Author Topic: Re: Pizza Town Clone  (Read 9371 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2012, 07:12:53 PM »
Thanks John and Don. 

Don, it probably is cut with something else.  Maybe that is why I get so HIGH on making and eating pizza.   :-D  Kidding aside, I should have said it isn't as strong as the Sicillian Oregano I got from Larry.   I also like a lot of oregano and other herbs and spices, especially chile or pepper as well.  It's just the way I grew up.  The pizza of my youth, which is ingrained into my brain, had loads of oregano. 

This stuff I'm trying to use up right now was bought in bulk, so I can understand it if it was process from low quality herbs with stems and leaves in it with very little bud.   :-\

Chau


buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2012, 07:29:46 PM »
Dude, Major bummer with the stems! We call that ditch oregano aroung here :-D

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2012, 07:34:57 PM »
Those  undercrusts are all works of art.  What you've achieved, though is most likely superior.

I've mentioned this before, but I think it's important, that, as people try to reverse engineer famous places like Luigi's and Pizza Town, it's good to keep in mind that these pizzas are far from perfect and that many of the members here can do better- and for these people to duplicate these pizzas perfectly would be a step backwards for them.


   Chau, I agree with Scott.  Your pies are better than Pizza Town.  As we discussed, Pizza Town does not have the airy crust rim your pies have.  Is it intentional for Pizza Town, or is a lower hydration just plain convenient for them?   What is the hydration of your dough? When I was at Pizza Town last week they did not have your puff - I like your puff.  I did clock the bake time at 3:45, but the crust was pale and floppy.  Reheats can help some pies but I am of the belief that tweeks like that are generally undesirable - too much fuss for NY pie, which is "honest and unpretentious" 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2012, 07:55:01 PM »
Dude, Major bummer with the stems! We call that ditch oregano aroung here :-D

I think I might try to smoke some tonight and see if it isn't any better.   :-D  Totally JK folks.   It's really funny Don.  I'm pretty particular with some things and then with others, not so much...If the oregano is weak, I just use a crap load of it.   :-D

Awe, that's too kind Mark.  I do like these pies, but b/c I often use the same sauce and brand of cheese, I get so use to eating too much of my own pizza.  It's nice to have a change and eat at places like Pizza Town.  More and more, Grand cheese is starting to make more sense to me for NY slice pies.  It tends to hold up to the heat really well without drying out too much.  I may have to try and get my hands on some to play around with it some more, now that I'm liking this 5-6 minute bake.  

Boy if Pizza Town is an 8.5 out of 10 for Scott, I'd love to see what 10 really is all about.   The hydration on these pies was 68%.  But here are the specifics to explain the hydration.  

The flour combination is 50/50 Power Flour and Sam's Club HG bleach and bromated flour.   These are both Con Agra flours, one bromated the other not, but they act very different as far as hydration goes.    If I make it to feel, there is about a 6% hydration difference between the 2, with the bromated flour being higher.   So somewhere between 66% for the PF and 70-72% for the bromated HG flour.  

The power flour gives a really tender crust, if I don't change my shortening percentage at 2%, while the bromated flour gives more of a crunchy crispy crust.  So blending the 2 makes sense.  At 68% hydration, I will estimate about a 3-4% difference between a humid climate and the arid climate I live in.   So it maybe around 64% hydration depending on where you live.  

I can replicate their tight crumb pretty easily.  It's just a matter of lowering the hydration a bit and/or increase the mixing speed and time.  I probably get a bit more lift in my crust here at 5000ft+ elevation where at sea level, it's proabably easier to make more flat rim crusts.  

Having said that I really really enjoy PT's reheated slices.  Crispy for me is preferred.  When I was there on the pizza tour, I was careful only to eat one slice at each place to prevent from getting sick.  Pizza Town, had me going back for a 2nd slice.  I didn't care if there were other stops or not.  I would have gladly eaten a 3rd if there was one at the time.   I really love it when I can make a pizza that causes me to reach for slice after slice.  
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 08:05:39 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2012, 09:53:23 PM »
Dude, Major bummer with the stems! We call that ditch oregano aroung here :-D

Don,
Did you know catnip is the best oregano replacement?
  :-D

(its a joke folks,not serious here)

-Bill

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2012, 01:51:40 AM »
About the bake time.  Their bake times seem to vary quite a bit.  I have read of bake times from 4 minutes on up.  When I was there with you, I ask the man making pizza (not sure if it was Bruce or someone else) about their bake times and he said 7 minutes.  I have been pondering that 7 minutes for awhile now, and I am concluding that the bake time averages around 5 minutes with a min and a half to 2 minutes on the reheat to equal 7 minutes.   But I also understand that they don't always reheat whole pies as John C. and Frank have told me.  So a straight 6-7minute bake isn't really out of the question.

Now I know you love a 4 minute bake, but when we talk of bake times, we have to take lots of other factors into consideration.  Namely the type of flour, hydration, use of oil, and how the dough is made.  Believe it or not that all affects bake times.  A 4 minute bake time using 2 different doughs will yield 2 distinctly different crusts.  

For my specific dough, I did a bake Saturday night at 700F + in the 3-4 minute realm and I wasn't happy with the crust even though it browned up nicely.  It was too soft for me.  Of course today's bake wasn't with the exact same dough either since I had already made some adjustments to the formula.  For tonight's bake I was really shooting for a 5-6 minute bake with and without a 1 minute reheat.  

So for this dough formulation, it really seem to benefit from a 5-6 minute bake, thus the 600F-ish temps.  I think PT is baking around 650F-ish right?

The guy making pizza when we went was Bruce.  If he really said '7 minutes' for the bake time, then that might very well be one additional reason why I prefer Michelle's pies so much more. It didn't taste like a 7 minute pie, but the crumb was a bit drier than usual, so perhaps Bruce is extending the clock. That all being said, while I've never timed a pie, out of the handful of people that have, I've never heard anyone give a number higher than 4:00.

Also, I've never seen Pizzatown re-heat a whole pie, even late at night when no one's there.  In fact, I've never seen any NY area pizzeria ever reheat a whole pie- unless someone comes in and asks for 8 slices. Pizzatown is too busy to have pies sitting around.

I'm a little flexible when it comes to bake times  ;D If you, for the sake of a little extra crispiness, want to do a 5 minute bake, I'm not one to judge.  6 raises the hair on my neck, but 7- you start doing 7 minute NY style bakes and you and I are no longer friends  :-D

Btw, if you really want an undercrust that cracks when you fold it, you can achieve it quite easily with a 4 minute bake + re-heat, as long as you let the crust cool long enough between the bake and the re-heat.

I'm not sure if that is refractory FB or just plain FB in my wfo.  If I had to guest, it is probably refractory FB.  They come in 24x24" slabs and are almost 2" thick IIRC.  I'll have to look it up to be sure.

Sorry, I've been spending too much time on Forno Bravo.  I used FB as an abbreviation for Forno Bravo, not firebrick. 610 with firebrick might be in the 5-6 minute realm, so maybe the Forno Bravo refractory isn't that different from firebrick after all.

Quote
Boy if Pizza Town is an 8.5 out of 10 for Scott, I'd love to see what 10 really is all about.

I'm being a bit arbitrary here, but I would split NY style into two sub styles- crispy and soft/puffy. There might be a magic point between crispy and soft that encapsulates the best of both worlds, but, for now, I think it's easier to split it. You've done 10 out of 10 crispy pies- at least 10 out of 10 for me.  An undercrust that cracks, for me, is a defect. But the first video you did in the string of videos, when you squeezed the rim and it sang- that pie was definitely a 10 out of 10 crispy NY style pie.  I can pretty much do a 10 out of 10 soft/puffy pie on command, especially with the flour I'm using now- Spring King.  My undercrust coloring is very similar to yours, but the texture is pretty floppy and my rim is soft, puffy and wonderfully chewy.


Btw, you'll probably be pleased to know that I'm now doing re-balls  ;D It took me a long time to tweak my process to get the re-ball to work (the balls weren't sealing), but once I got it working, the difference was substantial.

Edit: Fixed typo
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 04:58:14 PM by scott123 »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2012, 07:31:01 PM »
Scott, I asked Bruce what their average bake time is and he definitively said 7 minutes.  I don't know if you recall  but that pie we had that day was very crispy.  Look at the photos of the bottom crust in my first post.  What was impressive to me was that the 2nd slice I had was also crispy and it had sat out for at least 5 minutes on the tray.  So a total of 7 minutes for that pie is not so far fetched.  

As far as reheating whole pies, they absolutely do that for slices.  I PM Jonk Conklin and Frank, knowing that both had eaten there numerous times and both have confirmed that PT does indeed reheat whole pies to sell as slices.   I believe they make extra whole pies when busy and those pies sit in the bottom oven for holding until they are sold, at which time a number of them may get reheated.  

As far as the bottom crust cracking being a defect, well let's just say I love a defective pie then.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that one of the things that makes PT so good and famous is their crispiness.  When it's that crispy, you fold it, you will definitely get a crack on the bottom. I don't know if you recall, but while we were waiting for our pizza, I pointed out to you a slice a young gril was eating.  She had it folded and there was definitely a crack on the bottom.  Look at the picture John posted above...cracked crust.

If you watch this video, at 1:33 Bruce Tomo is telling the interviewer what makes PT pizza different from other pizza.  One of the points he makes is that it is crispy.  It is baked on a stone surface so the crust has a snap to it.  You don't get snap without crack, you just don't.

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


I will definitely try a 4 minute bake, with an extended cool time, and then possibly a 1-2 minute reheat.  That would help with the cheese not drying out.  That is the only reason, I am capping bake times at 7 minutes.  It's not so I don't lose your friendship, although I do value it.  :-D
But if I had grande cheese in the mix, you better believe I would be pushing the limits of the bake time.  

About splitting NY crust into 2 subcategories, I'm glad you posted that as I mentioned the same thing here..

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175999.html#msg175999

Yes I know which video you are talking about.  And while those pies are good, I like these current ones a bit better.  Different strokes I guess.  

Btw, you'll probably be pleased to know that I'm not doing re-balls   It took me a long time to tweak my process to get the re-ball to work (the balls weren't sealing), but once I got it working, the difference was substantial.

Did you mean that you are doing reballs now?  

Chau
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 07:56:07 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline jever4321

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2012, 01:13:24 PM »
Awesome looking pies Chau! You know when you can hold an entire 14" pizza on a 45 degree angle to show the under crust, and it doesn't sag at all, that's a perfectly cooked crispy pie. It's a thing of beauty.
-Jay

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2012, 05:19:05 PM »
As far as reheating whole pies, they absolutely do that for slices.  I PM Jonk Conklin and Frank, knowing that both had eaten there numerous times and both have confirmed that PT does indeed reheat whole pies to sell as slices.   I believe they make extra whole pies when busy and those pies sit in the bottom oven for holding until they are sold, at which time a number of them may get reheated.

We getting into semantics here, but I think it's important to make a distinction. For me, a 'whole pie' is not a 'slice pie.'  :) A slice pie can be re-heated in it's entirety (rather than re-heating single slices), but whenever a customer orders a pizza/whole pie, they're always going to get a pie straight from the oven.  That's the NY way. The only time I've ever seen whole/non slice pies rewarmed is in California.  That's the only place where they can get away with that kind of garbage  ;D

And slice pies are never stored in the oven.  They will always be either on the counter, or underneath, at room temp, waiting to be warmed.

The pie we ordered was never rewarmed and, if everyone's times are an indicator, it wasn't baked for much longer than 4 minutes.  Crispiness can be achieved in 4 minutes, especially if you drop the hydration low enough.  Pizza Town is a relatively low hydration, elastic, tossable dough. They don't toss, but you can tell by the aggressiveness Michelle uses when she stretches it, she could toss it if she wanted to.  This most likely means extended kneading (as it typical for NY places), but it also most likely means low hydration.  If, say, they're working with 14% flour, I'd say 60-62% and if it's medium high gluten flour, then it could be 58-60%.

Did you mean that you are doing reballs now?

Whoa, what a meaning-changing typo.  I am 'now' doing re-balls.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2012, 05:31:40 PM »
Ok I think I see what you are saying about whole pies versus whole slice pies.   Well something is not adding up for me here Scott.  

Their dough is consistent and doesn't change, at least not by much.  And I know Mark (communist) posted that he just ate there recently and time a whole pie at under 4 minutes and it was floppy not crispy.  There is no way our pie was baked at 4 minutes.  Apparently Bruce is baking them longer than 4 minutes.  He says 7 and those are his words not mine.  So somewhere between 4 and 7, but the pie we ate was not 4 minutes.  It can't be...epsecially after I see their dough in your video and in person.  It's not that low of a hydration dough, and it won't ever give you crispy in 4 minutes.

Hmmm, yes you can lower the hydration and get a crispy pie at 4minutes.  Hell, i've lower the hydration and gotten a crispy NP pie in 90 seconds.  Slices that stood straight out.  From the video you posted with Michelle opening the dough, I wouldn't call that a low hydration dough.   Bruno di fabio makes a low hydration dough that has to be opened aggressively.  

And Scott, I don't need to remind you that reballs are not traditionally NY either.    :-D  OK just having a bit of fun with you.  You know I'm not much of a traditionalist.  I do whatever gets me better pizza, so reball away...
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:28:56 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2012, 05:56:17 PM »
Well... I think part of the discrepancy might be that Mark's definition of 'crispy' might be a little different than mine (and possibly yours).  I think he might be used to pretty crunchy well done neo-NY pies. I think another component could have been that you ate your pizza while it was hotter and his had sat for a bit.

I'm relatively certain that Bruce pushes the bake time and thus gets a crispier (but drier) pizza than his sister but I'm thinking he goes into the 5 minute realm, not 7.

Generally speaking, a fresh from the oven whole pie will have some crispiness to the rim, but the bottom will droop, especially after it's sat on the tray for a bit, as seen here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13112.0.html

It's only when you get into the re-heated slices that you find true undercrust crispiness/cracking.

Another thing to consider is that pizza guys are especially sketchy on bake times- especially an old school guy like Bruce. It's like the old school guys that measure water with coffee cans- none of these folks are looking at their watches.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 05:57:59 PM by scott123 »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2012, 06:27:39 PM »
Unless I was so overcome by the pizza that it is fogging up my memory, the 2nd slice I ate that had sat on the tray for around 5 minutes was also crispy.  When I say crispy crunchy, I am talking about a slice that stands straight out.  It was definitely not floppy or had softened up much despite sitting and when those slices came out of the oven, the cheese was like molten lava, so that slice was definitely steaming away.  None of my moderate hydration pies stay that crispy that long unless it's a bromated HG flour and really overmixed.  But then I get a dough ball more like Bruno Di Fabio that requires quite a bit more effor to open than PT's dough. 

Yes as I mentioned before, I also question the 7 minute bake time.   Anyways, thanks for the banter. 


Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2012, 06:35:12 PM »
Chau, with your 68% dough, are you able to handle it as aggressively as Michelle's or is it a bit more extensible?

I can't say I ever recall having a slice from a whole pie that stood straight out, although I've honestly never taken the time to see if it could.

This doesn't jive with Mark's floppy assessment, but perhaps Bruce's thickness factor might be effecting his rigidity.  I do know, for a fact, that Bruce doesn't stretch the dough as far as Michelle does (another one of my many Bruce related complaints ;) ).

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #53 on: May 05, 2012, 06:51:19 PM »
Scott, I wish I had gotten a video of me opening the latest dough, but it seem to open just as their dough opened in the video you posted.   It had a very similar elasticity & extensibility.   But that is mixing 50/50 Con Agra Power Flour with Con Agra HG bleached and bromated flour.  Also my 68% here in the arid climate of NM is probably closer to 64% where you are at.  Also as a point of reference, I typically will use around 66% hydration for Power flour and 70-72% for HG bleach and bromated flour.  And that is not counting an additional 2% shortening in the mix.   I may have to try to get my hands on the same flour they use and play around with different hydrations.  

I also make the dough the night before and my dough is CF overnight at around 50F.  I don't know if they are using a same day dough or CF overnight as well.   CF does add a degree of strength to the dough as well.  

The next time you or anyone eats there, and especially with a Bruce pie, see if you can do the stiffness test and report back.  

Good point about TF affecting crispiness or rigidity.  I'll test that on the next bake stretching one pie thinner than the other and baking for the same amount of time.  
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 03:12:10 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #54 on: May 05, 2012, 09:57:43 PM »
I've never been to pizza town, although it is on my must visit list whenever I make it out east for a pizza pilgrimage, but I do have something to add to the current topic of conversation.

I'm doing a slightly different style(nobody tell Scott but I like more spring and a darker top, lol) but I have achieved stand out straight crispness in a 4 minute bake on an 18" pie.  The last pie here was baked on a slightly hotter hearth(700F+) and was very crisp, so much so my wife actually thought I went too far:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18455.0.html

That pie is 60% hydration with bread flour, extremely light kneading, 2 day cold ferment, 0.078 thickness factor.
-Jeff

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2012, 08:43:41 AM »
C
This doesn't jive with Mark's floppy assessment, but perhaps Bruce's thickness factor might be effecting his rigidity. 
Correct Scott.  The pie I got from Bruce was a great pie.  Clocked at 3:45 which has been documented elsewhere.  It was floppy, and the crust pale, as photos reveal.  It is apparent they reheat pies at times.  At my first visit, I would not want a reheat.  Let me have your pie out of the oven and see what you got.  No fuss - the NY pie is not about fuss.

I'm doing a slightly different style(nobody tell Scott but I like more spring and a darker top, lol) but I have achieved stand out straight crispness in a 4 minute bake on an 18" pie.  The last pie here was baked on a slightly hotter hearth(700F+) and was very crisp,
  Interesting, four minutes at 700 will create more crisp, but now char and dryness may become a ( unwanted? ) factor.  The Pizza Town pie I had was very thin - I believe all their pies must be .07 or below, the hydration factor must be below 60%, and the cheese and tomato topping sparse.  I am sure the baking time varies, and reheats can help crisp up a floppy crust.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2012, 03:26:08 PM »
Thanks Schuboyje for posting your numbers.  I always seem to find a use for any tid bit of information that is posted.  Most of my pies regardless of hydration are usually stiff and stand straight out when fresh out of the oven.  However if the hydration is a bit high or the gluten is not developed to my liking, they soften up on the plate.  

I like a crispy pie that stays crispy for the most part.  Yes, it will always soften to some extent, that is why I love reheated slices.  And according to me, that is my favorite crust.

For tonight's dough, I'm testing out the Con Agra high power flour against the Con Agra HG bleach and bromated flour.  I have also lowered the hydration 2 points for each batch to see what differences it will make.  I'm also playing around with a same day dough using a poolish.  

I'll be baking around 600-650 max with a goal bake time of 5-6minutes.  

Mark I hear you about NY pizza being no fuss and I agree, but for me personally reheats are the way to go.  It works out perfect since I can reheat a few slices for myself once the guests are eating and I am making the next pie.  That way not only do I get to eat, but I also get to have pizza my way.   ;D

Mark, 700F at 4 minutes doesn't neccesarily create more crisp.  Depends on the dough, but from what I have seen, if all else being equal meaning the dough is the same, longer bakes at lower temps create more crispy pizza.  It's as if the longer bake times allow for more of the moisture to be baked out.  We also see this phenomenon in bread as well.   There is an ideal bake time for each dough to create certain desired qualities.  Folks can argue over which of those qualities is better, but for crispy it's a longer bake.   The only issue with longer bakes is the drying or overbaking of the cheese.  Again, depending on how well done you like the cheese, all these things can be adjusted to bring the dough, bake time, cheese melt, crispness into focus.  

The issue of dryness with prolonged mixed times and baked times can be lessened by using oil or shortening in the formulation.   Again, there is a balance there.  I give up a little tenderness in the crumb for a bit more crisp to the rim and bottom.  

Thank you guys for the input, much appreciated.  

Chau  

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2012, 06:55:21 PM »
but for me personally reheats are the way to go.  It works out perfect since I can reheat a few slices for myself once the guests are eating and I am making the next pie.  That way not only do I get to eat, but I also get to have pizza my way.   





 
  I can understand your point of view - crisp can be enjoyable, and you deserve to have pizza your way :chef:  Thanks for sharing your research on the Pizza Town Clone!  Mark

Offline PizzaSean

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2012, 12:00:05 AM »
Hey--

Just chiming in with anecdotal evidence from tonight. Sorry in advance for no hard data - no times were measured since my head wasn't in that area until after the pie went in and my best estimate was a ~5 minute bake.

Anyway, had a friend visiting from the west coast so in order to show some good pizza as well as some NJ charm in the Pizza Town establishment, we headed up there and ordered a mushroom pie.

1) It was decidedly crispy.
2) No blistering on the undercrust, but a nice slight crunch.
3) Some explosive, dry voids in the edge crust.

Also, my first time with toppings there, quite enjoyable. A little less heavy on the oregano than sometimes - perhaps that's the hands of the maker as posted earlier in this thread (tonight the woman was on duty).

Sean

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2012, 12:25:57 AM »
Thanks Sean.  And this was a straight from the oven pie? No reheat correct?  If so, then the bake time is 5-6min.


 

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