It is encouraging to see that you were able to bake the latest round of Buddy's clone pizzas in your oven at market without having to go to great lengths to get them to come out right. It is also interesting to see that the type of oven and bake temperatures can vary quite a bit yet get good results. For example, Buddy's uses an infrared conveyor oven and a bake temperature of about 495 degrees F and a bake time of around 11-12 minutes; Via 313 uses a Bakers Pride countertop deck oven and a bake temperature of around 525 degrees F and a bake time of around 15 minutes; in your case, you used the upper part of your regular Bakers Pride deck oven and a bake temperature of 536 degrees F and a bake time of slightly less than 12 minutes. To add to these examples, yesterday I was reading a writeup of Loui's Pizza at http://www2.metrotimes.com/food/review.asp?rid=22572 in which it was reported that Loui's is "able to achieve that perfect char because their special pizza ovens reach a higher-than-normal temperature". I have no idea as to what that special oven is or its temperature but it does not appear that those factors are inhibiting to making a decent pizza. Another positive on this score is that you have demonstrated that it is possible to make decent clones in your home electric oven and in your mother's home gas oven. Moreover, it does not seem to matter all that much how how the dough is made, managed and fermented. Whether one uses oil or a solid fat in the pan also does not seem to matter all that much.
As usual, I have some questions:
1. Have you developed a preference among the many Buddy's clone pizzas you have attempted to date and, if so, which one(s)? For example, do you prefer a cold fermentation over an emergency type fermentation? Do you prefer one type of cheese or blend over another? One type of oil or fat to use in the pans? Or maybe something else?
2. What would you want to see in the way of results so that you could say that the pizzas were "perfect"?
3. Did you weigh the second and third pizzas after baking?
FYI, for the first Buddy's clone dough, the spacing of the two poppy seeds as of the time the dough came out of your deli case suggests that the dough doubled in volume over the course of its initial brief time (15 minutes) at room temperature and its subsequent cold fermentation from 9:20 AM on Monday to 1:58 PM yesterday, or a total elapsed time of about 29 hours. That was just about perfect. By 3:03 PM yesterday, after the temper of that first dough ball, I estimate that the dough ball rose by about another 25%. Also just about perfect. As for the finished baked pizza, based on the information you provided (a final weight of 1.2888 pounds vs. an unbaked weight of 21.77 ounces), I estimate that its loss during baking was 5.28%. This number is interesting but it may not tell us a lot since your pizza was quite a bit different than a basic Buddy's pizza. Actually, I was hoping that you would make a Buddy's clone with brick cheese and pepperoni so that I could compare that data with the data that dicepackage gave us for one of his real Buddy's pepperoni pizza, and in the context of a professional oven rather than a standard home oven. An even truer test would be an emergency dough version at market using your Bakers Pride deck oven. Even then, some differences would remain because of the different types of ovens and bake temperatures and times and the likelihood of different losses during baking.
I had thought until yesterday that I might have to go though great lengths to get the Buddy’s clone baked right in my deck oven with screens or trying other methods. That wasn’t the case yesterday though. It seems like my top deck bakes just fine with using MFB or Canola oil. I wonder what temperature Buddy’s used years ago when they used a deck oven.
Thank you for the link about Loui’s Pizza. I find it interesting that Louis Tourtois learned his trade while working at Buddy’s for 17 years and Shield’s for 7 years. Louis sure had a good head-start with working at those Detroit pizzerias for such a long while. I see he uses higher than normal bake temperature in their special pizza oven, but as you noted you don‘t know what kind of oven or bake temperatures he uses. At the end of the article it says that the all-female waitstaff, many whom are in their second decade at Loui’s and goes on to say Typical is the exuberant Diane, who, placing her hand on your shoulder, may ask, "What can I get you, hon?" That made me chuckle because my one sign at market does almost says "What can I get you, hon?"
I agree that it is possible to be able to make a decent Buddy’s clone at market, in my home electric oven, or even my moms gas oven and it isn’t difficult in any of those ovens.
One of the reasons I wanted to do those experiments yesterday to see if it mattered on how the dough is made, managed and fermented. It really didn’t seem to matter, at least in those experiments.
To answer your question.
1. No, I haven’t developed a preference among the Buddy’s clone pizzas I have attempted to this date. It doesn’t seem to matter if the dough is an emergency dough, or if the dough is cold fermented. The taste of the crust stays the same to me. I think my preference is using the AMPI mild white cheddar and a blend of mozzarellas. Since I never tried a real Buddy’s pizza though, I have no idea how their brick cheese, or blend tastes. I have tried enough of blends though in other styles of pizzas.
2. I really can’t ever say there is a “perfect pizza” in any category. As you know I have tried so many styles of pizzas, with many ovens and many formulations. I am always learning about all styles of pizzas and when I think I have found what might be called my “perfect” pizza it can change as it did many times. I did like the one attempt in my mom’s home oven and the third Buddy’s attempt I did at market yesterday the best so far.
3. I did weigh the second pizza that was made yesterday, but didn’t write the weight down. I know it was 1.4 lb. something, but thought what was the use in writing it down and then posting it since the sauce was applied after the bake. I thought that since none of the water would be taken out of the sauce in the bake, the weight of that pizza wouldn’t tell anything. I did use 4 ounces of sauce and 8 ounces of cheese though. For the last pizza that was made yesterday, I didn’t add 8 ounces of cheese, or 4 ounces of sauce. I just added what I thought was enough of the AMPI mild cheddar, then just applied less sauce than I did for my second attempt. Weighing that wouldn’t be of much help either in my opinion.
Thanks for explaining about how much the dough fermented by looking at the pictures and timelines. I did post at Reply 291 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21559.msg223345.html#msg22334
5 that the first dough ball was left to temper at room temperature from 1:58 PM when it was taken out of the deli case, until 3:03 PM in the plastic container. Did you get that mixed-up that the dough had doubled in what you posted as 15 minutes, or is it me that is confused? I am not sure I am understanding that.
Thank you for also telling me what the weigh loss was.
I didn’t know you wanted me to try brick cheese and pepperoni on an attempted Buddy’s clone yesterday. I was going to put pepperoni (Steve’s stick brand) under the cheese on that attempt, but got too busy to cut the stick. If you want me to I can try the brick cheese and Steve’s pepperoni next week I can.
I don’t know if I am ready to try an emergency dough at market. I am pretty busy in the mornings without Steve, since I am the one that has to do everything. If you think I could make the emergency dough at home, maybe I could try that.