loowaters and Pete-zza, you guys are an inspiration. The detailed analysis, your knowledge and commitment, are downright impressive.
I know I’m late to the party, as I've only been reading this site since December 2009. My first attempt at using the posted HRI formulation was as close as I've ever come to the HRI crust taste. Thank you for renewing my interest in trying this crust again. The only problem that I had was trying to get the crust off of the peel onto the pizza stone. It seems as if this was a problem in early posts, for others as well, and why I assume that the main recipe calls for pressing the dough into a pan.
I haven't read every post, but I did want to provide my knowledge of the HRI operation if it could help the overall discussion...and if you guys are still interested in tweaking this recipe. I’d love for the dough to be less oily and be able to use a pizza stone in the process. At least for me, this is the way that I remember making them.
I worked in the Darien HRI location the summer in 1987. We made the pizzas from ingredients delivered from (what I assumed was) the main 31st location. The dough came in large plastic bins (~ 30" x 18" x 18") at least a couple of times a week and we stored them in the fridge downstairs until we needed them. Pizzas at this location seemed to be created using the "older" method at that time.
* The dough was not pre-portioned in the bins. For the summer I was there, only one guy typically had responsibility for the rolling out the dough according to the pizza size on the order. From experience, he knew how much dough to use from the bin. He would just grab "about" the right amount from the dough bin, form it by hand into a very thick frisbee shape, and pass it though two sheeters to reduce the thickness. His job was done when the flattened dough was on a lightly floured pizza peel.
* The pizza would travel down one of the two kitchen assembly lines creating the finished product. Usually, with at least 3 people on a side, and the “cheeser” at the end who had some quality control responsibility.
* The crust ring was created by hand. It was basically a two hand process: Thumbs slightly overlapping; index fingers flipping the edge of the dough, up and over; thumbs pinching the dough against the index fingers to create the lip.
* Sauce was applied with a ladle to cover the dough. Oregano sprinkled on top from a shaker. I now wish I remember what sauce we used. Sorry, no help.
* All ingredients, except mushrooms, went on before the cheese. HRI sausage came in the same plastic bins as the dough. It was portioned out by hand, and went on raw.
* Once topped, the pizza would go into the oven until the cheese slightly browned. I think there were two ovens in the location, each identical. With five, rotating 6’ x 2’ stone shelves. The ovens were set to 450-460*
Question: If I would like to use less oil and more salt in the recipe, is there any other adjustments that I should consider. I think that someone mentioned using more salt means using more yeast
Thanks again for the enthusiasm shown on this board. It is very cool.