Thanks to you and Steve for collecting all of the data on your Buddy's cheese and pepperoni pizza and giving us your assessment and opinions on the pizza. I will confess that I am often skeptical of claims that pizza operators make about the quality of their mail order pizzas. As I was awaiting your report, I was reminded of the experience that member DKM once had when he ordered and baked two frozen deep-dish pizzas that he had purchased from Malnati's. It took me a while to find his report but it is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,571.0.html. It looks like you had better results than DKM had with his frozen Malnati's pizzas. Yet your pizza did not appear to be identical to a freshly baked cheese and pepperoni pizza as sold in Buddy's store based on the photos I have seen of Buddy's pizzas. I don't mean this as a criticism. It is what it is.
I agree with you that Buddy's sent you more of the sauce than they use in their stores for the 4-square pizza. It might fit their 8-square pizza better. However, you at least have a sample in case you want to analyze it or conduct tests on it at some future date. My understanding has always been that Buddy's uses a Stanislaus tomato product of some sort. That aside, I have not found much in my searches on the makeup of the Buddy's sauce but I do recall that tasters mentioned oregano and a hint of garlic. Seeing the basil leaves in the sauce in the YouTube video you prepared, I might add that the Stanislaus tomato products that include basil leaves include the Full Red with Fresh Basil (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf), the Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf), and the SuperDolce (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Super-Dolce-Pizza-Sauce.pdf). I do not recall that the Buddy's sauce is super sweet, which might rule out the SuperDolce. My recollection is that Buddy's has an herb/spice blend for its sauce and, according to lufty, the former Buddy's employee, the Buddy's pizza sauce is a watered down sauce (Reply 318 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg136795.html#msg136795). By any chance, did you see any basil leaves in the sauce on the pizza itself?
With respect to the cheese, I can't say that I am surprised that it did not appear that there was 8 ounces on the pizza you received. It's not clear whether all of the pizza assemblers at Buddy's use portioning cups or just free throw the cheese onto the pizza, but in either case, the amount of cheese can vary from one pizza to another. You might also remember that in one of the exchanges that I had with Buddy's I was told that there are variations on the items that go on their pizzas because they are using volume measurements rather than weights. From the photos, it also looks like the Buddy's cheese is diced rather than shredded. Was that your observation also?
It is also good that you were able to confirm that, to the best of your knowledge, there was only one type of cheese used on the pizza you received. To the extent there was a mystery on that point, it appears that it has been resolved. If that is in fact so, then I think it is safe to say that the cheese is brick cheese.
The pepperoni slices appear to be in the ballpark in terms of diameter but a bit light in the weight department when compared with the data you previously received on the Margherita coarse grind pepperoni. No doubt there were some losses in weight due to oiling off during baking and maybe a small amount of shrinkage. In any event, I can't say that we can rule out the Margherita coarse grind pepperoni as the product that Buddy's uses on its pizzas with pepperoni. By any chance, were you able to determine how many pepperoni slices were used in the pizza you received?
Like you, I noticed that the difference between the "before" and "after" weighs of the pizza was not large. However, it should be remembered that there would have been some losses during the partial baking of the pizza. We will never know what those losses were.
On the matter of the crumb and its relationship to the hydration of the dough, it is hard to know what to make of the tighter crumb of the Buddy's pizza you received since the pizza was partially baked and then frozen, making it hard to say whether those two steps had an effect on the crumb.
When I read your comment on the air bubbles at the bottom crust and that the bottom crust was not especially flat, I was reminded that Tom Lehmann was once asked about that over at the PMQ Think Tank. I did a search of that forum and found two questions on that point, one at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=75816#p75816 and the other at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=49630#p49630. I don't believe that Tom ever responded to the first questioner but he did answer the second questioner at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=49641#p49641. Interestingly, Tom blamed shortening for the cratering problem, not oil, which is what the first questioner used. I was also intrigued by the first questioner's post (at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=75816#p75816) since it described a Detroit style dough that has similarities to the Detroit style doughs we have been studying and researching for some time. It was also the first time that I read of someone using the Lloyd anodized pans (most likely a Sicilian pan rather than one of their Detroit style pans, based on the size) to make the questioner's Detroit style pizza.
I'm glad that both you and Steve enjoyed the pizza. But what I'd really like to know is how you (and Steve, if he wishes to opine on the matter) would compare the Buddy's clone pizzas you have been making with the Buddy's pizza you and Steve ate. And did you learn anything from the Buddy'a pizza that would give you cause to change anything you have been doing to arrive at a credible Buddy's clone dough or pizza?
Thanks for the link to where DKM once had ordered and baked two frozen deep-dish Malnati’s pizzas. He sure fared worse than I did in mail ordering a Buddy’s pizza. If I would have seen that report I might not have purchased a Buddy’s pizza by phone for mail order shipping.
I have no idea if the way we did the final bake affected the Buddy’s clone in how it finished baking. I should have tried the way they recommended on the instructions for a Half-Baked Pizza that I received with Buddy‘s pizza. I didn’t want the crumb to become too dry and at first I was just going to do the final bake on my one black pan that is just a pizza pan for the oven. After Steve and I talked it over we decided that way might make the crumb too dry if the final bake time would get to 15 minutes. That is the reason we finished baking Buddy’s pizza in the steel pan. I am not sure if our method of doing the final baked gave the gum line or not. I really don’t know if that affected how the pizza looked either, but it could have affected how the cheese looked.
I really don’t know how to do tests on the Buddy’s sauce but it tasted really good and fresh. I would have thought it also was a Stanislaus tomato product. As you probably know I do use Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce. I really can’t tell if it was Saporito Super Heavy with water added, but don’t really think so because of those tiny bits of what looked like ground-up skins of tomatoes. Does The Full Red with basil have those kind of tomatoes peel pieces in them? I think I did use Full Red with basil at one time, but don’t recall those little pieces of whatever it was in the sauce. I really couldn’t taste a lot garlic in Buddy’s sauce, but then I really taste it that much in mine either. I think I am becoming too accustomed to tasting garlic, because I do use a lot of fresh garlic in my regular cooking. I think I use more garlic than most people. I can taste Buddy’s sauce again if you want me too to see if I can pick-up any other tastes.
Yes, it was my observation that the Buddy’s cheese was diced rather than shredded. Steve really gave the Buddy’s pizza a through looking over before we did the final bake and he also did agree that the cheese did look diced.
With respect to the pepperoni slices they could have lost some weight in the initial bake at Buddy’s. They sure weren’t really baked when we took them off the pizza though. Steve just dug off the corner slices of pepperoni and we really didn’t want to disturb the whole Buddy’s pizza so I really don’t know how many slices there were on the pie.
I can only hope I am right that it only brick cheese used on Buddy’s pizza. I haven’t tried that many brick cheeses, but in my opinion right now it was brick cheese. To try and explain a little better all of the mozzarellas I have tried do have a little salt taste in them and out of the two I normally use one tastes better if eaten without baking, but nothing bland like the cheese on Buddy‘s pizza. Of course they are foodservice mozzarellas. Steve and I each took a little piece of the cheese off after weighing the Buddy’s pizza, but before the final bake. We both thought the cheese tasted rather bland without any salt. That is one reason I think it is brick cheese. There was no cheddar taste that Steve or I could detect. I never tasted a cheese like Buddy’s uses and was surprised how long it took it to melt at all. I am not a cheese expert though, so I could be wrong on everything.
I did find Tom’s comment about using shortening interesting in reference to the air bubbles on the bottom crust. On Tuesday I did use Canola oil and still had those air bubbles on my second pizza. As you know I did try MFB shortening in some of my Buddy’s attempts and some of them still have the air bubbles and some of them did not. I find it intriguing what might cause those air bubbles. pizzaboyjohn’s formulation for a Detroit-style pizza sounds very similar to what I am using with about the same hydration, but with he used sugar in his dough.
Don’t you think that the before Buddy’s cheese and pepperoni pizza weight was even a little low, in comparison to my final bake weights of the clones I have been attempting?
I don’t know what was wrong with my internet explorer last evening, but sometimes it did let me look at the internet last evening and sometimes it didn’t. I tried to quote and post this reply and a reply to Craig’s post last evening, but for some reason it I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even look at the links from Tom Lehmann. I finally gave up last evening.
I really don’t want to give to much of any opinions on how I liked the Buddy’s clone in comparison to what I have been attempting, but will say I like the crumb structure better in my attempts. I don’t really want to butt heads with what is supposed to be the number 1 pizza in the country right now according to some reports and I haven’t tasted a freshly baked Buddy’s pizza. I would purchase Buddy’s pizza if they were closer to me though.
I also forgot to post before in my initial report that the really good caramelization wasn’t there on the real Buddy’s pizza after the final baked. It sure looked like it was there, but I couldn’t taste it and it wasn‘t that nice crunchy wonderful taste. I thought that was strange too, but maybe from the shrinkage of the initial half-bake the sides with the cheese didn’t get that crunchiness.
I don’t think I will change anything right now in my attempt to make a Detroit-style pizza. I just want to try to get consistent results all the time. My Buddy’s attempts really aren't clones, but are close enough for me. On Tuesday market was really slow for all stand holders because of the snow, hunting season in our area and because it was a week right after a holiday. It was interesting that 3 customers came back to purchase the Buddy’s clones I am trying out for market. I had only eaten one slice out of the two test pizzas, so I did sell the customers slices.