Author Topic: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!  (Read 46470 times)

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Offline pcampbell

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2008, 05:37:53 PM »
How do you get it to stretch out and not shrink back in?  The oil on the bottom of the pan seems to want to just let the dough just slide back together.  I don't normally have any problems stretching dough out and this is generally the same exact recipe for dough I use.
Patrick


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2008, 06:06:38 PM »
Patrick, glad to see you're trying again!

I usually use the "rest" method... I start by holding the dough in the air, letting gravity help me stretch it while I work around the edges, trying to get it fairly even and slightly rectangular.  Then I plop it in the pan and stretch the dough as far as it will go until it starts to shrink back.  Then, I walk away and work on the toppings... sauce... or whatever still needs to be done.  I let it rest for at least 5 minutes, sometimes 10, then stretch it again.  If it doesn't make it to the corners, I repeat the rest once more.  That usually does the trick.  If it doesn't go ALL the way into the corners, don't fret cause oven spring usually completes that job.  Hope that helps!

Hope you can post some pics!

~sd
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Offline lussino

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 01:40:20 PM »
Sourdough, your pizza looks great!   

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 07:27:27 PM »
Thanks, lussino!

I'm still working on the sauce... not convinced that I have it "quite" right...  it's hard to capture something that you can't get anymore and are remembering from so many years ago!  I can close my eyes and pretend I'm back a "few" years... and I can smell and taste that pizza.  So far, crust is good, cheese is good... there's still something that needs improvement... but that's just a good excuse to make more pizza, isn't it??   ;)

~sd
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Offline pcampbell

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2008, 05:07:45 PM »
I still can't figure out the right oven temp and rack location to get this a little crispy.  It is usually a bit soggy ???
Patrick

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2008, 05:29:39 PM »
Patrick,
I put it on the bottom rack in a 550o oven, right on top of the pizza stone.  There's another stone on the rack above it.  I have never had a problem with it coming out soggy, but I also don't judge the pizza by the top... I pull the rack out and check the bottom... if it's nice and BROWN, I pull it out... if it's still fairly blonde, I push it back in and give it a couple more minutes.  The upper edges even get just a little crunchy, while the bottom is quite crisp. 

So, if your oven temp isn't maxed, I would suggest you raise it... and put the pizza on the lowest rack.

Let me know how that works!
~sd
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Offline pcampbell

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2008, 06:06:16 PM »
On reply #15 we tried as hot as the oven went and I think what happened is the crust didn't cook and the cheese started to burn.  The oven gets very hot but I don't have any pizza stone. :-[
Patrick

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2008, 06:30:58 PM »
Sorry, Patrick...
I forgot about that iteration...  now I don't know what to tell you, unless it is try a thinner pan that will heat more quickly.  Another thought... I'm assuming that your pan is dark, not bright and shiny.  The Williams-Sonoma website shows a dark jellyroll pan.  My pan, as I said, is also thick and VERY dark from use, and I have a stone to give it a blast of heat.  If you don't have a DARK thinner pan... and you don't have a stone, I don't know what else to suggest, other than buying one or the other.  Hmmm... the other option, that I have used with success in the summer when I don't want to heat the kitchen is revving up the charcoal grill.  I put a single layer of hot coals covering the whole bottom grate... and put the pizza pan on the cooking grate and slap on the lid.  Takes about 4 minutes... the crust is VERY fried and the cheese just starting to melt.  Don't know where you live or if you use a grill year 'round, but that's worth a try, too. 

 :-[
~sd
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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2008, 11:17:36 AM »
Sourdough Girl,

How wet is this dough when you use it?  I've done the recipe 2x and the 1st time it was really, really, wet.  Almost batter like rather than dough like.  The 2nd time I did it (yesterday) it was much more like I would expect a pizza dough to look like.  I'm assuming I screwed something up the 1st time but I was hoping you could confirm it shouldn't be ridiculously wet. 

Also, I only have a silver pan for use (along with a stone I cook it on).  Will that not give me the fried like texture that's so important to this style of pizza? 

Thanks in advance, and your pics look great!

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2008, 03:11:33 PM »
LP,
At 62% hydration, the dough should not be wet.  I think you are correct with your assessment of iterations 1 and 2... the second was the proper dough.  Sounds like you ended up with more like a focaccia dough with the first try!  How did it bake up?  Sure would like to see some pics!

Your silver pan will probably be OK if you use it directly on the stone.  When I started my quest for this pizza, I used a shiny aluminum sheet pan, once on the stone and once in my 22" Webber Kettle.  Both times, the pizza was good (but almost burned on the hot Kettle!) but I really like the dark pan better.  With a shiny pan, the crust still fried, but didn't get as brown and crisp as it's getting with the dark pan. 

~sd
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 03:17:41 PM by sourdough girl »
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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2008, 03:46:53 PM »
LP,
At 62% hydration, the dough should not be wet.  I think you are correct with your assessment of iterations 1 and 2... the second was the proper dough.  Sounds like you ended up with more like a focaccia dough with the first try!  How did it bake up?  Sure would like to see some pics!

The pizza was really good but I couldn't get the dough to fry at all and it was a little, uh, soggy.  I do have a few pictures but nothing of a slice as I couldn't get my camera to focus.  I'll post them (hopefully larger than my other ones) at a later date.

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2008, 04:03:07 PM »
LP,
I guess I assumed, but should have made sure, that you are preheating the stone for at least an hour at the highest temp your oven will go.  That helps raise the temp of the pan more quickly when it hits the stone.  If you are serious about making this type of pizza, it might be time to invest in a dark pan.  It really does make a difference!  The other option is to season your shiny pan by spraying it with cooking spray and sticking it, empty, into a hot oven for a while.  You will probably have to repeat this several times before the pan gets good and dark.  Please keep us posted!

~sd
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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2008, 04:10:56 PM »
LP,
I guess I assumed, but should have made sure, that you are preheating the stone for at least an hour at the highest temp your oven will go.  That helps raise the temp of the pan more quickly when it hits the stone.  If you are serious about making this type of pizza, it might be time to invest in a dark pan.  It really does make a difference!  The other option is to season your shiny pan by spraying it with cooking spray and sticking it, empty, into a hot oven for a while.  You will probably have to repeat this several times before the pan gets good and dark.  Please keep us posted!

~sd

Oven was at 550 for about 1 1/2 hrs.  I think, or I know I just made a mistake with the dough and that's why it was a little soggy after the bake.  As you suggested, I think I'll buy a dark pan.  My wife is from Scranton PA and sicilian style is all over the place there so she really wants me to be able to replicate it as closely as possible.  :)

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2008, 04:14:10 PM »
LPcreation,

As noted in this post by Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=30032#30032, he recommends using some sugar in the dough when using a silver colored pan in order to get better crust browning. Using a fair amount of oil in the pan should also help.

I may have missed it, but I could not find mention of the type of flour used in sourdough girl’s recipe. If it is all-purpose and above, then 62% hydration would not yield a wet dough. You would have to be using something like pastry flour or cake flour.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2008, 04:31:38 PM »
Peter,
Guess I missed that detail, too!  I usually use either GM or Pillsbury AP flour.  I have tried GM Harvest King, but it gets too chewy for my tastes.  This crust is supposed to be light and crisp, not bready.

LP,
As your wife probably can tell you, my mom's hometown of Exeter is not far from Scranton... and I'm glad to hear that Sicilian is alive and well out there!

~sd
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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2008, 04:47:14 PM »
LPcreation,

As noted in this post by Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=30032#30032, he recommends using some sugar in the dough when using a silver colored pan in order to get better crust browning. Using a fair amount of oil in the pan should also help.

I may have missed it, but I could not find mention of the type of flour used in sourdough girl’s recipe. If it is all-purpose and above, then 62% hydration would not yield a wet dough. You would have to be using something like pastry flour or cake flour.

Peter


Thanks Pete.  I didn't use any sugar in the dough but I used plenty of oil in the pan.  The flour I've used both times have been KA bread flour.    :(

Looks like I'll be making another batch soon with the Pillsbury AP flour SG mentions above.  I'll let you know how the bread flour works out.  Thanks for the responses.

Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2008, 12:53:16 PM »
Here are the pics I promised.

The 1st pic is the really wet dough pic.  I didn't get any crust pics because I couldn't get my camera to focus on it. 

The following 3 pics are of the proper dough pizza.  Unfortunately, I completely overcooked it and used way too much cheddar. 


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2008, 07:15:08 PM »
LP,
Sorry to hear it was overcooked ... did you taste it at all?  If so, how was it?  The crust photo looks good... in fact, they all look good!
I haven't tried cheddar yet, so am curious how that adds to the flavor mix.  Some say the NEPA sicilian has white cheddar only, some say a mix of white cheddar/american... as well as other variations.  Guess it depends on the establishment you visit. 

I hope you will keep trying and keep posting the results because I am still working on my Tommy's clone, even though I am happy with what I have already done.  My NEPA-raised mom thinks I have nailed it, but I'm not as convinced as she is.... so, I am interested in any results anyone is willing to share!

~sd
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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2008, 10:23:55 PM »
LP,
Sorry to hear it was overcooked ... did you taste it at all?  If so, how was it?  The crust photo looks good... in fact, they all look good!
I haven't tried cheddar yet, so am curious how that adds to the flavor mix.  Some say the NEPA sicilian has white cheddar only, some say a mix of white cheddar/american... as well as other variations.  Guess it depends on the establishment you visit. 

Of course we tasted it, we ate it all.  :)

It wasn't bad but it was overcooked.  The ham was a little rubbery and the corners and part of the cheese was burned, not so good.  The real prize was the dough was right and I really liked the pepperoni.  It was margherita stick and it cupped.  The cheddar is a nice touch if you don't overuse it, which I also did.  I used a mix of mozz, cheddar, and american.  I did about a 40/40/20 split (mozz/ched/am) but it should probably be closer to 60/20/20.  I think next time I do this it will be what I'm looking for.  Thank you for all your help.

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2008, 06:16:17 PM »
LP
Glad to hear it wasn't a total loss even though overcooked... but the comment that made me feel the best is that the crust was RIGHT!  I sincerely hope that Patrick (pcampbell) is able to replicate your success with my dough recipe!

I'm going to try your cheese mix.  I have not tried american yet and have tried yellow cheddar only a couple of times... and on a round pizza, not my Tommy's.  Mom and I are in agreement that Tommy's had no yellow in the cheese, so I will try white cheddar and white american.  Hey, another excuse to make pizza!  (as if I need one!)   :-D

Thanks for posting your results and pics... that crust photo looks REALLY good, nice and fried like it's supposed to be!  In my initial iterations with Tommy's, it was too dang hot (yes, in Seattle!) to cook indoors, so I lit the charcoal and threw the pan on the grill with the lid closed... it was VERY good, albeit quite overcooked.  But I didn't care because, while it didn't taste like Tommy's due to the smokiness, it was still very tasty and DH and I ate the whole thing!

If you continue to experiment, please post your results!

~sd

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