Author Topic: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation  (Read 91267 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #180 on: June 02, 2012, 11:51:19 PM »
In hindsight, even though I liked eating this pizza at the time, this was one of my biggest homemade pizza disappointments ever.  It really is not HRI at all.


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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #181 on: June 03, 2012, 08:24:24 AM »
Garvey,

I have never had a HRI pizza so I have no idea what one tastes like. However, do you know if a frozen HRI pizza tastes like a comparable fresh HRI pizza as baked on either the original HRI location with a deck oven or one of the other locations that apparently now use conveyor ovens? The HRI website says at http://www.homeruninnpizza.com/ that they use the same exact recipe for the frozen pizzas as they use in their eight pizzerias but that doesn't mean that they make them the same way. I haven't kept up with the goings on at HRI but my recollection is that things have changed a lot there, including going to a different flour and using dough presses, conveyors, etc. Do you have any knowledge of what HRI is now doing? And do you know if the frozen pizzas are parbaked before freezing? The HRI website gives ingredients lists and Nutrition Facts for their frozen pizzas but that might not help with cloning a fresh HRI pizza of if the Nutrition Facts are only for parbaked or partially baked pizzas.

Peter

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #182 on: June 03, 2012, 07:55:28 PM »
I have made this recipe a couple times from Loo and the 1st time i over cooked the bottom, the next times i readjusted oven position and i was very very happy with the HRI flavor of the crust and sauce loo gave recipes for.  i have only had HRI at their restaurants a few times, but i have had lots of their frozen,  and i love them all!  thanks Loo!!

Offline Garvey

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #183 on: June 04, 2012, 08:40:26 AM »
Peter:

I have had it in the restaurant and frozen a zillion times, and FWIW, these products are very close to each other, as HRI claims.  Granted, I am not an expert like some of the more seasoned members here who remember sitting on Nick Perrino's knee while he made every pizza by hand  :D, so I can't say this recipe does or doesn't taste like HRI circa 1978 or whatever.  But if we are trying to clone what is sold today in the restaurants (and/or frozen), this recipe isn't it.  The frozen ones are definitely par-baked, since the cheese is already melted into a single mass.  Essentially, the frozen IS a clone of the fresh.  I don't know if the recipe is identical, but the flavor and texture is darn near identical.

I think flavor-wise, this forum recipe is sort of close.  HRI is yeastier, and there are always tweaks to be made on flavor.  But the biggest difference is that HRI is a flaky crust.  Dense, crunchy, and flaky.  Oddly enough, it takes some coaxing in the home oven for me to get it to come out this way, and I imagine others may want to try this.  If the box says to cook at 450 for 15-20 minutes, I cook it at 410 for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is browned all over.  This gives the crust time to fully bake into its flaky goodness.  The keys: longer time & lower temp.

A few years ago, after HRI won some kind of "best of Chicago" award, I saw a video of a couple of HRI folks interviewed on Chicago local news.  Near the end of the segment, they talked about the frozen product.  One of the guys said folks could yet it sit out and thaw a bit before baking.  I tried that method and didn't like it as much as what I currently do.  However, that method is just another way to get the crust to come out right (IMO).

Don't know if any of this helps at all...

Cheers,
Garvey


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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #184 on: June 04, 2012, 10:25:25 AM »
Garvey,

Thanks for the feedback.

Do you know how the skins are formed in the HRI stores?

I took a look at the ingredients list and related Nutrition Facts as given for a basic (Classic) HRI cheese pizza, at http://www.homeruninnpizza.com/frozen-pizza/details?alias=classic-cheese. My memory is a bit hazy on this matter but I recall speaking to an HRI employee and telling him that I found what appeared to be a disconnect between the total weights given in the HRI Nutrition Facts and on the frozen pizza packaging materials. That caught him completely offguard (like they screwed things up) but he said that he would look into it. It looks like I was right. I see now that they corrected their weight information so that the information in the Nutrition Facts matches what they put as weights on their pizza boxes.

It would be interesting to know whether the HRI Nutrition Facts are for par-baked and frozen pizzas or just the pizzas before par-baking and freezing. Freezing pizzas shouldn't affect the Nutrition Facts but par-baking will. The problem with questions like this is that the companies don't usually have people who can answer such questions. Nutrition Facts are usually done by certified companies that specialize in that kind of work, or by using specialized software. The big chains, like Papa John's, use such software internally but smaller companies usually go outside to specialists. Sometime, just to satisfy my curiosity, I might take a look at the FDA regulations to see how it requires people to state Nutrition Facts for frozen items and maybe even par-baked items.

One of the interesting things I noticed in the HRI ingredients list for the Classic cheese pizza is that there is more yeast in their doughs than salt. High yeast levels and low salt levels may account for the yeasty taste that you mentioned because low salt levels usually allow the flavors of other ingredients to come through in a more pronounced and noticeable way. However, Chicago-style pizzas often are low in salt levels so the yeast levels may not be as great as one might imagine. I would have to look at Sodium levels and the Cholesterol levels (which only applies to the cheese, which is typically fairly high in Sodium) to get a better feels for possible total salt content. I also note that the HRI ingredients list for the Classic cheese pizza shows only "pasteurized part-skim milk" for the mozzarella cheese. My recollection is that at the time I worked on the HRI project HRI used three kinds of mozzarella cheeses for its pizzas. I don't know if that is true today but the expression "pasteurized part-skim milk" would appear to rule out whole-milk mozzarella cheese, and even whole-milk mozzarella cheese as part of a blend. Pasteurized part-skim milk has a specific meaning under FDA rules and regulations so I don't think that that expression encompasses something like scarmoza, although it could included smoked part-skim mozzarella cheese. Often when smoking imparts its own unique flavors, the ingredients lists note that there are "natural flavors". If I had to guess, and if HRI's ingredients lists are to be believed, I would say that HRI is using only regular part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #185 on: June 04, 2012, 10:33:47 AM »
If you guys attempt to work up another HRI clone, I would happily help bake up any test formulations that might be required.   :chef:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 10:37:05 AM by CDNpielover »

Offline Garvey

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #186 on: June 04, 2012, 01:43:39 PM »
Peter, you are the king of pizza sleuthing.  Really, hats off to you.  I remember that you also mentioned (or somebody did) how the yeast could be boosted since the high oil content inhibits yeast activity--i.e., get the yeast flavor without overproofing.  HRI uses a heated dough press to form the skins, right?  I'm sure that affects something or another.

All that being said, where this recipe misses the mark really comes down to the texture.  It's missing the flakiness.  HRI has a layered, flaky, dense, crispity crunchiness to it--like a cross between a cracker and a deep dish.  Maybe a longer knead, as Buttercat suggested.  And some laminating, too.  I dunno...

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #187 on: June 04, 2012, 03:33:15 PM »
Garvey,

I don't know whether you are aware of it, but there is another HRI thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6009.msg51517.html#msg51517, where a lot of the original research was discussed in detail. Unfortunately, several of the links in that thread are no longer active although in some cases I excerpted the material parts. No doubt there is a lot more new material that one would want to research in order to reverse engineer and clone the most recent iteration of the HRI dough/pizza.

As to your question about the dough press, yes, my recollection is that HRI uses hot dough presses, both in their stores and in the facility where the frozen pizzas are made. But maybe some of that has changed since I was last on the HRI project. Usually when I try to reverse engineer and clone someone else's pizza, I try to do it in the exact same way if possible. Of course, in a home setting I will never be able to replicate what a hot press does or even a commercial sheeter. That means I am unlikely to be able to capture some or many of the textural characteristics and features of the crust.

Today, after doing a search at the HRI website using their store locator, I learned that a Whole Foods about 16 miles from my home now sells the HRI frozen pizzas. To be sure, I called and spoke to one of the managers on the floor who told me that they started carrying the HRI pizzas about six months ago. Sometime when I am in the area, I plan to check out the HRI pizzas and buy a few just to see what all the commotion is about :-D.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:24:29 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #188 on: June 04, 2012, 07:09:24 PM »
Following my last post, I found an article published on August 8, 2011, at http://www.fesmag.com/features/chain-operations/5741-home-run-inn, that discusses how the pizzas are made in HRI's restaurants. I could not get the article to stay open for more than a few seconds so I used the Google cache feature and excerpted the pertinent part of the article, which pertains to the HRI Bollingbrook restaurant, as follows:

When food arrives at the Bolingbrook restaurant, for example, which was built in 2007, staff place it into a walk-in cooler. The restaurant receives shipments of products —dough, sauce, sausage, cheese — three to four times a week from Home Run Inn's two USDA-approved manufacturing plants, which also serve as central kitchens. Salad and sandwich ingredients are purchased from other suppliers and are delivered to the restaurants regularly. The plant also produces pizza for the frozen-pizza distribution business. Costello claims that "Nielsen Co. data ranks us at a 25 percent market share, which places us as the number-one-selling frozen pizza in Chicago."

"By using the plants, we don't worry about maintenance of standards or consistency at the restaurants," Costello says. "It's a luxury for me to not worry about restaurants using the same procedures and ingredients, and it contributes to our success."

The reliance on the plants also keeps equipment costs down at individual restaurant locations, Costello adds. "For example, we don't need mixers and meat grinders."

When needed, staff take out the dough and, by hand, form it into dough balls. Staff place the balls into heavy plastic trays, which are color-coded by size for 8-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch pizzas. "The dough balls need 12 to 24 hours to relax under refrigeration. We warm them up to room temperature before we use them," Costello says. "Once you rip dough into dough balls, the proteins are like muscles, and they want to contract back. You must let the proteins relax."

This "fermentation" process for the dough is unique, Costello claims. "The unique flavor comes from the development of the yeast. It's a similar process when making bread or beer," he says. Staff return the dough to the cooler until needed. The next step in the process is placing the dough balls on Teflon sheets. Staff use an electromechanical dough press to form each ball into a round circle about ¼-inch thick. Staff next add a 3/8-inch-high edge by hand-stretching it into a crust that will hold ingredients and prevent spillage. They then transfer the expanded crust onto an anodized coated circular disk — like a round cookie tray with holes in it — to allow moisture and heat to penetrate the crust.

Crusts next move along pizza tables where staff dress them with sauce that is made for Home Run Inn by tomato canners in Modesto, Calif., as well as onions, cheese and a selection of about 18 other toppings. Staff use a raw sausage depositor to quickly place a portioned amount of this meat onto the crusts. "The use of raw sausage that is cooked on site imparts more flavor to the pie than a precooked product," Costello says.

Crusts then head into the conveyor oven, which is automatically set to cook pizzas for about 12 to 14 minutes at 425 degrees F. "We used to use deck ovens and had to keep an eye on the cooking," Costello says. "With the conveyors, we set the time and don't have to watch them cook. Pizzas come out perfectly each time."

The Bolingbrook location's equipment package includes three conveyor ovens. Soon after the workhorse conveyor ovens were introduced into the Home Run Inn restaurants, they were used for appetizers and garlic bread, as well. "The change from the rotary tray pizza oven to a conveyor oven was critical to Home Run Inn's consistency and efficiency," Perrino says. "Before using this equipment, customers had to wait an hour and a half for pizza. The conveyor ovens cut the wait to 20 minutes and results in greater profits." After pizzas are cooked, a staff member cuts it and places it onto a tray for service in the dining room or into a box for carryout.


I believe that the Modesto, CA supplier of tomatoes to HRI as mentioned in the above article may be Stanislaus, as is shown in this document: http://www.ctga.org/industry. Neither Escalon nor San Benito, both of which are the other major sources of fresh-pack tomatoes, has its offices in Modesto, although all three companies appear to have processing facilities in the San Joaquin Valley. At one time, it was said that HRI uses the Stanislaus Full Red tomatoes. ConAgra, through its Hunt's subsidiary, once had a tomato processing facility in Modesto (see Figure 3 at http://www.sjvcogs.org/pdfs/2012/Tomato021712.pdf) but it was sold to a company from Singapore (see http://www.centralcalifornia.org/PressRoom.aspx?NewsID=68). If HRI is using a non-fresh pack tomato product, it might be Hunt's, although I did not find such a connection from my searches. None of the HRI ingredients lists mention fresh-pack tomatoes, although the Margherita pizzas include vine-ripened (or vine-ripened fresh) tomatoes in their sauce.

There is also a fair amount of other interesting information about HRI in the fesmag.com article referenced above. I found the article by using the search string "Home Run Inn", "dough press" (as shown) in the Google search engine. I then used the cache version of the article when it would not open up properly.

For some basic information on dough presses, see the PMQ Think Tank thread at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=20461#20461 and also the Tom Lehmann article at http://pmq.com/mag/2002summer/doughformer.shtml. The high oil content of the HRI dough seems to make that dough a good candidate for a heated dough press. Also, see the last paragraph under Hot Pressed in the Lehmann article to read about the finished crust characteristics and other benefits to using a heated dough press.

For an interesting article on the HRI Woodridge frozen pizza facility, see http://www.bsimagazine.com/Features/Company%20Profiles/US%20Archive/At%20its%20new%20plant%20Home%20Run%20Inn%20makes%20frozen%20pizza%20the%20pizzaria%20way.aspx?p=1&cck=1.

Peter

EDIT (1/25/13): Since the above link to the Lehmann PMQ article is no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine link to the same article at http://web.archive.org/web/20100626072731/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2002summer/doughformer.shtml. See, also the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsQCgtla79E&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:44:49 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #189 on: June 04, 2012, 10:29:19 PM »
^^Peter,

that article is very informative - great work!


Offline Garvey

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #190 on: June 05, 2012, 04:02:13 PM »
Yes, great info!  I wonder how long their total ferment time is.  It sounds like the 12-24 hours is the time between delivery to each location and its usage.

This also shows that it's possible to make good pizza in a conveyor oven.

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #191 on: June 05, 2012, 04:08:50 PM »
Here is another article on the HRI frozen pizza operation: http://www.refrigeratedfrozenfood.com/Articles/Features/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000394878.

In this YouTube video, , one can see how the old HRI skins were formed with what appears to be a sheeter/roller in the background (at around 1:55 in the video). Notice how the rim is "pinched". See, also, how a pizza is currently assembled on a perforated disk on a scale starting at about 3:05 in the video.

I also found the link (http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/chicago-vs-new-york-pizza-throwdown/) to the Rachael Ray thowdown video where the HRI pizza was one of the candidates (the Chicago favorite). The way the HRI skin is formed is shown at 1:18 and at 1:27 in the video.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 05:36:05 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #192 on: February 03, 2013, 08:55:50 PM »
I found an interesting article (May 2010, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery) on how HRI makes its frozen pizzas, at http://digital.bnpmedia.com/publication/?i=37488&p=14. What I found interesting is that it appears that the oil is added to the flour, then the yeast and salt (nothing is said about when the water is added). For a very high production operation, I would imagine that the yeast is IDY.

Peter

EDIT (2/11/13): Found and replaced original article link with one directly from Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery magazine
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 06:03:34 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #193 on: February 03, 2013, 09:40:56 PM »
I found an interesting article on how HRI makes its frozen pizzas, at http://digital.bnpmedia.com/iphone/?i=37488&p=30#_m0. What I found interesting is that it appears that the oil is added to the flour, then the yeast and salt (nothing is said about when the water is added). For a very high production operation, I would imagine that the yeast is IDY.

Peter
In house dough is also made with oil in flour first I would bet. Been doing that myself since learning it in the 70's. I believe it is what keeps the dough from being too bread like on these types of pizzas(affects fermentation).
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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #194 on: February 03, 2013, 09:47:36 PM »
In house dough is also made with oil in flour first I would bet. Been doing that myself since learning it in the 70's. I believe it is what keeps the dough from being too bread like on these types of pizzas(affects fermentation).
Bob,

HRI says that it tries to make its frozen pizzas like its restaurant pizzas as much as possible, so I would tend to agree with you that HRI most likely adds the oil to the flour for the restaurant dough. The main differences take place after the skins are formed and pre-baked, etc. for the frozen pizzas.

Peter

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #195 on: February 04, 2013, 03:45:38 PM »
Following my last post, I recalled that Tom Lehmann and member Randy talked about combining fat (solid or liquid) in with the flour in order to get a more flaky finished crust. Tom discusses this topic at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5726.msg201727.html#msg201727, and Randy discusses his method at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4360.msg36425/topicseen.html#msg36425 and at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11697.msg107955/topicseen.html#msg107955.

By way of summary of the evolution of the HRI pizzas, in the very beginning HRI used a dough sheeter or roller of some sort to form the skins, whereupon the workers formed rims for the skins by hand. The forming of the skin was done on a peel and, after dressing, the pizzas were baked in a deck oven. The basic skin forming steps can be seen starting at 1:50 at .

Later, when HRI went to conveyors, they started to use hot dough presses to press dough balls into skins with general rims (accompanied by some heating of the dough), and after better forming the rims by hand to the desired shape and height, they were dressed and baked in the conveyor ovens. In this instance, the formed skins were docked and placed on perforated seasoned or dark anodized disks before placement into the conveyor ovens. A current example of this version of the HRI pizza can be seen in the photo below. Note the irregularly shaped, hand formed rim.

In 1990, when HRI decided to go into the fullscale commercial production of frozen pizzas, with very high volumes, they apparently decided to stick with the use of the hot presses and other methods that they had developed for their restaurants although the rims of the skins were more uniform and of different shape than used in their restaurants. An example of a typical frozen HRI pizza after baking can be seen at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XGsKWDbKe0o/UBqKKzZbARI/AAAAAAAAAyI/FNd3mKlo6KI/s1600/012+-+Copy+(2).JPG. Note the uniform, machine-made rim.

I believe that for marketing and other reasons they decided that it was best to be able to tell everyone that their frozen pizzas were just like the ones in their restaurants. It is quite possible that the addition of the oil to the flour was a way of achieving some flakiness in the finished crust that was lost when they went from sheeters/rollers to dough presses which simply pressed the dough balls into skins.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 03:54:37 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #196 on: February 04, 2013, 10:27:08 PM »
The dough/crust of their frozen pizza is pretty close(imo) to the restaurant....but it has been a long while since I've made it to 31st. Street. Being in NC now, buying a frozen one once in awhile delivers a fairly nice nostalgic trip.
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Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #197 on: February 04, 2013, 11:50:21 PM »
Made a couple this weekend, used loos recipe.  I havnt had a frozen HRI in years but this crust does hit the spot for me.  Did it on the perforated disc 475 one rack higher than center for 13 minutes. Sauce was puree, salt pepper basil.  Whole milk mozz with some provologne on the bottom and. Parmesean on top.  homeade sweet italian sausage.  And like loos says, its a great next day reheated  pizza for some reason!

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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #198 on: February 05, 2013, 09:04:26 AM »
Boy, I like the looks of that Mojo. You nailed it...fine job!  :chef:
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Re: Home Run Inn Success and Final Formulation
« Reply #199 on: February 05, 2013, 09:29:45 AM »
Terry,

That is a nice looking pizza.

Can you tell me what weight of dough you used, and how much cheese and sauce, also by weight, that you used?

Peter
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 07:44:05 PM by Pete-zza »