Author Topic: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?  (Read 33173 times)

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Online pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #100 on: August 29, 2013, 11:14:38 PM »
However I don't believe a 58% dough can be flaky either so I think it's somewhere in the middle.
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #101 on: August 30, 2013, 01:36:24 AM »
Below is the sauce recipe I was given. Keep in mind that I have never had Giordano's pizza, so I have no idea how their sauce tastes (or how it tasted in 1975). I kinda feel like this information may have been shared with an understanding that I would keep it to myself, at least for a while, so I could use it to guide me in my own quest to make this kind of pizza, then perhaps reveal it more discretely in time. If so, I may have screwed up by even mentioning it on the boards. But since I did mention it, I feel like I now have to share it exactly as it was shared with me.

For those of you who are familiar with my participation on these boards, you have surely noticed that I share all my secrets. Some secrets I've learned by working at Pizza Hut and Donatos, but a lot more secrets I've acquired by obsessively trying to understand the best ways to make various styles of pizza. In fact, if I ever own a pizzeria, I will continue to share my secrets. So I guess when someone hands me a gift like this, it's just not in my nature to hold on to it.

Like I said earlier, this information comes from a very reliable source. Also, as I think I've already indicated, this recipe is almost certainly at least a little different than the sauce you'd get if you went to Giordano's today.

So here it is. Even if it's not quite the same as their sauce today, it stands to reason that it may still be very similar. I have not tried to scale this down to a home-sized recipe yet.

5 #10 cans Lisanti plum tomatoes
2 #10 cans 7/11 crushed tomatoes
8 T salt
4 T garlic salt
3 T ground pepper
5 T sweet basil
2 T sugar
2 T marjoram
3 T oregano
1 T parsley
32 oz. olive oil
Combine and refrigerate overnight
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2013, 08:12:51 AM »
Thank you for sharing this recipe Ryan.  I will try this on my attempt tonight.  See below for 28oz can conversion.

.90 tsp - salt
.45 tsp - garlic salt
.34 tsp - black pepper
.57 tsp - sweet basil
.23 tsp - sugar
.23 tsp - majoram
.34 tsp - oregano
.11 tsp - parsley

34.56g - olive oil (anyone else think this is really high?)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 08:35:18 AM by pythonic »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #103 on: August 30, 2013, 09:02:15 AM »
Nate,

I think it is quite probable that Giordano's used a dough roller or its equivalent in the '70s. I say this because dough rollers existed in the '70s and they would have made it much easier and faster and more labor effective to make the two skins required by each pizza. Moreover, if scrap dough were used, there might have been some layering effects in the finished crust, especially if bench flour was used between the layers. Clearly, the Giordano's store in the video you referenced in Reply 80 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25774.msg275830.html#msg275830 uses scrap along with fresh dough balls to make their skins. Specifically, you will notice that the fellow making the skins reaches over to the center table and takes a really scruffy looking piece of dough--presumably scrap placed there by one of the workers at the end of the make line where the skins are trimmed of any excess dough--and combines it with a new dough ball to run through the dough roller. There also does not appear to be two different skin thicknesses, although I was once told by an Anets sales person that Giordano's, who was a big user of their dough rollers, used a much thinner skin for the top skin. At one point in the video, the fellow working the dough roller tosses a skin across the room onto a shelf, presumably to be used as the top skin by the workers in that area. That skin appears to have been made just like the bottom skin. And since scrap is recycled repeatedly in real time, the final skin might have some layering, possibly through multiple generations of skins. What I don't know is if it is possible to fold round skins several times to form many layers (maybe with flour between the layers) and run the skins so folded through the dough roller to end up with a more flaky crust. Clearly, that is not done today if the video you referenced is representative of how pizzas are made in the Giordano's stores.

On the matter of the high hydration called for in the recipe that Ryan mentioned, as I previously mentioned that does not appear to me to be an impediment. In this vein, see the Vito & Nick's video at
I came up with a clone of the V&N dough shown in that video and its hydration, including the water content of the milk used in the dough, was around 65%. You will note that Rose, the woman with Guy Fieri in the video, has no problem running the flattened and dusted dough ball through the dough roller. With a dough roller, there is little reason to toss and spin the skin. So, as Ryan noted in respect of the video you referenced, spinning the dough is mainly for show, although it might imply a dough with modest hydration and/or low fat/oil levels. There is, however, one exception to the no-spin notion. If someone wants to make a skin with a semi-hand tossed character, it is possible to run a dough ball through a dough roller to create a skin that is of a size that is a few inches less than the desired final size. After letting the skin rest for a while, it can be opened the rest of the way to the final desired size by hand, including spinning and tossing the dough if the hydration value of the dough makes that possible. Clearly, a semi hand shaped characteristic is not something that Giordano's wants or needs for its skins. The dough roller is plenty good enough to form the skins, with no need for tossing and spinning.

Peter

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #104 on: August 30, 2013, 09:43:22 AM »
Wow 65% seems insanely high for Chicago thin.  Where did u get your water measurements from?  (Already saw the 1/2 gallon milk measurement)
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #105 on: August 30, 2013, 09:59:56 AM »
Wow 65% seems insanely high for Chicago thin.  Where did u get your water measurements from?  (Already saw the 1/2 gallon milk measurement)
Nate,

You can see everything I did by way or research at Reply 119 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg117149.html#msg117149. As I noted, a lot of bench flour is used to make the final skins. Also, with experience, which I relied upon, you get to learn what different doughs with different hydrations look and feel like.

I forgot to mention in my last post that V&N uses the Ceresota flour, just like the old Giordano's dough recipe. So, with V&N, we have Ceresota flour, a high nominal hydration (but no fat/oil), room temperature overnight ferment, and use of a dough roller. Sound familiar? ;D

Peter
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:16:28 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #106 on: August 30, 2013, 10:31:07 AM »
Thank you for sharing this recipe Ryan.  I will try this on my attempt tonight.  See below for 28oz can conversion.

.90 tsp - salt
.45 tsp - garlic salt
.34 tsp - black pepper
.57 tsp - sweet basil
.23 tsp - sugar
.23 tsp - majoram
.34 tsp - oregano
.11 tsp - parsley

34.56g - olive oil (anyone else think this is really high?)

Nate, I just did a conversion to scale the sauce recipe down to a recipe based on 28 oz of tomatoes, and I got essentially the same measurements you got. My teaspoon measurements are all within 0.01 or 0.02 of what you listed, and I got 34.89 grams (1.23 oz) for the olive oil.

28 oz Crushed/Ground tomatoes
.92 tsp Salt
.46 tsp Garlic salt
.35 tsp Ground pepper
.58 tsp Sweet basil
.23 tsp Sugar
.23 tsp Marjoram
.35 tsp Oregano
.12 tsp Parsley
1.23 oz Olive oil (34.89 g)

I really can't say if I would consider the olive oil content high because I almost never add any kind of oil to my sauce. In fact, I've always been more inclined to use tomato product straight out of the can, and I don't even know what a couple of these spices taste like.

It seems like I've read at least a few posts in the old threads in which people mentioned crushed red pepper being present in Giordano's sauce. Also, a friend on Facebook mentioned crushed red pepper, as well. Consequently, I've used a hint of crushed red pepper to the simple sauce I've used for this style of pizza. I have no idea if it belongs there, but I like it.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #107 on: August 30, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »
I mixed up a batch of just the ingredients and the majoram seems really out of place.  I will add to a 28oz can of crushed tomatos and see how it goes.

Yes I believe there is a hint of crushed red pepper in their current sauce.
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Online pythonic

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #108 on: August 30, 2013, 11:28:31 AM »
I'm pretty sure there sauce recipe has stayed the same since the 70s because they said it did in a vid I saw.
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #109 on: August 30, 2013, 11:59:58 AM »
Confirmed.  That olive oil amount is WAY too high.  I would use 1/2 tbsp max for 28oz can
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 12:04:21 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 #110 on: August 30, 2013, 12:18:04 PM »
How bout none?
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #111 on: August 30, 2013, 12:48:54 PM »
How bout none?
Ryan,

According to the information in Reply 85 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg53610.html#msg53610, as of around 2008 there was no oil in the sauce. The calcium chloride most likely comes from the canned plum tomatoes (Lisanti).

Peter

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #112 on: August 30, 2013, 01:29:05 PM »
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #113 on: August 30, 2013, 02:11:48 PM »
Ok so this sauce has hints of the current Giordanos sauce.  That is a pleasant surprise.  I used crushed tomatoes with citric acid though by mistake which altered it a little.  I have to make a new batch of dough though because my yeast died.  In gonna go with 55% hydration for this attempt.

Nate
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #114 on: August 30, 2013, 02:56:57 PM »
I found this article that discusses various aspects of the Giordano's pizzas as of October, 2008 with the executive chef at Giordano's at the time, including these excerpts:

[Chicago Pizza Interview] Leo Spizzirri
Giordano's, probably the best known purveyor of stuffed pizza in the world, has been using largely the same recipe since it was started by the Boglio brothers in the mid-1970s. The man currently responsible for making sure Giordano's stays on top of its game is Leo Spizzirri, Executive Chef

A little over a year ago, he came to Giordano's as Executive Chef. He filled me in on some of what makes Giordano's pizza so good. The crust features high gluten flower and is allowed to rise for 3-5 days (4 being ideal) before it is made into pizza. The cheese, toppings and sauce are all fresh. Giordano's gets its whole milk mozzarella in large chunks and shreds it themselves, ensuring the cheese has the proper moisture when cooked. The toppings are all fresh, as are the tomatoes that are used to make the sauce.

http://www.chicagopizzaclub.com/2008/10/chicago-pizza-interview-leo-spizzirri.html

Peter
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 03:07:56 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #115 on: August 30, 2013, 03:22:56 PM »
That's some good info right there Peter.  So hi gluten flour and not AP.  I didn't think it was AP because that is biscuity.  In all the vids the dough still looks stiff though so what % hydration would you say about?

Nate
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #116 on: August 30, 2013, 04:45:30 PM »
That's some good info right there Peter.  So hi gluten flour and not AP.  I didn't think it was AP because that is biscuity.  In all the vids the dough still looks stiff though so what % hydration would you say about?
Nate,

I tend to be a suspicious sort so I don't believe everything that people say or write about pizza, including insiders who should be in the know but often aren't. I am most suspicious of writers who are not intimately familiar with a given topic and are just parroting back something that someone told them. And because someone is an executive chef doesn't mean that what they say is accurate or correct either.

To give you an example, the Slice article at http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2008/06/giordanos-stuffed-pizza-classic-chicago-illinois.html reported that there was shortening used in the Giordano's dough. That turned out not to be correct. The article I cited in the last post and also another Slice article at http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2011/07/chicago-essential-giordanos.html reported that the flour used to make the Giordano's dough was a high gluten flour and also that the sauce was made from fresh tomatoes. As for the flour, since there is no industry standard or definition of what make a given flour a high gluten flour, what protein level are we talking about? King Arthur describes its bread flour, which has a protein content of 12.7%, as a high gluten flour. Most people tend to think that a protein content of around 13-14.2% makes a flour a high gluten flour. I tend to doubt that Giordano's is using a flour with a protein content in the latter range. If Giordano's is not using the Ceresota flour, with a protein content of 12%, or it is not using what most of us consider an all-purpose flour, I would guess a flour with a protein content of say, 12.7% to 13%. Of course, that is just an educated guess.

With respect to the Giordano's sauce, what pizza company are you aware of with over forty stores that uses fresh tomatoes to make their pizza sauce? Even small operators don't do that. I think what was meant was "fresh pack" tomatoes since Giordano's uses canned fresh pack tomatoes, such as sold by Escalon or Stanislaus, to make their sauce.

Peter


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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #117 on: August 30, 2013, 06:30:31 PM »
Ok so this sauce has hints of the current Giordanos sauce.  That is a pleasant surprise.  I used crushed tomatoes with citric acid though by mistake which altered it a little.  I have to make a new batch of dough though because my yeast died.  In gonna go with 55% hydration for this attempt.

Nate

Here's something I think is a very good tip, based on what little I know about Giordano's: There is no such thing as too much sauce.

On my first one, I used like 12 oz of sauce for a 10" pizza. That wasn't enough, and it really brought out the flavor of the spices (mainly oregano, but I also used basil and crushed red pepper). Also, it tasted a lot like a cooked sauce (not good), because that's what it became. The sauce you just made will probably taste considerably different after it's been in an oven for 35 minutes; especially if you don't use enough of it. I'll be more inclined to use 15 or 16 oz of sauce on my next 10" stuffed pizza (which may be tomorrow, if I can find someone to help me eat it).

I'm about to make a trip to the grocery store to get a few of the spices listed in the sauce recipe. Can't wait to find out how the sauce tastes. Also, I think my Mondako dough batch is currently at 72+ hours. It's gonna be at least another day before I use it. Looks like I got the IDY percentage right this time.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #118 on: August 30, 2013, 10:51:48 PM »
Garvey,

I hear you and appreciate that things change with the passage of time but who is to say that the old Giordano's recipes aren't better than the recipes used today? Over the years I have seen a decline in the quality of pizzas produced by chains and independents alike. I think it would be interesting for Ryan to try the old Giordano's recipes to see what they produce. They apparently were the recipes that gave birth to the Giordano's enterprise.

Peter:

I completely understand what you're saying, but this thread/quest is the "Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone," not the "Best Stuffed Pizza Recipe." I'm not being argumentative or curmudgeonly: of course, anyone can go ahead and move the goalposts. 

But if we are talking Giordano's, what is the measuring stick?  An objective standard that exists today and can be readily measured against by many tasters, or a historical (apocryphal?) recipe that cannot be verified by anyone, except maybe BTB or someone else who dined there regularly 40 years ago?

So you're right: the old recipes may be *better*.  That is absolutely true.  But that would also mean qualitatively and factually *different*.  That's all.  No judgment passed...just reiterating facts.

Cheers,
Garvey

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2013, 10:27:54 AM »
Ok so this sauce has hints of the current Giordanos sauce.  That is a pleasant surprise.  I used crushed tomatoes with citric acid though by mistake which altered it a little.  I have to make a new batch of dough though because my yeast died.  In gonna go with 55% hydration for this attempt.

Nate

I made some of this sauce last night, using 28 oz of 7/11. I expected to end up with something pretty interesting, particularly because of what Nate said above. However, I don't seem to taste much of anything but salt (and I taste a lot of salt). I'm curious to find out how it tastes after baking. With the Mondako dough having been in the fridge for 4 days now, I want to make one of these today, but I may wait until tomorrow.
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #120 on: August 31, 2013, 12:14:09 PM »
But if we are talking Giordano's, what is the measuring stick?  An objective standard that exists today and can be readily measured against by many tasters, or a historical (apocryphal?) recipe that cannot be verified by anyone, except maybe BTB or someone else who dined there regularly 40 years ago?
Garvey,

You are a straight talker so I always respect what you have to say. If I had my druthers, I would have preferred to come up with a more recent clone of the Giordano's deep dish pizza. The best data and numbers that I had on the Giordano's pizza was back in early 2008, or thereabouts. A lot of the relevant information is reflected in Reply 85 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg53610/topicseen.html#msg53610. My participation in that thread persisted for about another year but ended in a whimper when I ran out of facts and numbers to be able to continue to reverse engineer and clone the Giordano's deep-dish pizza as it existed at that time. Also, at that time, I did not have as much experience as I now have with how to handle the Nutrition Facts as they were set forth in the abovementioned reply, although it was not for the lack of trying. At one point, I had nineteen pages of notes and calculations.

About three or four years later, as Giordano's went through the travails of bankruptcy, I wondered whether the new owners and managers would change the Giordano's dough formulation and pizza. I thought that that was a distinct possibility but, according to a late 2012 interview I found at http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/Dish/October-2012/Jack-of-Jacks-on-Halsted-Opens-Wrigley-BBQ-in-Lake-View/, when the new executive chef at Giordano's, Russell Bry, was asked point blank "You didn't change the pizza?", he replied as follows:

No. We embellished the pizza but have not changed the recipe at all. You’d have to be a damned fool to do something like that. We’ve added some new toppings: pesto chicken, barbecue chicken, balsamic onions, bacon, artichokes.

I often hear executives of food-related companies say at critical points in their existence where there were major changes that they did not change any of their recipes. I believe that they say that to soothe and comfort their customers who might be fearful that their beloved foods might be changed, possibly for the worse. But, I have never quite understood what executives mean when they say that they have not changed their recipes. For example, let us say that a given original dough recipe calls for flour, water, salt, yeast and maybe oil and/or sugar. If a later recipe also has the same ingredients but one of the ingredients, such as the flour, is changed from all-purpose to high gluten, has the recipe been changed? What if the brand of one of the ingredients is changed, such as going from a Ceresota flour to a General Mills flour with comparable specs, or if the quantities of one or more of the ingredients is changed, such as lowering the hydration value while increasing the amount of oil, or a decision has been made to drop the sugar, has the original recipe been changed in any of these instances? If a solid fat is replaced with a liquid oil because of trans fats, has the recipe been changed? I suppose if asked it is possible that Russell Bry might have drawn the line at the Giordano's pizza as it existed as of 2012 as far as changes were concerned, but usually executives like to keep a clear lineage that can be traced back to its roots and original founders and recipes. That is why I found Ryan's revelation of the original Giordano's recipes of interest. I was looking for a possible nexus that linked those recipes to future versions. So someone trying the original recipes might see connections to the current Giordano's products.

In due course, when I have more time, I hope to revisit the 2008 Giordano's data to see if I can find clues in it that I missed the last time I was in the weeds trying to make heads or tails out of the facts and numbers I had before me at that time.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 03:00:54 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #121 on: August 31, 2013, 12:16:57 PM »
Nate,

I tend to be a suspicious sort so I don't believe everything that people say or write about pizza, including insiders who should be in the know but often aren't. I am most suspicious of writers who are not intimately familiar with a given topic and are just parroting back something that someone told them. And because someone is an executive chef doesn't mean that what they say is accurate or correct either.

To give you an example, the Slice article at http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2008/06/giordanos-stuffed-pizza-classic-chicago-illinois.html reported that there was shortening used in the Giordano's dough. That turned out not to be correct. The article I cited in the last post and also another Slice article at http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2011/07/chicago-essential-giordanos.html reported that the flour used to make the Giordano's dough was a high gluten flour and also that the sauce was made from fresh tomatoes. As for the flour, since there is no industry standard or definition of what make a given flour a high gluten flour, what protein level are we talking about? King Arthur describes its bread flour, which has a protein content of 12.7%, as a high gluten flour. Most people tend to think that a protein content of around 13-14.2% makes a flour a high gluten flour. I tend to doubt that Giordano's is using a flour with a protein content in the latter range. If Giordano's is not using the Ceresota flour, with a protein content of 12%, or it is not using what most of us consider an all-purpose flour, I would guess a flour with a protein content of say, 12.7% to 13%. Of course, that is just an educated guess.

With respect to the Giordano's sauce, what pizza company are you aware of with over forty stores that uses fresh tomatoes to make their pizza sauce? Even small operators don't do that. I think what was meant was "fresh pack" tomatoes since Giordano's uses canned fresh pack tomatoes, such as sold by Escalon or Stanislaus, to make their sauce.

Peter

I dunno but their sauce is legendary.  Without it the pizza would only be average.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #122 on: August 31, 2013, 12:20:43 PM »
Ryan,

Can you tell me what weight of dough you used to make your 10" (small) Giordano's clones and how you arrived at that weight?

Peter

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2013, 12:24:45 PM »
Ryan or Nate,

Do we know what brand of mozzarella cheese Giordano's is now using? As best I can tell, the mozzarella cheese is reported to be whole milk mozzarella that is shredded from block. Stella was mentioned as a brand that was once used by Giordano's but that may no longer be the case.

Peter

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #124 on: August 31, 2013, 12:47:12 PM »
Ryan,

How many grams of flour are you using for your 14in pizzas?
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.