Author Topic: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!  (Read 52117 times)

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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.

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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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Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2008, 10:43:19 AM »
Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (.33%):
Salt (2%):
Total (164.33%):
Single Ball:
600.37 g  |  21.18 oz | 1.32 lbs
372.23 g  |  13.13 oz | 0.82 lbs
1.98 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.66 tsp | 0.22 tbsp
12.01 g | 0.42 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.53 tsp | 1.18 tbsp
986.58 g | 34.8 oz | 2.18 lbs | TF = 0.12
493.29 g | 17.4 oz | 1.09 lbs

One more quick question SD girl.  According to the above, my dough ball should be 17.4oz or 1.09lbs correct?

Does the recipe you listed provide more than 1 ball?  Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I'm new to this stuff.  :)

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2008, 11:37:51 AM »
sourdough girl,

Can you tell us how you came up with the numbers for the dough formulation you originally posted (which is reproduced by LPcreation)? In particular, were the ingredient quantities based on using a 14.5" x 9.5" pan and using the Rectangular feature of one of the dough calculating tools?

Thanks.

Peter


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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2008, 03:41:43 PM »
LP,

This formulation makes two dough balls, 1.09 lbs ea, which is enough to make two pans of pizza in my particular pans, which are 14.5 X 9.5, inside measurements.  Normally, I make one pan, which is enough to feed DH and me with a couple of "cuts" left over for my breakfast!   ;D  If you need to make only one ball, or your pan is a different size, see my response to Peter below...
No worries about questions, I'm more than happy to help any way I can!

Peter,

I used the Lehmann dough calculating tool (for any newbies reading this, the "dough tools" link is found on this site's homepage) and used the rectangular pan feature.  The flour for this particular recipe is GM AP.  I just revisted my notes... I have played with the GM Harvest King bread flour but had to increase the hydration.  I really didn't care for the finished crust using HK, it was a little too dense.  So, I switched back to the AP but left the hydration the same.  It was on the mark from what I remember from Tommy's, lighter with a very slight chewiness and crisp on the bottom from the Classico oil in the pan.  My pan was dark to start with (very heavy "Baker's Secret" cookie pan with half inch deep sides) which has become well seasoned.  Also, the 2% salt is Diamond Crystal kosher, which I like because it is just salt, no additives. 

~sd

EDIT:  changed my response to LP based on Peter's response below. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 06:25:46 PM by sourdough girl »
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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2008, 05:39:09 PM »
sourdough girl,

I hope I am not confusing matters, but when I used a thickness factor of 0.12 and pan dimensions of 14.5” x 9.5” in the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html, I got:

Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (0.33%):
Salt (2%):
Total (164.33%):
285.17 g  |  10.06 oz | 0.63 lbs
176.81 g  |  6.24 oz | 0.39 lbs
0.94 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.31 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
5.7 g | 0.2 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.02 tsp | 0.34 tbsp
468.63 g | 16.53 oz | 1.03 lbs | TF = 0.12

When I used the same numbers but for two dough balls, I got:

Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (0.33%):
Salt (2%):
Total (164.33%):
Single Ball:
570.35 g  |  20.12 oz | 1.26 lbs
353.62 g  |  12.47 oz | 0.78 lbs
1.88 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
11.41 g | 0.4 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.04 tsp | 0.68 tbsp
937.25 g | 33.06 oz | 2.07 lbs | TF = 0.12
468.63 g | 16.53 oz | 1.03 lbs

I thought from your earlier posts you made two pizzas, with each one presumably using around a pound of dough.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2008, 06:20:04 PM »
Peter,

 :-[  You're right!  The confusion on my part was from the fact that I usually cook for 2, but the formula I posted was actually for 4 of us when I was testing my Tommy's recipe on my mother, so I made two pizzas instead of my normal 1 pan.  I'm glad you caught that or poor LPcreation would be completely confused!!  I'm going to edit my response to him so that the confusion is minimized.

I appreciate your dedication to keeping us all on the straight and narrow!  A second set of eyes (beyond my trifocals!!) is a good thing!

~sd
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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2008, 06:55:57 PM »
Fir LPcreation's purposes, if he plans to use a different size pan, the dimensions of that pan can be entered into the Lehmann dough calculating tool along with the 0.12 thickness factor and the same baker's percents as used in sourdough girl's dough formulation, and the tool will spit out all of the required ingredient quantities for that particular size pan. I usually use a bowl residue compensation factor of around 1.5%, but that is optional.

Peter

Offline LPcreation

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2008, 06:56:34 PM »
Thanks to both of you.  Sourdough, what are you trying to do?  Throw the rookie a curveball?  :-D

(it would also explain why my pizza crust was so thick)

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2008, 07:53:31 PM »
LP,

I apologize!  I guess I was so excited by my mom's reaction to the pizza that, when I posted it, I forgot to change the recipe to only one dough ball!  It's been too long to modify my original post, but I just read it and I DO mention that I made two pizzas when we visited her, one sauce and cheese only and one with other toppings as well, so at least I didn't completely mess up and say I made only one pizza!  WHEW!!   ::)   :P   :o    :-D   (It's hell to get old!!   ;)  )

I hope you will try it again with the single dough ball and let me know how you like it!
Like Pete-zza says, it's easy to modify the recipe to one pan of pizza by using the calculating tool he gave the link to, a couple of posts prior.  I use this tool a lot, not only for my Tommy's pizza clone but round pies as well.  It is ingenious and has made experimenting SO much easier!

~sd 

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2008, 11:35:04 AM »
But still, it makes me wonder if anyone has had their pizza catch fire?

Yesterday I had a (grilled/broiled) cheese quesadilla catch fire.  It was quite a spectacle as the entire surface burst into a magenta colored flame.  The wheat tortilla used was 7.25% fat by final product weight, and was positioned three (3) inches from the broiler for less than two (2) minutes.  It burst into flames around the time I had been pulling them out of the oven, so it wasn't like I had left it in too long that time.  It seems conceivable that those who choose to place their pizza near a broiler element while their dough has high fat content and low moisture could face similar consequences.

Offline KC Tom

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Re: Tommy's Pizza (now Pizza L'oven) circa 1960's Exeter PA (NEPA) redo!
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2008, 04:55:18 PM »
Sourdough Girl, I also have fond memories of Tommy's pizza from visiting my grandparents in Exeter long ago.  I haven't had real pizza since then.  And since I live in the Kansas City area, all we have are the big chains - not what I'd call real pizza at all.

I tried the recipe I found here and know I need to work on it.  This was my first ever attempt to make pizza at home - or bake from scratch for that matter.  The crust was OK but didn't seem to rise much in the pan - the dough was real soft.  And I used too much sauce ( 1 1/2 cups)  and way too much cheese ( 8 oz mozzarella, and 5 oz each provolone and fontina).  But the result wasn't that bad, and is in the right direction.  Next time I'll try for a little stiffer dough, use less sauce and cheese.  I do know the fontina adds the right flavor - I just have to work on the balance.  How much cheese do you use when making your pizza? I bought a stone and pan especially for this, to reduce the variables to just me. On the plus side, my wife and I enjoyed it and I finished the last two cuts for lunch the next day.  Thanks for sharing your recipe.