Author Topic: Hello from Brooklyn.  (Read 534 times)

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Offline Danny B

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Hello from Brooklyn.
« on: August 16, 2011, 11:26:44 PM »
Hi, my name is Danny and I'm a long time lurker. I want to thank all of you for enabling me to make the best pizza I've ever been able to make in my home. I also want to thank some of you for enabling me to destroy my old stove from excessive use of the cleaning cycle (digital keypad melted)  :)

My area of interest, at the moment, is replicating Spumoni Garden's Sicilian pie. I've been watching (okay, stalking) the delivery trucks for weeks on end, and found out the flour and type of San Marzano tomatoes they use. Needless to say, there is a secret ingredient to their sauce that I can't put my finger on. Any help would be appreciated. I also love Neo-Neopolitan pizza like Totonno's from Coney Island. Not suprising as I was bottle-fed that stuff since birth.

Now give my forum privileges :)

Thank you,
Danny

PS: I just received my Bosch Universal Mixer today. Go Me!!!



Online scott123

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 10:44:49 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocs79_IbJ-g" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocs79_IbJ-g</a>


1:10

salt
pepper
orego
san marzanos

romano
evoo

It's been a while since I've been there, but I don't recall there be any other flavors in the sauce than those.

Did the delivery trucks reveal the brand of cheese?  From the video, it looks a lot like a Grande/Grande clone. That could be your 'missing' ingredient.

Offline Danny B

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 02:24:59 PM »
Thanks for the link, Scott. That video was basically my jumping off point for my experiments. I've used their tomatoes (La Bella), grande cheese, salt, pepper, oregano and salt. I used the Sicilian dough formula from corellconcepts as my starting point and eventually increased the sugar content to get better browning on the crust. They don't pre-bake their Sicilian pie like most pizzerias, and if you attempt that at home, you will overcook the toppings. Anyway, a side by side comparison of my sauce and theirs, are not even in the same ballpark. I'm stumped!!!

Thanks again,
Danny

Online scott123

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 04:52:08 PM »
Danny, increasing the sugar will encourage browning, but it's not the way to achieve an SG pie.  In the video they throw around the phrase '15 minute bake time,' and, it could be 15 minutes, but from the earth shattering number of slices they sell, I don't think they could make enough pies if every pie took 15 minutes.  I'd go with 12-15 minutes. The biggest problem with SG is that they've got all the ovens tucked away in the back.  Not only can you not clock a pie, but you can't see what temp the oven is set at either. With a crust of that thickness and the insulating qualities of a pan, you need a very hot oven to finish in 15 minutes. Let me guess, without sugar, you're pies were taking in excess of 20 minutes to brown, right?  In order to change that, you've got to either ramp up the temp of your oven further with some kind of mod and/or get a more conductive thicker stone. With the right stone at the right temp, you won't overcook your toppings and you'll get plenty of browning without ramping up the sugar.

Besides the right oven setup, the right pan is critical.  I've spent many hours researching the best pan for Sicilian, and, to be honest, nothing really stands out.  The pans they use look a lot like aluminum, but I have no idea how they keep aluminum pans from buckling after using them at high temps.  I know Dom Demarco (DiFara) uses cast iron for his Sicilian, and, I'm not sure cast iron is ideal (takes forever to warm up) and, even if it was, good luck finding it. I guess, if I had to pick a pan, I'd say heavyweight aluminum, because the aluminum would give you a quick heat transfer and the heavier weight might resist warping. Maybe.  No matter how heavyweight you go, though, it will warp eventually, you so have to watch it like a hawk and make sure that it's sitting level on the stone.  You also can watch the bottom of the pizza for warping- the parts of the pan that are touching will brown faster.

Do you have a link to the Correllconcepts recipe?

Offline Danny B

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 06:29:47 PM »
Scott, here's the link for the Sicilian crust: http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/05_Dough-making/10_dough_recipe.htm
I think their pans are black, heavy gauge aluminum, also. I've been using a shiny aluminum pan for mine, but I'm not able to get that beautiful browned crust. About the length of their bake - it's quite possible that their squares take 15 minutes to cook, as they have close to 18 ovens behind the counter...wow!!!

Getting back to their sauce, I think they add anchovies or some other secret ingredient to their sauce...just enough of it to go hmmm. One thing that I find strange is that their sauce is so much redder than mine (maybe some kind of acid added to their sauce).  They might be using some tomato paste in their sauce, aside from sugar, to give it that sweet tomatoey taste. Speaking of strange, it seems like their Romano cheese doesn't melt into their sauce. It looks as if it was just sprinkled on AFTER the bake, unlike my indistinguishable Romano cheese that disappears into the sauce.

Here's a link from a former SG employee:
<a href="http://youtu.be/8kO0Q0pywLQ" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/8kO0Q0pywLQ</a>

I tried calling him, but he left the establishment. His coworker said they only use salt, pepper, EVOO, oregano and SM tomatoes. LIES, LIES!!!

Let me know if you have any leads.
Danny

P.S. I believe they use bromated flour...yuck.

EDIT (2/1/2013): For an alternative Correll link, see  http://web.archive.org/web/20040606221443/http://correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/05_Dough-making/_05_dough-making.htm

« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 01:40:37 PM by Pete-zza »

Online scott123

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 07:59:51 PM »
Danny, what kind of stone are you using and how hot does your oven go?

What form of tomatoes are you getting?  Are you getting whole tomatoes and then processing them? Are you processing them with their juice?  The romano melting into the sauce could be that your sauce has too much water and/or you've overprocessed the tomatoes.  If you're getting whole SMs, don't use the puree (too watery) and make sure to process them until they're still a little lumpy.

Nothing wrong with bromated flour.  It's the basis for all great NY area pizza.

That recipe is off.  I highly highly doubt that SG would ever use as much as 10% oil and as low as 54% water.  I'm more of a NY style guy, so I don't have a tried and true Sicilian recipe, but, if you poke around here a bit, you'll find something better.

I can't tell by the Man v. Food video- does SG oil the pan before putting the dough in?

Offline Danny B

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 09:40:41 PM »
Scott, I'm using a FibraMent-D stone which is a little small for my sheet pan, so I'm baking the pie on a rack @450 degrees using my oven's convection. For my sauce, I'm de-seeding the tomatoes and cutting of the stems and any skin left on the tomato. I then use an immersion blender and puree the tomatoes in the juice. I'll try it your way and blend just the tomatoes next time to see if it helps.

SG's dough has a tight crumb and is very crispy on the bottom and tender on the inside. They could be using Crisco, come to think of it. From the video, it doesn't appear to have a lot of oil...at least the top of the dough doesn't. One of the workers told me that they put sugar in the dough, so I added about 3% to try and achieve a good taste and browning. The dough recipe from CorrelConcepts tasted quite good actually, despite the seemingly high amount of oil. The oil probably made up for the lowish hydration, resulting in a tender dough.

I'm against the bromated flour because of the possible carcinogens, not because of the flavor.

Online scott123

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 11:16:37 PM »
Danny, massive amounts of bromate are carcinogenic for mice, but, for humans, in the quantities in pizza crust (<20 parts per billion), bromate is completely harmless.  Huge quantities of salt will kill mice as well, but you'd never think twice about not using salt in pizza sauce or in dough.

3% sugar is way too much sugar.  I'm surprised the center of your dough wasn't a bit gummy/raw as sugar elevates the temps at which proteins set at.  A normal 1%ish sugar dough will take forever to brown in a 450 degree oven on a rack.  That's about as much umph as an easy bake oven  ;D There's no way SG is using garbage like fibrament.  You want something will a lot more conductivity and heft.  Steel might be overkill, but, the power of steel is that you can always turn the temp down if you need to. I would say 1" cordierite, sized to the pan.  A cordierite-mullite kiln shelf will most likely be your best bet. No thinner than 1".

Convection is also not recommended.  There's no way SG is using convection- if you want to know why your toppings are baking so fast- there's your reason. Just crank the oven as high as it will go and pre-heat the 1" cordierite stone for at least an hour.  Give 1% sugar a shot with a more traditional dough, then see what kind of bottom browning 15 minutes gives you. As you nail the right heat on the bottom, the oven spring will improve as well. SG is pretty dense, but it's not that dense.

Omit the juice and underblend the sauce a bit.  It's better that the sauce end up a bit chunky and thick than smooth and too thin.

And I'm not saying that the CorrelConcepts recipe is bad, just that I don't think it matches what SG is putting out.  I would take a look at the pizzarium thread.  Pizzarium is another of those slightly less bready (read: superior) versions of Sicilian.

Has anyone on the inside ever given you an idea of fermentation time?  It's hard to tell from the video, but the Rosalia guy seemed like he could be using a medium age dough- maybe 8 hours, rather than a less flavorful high yeast speedy 2-3 hour dough.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 11:20:48 PM by scott123 »

Offline Danny B

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 01:49:39 AM »
Scott, I'm sorry for the typo. I had the sugar at 2% and used convection to try to get a darker crust. I have my oven modded so I can use the cleaning cycle, but that's probably way too high for a Sicilian pie. By the way, my Uncle had a pizzeria in Brooklyn and he always used the same dough for his squares as his rounds, just a lot more of it. I remember he would pre-bake the pie with a little bit of sauce and then refrigerate it. Probably just to save space and time. Unfortunately, he passed away many years ago, long before I had an interest in pizza.

While I believe SG has a really good crust, I believe it's their sauce that makes it exceptional. I'm not going to go crazy figuring out their dough unless I can nail their sauce. Maybe they'll let me intern on weekends :) As far as the fermentation goes, I haven't a clue. It must be made the day before because they are serving pizza at 11 am. I doubt they are making dough at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Thanks for the info on bromated flour and cordierite stone.

Online scott123

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 11:49:00 AM »
Danny, SG sauce ingredients have been confirmed multiple times by multiple parties.  Yes, it's true that some pizzerias will fail to disclose ingredients when talking about their products publicly, but I don't think this is the case here. If it's not the sauce and it's not the cheese, then all you've got left is the crust.  Crust is not some relatively tasteless blank slate that the glorious sauce and cheese sit on, it's an integral part of the bigger pizza picture, and, if done right, provides a substantial amount of flavor to the end product. As you begin to take pizza seriously (and I have no doubt that the owners of SG take pizza seriously) crust becomes the MOST important aspect of pizza. If you're using their cheese, their tomatoes and their sauce ingredients and still ending up with something missing, I can pretty much guarantee you that the missing flavor is properly fermented dough.  The CorrellConcepts dough basically uses an obscene amount of yeast for a very quick rise. Quick rises produce almost no flavor in the crust.

Bake up one of your squares and then go buy a square.  Cut off a piece of the crusts and compare the two side by side.  You'll see what I'm talking about regarding crust flavor.

Keep playing around with sauce ingredient ratios, but, honestly, I don't think that's going to be the final piece of the puzzle.  Fermentation is immensely more complicated than sauce ingredients and I'm sure that's the last thing you want to hear, but if you want the real deal, that's where you've got to go.

Btw, you're slicing the grande just like they do and using either plain olive oil or soy oil (not extra virgin olive oil) for the dough, right?


Offline Danny B

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Re: Hello from Brooklyn.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 02:06:30 PM »
Scott, I have brought home samples of SG's pizza everyday for a week. I carefully spoon off the sauce and make a comparison with my own. Hey, I'm starting to feel like Quincy (oops, I'm dating myself) :) I'm very aware of fermentation and it's effect on flavor as I do long room temperature rises for my Neopolitan dough. I just figured it would be easier to replicate their dough than replicate their sauce. If you listen to the guy from Rosalia's, he actually says the word "secret." Maybe we can meet at SG one day and I'll treat.

By the way, I used Bertolli pure olive oil and slicing Grande much like they do in their video.