Author Topic: Any Barnaby's lovers able to recreate their ORIGINAL crust recipe/overall taste?  (Read 14623 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TMTM

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 49
So, I went to the barnaby's in Mishawaka yesterday.  About like I remember it, though the lack of cigarette smoke greatly improves the place.  pizza was okay, but expensive.  (cheap beer, if you like bud, though) I forgot to take a camera, so no pics of anything, sorry.  But I don't think there's any corn meal in the dough, except for the truly excessive amount they use on the surface. 
Did you peek into the kitchen to see how they make it? Do they sheet the dough? What was the sauce like? Any recipe idea's or existing recipes you found similar? Do you think you could reproduce it?

Offline dms

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 166
Did you peek into the kitchen to see how they make it? Do they sheet the dough? What was the sauce like? Any recipe idea's or existing recipes you found similar? Do you think you could reproduce it?

There's a window, so you can watch them make things.  I was there early for dinner, so they weren't that busy making pies, and I only saw them make a couple.  They've got a sheeter, which they weren't using.  They had preformed rounds, which they stretched a bit by hand on a incredibly corn mealed peel (really, I think they put a half cup of corn meal on.)  and fold the edge on itself to make a rim.  (I don't know if they use the sheeter directly when they're busy, or what.)  We had a sausage pie, which isn't the best for getting a sense of what the sauce would taste like on its own, but it's pretty bland. (probably a canned commercial product, used directly.  I'm not going to stake the place out and see whose food trucks show up, though.)  The cheese seemd to be a low-moisture (probably part skim, little oiling) moz.  The sausage was very good, slightly sweet, but some bite. 

I'm guessing the crust is made with a pretty soft flour, at about 55% water (by weight of flour), maybe a bit less, with some oil in the crust (not much olive: too bland), maybe 10%.  I really don't think there's corn meal in the dough: it doesn't have the texture of that, and it doesn't taste like it, if you scrub the liberal coating from the bottom.  i don't think I'd try to recreate it, as I'm no fan of cracker crust pizza. 

Sadly, South Bend is not a hot bed of pizza connoisseurs, so there's not a whole lot much better.   

Offline jalessi

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 13
This is my first post so please don't take it too seriously.

I have been eating at Barnaby's for over 35 years and believe they do use corn meal in the crust.

If you look on there Website it describes the pizza as "corn meal crust pizzas"

barnabysofnorthbrook  dot  com

You guys have a awesome Forum, keep up the great work,

Jeff Alessi

Offline zajones

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Thank you thank you thank you!

I cannot wait to try these recipes. Barnaby's (of Northbrook) is my favorite pizza -- my favorite FOOD -- of all time.

We used to go to the one in Skokie -- since before I was 5! And we've been going to the one in Northbrook for 30 years!


My fam has branched out lately to Barnaby's of Schaumburg... Niles maybe... and a friend of mine grew up on one in/near Palatine. All a little different! But we keep coming back to Barnaby's of Northbrook. Keep it simple: pepperoni, sausage, cheese. When we make it to something else on the menu, their spaghetti sauce is spectacular... channels the pizza somehow... [my mouth is watering].... but who has room for spaghetti?!

I eat a pie myself!

So if, by some miracle, I can use these recipes to make something that approximates my dear dear Barnaby's, you have given me a gift that I can never repay.

Za on!

Offline Hoosiersmoker

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
I too grew up eating this ambrosia of all pizzas and had a friend that worked at the one in South Bend. They do use the machine most of the time and the ones you saw pre-made were made in the machine and refrigerated. They do make their own sauce (or they did then) and the oven is a big part of the taste. (You know, thirty years of grease makes em taste great!) They got their sausage delivered daily so they didn't make it there. And they use a medium coarse corn meal as "lubrication". He loved working there in high school as a buss boy because he collected beer pitchers that were 1/4 full and filled containers to take home. I used to help him "empty" those containers on the weekends ;D I think the pizza at the South Bend store is better than the Mishawaka one but I've eaten hundreds from each and have never gotten a bad pizza yet!

Offline zajones

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Hey Barnaby's Fans! I just came across these other threads that might help us perfect the Naby's class of pizza ;)

I've gotten the crust down using Philip Johnson's (sp) recipe as a base and rolling thin, proofing the dough for a couple minutes, and some other shenanigans.... I can report more later....but it looks like there might be recipe improvements!

This post in particular is from a former Northbrook Naby's employee!,2085.msg133245.html#msg133245

Re: Does anyone have the Recipe for Chicago's Barnaby's Pizza (sauce and dough)
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2011, 10:11:32 PM »
I worked at the Barnaby's in Northbrook threw out high school and made the Dough sometimes.
Philip Johnson you got is right except you added to many things Here is yours.

11/2 tsp rapid rise yeast,
 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour.
1/2 cup yellow corn meal coarse if you can get it.
1/4 cup olive oil,
1/4 cup vegetable oil,
1tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water.

Here is the real one

1 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast,
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour.
1/4 cup olive oil,
1/4 cup vegetable oil,
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water.

The corn meal is Regular and used underneath of the pizza so it will not stick and it makes the bottom side crispy it keeps the pizza off the pizza stone.

The sauce is Kraft Pizza sauce in a can

At home I use hot sausage and it great

Those with memories from Milwaukee might look to this post from yet another Barnaby's thread:,1735.msg135029.html#msg135029


Re: Does anyone know the recipe for Barnaby’s pizza crust
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 05:33:42 PM »
I used to work at Barnabys pizza in Milwaukee in the mid 70's

I used to make the dough

The recipe consists of

General Purpose Flour
5 parts corn oil
1 part extra virgin olive oil
Pelletized Active Yeast - activated by pouring into lukewarm water and allowing it to activate (pan must be clean)

The corn meal was used to keep the dough/crust from sticking to the oven (rotating shelf oven) and also to the wooden paddle that the pizza was prepared on

The recipe was prepared in approximately 50# batches, I am not sure of the exact proportions

I last worked there over 35 years ago

Hope this helps

Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 692
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
^^so has anyone actually tried that recipe?  if so, please post your results.   :chef:

Offline BBH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
Philip Johnson's formulation is right on.  I eat at Barnabys often and there is cornmeal in the dough, not only is it used for dusting.  I've made Philips and I'm hard pressed to tell the difference.  The formulation provides that same "hardness" and crunch.  What I can't seem to duplicate (only tried once) is the outer edge shape.....Skins are made ahead of time for the rush hour and placed on plastic serving trays and underneath dusted with cornmeal. Ovens are the old school rotators.
I eat at the schaumburg location and heard the Northbrook location is better....


Offline Rich

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 23
  • Location: Chicago
I've been going to the Northbrook Barnaby's since the 70's and it's probably my favorite thin crust pizza of all.  

They do sheet the pizza, grab a handful of cornmeal, throw it on a plastic tray and put the flattened dough on the tray.  Then they use a round piece of wood that is small in diameter to the pizza and crimp the edges up around it.  You can watch this assembly line show every day around lunchtime.

My friend worked there in the last ten years and said he saw cans of Stanislaus Pizziaolo sauce.  Don't know if they add anything to it or if this is their sauce but I have not bought any yet.  I'll be honest, if I want Barnaby's, I just go to the restaurant itself (about 7 minutes from home and work) so I don't worry about making it at home.  But one day I should get around to making it.  I used to make pizzas from scratch a lot, but I haven't had as much time as I used to.  My uncle, on the other hand will make homemade pizzas every single night.

Man, all this talk about Barnaby's makes me want to order it tonight (and I just had it Friday for lunch!). :-[
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 01:18:31 AM by Rich »