Author Topic: Generic Chicago Thin Crust  (Read 58507 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #220 on: November 24, 2010, 10:13:55 AM »
Norma,

When I made my V&N test clone dough, I had enough dough to make two pizzas, a 14" pizza and a second one that turned out to be about 9". When I calculated the thickness factors based on the weights of the two skins, they were just about the same, and were what I used in coming up with the modified V&N clone dough formulation (I actually lowered the value to compensate for the bench flour that would be needed). The 14" pizza baked up with a bottom crust that looked pretty like the one shown by BTB. The other pizza, which was baked up after I had let the dough rest for a while to recover from my handling, had a bottom crust color that was like the last pizza you showed. However, I could tell that the dough for the second pizza was super soft and pretty well fermented. That might have explained the reduced crust coloration.

You and I are like the blind leading the blind since neither of us has had a real V&N pizza and neither of us knows how long to bake our clone versions to get the desired combination of crust texture and bottom crust coloration. As matters turned out, I enjoyed my V&N clone pizzas but I can't say that I was overwhelmed. However, since I rarely eat more than a few slices of any pizza, I had some leftovers. When I reheated the leftover pieces (with the family cut), I really enjoyed those. Whereas the original crust was firm and chewy with a bit of cracker texture, the crust for the reheated pieces was still chewy but with some softness. That is perhaps not what the crust should have been but at least I liked it.

Under the circumstances, and until we get better or more information, using some sugar in the dough might help compensate for the differences between our standard home ovens and the V&N deck ovens. Another possibility might be to reduce the amount of yeast so as to curb its ravenous appetite for sugar that we would prefer remain to contribute to final crust coloration.

Peter


Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #221 on: November 24, 2010, 12:47:16 PM »
Norma,

When I made my V&N test clone dough, I had enough dough to make two pizzas, a 14" pizza and a second one that turned out to be about 9". When I calculated the thickness factors based on the weights of the two skins, they were just about the same, and were what I used in coming up with the modified V&N clone dough formulation (I actually lowered the value to compensate for the bench flour that would be needed). The 14" pizza baked up with a bottom crust that looked pretty like the one shown by BTB. The other pizza, which was baked up after I had let the dough rest for a while to recover from my handling, had a bottom crust color that was like the last pizza you showed. However, I could tell that the dough for the second pizza was super soft and pretty well fermented. That might have explained the reduced crust coloration.

You and I are like the blind leading the blind since neither of us has had a real V&N pizza and neither of us knows how long to bake our clone versions to get the desired combination of crust texture and bottom crust coloration. As matters turned out, I enjoyed my V&N clone pizzas but I can't say that I was overwhelmed. However, since I rarely eat more than a few slices of any pizza, I had some leftovers. When I reheated the leftover pieces (with the family cut), I really enjoyed those. Whereas the original crust was firm and chewy with a bit of cracker texture, the crust for the reheated pieces was still chewy but with some softness. That is perhaps not what the crust should have been but at least I liked it.

Under the circumstances, and until we get better or more information, using some sugar in the dough might help compensate for the differences between our standard home ovens and the V&N deck ovens. Another possibility might be to reduce the amount of yeast so as to curb its ravenous appetite for sugar that we would prefer remain to contribute to final crust coloration.

Peter


Peter,

The first formula you set-forth for a 14" V&N clone at Reply 120 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg117150.html#msg117150 I did have extra dough left to make an extra pizza, but the formula I mixed Monday and used yesterday from the other formula you set-forth at Reply 285 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg117734.html#msg117734 for a 14" pizza, seemed to be the right amount of dough for a 14" pizza.  I am not sure how to measure how thin the pizza I made, but the thinness of the crust seemed okay to me. 

I know that you and I are like the blind leading the blind in that we never saw a real V&N pizza or tasted one.  :-D  I never made any cracker crusts, so I canít compare mine to a cracker crust.  The V&N attempt from last week, had a crisper crust, which I liked more.  In that dough I had put the dough ball into the refrigerator overnight, after fermenting at room temperatures.  That dough didnít seem as fermented as yesterdays dough.  Last weeks crust at market did also have a better taste, at least in my opinion.  I have been making a dough ball and just reforming them when they seem to ferment to a certain point.  I havenít been just punching the dough down, but I guess my method would be about the same.

I think BTBís suggestion of using sugar in the V&N clone is good for bottom crust color. When I looked at the pictures BTB posted, I saw how much darker and crisper the real V&N crusts looked.  I would think the crust would have a better flavor if it could be room temperature fermented for longer. 

Norma
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #222 on: December 12, 2010, 10:27:03 PM »
After making this Vito & Nick's clone once again, I will say this will be my go to thin recipe.  Excellent results...and I used Ceresota AP unbleached flour.  I did try to go 24hrs room temp rise but I did get scared about eight hours before use that I was going to kill it so I threw it in the fridge to slow it down.  I portioned before the cooler treatment and it was in the fridge for about five hours.  I think if I try to go that long again I'll dial down the IDY a bit or find a cooler place to ferment. 

Rolling out the dough and keeping it at the size desired was a challenge as it would shrink immediately after being placed on the peel with the semolina.  I didn't want to re-roll for fear of incorporating too much semolina into the dough, so the first pizza contracted to about 10".  Too thick!  I over-rolled the intended 12" to about 14" on the next two and getting to that size is the reason for the odd shape.  The pizzas were cooked on the underside of my 14" deep dish pan (upside down) rather than the stone on the bottom rack of the oven.  Heats up fast and an excellent surface for this type of pizza. 

Here's the full formula for 3 12" pizzas

Flour (100%):    324.89 g  |  11.46 oz | 0.72 lbs
Water (55%):    178.69 g  |  6.3 oz | 0.39 lbs
IDY (.28%):    0.91 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.3 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
Salt (2%):    6.5 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.35 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
Milk (fresh) (11.48%):    37.3 g | 1.32 oz | 0.08 lbs | 7.46 tsp | 2.49 tbsp
Total (168.76%):   548.28 g | 19.34 oz | 1.21 lbs | TF = 0.057
Single Ball:   182.76 g | 6.45 oz | 0.4 lbs

This pizza was the third of the three.  It's 3/4 sausage, 1/4 cheese.  FWIW, I think sausage is the ONLY way to go with this crust.

Any questions, just ask.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #223 on: December 12, 2010, 10:59:34 PM »
loowaters,

Your V&N clone really looks good!  :)  I see your method of using your deep-dish pan did work well for your bottom crust.  Nice job!

Norma

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Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #224 on: December 13, 2010, 07:38:20 AM »
The pizza looks mouthwatering and excellent, Loo.  Shape as we know is very unimportant.  Using an upside down deep dish pan would seem to be a different way to make pizza, but hey if it works for you, why not. Is there a reason you didn't use your disc with the holes in it?  I suspect it may be because of the way this dough handles. 
 
I used my 14" cutter pan on a similar formulation above and on the 2nd try with using the very bottom oven rack level (instead of a higher level), it worked just like an old fashioned deck pizza oven (for those with visible heating elements in their home oven, it is a very different consideration).  But I do get frustrated with the handling of this dough and will next time use much more bench flour.
 
What characteristics in the final pizza makes this your "go to thin recipe?"  Is it very crisp or soft, except for the rim?  Taste or flavor?  Are the pieces limp or rigid?  I noticed on this and other recipes, you're not big on the use of just a little amount of sugar.  What's your thinking on that?
 
Sausage is Chicago's and my favorite pizza ingredient, so I'm with you on that 100%.
 
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #225 on: December 13, 2010, 11:46:26 AM »
This pizza turned out very crisp all the way across the diameter of the pie. The actually crunch life of a cracker type crust is pretty short but this sustained it's crunch until it was gone.  Very nice flavor but something this thin is a wonderful vehicle to let the toppings be the star.

I used the bottom of my biggest dd pan instead of using the perforated disk because I didn't want semolina falling thru.  I'm not going to prep and cook this on the disk, it just didn't come out real well when I tried that a few weeks back.  I'll continue to use the peel and semolina and transfer to the preheated surface as I've had no problems doing so.

Loo
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #226 on: December 13, 2010, 11:48:42 AM »
Loo or BTB,

Do we know for sure that Vito & Nick's use metal baking surfaces in their deck ovens, as I believe someone postulated earlier?

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #227 on: December 13, 2010, 11:56:01 AM »
I don't know for absolute certain, but I do know they use a very old deck oven.  And I don't remember if it was a revolving one or not.  Some of those old non-revolving ones did have stones in them on top of the steel deck.  I'll look to see if I can find any photos of their ovens.  But my guess at this point is that they used a steel deck as most of the old ovens of that type that I've witnessed were that way.

Offline loowaters

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #228 on: December 13, 2010, 09:36:08 PM »
I noticed on this and other recipes, you're not big on the use of just a little amount of sugar.  What's your thinking on that?

Sorry I didn't address this earlier, BTB.  With this recipe, browning is not a problem so I won't use it unless I try to turn it around faster than the 24 hr. rise, counter or fridge.  In other recipes, I'll use sugar when called for, like, Peter's Papa John's clone or my take on foodblogger's Gino's clone, they both require sugar.  We know that Malnati's doesn't use any and we're assuming that Vito & Nick's doesn't either. 

When I was a kid, I had Lego's and almost always built what was on the box only occasionally freewheeling a design.  With pizza, it's kind of the same way for me.  I'll take what they (whomever "they" may be) use, or what we know or believe what they use, and make the best replication of that type of pie.  Adding something extra to make it "seem" closer to the target or the original doesn't make sense to me.  That may help explain my absolute disdain for using cornmeal in a deep dish dough and also using semolina, which I didn't hate, just thought it was a costly added ingredient without increased benefits, in deep dish crusts.  Obviously, I have no issue with semolina on the peel. :)

Loo
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Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #229 on: December 14, 2010, 10:25:13 AM »
It's funny how some can get the desired baked crust coloring and others can't.  I know you prefer a light colored crust (and your pizzas look absolutely beautiful), but I and some others like a little more browned crust and for those of us like that, a little bit of sugar (or whey or NFDM) might help in achieving that.  I'm sure you'd agree and there's no need to go further on that comment.

I am not big on "what was in the alleged original formula" as I am a Doubting Thomas on the creditability of most of those ingredient interpretations (I truly believe Malnati's uses "some" sugar except for the promotional photos because it looks "prettier") and am absolutely certain gov't requirements on ingredient requirements are total BS.  It seemed Norma and even Peter had "reduced crust coloration" with this or similar formulation and wondered about the use of some sugar to help in the coloration for home oven use.  But your unique technique (upside down deep dish pans) worked out well, and one cannot doubt that. But did you have to repeat that 3 times within a short period of time?

Speaking of our youth, when I was a kid back in the golden age of America, I had the Lincoln Logs, Metal Erector Sets, and the Building Blocks (forerunners the modern day Lego's) instead.  To me, they meant nothing about cornmeal or semolina . . . (lol and just joking). Just continue your great work on this website and ignore my poor attempt at sarcasism. 
                                                                                                     --BTB              :o


Offline dms

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #230 on: December 14, 2010, 11:03:36 AM »
It's funny how some can get the desired baked crust coloring and others can't.  I know you prefer a light colored crust (and your pizzas look absolutely beautiful), but I and some others like a little more browned crust and for those of us like that, a little bit of sugar (or whey or NFDM) might help in achieving that.  I'm sure you'd agree and there's no need to go further on that comment.

I am not big on "what was in the alleged original formula" as I am a Doubting Thomas on the creditability of most of those ingredient interpretations (I truly believe Malnati's uses "some" sugar except for the promotional photos because it looks "prettier") and am absolutely certain gov't requirements on ingredient requirements are total BS.  It seemed Norma and even Peter had "reduced crust coloration" with this or similar formulation and wondered about the use of some sugar to help in the coloration for home oven use.  But your unique technique (upside down deep dish pans) worked out well, and one cannot doubt that. But did you have to repeat that 3 times within a short period of time?

Speaking of our youth, when I was a kid back in the golden age of America, I had the Lincoln Logs, Metal Erector Sets, and the Building Blocks (forerunners the modern day Lego's) instead.  To me, they meant nothing about cornmeal or semolina . . . (lol and just joking). Just continue your great work on this website and ignore my poor attempt at sarcasism. 
                                                                                                     --BTB              :o

My lou-inspired crust browns as well as the ones I've had from them, it contains no sugar, whey, malt, coloring.  flour, water, oil, yeast. 

I did one of these (using peter's first recipe.).  It browned acceptably.

There's no need to put sugar in something to get it to brown.  Long fermentation give amylase plenty of time to make sugars that brown.   

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #231 on: April 01, 2011, 10:20:25 PM »
I finally got around to trying out the VN recipe.  WHAT A FANTASTIC SUCCESS!  I think this is the best pizza i've ever made.  i had been using Loo's generic thin recipe for some time, and while that was good, this is going to be my new chicago thin recipe.  i'll post up more info and some pics when i finish eating LOL!   :chef: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza:

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #232 on: April 01, 2011, 10:51:33 PM »
OK, so as I mentioned above, I just made an EXCELLENT pie using the Vito and Nick's dough.  I grew up eating chicago-style thin crust pizza in the Midwest, but have since moved to western canada and thus really crave for this style of pizza.  I had been using Loo's generic thin crust recipe, and while that was good, this V&N recipe blows it out of the water (no offense Loo, hahah!).

Anyhow, I started with the 14" formulation Pete gives in Reply #120 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg117150.html#msg117150.  I didn't read the whole thread, but I did watch the DDD video several times and so I didn't see that the recipe had been reformulated later.  anyhow, i used a bread machine to knead the dough until it "looked" like a dough - like they said in the video.  I let the dough ferment for about 24 hours on top of the refrigerator, and punched it down about 5 or 6 times.  Then, I noticed that Pete had reformulated the dough in Reply #285 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.msg117734.html#msg117734.  Pete increased the salt a bit, but the real difference was in the thickness factor, and so I just weighed my dough ball (it was about 339 g) and pinched off pieces until it was equal to the total weight given in Pete's reformulation (231.3 g).  I rolled this out using lots of bench flour to a diameter of 14" (I did not dock the dough).  I actually rolled on parchment paper and hoped to transfer that to a cutter pan, but it didn't quite work out so I ended just folding the dough and then restretching it on the pan.  I baked this for about 12 minutes in the cutter pan on a stone on the bottom rack of a 550 F oven.

The results were FANTASTIC - this is my new go-to thin crust recipe!  Thanks everyone for all of your work in helping to develop this BRILLIANT recipe!   :chef: :chef: :chef:

sorry for the picture links, but I have a terrible time dealing with photo uploads on this forum

http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/4299/s001u.jpg
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/1243/s002xv.jpg
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/9526/s003s.jpg
http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/1344/s004b.jpg
http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/19/s005g.jpg
http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/9655/s006p.jpg
http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/7614/s007g.jpg
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/7092/s008vf.jpg

 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:53:52 PM by CDNpielover »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #233 on: April 01, 2011, 11:11:03 PM »
CDNpielover,

It looks like you aced it. Thanks for the feedback on the recipe, especially from someone who has had the Chicago thin style before. Did you ever have a V&N pizza when you were in the U.S.? And how did your V&N clone measure up against the thin Chicago style pizzas that you recall fom your U.S. days?

Out of curiosity, what kind and brand of flour did you use?

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #234 on: April 01, 2011, 11:23:37 PM »
Hi Pete,

thanks for your comments on the pie.  i've never has a real V&N pizza before, but I have had chicago-style thin pies from dozens and dozens of different shops in minneapolis/st. paul, and this dough is IMO just as good as any of the best i've ever had.  Seriously, this is an excellent dough recipe.  I used November's #2 red sauce on this pie, and that worked very well.  In terms of taste, texture, and overall "quality," i honestly beleive that this pie is on par with something out of a real pizza shop.  The only thing I need to improve is the cheese... I can't find any of the "famous" brands that are recommended on these forums, so i'm just using a store brand "pizza mozzarella."  however, it just doesn't have that gooey, stringy texture that you get at pizza shops.  do you have any suggestions on how I can locate a good pizza cheese?

oh, and I used bread flour - i'm pretty sure it is King Arthur but i'm not 100% certain since I keep it in a big glass jar and threw out the package long ago.

Offline norma427

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #235 on: April 02, 2011, 12:05:40 AM »
CDNpielover,

Your V&N clone sounds and looks great!   :)

Norma
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Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #236 on: April 02, 2011, 07:41:55 AM »
Good looking pizza.  I love especially that dark caramelized edge on the crust's rim.  Did you do anything special to get it that way?

                                                                                      --BTB

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #237 on: April 02, 2011, 08:59:03 AM »
do you have any suggestions on how I can locate a good pizza cheese?

CDNpielover,

I am not a good one to ask about pizza cheeses. Where I live outside of Dallas, I can't find the best brands of mozzarella cheeses. I have to go into Dallas to a particular food store (an Italian specialty food store) and even they don't always have the cheeses (mostly Polly-O and some Grande) in stock. As a result, I use whatever I can find at my local supermarket. Maybe one of our Canadian members can recommend a good mozzarella cheese sold in Canada that might be an improvement over what you are now using.

As a side note, I was intrigued by your use of the cutter pan to bake the pizza. There has been some speculation that V&Ns bakes their pizzas directly on metal surfaces rather than on stone. Maybe your use of the cutter pan on the stone simulates the V&N baking method.

You mentioned the King Arthur bread flour. Does King Arthur ship into Canada or do you have some other way of getting it?

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #238 on: April 02, 2011, 11:21:41 AM »
The dark, slightly burned (caramelized) edges is what makes this appear so appealing to me.  Just like many pizzerias that I used to visit in the midwest.  How to get that?

And I'm not certain if that's a cutter pan or a "serving tray" that it is displayed on.  V & N of course baked their pizzas on a metal surfaced deck oven, but for home oven purposes, use of a pan or good stone best gets close to the restaurant style bake.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 11:26:32 AM by BTB »

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Generic Chicago Thin Crust
« Reply #239 on: April 02, 2011, 01:04:32 PM »
The dark, slightly burned (caramelized) edges is what makes this appear so appealing to me.  Just like many pizzerias that I used to visit in the midwest.  How to get that?

And I'm not certain if that's a cutter pan or a "serving tray" that it is displayed on.  V & N of course baked their pizzas on a metal surfaced deck oven, but for home oven purposes, use of a pan or good stone best gets close to the restaurant style bake.



I actually don't know what kind of pan it is, I just called it a cutter pan since I assumed it's the same type that's used for cutting the edges off of pies, when people do that.   :-D  but i really have no idea, hahah.   here's a link to the exact pan i have, though http://www.shopworldkitchen.com/bakers-secret/air-insulated-large-pizza-crisper-115659505  I dress the pie on that, and then put the pan+pie on a stone at the bottom rack.

As for the caramelized crust - yes, i agree with you BTB - that was one of the main highlights of this pie.  I'm not completely sure, but I think the carmelization was from sauce/cheese/oils heating, drying, and caramelizing on the edge of the pie.  I think this all resulted from the use of an over sized pan, which did 3 things: 1) allowed me to apply sauce and toppings to the VERY outer edge of the pie, with almost no rim whatsoever, 2) some "spillage" of cheese and toppings to adjacent to the crust, which might have melted into the it, and 3) allowed the pie to have "flat" edges, so when the pie cooked the sauce, cheese, oils etc. could flow to the edge and burn on the pan, instead of being contained to the center as it would if the crust was the same size as the pan. As pete said, I think that the use of an oversized pan somewhat replicates the V&N method, assuming they are cooking on metal.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 01:15:50 PM by CDNpielover »


 

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