Re: tomatoes - You can try switching to dried tomatoes kept in oil (or soak yours in oil).
Re: feedback - are you sure you're oven is up to ~900 .F temp? A lot of those pies look pale Is there a good Neapolitan joint in the area that you can get a stage for more training?
For the tomatoes, they are already soaked in oil, which is why I was a little surprised they burnt so fast... we'll have to try the soaking in water/beer trick to see if that helps when the ingredient rolls around again as a special of some sort.
We're definitely 800-900+ when we put the pies in. A few things:
1. When we take the picture on our phones, the crust always seems more pale than it really is. But to be fair, some of our pies are definitely a bit more pale than they should be as well.
2. I'm working with my main fornino to convince him to get more color in the oven... he's been pulling them out a bit too fast (especially when we hit rushes of people).
3. We use a mix of flour (00 and AP) since we're not a strict Neapolitan pie... I found in my taste tests that people seem to prefer something with a bit more chew/crisp compared to the straight 00 flour (which is softer). The flour is bleached I believe... would this impact coloration?
Since all of us have full time jobs during the week, it's pretty much impossible for us to take on a stage somewhere at this point. I had tried to get a once-twice a week position while we were still in the early phases of testing, research, and building our oven, but the places around here weren't receptive to the idea of me being there only on a short term basis, and I hate deceiving folks unnecessarily.
Thanks for the feedback! I'll continue to work on getting some more brown to it...
Here's a pic of our special from yesterday: Italian Beef, Hot Giard, and fresh mozz.