Author Topic: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA  (Read 55461 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2011, 01:40:44 PM »
Peter,

I didnít even think about how the ovens changed. I donít think it matters if Luigi did change ovens, or if the Blodgett ovens are different at each place. I would think Blodgett ovens all bake about the same way.

Norma
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2011, 01:53:47 PM »
Mike,

I provided this link earlier, but are these flat enough for you: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/ieatOFaTeDqXEV01_GT5_Q?select=NoF5rhJu-yyOQ7AiJ4RjBw  :-D?

Peter


Peter,

Now that's funny!  ;D

I didn't even see that you posted the link before.

Regarding the link you provided to the Blodgett 1000, when I first saw the video I thought to myself that it is a pretty narrow oven and how he can turn out a lot of pies during busy times in his pizzeria. It does seem that they must have replaced the oven somewhere along the way because in both location the ovens look different, wider and larger.
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #62 on: August 26, 2011, 02:27:53 PM »
It really looks like they changed up the ovens...

Mike

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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #63 on: August 26, 2011, 04:35:22 PM »
Do we think it is bleached or unbleached ?  Or does it actually effect the outcome of the dough?
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #64 on: August 26, 2011, 05:10:52 PM »
Now I can imagine why they switched to a bigger oven...read the reviews here on Citysearch San Diego:

http://sandiego.citysearch.com/profile/42645959/san_diego_ca/pizzeria_luigi.html#profileTab-reviews

That pizza must be the bomb! It might be well worth to put in the effort to dissect all the info available and try to reverse-engineer this dough. Even though we have perhaps only the video and recipe on Food Network's website to go by it shouldn't be impossible.

Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2011, 05:32:12 PM »
Do we think it is bleached or unbleached ?  Or does it actually effect the outcome of the dough?


Gene,

Luigi's dough does seem to be on the "white" side but I do not see anything in the video to tell us one way or the other whether the flour is bleached or not. If the flour is bleached, then we would know that the bag size is 30 pounds.

If Luigi were to be true to tradition for the NY style, he would use bleached flour since, according to what I read at Reply 298 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg37081/topicseen.html#msg37081, the flour that was used by the NYC pizza operators at the turn of the 20th century was bleached flour. These days, there are many pizza operators who specialize in the NY style that use high gluten flour that is both bleached and bromated.

If, for purposes of discussion, we assume that Luigi is using a bleached Power flour (in a 30-pound bag) and two gallons of water, then the hydration would be about 55.6%. I don't think that a dough at that hydration would handle as shown in the Luigi video. One fairly simple way to address the hydration issue if one has the Power flour to play around with, either bleached or unbleached, is to come up with a basic starting dough formulation based on a hydration of 65%. A part of the water can be held back while the rest is put into the mixer bowl. Then gradually add the formula flour to the bowl and mix/knead the dough until it achieves the consistency and handling characteristics as shown in the Luigi video, adding back some of the reserved water if necessary to achieve that condition. If there is any leftover water, knowing that amount can be used to calculate the actual hydration. 

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #66 on: August 26, 2011, 06:00:46 PM »
Peter,

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around a 65% or higher hydration.

Maybe it's silly but when I looked at the video closely, once again during my lunch break, I noticed that there's absolutely no dough sticking to fingers - something I encounter with higher hydrations almost regularly - during the dough handling (dividing & balling) beginning at 2:02 mins of the video. I'm thinking that he might not have used all of the two gallons, maybe a bit less? It's not really clear from the video or the pic I've posted previously.

I'm also wondering if Luigi adds oil to his dough or not. If he does, it would result in an even more saturated dough, unless I'm wrong on this one.

Another thing that caught my eye was at 3:57 mins, Guy Fieri holds up a Mona Lisa slice, showing the bottom of the crust which is nicely browned with almost a few charred spots to it. However, the crust seemed to crack right down the middle. Personally, I have only encountered that with lower hydration doughs in the 60% range but it could be the oven. But at a temp range of 525įF to 550įF that would mean a longer bake time. Then again, commercial ovens run hotter than my run-of-the-mill home oven so I might be wrong on this one.

On another note, regarding the bromated flours, he would have to have a sign in the shop that states that he's using a bromated version but I haven't seen one in all the pics I've seen online.
Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #67 on: August 26, 2011, 06:18:22 PM »
Mike,

I can't categorically say that your position is wrong and, in fact, it mirrors my usual position on high hydration doughs, but unless you are using the Power flour in a commercial mixer with a fairly long knead time, you can't really conclude that the dough will not be capable of being handled without sticking. Many of our members have demonstrated great skill in making and kneading high hydration doughs by hand, usually with many stretch and folds, to achieve a finished dough that is not sticky. I would imagine that a commercial mixer with a fairly long knead time should be able to do the same.

As for the crack in the slice that Guy is holding in the video, remember that the thickness factor is only 0.0707. That, coupled with a bake at 525-550 degrees F, might be responsible for the cracker-like texture, even at a high hydration. I might add that in reading yelp and other reviews of Luigi's pizza, I read of several complaints that the crust was too cracker-like. I also read of complaints that pizzas were often overbaked.

I went through the dough making part of the video frame by frame and I saw no evidence whatsoever of oil being used in or on the dough. I wondered about the latter since some of the dough balls in the photos looked a bit glossy. I even wondered whether the glossiness was due to moisture condensation as might be observed for dough balls that are cold fermented.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #68 on: August 26, 2011, 06:31:00 PM »
Peter,

I think he said he mixes the dough for 15 mins. And yes, you can tell me if/when I'm wrong.  ;D Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with you at all, I'm just trying to come to terms with the hydration part.

Regarding the oil, he might coat/brush them prior to fermentation. Have you converted the Mona LIsa recipe on the Food Network site, by any chance?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pizzeria-luigi--mona-lisa-pizza-recipe/index.html
Mike

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #69 on: August 26, 2011, 06:42:09 PM »
Have you converted the Mona LIsa recipe on the Food Network site, by any chance?


Mike,

I casually studied the recipe but when I concluded that the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, two packets of ADY yeast, and an amount of water that yields a hydration of around 80%, I concluded that the recipe was not what Luigi uses in his pizzeria. Also, the total dough weight was around 30 ounces, which would not be enough to make two 18-ounce dough balls. Both scott123 and I discussed the recipe earlier in the thread starting at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg150261.html#msg150261.

Peter


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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #70 on: August 26, 2011, 07:33:20 PM »
Mike,

I casually studied the recipe but when I concluded that the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, two packets of ADY yeast, and an amount of water that yields a hydration of around 80%, I concluded that the recipe was not what Luigi uses in his pizzeria. Also, the total dough weight was around 30 ounces, which would not be enough to make two 18-ounce dough balls. Both scott123 and I discussed the recipe earlier in the thread starting at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg150261.html#msg150261.

Peter


Peter,

Did a quick conversion and got similar numbers for the FN recipe:

438 gr, AP flour  100%
355gr. Water       81%
14gr. ADY               3%
pinch of salt

I don't think that's what he uses, either. I'm wondering why FN would post that kind of recipe with his name on it.
Mike

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Offline scott123

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #71 on: August 26, 2011, 08:02:30 PM »
I even wondered whether the glossiness was due to moisture condensation as might be observed for dough balls that are cold fermented.

This is what I conjectured earlier. Every time I watch the video, I getting a stronger feeling that it is, indeed, condensation. Although I don't have a great deal of experience with room temp ferments, I really don't ever recall there being condensation, if any. Perhaps proofing at close proximity to the oven is a way for them to quickly take the chill off of refrigerated dough.

As far as the hydration goes, based on the flour, I had earlier conjectured that the hydration was 'no more than 65%' with a best guess of 64-65, but it could be as low as 62.  No lower than that, though- not with an oil free dough.

I've always worked with 50 lb bags of flour, so I'm not accustomed to recognizing smaller bags, but, from watching this video a few times, I don't think these are 25 lb bags.

Lastly, I think it's important to note that he pours the water into a bucket before he pours it into the mixer.  If he was working with whole gallons of water, he wouldn't be using the bucket. The only purpose the bucket serves is for measuring the water.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #72 on: August 26, 2011, 08:28:47 PM »
This is what I conjectured earlier. Every time I watch the video, I getting a stronger feeling that it is, indeed, condensation. Although I don't have a great deal of experience with room temp ferments, I really don't ever recall there being condensation, if any. Perhaps proofing at close proximity to the oven is a way for them to quickly take the chill off of refrigerated dough.

As far as the hydration goes, based on the flour, I had earlier conjectured that the hydration was 'no more than 65%' with a best guess of 64-65, but it could be as low as 62.  No lower than that, though- not with an oil free dough.

I've always worked with 50 lb bags of flour, so I'm not accustomed to recognizing smaller bags, but, from watching this video a few times, I don't think these are 25 lb bags.

Lastly, I think it's important to note that he pours the water into a bucket before he pours it into the mixer.  If he was working with whole gallons of water, he wouldn't be using the bucket. The only purpose the bucket serves is for measuring the water.


Interesting piece, Scotty.

I think what we also have to keep in mind that the video was a segment made for TV.

His daily operations might be totally different and if you're convinced that it's actually condensation that would point towards a cold ferment, perhaps overnight? Another thing , if he'd really use a room temp rise, would be that the dough, especially next to the oven and the stacked dough boxes not being air-tight, would develop a skin unless he brushes them slightly with oil. But I haven't seen a skin, whether in the video nor in most of the pics.

Mike

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Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #73 on: August 26, 2011, 09:30:26 PM »
This is a review of Pizzeria Luigi, San Diego by, Erin Jackson on Slice. Erin said Luigiís hand-tossed crust is thin and much chewier than most, with a golden brown bottom cover in tiny blisters.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/06/draft-daily-slice-pizzeria-luigi-san-diego.html#continued


In this article, part way down, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/aug/12/save-your-dough/ Lugi Agostini, talks about dough, and says he favors a thin-crust, New York-style pie and uses no oil in his preparation, which accounts for its crispier crust.  
 Agostini said he finds that leaving the dough covered in the refrigerator with a damp cloth, not only makes it easier to work with, but more importantly, it keeps the dough from over-rising and losing its elasticity.  He also says in part of the article that he changes his recipe three times a year based on the weather.  I guess he was talking about his pizzerias dough. There is more in the article, but a recipe for home dough is at the end of the article.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #74 on: August 26, 2011, 10:16:10 PM »
This blog says that Luigi Agostini learned the pizza business working at Bronx Pizza.

http://sandiegopizzapie.blogspot.com/2011/01/close-but-no-cigar-pizzeria-luigi.html

I donít know if that is true or not.

Norma
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #75 on: August 27, 2011, 12:05:30 AM »
This is a review of Pizzeria Luigi, San Diego by, Erin Jackson on Slice. Erin said Luigiís hand-tossed crust is thin and much chewier than most, with a golden brown bottom cover in tiny blisters.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/06/draft-daily-slice-pizzeria-luigi-san-diego.html#continued


In this article, part way down, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/aug/12/save-your-dough/ Lugi Agostini, talks about dough, and says he favors a thin-crust, New York-style pie and uses no oil in his preparation, which accounts for its crispier crust.
  
Agostini said he finds that leaving the dough covered in the refrigerator with a damp cloth, not only makes it easier to work with, but more importantly, it keeps the dough from over-rising and losing its elasticity.  He also says in part of the article that he changes his recipe three times a year based on the weather.  I guess he was talking about his pizzerias dough. There is more in the article, but a recipe for home dough is at the end of the article.

Norma


Norma,

Great links! Thanks for posting them.

They clarified some things such as the hydration value in his recipe for the home pizza maker at roughly 68%. If that's an indication it could mean that the two containers of one gallon of water each shown in the video might actually really be his hydration value and I stand corrected... :)

It also shows that the recipe on the FN site is bogus.

And we now know for certain that he uses a cold fermentation and Scott's suspicion of condensation from a cold ferment has also been validated.

When I came home, I started putting together his sauce. Since one pic of Luigi's gallery showed the Full Red Heavy Puree and Guy mentioned crushed tomatoes in the video, I went and bought a can of 6 in 1's and used the can of Muir Glen Organic Heavy Puree I still had in the pantry. Then I added the following:

1 Tbsp each of Garlic Powder, grated Pecorino Romano, Greek oregano & fresh basil, chopped
1/2 Tbsp of each Sea Salt & black pepper
1 Tsp each of Red pepper flakes & ground fennel

I know, ground fennel isn't in the sauce but it adds a nice touch. I also added 100 grams of water to it. If the sauce is of any indication of how good the crust is, this is a winner. After running it through my blender, it had just the right consistency...not too thin, not too thick. I was able to create little peaks on top of the sauce.

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.

Mike

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Offline scott123

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #76 on: August 27, 2011, 01:00:12 AM »
In this article, part way down, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/aug/12/save-your-dough/ Lugi Agostini, talks about dough, and says he favors a thin-crust, New York-style pie and uses no oil in his preparation, which accounts for its crispier crust.  
 Agostini said he finds that leaving the dough covered in the refrigerator with a damp cloth, not only makes it easier to work with, but more importantly, it keeps the dough from over-rising and losing its elasticity.  He also says in part of the article that he changes his recipe three times a year based on the weather.  I guess he was talking about his pizzerias dough. There is more in the article, but a recipe for home dough is at the end of the article.


Nice detective work, Norma.

As much as the errors (pans?) and oven related misinformation in that article are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, I think it's safe to assume that Luigi cold ferments- at least part of the year.  It also answers my previous questions regarding Luigi's level of fermentation knowledge.  If he's changing his recipe based upon the weather, that does, indeed, reveal a somewhat advanced level of fermentation wisdom.  Maybe.  Perhaps Bronx Pizza had three recipes for the year as well and he's copying them from top to bottom.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #77 on: August 27, 2011, 01:17:17 AM »
This blog says that Luigi Agostini learned the pizza business working at Bronx Pizza.

http://sandiegopizzapie.blogspot.com/2011/01/close-but-no-cigar-pizzeria-luigi.html

I donít know if that is true or not.


From the Bronx Pizza website

Quote
    * Cash Only! No credit or debit.
    * We don't offer ham, chicken, pineapple, jalapenos or Canadian Bacon as toppings.
    * That's ricotta cheese on the white pies, not feta.
    * We keep our salads, as well as the ranch dressing, at the supermarket down the street.
    * Please don't ask for buffalo wings.
    * No slice orders over the phone.


Love the salad comment. These guys sound a LOT like New Yorkers  ;D

Here's a few interior shots:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/09/san-diego-bronx-pizza-nyc-style.html

That second shot down- does it look familiar to anyone?  :)

It doesn't look all that much like a cold fermented crust to me, but I could definitely see 1. someone here bringing authentic NY practices to SD and 2. Luigi working there, absorbing everything he could about the way they did their business and using that info to open his own shop. That all seems very plausible.

Luigi might have picked up cold fermentation concepts elsewhere, and, perhaps his previous life in Milan might have influenced him to choose a lower thickness factor. Whatever the source, I think the student might be outdoing the master.

Does anyone know anything about Milanese pizza? Perhaps that could help fill in some pieces of the puzzle.

Again, Norma, nice job finding these articles.

Offline norma427

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #78 on: August 27, 2011, 07:41:07 AM »
I did find different articles that said Luigi Agostini did work for Bronx Pizzeria before starting his own pizzerias. One being.

http://thefunfoodie.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/culinary-clash-1-ny-pizza-in-san-diego/


Another blogger comparing Luigiís pizza http://eatdarwineat.blogspot.com/2010/09/09062010-pizzeria-luigi.html  to Bronx pizza http://eatdarwineat.blogspot.com/2010/11/11062010-bronx-pizza.html  and another. http://www.ireallylikefood.com/747708681/pizzeria-luigi-a-taste-of-nyc-in-san-diego/

An article about the cheese they might use for some pizzas at Bronx pizzeria, although I donít know if Luigiís uses the same cheese.  http://www.californiacountry.org/features/article.aspx?arID=446

I donít know how to take this comment at the end of the article, but it says Paulyís Pizza Station downtown is not a Luigiís ex employee, but actually a co-worker of Luigiís when he worked at Bongiornoís.  Bongiornoís pizzas also look very similar.

http://www.foodieview.com/blog/2008/04/25/ny-style-pizza-showdown/

There are many articles on the similarities of Luigiís pizzeria to Bronx pizzeria.  There are also videos of Bronx Pizzeria.  Both Bronx Pizzeria and Luigiís look like they use the same ovens.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP2Y_Db7mi0" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP2Y_Db7mi0</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSPKhUruaCo&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSPKhUruaCo&amp;feature=related</a>


I am still not sure what Luigi does with his dough regarding fermentation, but probably only insiders would really know that information.

Mike, are going to try a Luigiís pizza?  If you are, I am interested in seeing how it turns out.

Scott,

I thought the same thing about the pizzas looking very similar from Luigiís and Bronx pizzerias.

Norma
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 07:43:54 AM by norma427 »
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego, CA
« Reply #79 on: August 27, 2011, 12:06:37 PM »

Mike, are going to try a Luigiís pizza?  If you are, I am interested in seeing how it turns out.

Norma


I'm tempted but am still pondering the yeast, sugar and salt levels. I think I'm going with 65% of water to achieve that crunchy crust in my oven, and no oil. I'm also thinking of making two different batches to compare side by side using the emergency formula I've recently tried out here...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg150523.html#msg150523

...and will use a modified formula I posted here...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg150645.html#msg150645

The emergency dough I made was actually for my mother that day but one of her comments were that if the outside rim/crust/cornicione and the 'main' crust would be a bit thinner, it would be extremely close to an Avellino pizza. And from what I've seen, Luigi's and Avellino's crusts are not really that far apart.

I'll post my ideas for a Luigi's formula perhaps later today. Gotta think about it a bit. If anyone else has an idea regarding the sugar, salt and yeast levels, please post  :)
Mike

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