Author Topic: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie  (Read 32143 times)

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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 02:49:11 PM »
That video has been a great reference to me in the past too. I like how the guy in the vid overlaps the cheese for a "full blanket". The cheese baking into the dough at L&B is def what makes it really special.

The crumb at L&B is not very moist, which leads me to believe it is much like regular (non-upside) NYC Sicilian dough, which is typically the same as for thin crust, just a bigger dough ball (2+ pounds) that gets pan proofed. This would lead me to also believe that the oil percentage isn't terribly high in L&B's formula.

Excellent info here. I am going to up the thickness factor to .14 or .15 for my next attempt.

John


Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 02:52:24 PM »
I addended (sorry!) my last comment to add that I don't think that the pro L&B dough is that wet.

A no-knead knock-off may need to be a wetter though.

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2012, 03:37:00 PM »
Quote
Do you have confirmation that they do a same day dough there?
Nope. The only confirmation that I have is that the pizza is freaking awesome.

Quote
. The dough structure looks like a tight mesh, which means the dough had been taken to the intensive stage during mixing.
You are right on that, John. There is very little air inside the dough, and its very tight. I don't know enough about the chemistry of gluten development to comment about the mixing.

I'm excited to hear about your visit. Here's a few tips for your trip:

-The restaurant (attached to the pizza place) is only OK, not great but not bad
-If you are doing slices, only get one at a time. These guys blow through a pie in under 5 minutes, so you can always get a hot fresh slice
-My favorite slice is the middle. Its harder to eat, but you will find the gooey texture that I am obsessed with recreating.

Try and spy for us! Any info can help!! Some times they keep supplies in the back near where the restrooms are.


Quote
The crumb at L&B is not very moist, which leads me to believe it is much like regular (non-upside) NYC Sicilian dough, which is typically the same as for thin crust, just a bigger dough ball (2+ pounds) that gets pan proofed. This would lead me to also believe that the oil percentage isn't terribly high in L&B's formula and that the hydration percentage is probably somewhere between 60-65%.

-In the Man v Food video, the owner says that a pie (they use a full cake sheet) is 5lbs, meaning my half sheet (12x18) should be 2.5lbs--this comes out to 27% heavier than the dough I used, which seems like way too much. He could have estimated. I could work out the math on this when I have some time and figure out what TF this would give. Note: I measured my take-out pie once and found that it is approximately a standard cake sheet (18x24).

-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

-I'm not sure if the dough is pan proofed. One thing that L&B does that is strange to me is that they prepare many pies ahead of time and just let them sit there with cheese and sauce. You would expect this to hurt the pie, but the place is so busy that it probably doesn't sit for more than 20 minutes before being baked.

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2012, 03:41:52 PM »
This pizza is haunting my dreams! I am going to try it on Saturday.

You're visiting the area and not planning a get together?  Did Craig teach you nothing?  ;D

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2012, 03:47:16 PM »
-In the Man v Food video, the owner says that a pie (they use a full cake sheet) is 5lbs, meaning my half sheet (12x18) should be 2.5lbs--this comes out to 27% heavier than the dough I used, which seems like way too much. He could have estimated. I could work out the math on this when I have some time and figure out what TF this would give. Note: I measured my take-out pie once and found that it is approximately a standard cake sheet (18x24).

-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

-I'm not sure if the dough is pan proofed. One thing that L&B does that is strange to me is that they prepare many pies ahead of time and just let them sit there with cheese and sauce. You would expect this to hurt the pie, but the place is so busy that it probably doesn't sit for more than 20 minutes before being baked.

Thanks for these great observations. We need Peter to take a look at the video and help us with some Math.

John

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2012, 03:48:20 PM »
You're visiting the area and not planning a get together?  Did Craig teach you nothing?  ;D

Sorry, I am going to try the bake on Saturday, not visit L&B.

John

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2012, 03:51:15 PM »
-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to reply, but I was going to tell Tyler, along with how great his attempt looks, that I'm thinking L&B has lots of exterior oil, but not that much in the dough. The chewiness could very well be a very high gluten flour (like All Trumps) and high-ish water. Every cross section I've seen of L&B slices has always seemed very moist- and I'm not sure you see that with typical NY 60ish hydrations and 15 minute bakes.

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2012, 03:52:30 PM »
Using brute force on the Pizza Dough Calculator, I found that 2.5lbs (~1134g) for 18x12 pie would result in a .185 TF.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2012, 03:56:10 PM »
Using brute force on the Pizza Dough Calculator, I found that 2.5lbs (~1134g) for 18x12 pie would result in a .185 TF.

Good Lord! Well, didn't you do .14 and get a pretty thick crust in your first attempt? I would assume then that if the TF is really that high, then the dough is prevented from raising to heights above the pan through the massively ample layer of sauce.

John
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 03:57:50 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2012, 03:57:39 PM »
I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to reply, but I was going to tell Tyler, along with how great his attempt looks, that I'm thinking L&B has lots of exterior oil, but not that much in the dough. The chewiness could very well be a very high gluten flour (like All Trumps) and high-ish water. Every cross section I've seen of L&B slices has always seemed very moist- and I'm not sure you see that with typical NY 60ish hydrations and 15 minute bakes.

Scott - How high a percentage of water do you think would fit through a sheeter? I have never used or even seen one, so I don't know how they operate.

John


Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2012, 03:59:12 PM »
Thanks, Scott. Please keep checking this thread when you have time-your input is invaluable.

John- Yep, I did TF 14.5.

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2012, 05:15:07 PM »
I was so into thinking about regular Sicilians that I forgot...yeah I agree that L&B's square does not look pan proofed actually. It lacks those tell tale large voids on the undercrust. Def part of its uniqueness.

I think that we are all generally on the same page about the dough not being that wet and not that oily (the dough). The crumb is pretty dense and kinda of white-bready without being overly spongy. My recollection again is that the crumb itself is not wet (like a pie with potato flour or a lot of oil might be), but about the same dryness as a regular NYC Sicilian just with a denser crumb and possibly a little less oil in the dough. They are steaming though when they come out though. I need to have a slice again to recalibrate my memory from the summer (I live nearby). It's a tough job but I am up for it :).

I would think KA Bread would be an acceptable, accessible flour for the home user for this one. I don't find using a bromated flour "necessary" for good rise but L&B probably does use it.

I can't begin to describe how hungry I am for an L&B slice right now :)! It really is a special slice and place. The restaurant isn't terrible either.

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2012, 05:17:15 PM »
Sure thing, Tyler.

That '5 lb.' quote has to be a very rough ballpark. Tyler, you're inclination to go a bit lower in TF is on the money, imo. Your crumb could be a bit more uniform, but I think the oven spring/air to dough ratio is very similar. The crust is just a little on the high side, so a little less dough is in order.

Regarding water... Tyler nailed the undercrust appearance and bake time, and, from my perspective, had an ever slightly drier looking crumb than L&B, so his 69, imo, is on the low end of the spectrum.  I wouldn't go lower- unless the 15 minute bake time is an approximation. A faster bake produces less evaporation/more residual moisture. For 15 minutes, though, I'm feeling 70-72 (with a more NYish level of oil in the dough- maybe 3%).

John, I think, with enough bench flour, you can sheet doughs as high as 80% hydration, although I've never used a sheeter myself.

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 05:35:47 PM »
I think that we are all generally on the same page about the dough not being that wet and not that oily (the dough). The crumb is pretty dense and kinda of white-bready without being overly spongy. My recollection again is that the crumb itself is not wet (like a pie with potato flour or a lot of oil might be), but about the same dryness as a regular NYC Sicilian just with a denser crumb and possibly a little less oil in the dough.

Below is a shot of L&B's crumb.  That's looking very wet to me.  It's funny that you mention potato, because that's what I was thinking when I took the screen grab.  I don't think it's potato, but it's potato wet.

And, so far, Tyler hasn't said anything about his crust being noticeably chewier than L&B, which, from my memory, was pretty chewy, so I think 14% protein flour is in order- maybe not 14% bromated, but 14% flour.  If someone's going through the trouble to get 14% they might as well get bromated as well, since, as you said, it's highly likely they're using bromate.

Offline scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2012, 05:38:37 PM »
Crap, now that I've looked at that photo a bit, it seems like a lot of dough.  Maybe we are talking about a greater thickness factor.  It's a tough call.

Tyler, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but, next time, it has to be thinly slice mozz with good sauce coverage.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 05:40:12 PM by scott123 »

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2012, 05:45:33 PM »
Below is a shot of L&B's crumb.  That's looking very wet to me.  It's funny that you mention potato, because that's what I was thinking when I took the screen grab.  I don't think it's potato, but it's potato wet.

That is so much wetter than my memory but nonetheless that is it. It looks so amazing doesn't it? This pie is so singular. That is one monster piece of dough needed to make this pie that is for sure. I wonder if that crumb shows a certain level of oil. Maybe it is upwards of 4%.

I was originally thinking it was the same dough they used for their thin crust pie and just handled differently (which is why I though it much less wet) but now I am def not sure. I wish I/we had someone with some firsthand/inside info.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 05:51:32 PM by johnnydoubleu »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2012, 05:55:00 PM »
If you look closely at that video, when he removes the pie from the pan and slides it back into the oven to crisp, the edge still looks rather pale. That would lead me to believe it is a "young", or freshly made dough. Probably just a short room temp proof. That dough doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary, wouldn't think it's anything more then lower 60's hydration percentage.

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2012, 05:56:38 PM »
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Tyler, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but, next time, it has to be thinly slice mozz with good sauce coverage.

Yep, the first thing I noticed after stepping away from it is that I didn't use enough sauce, and the cheese was slightly too thick. Easy to fix next time. My crust was definitely not more chewy than L&B. In fact, I think it was very very close to the same chew. But recall that I didn't knead at all...

That photo you posted looks so good. But wow it's thick. The frozen slices in my freezer aren't nearly that thick, although they were half-baked so they may not have fully risen. I don't know when I'll be there again, but I'll have to bring a ruler!!


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2012, 06:00:14 PM »
Whoops, I missed the whole second page of this post! :-[

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2012, 06:12:17 PM »
This is what I remember: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/l-and-b-spumoni-gardens-best-sicilian-square-pizza-slice-brooklyn-nyc-review.html.

It is far dryer and looks like what I was describing earlier (thank goodness -- I know my memory isn't that bad ;)). A 60-65% hydration dough that used a fair amount of yeast and is not entirely unlike a conventional NYC Sicilian (but with denser crumb, inverted cheese and sauce, less pan proofing time and a simpler sauce). Scott your picture looks radically different (far taller and wetter). Interesting.


 

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