Author Topic: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA  (Read 68584 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #100 on: August 29, 2011, 12:46:28 PM »
Hey there Essen1 , oh no, you all are certainly not high jacking my thread.  I'm enjoying this to the fullest extent.  I first posted this Luigi pizza subject to see what everyone thinks of this place from the Diners video and it blossomed into a reverse engineering project and to tell you the honest truth, well, I'm glad it did.   I'm enjoying reading everyone's post and now you had it come to fruition when you made a Luigi pie.  I'm pretty sure that Luigi himself is amused by this whole thing.  I would not be surprised if some how he stumbled upon this discussion and is reading this and smiling that the reverse engineering project is going on.  The sincerest form of flattery is imitation.  Not saying you are imitating him or his pie, but you guys are doing a fine job of cracking the Luigi code and I'm sure he likes that.  

So to be honest you are actually helping me because I love reading up on the process of cracking a pizza such as you all are who are involved in it.  I'm in awe of everyone who is working on this.  I'd never figure any of this out.  Essen1, you are doing a great job and the pics of your pie really show how well you did on cracking his pie.   :chef: :pizza: :D

PizzaEater101,

I'm glad you're enjoying our banter here and hopefully we can come up with a respectable clone.  :)


Norma,

I've used the same flour - ConAgra Harvest Bread flour - for both pies, which were 16" in size with a TF of around 0.076.

Two things regarding the baking temp. The Luigi #1, I baked at 633°F because it had less sugar but a higher hydration, the Luigi #2 (pics below) was baked at 600°F for 8 mins because it had a higher sugar amount and lower hydration and I didn't want to burn it. However, the coloration of the outer crust severely lacked compared to Luigi #1. Bummer.

Luigi #2 was also a modified version of an emergency dough I stumbled upon just recently and which I made for my mother, if you recall.

I don't know what the bake times are at Luigi's shop but I doubt that he bakes at 600°F or higher. He said his oven runs between 525°F and 550°F. I chose a higher temp because commercial ovens are so much more powerful then my generic home oven. You have to compensate and make up for it somewhere, I guess.  ::)

What I didn't like about Luigi#2 are three things. Crust lacked in coloration, the outer crust was too soft - too much oil maybe - and the cheese developed that reddish-yellow puddle in the center which I can't stand. Overall I think I'll ditch the Luigi #2 formula since the Luigi#1 seems more promising to experiment with.

Luigi#2 pics...
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #101 on: August 29, 2011, 12:47:24 PM »
And the rest...

Mike

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Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #102 on: August 29, 2011, 12:50:28 PM »
Norma, thank you for the links.  I read the blog on Luigi but not the other one yet but am going to.  

He didn't seem impressed with Luigi.  I was impressed by Luigi, but to each his own.  He said there were no alcoholic beverages there just soda.  I don't drink alcohol but I thought I saw a customer with a beer in hand.  A bottle of beer.  Could be he brought that in from outside and just ordered his pizza there and ate there.   He's right the soda was $1.00.  

He said the sauce was unnoticeable.  I think that is what he was implying.  To me I did notice the sauce.  I really did.  It was very good sauce.

He is right about the cheese.  The ratio of cheese to bread was right on.

I didn't notice any garlic salt there but if he says it's there it is there.  I would not have put any on anyway.  I put a shake or dash of crushed pepper and Parmesan as I normally do.  

Atmosphere.  They did have music but I don't recall much about it.  I was so into my pizza I didn't give the music or the atmosphere much thought.

Overall I liked Luigi pizza but I guess the blogger thought it was so/so.  a 6.5 out of 10 is a fail if you were taking a test in school, well that is unless they do a curve to grade.  To me Luigi was not a 6.5, more like a 9.5 or maybe even a 10.



 

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #103 on: August 29, 2011, 02:22:23 PM »
Mike,
The orange oil is what makes these slices scream NY-style to me!
 ;D

I love the oil...of course if theres too much I let some drip off,but to me its great stuff!
 8)
-Bill

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #104 on: August 29, 2011, 03:38:14 PM »
Essen1, you describe the sauce that you made as follows -

"This sauce, if I have everything done correctly and with the right quantities, is a great pizza sauce. It tastes slightly sweet, very fresh of tomatoes with a hint of basil and garlic. No sugar needed."

You described exactly how I tasted the sauce when I was at Luigi.  You nailed it buddy, you did.   

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #105 on: August 29, 2011, 03:49:08 PM »
Mike,
The orange oil is what makes these slices scream NY-style to me!
 ;D

I love the oil...of course if theres too much I let some drip off,but to me its great stuff!
 8)

Bill,

I know it adds character to a NY-style pie but I'm not so fond of it visually. It always gives me the impression that something, somewhere went wrong with the cheese. But maybe that's just me ;D


PizzaEater101,

The sauce is outstanding. I think it's one of the best I have tasted in a long time.

However, I noticed yesterday that with each passing day, the acidity increases slightly and the sauce does need a bit of sugar to balance it all out, probably around Day 2 or so. I think the reason why Luigi's doesn't add sugar is simply because he goes through it pretty quickly given the amount of pizzas he makes per day.
Mike

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Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #106 on: August 29, 2011, 06:02:38 PM »

Norma,

I've used the same flour - ConAgra Harvest Bread flour - for both pies, which were 16" in size with a TF of around 0.076.

Two things regarding the baking temp. The Luigi #1, I baked at 633°F because it had less sugar but a higher hydration, the Luigi #2 (pics below) was baked at 600°F for 8 mins because it had a higher sugar amount and lower hydration and I didn't want to burn it. However, the coloration of the outer crust severely lacked compared to Luigi #1. Bummer.

Luigi #2 was also a modified version of an emergency dough I stumbled upon just recently and which I made for my mother, if you recall.

I don't know what the bake times are at Luigi's shop but I doubt that he bakes at 600°F or higher. He said his oven runs between 525°F and 550°F. I chose a higher temp because commercial ovens are so much more powerful then my generic home oven. You have to compensate and make up for it somewhere, I guess.  ::)

What I didn't like about Luigi#2 are three things. Crust lacked in coloration, the outer crust was too soft - too much oil maybe - and the cheese developed that reddish-yellow puddle in the center which I can't stand. Overall I think I'll ditch the Luigi #2 formula since the Luigi#1 seems more promising to experiment with.


Mike,

Thanks for explaining what flour you used, the size of your pies, and the TF you used.  I remember the emergency dough you stumbled upon recently, that you made for your mother.  Interesting about what you thought about Luigi’s 2 dough and final pizza you made.  Any amount of differences in formulating dough can make a pizza different, as I know you already know.

I think I will wait until Peter studies Lugi’s dough more, and comes up with a formulation before I try a Luigi’s dough.  There are still too many mysteries for me surrounding the ingredients, amount of flour, water, amount of ADY, and also if Luigi is cold fermenting or doing a part room temperature ferment and then a cold ferment. 

Maybe tdough111, or James can give Peter and other members some more insight, what really goes on at Luigi’s.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #107 on: August 29, 2011, 06:09:01 PM »

He didn't seem impressed with Luigi.  I was impressed by Luigi, but to each his own.  He said there were no alcoholic beverages there just soda.  I don't drink alcohol but I thought I saw a customer with a beer in hand.  A bottle of beer.  Could be he brought that in from outside and just ordered his pizza there and ate there.   He's right the soda was $1.00.  

He said the sauce was unnoticeable.  I think that is what he was implying.  To me I did notice the sauce.  I really did.  It was very good sauce.

He is right about the cheese.  The ratio of cheese to bread was right on.

I didn't notice any garlic salt there but if he says it's there it is there.  I would not have put any on anyway.  I put a shake or dash of crushed pepper and Parmesan as I normally do.  

Atmosphere.  They did have music but I don't recall much about it.  I was so into my pizza I didn't give the music or the atmosphere much thought.

Overall I liked Luigi pizza but I guess the blogger thought it was so/so.  a 6.5 out of 10 is a fail if you were taking a test in school, well that is unless they do a curve to grade.  To me Luigi was not a 6.5, more like a 9.5 or maybe even a 10.


James,

Those links I posted are just one bloggers opinion.  As I know from the NJ Boardwalk thread, when you look at yelp or other places, each person has their own opinion.  Even pizzas can change from day to day from the same pizzerias.  Maybe you will be able to go to Luigi’s again and pick up some more clues.  I would trust you opinions, before what I read on the web.

Norma
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Offline chickenparm

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #108 on: August 29, 2011, 07:58:03 PM »
Mike,
I keep going back to look at the upskirt shots/bottom crust on them slices.I think they are incredible.You did a great job  on them.The bottom looks exactly like some of the Pizza places I used to eat at,in NY.
 8)
Sometimes I wish I had a deck oven at home to use.I love how the crusts turn out in them.Using a small 15 inch stone at home,for me, is hit and miss sometimes.


 
-Bill

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #109 on: August 29, 2011, 08:27:56 PM »
Mike,

I think I will wait until Peter studies Lugi’s dough more, and comes up with a formulation before I try a Luigi’s dough.  There are still too many mysteries for me surrounding the ingredients, amount of flour, water, amount of ADY, and also if Luigi is cold fermenting or doing a part room temperature ferment and then a cold ferment. 


Norma

Norma,

The formulas I used were mere rough blueprints and need definitely some refining and work. But I agree, for a good clone we need more in-depth info.

Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #110 on: August 29, 2011, 09:05:10 PM »
Mike,
I keep going back to look at the upskirt shots/bottom crust on them slices.I think they are incredible.You did a great job  on them.The bottom looks exactly like some of the Pizza places I used to eat at,in NY.
 8)
Sometimes I wish I had a deck oven at home to use.I love how the crusts turn out in them.Using a small 15 inch stone at home,for me, is hit and miss sometimes.


Thanks, bro.

I don't have a deck oven, either. Instead I use a 17" kiln shelf I bought a few months back for a cheaper price than a high-quality pizza stone. Works like a charm and puts out some great pies unless I screw up, that is.

The fun of all this reverse engineering is the experimental phases that come with it. But since only a few of us have actually ovens in the realm of what the Pros use, I'm afraid the ones left with just our home ovens will have their work cut out to achieve crusts that rival those of professional pizza joints such as Luigi's or any other place for that matter.

Their oven performs very differently and deliver very different results than what your average home pizza maker (us) can possibly achieve. I'm not saying it's impossible and perhaps one day one member here will have a whole chandelier go off over his head, having an "A-HA!!" moment. Hopefully that member will then share his a-ha moment with the rest of us.

Until that happens, I'll keep looking at the entire journey as finding the Holy Grail of home pizza making!  ;D

« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 09:06:47 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline tdough111

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #111 on: August 30, 2011, 11:09:24 PM »
Hey guys,

Finally got a chance to make it to Luigis and did a little scouting. It was really busy with people waiting in line for slices and they seemed really busy so I didn't ask to take pictures but I looked around and this is what I saw:

Bags of Power flour that looked to me to be 50 lbs

They had 2 cans of Olive Oil with a spray bottle next to it filled with olive oil

I had trouble timing pizzas because they were really busy but I timed a pepperoni pizza that went for 6min45sec. They put this into the slices display so I'm not sure if they take it out early because they reheat it for slices

 Hope this can help kick start this reengineering project

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #112 on: August 30, 2011, 11:54:56 PM »
tdough111,

As I mentioned in Reply 58 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg150965/topicseen.html#msg150965, I thought that the bags of flour shown in the flour storage unit at the end of the Luigi video were larger than the single bag shown earlier in the video. However, if the bag of flour used to make the dough in the video was 50 pounds, which would seem to be too much if Luigi is using a Hobart mixer with a 60-quart bowl, then the quantities of ingredients shown on the little table next to the mixer, as I estimated them by weighings in my kitchen using a small container of similar size and shape as the ones shown in the video, would seem to produce baker's percents that are too low for 50 pounds of flour. There is no reason why Luigi can't use flour from a 50-pound bag (maybe he has graduated to a larger Hobart mixer with an 80-quart bowl), but the numbers I come up with seem to fit the 32-pound bag (unbleached) much better than the 50-pound bag. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the video is an innocent fabrication intended to produce a video that is more for entertainment consumption by ordinary oblivious viewers than pizza cognoscenti. Since the scenes in the video were taken out of sequence (as evidenced by the out of sequence times shown on the clock on the wall), with items on the table next to the mixer and the dough boxes and bags of flour coming and going during the time of the shoot, and the different scenes later being stitched together in the studio, one can reasonably conclude that the depiction of ingredient quantities and procedures in the video are not accurate or correct. The misleading (in my opinion) statement in the video about the method of fermentation and the two dough recipes that were attributable to Luigi but bear no resemblance to what he does in his pizzerias do not inspire confidence. Usually when there is one cockroach, there are others. Hopefully, I am wrong with my assessment and characterization of the matter.

But it is good that you confirmed the use of the Pendleton Power flour. Thanks for helping on that aspect of the exercise. It is far more valuable to have boots on the ground.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #113 on: August 31, 2011, 12:47:46 AM »
tdough111,

As I mentioned in Reply 58 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg150965/topicseen.html#msg150965, I thought that the bags of flour shown in the flour storage unit at the end of the Luigi video were larger than the single bag shown earlier in the video. However, if the bag of flour used to make the dough in the video was 50 pounds, which would seem to be too much if Luigi is using a Hobart mixer with a 60-quart bowl, then the quantities of ingredients shown on the little table next to the mixer, as I estimated them by weighings in my kitchen using a small container of similar size and shape as the ones shown in the video, would seem to produce baker's percents that are too low for 50 pounds of flour. There is no reason why Luigi can't use flour from a 50-pound bag (maybe he has graduated to a larger Hobart mixer with an 80-quart bowl), but the numbers I come up with seem to fit the 32-pound bag (unbleached) much better than the 50-pound bag. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the video is an innocent fabrication intended to produce a video that is more for entertainment consumption by ordinary oblivious viewers than pizza cognoscenti. Since the scenes in the video were taken out of sequence (as evidenced by the out of sequence times shown on the clock on the wall), with items on the table next to the mixer and the dough boxes and bags of flour coming and going during the time of the shoot, and the different scenes later being stitched together in the studio, one can reasonably conclude that the depiction of ingredient quantities and procedures in the video are not accurate or correct. The misleading (in my opinion) statement in the video about the method of fermentation and the two dough recipes that were attributable to Luigi but bear no resemblance to what he does in his pizzerias do not inspire confidence. Usually when there is one cockroach, there are others. Hopefully, I am wrong with my assessment and characterization of the matter.

But it is good that you confirmed the use of the Pendleton Power flour. Thanks for helping on that aspect of the exercise. It is far more valuable to have boots on the ground.

Peter

Peter,

I have a few thoughts on this...

1. After the D, D & D's episode aired in 2009 (uploaded to YouTube in Nov. '09 and perhaps shot some time around May or earlier) Luigi's had a line out the door. With that said, he might have upgraded to a larger mixer to accommodate the demand. Check out the reviews on Yelp by date, especially before that show aired

2. I don't think he intentionally tries to mislead people about his fermentation methods. How many people do even know, besides me and you and the rest of this board, what a cold fermentation is? He might have just impulsively answered Fieri's question in a subtle way.

3. If you'd be a pizzeria owner, would you give out your recipe to a show that will be seen by millions of viewers, inadvertently giving away your recipe to other competing pizza shops? I don't think so, hence the place being clean and no cans of tomato products around, no label shots of the cheese he uses, flour, salt, yeast or sugar amounts.

If I had a great formula that generates money and a great-tasting crust, I'd guard it as close and tight as I would guard my own balls during a soccer game, believe me.

4. Remember the Grimaldi's video (Food Wars)? I don't think they were particularly honest and accurate about their recipes, and that goes for both, John's and Grimaldi's.  



That's why I am always wary of TV shows that claim to show the "real deal" like Fieri always does.


TD101,

Thanks a bunch for doing this. It's very much appreciated.

If Pendleton's Power flour was used, I can get my hands on a 50lb bag perhaps this week since my local pizza guy uses it.

regarding the bake time, it could be that they are underbaking their pies to make sure they won't be overbaked when they reheat them by the slice. Gotta make some phone calls to actually find out if that's what shops who sell slices do.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 12:51:14 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #114 on: August 31, 2011, 01:14:23 PM »
Mike,

I hear you but with Guy Fieri and his crew on the premises of Luigi's pizzeria for seven hours, there would have been ample opportunity and time for Luigi to correct Guy by telling him that the dough balls are stored for a period of time in their cooler (or refrigerator) before using because that makes the crust and pizza taste better (a good selling feature on its own). He wouldn't have to say exactly when the dough balls went into the cooler or exactly how long the dough balls are held in the cooler. If Luigi wanted to shield his trade secrets, he didn't have to give the dough ball weight or identify the brand of bottled water used to make the dough (he could have used just a regular water container). He could have done many other things to conceal his actual trade secrets and no one would have been the wiser.

Peter

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #115 on: August 31, 2011, 01:22:54 PM »
I have talked with Both the Tennessee location and the Idaho location for Milner/Pendleton.  Power flour is not available at the retail level anywhere that they know of.  Except at the Idaho location on fridays in September.  It is cash and carry, no shipping available.  She said it is time for the new crop and they are making room for it by selling stuff at the factory on friday's.  Cisco, in Texas, is a distributor of this flour though.  I know someone, who is supposed to know someone at Cisco.
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #116 on: August 31, 2011, 02:31:56 PM »
Mike,

I hear you but with Guy Fieri and his crew on the premises of Luigi's pizzeria for seven hours, there would have been ample opportunity and time for Luigi to correct Guy by telling him that the dough balls are stored for a period of time in their cooler (or refrigerator) before using because that makes the crust and pizza taste better (a good selling feature on its own). He wouldn't have to say exactly when the dough balls went into the cooler or exactly how long the dough balls are held in the cooler. If Luigi wanted to shield his trade secrets, he didn't have to give the dough ball weight or identify the brand of bottled water used to make the dough (he could have used just a regular water container). He could have done many other things to conceal his actual trade secrets and no one would have been the wiser.

Peter

Peter,

Also true. Who knows what went really on during the shoot. But did I miss the mentioning of the dough ball weight? That info might help...

Either way, I have tried over the last few days to gather a bit more info besides the video but have not found anything substantial. I looked through most of the Yelp reviews to see if someone might have posted a thorough review besides the "Great crust, wonderful sauce.." kind of thing, but nothing. I also looked at several blogs but again...nothing of substance.

Mike

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #117 on: August 31, 2011, 03:09:02 PM »
But did I miss the mentioning of the dough ball weight? That info might help...

Mike,

Luigi mentions 18 ounces at about 2:05 in the video (). A lot of places, including the chains, will not tell you their dough ball weights. I tried to get that information once from Papa John's and Papa Gino's and was told that the information was proprietary.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #118 on: August 31, 2011, 04:56:46 PM »
Mike and Peter,

I just used imaginary numbers for the expanded dough calculation tools, being 0.0707 for a TF for a 18” pizza, and using 65 % hydration, with 1.75% salt, ADY at 0.39%, sugar at 1.0 % and the ounces came out to 17.99.  I am not saying that is Luigi’s formula, but it shows for a 18” pizza, those numbers could work or something like those numbers, if Luigi’s dough is 18 ounces.  I would think that the with using that much ADY the dough would have to be partially cold fermented or all cold fermented.

Norma
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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2011, 05:13:15 PM »
I just used imaginary numbers for the expanded dough calculation tools, being 0.0707 for a TF for a 18” pizza, and using 65 % hydration, with 1.75% salt, ADY at 0.39%, sugar at 1.0 % and the ounces came out to 17.99.  I am not saying that is Luigi’s formula, but it shows for a 18” pizza, those numbers could work or something like those numbers, if Luigi’s dough is 18 ounces.  I would think that the with using that much ADY the dough would have to be partially cold fermented or all cold fermented.

Norma.

Once you enter the thickness factor and the pizza size, the expanded dough calculating tool will calculate a value of 3.14159 x 9 x 9 x 0.0707 = 17.99 no matter what other values you enter into the tool ;D.

I have been waiting for a call back from a technical person at Pendelton to be able to nail down the hydration issue better although I noted that you reported good results using 65% with your Jet's clone dough using a flour with a protein content of only 12.4% (Reply 94 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8247.msg151463.html#msg1514630). I would think that the 65% hydration will work better with the Power flour at 13.5% protein. I ran the parts of the Jet's video and the Luigi video where the dough is formed into dough balls side by side (using my desktop and my iPad simultaneously) and to me the dough condition and handling looked the same.

Peter