What formulation are using now for your Detroit style pizzas and what kind of cheese, or cheeses are you using?
I used the dough formula and recipe I described at Reply 1078 on this post (http://goo.gl/wNGhk
) - the formula described in Jim Lahey's book, My Pizza, but with the modifications of using Italian 00 flour and mixing for 30-60 seconds in my Kitchenaid at the lowest speed because when I've tried mixing by hand, I had trouble incorporating all the flour.
My primary goal was to get the crust and basic characteristics right, so now I'm experimenting. One of the "perks" of being a commercial real estate broker with a specialty in retail is that I have food customers, who do pizza, and I can get a few pounds of All Trumps pretty much anytime, just by asking, so I want to try All Trumps as well as all purpose and bread flour (Better for Bread from the supermarket) and see if I notice a difference and if I do, which one I like best. I do really like the 00, but as I mentioned, a couple of partners and I are thinking of opening a cafe and 00 costs at least twice as much as the alternatives, so I want to see if one of those would work as well.
I'm trying to go one variable at a time, so next would be cheese. At the moment, I'm using Trader Joe's pre-shredded mozzarella for the middle, and TJ's Extra-Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar for the edge. If you have an opinion on the alternatives among mild, sharp and extra-sharp, I'd like to hear it. Anyway, I'll probably try different brands to see if I favor any. And for the middle, I can try provolone or a mozzarella-provolone combo. And I certainly plan to try the "good stuff," the cow's milk (as opposed to water buffalo milk) version of the fresh mozzarella used on Neopolitan pizzas. I'm really eager to try the brick cheese everyone is talking about. Anyone know if I can order it for delivery?
For sauce, so far, I used a can of crushed tomatoes, probably Hunt's, with a little added oregano and sugar. But I really like 6-in-1, straight out of the can, so that's what I'm going to try next and, I suspect, I'll stick with it.
Oh, and I greased the pan with butter-flavored Crisco, after trying olive oil, which did not prevent the cheddar from sticking to the side of the pan.
I'm also experimenting with temperature and baking time. The reason I asked you about your oven is because there are some locations here in NYC that are good in terms of traffic, convenience, etc., but where the landlord won't allow cooking or it's not physically possible. I happen to have one customer, Gina La Fornarina, a mini-chain of three Italian restaurants (http://www.ginany.com
). As you can see, they have a pretty varied menu (http://goo.gl/qPhgS
) and the pizzas look good (http://goo.gl/5l6AC
), like an artisan Neopolitan pizza. But they're baked in a small convection oven, about like this: http://goo.gl/lRIkz
Trust me, in NYC, being able to get by with a small convection rather than a large commercial Bakers-Pride type deck oven saves a lot of money and also greatly expands the universe of potential locations, so I am very interested in being able to bake Detroit style pizzas in a small convection oven. My impression is that you have a relatively small pizza stand in a flea market or something similar, so though I'm reasonably sure from my home oven results that a small convection oven would work for me, I was hoping that you would be using such an oven and could tell me what temperature and time you were using. But I'm sure I'll figure it out.