Author Topic: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)  (Read 11552 times)

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Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »
I was the morning cook in a Pizza Hut during my college days back in the mid-70's. I even have a little gold pin that says "Dough Master" on it! It really impresses the women!  ;)

I went into work around 6AM and made all of the dough for the day, including bazzilions of personal pan pizzas. On busy days I'd make more dough before I left around 1PM.

It was a long time ago, but two things stand out for me concerning the PH thin dough...

1. There was a lot of oil! We used to have a bottle that was about the size/shape of a clorox bottle, only it was transparent. There was a spigot/pump attached so that each press down on the white pump streamed oil out of the spigot. I would guess 1/4 cup per pump. The pan pizza batch would get maybe 3 pumps but the thin would get several more...maybe 3 times as much.

2. The dough coming out of the Hobart was very dry, and was not at all a cohesive lump of dough. There were still dry crumbles in there along with slightly wetter dough pieces. The dough was pulled out of the Hobart and placed in a kitchen trash can sized container lined with a plastic bag. The plastic bag was folded down to cover the dough mass and a plastic lid (not tight fitting if I recall correctly) was placed on top. The container was placed in a two container metal frame with a second identical container (empty with a bag) right next to it. This set up was wheeled into the prep area and placed next to the sheeter. This was the batch of thin dough for the day (on occasion I'd make another batch before I left at around 1PM. When the dough was needed, I'd unfold the bag and grab a glob of dough and press it down thin enough to place into the shoot of the sheeter. As the day went on the dough did rise a bit and become more cohesive but it didn't rise anything like the Pan Pizza dough. I've sometimes thought I'd like to have one of those old sheeting machines as it was a cool device. I had to repair it several times too but it wasn't anything more than replacing a spring or something like that. The dough went in and was spit out thinner, then I rotated it and placed it in the next area to slide though the thinner spaced rollers. Then it came out and I placed it in the cutter pan, trimmed it with a roller, and perforated it thoroughly.

I also remember the thin sauce was spicier and a little thicker than the pan pizza sauce.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 10:14:06 AM by rpmfla »


Offline PowerWagonPete

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 10:43:38 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, guys, but when Pizza Hut's Pan Pizza was first introduced back in the '70's, wasn't the cheese spread all the way to the inside of the edge of the pan?  In other words, was there none of the rim exposed like today's version?   ;D

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 10:57:00 PM »
I sure don't remember seeing that Pete. All the way to the edge would have stood out as looking like a deep dish and back then in a Chicago suburb we would have noticed. In fact, all I remember is that it did cause quite a stir because of it's really large, fat rim/cornicione. Maybe in other parts of the country...dunno?
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Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2012, 12:32:51 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, guys, but when Pizza Hut's Pan Pizza was first introduced back in the '70's, wasn't the cheese spread all the way to the inside of the edge of the pan?  In other words, was there none of the rim exposed like today's version?   ;D

We had a white plastic "donut" ring that fit onto the rim of the pan and created a barrier about an inch in from the pan sides. Inside this barrier is where we placed the cheese and all other ingredients. So, at least where I worked back in '76-'78, there was definitely a rim without cheese. This ring contraption made it so even us chimpanzees could dress a pie without getting anything on the rim! ;)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 12:02:16 PM by rpmfla »

Offline PowerWagonPete

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2012, 12:00:38 PM »
Thanks for the responses, guys!!!  I do know one thing, however, that the rim on Pan Pizzas these days seems to be much more exposed that it was years ago.   :-\

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Thin 'n' Crispy...  LOL   ;D

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2012, 12:04:47 PM »
Thanks for the responses, guys!!!  I do know one thing, however, that the rim on Pan Pizzas these days seems to be much more exposed that it was years ago.   :-\


In the chain pizza business world that is known as "progre$$" !!   :'(
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Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2012, 08:49:28 AM »
Another few thoughts about the PH Thin & Crispy dough...

1. Going in at 6AM to make the dough for the day I would mix up a batch of thin dough, put it in the bag and container, and that would be the thin dough for the day. I'd say it was in the bag 6-7 hours before first use, and then would be in that bag all day. So this dough was "complete" and ready to use in 6-7 hrs and then remained relatively unchanged for another 10 hours or so. This would imply low yeast amounts. When placed in the bag/container, I'd say the dough came up 1/3 of the way. By the time I left around 2PM I'd say it was a little higher but not significantly. I have seen it in the container at the end of the night and it was perhaps about doubled.

2. The other idea came to when I was trying to make my own thin & crispy dough at home this weekend. I remember the PH T&C was very soft and pliable and had almost no elasticity...like a cross between pizza and pie dough. Rolling out my thin dough with a rolling pin was hard work as it kept wanting to pull back. I'd get it to the right size for my 16" cutter pan and when I picked it up off the silicone mat it shrank significantly and was not large enough for the pan. The PH T&C did not do this at all, so it had very little if any elasticity, yet it went through the sheeter with no sticking. I used a high gluten flour as many suggest here for other tin crispy formulas. Perhaps All-Purpose would be less elastic. I didn't mix it long either...just until it came together.

3. The PH T&C was crackery and crisp where my attempt was more akin to pie dough. It was more crunchy than crispy and denser than it should be. I think my next attempt will back off on the oil some.

I am curious why there are no intensive clone attempts for the PH T&C on here. There are Pizza Inn, Shakey's, etc. but not much in the way of Pizza Hut's Thin & Crispy. Perhaps people here were not particularly fond of that particular pizza?

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2012, 09:46:08 AM »
Oh there are plenty of people here who love the old, old school PH thin pizza....it's just really difficult to make in a home oven. And with the Pizza Inn and Shakeys threads, well, they're all three very similar so I suppose it's easiest to just grab a recipe there when the 'ol T&C urge strikes.
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2012, 12:42:32 PM »
Another few thoughts about the PH Thin & Crispy dough...

1. Going in at 6AM to make the dough for the day I would mix up a batch of thin dough, put it in the bag and container, and that would be the thin dough for the day. I'd say it was in the bag 6-7 hours before first use, and then would be in that bag all day. So this dough was "complete" and ready to use in 6-7 hrs and then remained relatively unchanged for another 10 hours or so. This would imply low yeast amounts.

I've made the same assumption (low yeast) in the past when I've tried to make pizzas resembling PH thin. Years later, having made hundreds more pizzas, and in conjunction with some ideas Peter (Pete-zza) has shared recently in my unleavened thread, I'm inclined to think there's a lot more yeast in a PH thin dough than might seem evident.

I now see the big picture a little more clearly, and I realize yeast acts much more slowly in stiff doughs than in softer doughs. And as you know, Pizza Hut thin dough is very stiff. Also, as a same-day dough, it needs more yeast than a 2- or 3-day dough needs. That's at least three different factors that typically require a high yeast content (stiff dough, same-day dough, and room-temperature ferment). So I would not be surprised if PH thin dough actually requires several times more yeast than a standard 2-day refrigerated NY style dough of 60% hydration (soft dough, long fermentation period, cold ferment).

(Having been a driver at Pizza Hut in the early 90s, I have a lot experience sheeting and panning the thin dough, but no experience making it.)

Also, I just want to point out that if you went in at 6:00, you probably didn't mix the dough until 6:30 or 7:00. The dough would need to be ready to use by around 10:30. That leaves about 5 hours between mixing and using, not 6 or 7. Similar to what you said, at the stores where I worked, one batch of dough would last all day.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 01:03:22 PM »
Ryan,

No doubt, many of our members fondly remember the days of the original PH T&C that rfmfla talks about. That was before PH went to frozen doughs (in the U.S. at least). I have a 2008 PH ingredients list and the last dough ingredient in the list for the T&C dough is yeast. That can mean that the dough is frozen or possibly it is a same day low hydration dough that needs more yeast for fermentation purposes, flavor, or both. If rpmfla is interested in the 2008 PH R&C dough ingredients list, I can give it to him.

Apart from the fact that most of our active members--those who spend a lot of time on the forum--are not particularly fond of chain pizzas, there is little payback to the forum or its members to spend any appreciable time, and maybe even some personal money, to reverse engineer and clone chain pizzas. The people who are most interested in chain pizza are those who do Google or other searches loohing for clone or copycat chain pizza recipes. In many cases, they are directed to our forum. Once they get here and have to register, which they do, they leave as soon as they find what they are looking for. They give nothing back to the forum other than an inflated membership list. No thank you's, no feedback, no money.

Peter


Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2012, 01:16:21 PM »
I've made the same assumption (low yeast) in the past when I've tried to make pizzas resembling PH thin. Years later, having made hundreds more pizzas, and in conjunction with some ideas Peter (Pete-zza) has shared recently in my unleavened thread, I'm inclined to think there's a lot more yeast in a PH thin dough than might seem evident.

I now see the big picture a little more clearly, and I realize yeast acts much more slowly in stiff doughs than in softer doughs. And as you know, Pizza Hut thin dough is very stiff. Also, as a same-day dough, it needs more yeast than a 2- or 3-day dough needs. That's at least three different factors that typically require a high yeast content (stiff dough, same-day dough, and room-temperature ferment). So I would not be surprised if PH thin dough actually requires several times more yeast than a standard 2-day refrigerated NY style dough of 60% hydration (soft dough, long fermentation period, cold ferment).

But what really necessitates high yeast levels in the sheeted cracker-like dough? It would impart a nice flavor but would it add to the texture? I was reading Steve's posts in the Shakey's thread with interest and may try his recipe with absolutely no yeast.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2012, 01:19:36 PM »
Ryan,

I have a 2008 PH ingredients list and the last dough ingredient in the list for the T&C dough is yeast.

Last ingredient listed means there's less of it than any other ingredient, right? I would expect almost all doughs to have less yeast than any other ingredient (except possibly salt); especially the chains, who probably all use IDY. You kinda seem to be confirming what I said in my previous post, but I'm not making the connection of how it helps confirm what I said.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2012, 01:24:31 PM »
The Chicago thin crust pizza dough I made in the early 70's was balled up an put in the reach in usually by 3 pm and it would start getting used when we opened at 5. It had cake yeast in it, and a lot of it too. The whole kitchen would smell of it when I made that dough. Lard was whisked into the flour to begin it's preparation. This pizza was cooked on thin metal pans with a lip on them in a deck oven.
Does anyone know how PH cooked the T&C back in the day? Temp.?
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2012, 01:26:47 PM »
I was reading Steve's posts in the Shakey's thread with interest and may try his recipe with absolutely no yeast.

I've made a couple pizzas in the last ten days using no yeast. I don't want to sway your thinking by directing you to that thread, but I'd say it's pretty thorough. Make your no-yeast pizza, then check out my thread (if you haven't already). It would be interesting for me to know your thoughts after doing it.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2012, 01:29:48 PM »
Last ingredient listed means there's less of it than any other ingredient, right? I would expect almost all doughs to have less yeast than any other ingredient (except possibly salt); especially the chains, who probably all use IDY. You kinda seem to be confirming what I said in my previous post, but I'm not making the connection of how it helps confirm what I said.

Ryan,

You are correct. I misspoke. Last in the list means there is less yeast, by weight, than the rest of the ingredients. The sequence is flour (bleached and enriched and malted), water, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soybean and/or cottonseed oil, salt, yeast. However, the actual amount of yeast can still be high, especially if the amount of salt, which is just ahead of the yeast, is high. That is what I was thinking when I posted earlier. In frozen dough, the yeast is often high because freezing kills some of the yeast.

Peter

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2012, 01:30:44 PM »
Does anyone know how PH cooked the T&C back in the day? Temp.?

We used cutter pans on a conveyor oven. I grabbed a blob of dough out of the bag/container and ran it through the sheeter top, turned it 90 degrees and ran it through the lower rollers onto the pan, then docked it. There was a short lip on the cutter pans that we could grab with pliers to remove from the oven. I seem to recall the ovens set to 485, but I could be way off on that as it was a very long time ago (late 70s)

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2012, 01:32:54 PM »
Does anyone know how PH cooked the T&C back in the day? Temp.?

All I know is this: sheeted > placed on seasoned cutter pan > docked > trimmed > sauce, cheese, toppings > conveyor oven. Usually straight from the sheeter to the make table, but during busy times there might be about 20 skins already sheeted (and kept in a cooler, I believe) for a very short time.

I assume before conveyor ovens they did everything about the same, until the oven part.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2012, 01:36:11 PM »
We used cutter pans on a conveyor oven. I grabbed a blob of dough out of the bag/container and ran it through the sheeter top, turned it 90 degrees and ran it through the lower rollers onto the pan, then docked it. There was a short lip on the cutter pans that we could grab with pliers to remove from the oven. I seem to recall the ovens set to 485, but I could be way off on that as it was a very long time ago (late 70s)
Interesting, I didn't know they used conveyors back then.
Now, I don't want to put words in your mouth cause this is kinda important to me....but do you think it is possible that the oven could have been at 385 rather than 485?  Do you remember how long it took to bake>>
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Offline rpmfla

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2012, 01:43:55 PM »
Interesting, I didn't know they used conveyors back then.
Now, I don't want to put words in your mouth cause this is kinda important to me....but do you think it is possible that the oven could have been at 385 rather than 485?  Do you remember how long it took to bake>>

I seem to recall 7-8 minutes...again, it was long time ago but I am pretty sure it was somewhere between 450 and 500.

The same oven and time was used for the Pan Pizzas. There was a small door that was half way through the oven and that was where we put the sandwiches (to toast) and pasta dishes (to lightly brown the cheese on top), so they got half the time the pizzas did.

Since the Pan Pizzas were literally swimming in oil, one could say they were actually just as much fried as baked, so I can't imagine the temps being lower than upper 400's.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut (Back in the day)
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2012, 01:47:25 PM »
Yes, thank you . I believe you're right considering the cook time you stated.
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