Author Topic: Generic Chicago Thin Crust  (Read 63465 times)

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Offline 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. 
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GmWzAKyqlw" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GmWzAKyqlw</a>


I think Peter’s 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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Offline 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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Offline norma427

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

Norma
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Offline 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 ˝ 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 don’t 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t 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 ˝ 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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Offline norma427

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

Norma
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Offline norma427

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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.

                                                                                               --BTB

Offline Pete-zza

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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

Offline norma427

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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.

                                                                                               --BTB


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 ˝ 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 didn’t 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 Baker’s Pride oven at market.  I don’t 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 weren’t 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 & Elda’s pizza in Neptune, NJ.  They said they really like Pete & Elda’s pizza and can’t find it anywhere else. I wrote down Pete & Elda pizza, so I would remember it when I returned home. I never heard of Pete & Elda’s pizza, so I looked it up on the web.  This is the link to Pete & Elda’s. 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 & Elda’s clone.  :-D

Norma
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 08:33:25 AM by norma427 »
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Offline 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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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #150 on: November 17, 2010, 09:19:30 AM »
Norma,

Like you, I have never had a V&N pizza either so all I could do was to try to come as close to the dough formulation and related methods as best I could divine them from the V&N video and my independent research. This is my standard operating procedure when trying to clone someone else's dough/pizza. Also, when making my clones, I try to make them exactly like the original, to the extent I am able to do that given that I don't always have quite enough information and also giving recognition to the fact that my home setting is going to be different than a commercial setting. I know that there will be differences but I try to identify them and, as appropriate, make adjustments to my home versions.

I also knew from my own experience working with wet doughs that that would be the sticking point (pun intended) with the V&N clone dough. I also learned from discussions I have had with salespersons at Anets and Somerset, both of whom are industry leaders and make dough rounders and sheeters, that such equipment can handle wet, even oily, doughs quite well--something that is likely to be much harder for us to do with a rolling pin. And there is often a lot of bench flour around the equipment when in use. The dough roller that V&N uses looks to be an old workhorse of a machine. If you or others would like to see how the modern versions of dough rollers work, see the video for the Somerset CDR-1550 at http://www.smrset.com/dough-roller-cdr-1550.shtml. The Anets equipment is similar but is now made at the Middleby Marshall facilities since MM acquired Anets about a year ago.  It's hard to tell from the V&N video whose dough roller they are using but I would guess Anets because they have been a fixture in the Chicago area for many years. Giordano's has been a big user of the Anets machines although I was told recently by a Somerset salesman that Giordano's has been switching over to Somerset machines in some of their stores.

In terms of the dough ball weight you might want to strive for next time, you might revisit the V&N video and look at the size of dough balls in Rosemary's and Guy Fieri's hands and see if you can approximate that, even if it means having to adjust the other ingredients down the line if you are able to come close to the actual V&N dough ball weight, especially the hydration. You may have to play around with the skin thickness because it is hard to tell from the video whether the dough balls shown are for a 12" pizza or a 14" pizza.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #151 on: November 17, 2010, 09:30:20 AM »
For those who are interested, if there are problems locating a source of the Ceresota flour, they can use the Heckers flour instead, if that is available. This morning I called the Uhlmann Company, which sells the two flours, and confirmed that they are the same flours. They are just marketed differently. A list of places that ostensibly carry the Uhlmann flours can be seen at http://www.heckersceresota.com/grocers.html. It might help to call a retailer in advance to be sure that they actually carry the flours since lines are dropped all the time in the retail supermarket business.

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #152 on: November 17, 2010, 09:38:39 AM »
I wish I could taste a real V&N pizza. 

 
I just wish I could taste a real V&N pizza to be able to compare this with.

 
I wonder how I will ever compare if this pizza is something like a real V&N pizza.

 
Norma, well, here's my suggestion for your next vacation:  Fly into Chicago's Midway airport (not O'Hare) and either rent a car or cab over to Vito and Nick's (a 10 minute cab ride from the airport).  They open early for lunch and you can watch them for a long time making pizzas from the counter area.  They invite questions and customer inquiries and of course bake their wonderful pizzas in their great old fashioned deck ovens (the best).  Get a small size pizza in the bar/restaurant area because I have more recommendations for this trip for you (or anyone interested).
 
After experiencing V & N's great style pie, go about 1 and 1/2 miles away to my favorite, Fox's Restaurant and Pizzeria in Oak Lawn, IL (http://www.foxsrestaurant.com/).  Their pizza is also extra thin crust style also, is very tasty and flavorful, and utilizes anise flavored Italian sausage that is very special and unique.  And they open early for lunch also. 
 
Then travel over to Villa Nova, which many south siders will say is even better than V & N's.  (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/10/villa-nova-a-neighborhood-institution-the-whole-city-should-discover.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feedmeaslice+%28Slice%29).  One should call first as I'm not certain if they are open for lunch, but they are, too, one of the greatest thin crust style pizzas on earth (I'm not prejudice as you can tell).  Some might instead suggest traveling to the 4th great "south side" pizzeria, Palermo's.  This pizza family like V & N's has "split" up and has different family locations.  The original on 63rd St is noted at http://www.palermosof63rd.com/ and the other on 95th St. at http://www.palermos95th.com/ .

Boy, this is a trip I'd like to take myself.  The 4 best south side thin crust pizzas in the Chicago area (opps, forgot Aurelio's in Homewood, but that's much farther to travel in between than the four I mentioned).

                                                                                            --BTB

Offline dms

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #153 on: November 17, 2010, 09:55:37 AM »

The man and woman that tasted a piece of the first pizza we made and then came back to try and buy some pizza weren’t 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 & Elda’s pizza in Neptune, NJ.  They said they really like Pete & Elda’s pizza and can’t find it anywhere else. I wrote down Pete & Elda pizza, so I would remember it when I returned home. I never heard of Pete & Elda’s pizza, so I looked it up on the web.  This is the link to Pete & Elda’s. 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 & Elda’s clone.  :-D

Norma


Pete's much too un-surly to create a proper clone of Pete & Elda's.  The "give us your money and get out of here" attitude is an essential part of the place, I gathered.  I lived a couple miles away for years, and went rarely.  Pizza was okay.  If they bothered to give it you before it was cold, that is, which wasn't a given.  I'd hope they've improved, but wouldn't bet on it.

It's a very thin crispy (while hot, it gets soggy) crust, bland sauce, not a whole lot of cheese (less than you get at most chicago joints; while I know I've been to V&N, I have no memory of the food...).  

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #154 on: November 17, 2010, 10:16:16 AM »
No no, Norma, do land at O'Hare (ORD) and I'll pick you up.

First we can stop at Superdawg then Lou's at Lincolnwood, then I'll take you to the Brown Line Kimball stop and you can make your way down town to Uno's and Gino's if you must then the presidential suite at the Hilton before going on your south side adventure the next day  :angel:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 12:18:57 PM by Mick.Chicago »

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #155 on: November 17, 2010, 12:06:45 PM »
Norma,

Like you, I have never had a V&N pizza either so all I could do was to try to come as close to the dough formulation and related methods as best I could divine them from the V&N video and my independent research. This is my standard operating procedure when trying to clone someone else's dough/pizza. Also, when making my clones, I try to make them exactly like the original, to the extent I am able to do that given that I don't always have quite enough information and also giving recognition to the fact that my home setting is going to be different than a commercial setting. I know that there will be differences but I try to identify them and, as appropriate, make adjustments to my home versions.

I also knew from my own experience working with wet doughs that that would be the sticking point (pun intended) with the V&N clone dough. I also learned from discussions I have had with salespersons at Anets and Somerset, both of whom are industry leaders and make dough rounders and sheeters, that such equipment can handle wet, even oily, doughs quite well--something that is likely to be much harder for us to do with a rolling pin. And there is often a lot of bench flour around the equipment when in use. The dough roller that V&N uses looks to be an old workhorse of a machine. If you or others would like to see how the modern versions of dough rollers work, see the video for the Somerset CDR-1550 at http://www.smrset.com/dough-roller-cdr-1550.shtml. The Anets equipment is similar but is now made at the Middleby Marshall facilities since MM acquired Anets about a year ago.  It's hard to tell from the V&N video whose dough roller they are using but I would guess Anets because they have been a fixture in the Chicago area for many years. Giordano's has been a big user of the Anets machines although I was told recently by a Somerset salesman that Giordano's has been switching over to Somerset machines in some of their stores.

In terms of the dough ball weight you might want to strive for next time, you might revisit the V&N video and look at the size of dough balls in Rosemary's and Guy Fieri's hands and see if you can approximate that, even if it means having to adjust the other ingredients down the line if you are able to come close to the actual V&N dough ball weight, especially the hydration. You may have to play around with the skin thickness because it is hard to tell from the video whether the dough balls shown are for a 12" pizza or a 14" pizza.

Peter


Peter,

I know you always try to gather all the information you can before setting forth a formula.  You are quite the detective, when it comes to making a pizza you have tried or not tried.  8) It is hard to even clone a pizza that was tasted.

I had some luck with the sticking point of your formula set-forth, as anyone can read below.  Since I really have no idea of how thin this next crust should be, I will roll again and then weigh any extra dough. 

At least I was glad this crust did have a good flavor after playing around with the Ultra-thin thread and those crusts having no flavor.  Steve and I talked yesterday about the pizzas we made and I said this almost was like the pizza I tasted at the New York Restaurant and Pizza Expo, except the crust was a little softer on the real Ultra-Thin pizza.  Maybe my memory isn't exactly right, about the real Ultra-Thin pizzas, but the pies were good yesterday. 

I made another dough ball this morning using the 12" formula you set-forth.  I used my Kitchen Aid professional HD to mix the dough.  I also used whole milk in the formula.  The dough was sticky when finished, but I have since reballed the dough two times. It feels drier now, but probably will get sticky, like my last dough did.  I will take another picture or pictures of how this dough looks during today.  I am going to try and use my home oven to make this pizza.  I will wait until I think the dough looks ready, or might even refrigerate it again and wait until tomorrow, all depending on how this dough ferments at ambient room temperatures of 74 degrees F.  I am going to go to market today to pick up my docker, dark perforated pan, and big rolling pin.  I will see how this pizza turns out in my home setting with my oven.

Picture of how dough looks after reballing twice.

Norma
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 01:55:42 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #156 on: November 17, 2010, 12:10:39 PM »
Pete's much too un-surly to create a proper clone of Pete & Elda's.  The "give us your money and get out of here" attitude is an essential part of the place, I gathered.  I lived a couple miles away for years, and went rarely.  Pizza was okay.  If they bothered to give it you before it was cold, that is, which wasn't a given.  I'd hope they've improved, but wouldn't bet on it.

It's a very thin crispy (while hot, it gets soggy) crust, bland sauce, not a whole lot of cheese (less than you get at most chicago joints; while I know I've been to V&N, I have no memory of the food...).  
dms,

Glad to hear you tasted a Pete & Elda’s pizza, and could tell how the more about their pizza.  :) It helps to hear someone else describe a pizza I never tasted before.

Thanks,

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #157 on: November 17, 2010, 12:14:53 PM »
 
Norma, well, here's my suggestion for your next vacation:  Fly into Chicago's Midway airport (not O'Hare) and either rent a car or cab over to Vito and Nick's (a 10 minute cab ride from the airport).  They open early for lunch and you can watch them for a long time making pizzas from the counter area.  They invite questions and customer inquiries and of course bake their wonderful pizzas in their great old fashioned deck ovens (the best).  Get a small size pizza in the bar/restaurant area because I have more recommendations for this trip for you (or anyone interested).
 
After experiencing V & N's great style pie, go about 1 and 1/2 miles away to my favorite, Fox's Restaurant and Pizzeria in Oak Lawn, IL (http://www.foxsrestaurant.com/).  Their pizza is also extra thin crust style also, is very tasty and flavorful, and utilizes anise flavored Italian sausage that is very special and unique.  And they open early for lunch also. 
 
Then travel over to Villa Nova, which many south siders will say is even better than V & N's.  (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/10/villa-nova-a-neighborhood-institution-the-whole-city-should-discover.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feedmeaslice+%28Slice%29).  One should call first as I'm not certain if they are open for lunch, but they are, too, one of the greatest thin crust style pizzas on earth (I'm not prejudice as you can tell).  Some might instead suggest traveling to the 4th great "south side" pizzeria, Palermo's.  This pizza family like V & N's has "split" up and has different family locations.  The original on 63rd St is noted at http://www.palermosof63rd.com/ and the other on 95th St. at http://www.palermos95th.com/ .

Boy, this is a trip I'd like to take myself.  The 4 best south side thin crust pizzas in the Chicago area (opps, forgot Aurelio's in Homewood, but that's much farther to travel in between than the four I mentioned).

                                                                                            --BTB


BTB,

I would love to visit Chicago and taste all their different pizzas.  :) I would really like to experience every pizza place you mentioned.  Maybe someday.

Thanks for telling me where all the good pizzerias are.  :)

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #158 on: November 17, 2010, 12:20:55 PM »
No no, Norma, do land at O'Hare (ORD) and I'll pick you up.

First we can stop at Superdawg then Lou's at Lincolnwood, then I'll take you to the Brown Line Kimball stop and you can make your way down town to Uno's and Gino's if you must then the honeymoon suite at the Hilton before going on your south side adventure the next day  :angel:

Mick.Chicago,

You invitation sounds tempting.  I probably can only dream of coming to Chicago.   ::) Lol, the honeymoon suite sounds so funny.  I am not a high class girl, just a plain old country girl.  :-D I would enjoy visiting all those places you mentioned though.   ;D

Norma

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Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #159 on: November 17, 2010, 03:23:13 PM »
BTB and Norma, your pizzas look great.  I hope I get some nice results like you two have.  The dough is made but is going to get a two day fridge rise out of necessity.   It is quite sticky...I don't like dealing with really wet dough but once the bench flour gets incorporated I'm sure it will be fine.  Unlike with a Neapolitan dough we don't want to be shy with bench flour.  I will be going the peel and stone then peel to preheated pan route with these.  I'll also top to the edge as they do.  I'm using Peter's formula but much thinner.  I went .065 TF.  We'll see Friday night.

Loo
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 03:25:16 PM by loowaters »
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!


 

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