Author Topic: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)  (Read 124209 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2008, 03:36:12 PM »
The ingredients list may surprise you.

Brian200001,

Have you seen an ingredient list?

Peter


Offline loowaters

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2008, 04:37:24 PM »
First let me say that buzz has definitely been a board leader around here making up some terrific pies and I think this is the one he's best known for.  I've never attempted his Giordano's because it's all volume measurements and I'm just not really good measuring a cup of flour.  I know, it sounds silly, but I've found that I need weight measurements to get it right and everything I do is off a baker's formula.  That being said, you've made some rather large assumptions about how far off his recipe is.
In regards to your observations:

Observation 1:  You're right, there is a top dough and you need to account for it.  It's rolled much thinner than the bottom dough.  Watch this video:

http://travel.discovery.com/beyond/player.html?playerId=203712212&categoryId=210013703&lineupId=18590644&titleId=18579105

Observation 2:  Too oily?  I know buzz hates an oily dough, he'd call it "greasy", but if you'd like to reduce the oil content try to take it down a touch rather than slashing it by 70%.  Try to reduce to 2.5 before you make a huge leap down to 1 T per C flour.  I'd bet my life that the dough content is closer to what buzz has found than what you're looking to reduce it to.

Observation 3:  Fair enough, you don't like the salt.  We've found that Malnati's (and most likely by association, the original Uno's) and Gino's East don't use any salt in their dough formulations.  Eliminate it completely if you like.

Obvservation 4:  Sugar.  Going to 1 T sugar per cup of flour is a huge leap in the sugar department and you'd probably find that to be too much.  In my Gino's East recipe, I use about 3/4T FOR AN ENTIRE 14", 778g DOUGH!

Observation 5:  Yeast.  Yeast levels can be reduced without reducing it's effects on the rise of the dough.  Sure measures need to be taken during the rise, but you can reduce the yeast to find what you think yields a nice flavor.

Try to get the nutritional info.  Just like Peter, I tried to find it online with no luck.  The ingredients list is your starting point and you'll know the order of the ingredients from greatest to least (obviously) and then with the help around here you should be able to pin this down pretty quickly as Peter is brilliant with this sort of stuff, just look at what he came up with in my Home Run Inn thread.

For the finished look of the pies, I think it's more a product of how they trim the dough.  Both the bottom and then the top dough overhang the top edge of the pan and then get trimmed.  I don't believe they show that finishing in the video referenced above but it could be just as simple as a roller of some sort over the top to cut off that excess dough.  That would produce a rather uniform crust rim.

Good luck.

Loo

Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline BTB

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2008, 05:36:34 PM »
Guess where I went for pizza last week?  Giordano's has around 45 locations now:  40 of them in the State of Illinois and 5 of them in Florida.  My wife and I went to one of the newest ones that just recently opened down here in the Tampa Bay area.  We had a thin crust pizza for lunch and took home a half baked stuffed pizza that we made later for dinner.  It was Giordano's pizza day, as I hadn't had one of their pizzas in many years.  I was surprised to recall that their thin crust had just about as thick a crust as the bottom crust in their stuffed pizza.  Sorry, Peter, there was no nutrient or ingredient information on the carryout box.    --BTB

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2008, 06:44:43 PM »
BTB,

Thanks for the clarification on the number of Giordano's store locations. I had taken the store count from their website.

I am usually careful about anecdotal information that I see on websites on the subject of pizza but I recalled reading in several places that the Giordano's frozen pizzas were par-baked. To see if I could nail this point down, I called Giordano's this morning. The customer service rep (in the order department) I spoke with said that the frozen pizzas are par-baked but it wasn't clear whether she treated a full bake as a par-bake--meaning a bake before the final bake conducted by a purchaser. Also, from my questioning, I wasn’t sure that she was familiar enough with their processes to give me a precise answer. So, I sent Giordano's an email. This time, however, I used the expression "partially baked" rather than "par-baked". While I was at it, I asked if they could tell me the ingredients in their crusts.

I received a reply this afternoon from the Director of Marketing at Giordano's. The frozen Giordano's deep-dish pizzas are indeed partially baked, and then frozen. He was obliging enough to also give me the ingredients for their frozen pizzas:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.


I can’t say that I was surprised by the dough ingredients. They are broad enough to cover many Chicago-style pizza doughs, although I have no idea what “spices” might be used in Giordano's crusts. It would still be interesting to see the nutritional information to examine for clues that might shed some light on the relative amounts of ingredients. I’m fairly certain that that information accompanies their frozen pizzas.

Peter


Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 11:49:00 PM »
Peter,
Good work with the ingredient list although I'm very suprised that it is so basic (assuming that the "spices" are also conventional).
I'm mostly suprised because of the origin of the dough recipe:

""My brother Joseph and I both own and cook for Giordano's. We were born in a small northern Italian town near Torino, where our mother was know for her exquisite dishes. Of all her repertoire, though, my family was most fond of her deep-dish, double-crusted pizza, which she made on Easter and stuffed with ricotta cheese. "

To me, this translates to the old world Italian double crusted pizza made on Easter which is typicaly called "Pizzagaina" or "Italian Holiday Pie". 

That recipe typically called for flour, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs, scalded whole milk, butter, lard and some other wonderful quality ingredients.
The dough mixes up with a good fat/flour ratio and rises same as a typical pizza dough.

If the ingredient list is legit, its certainly perplexing because everyone can attest to the uniqueness of their crust and so there certainly must be some pretty unique "spices" to account for the difference.  hmmm.. Nutmeg and Vanilla?  Definately something missing in the equation.  I'm going to have to grab a pie at lunch and do some more analysis.  UGH.. I thought I had this obsession far behind me.  haha.

Interesting side note, if the ingredients list is correct, that means no Canola oil either as per the Buzz recipe.  Gotta figure this thing out once and for all.

Brian



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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2008, 11:58:08 PM »
Random Trivia Of The Day

Speaking of nutmeg; if you feed nutmeg to a hen, its eggs are supposed to taste better.

Besides the nutmeg reference, the reason this comes to mind is because of how eggs made it into the dough formula.  I'm not sure if the purpose would be for texture or flavor.  There are a lot of better (and safer) things to put in pizza dough for texture.

Offline BTB

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2008, 08:53:04 AM »
While it is still fresh in my mind, a couple of comments.  I sensed no vanilla at all in the crust.  Nutmeg I don't know about, as I'm not even certain what nutmeg would taste like.  Also the crust was very dry.  Some of the parts on the rim or crust were already flaking off.  As many know, I am not a big Giordano's fan.  But the pizzas I had last week were very good.  With the incredible expansion and success of their business, they must have been doing something right.  And I remember going to their first and then only restaurant near 63rd and California in Chicago and the time they won high recognition from a group of cub reporters from the local newspapers about 25 or 30 years ago.

Here is another picture from last week of both the stuffed (on left) and thin crust (two pieces on right) pizzas from the Tampa Giordano's.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2008, 09:46:17 AM »
Brian200001,

As I understand the regulations on nutrition labeling, a person is not required to specify detail on ingredients for which no nutrition or health claims are made. So, that means that they don't have to tell you which spices and flavorings are used if no nutrition or health claims are made for those ingredients. There are other exemptions, but I don't believe that they would apply to Giordano's.

Some companies routinely disclose everything in their products. A good example of that is shown in this post listing the ingredients used in thin crust pizzas sold by Donatos, a Midwest pizza chain: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2711.msg27747.html#msg27747 (Reply 12). As it so happens, the ingredients list includes milk and eggs. For many years, Donatos made a lot of the fact that they were using an old family dough recipe containing milk and eggs. A few years ago, the company stopped doing that in their advertising and promotional materials. When that happened, I suspected that they were no longer using eggs and milk. However, yesterday I sent an email to Donatos requesting information on their thin crust pizzas. I received a reply this morning, in the form of a Word document, that indicates that Donatos is still using milk and eggs in their thin crusts. Assuming that this is true, and that they are not disseminating outdated nutrition/ingredient information to the outside world, I think that Donatos may be the only major pizza chain of any consequence that is using milk and eggs in their pizza doughs (there are some small independents who do, however). Donatos uses central commissaries and their products have been significantly commercialized, with the use of a lot of chemical additives/preservatives/conditioners, so it is possible that they are using dry forms of milk and eggs. If that is so, it is understandable that they would not want to tout the benefits of using dry milk and dry eggs (or even pasteurized eggs) to the public. That would be a non-starter, especially in a climate where everyone is a bit suspicious of health issues (e.g., contamination) surrounding products like milk and eggs.

So, we should be grateful for the simplicity of the Giordano's deep-dish dough formulation. Someone with well calibrated tastebuds and palate might be able to tell us what types of herbs are used in the Giordano's doughs and in their sauces. It is very common for large pizza companies, and some independents as well, to have spice companies prepare spice packs that are unique to the operator. The most common flavor-contributing ingredients that I can recall as being use in pizza dough are oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. For sauce, just about anything goes. In the video referenced earlier by loowaters, the president of Giordano's makes reference to their "secret" sauce recipe. 

As for the Giordano's dough formulation itself, we will perhaps have to have some nutrition information of the nature required by the labeling laws to be able to get a better grasp on the relative amounts of the flour, water, oil (I take it that the vegetable oil is soybean oil), salt, and yeast. So, if one of our members has access to that information, as accompanies the frozen pizzas shipped out by Giordano's, for example, that information could prove to be quite helpful.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 07:57:20 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2008, 11:07:15 AM »
Hi BTB and Peter,

The pictures really are telling as to flakiness, and dryness of the crust. Usually its either/or since flakiness is usually attributed to fat.  I do recall that the amount of butter or margarine (or even butter flavored crisco) on their greased pans is sometimes significant.  I saw the guy preparing the pans using a gloved hand and simply scooping a hunk out of a big white bucket and sloppily swiping it all around the pan - leaving "swipe grooves".  Not sure how else to describe it, but definitely not thinly or evenly applied.

The reason it has to be margarine or crisco is because the color appeared to be yellow, and real butter usually tends to become a bit translucent and too soft when sitting at room temperature for a while. 

I bring this point up only because the greased pans most likely accounts for the outer flakiness.

Pete, back to your point great discussion about rules and regulations for ingredients listings.  I wonder if eggs and milk are exempt. Probably not.  I am really interested in making that traditional italian holiday pizza pie sometime this week or the weekend just to see what it comes out like.

I still wonder about the yeast aspect as well. I can swear that there is no hint or flavor of yeast in their crust. That's another item that I'm scratching my head about.

This is getting fun. I appreciate everyones enthusiasm. I'm glad I found this site and I'm glad we have Buzz's foundation.

Brian

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2008, 12:05:20 PM »
Pete, back to your point great discussion about rules and regulations for ingredients listings.  I wonder if eggs and milk are exempt. Probably not.

Brian,

The rules and regulations about disclosure and the form of disclosure are very complex but I am certain that ingredients like milk and eggs must be identified, including fat, forms of fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, etc., and their amounts. There are some exceptions, for example, for very small quantities of certain ingredients/substances, unless a nutrition or health claim is made. Volunteering more than what is legally required is also permitted, but even then the regulations dictate how the volunteered information is to be provided. There are also allergy aspects to be concerned about. Milk and eggs are well known food allergens. Even if used in minuscule quantities, you would want to disclose them. It would be foolhardy not to do so, and just about everyone in the retail food industry knows this. One of the Word documents I received this morning from Donatos was a “Food Allergy and Food Sensitivity  List”, which includes milk, eggs, soy, wheat, gluten and MSG.

I suspect that you are correct about the use of margarine versus butter. Most operators use margarine for the simple reason that it is much cheaper than butter. Some may use a combination of margarine and butter, or maybe a butter-flavored shortening. I didn’t see anything in the list of Giordano ingredients that leads me to believe that Giordano’s is trying to make an artisan product. They appear to be using basic foodservice grade products. Obviously, that has worked out well enough for them not to change anything.

Peter


Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2008, 12:24:46 PM »
Peter, point well taken.

So I guess we are back to the basics such as how much vegetable oil and yeast and what in the world those "spices" consist of.

Someone previously mentioned they don't detect vanilla. Good enough for me right now.

Nutmeg has been common in some italian holiday breads. I think this spice is still on my list of possibilities.

You mentioned pepper and oregano as common spices for dough but I can't say that I've ever seen pepper or oregano speckles in the crust before. And I must admit I have looked that closely. :0

What strikes me is odd is that the ingredient list you supplied didn't include sugar. Is sugar considered a spice or an ingredient that doesn't need to be disclosed?  (Or maybe you did list sugar and I haven't had enough coffee yet).

Is there any significant difference using quick rise yeast from the grocery store or bakers yeast? Would you happen to know if the quick rise yeast over-ferments hence causing a stronger yeast flavor in the crust that should not be there?

Whatever the list of "spices" really is, its sure to be a subtle combination to account for its uniqueness.  That's why i'm a tiny bit hesitant to rule out vanilla.  (just rambling now) :)

Brian

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2008, 03:00:37 PM »
Brian,

To the best of my knowledge, the law does not require people to disclose lists of ingredients. But if they fall into a category that requires them to provide "Nutrition Data", then listing sugar and its quantity no doubt is a requirement. Sugar, and its glycemic values, are a big concern. What I posted in the way of ingredients was exactly as I received the information from Giordano's. I just copied and pasted it to be sure that I didn't make errors of transcription. So, apparently no sugar is used by Giordano's. In general, it's not at item that people try to hide from the world. They might try to hide the amount used, but not its presence or absence from a dough formulation.

I was not able to find anything online about the type of yeast that Giordano's is using. Many operators in recent years have moved from using fresh yeast (aka cake yeast or compressed yeast or wet yeast) to the dryer forms. At first, the shift was to active dry yeast (ADY) and, when instant dry yeast (IDY) came onto the scene, operators increasingly moved to that form of yeast. ADY requires rehydration in water at a prescribed temperature (around 105 degrees F) and for a certain period of time (about 10 minutes), whereas IDY can simply be mixed in with the flour, thereby eliminating a major source of error in using ADY (improper water temperature). The American Institute of Baking conducted tests using the three different forms of yeast with the same dough formulation, preparation and management and could not tell from taste tests which yeast was used with what dough formulation. Some operators still cling to their old yeast choices, either because of personal preference or cost or just out of habit. Usually the best way to get a lot of yeast flavor in the finished crust is to just use a lot of yeast and short fermentation times. Some people confuse yeast flavor with the flavor-byproducts of long fermentation. However, a sensitive palate can distinguish between the two.

Do you know if the people at the Giordano's store level make their own dough on the premises, or does Giordano's deliver dough balls to the stores out of one or more commissaries? Most operators tend to go the commissary route once they get to a certain size. One of the few exceptions that comes to mind is Sbarro's. I believe they still make dough at the store level. If Giordano's is using commissaries, that suggests that they are cold fermenting the dough, or even freezing it.

I know that the Giordano's nutrition data is out there. It's just a matter of finding it. That will provide more clues than an ingredients list.

Peter


Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2008, 03:22:59 PM »
Peter,

"Do you know if the people at the Giordano's store level make their own dough on the premises, or does Giordano's deliver dough balls to the stores out of one or more commissaries?"

I can't speak to that. I am only guessing when I say that the dough recipe seems to be so elusive that I can't imagine that just anyone working there, past and present, wouldn't have divulged it already.  I suppose the secret "spices" could still be kept secret even if they are making the dough on site though.  Logically speaking, when you have a high profile franchise where taste and consistency are crucial from store to store, the franchisees typically have to purchase from the commissaries.  Subway owners get their dough and even meats individually wrapped.  Of course McDonalds owners certainly aren't allowed to buy patties on sale elsewhere, etc.  So I don't know, whats your take?  Or is it your opinion or gut thinking that its a pretty basic dough and there may not be any real magic to it?

On the topic of yeast again, Buzz' recipe suggests a very long rise time - 8 hours or so.  Could that have been the reason for the yeast flavored aspect to the crust?

I've made the recipe (many of the clones actually) and when allowing a long rise time typically results in a yeast flavor.  I can't say I can tell the difference between too much yeast in a recipe or over fermantation.  Furthermore, with the presence of sugar in the Buzz recipe, more fermantaton is sure to occur.  I've had luck eliminating this by scaling back on the yeast or not allowing for a 5-8 hour rise time.  Other than that, not sure how to approach that taste aspect if the buzz recipe is accurate in its amount of yeast.

I appreciate your insight and thoughts on the topic,   Brian

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2008, 05:05:53 PM »
Brian,

The reason I asked you about using the commissaries as the origin of the dough balls used in the Giordano's stores is because knowing the answer to that question will tell us a lot about how the dough is made and maybe even something about the dough formulation itself. For example, if the dough balls are made in one or more commissaries and delivered to the stores on some regular basis, that will usually mean that the dough balls are cold fermented. And the formulation will reflect the time between the manufacture of the dough balls and the delivery to individual stores. This system rules out the possibility of using an ambient (room temperature) fermentation. No one that I am aware of makes fresh dough balls at one location and delivers them to another location the same day. That might occur for a couple of stores owned by one person where the dough balls are made at one of the two locations, but not for a chain the size of Giordano's.

If the dough balls are made at the store level, then they can be either cold fermented dough balls or room temperature fermented dough balls. In the latter instance, the dough formulation would have to be adapted to the room temperature fermentation scenario, as by using much less yeast. Otherwise, the dough can overferment over a period of several hours at room temperature. In buzz's case, I estimate that he uses 1.5% ADY. That is equivalent to what one might ordinarily use to make a few-hours dough (made and used within about 3 hours) except that in buzz's case he is also using a lot of oil, which may allow him to push the room temperature fermentation period out to 8 hours. Using buzz's method could conceivably work in a commercial setting (Neapolitan pizza makers regularly make and use the dough the same day), but it also means that any unused dough balls would either have to be discarded at the end of the day (because they won't make it to the next day) or used in whole or in part in the next dough batch for use in making pizzas the next day. That alone could affect the flavor profile of the next day's crusts, and could produce inconsistent results from one day to the next if not properly managed. Managing cold fermented dough and inventory is simply easier for most operators than working with same-day dough. Of course, buzz can give a hoot about what Giordano's does in its stores except to the extent that he would like to be served good pizzas when he visits such stores. What really matter to him is how can he make a Giordano's clone at home in his own oven. In buzz's case, the 8 hours of room temperature fermentation and 1.5% ADY should yield both yeast flavors (because of the amount of yeast used) and flavors from a long room temperature fermentation. If you didn't detect yeast flavors in Giordano's crusts, that could have been because the dough balls were cold fermented (and using low levels of yeast) and were used fairly promptly, like the same or next day.

As you might suspect, supplying dough balls to the Giordano's stores from commissaries keeps most of the trade secrets from the employees in the stores. Using dough premixes in the stores pretty much does the same thing. It is only when every step of the dough making process is in the hands of the store employees that the risk of disclosure of trade secrets increases. Even then, it is possible to keep some of the trade secret information out of the hands of the employees, as by using pre-prepared spice/herb mixes for sauces and dough, as you noted. It all depends on how far you want to go to keep information from the employees, and how far you want to go to impress upon the employees the need to protect proprietary information and the price to be paid for failing to do so (like getting fired).

My best guess is that we may ultimately discover that the dough formulation used by Giordano's is pretty straightforward and that their methods of dough preparation and dough management are also pretty straightforward. The wrinkles may be the types of herbs and spices used in the dough and in the sauce. Knowing how Giordano's makes the dough, taken together with the nutrition data for their products, is likely to be the most direct path to deciphering the Giordano's code.

Peter

Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2008, 11:42:59 AM »
Hi Pete.
I wanted to revisit one of your previous posts where you listed out the Giordano's ingredients for their crust.  For the Spinich pizza crust you have listed "olive" in there. I guess I over looked this at first.  Can this be right?  I would assume the crust fot all of their pies are identical.

you wrote:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.

Brian

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2008, 12:27:00 PM »
Brian,

You have a good eye. I missed the "olive" altogether. I was paying most attention to the cheese pizza because it is easier to analyze that pizza than the ones with a lot more stuff in them.

If I had to guess, I would say that the inclusion of "olive" is a mistake. Even if olive oil was meant, it wouldn't seem to make any sense to have a special dough just for the spinach deep-dish pie. It's possible, but it strikes me as illogical from a business standpoint. Maybe I can follow up with Giordano's on that point.

Peter

Offline Za guy

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2008, 09:18:26 PM »
Hi guys - great thread.  I'm a noob here, but would like to help advance or at least catch up to the state of the art in terms of reverse engineering Giordano's Stuffed Pizzas.  Admitedly, my credibility starts out very low though, because my first attempt to even make a Stuffed Spinach (and extras) pie was pretty messed up.  Last week I cobbled together the info from about three different "recipes" found on this thread, a Pizza cookbook (by James McNair I believe) and from the Recipes section of this web-site and gave it a go.  But if I had read a bit more closely before starting, I would have realized that the dough formulation for a 10" pan (Buzz's formula used for the beautiful pies at the start of this threads pics) would not cut it for my 12" pan.  I knew 1.5 cups of flour seemed low.  So, after getting the spinach all cooked up and the onions, mushrooms and sausage all ready to go, I had to bail out on having an upper crust and just made it into a deep dish pie.  It was ok, no casualties here.  But I think I put the tomatoe sauce on too early and also seem to have put way too much parmesan on top, then cooked it for a long time to make sure the sausage got cooked.  In the process I burnt the crud out of the 5 oz. of Parmesan I put on top.  The top of the pie was more of a scorched brown than a nice rich red like I was hoping for.  

But I'll try again.  I just found the 6-in-1 brand tomatoes in a local store, and some better sausage too.  I bought two of the 14"" Chicago Metal Works pie pans, so will make sure I scale up whatever recipe I settle on so it looks more like a real pie.  That Travel Channel video of Giordano's kitchen and their pie assembly operation sure helps.  I see I definitely want to have a surplus of dough so both layers can drape over the top like that to be pinched together then the excess dough rolled off.

With my clear lack of credentials layed out up-front, I am wondering about the topic of that crust.  It has been a long time since I've had one of these fab Giordano's pies from Chicago.  But people here have said the crust is somewhat pastry-like, and the pictures sure look that way too.  I let my dough rise 8 hours before I rolled it out and tried to fit it to my pan.  But it came out kind of bready, I thought.  The crust I remember from years ago was a little chewier in the center and flakier on the outside, I think. The formulation I used was sort of like the recipe the thread author suggested, with some sight adjustments after reading the debate about sugar, yeast and salt levels.  In other words, I have no idea what I did.  

Before I go back to the drawing board and figure out the right amounts needed to make two 14" pies, I asked my wife how she makes flakier pie crusts (she can bake pretty well).  Her answer was clear - butter.  When pressed, she also said shortening works too.  People used to use lard for pastry, right?  There must be something about fat in solid form that beats the healthier liquid vegetable oils for that.  But butter for sure.  She said it's important how you fold in the butter - she makes pie dough with a food processer and folds in the butter so it still has some discrete blobs in the dough that then spreads locally during cooking.  

What I am wondering is if the ingredient list given to Pete by Giordano's, could the vegetable oil be vegetable shortening?  The wikipedia description of Crisco called it vegetable oil, so could they be using something like that?  That's certainly not a fancy ingredient, but could it explain the flakiness?  I hope I'm not blaspheming, because it sounds sort of gross to me - I mean just look at all the side uses of Crisco btw, yikes!  In addition to its baking uses, it can be used to make shovel blades waterproof, remove ink from clothes, and oh yeah, as a personal lubricant:

Web-browse to here to see what I'm talking about:    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisco  

And btw, I've heard that the way some of these companies are now trying to pass off these garbage hydrogenated oils as having "0 grams of trans-fats" is basically specmanship - they pick a "serving size" for the nutritional disclosure such that the amount of trans-fats in that sample size rounds down to 0 grams rather than rounds up to 1 gram.  It's not truly zero though.  So basically, you still have to watch out for anything hydrogenated in ingrediant lists and avoid it like the plague if you like your heart to work.

OK, sorry to ramble about that.  My other question has to do with when to put the tomatoe sauce (and Parmesan) on top of the pie.  One or more recipes I found suggest baking the pie for a while to brown the upper crust before adding the tomatoe sauce.  Sounds right to me.  Is that what you guys do?  I wasn't sure from the video if Giordano's bakes the pies at all before adding the sauce.  Seems like it would be harder to mass produce in their restaurants.  OK - thanks for any replies folks,

Jim    

BTB,

Thanks for the clarification on the number of Giordano's store locations. I had taken the store count from their website.

I am usually careful about anecdotal information that I see on websites on the subject of pizza but I recalled reading in several places that the Giordano's frozen pizzas were par-baked. To see if I could nail this point down, I called Giordano's this morning. The customer service rep (in the order department) I spoke with said that the frozen pizzas are par-baked but it wasn't clear whether she treated a full bake as a par-bake--meaning a bake before the final bake conducted by a purchaser. Also, from my questioning, I wasn’t sure that she was familiar enough with their processes to give me a precise answer. So, I sent Giordano's an email. This time, however, I used the expression "partially baked" rather than "par-baked". While I was at it, I asked if they could tell me the ingredients in their crusts.

I received a reply this afternoon from the Director of Marketing at Giordano's. The frozen Giordano's deep-dish pizzas are indeed partially baked, and then frozen. He was obliging enough to also give me the ingredients for their frozen pizzas:

Cheese Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
 
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
 
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
 
Ingredients:  Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes),  Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.


I can’t say that I was surprised by the dough ingredients. They are broad enough to cover many Chicago-style pizza doughs, although I have no idea what “spices” might be used in Giordano's crusts. It would still be interesting to see the nutritional information to examine for clues that might shed some light on the relative amounts of ingredients. I’m fairly certain that that information accompanies their frozen pizzas.

Peter



Offline BTB

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2008, 08:49:51 AM »
Hey Jim,  just a couple of thoughts while you're awaiting some response from others.  Suggest you learn how to use the dough calculation tools real well.  They are very easy once you learn how and incredibly helpful to track what you're doing so you can improve on the next pizza you make.  You can adjust the size of the pizza and thereafter get the amount of each ingredient needed for each size.  After getting the formulation from the tool (its summarized on the bottom), I print it out and date it with any special comments or thoughts about it and keep it in the file for referring to the next time that I make that style pizza.

Regarding butter or shortening, I've made some great pizzas without any at all.  I've recently experimented with just a slight (I call it a "dab") of softened butter and I like those, but I don't think I'd like it with a lot of butter.  I've also tried some with a lot of Crisco and while they were pretty good, I like those with oil better.  My take from recently having a Giordano's pizza is that they did not contain butter, margarine, shortening, or at least not in any significant way that I could tell.

I know that Giordano's does not baked their stuffed pies first without tomato sauce, at least not at their restaurants.  They baked it from the onset with the sauce on (some of their customers, including me, have complained sometimes when they don't put enough on and the top becomes all dried up).  You may want to experiment with that on a smaller size pizza.  I assume you cooked the pizza at home on the bottom rack at around 450 degree F, which I think is the best, but you may want to experiment with that in your oven going 25 degrees either way, up or down.  The stuffed pizzas, especially a 14" large size, takes from 30 to 45 minutes.  Pizzas baked on a higher rack too often get that scorched look that you described, but if it is occurring on the bottom rack, Buzz' good suggestion was to put a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on the top for the first 15 or 20 minutes of baking.

I will let others talk about and hopefully give you some suggestions about the formulation for the crust, which is about the most important thing.  Good luck and have fun learning how to do it better.
--BTB

Ed--Also don't over-mix or over-knead the dough.  I think that is very important to avoid the "bready" dough that often results from kneading it too long.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 08:58:03 AM by BTB »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2008, 09:44:14 AM »
Jim,

Offhand, I don’t know if the law allows someone to specify a solid fat like margarine or shortening without breaking it down into the oil used and whether it is hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated. Usually, the latter method is used. To give you an example, you may want to take a look at the ingredients list for the deep-dish pizzas made at Edwardo’s, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,294.msg2247.html#msg2247. As you will note in that post, Steve, who entered the post, there was speculation that the owner of Edwardo’s, who had previously worked for Giordano’s, was using the same dough recipe at Edwardo’s. That recipe calls for solid fat, not oil. I did a fair amount of searching on this point yesterday, and I was not able to find anything that confirms what Steve said about the recipe. If we are able to find the Nutrition Data for the Giordano’s pizzas, that might shed some light on the oil/fat makeup of the crust. I know that the information exists because the government would not allow Giordano’s to sell their frozen pizzas without it.

Another interesting thing about the Edwardo’s ingredients list is the way that “spices” is characterized. Although that term is used in relation to the sauce, and not the crust, it apparently can include salt, garlic, basil, oregano, black pepper, and soybean oil. Maybe the law will allow one to use the term “spices” in such an oddball way if the specific ingredients are listed. I personally would not consider salt and soybean oil to be spices.

FYI, the dough calculating tool that BTB referred to that applies to deep-dish dough formulations is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 08:08:51 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Brian200001

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Re: My Giordano's Style Pizza's (with pics)
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2008, 12:17:19 PM »
Hi all,
I too am very interested in the vegetable oil versus vegetable shortenting (i.e. crisco) conversation going on.  Although my 2 cents would be that mixing the flour, salt, yeast and oil together (before the water), would make this just about a mute point.  Mixing as such creates similar characteristics of making pastery or pie crust - tiny grains of fat which would lend themselves to flakiness.  (This topic has been discussed on the boards as well).

I also wanted to check in with some of my investigative research regarding the Giordano's crust. I keep revisiting the statements made by Giordano's and Nancy's founders on their respective websites. Both pizza crusts are described as originating from a mothers or grandmothers old world italian recipe for easter pie, holiday pie or holiday cake with ricotta cheese and a whole host of other meats and cheeses stuffed like a pie - similar to today's Giordano's stuffed pizza.  (Please read the nancy's pizza and giordano's sites regarding their statements).

I've scoured the internet and have taken a look at dozens of these old world recipes to come up with a few very compelling ingredients to try and incorporate into our test pizza's.
Here is the process I used to qualify my findings:

1. There has to be "some" ingredients carried forward to the Giordano's Pizza from these original holiday easter pies to make the pizza unique in flavor and hold true to their statments that the crust originates from these italian holiday easter cakes and pies.

2. I threw out all ingredients in the holiday easter pies which we know are not listed in the giordano's crust (milk, eggs, baking powder, etc. to name a few)

3. I've kept all possible ingredients from the easter holiday pies that can be categorized as "SPICES". - Since the list of ingredients in the Giordano's crust simply says: "SPICES" without disclosing the individual spices, we must at least consider the unique holiday easter pie ingredients as possible missing items.

4. Keep in mind that just because an ingredient doesn't taste prevelant, doesn't mean its not there. Many "spices" blend together to create a single signature flavor. (What does KFC have -- like 8 secret spices or something?)

Ok.. with that said, the following additional spices I will try to add one at a time are:

* Vanilla
* Millifori - (Orange-Flower essence as a substitute (or orange rind as a last result substitute)).
* Sugar - (if this can be considered a "Spice" since Petes Giordano's ingredient list does not list sugar explicitly).

Additional notes:
A few easter holiday pies also stated lemon OR orange. Some stated lemon AND orange rind. Since its not uncommon to include a bit of lemon in the sauce, lemon rind could be included in the sauce.

A small amount of holiday easter pies also include cinnamon. I personally wouldn't think I've ever tasted any hint of cinnamon in the pizza, but again, it could be a miniscule amount to shape the overall taste of the pizza when biting into it.

Lastly, my intention is to simply list these ingredients from some research I've done. Hopefully it doesn't just add confusion or worse, make us more uncertain about the track we are on. I just wanted to do some good old fashioned investigative work and draw some logical conclusions.  Afterall, the ingredient called "Spices" exist in their crust and in their sauce. They obviously have something they want to keep close to their vest and keep their pizza unique.  All of this is just my opinion of course. 

As for me personally, the next time I try the recipe, I will add a touch of orange rind and a touch of vanilla. I'll start with that. (I already add a teaspoon of lemon juice in my sauce to cut the tomato acids).  I have no idea where to purchase this Millifori or orange flower-essence so I don't know what these taste like in relation to orange rind.  Bottom line is, that was the re-occurring ingredient in all the easter holiday pies and cakes.

Brian




 

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