Author Topic: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”  (Read 61952 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #920 on: October 22, 2013, 12:44:46 PM »
You can't really blame people. Most people don't even know how yeast performs its magic, let alone the variables in a pizza crust.
Stuart,

I fully understand and I fully agree. However, when it comes to reverse engineering and cloning famous pizzas of others, and where Norma and I might have spent weeks and months on such projects, and sometimes even some out of pocket expenses, both she and I espouse and share a "will work for food" philosophy. That is the only place where I have that philosophy, and all it means is that if someone is only interested in a recipe and nothing more, they have to spend some time and do some work to find whatever it is they are looking for.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 12:47:07 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #921 on: October 22, 2013, 09:54:56 PM »
Norma/Peter:

You can't really blame people. Most people don't even know how yeast performs its magic, let alone the variables in a pizza crust. I am somewhat in between wanting "how to do it" recipes and understanding the variables. I am curious, but my goal is good baking and eating.

I'm still trying to figure which clone is the "best" on this thread.  ???



Stuart,

I also agree you can't really blame people that truly want to learn about yeast and the many other variables that go into making different types of pizza.  I started on this forum not knowing anything about making any kind of pizza.  It was though threads like this and also the help from many forum members on other threads that I learned more about making many types of pizzas.  I have had failures many times on many threads.  If someone is willing to give any reverse engineering or cloning a pizza some effort, or any thread I have been involved with I would be very willing to give them some links and help those people. 

I really don't know what clone is the best on this thread.  I have not tried all of them and the ones I did I have used different oven set-ups.  I am almost sure that your oven won't bake like mine and also mine won't bake like yours.  It is though trial and error in trying different forumlations that are posted on a reverse engineering threads whether you will find one you like.  To give you an example Trenton Bill saw I tried Peter Sloan Clone Dough Formulation #3 at Reply 898  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg283970.html#msg283970  Trenton Bill called me and said my clone attempt looked very good.  Trenton Bill also tried the same formulation with the same flour and even baked his Sloan clone attempt in his Blackstone unit like I did at the same temperatures.  Bill later called me and told me it was the worst pizza he had ever made.  I asked Trenton Bill if he fermented the dough ball for the same length of time I did and he said no he mixed the dough the same day he made the pizza, but he did bake at the same temperatures I did.  That one example that just goes to show in my opinion that everyone won't have the same results.

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #922 on: October 23, 2013, 07:32:58 AM »
FWIW, last night on the way home from the theater, my wife and I stopped at Center City Philadelphia's SLICE for...well, a slice. They had just closed out their register, but kindly said you can have whatever you want that's left....anyway. So, we took a few slices they heated. I realize that re-heating pies crunches them up nicely. But...I do think that SLICE comes as close to Robbinsville as I've  experienced...maybe a little less yeasty tasting, but the same thin, rigid and crunchy texture. Clearly, as we've discussed here, Robbinsville/Hudson is the grail crust. I wonder if they'd be able to share any insights?  And, frankly, I'm not sure the folks at Robbinsville wouldn't either.

One reason I wouldn't ask myself is that , though I'm a good interviewer, I have to know the topic well...and for this one: building dough components...I don't.

Just another/reiterated thought.
Stuart

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #923 on: October 23, 2013, 08:17:19 AM »
FWIW, last night on the way home from the theater, my wife and I stopped at Center City Philadelphia's SLICE for...well, a slice. They had just closed out their register, but kindly said you can have whatever you want that's left....anyway. So, we took a few slices they heated. I realize that re-heating pies crunches them up nicely. But...I do think that SLICE comes as close to Robbinsville as I've  experienced...maybe a little less yeasty tasting, but the same thin, rigid and crunchy texture. Clearly, as we've discussed here, Robbinsville/Hudson is the grail crust. I wonder if they'd be able to share any insights?  And, frankly, I'm not sure the folks at Robbinsville wouldn't either.

One reason I wouldn't ask myself is that , though I'm a good interviewer, I have to know the topic well...and for this one: building dough components...I don't.

Just another/reiterated thought.

Stuart,

I did call Slice two times and left messages for the owner to call me but no one ever answered my calls.  Good to hear Slice slices reheated crunches them up nicely.  I really don't think De Lorenzo/Robbinsville would reveal any secrets either.  I did message them on facebook a few times and didn't get any answers except we make small and large pizzas.  I am not a good interviewer either but when I go to De Lorenzo's or another pizza business I do try to ask anything that come into my head.

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #924 on: October 23, 2013, 01:55:57 PM »
Maybe someone with the gravitas of Peter needs to do it? He has a nice official title that adds to his cred..in addition to his obvious wealth of knowledge and insights..and superhuman focus.

Serious comment.
Stuart

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #925 on: October 23, 2013, 07:07:48 PM »
Just a slice of the regular boardwalk style of pizza I ate yesterday.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #926 on: October 31, 2013, 10:46:26 AM »
I used Peter's De Lorenzo/Robbinsville Clone Dough Formulation #10 at Reply 866 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg283461.html#msg283461 for another attempt at a De Lorenzo/Robbinsville clone pizza. 

Somehow my dough ball slid to the side of the plastic container but the poppy seeds still moved apart.  The dough ball was left to warm up too long because I was busy, but the dough when opening did not show any fermentation bubbles in the skin.  The dough handled very nicely and could be opened with ease.

The bake in my deck oven did not go as well as the dough though.  I did bake on each of the four corners of the bottom deck and did remove the tomato pie to let it cool down on a screen.  After about 5 minutes it was put back into the top deck.  The edges and were crisp and crunchy but the middle of the tomato pie crust was not.  I don't think my deck oven at the temperatures I am baking my regular pizzas at will ever give me good results.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #927 on: October 31, 2013, 10:48:23 AM »
Total bake time was about 11 minutes.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #928 on: October 31, 2013, 11:27:40 AM »
I don't know if anyone is interested about flouring their bulk sausage before placing pieces of unbaked sausage on a pizza, but that is one I saw when I was in the Trenton area at one pizza business.  It seemed to work out well in taking pieces off of the floured rolled sausage and also the unbaked sausage does not oil off as much in the bake.  The uncooked sausage pieces also baked well at the bake time and temperature I use at market.  I purchased the bulk sausage from a meat vendor at market. 

Another thing I wanted to post about is I had ordered a block of the cheese I use for my regular boardwalk pizzas and my Detroit style pizzas the day before market day two weeks ago.  Last week when I went to pick up the cheese they told me no one told them I ordered cheese.  They did tell me though they had an extra block of cheese on their refrigerated truck.  When they brought me the cheese block it sure did not look like it had the right wording on the outside of the block package but they said it was the right cheese.  When I went to open the cheese this past Monday to grate the cheese I could tell it was not the same cheese in that it was much harder to slice with the cheese string and also it had a little more tang in the taste.  I could do nothing about that on Monday.  The cheese melted okay on all of my pizzas Tuesday but I could tell it did not string as well and baked differently in the oven.  I talked to the man that had brought me the cheese on Tuesday and told him I had been given the wrong cheese the week before.  He apologized and I could take back the portion I did not grate, but the cheese was almost a 1.00 more a lb.  I did get some money back for the portion I did not use though.

I did had the pleasure of meeting Zing on Tuesday.  He came to my pizza stand and sure is a nice man.  8) We got to talking about different things about pizzas. 

Norma
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Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #929 on: November 04, 2013, 03:48:29 AM »
I don't think my deck oven at the temperatures I am baking my regular pizzas at will ever give me good results.

Norma, I thought your attempt looked good!

I tried another De Lorenzo clone using a slightly modified De Lorenzo #4 formulation:

Flour (100%):    192.53 g  |  6.79 oz | 0.42 lbs
Water (57%):    109.74 g  |  3.87 oz | 0.24 lbs
IDY (.30%):    0.58 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.19 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    3.37 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.7 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
Olive Oil (.4%):    0.77 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.17 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (1.6%):    3.08 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.68 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
Total (161.05%):   310.07 g | 10.94 oz | 0.68 lbs | TF = 0.07105

The slight differences were a .07 nominal TF and with 1.5 bowl compensation and 1.75% salt instead of 1.5%

We enjoyed this one quite a lot.  My steel read 508 F as this cooked (About 7 minutes)  I forgot to add additional cheese mid-bake and I used too much sauce, but it tasted great, in my opinion.  The steam was really coming off this pie when I removed it from the oven.

I hope you'll give this version a try some time.

--Tim


Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #930 on: November 04, 2013, 07:33:14 AM »
Norma, I thought your attempt looked good!

I tried another De Lorenzo clone using a slightly modified De Lorenzo #4 formulation:

Flour (100%):    192.53 g  |  6.79 oz | 0.42 lbs
Water (57%):    109.74 g  |  3.87 oz | 0.24 lbs
IDY (.30%):    0.58 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.19 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    3.37 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.7 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
Olive Oil (.4%):    0.77 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.17 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (1.6%):    3.08 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.68 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
Total (161.05%):   310.07 g | 10.94 oz | 0.68 lbs | TF = 0.07105

The slight differences were a .07 nominal TF and with 1.5 bowl compensation and 1.75% salt instead of 1.5%

We enjoyed this one quite a lot.  My steel read 508 F as this cooked (About 7 minutes)  I forgot to add additional cheese mid-bake and I used too much sauce, but it tasted great, in my opinion.  The steam was really coming off this pie when I removed it from the oven.

I hope you'll give this version a try some time.

--Tim

Tim,

Thanks for posting about your results using the modified De Lorenzo #4 formulation.  I am glad you and your family enjoyed your pizza.  Your pizza looks very nice. 

I have about given up on another attempt unless I do one in the Blackstone unit.  I think the clone De Lorenzo formulations do need the right kind of oven to get the right bake.  You are using a baking steel which is good in my opinion.  I talked to Trenton Bill earlier last week and he said he can't even get a consistent bake using the same formulation in his Blackstone unit.  Trenton Bill said he has been using Peter's #2 De Lorenzo's clone dough formulation and only one time he made a pizza something like De Lorenzo's.  Trenton Bill said there was something missing in his other attempts using the same formulation and baked at the same temperature.  Trenton Bill also said he has about given up too. 

I sure don't know what is so magical about De Lorenzo's methods so I would tend to think it might be the oven they use that gives their results. 

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #931 on: November 06, 2013, 12:33:56 PM »
Well, Norma...if you believe it's "the oven" that makes the "magic", it's difficult to explain why the magic from Trenton carried over to Robbinsville when both were still in business, when the ovens remained at Hudson (Trenton).

Maybe I'm missing your point?
Stuart

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #932 on: November 06, 2013, 03:07:31 PM »
Well, Norma...if you believe it's "the oven" that makes the "magic", it's difficult to explain why the magic from Trenton carried over to Robbinsville when both were still in business, when the ovens remained at Hudson (Trenton).

Maybe I'm missing your point?

Stuart,

I really don't know if the type of oven makes the magic, but do think the heat and timing has to be about right.  If I could fool around with my deck oven at higher temperatures for awhile maybe I would find out if my deck oven could bake a decent De Lorenzo/Robbinsville/Hudson tomato pie.  I can't keep changing the temperatures in my deck oven because of the regular pizzas I make at market.

Maybe you can get a decent De Lorenzo clone pizza in your oven.  I am not trying to dissuade anyone from trying.  I would be happy if someone else could make a decent De Lorenzo clone tomato pie.   

You might get a chuckle out of this, but I went to post a couple of photos of my last attempt at a De Lorenzo's tomato pie on that facebook group page I told you about and all I went to post was lol this was not successful.  I had been able to directly post any photos before.  I had to wait a few days for the creator of that group to approve my post and photos.  I am done posting on that group now but will watch what is said about Trenton tomato pies.  The creator of that group did graduate with Gary Amico.  The creator of that group does not live in the Trenton area anymore.

Someone posted about De Lorenzo/Sloan/Hamilton a few days later and that got into a lengthly discussion about how they changed their tomato pies from years ago.  I did not get involved with that.   :-D

Norma 
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #933 on: November 06, 2013, 03:54:53 PM »
Just curious, Norma, whether you've learned anything on that facebook page that helps creating a credible clone for this thread? I've gone to the page, but....keep forgetting that access to the discussions is controlled.  So, I can't tell if anything worthwhile gets discussed..or whether it's a bunch of people nostaligic for the Trenton pies of their youths.
Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #934 on: November 06, 2013, 04:31:30 PM »
Stuart,

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of the ovens that Hudson and Robbinsville used were Blodgett ovens. Everything that I have read seems to say that Sam Amico wanted to copy as much of the Hudson business as possible at Robbinsville (the new and larger digs excepted). He must have had confidence that the newer Blodgett ovens were the way to go and that he would be in good stead were Hudson to eventually close its doors. Even Rick De Lorenzo used Blodgett ovens at the old location, and these were moved to his new location. He even added a couple more ovens, which were the same as the old ovens but refurbished.

Norma's oven is a Baker's Pride oven. And her BP oven may not be an alternative to the Blodgett ovens from a functional and performance standpoint.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #935 on: November 06, 2013, 05:53:07 PM »
Just curious, Norma, whether you've learned anything on that facebook page that helps creating a credible clone for this thread? I've gone to the page, but....keep forgetting that access to the discussions is controlled.  So, I can't tell if anything worthwhile gets discussed..or whether it's a bunch of people nostaligic for the Trenton pies of their youths.

Stuart,

No, I have not learned anything on that group facebook page that helps in creating a credible clone for this thread.  As I posted before I don't really think that group is into recreating a De Lorenzo's clone pizza.  That group does make attempts at making tomato pies but is nothing like here on the forum in trying to clone a tomato pie.

I did ask to join another group on facebook called “It's a Trenton Thing Recipe Section” before I found the only tomato pie group.  It says at the heading of that facebook group “We got the best tomato pies, pork roll and Casino Italian hot dogs in the country!  That facebook site is also a closed group that is a spinoff of “It's a Trenton Thing”.  I enjoy looking at the old recipes and photos and sometimes people do post about tomato pies they have eaten in Trenton.  I learned about different tomato pies and places in Trenton from a long while ago that I never heard of.

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #936 on: November 11, 2013, 11:33:11 AM »
Is there any consensus here on which of Peter's formulations is most likely to come closest to the grail on this thread?

I am having a large (20 people) crowd the day after Thanksgiving....and want to try that one if there is a consensus....might even have time for a two-pie dry run the weekend before if I can focus on a formulation.
Stuart

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #937 on: November 11, 2013, 03:27:53 PM »
Stuart,

I have not tried all of Peter's formulations and most of my tomatoes pies really were not like a De Lorenzo's tomato pie.  I think you would just have to try one of Peter's formulations and go from there.

Best of luck!

Norma 
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Offline jim s

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #938 on: November 13, 2013, 02:18:00 PM »
Hi Norma, Pete, and Stuart,

This is my first post on PM, I've been a curious member since 09. I started working my way through this thread on Oct. 16 and I would like to commend Norma and Pete for all their work, and Stuart for your observations.

First some background,

I lived in Philadelphia from 1984 to 2003, I now live in  the suburbs 24 miles west of Philadelphia (King of Prussia area).

I started going to De Lorenzo's/Hudson in the mid 80's. I was a frequent customer (2-3 times/month) from the 80's through late the 90's, we had our first child (girl) in 99 and that cut us back to only about 5 visits a year from 99 to 02, then in 2002 baby #2 (son) was delivered by the stork and we moved to the suburbs and another 1/2 hour away from Trenton so that put the kibosh  De Lo's.

Fast forward to  2011, my daughter plays soccer and lacrosse, so that gets me in the Trenton area 4-5 times a year, so we try to hit De Lorenzo's whenever we're in area, I have taken detours off the NJ turnpike for pies.

I got to Hudson St. 3 times in 2011 (1 eat in, 2 take out) before closing, and I've Robbinsville about 8 times.

I've been to quite a few of the "old school" legendary pizzerias from Boston to Philly, and to me De Lorenzo's is the best.


Now for some comments, observations and rambling nonsense,

I never asked Gary anything about pizza making, he didn't seem to open to questions, but I always observed whenever I was seated where I could see, or I would stand by the cash register when I was waiting for take out if it wasn't too busy.

When Sam was younger and worked at Hudson he was more open than Gary, but not much. The only thing he ever told me was that the sauce was a blend of 2 brands, he named them but I didn't make a note of it.

Gary and Sam's pie making skills were equal.

This summer my daughter and I were there on a Saturday afternoon about an hour and 15 minutes before opening, we were the first customers. They open at 4 and they don't open the doors until 4, so you wait outside. You can't really "dumpster dive" because the dumpsters are in a fenced in area in the parking lot (as Stuart mentioned) and the dumpsters are the large dumpsters with side doors not the smaller ones where the lid flips open, and there are several food businesses in the complex and I think they share the dumpsters. I have looked in the dumpster area several times and seen nothing, because it is kept very neat, also the dumpster area can be seen from the front windows of the shop. I think if you were caught snooping around by Sam, Gary or one of the higher-ups they would not take to kindly to it, and that's putting it mildly.

But being that we were the first ones there I got lucky because a waiter wheeled 3 garbage cans to the dumpsters and I helped him. On that day, and this is a fact, I saw Redpack, Cento (US), and 6 in 1 cans, don't know which was whole and which were crushed, because I was too worried about being busted for industrial espionage.

I will continue tomorrow because I've got to get the kids from school and start cracking the homework whip.

Jim

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #939 on: November 13, 2013, 04:29:44 PM »
jim s,

Thanks for your background information about how many years you ate De Lorenzo/Husdon/Robbinsville tomato pies and what you think of them.. 

Interesting that you saw Redpack, Cento and 6-in-1 cans when you helped the waiter with the 3 garbage bags. 

Looking forward to see if you observed anything else.

Norma
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