Author Topic: Re: Pizza Town Clone  (Read 13049 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2012, 01:25:58 AM »
Thank you Mike and Paul.

John, I didn't think it was actually pepper.  I thought it might be burnt cornmeal, but couldn't see how they we're getting it on there.  I hear you about the cracking.  Okay, maybe I'm just biased towards it.  I got carried away there and was talking like a "crack" addict.  Would love to see more pics next time you go back.  

Cheers
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 07:41:39 AM by Jackie Tran »


Offline Bob1

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2012, 06:14:47 AM »
Nice job Chau,
I am interested in the mix.  At what point did you add the shortening?  I assume it was crisco vegetable.

Thanks,

Bob

Offline norma427

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2012, 08:22:37 AM »
Chau,

Great job in your cloning Pizza Town's pizza!  :chef:

Norma

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2012, 08:32:24 AM »
Thanks Bob and Norma.  

Bob1, I drizzle in the melted shortening after 1 min of mixing.  I used 3% on this latest batch.  Yes it was a generic vegetable shortening.  Any brand will do.  

Also don't forget the semolina on the peel.

Please do post up your pictures if you try to clone Pizza Town's pizza as well.  

Thanks,
Chau
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 08:54:57 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline PizzaSean

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2012, 03:06:14 AM »
This is proper NY pizza!!!  or better yet Jersey Pizza!!! :-D

Chau

Love that part, Chau! Amen again and again!

When I was little, my dad brought home Pizza Town on his way home from work and it was always quite enjoyable, but it took until the last couple of years for me to reunite with my long lost friend! What a slice... so glad to see it getting credit where credit's due.

And it's gotta be mentioned they stay open late hours every night and then til 1 or 2 am on Fri/Sat... why can't we have more of this??? Happier global population guaranteed.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2012, 10:52:33 PM »
Sean, those of you who grew up on this stuff are pretty lucky.  I've only started eating real pizza in my late 30's!   But better late than never.  

Tonight's effort yield almost identical results in the crust from what I can remember of my one trip there.   For as many fans of this place, I'm surprise we don't have more discussion on this topic.  ???

Anywho, here they are...  I'll post up a link a bake video later when I get it uploaded.  

Here are tonight's pies from the WFO.  

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2012, 10:56:22 PM »
pizza pics

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2012, 11:05:34 PM »
more pics

scott123

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2012, 11:19:17 PM »
Those  undercrusts are all works of art.

I'm not sure if this has been discussed, but I think your crumb is too tender. Too 'short'.  At least, for it to be a perfect replica.  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.

You're baking these at 610?  Are you still in the 3-4 minute realm?  610 seems really low for firebrick. I'm guessing your hearth is probably made up of some kind of FB refractory, right?  If you're doing 3-4 minute bakes at 610, then the FB hearth has to be more conductive than your typical firebrick.

Edit: Btw, you wanna a little pizza with that oregano?  :P  That's probably 10 times the amount of oregano I use.  In that instance you are being quite authentic- at least on a 'Bruce' pie.

Edit2:  Is it me or are you making more NY pies than Neapolitan lately?   ;) You've both tasted and made quite a few Neapolitan pizzas and you've tasted and made (many times) authentic NY slices.  Be honest, while I'm sure you enjoy both, don't you like these slices just a tiny bit better?  >:D
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:27:03 PM by scott123 »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2012, 12:01:37 AM »
Scott, just the man I wanted to hear from.   Glad to see you posting again.  Were you physically ill recently?   ;D  If so, then I'm glad you are doing better.

I'm glad you see what I see with the undercrust.  That's why I posted those.  It has taken me a very long time to achieve this type of undercrust.  I have been working on it even before I tried Pizza Town's pizza.  

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?

Tenderness - From memory PT's crumb, at least on the 2 slices I ate that one time, is slightly more tender than mine.  I suspect that my methods and mix times are really close to theirs, and the difference lies almost solely in their specific flour.   I had no one to video the way the dough opened tonight, but it was nearly identical to the video you posted of one of the sisters opening the dough.  It stretched out thin, fairly easily, evenly, and beautifully.  

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.  

Oregano - how did I know that someone would say something.  Yes, I actually slipped and put too much, but it's Mexican oregano and not that strong.   I put much less on other pies, but this was the only one that I took a picture of the sauced pie, so it got posted.  

I'm still doing both styles back to back.  I ran out of time last night and didn't make any NP dough for tonight.  :(  I did bake on Saturday and did do some NP dessert pies.  TBH, my NP needs much work.  It's not an easy style to do to my satisfaction.  I'm still experimenting with that style and not fully satisfied just yet.  

At their peak both are excellent and just completely different pies, but if I had to choose between the two as my last meal, I'd probably reach for my NY pie.   :-D

Chau
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 06:28:57 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Lance

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2012, 12:51:45 AM »
those are some nice pie's are you still using the shortening in them.
Lance

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2012, 01:03:10 AM »
Hey Chau,

Friggen awesome looking pies! You can blow them all away if you went into Business!

 :pizza:

I will write ya more soon,I'm still experimenting/dialing in that new stone..my pies,the cheese is bubbling and crust is charring on the bottom that by 4 minutes,the bottom is about to burn.The crust rises but stays white on the rim but charred on the bottom.I could get more finish done to the rim and cheese with the broiler mod,but that is nearly overkill,unless I want a brown,crispy rim and cheese.

 8)

-Bill

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2012, 06:39:34 AM »
Thanks guys.  Lance...Yes, shortening in my NY pies.

Bill, that is a really nice thing to say.   Looking forward to your results on the new stone. 

Chau

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2012, 03:17:12 PM »
Chau - I am drooling over here. Excellent bake! I so want to try this.

John

buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Town Clone
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2012, 03:50:57 PM »
Great looking pies Chau. One comment though. I've been cutting way back on my oregano sprinkling, way back. Mexican oregano btw isn't true oregano and the stuff I get in the markets here is super strong. Maybe the stuff you get is "cut" with something else :-D
Don

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

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.



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

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 »