Author Topic: Generic Chicago Thin Crust  (Read 76445 times)

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Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #125 on: November 13, 2010, 11:33:20 PM »
gotcha!  next time you make one, invite me - those middle pieces are my favorite hahaha!


Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #126 on: November 14, 2010, 09:48:22 AM »
I have been trying to study how V&N goes about making their dough skins and if they dock the skins or not.  I found this one article from a corporate chef for Vito & Nicks II.  It is dated 2008, but he explains to make the dough to pierce the dough to keep from bubbling.  http://www.southtownstar.com/life101/1225338,102008life101pizza.article

Do any members think V&N does dock their dough to keep it from bubbling?  I havenít made that many thin crusts before, but would think the dough would need to be docked.  Even when I was experimenting with a no yeast dough, it rose in the oven. I would also like to know what are the best temperatures to use for baking the V&N style of pizza.  Any ideas?

There is a video by staff writer Donna Vickroy, but I canít get the video to work.  I donít know what the video showed, but it was titled, ďMake a pizzeria-style pizzaĒ.

Norma
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #127 on: November 14, 2010, 09:59:03 AM »
Norma,

Maybe its my aging eyeballs but I could not see either a docking tool or docking step in the V&N video referenced earlier.

Maybe you already know this, but Vito & Nick's II is not affiliated with V&N, the "original". V&N expicitly disavows any affiliation with Vito & Nick's II at the top of its homepage at http://www.vitoandnick.com/.

I think BTB may be able to tell you if V&N docks its doughs since he was a regular at one time.

Peter

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #128 on: November 14, 2010, 10:13:07 AM »
Peter,

I donít think it is your aging eyeballs, that you couldnít see what is on that video.  I studied that video over and over and kept stopping it at each second and still couldnít decide if the skin looked docked before they put the sauce on at 2.09.  I also donít know what the man has in his hand at 4.23 or about 4.24 into that video.  I was trying to see if it was a docker.  Maybe someone can tell what is on that video, but I sure canít.

I knew Vito & Nick's II is not affiliated with V&N, the "original".  I donít understand enough about this type of pizza, because I have never eaten a real pizza from V&N.  I just thought maybe since that article said to pierce the dough, that might be what V&N was doing.

Norma
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #129 on: November 14, 2010, 10:25:20 AM »
It's from the first post in this thread. It was probably just an oversight No biggie :


Ed,

I had quickly scanned the thread to see if Loo also decided to leave the oil out when he started to use milk in his dough but didn't see that he did so based on my review. Loo may weigh in on this matter but I decided anyway to revise the dough formulations in Reply 90 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg81363.html#msg81363 to include 3% corn oil. 

Thanks for catching the omission. I am a measure thrice cut once kind of guy but somehow I missed the omission. I must be getting old.

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #130 on: November 14, 2010, 03:33:11 PM »
Although it says on vitoandnick.com that there is no affiliation between Vito and Nick's and Vito and Nick's II, both are owned by different members of the same family.  Nick Barracco Jr. (son/grandson depending on how you look at it) opened N&VII.  Maybe it was one of those "famous" family fallouts that are common to competiting italian and pizza restaurants all over the US haha.

Anyhow, I'm guessing that the pizzas are made in pretty much the same way at both restaurants.  There might be minor variaitons in the recipes or whatever, but I would assume that something as fundamental as docking would be done the same way.  Therefore, if N&VII is docking, i would assume N&V is docking, too.

Also, I grew up in the midwest where this style is ubiquitous, and from what I recall, every pie shop docked their dough.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #131 on: November 14, 2010, 04:36:54 PM »
CDNpielover,

I have learned to be wary of advice given by pizza professionals to individuals who are making pizzas at home. I think a lot of the time they make things up--perhaps well meaning but things that they don't do or wouldn't do in their own businesses. They are usually more interested in the publicity than in helping individuals make good pizzas at home. But the answer to the docking question should be fairly easy to find. If members on the forum visit V&N's, they should be able to see workers using dough dockers or, if the workers are out of view, one should be able to tell from the pizza itself if it was docked.

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #132 on: November 15, 2010, 08:49:39 AM »
Regarding the docking question, when you walk into the front door of the original Vito & Nicks, if one goes straight they would approach the pizza counter where you pick up your pizza or just watch them making pizzas right there.  One would go left to go into the bar and restaurant area.  The floured pizza preparation bench is in full view of anyone right on the other side of the pizza counter (actually right adjacent to the counter) and the pizza preparers are facing you at that point -- only a few feet away. 

In the times that I watched them make pizzas, I never saw them use a docker.  However, while I think the overwhelming majority of Chicago thin crust pizzerias in the past did not use dockers, I sense there is an increase in their usage and wouldn't doubt that they use them today.  I don't think they were "in vogue" years ago.  It seems to be a good idea just to use them in general with thin crust pizzas.  I don't know what disadvantage there would be in using a docker (unless you want a lot of large air pockets maybe).

V & N does not par-bake their crusts for those sold for pickup or at the restaurant.  They do, however, par-bake the crust used with their frozen and shipped pizzas.  This brings back to mind the funny story regarding my receiving shipments of V & N pizzas to my home here in Florida almost three years ago.  See pictures of the V& N pizzas that I ordered then at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6066.msg52079.html#msg52079 .  Wow, how time flies.

Peter, thanks for all your hard work on this milk addition question.  I'm in the process of reporting on the pizzas that I made yesterday with some milk added.

                                                                                      --BTB        :'(

Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #133 on: November 15, 2010, 09:14:37 AM »
BTB,

Thanks for your answers about the docking and par-baking questions, and also your views on docking a thin crust skin.   :)

It is hard to make a pizza I have never tasted, so I will go have to go ahead and see if any of the members that have tried a V&N pizza think I will ever get close.  I will have no way of really knowing.

Looking forward to seeing how your pizzas turned out. 

Norma
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #134 on: November 15, 2010, 09:38:14 AM »
Ed,

I had quickly scanned the thread to see if Loo also decided to leave the oil out when he started to use milk in his dough but didn't see that he did so based on my review. Loo may weigh in on this matter but I decided anyway to revise the dough formulations in Reply 90 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg81363.html#msg81363 to include 3% corn oil. 

Thanks for catching the omission. I am a measure thrice cut once kind of guy but somehow I missed the omission. I must be getting old.

Peter

I've always used some oil in my thin recipe.  This discussion and results from others may have me rethinking that. 

Loo
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Offline Tampa

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #135 on: November 15, 2010, 07:38:09 PM »
Hi BTB,
I'd like to learn more about your deep dish technique and recruit you into the Tampa Pizza Eaters group.  I sent a personal message.  Also, Peter Taylor says hi.
Dave

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #136 on: November 16, 2010, 09:17:38 AM »
The Milk Experiments

Early on this past Sunday morning I went about making dough balls for two 12" thin crust pizzas with some milk in the dough along the lines discussed here.  I figured it would be a nice treat to eat while watching the football games that day (Go Bucs!  Go Bears! -- and they both won).  And I wanted to experience the effect and taste of the two main recipes here, both the Generic Thin (w. milk and oil) and the V & N Clone (w. milk).
 
The first pizza was the 12" Generic Thin and using the Expanded Dough Calculation Tool, I entered 13" as the desired round pizza size in lieu of any bowl residue and to account for scrap, shrinkage, etc.  I also used the given Thickness Factor of .09, altho I think I rolled it out thinner.  Also, I used King Arthur AP flour as its all I have and used ADY instead of IDY and the 2% variety of milk.  The formulation then came out to:
 
Generic Thin

Flour (100%):  218.49 g  |  7.71 oz | 0.48 lbs
Water (33.3333%):  72.83 g  |  2.57 oz | 0.16 lbs
ADY (1%):  2.18 g | 0.08 oz | 0 lbs | 0.58 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
Salt (1%):  2.18 g | 0.08 oz | 0 lbs | 0.39 tsp | 0.13 tbsp
Corn Oil (3%):  6.55 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.46 tsp | 0.49 tbsp
Milk (fresh) (16.6667%):  36.42 g | 1.28 oz | 0.08 lbs | 7.28 tsp | 2.43 tbsp
Total (155%): 338.67 g | 11.95 oz | 0.75 lbs | TF = 0.09
 
With the V & N Clone, I did similarly, but put in the TF of .08, which again varies, esp. since this dough was harder to roll out.  And like Peter mentioned, much bench flour had to be used. The formulation for this one was:
 
Vito & Nick Clone Thin
 
Flour (100%):  178.2 g  |  6.29 oz | 0.39 lbs
Water (55%):  98.01 g  |  3.46 oz | 0.22 lbs
ADY (.375%):  0.67 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.18 tsp | 0.06 tbsp
Salt (1.58%):  2.82 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
Milk (fresh) (11.98%):  21.35 g | 0.75 oz | 0.05 lbs | 4.27 tsp | 1.42 tbsp
Total (168.935%): 301.04 g | 10.62 oz | 0.66 lbs | TF = 0.08
 
I proofed the ADY yeast, of course, in a little water warmed to 100 to 110 degrees F and was happy to see that it foamed up nicely before I added it to the dry ingredients (the advantage of ADY).  I mixed each dough ball up first with a spoon, then by hand and kneaded for a much longer time than I do with my deep dish dough's.  The Generic Thin was a pleasure to work with and the V & N Clone was the opposite.  The V & N Clone was so sticky and tacky that I had to add many extra pinches of AP flour and then some more.  And then clean the fingers alot.
 
I put each dough ball in a slightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap and then put them into a very slightly warmed oven for about two hours.  The dough balls rose very nicely -- even the V & N Clone ball which had much less yeast.  I knocked down the dough balls, reformed them, covered and left on the counter for about 6 to 7 more hours (with again knocking down the risen balls several more times).
 
Then came the time to roll out the dough, put the skins in the pans, dress and bake.  The Generic Thin was again a pleasure to work with.  It rolled out nicely and easily, with a little harder push of the roller here and there, and when it got to a point that it was approx. 13" in diameter, I cut the dough skin into a near perfect 12" circle using the cutter-like pizza pan.  I rolled the dough skin up onto my rolling pin and off onto the slightly oiled pan.  It went on perfectly.
 
The V & N Clone was a different story.  Rolling out was just a little harder, requires more bench flour, but I got it to a 14" size (instead of the planned 13") and then cut the flattened skin (still a little tacky) with my 14" cutter pan.  Then I cut the scrap away and attempted to rolled up the circular dough skin up onto my rolling pin so I can roll it off onto the slightly oiled cutter pan.  It did not go well.  The dough as it rolled up onto the rolling pin stuck to the dough already on the pin as it rolled around and I had a mess on my hands trying to roll it off onto the pan.  I had to pull and tug it off which caused tears and holes and a somewhat deformed circular dough skin on the cutter pan.  But so be it as I patched it up with scrap dough as best I can and moved on to the next step, dressing the pizza for baking. 
 
I threw the skins into the oven for a minute or two to firm them up as I heard from some that for home oven purposes, it may be wise to do so.  That, of course, is never to my knowledge done at the great Chicago thin crust pizzerias with their great old deck ovens.  Guess which skin is which?

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #137 on: November 16, 2010, 09:19:16 AM »
I won't go into the dressing of the pizza as far as sauce, toppings, cheese, etc. as that's often an individual preference thing.  Suffice it to say, I baked the dressed pizzas at around 460 to 470 degrees F on lower level racks (could not fit them both on the same level unfortunately, but shuffled them between levels from time to time).  I first set the timer to 12 minutes, but that was not sufficient time to either brown the crust or the toppings.  Checked again at the 15 minute mark and still not sufficiently brown with either.  I was thinking of putting the pizzas on a high rack to brown the toppings some more, but then realized that the crust will never brown any more if I did that, so I just left them down below.  At 18 minutes . . . the same.  But at 20 minutes I thought to pull the pizzas.  Was a little disappointed that the crust didn't brown a little more.  Some sugar, honey, or some other additive, I thought, may be helpful here in the future.

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #138 on: November 16, 2010, 09:24:04 AM »
Both pizzas were easy to get out of the slightly oiled pans and as you'll notice,  I sliced them into strips or rectangles, another one of my favorite Chicago cutting styles (ala Chesdan's).  In the pictures below, the V & N Clone is sitting on the wooden cutting board and the Generic Thin is on the aluminum serving pan.  Except in some parts, the pieces of pizza were not floppy or limp, but generally held out nice and straight (see the last picture below), which many consider to be a real plus.   

I can't say that the three of us focused much on the difference between the two, especially when screaming at the TV when our teams were scoring touchdowns.  In the heat of the games, we got somewhat confused on which pizza was which.  They both tasted fairly good.  They both were a little crispy, but not much.  They both had a kind of subtle, soft kind of bite to the crust.  The bite or the crunch seemed to give away a little too quickly than I normally like, but I know its hard to describe and express such in writing.

Among the 3 of us partaking in the football watching/pizza munching, there was some saying "oh, the one over there was a little better" and another saying "but the other one's crust was a little tastier."  But in the end in trying to get a "consensus" expression, I can only sum it up in the statement unfortunately that neither one really "blew us away."  We all thought they were good, but not to the level of the many Chicago thin crust pizzas that we had experienced and eaten for so very long. 

I think one mistake I made was not to instead make one of the pizzas with milk and the other without.  I would suggest to anyone interested in following up with a side-by-side test like this to try both varieties.  I'm sensing that for me, tho, the milk additive did not have a desired effect.  But that's just me as many have expressed above some degree of satisfaction with the inclusion of milk in the recipe.  Hopefully others will pursue it and get it to work fine for them.

                                                                                                --BTB

Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #139 on: November 16, 2010, 10:33:11 AM »
BTB, I know you like to use your pans for thin (so do I, I just use black perforated disks...easier and quicker) but when I was at V & N's this past summer there was a fair amount of semolina on the bottom of the crust.  I think that adds more than a little something to it.  I'd venture to guess that their ovens do not have stones and they just bake on the metal floor of the oven as most Chicago places do.  I think a stone will make for a crispier crust as it handles moisture baking out of the crust better than metal, obviously.  I may try it both ways by using the stone and then cooking on a preheated upside down cookie sheet. 

I'm going to tinker with a couple pizzas later this week using this V & N style.  No oil.  I've never done that with a thin but I will this time and post results.

Loo
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Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #140 on: November 16, 2010, 09:16:19 PM »
BTB,

I find your report interesting in how you went ahead in making the dough for your V&N pizza and what you thought of both of your doughs.  Since you already ate V&N pizza and I have not, you know more how they should taste.

Steve and I made two pizzas today with the formula Peter set-forth.  The only thing I changed was to use whole milk, because that is all I had yesterday, when I made the dough.  I used Ceresota flour in the formula.  This is the one pizza we made today.  Steve and I both thought the V&N clone was excellent.  Even my taste testers thought the pizza was good.  I had the one pie sitting on the counter and I guess people thought they were samples, because my test testers were tasting the pizza.  A few people walking by took some pieces.  One man came back later and wanted to purchase more.  We told him the pie was only an experimental pie.

I wish I could taste a real V&N pizza.  Both of the pizzas we made today were crispy and thin.

This is a video of cutting the pizza. 

I think Peterís formula was great.

If anyone has any questions about these pizzas, just ask.

loowaters, I would be interested in seeing if you try the V&N clone and what your results are.

Pictures below

Norma
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 09:22:00 PM by norma427 »
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Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #141 on: November 16, 2010, 09:18:12 PM »
more pictures

Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #142 on: November 16, 2010, 09:21:09 PM »
more pictures

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Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #143 on: November 16, 2010, 10:39:31 PM »
This second pizza was made out of the formula for one 14" pizza.  There was enough left over dough to make another pizza from the one dough.  I just reballed the dough and left it sit out at ambient room temperatures for another couple of 1 Ĺ hrs.

This one dough that two pizzas were made from was made yesterday and left to sit at ambient room temperatures of 72 degrees F  for 6 hrs.  In that time the dough was reballed two times.  I then put it into the refrigerator overnight because I thought the dough might overferment.  The first dough ball was left out at market today for another 5 hours.  The remainder of the dough, that was left over, was left at ambient room temperatures of around 78 degrees F.

Maybe Steve and I rolled out the dough to thin.  Since I donít know how much the dough should have been rolled out, we just guessed, because we wanted to have the skin thin.  This dough was sticky, but when floured it did roll out well. The dough for both of these pizzas were docked.  I was trying to think how to go about baking a thin crust pizza and didnít know whether to use a cutter pan, my perforated dark pan, or something else.  I decided to try the dark perforated pan for the first pie that was made and the first pie was then put on the stone after a while.  The second pie was baked only on the stone, but moved to the top oven after I thought the bottom wasnít getting finished enough. Both methods seemed to work. 

The taste of this crust was very good.  We left one slice cool down for about an 1 Ĺ hrs.  It then became softer.  We put that slice or part back into the oven and in a short while it became crisp again.

Pictures below of the second pizza.

Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #144 on: November 16, 2010, 10:41:32 PM »
more pictures

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #145 on: November 16, 2010, 10:42:43 PM »
end of pictures

Norma
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Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #146 on: November 17, 2010, 07:33:22 AM »
Nice job and excellent pictures, Norma.  Good that you rolled out the dough skin thin as V&N's are noted for their extra thin crust.  How did you get the dough from the bench to the pan or disc?  I found that very difficult.  I did look back at one of the YouTube videos on V&N's and saw where the pizza preparers had a lot of sticky dough stuck to their fingers but the dough skins looked like they could be handled easier than mine was.  It looks like you have a very special oven that many would be envious of.

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #147 on: November 17, 2010, 08:28:29 AM »
Norma,

I agree with BTB. However, I thought that the V&N pizzas were not as crispy as yours came out. Maybe BTB can comment on that since that has a bearing on how much dough is used to make a typical 12" or 14" pizza at V&N's.

I also agree with BTB on the oven. With all of your recent experiments, especially your many experiments with the Lehmann variations, it is clear how inferior our standard unmodified home ovens are to commercial ovens.

Peter

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #148 on: November 17, 2010, 08:30:28 AM »
Nice job and excellent pictures, Norma.  Good that you rolled out the dough skin thin as V&N's are noted for their extra thin crust.  How did you get the dough from the bench to the pan or disc?  I found that very difficult.  I did look back at one of the YouTube videos on V&N's and saw where the pizza preparers had a lot of sticky dough stuck to their fingers but the dough skins looked like they could be handled easier than mine was.  It looks like you have a very special oven that many would be envious of.

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BTB,

Thanks for your kind comments.  :) I found the formula that Peter set-forth for a 14" pizza did make enough dough for two pizzas, because we rolled them thin.  The first pizza was 14" and the second pizza was almost 12".  The first pizza dough wanted to stick to the marble counter.  Steve rolled out that dough.  We decided to flour the dough again and reroll.  We had used a cutter pan to measure how big the first pizza should be. The first dough became deformed, before rerolling. At first I was going to throw out the left over dough, but decided to put it in a small plastic container with a lid on and watch it.  It rose very much in a matter of 1 Ĺ hrs., so we decided to do the second attempt at a V&N clone.  I was surprised there was enough dough for a second pizza.  I rolled out the second dough and then it didnít need as much bench flour.  It was easy to transfer onto the peel.  In my opinion you need pretty much bench flour for this formula.  

The oven I used is my Bakerís Pride oven at market.  I donít see why this V&N clone would bake any different on a stone or combination of dark perforated pan and then transfer onto a stone in a home oven.  Steve also really liked this pizza and he is a thicker crust style of guy.  He is also going to buy some Ceresota Flour and try making this pizza at his home.  Eventually I am also going to try and make this pizza in my home oven.  I donít know if the Ceresota Flour had anything to do with how this pizza turned out or not, but the pizza was good.  When I was playing around with Ulra-Thin crusts before, those crusts never had any flavor.  They were bland.  I donít know if it was the flour and milk combined and also the longer room ferments with reballing, but this crust did have a great flavor. I used IDY in the formula.  I just wish I could taste a real V&N pizza to be able to compare this with.  Both of these pizzas were crisp with a different texture than I have ever tasted before.

The man and woman that tasted a piece of the first pizza we made and then came back to try and buy some pizza werenít from around my area, but said they come to market a few times a year.  They said my first attempt at the V&R clone tasted exactly like Pete & Eldaís pizza in Neptune, NJ.  They said they really like Pete & Eldaís pizza and canít find it anywhere else. I wrote down Pete & Elda pizza, so I would remember it when I returned home. I never heard of Pete & Eldaís pizza, so I looked it up on the web.  This is the link to Pete & Eldaís. http://peteandeldas.com/  and the yelp reviews for their pizza.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/pete-and-eldas-bar-and-grill-kitchen-neptune   Maybe Peter created a Pete & Eldaís clone.  :-D

Norma
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 08:33:25 AM by norma427 »
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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #149 on: November 17, 2010, 08:43:06 AM »
Norma,

I agree with BTB. However, I thought that the V&N pizzas were not as crispy as yours came out. Maybe BTB can comment on that since that has a bearing on how much dough is used to make a typical 12" or 14" pizza at V&N's.

I also agree with BTB on the oven. With all of your recent experiments, especially your many experiments with the Lehmann variations, it is clear how inferior our standard unmodified home ovens are to commercial ovens.

Peter

Peter,

I was posting when you posted.  That is one reason I took the video to see if someone that had eaten a V&N pizza could tell if this is how the crust should sound when cut.  Both pizza sounded the same when cut. 

I can see I had a benefit of using a commercial oven, but will do experiments in my home oven to see if I can achieve this same pizza.  Both of these pizzas were very tasty in my opinion and also the opinions of my taste testers.  The one taste tester kept coming back for more pieces.  She really liked the pizzas and so did the vistors.  I wonder how I will ever compare if this pizza is something like a real V&N pizza.

Norma
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