Author Topic: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie  (Read 70784 times)

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Offline mitchjg

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #325 on: May 20, 2016, 10:58:30 PM »
any oven thermometer relies on a metal at it's end to measure heat.  it doesn't measure the temp of the ambient temp.  it measures the metal.

And the metal reaches that temperature to match the ambient temperature of the air.  Equilibrium is always sought in heat transfer.  That is why the thermometer is telling you the temperature of the "oven" - being the ambient temperature of the air in the oven.
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Offline Arctic Pizza

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #326 on: May 20, 2016, 10:59:43 PM »
And the metal reaches that temperature to match the ambient temperature of the air.  Equilibrium is always sought in heat transfer.  That is why the thermometer is telling you the temperature of the "oven" - being the ambient temperature of the air in the oven.

ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #327 on: May 20, 2016, 11:02:59 PM »
you champion aluminum over steel for baking efficiency, enough said.

Where did I say that? Cite my exact words.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #328 on: May 20, 2016, 11:04:40 PM »
ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.


No doubt that per unit volume, steel holds more heat than aluminium, however the difference is not as big as you make it out to be. Steel is 3X as dense, but aluminium holds 2X more heat per unit mass.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 11:08:27 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline mitchjg

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #329 on: May 20, 2016, 11:19:47 PM »
ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.

Yes.  And a very low mass of metal (like the little piece of metal in the thermometer) coupled with a lot of ambient air temperature fluctuation will fluctuate considerably in temperature.
And a large mass of metal coupled with some ambient air temperature fluctuation will fluctuate in temperature by very little.
And a larger mass of metal coupled with larger ambient air temperature fluctuations will fluctuate in temperature by very little.
etc.

The conductivity of the metal, the amount of metal (like the size of the pan) and the temperature fluctuations (I do not think they are as large as you seem to think they are in an oven that is operating normally with the door closed, etc.) all matter.

Regarding the relative suitability of aluminum vs. steel both in direction and magnitude, I have not expressed a view because I do not have a strong one.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 11:38:20 PM by mitchjg »
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Offline parallei

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #330 on: May 21, 2016, 12:19:41 AM »
  ......... because you people are communists.

Watch it there buddy. >:(  Craig is no commie.  I'M the commie baker around here......  ;D
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 12:57:49 AM by parallei »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #331 on: May 21, 2016, 12:44:44 AM »
The benefits of steel are very overblown. I've baked in some terrible steel pans (Paderno from Amazon is one of those terrible pans I've owned.)

The most even bake I've gotten with pans that have held up the best have been the Lloyd aluminum. Crafted far better than ANY steel pan I've ever used. Build quality is incredible, durability is incredible. They are tanks and I use, literally, hundreds of them a day in my restaurant.

The non stick coating is another issue (and something I'm not entirely sold on) but the overall build and construction is top notch. Best of the best.

The COATING is also heat safe to something like 700 degrees (without breaking down.) I think the underlying metal is even higher.

Furthermore, nearly every restaurant baking in steel has to deck the pies or parbake. Why? Because the steel prevents the bottom from cooking at the rate it should. I ALWAYS observe prince street "decking" the pizza. It's to crisp the crust because the steel can't get it crisp. I never have that problem in aluminum, and nearly always have that problem baking in standard 12x18 steel pans in a deck and a home oven.

A lot of times, places do things because that's how it's been done for a while. I don't see any reason a standard aluminum baking sheet wouldn't be able to be seasoned and used for sicilian pizza in a restaurant, and I'm willing to bet many places (L&B included) use them.

As a restuarant owner baking 100s of pizzas a day in aluminum, I will champion aluminum over steel right now and stick to it. If I could get the Lloyd pans in bare aluminum to season myself, I would. The coating sometimes gives me fits, but the aluminum pan itself destroys the blue steel pans many places were using for detroit style (the virginia company I believe that moved manufacturing to mexico.) It is also superior in quality to the new steel pans I've tried from another manufacturer in Detroit.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 12:46:58 AM by hotsawce »

Offline parallei

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #332 on: May 21, 2016, 01:06:59 AM »
hotsawce - I agree.  A few months back I bought a couple of the Lloyd Detroit pans with the PSTK finish.  I like them better than the "classic" steel Detroit pans.  I get a much better bottom bake.

Gotta stick with the Paderno Blue Steel for the al taglio.  Just because.


Offline TonyRicci

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #333 on: May 21, 2016, 03:00:49 PM »
Hi all, no expert here just a ( I Think ) real good home cook.    I picked up a used WELL SEASONED steel pizza pan off of eBay 12x18 for $20 something with free shiping.    Would have been happy to go with aluminum but all i could find were non-stick or already seasoned.     I really dislike non-stick.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #334 on: May 21, 2016, 10:01:40 PM »
Some interesting results from tonight's bake.  After a complete failed bake with the new aluminum cake pan (reply #262 on page 11), I was happy to find out that I could salvage it by seasoning it.  Following Craig's and Tom Lehmann's advice, I put a very light film of flaxseed oil and baked it at 450F for 30m.  I repeated this 5 more times until I got a fairly dark pan.  I made enough dough to make 2 pan pizzas to test aluminum vs steel.   The steel pan is a Lloyd Detroit deep dish 10x8 pan.  It is thin walled and 2.25" high.  The aluminum pan is a Nordicware aluminum cake pan 12x9" and 2.5" high.  The aluminum pan feels slightly thicker and does not flex when stressed while the steel one does.

Both pies were made from the same dough batch.  I used the deep dish dough calculator and used the same numbers for each respective pan.  325gm for steel and 340gm for aluminum.  Both pies were baked at 525F in the home oven on the lowest rack.  The projected bake time was 11m.  I pulled both pies put after 7 min of baking to check their progress.  The bottom of the steel pan pizza was dark already while the aluminum pan pizza was just a light brown.  Sorry no picture of this.  I put both back in the oven for the remaining 4 min of baking.  I place the steel pan pizza on the middle rack to avoid burning and returned the aluminum pan pizza to the bottom rack.  After the bake, both bottoms were very dark with the steel being darker bordering burnt.  Didn't taste burnt but definitely looked like it. 

The steel pan transferred heat more efficiently, probably due to it's relative thinness and darker color.  Almost black versus the aluminum's darker brown color. 

Also interesting was heat retention of the pans post bake.  I tested the pans by just touching them 5 & 10m post bake.   Both pizzas were removed immediately from the pans and rested on racks to cool.  At 5m and 10m the steel pan was cooler to the touch than the aluminum pan.  Again this is likely due to the thinness of the pan.  At 5m post bake, the steel pan felt only slightly warm and could be handled without gloves while the aluminum pan was still too warm to handle comfortable.

Bottom of pizza from aluminum pan (1st pic) and steel (2nd pic).  Both pizzas are very similarly in thickness, taste, and texture.  The steel pan pizza was a bit thicker, probably due to the better heat transfer.   Perhaps with time and darkening of the aluminum pan, both bottoms will darker similarly and both pans will bake more similarly.    Sorry for the bad kitchen lightening adding a yellow tint to the first crust.   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 02:17:21 PM by Pete-zza »

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #335 on: May 21, 2016, 10:12:24 PM »
A few thoughts.  First off I was really happy to be able to salvage this aluminum cake pan for pan pizza by seasoning it.  Tonight's bake turned out a much better pizza than the previous attempt with it unseasoned (reply #262, pg 11).  That was a disasterous bake.  Next, tonight's crust was really on point. The crumb and crust texture was really good.  Not sure if it was exactly like L&B but it was close.  Just not as thick as theirs.  But the look is there and the texture was really good.  I think theirs is a touch lighter.  I'll have to go back to a lower protein flour and test that.   Bottom was slightly too dark but that is easily fixable.  The bottom was very crunchy and stayed crunchy long after the cool down.   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 06:39:15 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Arctic Pizza

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #336 on: May 22, 2016, 11:02:31 PM »
great results jackie.  the crumb looks right, the undercrust is good.  A+ man!  looks awesome.



« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 11:11:05 PM by Arctic Pizza »


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #337 on: May 22, 2016, 11:35:01 PM »
Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think. 

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #338 on: Yesterday at 12:31:40 AM »
The difference in crumb texture is the proof. Something I learned from L&B for my pizza is the long proof makes all the difference.

They don't rely on hydration or gluten development or
Double mixing for an airy pizza. It's, honestly, a typical dough with typical ingredients but they top it and let it sit at room temp next to hot ovens for hours sometimes. The toppings are keeping the dough even while it proofs.

Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #339 on: Yesterday at 12:56:20 AM »
Lou, have you been able to capture their texture? Pictures if you have.  I agree that a long and well proofed dough is necessary for lightness but it's not the only factor towards that specific texture.  You can proof dough out well all day but it isn't going to give you that super soft L&B airy crumb.  It'll just give you a well proof dough.  That texture is specifically a result of hydration (or lack of it), gluten development (i.e. mixing, dough handling, technique, etc), AND proofing.  Again if anyone is able to do it, I would like to see picture evidence at the very minimum.  Video would be better of course.  If not then it's just theory.  And theory doesn't help me eat L&B pizza.

As an example, your pan pizza is well proofed but the crumb is starkly different from L&B.  I know you aren't serving an L&B pie but I'm just making an example here.  You can well proof a 50% hydration dough versus a 70% hydrated dough and the look and textures are different.  Hydration and gluten development play vital roles.  How can they not?
« Last Edit: Today at 01:25:27 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Arctic Pizza

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #340 on: Yesterday at 11:19:15 AM »
Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think.

I find L&B squares are crunchy on the bottom, but not excessively so and depends on what piece you get.  The corners and ends are crunchier, the ones in the middle aren't..  They do reheat and toast well when I've taken a pie home.

Look forward to your experiment on adjusting fat and dry milk %.  Interested in how that affects the product.  I use crisco.

I'm going to Pizza Suprema today for lunch, in midtown.  They have a square similar to L&B.  Looks a similar crumb, thickness, etc.
 http://mainlinepizzaquest.blogspot.com/2015/12/review-ny-pizza-suprema-manhattan.html
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 11:33:02 AM by Arctic Pizza »

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #341 on: Yesterday at 11:33:21 AM »
Do take some pics please.  Always like reading reviews and seeing pictures.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #342 on: Today at 12:38:57 AM »
Chau,

Try a 57% to 58% hydration dough with 3% oil and 2% sugar, mix intensively, and let it proof for hours with the toppings on it. I've not tried it but I'm willing to bet this is L&Bs square. Their tight crumb is indicative of a lower hydration dough that has been mixed intensely. However, it's lightness comes from the proof. It may even be lower than 57% to 58%...but with most sheeters only having the ability to sheet dough under 60% hydration without issue (L&B uses a sheeter) I would move in that direction...

My own crumb is the result of 1) high hydration 2) long proof 3) a low intensity mix. However, to get to what I wanted I had to understand how all of those factors intertwined, and I'm relatively certain based on all my tests the above will give you something very very close to L&B.

Furthermore, at 2.75 a slice L&B isn't using any kind of additive like milk powder....you need to consider their selling price and what the quality of the ingredients could be at that price point. I know what purveyor they use from brooklyn. And nothing this purveyor sells is gourmet. It's not even Grande. And I know for a fact L&B uses their house brand of cheese and a Stanislaus prepared sauce product.

And I'm not trying to knock the slice because L&B is STILL one of my favorite squares, but it's the unique way in which they do things that makes their slice so special...not the ingredients.

Lou, have you been able to capture their texture? Pictures if you have.  I agree that a long and well proofed dough is necessary for lightness but it's not the only factor towards that specific texture.  You can proof dough out well all day but it isn't going to give you that super soft L&B airy crumb.  It'll just give you a well proof dough.  That texture is specifically a result of hydration (or lack of it), gluten development (i.e. mixing, dough handling, technique, etc), AND proofing.  Again if anyone is able to do it, I would like to see picture evidence at the very minimum.  Video would be better of course.  If not then it's just theory.  And theory doesn't help me eat L&B pizza.

As an example, your pan pizza is well proofed but the crumb is starkly different from L&B.  I know you aren't serving an L&B pie but I'm just making an example here.  You can well proof a 50% hydration dough versus a 70% hydrated dough and they look and textures are different.  Hydration and gluten development play vital roles.  How can they not?
« Last Edit: Today at 12:42:29 AM by hotsawce »

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #343 on: Today at 01:12:13 AM »
Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽.  I agree on many points you just touched upon.  This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.
1) low hydration relative to the protein content of the flour.  I've been using CAFP at 60-62%.  It would be lower for AP or BF or a combination of. 56-60% is definitely in the ball park.
2) tight crumb structure is indicative of an intense mix. 
3) I've been using a fat content of 3%.  Now testing 5%.  But it's right between 3-5 depending on the flour and hydration.
4) been using 2% dry milk.  You could be right about this.  That there is no dry milk in the dough.  I will test this out as well.  It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important.  Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan.  I suspect the dough is layered.  This builds strength in the dough.  The dough is likely sheeted more than once.   
6) thick dough and high proof.  Proofing is Very important here.  Makes a BIG difference in the end texture and product.  We see this in anything made of dough.
7)I agree with you about just stanislaus tomato products.   They taste great and low cost. 
8) everything about L&B is low cost, high volume, high profits.  They cut corners where they can.  Only half the pie is cheesed.  Also high volume of dough per pie.  Very little grease in the pan.  You're basically paying for a thick slice of bread with tomato sauce on it.  Albeit one that tastes great. 
« Last Edit: Today at 01:33:53 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #344 on: Today at 02:48:32 AM »
exactly my thoughts. I do feel as if the dough has a fair amount of sugar in it. The dough itself always tasted sweeter than most to me (which I think is a good thing.)

Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽.  I agree on many points you just touched upon.  This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.
1) low hydration relative to the protein content of the flour.  I've been using CAFP at 60-62%.  It would be lower for AP or BF or a combination of. 56-60% is definitely in the ball park.
2) tight crumb structure is indicative of an intense mix. 
3) I've been using a fat content of 3%.  Now testing 5%.  But it's right between 3-5 depending on the flour and hydration.
4) been using 2% dry milk.  You could be right about this.  That there is no dry milk in the dough.  I will test this out as well.  It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important.  Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan.  I suspect the dough is layered.  This builds strength in the dough.  The dough is likely sheeted more than once.   
6) thick dough and high proof.  Proofing is Very important here.  Makes a BIG difference in the end texture and product.  We see this in anything made of dough.
7)I agree with you about just stanislaus tomato products.   They taste great and low cost. 
8) everything about L&B is low cost, high volume, high profits.  They cut corners where they can.  Only half the pie is cheesed.  Also high volume of dough per pie.  Very little grease in the pan.  You're basically paying for a thick slice of bread with tomato sauce on it.  Albeit one that tastes great.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #345 on: Today at 07:36:58 AM »
Both you and Artic pizza has mentioned that now.  I tried 5% in last night's dough.  Let's see how it turns out when I bake it tonight.  The only thing with a lot of sugar is the added browning so the bake temps and placement of the pan in the home oven has to be adjusted to avoid burning.   Any idea about their bake times Lou?  I'm speculating between 8-10m based on the look of the sauce post bake.  But I could be totally off on that.  If someone could time it. 

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #346 on: Today at 07:46:42 AM »
Are you using a dough conditioner?  I noticed a big difference in texture of the recent Sicilian I made with the fermipan 2in1 IDY overblown leftover old dough.  Crunchy, but creamy tender too.
Reesa

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Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
« Reply #347 on: Today at 08:15:17 AM »
Are you using a dough conditioner?  I noticed a big difference in texture of the recent Sicilian I made with the fermipan 2in1 IDY overblown leftover old dough.  Crunchy, but creamy tender too.

I bought a big container but haven't been experimenting with it, since I've been getting great results with LDMP.  I'm leaving that to be one of the last variables I will change.  I'm almost out of LDMP and hoping that I can smooth transition over to Dough Improver.  What brand are you using Reesa and what %?