Author Topic: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE  (Read 13813 times)

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Offline ERASMO

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LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« on: January 28, 2009, 07:51:28 AM »
I live in southeast Pa. and we have bakeries in our area that make what they call a tomatoe pie.  It is basically a large square pizza with a sweet tomatoe sauce on top and no cheese. It is usually purchased already cooked but at room temperature.  The tomatoe sauce they use seems to be very thick almost like tomatoe paste.  Does anyone have any info on this style pizza?  Especially what that sauce consists of.

Thanks


Offline Art

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 01:25:38 PM »
I used a sauce of this type when I served a Focaccia with a thick version of my own pizza sauce. The only difference is that I strain the 6in1's completely before continuing. If you wanted it even thicker, you could add a bit of tomato paste but, as you can see, the sauce on my Focaccia didn't "run".  Art

p.s. That's sliced sweet Italian sausage mixed in.
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 01:43:09 PM »
I know these. They are incredibly popular here in Montreal. A mass-produced version (wrapped in cellophane, not frozen or refrigerated) can be found in every store that sells groceries in this city, and they are also made fresh at many bakeries as well. I'm pretty sure the sauce is just ground/crushed Italian tomatoes (with a little salt, sugar, spice, and oil) that thicken out during the time it takes to bake them. I often make pizzas with a similar dough at home, although I always end up using a more agressive pizza sauce and a full complement of toppings (and eat it hot). I've been thinking of the tomato-only, room-temperature version myself lately and might try making one on the weekend.

-JLP

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Offline ERASMO

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 02:07:38 PM »
JLP--

Yes thats exactly right.  We do find them in stores wrapped in celophane and on a styrofoam platter.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 11:32:26 PM »
I finally got around to making one of these today. It turned out to be quite a bit trickier than it would seem. I used one of my standard Sicilian-style doughs (100% flour, 65% water, .35% IDY, 2% salt, 5% oil) and baked it at 450 for 20 minutes, as I would with my fully-topped Sicilians. Both the rim and the bottom turned out rather hard and crunchy, and moreover some parts of the bottom got aggressively stuck to the bottom of the (well-oiled) pan, resulting in difficult removal and severe damage to some sections of the pie.

I have baked umpteen fully-topped Sicilians with this recipe and baking protocol. They have always turned out soft and supple, and never glued themselves to the pan the way this tomato pie did. I figure that water loss is the effective mechanism here. Without a layer of cheese and other toppings to serve as insulation, this pizza generated an awful lot of steam while baking (I got an unpleasant blast of it square in the face when I tried opening the oven door halfway through the bake). I figure that, on the one hand, unchecked moisture loss caused the bottom to dry out and stick to the pan, while the considerable steam that emanated from both the dough and the bare sauce caused the rim to thicken and harden.

Fortunately, the pie was not a total loss- the crumb was excellent for the most part, and the format in general is a tomato lover's dream, showcasing that fruit in a way that no other vehicle really can. I plan on making many more, ironing out the bugs along the way as I go.

It should go without saying that any opinions or suggestions are more than welcome.       

-JLP
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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 04:41:20 PM »
Tried my hand at another one today. After having mulled it over for several months, I surmised that the problem with the pie drying out and turning hard could be solved by baking it at a much higher temperature (i.e. on a stone preheated to 550), thereby depriving it of several minutes of baking time in which to dry out (to wit, the bake time was reduced from 20 to 9.5 minutes). Fearful that the bottom might blacken by the time the pie was finished baking at this temp, I increased the hydration to 70%. Finally, as a further hedge against hardening, I increased the oil to 6%. These countermeasures worked in spades, yielding a soft and supple crust with a thin layer of crisp on the bottom.

In my last post in this thread, I noted that this style of pizza is an excellent showcase for tomatoes; the one I made today made me realize that it is a superb showcase for crust as well, what with the thickness the style calls for and the fact that the dough is nude save for the tomatoes. I think that many of the dough artisans around here would get a very pleasant suprise if they tried out this style.

-JLP
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 04:43:27 PM by Jose L. Piedra »
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Offline Bob1

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 06:26:45 PM »
Erasamo,
I am very interested in this also.  I just picked up 4 quarter sections at Conshohocken bakeries two days ago.  The flavors are really great.  You can pick up different subtleties with every bite, even the EVOO.  Trying to recreate it is on my list of things to do.  I also want to recreate Coropolese tomato pie. 

Coropolese sells the sauce that they use on their tomato pie in the Froz Door cases.  I picked some up and plan to backward engineer from there.  You may want to try that also.

Bob1 

Offline ERASMO

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 06:38:38 PM »
BOB

Gotta love that Consh. bakery pie!!

Offline rebeltruce

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 06:37:45 AM »
Here is a recipe for Pa. Sauce I posted awhile back......I think it will be very close to the sauce you mentioned. You can reduce or increase the amount of water depending on just how thick or thin you want it to be. I'm from Pa, so I make a batch when I get homesick for Tootsie's pizza..

Pennsylvania-Style Pizza Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
1       12 ounce can tomato paste
11/2   cups water
1       teaspoon ground oregano
1/2    teaspoon basil
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon black pepper
1/4    teaspoon sugar
1/8    teaspoon garlic powder
1/8    teaspoon onion powder

Measure dry ingredients into a small container, mix together well, and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, combine tomato paste with water over medium heat until it has a uniform consistency. When it begins to bubble, add pre-measured spices and reduce heat to medium-low.

Allow to simmer, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes until it reaches desired thickness. Stir occasionally. Cover and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container until needed, (up to 4 weeks). Makes about 2 1/4 cups...enough for 3 - 12" pizzas.


Offline norma427

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 06:58:53 AM »
These tomato pies sound very good.  I have never tried any, but in the next few weeks it is something I want to try.  I think I will try a focaccia baked in a 8"x16" pan.  The NY style Lehmann recipe works well to make bread sticks, cinnamon twists, garlic knots and more, so I will try this dough.
Thanks for the idea!  :)
Norma

Offline ERASMO

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 07:04:13 AM »
Rebel

Thanks for that recipe.  I will give it a try.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, 04:49:00 PM »
Here are some pics of a leftover slice of last night's tomato pie. It was made out of a dough that was salvaged and repurposed on the fly from another project that went horribly wrong, so no precise technical specs are available. The dough was pressed into a pan immediately after being removed from the mixer and hand-kneaded, left to rise at room temp for about 5 hours, topped, and baked in the pan on a stone at 550 for 11 minutes.

The sauce was very simple, comprised only of tomatoes, salt, sugar, dried oregano, and garlic powder; it left a wonderful aroma in the kitchen as it cooked on the pie, during which process it became very sweet and flavourful.

As to the crust: the 11 minute baking time was about 2 minutes too long, resulting in a bottom and cornicone that were somewhat crunchier than they should have been (but by no means catastrophically so). Had I used bread flour or a mix of AP and bread flour instead of 100% AP, the depth of browning at 9 minutes would have been my cue that the pie was done- but I didn't, and so here we are.

While the crumb on this pizza looks kind of dense, the dough had been left to rise as it far it possibly could, and the result- distinctly unlike the mass-produced, grocery-store version I posted about above- was not a gutbuster in any sense of the word. If anything, it was too light- I ate several slices and regained my appetite within about 2 hours.

-JLP

 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 04:51:42 PM by Jose L. Piedra »
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Offline Bob1

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2010, 05:08:25 PM »
Jose,
Looks like a good save.  I agree with you about the lightness.  I live in the North East where tomato pie is very popular.  I also prefer my crumb on the heavier side,

Bob1

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 10:38:53 AM »
Typical mass-produced, grocery-store tomato pizza as found in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada, wrapped in cellophane. This company alone sells 30,000 units in Montreal per week, and there are many other brands offering the same type of product.

JLP
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 10:42:53 AM by Jose L. Piedra »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 12:24:22 PM »
JLP,

If you are interested, you can read about the company that made the pizza shown in your post, by the name of Da Vinci, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7497.msg64475/topicseen.html#msg64475.

Peter

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011, 01:03:25 PM »
Thanks Pete. The guys behind that company were marketing geniuses. They introduced their tomato pizza in the 1970s when frozen pizza was still in its infancy (at least around here) and they took off like a rocketship. Everybody in this city who eats pizzas eats them or has eaten them.

JLP
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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 04:37:14 PM »
Here's my latest take on a home version, influenced by my recent experiments with Pizza Romana. Baked at 525 for 9 minutes. Both the interior and exterior of this pizza were as soft as a sponge, and were so right out of the oven. Real comfort food. The white thing on the middle slice that looks like mozz is actually dough that got sliced off by the pizza wheel during slicing.

JLP

« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 04:38:58 PM by Jose L. Piedra »
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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2011, 04:37:52 PM »
More:
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2011, 05:21:45 PM »
JLP, I love the crumb shot.  Now that you've gotten your stride down would you mind posting your recipe and technique.  I'm sure many of us would like to duplicate that pie.  Great job.

Chau

Offline norma427

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2011, 05:40:57 PM »
Jose,

I agree with Chau, your crumb structure really looks nice!  :)

Norma

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2011, 07:40:07 PM »
Thanks Chau and Norma for the high compliments. I myself wouldn't exactly say I've hit my stride just yet- I'm still a bit wobbly, stumbling about here and there- but I will say that I'm not just blindly wandering around in the dark anymore, the way I did back when the Sfincione and Pizzarium threads started a year back.

The recipe I had planned to use today was in fact the same one I developed in reply 5 in this thread well over a year ago: 70% hydro, .25% IDY, 2% salt, 6% oil. Unfortunately, I got distracted and lost track of much water I was adding >:( The finished dough was either in the low 70s or high 60s, which guesstimate isn't particularly helpful.

Anyways, I let my mixer form a ball and clear the bowl. I then hand-kneaded the ball for 3 minutes, then let rest 20, then did another 3, then let rest 20 more, then did just under another 3. With this process, I developed the hell out of the gluten, which I think is essential to getting the open crumb. I still have a *lot* to learn about that subject, so I kind of overdid it. But I will confidently say, as a general principle, that you should develop the gluten as far as you dare.

I then put the dough in an oiled container and into a warm oven for a few hours. I dropped it out onto a floured board, sprinkled flour on top, and then pressed it out with my fingertips as shown in the Bosco and Bonci videos. Since this wasn't an >80% dough and was quite firm, I felt comfortable picking it up, draping the ends over my fists, and stretching it forward (similar to what you'd do when hand-tossing a round pie). I also stretched the sides as shown in the videos, and transferred it to the pan with the forearm technique also demonstrated in the vid's. Then I adjusted it to the pan, tried to even out the dough with my fingers, popped a bubble in the rim that I knew would make trouble w/a toothpick, spread the sauce on, then put the pan in the oven. This was about 4 hours after taking it out of the mixer.

I experienced some springback in the pan when it was already baking in the oven and there was nothing I could do about it, giving the baked pie a kind of oval shape. This may be the price I pay for making same-day doughs that I develop by crudely manhandling them.

Hope this helps,

JLP
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2011, 07:58:17 PM »
Thanks for detailing what you did JLP.  I always appreciate a lot of info.  A few questions.  What brand & strength of flour did you use?  Was it BF or HG?  Bleached or bromated?   

If you used a 13% or stronger flour, your recipe makes a lot of sense.  What I mean is that it matches the picture you posted.  Which by the way, that last crumb shot I consider to be an excellent crumb.  Trust me when I say that I can tell by photos.   I can look at a picture of a crumb and pretty much know how it taste texturally.  So when you say it was really good, it fits the picture.   

The high 60's to low 70's % ball park hydration ratio is not that crucial, meaning you can get the same crumb out of either HR, by adjusting the oil up or down a bit or adjust the kneading a bit.   The main thing is that you used around a 70% HR with 6% oil.  That puts the actual HR somewhere in the ball park of 74-75%.  I don't know exactly, it's somewhere there.   

When I make my regular pizzas with HG bromated flour, I typically use a 73-76% HR (including the 2% oil) and achieve a very similar looking crumb to the one you posted.  I just stretch my pizzas really thin in the center but many of my later crust/crumb shots  look like that last pic you posted. 

Also you may have overkneaded just a bit BUT (and I say this with emphasis) it really didn't matter b/c you got an excellent (IMO) result.  Typically overkneading can make a dough harder to open and it will also retract after stretching as you noted and will typically result in a tough crumb.  You HAD to overknead this (again) b/c of the 6% oil.  I'm not going to say that is too high b/c it's all relative, but the more oil you use, the more you have to knead to get gluten developement, but the high oil % also has a softening effect on the crumb.  This is why your crumb was not tough or too chewy.  It was all balanced out very well including the bake which is why you got the result you did.   

If you ever forget what you did you can now always return to your posts and should be able to replicate it.   Again, great job.   

Chau

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2011, 09:05:23 PM »
Thanks for detailing what you did JLP.  I always appreciate a lot of info.  A few questions.  What brand & strength of flour did you use?  Was it BF or HG?  Bleached or bromated? 

It was a 50-50 mix of Canadian Robin Hood BF and Five Roses AP. I think I mentioned these flours to you in another thread. I wouldn't try to make the Pizza Romana with this blend (or, for that matter, either of its constituent flours), but it works quite well for American pizzas and American Sicilian variants such as the tomato pizza. The nutritional info on the bags gives the protein at 13.33% for both. I'm not sure if they're bleached, but they are definitely unbromated (bromated flour was banned here a long time ago).
  
JLP
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2011, 09:19:54 PM »
Thanks for the info JLP.  So this is categorized as a Sicilian style which is also different from a Pizza Romana?  Excuse my ignorance, can you (or anyone else) explain the differences to me.   They look similar though I'm sure they are different in some respects.  Is one just an Italian or Roman version of the other?

Thanks,
Chau

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: LARGE SQUARE "TOMATOE PIE" BAKERY STYLE
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2011, 11:45:16 PM »
Thanks for the info JLP.  So this is categorized as a Sicilian style which is also different from a Pizza Romana?  Excuse my ignorance, can you (or anyone else) explain the differences to me.   They look similar though I'm sure they are different in some respects.  Is one just an Italian or Roman version of the other?

Thanks,
Chau

WARNING: TL;DR

This is a good topic. The normal North American signification of "Sicilian pizza" is any pizza baked in a rectangular pan. That's something like what we have on the sub-forum portal here. But I bet when this site started nobody realized how many (overlapping, but distinguishable) sub-styles this definition encompasses. The sub-terminology remains to be systematized in a way everybody can agree on, so I can only try to clarify how I use it.

Now, Pizza Romana is still exotica to me, but I can speak with more confidence about tomato pizzas as I've been eating them my entire life.

Anyhow, by "tomato pizza" (baker's pizza, tomato pie), I understand a pizza based on a dough made of bread or AP flour, baked on a pan, with lots of oil (in the pan, in the dough, and in or on the sauce), and topped of course with tomato sauce (which should contain oregano). This type of pizza almost always has a dense, whitebread-type crumb structure and is supposed to (it is better understood as a savory bread than as a pizza, at least in the North American sense of the term). See my own reply 11 to this thread for an ideal exemplar of the crumb. It is also supposed to be soft both on the inside and the outside (since it can be difficult to make them without getting a hard cornicone, in some cases the pie will be sauced as close to the edge of the pan as possible, and sometimes the cornicone will even be cut off altogether). It is usually ideally eaten at room temp, since it softens as it cools down (cooling also brings out a certain vibrancy in the tomato flavours for some reason). Slices may be re-warmed (not re-heated); an extra drizzle of oil may be used to keep the slice soft during re-warming.

Today these guidelines are ignored or altogether unknown; people use them as par-baked pizza bases or buy them topped with whatever from the baker and in either case bake it a second time at home until crunchy (something that nobody who doesn't actually want to experience the sensation of carrying a sack of wet cement in their stomach for several hours should try).

In any case, this style of pizza is supposed to be of Sicilian provenance, but must be rigorously distinguished from the original Sicilian sfincione, which is made with semolina or potato flour, and has its own unique style of topping (see Norma's thread on the subject).

My knowledge of Pizza Romana is far more sketchy. By this term, I understand a pizza, made with a dough comprised of Italian flour grades I don't really understand yet, often leavened with natural starters, w/hydro levels in the 80-90% range, and developed (in commercial settings) in spiral mixers using a start-stop kneading method known as rigenero which develops a tremendously strong gluten. Oil is used in these doughs, in varying amounts (that remain unclear to me). The resulting dough is formed and placed in a pan and baked at about 572 in an oven with user-definable top and bottom heat (in professional settings that is). The end result is a pizza with a wide open, soft crumb and an exterior that is crispy when removed from the oven and also when re-heated, but softer at room temp.

My experiment today was an attempt to hybridize the softness of the tomato pizza with the open crumb of the Romana, so it isn't an authentic representative of either style. But I like it...

JLP
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 10:56:08 PM by Jose L. Piedra »
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