Author Topic: aurelio's pizza..  (Read 67262 times)

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Offline ihavezippers

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #160 on: September 24, 2011, 11:48:55 AM »
I agree with an earlier poster, what about the crust?  To me, this is the most unique and tasty attribute to Aurelio's pizza.  If anyone has any ideas on reproducing the crust, I think many of us would appreciate it.  I had Aurelio's (Homewood location) a few days ago and it was probably the best pizza I have ever eaten.  The crust was the most memorable aspect---like many have said, it had a crispy texture, while not being cracker-crispy.  The first thing that came to mind was that it was almost as if it was deep-fried (crispy, yet a little greasy).  I don't think it was deep-fried, but certainly there is something special about their crust.


Offline FrameAndCanvas

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #161 on: September 25, 2011, 05:13:46 PM »
I have a friend who works at the Homewood location, and he told me there's not a whole lot to the crust. They just use well oiled pans, which fries up the bottom. I can ask about the flour and all that next time I see him, but its the oil that crisps the crust.

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #162 on: September 25, 2011, 05:38:55 PM »
I had Aurelio's (Homewood location) a few days ago and it was probably the best pizza I have ever eaten. 
Did you order the pizza cooked in the "old oven" (deck oven) or just the default modern conveyor oven?  There is a big difference for those who are veteran Aurelio's Homewood location fans.

                                                                         --BTB

Offline Count Smackula

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I think I have the secret Aurelio's sauce recipe.
« Reply #163 on: October 31, 2011, 10:58:55 PM »
I've culled a lot of recipes, and I want to offer this info to anybody who's better at this sort of thing than I am.

I am pretty certain there are two key ingredients in Aurelio's sauce that most recipes are missing.  I will be trying them out this evening in a basic blend I hope to refine over the next few weeks.  The two ingredients I think are missing from most reverse-engineered recipes:

a small amount of red wine vinegar
Roasted red peppers

My family makes an italian sandwich every year that we concoct at Christmas time, and this year, amongst other things, that sandwich contained Oregano, Pepperoni, roasted red peppers, and red wine vinegar.

When my sister and I bit into the sandwich for the first time, we were floored by the fact that it tasted like an aurelio's pizza sandwich.  It was the first word out of both our mouths.

I am confident that the oregano, pepperoni, and especially the roasted red peppers and vinegar were the reason for this startling flavor.

I'll post more of my experiment later...and thought you might want to add to your potential arsenal of aurelio's recipes...

Offline Count Smackula

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Re: I think I have the secret Aurelio's sauce recipe.
« Reply #164 on: October 31, 2011, 11:06:59 PM »
Also...if I am right about this, it would also help to explain their higher-than-average pizza prices, since red peppers are a pricey ingredient....

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #165 on: November 01, 2011, 05:19:20 AM »
Red bell peppers are just more mature green bell peppers.  You COULD buy green bell peppers and allow them to ripen into red bell peppers.

Online norma427

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #166 on: December 21, 2011, 04:00:01 PM »
If anyone is interested:

From PMQ pizza radio:  Hear how Aurelio’s built 10,000 Facebook followers in one year.

http://pizzaradio.com/2011/12/21/ask-the-experts-with-john-romans-and-kirk-mauiello/

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline BBH

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #167 on: January 17, 2012, 03:02:45 PM »
I just had that pizza last week.  They use cutter pans, and conveyer ovens.  I did not get any hints of vinegar in the sauce.  Red peppers, possible if they cook the sauce.  Dough without a doubt has sugar, butter and would bet buttermilk.  Guess would be butter at 4%, Sugar at 2-3% and Butter Milk at 5%.  Pans were stacked with dough, so potential for pan rising or potential as prep for rush. No cornmeal detected and finished crust indicates an oil or Crisco in the pan. Hydration is lower, guess would be 45%, not including butter fat or oil.  My guess with the single slice I had:

Water 45%
Butter 4%
Sugar 2.5%
Butter Milk 5%
Oil 4%

Cutter Pan, Crisco and undetermined bake temperature.

BBH


 

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #168 on: February 07, 2012, 08:07:45 PM »
I grew up in the Chicagoland area (the Calumet Region, to be exact) and had Aurelio's many times throughout the years.  I now live in the American South, aka Pizza Wasteland, so when I go visit my folks back home, I eat pizza daily or twice daily.  Over Xmas, I had Aurelio's five times in a week (among other places...heh).

Anyway, one of the times was at the Homewood location.  I peeked into the kitchen and saw a giant row of double-deck ovens.  Must have been at least 6 or 8 of these stacks (i.e., 12-16 decks), minimum.  I did not see a conveyor belt anywhere.  That's not to say they don't have one, but I'd peg their deck oven capacity at 200 pies/hr. 

They definitely use cutter pans or the like (which others have confirmed in this thread).  The bottom of the crust reminded me very much of how deep dish gets that oily, uneven surface-of-the-moon look to it.  I studied it on premises, and it didn't hit me until I got home and made some deep dish and looked at the bottom of the crust on it, too.  It had the exact same look!

So has anyone tried a dough formulation with success yet?  I've seen a few thrown around but none are definitive.   I am almost wondering if their dough shares some other qualities with deep dish, like the butter BBH mentioned.  I gotta believe the overall oil content is pretty high.  What else?  Is it possible they do a very short knead?  It doesn't have the same qualities as a usual Chicago thin yet doesn't cross over into the oily flakiness of HRI, for example.  I highly doubt buttermilk, though; the sourness I've experienced there seems more like a result of yeast fermentation.

Has anyone ever tried a short knead (ala deep dish) for a thin crust?  If so, how did it turn out.

Finally, I have read through this whole thread many times throughout its history (LOOONGtime lurker here, folks! ;-)), and I gotta say that there is no way any of these exotic things mentioned for the sauce are in there.  No OJ, no honey, no pureed pimentos or red peppers.  First of all, this place was founded in the 50s by a dude named Joe.  There is no pretension here.  Secondly, it's just not practical or cost effective to use those wacky ingredients.  Finally, it just doesn't taste like it.  I'm thinking sugar and some herbs. 

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. 

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #169 on: February 08, 2012, 07:53:14 PM »
I grew up in the Chicagoland area (the Calumet Region, to be exact) and had Aurelio's many times throughout the years.  I now live in the American South, aka Pizza Wasteland . . .
Garvey, great looking pizzas of yours that I've seen on a number of threads here in the last day or two.  Nice job.  I see you were from the south side or suburbs.  I grew up in South Chicago and lived for a while in Flossmoor, too.  Giavanni's (Roseland), Fuscaldo's, House of Pizza (Dalton), Nino's and of course Aurelio's in Homewood, Ed & Joe's in Tinley Park were great pizzerias.  Which thin crust did you try to duplicate?  Am in the Tampa Bay area now and just one or two great pizzas here unfortunately.

I used to be a regular at Aurelio's in Homewood.  All of their many restaurants only have conveyor ovens and only the original there in Homewood still has some deck ovens, but most of their pizzas there are made in a conveyor oven.  It is the only location where "old timers" can request to have their pizzas cooked in "the old oven" otherwise the default (automatic selection) will be for the conveyor oven, which is the case at 99.99% of all Aurelio locations.  They've substantially changed their dough recipe to reflect the conveyor oven use.  I've been in their Homewood kitchen many times and think that they've reduced the number of deck ovens a lot unfortunately.  I would estimate that 65 to 80% of the pizzas at Homewood are made in their conveyor oven, so I'm uncertain why you hadn't seen such. 

In my youth I used to watch Joe Aurelio putting and taking out the pizzas in the deck ovens with a peel and they never used cutter pans then.  They do use such pans now with the conveyor ovens, but I didn't think that they did so with cooking in the old fashion, superior deck ovens, but who knows.  I've been to Aurelio's pizzerias from Minnesota to Arizona and Ft. Myers, Florida.  There is no buttermilk or any milk in the crust formulation for Aurelio's.  And you're right there is absolutely NO OJ or honey or pureed pimentos or red peppers in the sauce.  A little sugar . . . maybe.

Don't "lurk" so much anymore.  Please join us more often as I think you have a lot to contribute and we are all better pizzamakers with such constructive help and thoughts as you apparently have.

                                                                                                        --BTB


Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #170 on: February 09, 2012, 03:25:39 PM »
Thanks, BTB.  I enjoyed reading all that and appreciate the encouragement.  I think I had only stayed in lurker mode because this probably isn't good for my productivity to be an actual, contributing member on this board.   :-D

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #171 on: February 10, 2012, 04:05:35 PM »
I used to be a regular at Aurelio's in Homewood . . . In my youth I used to watch Joe Aurelio putting and taking out the pizzas in the deck ovens with a peel and they never used cutter pans then.
Boy, this is the first time that I ever quoted myself.  Anyway, here's Joe Aurelio, God Bless Him, doing exactly what I said above cooking a pizza in the vastly, vastly superior deck ovens.  His pizzas were among the best ever made in the world.        --BTB

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #172 on: February 10, 2012, 10:12:41 PM »
oh man!  i want a deck oven!!!  instead of putting in a wood fired can you buy a blodgett and install it outside???  anyhow BTB thanks as usual for all the info and great stories.  I just realized growing up in lombard aurelios was our favorite, but the one in oakbrook terrace was a conveyer...i dont think ive ever had a deck oven aurelios.   next time im in chicago its imperative i have try to go to the original!  as far as the sauce...ive tried soo many times now.  paste and water, pastenes, all with sugar....i cant get it.....still a great mystery to me.  Joe was a stud...took a product he made and expanded it hugely! and i still love their frozen shipped pizzas too!  he could have had some tricks up his sleeve with respect to the sauce....but i admit citric acid...a thought of mine...is way too out there....lemon juice anyone??  Ha!!!  I  wish i knew!!

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #173 on: February 10, 2012, 11:17:39 PM »
@BTB, is that framed picture of Joe hanging up in your house?  Also, did you frequent Sanfratello's?  Good joint.

@mrmojo1, yes, you can do that.  I helped my buddy Dave (fellow Pizza Factory cloner) locate a single deck Blodgett for $300.  He cleaned it up and still needs to put in new stones (which will be a couple hundred...it didn't have any), but he had planned on putting it outside on his patio.  He just recently decided to put it inside his basement instead.  His "man cave" is going to be a "pizza cave" to resemble a Chicago pizza parlor.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 11:20:08 PM by Garvey »

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #174 on: February 11, 2012, 08:11:55 AM »
Garvey, I forgot about Sanfratellos, but they were great, too, and very similar to, but unique in itself, from Aurelio's.  Mr. Mojo, you'll have to make an evening of it some day when in the area and visit Aurelio's in Homewood for a small pizza (and get a container of their sauce) and then go over to Sanfratellos and have a small pizza in their neat White House in Glenwood, which is only about 10 or 15 minutes away.  You may need a GPS to find their Glenwood location as it is a little difficult to find for those not familiar with the area.  See http://www.sanfratellos.com/about.html

That picture of Joe Aurelio is on the wall at the Aurelio's in Ft. Myers, Florida.  And even tho they only have conveyor ovens, they do a fantastic job with their pizzas.  (But any real Chicago Style thin crust pizza would be "treasured" down here in Florida.)

                                                                                --BTB

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #175 on: February 11, 2012, 10:14:14 AM »
Aurelio's in Homewood is a mind-blowing show.  We were there at Xmas, and it had been a good 30 years since I had been inside that particular joint.  The place was competely packed.  I had forgotten how enormous it was.  And the pizza was amazing, of course.

And yes, get good directions to Aurelio's.  It is a bit hard to find.  Sanfratello's should be easy, being on Main St.  It is an interesting place inside, too.  Very cool.

Don't forget Arranello's to complete the Homewood/Glenwood sweet sauce trifecta.  Hailed as the best stuffed pizza by the Trib a while back.  Look 'em up.  They are just a few blocks from Sanfratello's on Glenwood-Lansing Rd. 

And if you're a beer aficionado, you might as well continue on that same road a few short miles to Three Floyds.

I'm making myself hungry just writing this.

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #176 on: February 11, 2012, 02:36:04 PM »
BTB:

As long as we're name-checking great pies of the South Suburbs, how about John's in Cal City?  I always considered that being its own style (or sub-style), actually.  It has a softer, more pillowy crust and used the crumbled sausage that covered every inch of the pie.  There were many imitators of that style around the area.  Great, great pizza.

What do you think it would take to make a crust like that?  My first inclination would be that it was leaner (less oil) than my regular thin crust recipe and fermented shorter (24 hrs).  My other inclination was to cut the hydration a bit, to maybe 45 percent, but should I be going the other direction, a higher hydration like 55?  Seems like it would be harder to work with.

Garvey

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #177 on: February 11, 2012, 03:02:58 PM »
As long as we're name-checking great pies of the South Suburbs, how about John's in Cal City?
John's in Calumet City has gone the way of the . . . eh . . . clubs there.   :-X  Closed.  Several other John's have opened up and claimed to be related somehow to the original John's (See http://theoriginaljohns.com/).  But a large number of people say they're not the same at all. (http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=95914)  The crumbled "breakfast" sausage never excited me (as much as the clubs down the street  :o).  Gone but not forgotten . . .  :'(     --BTB

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #178 on: February 12, 2012, 07:10:04 PM »
John's used Italian sausage.  I made it to the Cal City location right before they closed for good.  It was a stellar pie.  I kinda like that crumbled sausage effect.  It really covers the whole pie.  But like I said, it's a different style altogether.  Excellent crust.  Obviously, it's not for everyone. 

Offline CharlotteSailor

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #179 on: February 13, 2012, 08:17:50 AM »
"Aurelio's in Ft. Myers, Florida.  And even tho they only have conveyor ovens, they do a fantastic job with their pizzas."

I have to disagree. I was was in the Ft Myers (Gulf Coast Town Center) several months ago... first some background.  I grew up in "the Heights" and Flossmoor.  I ate in the original store  at least once a week.  I remember when the "new store" opened and ate there once a week for several years, before I moved to California.  Lived in that (California) real pizza wasteland for many years.  My wife and I moved to Southwest Florida and learned that Aurelio's had a store in Naples we went there and enjoyed it several times even though it was a drive.  When Gulf Coast opened we went and enjoyed it although we didn't think it was as good as the Naples store.  The last time we went to the Gulf Coast store it was a disaster.  The pizza was so salty it was inedible .  The manager was making his rounds of the tables and asked us how we liked it we told him it was way too salty.  I also told him I grew up eating at the original Aurelio's. I wasn't looking for anything for free, a replacement pie would have been nice as we had only eaten a slice each (never said this to him), but just wanted him to know that the product wasn't right.  He brushed us off saying Aurelio's sauce and cheese is very salty and walked away.  We had the pie boxed up and left.  We tried to eat it the next day but neither my wife nor I could eat it.  I then did something I have never ever done in my entire life (and I'm in my late 50s) I threw away left over pizza even more unbelievable it was Aurelio's to boot.

I emailed Aurelio's corporate relating my disappointing experience, again not asking for anything, but as I grew up eating their product I had a great desire to see them succeed even more than they have.  To my surprise I never received any kind of reply.  This really turned me off as I used to love their pies and believed theirs is the standard that all pizzas should be judged by.  I don't know if I just had a bad pie or if they have changed the sauce recipe, if the recipe has changed its way way too salty, salt was the only thing we could taste