Author Topic: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?  (Read 25086 times)

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2013, 11:30:11 AM »
I've been looking through Norma's first thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10018.msg87298.html#msg87298), and I like it. I'm surprised that thread didn't get more attention. I didn't see the thread when I was reading everything I could find about stuffed pizza last week. I think Norma's dough formula is much closer to the real thing than any of the recipes I've seen elsewhere, except I have a pretty strong feeling the oil percentage is excessively high. (Maybe I'm wrong, but right now I feel pretty sure Giordano's dough contains a lot less fat.)

I think BTB's post in that thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10018.msg87338.html#msg87338) is a very important piece of the Giordano's puzzle. What he said confirms some suspicions I had about Giordano's crust--mainly that the top and bottom crusts are the same thickness--and it has also given me some other ideas, which I intend to share later in a response on that thread.

Here's a post I think is very important. It's the information Peter received from Giordano's about dough ingredients: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg51855.html#msg51855. It lists the ingredients as "Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices." Take note that sugar is not listed as an ingredient. (That's a huge piece of the puzzle right there.) Also, yeast is listed before salt, which suggests that Giordano's may use ADY or that there is a very low salt percentage in their dough. In fact, it suggests that the salt percentage is likely very low regardless of which kind of yeast they use, because if they use the dough 3-4 days after mixing, it seems very unlikely that they use more than 1% yeast. Which means the salt percentage is probably well under 1%. To me, the big question is this: What are "spices"?

In this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg56707.html#msg56707), Peter says he estimates that Giordano's uses 13 oz of cheese for 10" pizzas. Interestingly, 13 oz of cheese is exactly what I've used for the 10" pizzas I've made. (Also, 13 oz is a figure I decided to use before seeing Peter's post.) Having made three of these pizzas so far, I feel like 13 oz is about right, but I think a little more cheese would be fine, too. (Did I just say that?)

Also, Peter says in this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg69605.html#msg69605) that the weight of a baked 10" Giordano's stuffed spinach pizza is 42 oz. With the portions and thicknesses I've used so far, my unbaked 10" stuffed cheese pizza target weight has been 46.38 oz (13.35 oz for bottom dough, 13.04 oz of cheese, 4.96 oz for top dough, and 15.03 oz of sauce). Keep in mind, every pizza loses a little weight while it bakes. Again, I arrived at this weight totally independent of Peter's input. And I only mention that because to me it helps confirm that Peter and I are both on the right track. (I haven't remembered to weigh a baked pizza yet.)

Judging by the color of the dough in , I suspect Giordano's may use unbleached flour.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 12:32:18 PM by Aimless Ryan »


Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013, 01:30:36 PM »
Yours looks much closer than Norma's in my opinion.  Sorry Norma.

The top crust at Giordanos isn't fully cooked (its doughy and actually melds with the cheese.  It appears thinner everytime I have eaten it (about 50 times) but perhaps not cooking it changes the texture.

I agree there is very little salt in the dough.  Their sauce goes perfectly with their crust though.  It is a key element.   Giordanos coats there pans with butter too just before they form the bottom crust.  I don't know if it's the butter that gives there dough a distinct flavor or what.   The outer rim is flaky like a crossaint but with less fat and its drier.  I know they bake at 465F too.  Supposedly they use Stella mozzarella and 6-1 tomatoes.

Nate
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 01:36:09 PM by pythonic »
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2013, 02:37:19 PM »
I made some dough last night for Thursday, using this formulation:

100% Pillsbury bleached AP flour
49% Water
0.4% IDY
1.5% Salt
6% Corn oil

However, I'm not sure if my IDY is any good, so I'm about to make another batch, just to be sure I have usable dough Thursday, since I'm mostly doing it for a friend. Only this time, I'm gonna use unbleached flour and ADY, as well as less salt and a tad bit more water. This batch will be:

100% Pillsbury unbleached AP flour
50% Water
1% ADY
0.9% Salt
6% Corn oil

I've been using shortening to grease the pan. Not really for any clear reason other than because Giordano's obviously uses some kind of solid fat in the pan. I've read that it's butter and I've read that it's margarine, and I may have also read that it's shortening. Since I haven't given a lot of thought to what it may be, I'm using shortening. Also, I'll probably put a piece of aluminum foil on the top rack of the oven when I bake the next one because I feel like I've been getting a little more influence than I want from the top burner.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2013, 05:29:56 PM »
Ryan,

For a list of spices that are generally regarded as safe by the FDA, see http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.10

Giordano's is not particularly forthcoming publicly about the ingredients it uses for its pizzas and it does not disclose nutrition information for the products sold in its stores. Since it sells frozen pizzas, the FDA requires Nutrition Facts but, as best I can tell, it does not provide that information at its website even though it is public information. That information should, however, be on the packaging materials for its frozen pizzas. But, even then, that doesn't mean that the frozen pizzas are the same or as good as the pizzas sold in their stores. Companies like Giordano's that sell frozen pizza versions of their freshly baked pizzas like the public to believe this but this is rarely the case. The ingredients can be different (but not too different) and the pizza weights can be different, and certainly making frozen pizzas is not the same as making fresh pizzas.

In Giordano's case, things may also have changed because of their bankruptcy filing a few years ago. Those changes can include the formulations for their products although that has to be handled carefully and perhaps gradually so that their customers don't rebel and abandon Giordano's because the changes did not meet with their satisfaction.

Peter

Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2013, 08:05:40 PM »
I believe their bankruptcy wasnt a true one.  They made some bad investments and were freeing up cash.
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2013, 09:20:42 PM »
I believe their bankruptcy wasnt a true one.  They made some bad investments and were freeing up cash.
Nate,

The main reason for going into bankruptcy is to stiff unsecured creditors and free up cash. However, according to the article at http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120303/ISSUE01/303039973/more-dough-new-ceo-for-giordanos, it looks like the new owners have a lot of product changes in mind. From a recent report at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-09/business/ct-biz-0709-giordanos-20130709_1_phil-martino-giordano-victory-park-capital, it looks like the new owners are keeping hands off the pizza part of the business for now but that could change at some point.
 
Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2013, 09:57:28 PM »
I'm currently watching a DVR recording of a Travel Channel show called "Pizza Paradises," which the info screen says first aired on 7/25/2004. I believe they originally aired two different episodes of "Pizza Paradises" within a short time frame, or possibly back-to-back, as well as a third "Pizza Paradises" episode maybe six months ago (which was horrible, by the way). Right now I have it paused on a shot showing that Giordano's bottom skin is clearly a good bit thinner than the bottom skins on my attempted Giordano's clones, the first of which is pictured in my stuffed pizza blog post (fourth pic from the top). I can't say for sure what my thickness has been, but I've been shooting for TF=0.100 oz per square inch for the bottom skin and TF=0.60 for the top, which means I should have used 13.35 oz of dough for the bottom skin and 4.96 oz for the top skin. In total, I should have used 18.31 oz of dough for each of my stuffed pizzas (10" x 2").

Good news. I happen to have Saturday's scrap dough in the fridge, and I just weighed it. The scrap dough from one of my 10" pizzas weighs 8.8 oz, and the scrap dough from my other 10" pizza weighs 9.4 oz. Since each of Saturday's two stuffed pizzas began with a hair under 30 oz of dough, that means the total dough weight of each pizza was about 21 oz. So since I rolled the top skins noticeably thinner than the bottom skins, I estimate that my bottom skins were about TF=0.110 and my top skins were about 0.08 (which would require a little over 21 oz of dough). I'd say that's probably a very good estimate (and it did involve some pretty intricate math, which fortunately a spreadsheet calculated for me).

Recap: Based on the specs I entered in my spreadsheet, I should have used 18.31 oz of dough, but it looks like I used about 21 oz. So if my estimate for the TF I ended up using for my bottom skin is accurate (TF=0.110), I'd say I want well under TF=0.100 for each of the skins. Probably in the neighborhood of TF=0.09, which calls for a total of 19.46 oz of dough. Or maybe even a little thinner than that.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2013, 11:40:16 AM »
Here's a post I consider potentially another important source of valuable information: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8361.msg85140.html#msg85140.

In this post BTB says "the pans were 'greased' with real unsalted butter (no oil or crisco)." I'm curious to find out the source of that information. Did someone tell him it was unsalted butter, or did he just assume it was unsalted butter? Because it doesn't look like butter to me. Anytime I've ever looked at butter, it's been white (or nearly white).

To me it seems pretty clear that the substance in BTB's pic is either margarine or butter-flavored shortening. I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything; just trying to figure things out.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2013, 01:47:06 PM »
I just made another batch of dough, for Saturday. (For future reference, today is Wednesday.) I was worried yesterday that 1% ADY might make the dough ferment too fast (especially with only 0.9% salt in the dough), but yesterday's dough seems to be doing just fine. (I guess it's because the dough is just stiff enough to slow down fermentation, compared to the fermentation rate I would expect from a NY style dough at 60% hydration.) As a result, I felt comfortable sticking with 1% ADY for today's batch, and I suspect I could even increase the ADY percentage a good bit and still have a dough that makes it to day 3 or day 4.

Instead of using corn oil for this dough, I used shortening. That's the only change I made from yesterday's dough.

I now have three different versions of this dough in the fridge.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2013, 08:33:38 PM »
There is a vid on YouTube where a regional manager is making it while doing an interview and the guy says its butter.  It looks like margarine too me also though because it has a yellow tint.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:36:19 PM by pythonic »
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2013, 08:35:08 PM »
I just made another batch of dough, for Saturday. (For future reference, today is Wednesday.) I was worried yesterday that 1% ADY might make the dough ferment too fast (especially with only 0.9% salt in the dough), but yesterday's dough seems to be doing just fine. (I guess it's because the dough is just stiff enough to slow down fermentation, compared to the fermentation rate I would expect from a NY style dough at 60% hydration.) As a result, I felt comfortable sticking with 1% ADY for today's batch, and I suspect I could even increase the ADY percentage a good bit and still have a dough that makes it to day 3 or day 4.

Instead of using corn oil for this dough, I used shortening. That's the only change I made from yesterday's dough.

I now have three different versions of this dough in the fridge.

Until you have the real thing it's gonna be hard to know what you've made.  You should take a road trip or order a frozen one perhaps.
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2013, 08:41:29 PM »
Nate,

The main reason for going into bankruptcy is to stiff unsecured creditors and free up cash. However, according to the article at http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120303/ISSUE01/303039973/more-dough-new-ceo-for-giordanos, it looks like the new owners have a lot of product changes in mind. From a recent report at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-09/business/ct-biz-0709-giordanos-20130709_1_phil-martino-giordano-victory-park-capital, it looks like the new owners are keeping hands off the pizza part of the business for now but that could change at some point.
 
Peter

Yea I guess I meant it wasn't because of lack of pizza sales.  It was strictly to get bad land or building investments off their books.  Giordanos is huge in IL.
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2013, 11:24:37 PM »
There is a vid on YouTube where a regional manager is making it while doing an interview and the guy says its butter.  It looks like margarine too me also though because it has a yellow tint.

I've noticed a lot in my lifetime that people often say "butter" when they mean margarine. Or they bring you margarine after you ask for butter. Not a few times, but hundreds of times, if not thousands of times. So it's gonna take a lot to convince me the orange stuff in that picture is butter.

If you know how to quickly find the video, will you post a link to it?

Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2013, 02:08:44 AM »
Here is the vid.

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2013, 10:37:21 AM »
Thanks! That video provides a lot of good hints.

Here's an answer to something people have wondered about for years (judging by the many years' worth of Giordano's threads I've read lately): At 2:40, the district manager says, "All our dough is made [pause] where it's all fresh and shipped to us daily." So now we know their dough comes from a commissary (which I doubt is true of the Florida units, since there are only a handful of them). I'm inclined to think this rules out bulk fermentation.

Here are some other things that stood out to me in this video:

2:15 - Looks like he uses something akin to a plastic dough scraper to scoop and spread the "butter."

2:35 - Bottom skin is clearly made from one dough ball and is not laminated. However, from BTB's pics, it seems pretty clear to me that scrap dough gets recycled. Recycled scrap dough as stiff as theirs is bound to end up creating a bit of a laminated effect. When I worked at Pizza Hut in the early 90s, thin & crispy dough scraps would be put back in the main (bulk-fermented) dough container after sheeting. Consequently, as each day progressed, the thin pizzas would contain more scrap dough and probably had more of a laminated effect than pizzas made earlier in the day. (I never thought about all this stuff back then, but we definitely did it that way.)

3:00 - The "butter" does look a little more like butter here than the "butter" in BTB's pic. Also, it seems like Giordano's dough and "butter" may sometimes pick up a bit of an orange hue in videos, perhaps from the lighting or something (similar to a lot of AimlessRyan's unleavened pizza experiment pics from last year, when one of his kitchen lights needed replaced). I'm now a little more willing to believe it really is butter.

3:24 - He uses two dough balls for the top skin. There's some of the lamination you've been looking for. But how much lamination effect does a laminated top crust add to the final pizza?

3:40 - "How long does it generally take to cook a stuffed pizza?" Answer: About 35 minutes.

4:20 - Sauce is "made by our commissary." (I'm just pointing out that he actually uses the word "commissary" here.)

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2013, 11:25:44 AM »
Watching the video again, I picked up on something else at 4:20: He uses three ladles of sauce for the 14" pizza, with what appears to be an 8 oz ladle. If it is an 8 oz ladle, this suggests Giordano's uses about 24 oz of sauce on 14" pizzas. Also, it appears that the amount of sauce he fits into the ladle is a little more than the ladle's intended capacity. So he may actually have used more than 24 oz of sauce.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2013, 04:00:11 PM »
Awesome theory on the scraps creating the laminated effect. 

The layers are coveted on the outer rim of the pizza. It adds nothing to the bottom of the pizza and isn't noticable.   The top dough is raw, it melds with the cheese.

Even though dough is made fresh it doesn't mean it is shipped same day.  It could just mean they receive shipments daily of 2-3 day old dough.

What's interesting too is the dough can actually be spun around like a NY pie.

They bake at 465F in a massive rotary oven that has a front sliding door.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 04:09:12 PM by pythonic »
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2013, 04:56:43 PM »
Even though dough is made fresh it doesn't mean it is shipped same day.  It could just mean they receive shipments daily of 2-3 day old dough.

I didn't mean to imply that I think they're using same-day dough or anything like that. I was just quoting what he said because the quote made it clear that their dough comes from a commissary, rather than being made on-site. I assume they really are using 3-4 day dough, as was stated in the Slice article.

In an hour or two I'm gonna make a stuffed pizza with the IDY dough I made three days ago. (Yes, the IDY works.) Yesterday (Wednesday) I made a kind of rolled deep dish pizza out of scraps from Saturday's dough (which was mixed last Wednesday or Thursday). Since I had two wads of scrap dough, I rolled the two layers individually, then rolled them together to become a single skin. It was pretty awesome. Tasted like an Uno cheese pizza built on a reasonably thick two-layered Pizza Hut T&C crust. Skin weighed about 12 oz (it had a full 1-1/2" tall outer crust), and it had 9 oz of cheese and 10 oz of 7/11. Took some pictures, which I may share.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2013, 08:52:55 PM »
Tonight's pizza was good (my friend Lisa loved it), but the dough was too soft (49% hydration + 6% oil, with Pillsbury bleached AP). Since the two batches I already have in the fridge are 50% hydration, I just made a semi-emergency batch for Saturday with 47% hydration and 6% shortening.

Also, I put a little more cheese in tonight's pizza than usual (14 oz, rather than 13 oz), and it didn't quite ooze out the sides of the slices like normal. So I'll go back to 13 oz for Saturday's pizzas.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2013, 06:27:20 AM »


 

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