Author Topic: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy  (Read 5995 times)

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Offline mifan

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how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« on: August 31, 2008, 10:20:28 AM »
I am planning open an online pizzeria. one of the problem I wish to understand is the length of time a pie can be kept without losing reasonably crispy level, I am making NY style pizza. today, I noticed the pie turned out to be totally soggy after one hour. Initially, I was planning the time duration from taking order till delivery to be limited within 50 minutes. that means I probably take 15 minutes to bake the pie, and 35 minute it will be on its way deliverd to customer, I doubt this pie could sustain 35 minutes yet still keep crispy with reasonable level. I checked out, Papa John's seems having the necessary technique to make it. however, I don't know how, not for sure if any one of you in this forum who had any experience of this can share with your knowledge? I thank you in advance for your help. Mifan


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 10:42:48 AM »
Mifan,

You might want to go over to the PMQ Think Tank and do a forum search there. For example, you might use "soggy crust" and "Crispit" as search terms (I suggest you use the Search tab rather than the search box at the top of the page). An example of a possibly relevant thread is this one: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=35144#35144. You might also find it useful to register at the PMQ Think Tank since the members who post there are mainly professionals.

Peter

Offline mifan

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2008, 11:12:17 AM »
Hi, Peter, thanks a lot for the advise, however, it seems I am having traffic problem with PMQ site. I have been reading through a lot of threads you posted, very informatic, meanwhile, I also clicked the links you provided, unfortunately, my try of brawsing PMQ has been stucked somewhere by the traffic with very limited ocassion of success, even though I have no problem get into this site quick. it's indeed pity so much information I could not utilize.

Offline Art

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 12:14:15 PM »
I read somewhere recently that pizza crust starts to go downhill about 5 minutes after it leaves the oven and that wasn't taking into consideration the "rigors" (steaming in a box or one of those vinyl zip bags) of delivery. It's been a long time since I've gotten one for take-out but, when I did, I ordered it 3/4 done and boxed uncut. Meanwhile, my oven and stone were preheating and ready for the finishing cook. Of course, folks that have pizza delivered to their door regularly probably have much different standards than those that make their own pies. jmho, Art 
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline mifan

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 06:18:34 PM »
Do you guys think the commercials put any chemical ingredients to lock in the moisture? and what it is, if any? I guess this might be necessary to extend the shelflife. Mifan

Offline petef

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 09:36:23 AM »
Initially, I was planning the time duration from taking order till delivery to be limited within 50 minutes. that means I probably take 15 minutes to bake the pie, and 35 minute it will be on its way deliverd to customer, I doubt this pie could sustain 35 minutes yet still keep crispy with reasonable level.

For a pie to be delivered, I'm thinking you need to cook the crust more thoroughly
compared to one that is eaten right away. Try cooking for a longer period and
consider lowering the temperature by 25 degrees if you are getting burnt crust.

My logic is that cooking longer at a slightly lower temperature will tend to
dry out the crust more and cook the dough more thoroughly.  I do this kind
of over-cooking on pizza I intend to freeze and re-heat. If you eat it fresh
baked, the crust is too stiff and hard, but after freezing and reheating, it's
justr right. I'm thinking that the same concept can work for your delivery
situation.

---pete---


Offline mifan

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2008, 08:58:45 AM »
How long to freeze, Petef? I may try your solution

Before resolving the crispiness issue, I think there is a need to keep the pie warm enough after delivery. and this in turn could help extend a little bit of the crispiness.

I tried to order a pie from Papa John's, I made side by side comparison, found their pie could keep longer than mine, roughly double the time than mine before getting cooled. it seems to me the oil they sprayed on the pie made the difference, their pie here is oily, not sure if this is the case in US? therefore, I am trying this today.  I think I achieved this for my thick pie after putting a lot drops of oil, but, not pretty successful on the thin crust by comparing to the thick one, probably thick objects usually retain more heat and have higher capacity in preserving heat.

The other solution I found is that I may order keep warm pizza bag, the bag will charge electricity and start to heat when temp drop down to a threshold, techinically the vendor told me their product could manage the temp in a range of 75 C to 85 C.

With the temp being kept at 75 C +, I think the crispiness could be extended a little bit, especially when oil applied to the dough. correct me if I were wrong.

now, the problem I narrowed down is how to make consistently the thin crispy skin of the crust. I knew this part will be difficult. sometimes, I can bake very thin yet very crispy crust skin, but, the other times, the skin could be very hard and dense. this probably due to prolonged baking time. I lowered a little bit temp( I was baking at 570F, now, probably 500F) today, then, got a dense crust. I also knew from somewhere that there seems biochemical impact on the thickness of crust skin, it is said if the lactic acid level prevails in the dough, then, the pie will deliver a thin and crispy crust. still not very sure if this is the case. since I can not test this in a controlled manner, therefore, not very sure about this point.

I think I may start my business once could be consistant in producing the good crust skin(thin, crispy, pleasant bites). Oh, yeah, start business, this is not kidding, I am determined to do a trial. the reason I plan to aventure this journey is that in my place, consumers don't have much high standard, thanks to Pizza hut for what they have been doing here. so, if I charge much competitive price, still have a chance to get the ball rolling. probably I am too optimistic, if I missed anything, appreciate if any one of you could remind me.

Thanks to all of you for giving me so much valuable information and advises



« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 09:15:06 AM by mifan »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2008, 09:55:50 AM »
mifan,

Since you have been having problems accessing the PMQTT website, I have copied and pasted below some of the posts at the PMQTT forum that appear to pertain to your problem. To keep the posts separated, I numbered them.  For your information, the Crust Savers website is http://www.crustsaver.com/. I should note, however, that not everyone likes the Crust Savers, either because of added cost or performance issues. There is also a product that is called Crispit that is in the form of crumbs and is used to absorb excessive moisture on a pizza, especially one that uses a lot of high-fat toppings or high-moisture vegetable toppings.

Here are the posts:

1) Do Crust Savers Work?   
I have read many post and have also experienced how the pizza goes down hill and begins to get a soft/soggy bottom once it hits the box due to steam. 

I do a NY style and was thinking of trying the Crust Savers, do they, or any other options work? I am really trying to get into the delivery game against the big 3 and would like to provide the best pie I possibly can.

Also, do warming bags help or hurt the situation.

thanks for feedback...

2) I have tried the crust savers I got as samples in my opinion they work marginally better than fluted liners and are far more costly. As far as delivery bag go you need to get the type that allow the steam to vent. I use the ones from www.deliverybags.com they work well.

3) We use the Crust savers, and the same bags that Daddio suggested. Though they are expensive, the crust savers really make a difference with our pies. I havent tried the cardboard things, but maybe they would work, and cost less. If you call the folks at Crust Saver, they'll send you some samples.

4) We use the regular fluted style liner. Went with the heated bag system from www.hotbag.com and could not be happier. We hold the pickup orders in them as well. We tested the bags out when we got them and found that the pies stayed hot and dry retaining the ability to "pick it up" without the deadly crust droop!! Best upgrade we made.

5) I use the crust savers for all pies that have 3 or more toppings, and all dine in pies ... I've found that's where they make the biggest difference. Leave plenty of lead time for re ordering, though - it takes up to a week - also, if you leave an order on the company's machine, keep calling back until you get a confirmation.

I've looked at Hotbags, but can't use them because their largest size bag is for an 18" pizza - at least half of my deliveries are a 20" pizza ... can anybody point me to a place that can accommodate these?

6) deliverybags.com has bags up to 24, 28 and 32 inches. did you have a noticible difference with the crustsavers...also what are fluted liners? 

7) Fluted liners are like the first example here http://www.bagnboxman.co.uk/allaboutcorrugated.php and are made to allow the steam to escape from under the pizza. My cost is around 10 cents per pizza which is 1/3 of what the crust savers would have cost me.

8) We're going to get a few boxes of Crust Savers (ordering them tomorrow). The final straw was pulling a pizza box off of the top of the oven today and seeing a wet spot on the bottom of the box.

No bueno, amigo.

The testimonials on their site are pretty compelling.

9) You'll actually get more of that with the crustsaver ... reason being that the moisture from (especially) veggie pizzas will soak the box rather than the crust. Thanks for the info on deliverybags.com, I already get my bags from them ... should have been more specific & enquired about heated delivery bags. Sorry

10) If you are going to use them, make sure you look at your food costs. They are EXTREMELY expensive. We have about $500,000 in sales last year with only about 30% delivery/take out and our invoices for these were running $500 a month!

11) Could someone clarify how much these things cost? Just guessing by hints, 30 cents per pizza. But I imagine they vary by size, and also by the volume you purchase.

30 cents a pop for 12"? 14"? 16"?

Do they slow down the box folding process?

12) 12"x12" Box of 200 $32
9"x9" Box of 200 $27

those are the only sizes we use. you need to call to find out the shipping charges to your area. I don't know if they still do this, but they covered the shipping charges on our 1st order, so I oredered all I could afford, and then some. And that post about checking up on the order was right, a couple of times our order didn't get filled when we left messages.

13) Our regional chain uses krispits (see ad in pmq mag) and it really helps soak up extra moisture from the ingredients. Does wonders for a pepperoni pizza or a vegetarian.

Also, when I take a pizza home for myself, I don't use a hotbag because the product is better and our pizza's stay "very warm" in a box for 20 minutes or so. The humidity inside even the vented bags is just insane. Especially when you have more the one pizza stacked in there.

14) yes they work..only got one complaint from a "green" person but I explained they are recycable

luckily we are closeby and pick them up so shipping is not an issue

15) The ones that I'm familiar with are the Dri-Pie and Ripple Boards. While they are effective at allowing steam to escape from the bottom of the pizza, thus reducing the soggy crust, they still do not provide for a crispy delivered pizza if the delivery destination is any further away than just across the street. In my book though, a soft, warm crust is better than a wet, soggy one, so my personal vote go for the use of some device to allow steam to escape from the bottom of the pizza. While I'm on the topic, an idea that I've had for a number of years now is to have a delivery bag made with a large Gore-Tex panel incorporated into the top of the bag. This would provide a way for the steam to escape from the inside of the bag (to reduce steaming of the pizza) while the silver colored, reflective side of the Gore-Tex panel would reflect the heat back into the bag, thus helping to keep the pizza hot. Take the idea and run with it, maybe it will work, but remember, you can't patent it.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

From another thread:

16) I serve a large 18" thin crust pizza and it seems that after 5-10 mins. in the box its so flimsy its hard to eat. I cook them in deck ovens for about 6 mins. im wondering if i keep them in the oven longer if it will help stiffen them a little thanks.

17) when you put any pie in a box, it will create "steam" an that causes any/all pizzas to loose their crisp crust characteristics...

18) Yep...that box does wonders for a pizza. Turns a nice crispy pizza into something that more closely resembles cooked pasta, and the really good news is that it doesn't get any better after you stuff the box into an insulated bag...Ouch!
But...All is not lost, you might want to try baking your pizzas a little longer. This will provide for a drier crust which just might hold the crisp for a few nano-seconds longer. If you're already baking at 500 to 525F your temperature is probably OK, if you have sugar in your dough formula, make a test batch without the sugar. This dough will not color up as quickly in the oven as the dough with sugar allowing you to bake the pizzas a little longer to get the same color. Also, if you are not already using one, give ripple sheets or Dri-Pie mats a try. These can help by holding the pizza up off of the box, allowing the steam/moisture to escape from the bottom of the pizza. Pizza Hut uses the ripple sheets and you can get the Dri-Pie mats from <www.dripie.com> Don't hold your breath too long looking for a great improvement, but you might be able to improve things a little.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Peter





 

Offline mifan

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2008, 11:07:01 AM »
Hi, Peter, you are such a great man in this forum ! I am so grateful to your big big big help, I will study your copies word by word in the following days, I am sure I will get a lot of good information out of it. I noticed you are very helpful to many people coming to this forum seeking professional advises and you helped a lot too. so, a very big thumb up, hope I expressed it correctly, I meant, very big thanks to you, Peter !

Offline ctimmer

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Re: how long do you usually keep your pie crispy
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2008, 04:47:52 PM »
A problem I had the other night may present a partial solution. I was making pizzas using the thin/crispy dough and sauce recipes. For my last pie I had less than half of the sauce I normally use. When it was baked it was fairly thin, lacked a strong tomato taste, and was naturally drier than the others.

I noticed there was no liquid oozing out of the slices so for a test I put a couple of slices in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for over a day. This normally would have left the slices pretty soggy but I was surprised at how crisp they still were. After reheating the slices in the oven they were very good (not like fresh baked).

To improve on this, I will be trying a much thicker sauce next time and maybe roll the dough slightly thicker.

Curt


 

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