Author Topic: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?  (Read 23679 times)

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Online 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.
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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?
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #125 on: August 31, 2013, 12:51:23 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

The cheese hasn't changed.  Stella WM but I don't think you can buy it.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 12:53:25 PM by pythonic »
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #126 on: August 31, 2013, 12:56:59 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?
The measuring stick is the fact that there are no pictures on the internet, either here or elsewhere, of pizzas that look remotely like Giordano's, except these and a few of the pics I've shared lately. Chicago Rules!!!'s pizzas look great--probably better than mine--but he (or she?) didn't share much about them, other than the fact that the dough "was very similar to Buzz's." So the way I see it, there isn't a measuring stick. First of all because Buzz measures everything by volume, but also because I think his recipe is pretty far off the mark in at least one area. I'm not even sure if anyone has expressed a prospective Giordano's recipe in bakers' percents prior to the dough formulations I've shared lately.

All I know is that if the "inside information" I've shared recently is legit, even though it is almost 40 years old and has surely been changed more than once, then that information is probably still more accurate than any other information that has been shared either here or anywhere else on the internet. And I consider that very relevant information.

I'm not trying to pretend I'm any kind of expert when it comes to this kind of pizza, because I'm not. I've never even had Giordano's. But there's just no reliable information out there, and I knew after one try that I was probably closer to replicating this pizza than anyone else has been so far, at least with the dough/crust. Yeah, I'm impressed with my results so far, although I know there's a lot of room for improvement. You would be, too, if you had just accomplished what I feel like I've accomplished. And I may sound full of myself for a while. If I do, then shoot me down. But also realize that if I sound full of myself, it may just be that I'm simply trying to share what I think is some pretty valuable information (and that you're misinterpreting my intentions).

Just look at it this way, Garvey: After I speculated that the fat percentage in Giordano's dough is much less than half of what everyone else has tried, before any of this "inside information" came out, YOU seconded my low-fat interpretation. As far as I know, that had not happened prior to the other day. I think someone (probably Peter) may have speculated that the fat percentage should be lower than what everyone has tried prior to my participation, but I don't think anyone ever seconded that idea. Then the other day, you did. Which means you and I may have just permanently changed the direction of how most people approach their view of how to clone a style of pizza that previously had no direction.

Regardless of what the "inside information" says, I feel pretty sure that the fat percentage for this dough needs to be in the neighborhood of 6-8%. That's how I felt before this information was even shared with me. But to have such information available to perhaps confirm what I already thought I'd figured out on my own, I think that's big. Having said that, I think it's very unlikely that the hydration of Giordano's dough is a drop over 50%, even though the "inside information" says 58%. I like 48%, and I'm gonna stick with it for a while.

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.
Yes, the "inside information" I've shared is different. We know that. Even the person who shared it with me acknowledged that it's not the same thing they're making today. I wasn't trying to say "this is the answer." It's not the answer, but it seems to be a useful tool that will ultimately help us figure out the answer.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #127 on: August 31, 2013, 01:22:52 PM »
Ryan,

Do you have final dough weight for 10 inch?
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #128 on: August 31, 2013, 01:23:29 PM »
Ryan,

How many grams of flour are you using for your 14in pizzas?

For 33 oz of dough (936 g), I'm using 21.19 oz (601 g) of flour. This amount of dough works really well for a 10" pan that's 2" deep (because it is enough dough to comfortably account for what will become scrap dough). If you're using a pan with different dimensions, let me know the dimensions so I can enter everything into my spreadsheet and tell you what the spreadsheet suggests. [EDIT: I've decided to make 33 oz dough batches for future 10" stuffed pizzas, rather than 30 oz of dough. With this change, I will divide the dough into a 17.67 oz (501 g) dough ball for the bottom skin and a 14.84 oz (421 g) dough ball for the top skin, with a target weight of 12.02 oz (341 g) for the bottom skin after trimming, and a target weight of 7.44 oz (211 g) for the top skin after trimming. That's a total weight of 19.46 oz (552 g) of dough after trimming. But in your case, you'll probably want to roll the top crust at least a little thinner (because you seem to have indicated a strong preference for thinner top crusts).]

Oh, wait. I just re-read your post, and you asked about 14".

Spreadsheet says to make 53.44 oz (1515 g) of dough for 14". Flour is 34.31 oz (973 g). Since you're using a higher hydration than me, your dough batch will probably end up weighing a little more than mine. Divide the dough into a dough ball of 28.7 oz (814 g) for the bottom skin and a dough ball of 24.74 oz (701 g) for the top skin. Your goal is to end up with a bottom skin of 20.78 oz (589 g) after trimming and a top skin of 14.23 oz (403 g) after trimming. But in your case, you'll probably want to roll the top crust at least a little thinner (because you seem to have indicated a strong preference for thinner top crusts).

EDIT: I deleted a lot of confusing rhetoric and added some stuff that I think is more accurate than what I originally said (as well as more confusing rhetoric).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 11:25:23 AM by Aimless Ryan »

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #129 on: August 31, 2013, 01:55:47 PM »
The cheese hasn't changed.  Stella WM but I don't think you can buy it.
Nate,

For some reason, Saputo, the parent of Stella, seems to be deemphasizing the sale of mozzarella cheese by Stella itself, since mozzarella cheese does not appear among the cheeses shown at the Stella website at http://www.stellacheese.com/. However, it appears that some Sam's Clubs are carrying 5-lb blocks of the Stella whole milk mozzarella cheese:

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/stella-whole-milk-mozzarella-cheese-5-lbs/160954.ip

Peter


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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #130 on: August 31, 2013, 02:01:20 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

I have different numbers plugged into my spreadsheet now, but I think I remember the numbers I've used previously. (Yeah, I did remember correctly.)

All right, I have the bottom crust defined as TF=0.100. It occupies a 10" straight-sided pan and goes 1.75" up the side of the pan. (Can't remember why I entered 1.75" instead of 2".) Trimmed dough target weight for the bottom skin is 13.35 oz (379 g).

[EDIT: I remember why I entered 1.75" instead of 2". It's because my spreadsheet interprets my bottom dough skin as two pieces of dough (even though it's actually only one piece of dough). The spreadsheet sees my bottom skin as one flat skin that occupies the full 10" diameter of the pan, in addition to a hoop of dough that sits atop the flat skin. The hoop of dough occupies the remaider of the pan's depth. Since the pan is 2" deep and the hoop of dough sits on top of the other skin, the ring cannot possibly go a full 2" up the side of the pan; it can only go about 1/4" less than the full depth of the pan (because the flat part of the skin is about 1/4" thick). Which is why I enter 1.75" instead of 2". (If that confuses anyone, feel free to ask me about it.)]

I defined the top crust as TF=0.060. It occupies a 10" diameter and goes 0.75" up the side of the pan. Trimmed dough target weight for the top skin is 4.96 oz (141 g).

The only change I made is that I now have it set as TF=0.090 for both crusts. With this info plugged in, it says to use 12.02 oz (341 g) of dough for the bottom crust and 7.44 oz (211 g) of dough for the top crust.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 11:56:10 AM by Aimless Ryan »

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #131 on: August 31, 2013, 02:14:18 PM »
Peter,

I want to make a Giordano's pizza using hi gluten flour (55-56% hydration, 8-10% oil) and want a 4 day cold ferment.  I will obviously need some sugar right for that long ferment right?   How much yeast should I use as well?  I've decided to use my 12inch cast iron pan to bake this also. 
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #132 on: August 31, 2013, 02:15:57 PM »
Nate,

For some reason, Saputo, the parent of Stella, seems to be deemphasizing the sale of mozzarella cheese by Stella itself, since mozzarella cheese does not appear among the cheeses shown at the Stella website at http://www.stellacheese.com/. However, it appears that some Sam's Clubs are carrying 5-lb blocks of the Stella whole milk mozzarella cheese:

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/stella-whole-milk-mozzarella-cheese-5-lbs/160954.ip

Peter

Good find Peter.  Too bad I only have Costco.
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #133 on: August 31, 2013, 02:17:34 PM »
For 30 oz of dough (850 g), I'm using 19.26 oz (546 g) of flour. This amount of dough works really well for a 10" pan that's 2" deep (because it is enough dough to comfortably account for what will become scrap dough). If you're using a pan with different dimensions, let me know the dimensions so I can enter everything into my spreadsheet and tell you what the spreadsheet suggests. Like others have said, divide the dough into two pieces that account for 1/3 and 2/3 of the total dough.

Oh, wait. I just re-read your post, and you asked about 14".

Spreadsheet says to make 53.44 oz (1515 g). Flour is 34.31 oz (973 g).

Since you're using a higher hydration than me, your dough batch should weigh a little more than mine. Also, right now I'm questioning the math I used in my spreadsheet because it's telling me to divide the dough into 28.7 oz (814 g) and 24.74 oz (701 g), which is not even close to thirds. However, the difference in pan size may account for this disparity (because it's not linear, or something like that).

Just to be safe, you might want to base it on 1092 g of flour.

Thanks Ryan.  I've decided to use my 12in cast iron pan for my hi gluten experiment and will use 27oz of flour based off your calculations.
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #134 on: August 31, 2013, 02:57:17 PM »
Thanks Ryan.  I've decided to use my 12in cast iron pan for my hi gluten experiment and will use 27oz of flour based off your calculations.

In case you're interested, for top and bottom skins of TF=0.090 and a depth of 1.75", here's what my spreadsheet says for 12" (assuming straight sides, although I'm sure the cast iron has sloped sides):

Total dough: 42.41 oz (1202 g)
Bottom crust dough ball: 22.9 oz (649 g)
Top crust dough ball: 19.51 oz (553 g)

After trimming:

Bottom crust: 16.12 oz (457 g)
Top crust: 10.55 oz (299 g)
Cheese: 19.11 oz (542 g)
Sauce: 22.02 oz (624 g)

Unbaked pizza weight=67.8 oz (1922 g)

I mentioned many posts ago that I think my sauce weight is probably a little higher than Giordano's (but I also said a day or two ago that I don't think there's such thing as too much sauce for this kind of pizza).

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #135 on: August 31, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
Nate,

For some reason, Saputo, the parent of Stella, seems to be deemphasizing the sale of mozzarella cheese by Stella itself, since mozzarella cheese does not appear among the cheeses shown at the Stella website at http://www.stellacheese.com/. However, it appears that some Sam's Clubs are carrying 5-lb blocks of the Stella whole milk mozzarella cheese:

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/stella-whole-milk-mozzarella-cheese-5-lbs/160954.ip

Peter
That's correct. I've mentioned this several times over the past year to others looking for a good, inexpensive mozz cheese and as of last Sunday my Sam's still carried the Stella brand.
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #136 on: August 31, 2013, 05:07:34 PM »
Ryan:

I think we're agreeing here, on everything. 

And if you come up with the Nixon era clone, awesome!  No one will know, though, whether it is 1974 Giordano's or not.  It'll just be good pizza.  But maybe it'll somehow taste like the contemporary offering, and that's cool.  But if it's nothing like what is offered now...you've got a "tree falling in the forest" phenomenon, more or less...


Peter:

I also think we're agreeing here.  And nothing but love and respect for your work. 

I also think that when companies start franchising, formulations may change to achieve similar results but with different equipment.  So it's actually possible that the 1974 recipe gets us much closer in the home oven than the 2013 commissary formulation would.  (I am reminded of the HRI travails here.)

Peace to all,
Garvey

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #137 on: August 31, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »


And if you come up with the Nixon era clone, awesome!  No one will know, though, whether it is 1974 Giordano's or not.  It'll just be good pizza.  But maybe it'll somehow taste like the contemporary offering, and that's cool. But if it's nothing like what is offered now...you've got a "tree falling in the forest" phenomenon, more or less...





Maybe it will be something that is even better.  8)
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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #138 on: August 31, 2013, 06:13:46 PM »
The Mondako dough (which I mixed four days ago) is in the oven. I'm baking this one at 460 for around 35 minutes. For this 10" pizza, the total dough was about 19 oz. 13 oz of cheese. Pepperoni by feel. 16 oz of sauce (from the recipe). 21 minutes left on the timer.

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Re: Definitive Closest Giordano's Clone as of 6/12/13?
« Reply #139 on: August 31, 2013, 07:16:27 PM »
I want to make a Giordano's pizza using hi gluten flour (55-56% hydration, 8-10% oil) and want a 4 day cold ferment.  I will obviously need some sugar right for that long ferment right?   How much yeast should I use as well?  I've decided to use my 12inch cast iron pan to bake this also.
Nate,

Yes, I would use about 1-2% sugar to be sure that there is enough food for the yeast and for crust coloration purposes. As for the amount of yeast (I assume IDY) to use, that can be tricky since it depends on things like finished dough temperature, the stability of your refrigerator temperatures, temper temperatures and duration, etc. However, having worked with high oil content doughs, namely, the Papa John's clone doughs, I found that oil quantity at the levels I was using did not impede the yeast performance that I could tell. So, for your purposes, you might use something like 0.20-0.25% IDY. Maybe I would err on the high side (0.25% IDY) but monitor the rise of the dough since you will be working at higher oil levels than I have used.

Peter