICKEYS! I like it as malty as I can get em!

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (Columbus OH) - Any recipe ideas
« Reply #79 on: May 27, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »
So the scraps I used were 1 week old and constituted about 20% of the total dough mass. I have to say the pizza tonight was VERY good. Even the wife had an extra slice! Which is usually an indication I am moving in the right direction. Thanks for re-acquianting me with this technique aimlessryan. I had written it off prior due to the management aspects, but given the amount of flavor I pulled from the crust tonight it's something I need to pursue more. The results were just fantastic. I think the Mickey's also helped, but the flavor definitely had that "fermented" taste to it.