Author Topic: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie  (Read 26539 times)

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Online scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2012, 06:22:21 PM »
Yes, that is drier, although I think part of the dryness is a result of the re-heat, as indicated by the charring on the rim.

If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.


Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2012, 06:28:23 PM »
Yes, that is drier, although I think part of the dryness is a result of the re-heat, as indicated by the charring on the rim.

If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.

Even without the reheat I don't remember it looking nearly as wet as in your pic. I have gotten plenty of fresh slices over the years. That said, the wetness is clearly variable based on a number of factors.

When I think of hydration I tend to think of it in regards to the slightly lower protein flours I favor. The flour that is likely being used can absorb a lot of water as you point out. What would you think a regular All Trumps NYC Sicilian is hydration wise? The same (65% or more)?

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2012, 06:34:13 PM »
If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.

If only more videos were HD maybe we could see the flour brand. I have a feeling they will be reluctant to just share it.

I will try to go soon and keep my eyes peeled for flour bags. If all else fails I may just ask but not with the expectation of getting the answer.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 06:35:55 PM by johnnydoubleu »

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2012, 07:03:02 PM »
Too many posts on this thread is making me want to hop on the subway for a 1 hour trip each way. **Trying not to do it**

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2012, 07:17:18 PM »
Johnny, I haven't paid much attention to regular Sicilian, as I'm not much of a fan- I don't like the way the cheese doesn't get a chance to melt much. In Brooklyn Sicilian, the cheese almost incorporates into the dough and you get a textural phenomenon.  I really can't say what hydrations typical pizzerias use for Sicilian. To be honest, I could be wrong about this, but I'm pretty certain that regular Sicilian dough = slice dough, just thicker.  There are probably places out there that go lower than 65% with All Trumps with their slice dough, but, having done it myself, it's difficult to work with and wouldn't go through the sheeter like the dough in the video does- nor would it stretch as easily.

Unless I  knew him well, I probably wouldn't ask a pizzeria employee what kind of flour they use. Some of these guys can get pretty protective. I would (and have) said things like, "I'm concerned about the health effects of bromate, do you use bromated flour?"

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2012, 07:26:06 PM »
Johnny, I haven't paid much attention to regular Sicilian, as I'm not much of a fan- I don't like the way the cheese doesn't get a chance to melt much. In Brooklyn Sicilian, the cheese almost incorporates into the dough and you get a textural phenomenon.  I really can't say what hydrations typical pizzerias use for Sicilian. To be honest, I could be wrong about this, but I'm pretty certain that regular Sicilian dough = slice dough, just thicker.  There are probably places out there that go lower than 65% with All Trumps with their slice dough, but, having done it myself, it's difficult to work with and wouldn't go through the sheeter like the dough in the video does- nor would it stretch as easily.

Unless I  knew him well, I probably wouldn't ask a pizzeria employee what kind of flour they use. Some of these guys can get pretty protective. I would (and have) said things like, "I'm concerned about the health effects of bromate, do you use bromated flour?"

Scott - Thanks so much for contributing. I am going to go with 68% and see how Giusto's High Performer handles it. 13-14.5% spring wheat. Maybe I will forgo the pan rise as well. TF I am still undecided on.

John

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2012, 07:39:35 PM »
@Scott: So clearly you understand where I was coming from. My personal experience with some inside info into a handful of classic slice joints is that the round and square dough is usually the same and it is not "that" wet. It is also often bromated GM All Trumps. I was sort of assuming the L&B square to at least be a "cousin" to conventional Brooklyn Sicilian.
--

My quick stab at this is a 68% KA AP (what I had on hand) based low-knead dough with 2% each liquid sourdough starter, salt, honey and oil (sort of my "universal" dough for pizza) -- I just put it together. I am (going to) using a very dark non-stick 13 x 9 pan as that suits the needs of me and my better half (4 decent slices). Dough ball is 620 g. Hope to have pics in 2 days or so.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2012, 07:58:38 PM »
Call me crazy, but I think they are doubling up the dough. Take a look at these screen grabs from the Man vs Food clip. You can clearly see the dough line at the top and bottom of the screen in the first shot.

John

Online scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2012, 08:18:19 PM »
John, Tyler and I have talked about this.  I'm 99.9% certain they ferment the dough in half sheet pan quantities (2.5#?) and then, when they get an order for a full pan, they combine two balls.

The high performer might give you something a bit more authentic, but it sounds like, from you and your family's perspective, that the KA AP/high performer blend is going to be tough to beat.

Tyler, I'm not sure about this, but I believe, over time, that L&B, in an effort to save time, went from very thin slices of cheese with full coverage, to the thicker, spaced out slabs you see in the video. I think full coverage is preferable from a textural perspective. Here's a video from an L&B clone/very possible ex-L&B employee:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH-3ammaTjQ" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH-3ammaTjQ</a>


This is how I'd approach the cheese, going with a slice a tiny bit thicker than the video.

It's a more work, and because you're buying deli mozz, more costly, but I think the end result will be a bit better than the spaced out mozz you see in the L&B video.

Online scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2012, 08:23:53 PM »
Johnyy, KA AP is higher protein than most AP, but it's still pretty low for this application.  I'll be interested to hear how this works for you at 68% (if it's really wet, you might want to try a few mid ferment stretch and folds), but I think if you really want to do this style justice, I'd track down a 13.5-14% protein flour, preferably bromated, like AT or Sams Club's High Gluten or Gordon Food Services Primo Gusto.


Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2012, 08:25:43 PM »
Scott, I'll try that cheese setup on my next try. Do you think a 1/8" slice from my mandoline will do the trick, or too thick? I could always have the supermarket deli counter do it for me, but where's the fun in that??

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2012, 08:28:06 PM »
I keep forgetting to ask-does anyone have a good source for pecorino romano in NYC? I like a really sharp and stinky romano cheese. I'm thinking Eataly would probably have some great stuff, but everything is so expensive there...

Online scott123

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2012, 08:38:04 PM »
Tyler, 1/8" might be thin enough, maybe, but I doubt that a mandoline could give you an even slice.  There won't be any fun in getting it from the deli, but you will have fun biting into a slice and getting the perfect texture.

Trader Joes has a solid imported Romano, nothing fancy, but solid. If you don't let it sit around for too long, it will have some major cojones.  Buy it close to when you're making pizza and store any that you don't use in an airtight glass jar, not plastic.  Also, use a grater that gives you a slightly larger grate than what you used last time.  And, obviously, use a lot more. Summing up

1. Trader Joes Romano
2. Freshly purchased (or stored carefully)
3. Larger grate
4. Lots of it

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2012, 08:44:30 PM »
@Scott: Thanks for the flour suggestions. I know it really should be a higher protein flour that is bromated and probably lower hydration for the AP flour as well but I have gotten used to the wetter dough to some extent. My dough ball might need to be bigger as well. It is just a quick stab to used to making square pies again -- a bit out of practice. Next attempt will likely cleave closer to what the consensus is here.

I am somewhat wary of the health stuff I heard about bromated flours. Your thoughts?

I also wonder what the low threshold (for adequate gluten formation and strength) of hydration is with low-kneads. I do always do a stretch and fold or two during bulk/primary fermentation (Tartine Bread way or on the bench).

@sum1else: Eataly and Whole Foods both have the real thing and are fairly price competive.

Coluccio & Sons, somewhat near L&B, has the real thing. They are price competetive.

Trader Joe's may have it (was typing this as Scott posted).

Caputo Fine Foods in Carroll Gardens has it.

@all: This just in! I just heard from a friend who runs a tour that regularly goes to L&B that he believes the square pie dough may actually be made with a low protein flour. He is not certain but he has access that many don't. I am gonna ask him to investigate further. That would be wild if if was something totally different than what has been thought so far.

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2012, 08:57:20 PM »
Johnny, it's either going to be 12.5% or 14%.  I prefer bromated 12.5% for just about everything and find 14% a little tough, especially when cooled.  14% All Trumps has such tremendous market penetration, though- between that and Tyler's observations about tenderness, my money is on 14.  It should be pretty easy to determine- make a 14% version, and, if it's too chewy, go with 12.5.

Bromate has been discussed many times here.  The last discussion got very lively  ;D

Bromate, in the quantities that remain in pizza, is perfectly harmless. It's the same quantities that most municipalities allow in their drinking water.  Even if you don't drink tap water, if you boil pasta, you're most likely getting as much bromate as bromated flour pizza- too insignificant to matter- parts per billion.

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2012, 09:08:09 PM »
@Scott: That makes sense. I think he clearly meant "low protein" within the context of flours typically used in NYC area pizza making and certainly not cake flour :). His gut reaction seemed to be that it was lower protein than other doughs. If I get more details I will share them of course.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on bromate. I can appreciate both sides of the argument.

Offline sum1else

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2012, 09:31:08 PM »
I said in some previous posts that a cake sheet is 18x24, and that I measured a consistently size with a take out pie. After some research I found out that cake sheets vary in size, and could actually be 18x26. I did take that measurement a long time ago... I could be wrong.

Anyway the point of this post is that, if we assume they are using a larger pan @ 18x26 (no conclusive evidence either way), and the dough weighs 5lbs, then the TF is ~17.1. Still 18% thicker than my pizza, but a more plausible range, especially if he was over-estimating. Only trial and error will get us an answer.

 [TF= (5lbx16oz)/(18inx26in)=.17094]

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2012, 10:25:11 AM »
I had a better time with this attempt, and I will outline all the reason for the choices I made. I will reference the MvF video, the supposed L&B employee video (LBEMP), and this Brooklyn Pizza Tour one (BPT):

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


I also referenced many other commercial sicilian recipes and Suas Advanced Bread and Pastry for mixing info.

Here is the recipe/workflow:

Flour (100%) 75/25 KA European Style (11.7% protein) and KABF (12.7% protein)
Water (63%)
Salt (2.5%)
CY (1%)
Starter: (2%)
Oil (3%)
Sugar (1%)
TF = 0.175

Mixed to intermediate stage in mixer, rested 20 minutes, bulked in fridge 24 hours. Split into two masses without balling, sat at room temp for 1 hour. Used a rolling pin to flatten into rectangular shape with even distribution, put in pan, and stretched corners after another 15 minutes. Topped with cheese and sauce, and proofed in pan for another hour until fully room temp. Baked 450 for exactly 14 minutes with convection.

Dough
I wanted a 12 percent protein. L&B dough is probably mixed to the intensive stage, fermented, and then flattened by a sheeter. It then proofs in the pan with toppings on. There is some oil and definitely sugar - sicilians put sugar in everything, and pictures throughout the net show a crust with even, dark golden coloration. I feel that is contributed by sugar. I used starter and an overnight cold ferment because I wanted more flavor, so feel free to change the yeast amount and do a same day dough. You can achieve the same results, just do a mix to the intensive stage. My KA could not do what I wanted it to, so I did my best to get it mixed really well.

Cheese
I am positive they use whole milk Grande. I used Boars Head whole milk from the deli counter. I used Locatelli pecorino.

Sauce
The sauce is pre-cooked (see BPT). It is thick and sweet (BPT). There is no way they are using DOP San Marzanos, so I got the closest thing I could find, Cento Italian Peeled Tomatoes. LBEMP and MvF all have the party line of SM tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. But LBEMP slips and says the sauce has secret ingredients before the party line. So I went old school Italian American, the sauce I grew up on, and what they would have put in during the 40's when they started (think the scene in The Godfather when Clemenza is making the sauce). That means tomato paste and sugar added. I also added fresh garlic. The sauce was simmered for a half hour until cooked down and thick. I did not cook it down enough last time. And you cannot put enough on.

Sheeter
To approximate what the sheeter does to the crumb I used a rolling pin, and then flipped it into the pan. It was still not even enough.

Proof
They pan-proof by putting the toppings on and letting the pans sit before baking. This helps with a tight mesh crumb structure.

My crumb structure was tighter than last time, and if I had a better mixer it would have been even tighter. The bottom was golden and crispy, the middle crumb tender and light, and the top crumb a gelatinous mix with the cheese. The sauce was thick and slightly sweet - with the bite of the pecorino. All in all, it was even better tasting than the last attempt, and something I will continue to make. I am going to lower the hydration even more, and add even more sauce next time as well.

John
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 10:35:07 AM by dellavecchia »

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2012, 12:19:47 PM »
@dellavecchia: Truly spectacular man :)! You are well on your way to cloning this pie, no question.

The slight changes you plan on making for the next try (more sauce etc.) sound right on the money.

I am really out of practice with square pies at the moment and my insistence on using sourdough as a leaven is making this a lot harder. That, and I drastically underestimated how big a dough ball is really needed. It's a bigun!

Any idea how much starter I should use (very active, 100% hydration) or IDY or ADY? I can get cake yeast but do you think it is imperative for this style?

Thanks so much for your efforts on this...been really illuminating!

Oh, BTW, I have had really good results with the KA Org AP (mostly for Nearlypolitans like my current profile pic) -- it is "Euro" style as well. It is probably my favorite widely available flour -- the taste and aroma is pretty awesome. It might work (well) as a stand in for the KA Euro Style flour you used.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2012, 12:44:45 PM »
Brilliant job John