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Author Topic: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics  (Read 492 times)

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Offline Samson

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Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« on: November 21, 2022, 10:04:08 AM »
I went to Mama's Too yesterday and found the square pie to be just amazing. I've had it before but this time I really tried to understand the characteristics that made it taste so special. I have a few observations on what I ate and thoughts on how they achieved that and am curious if others agree or have anything else to add.

1) First is the extremely crispy/crunchy bottom of the pizza. Every bite seemed to be breaking into this delicate structure that had a great crunch. I've seen that texture in focaccia before but I'm wondering if something else added to this, I'm not sure if they use butter in their pans, or just a lot of oil so it's somewhat fried, but it really was an great texture that I think is the main aspect that puts it above others.

2) The crumb was very soft but had a tight structure with not a lot of bubbles at all. It was easy to chew through, so each bite was like you were cutting through the crumb straight to the thick crunchy bottom. I'm thinking the combination of lack of bubbles with a soft easy to chew texture would be little yeast and high hydration? I saw on another post they use a direct dough around 75% hydration, not sure if that's still the case.

3) The last aspect that stood out wasn't related to the crust, it was the extremely flavorful and savory toppings. Every bite just had a ton of flavor that really went well with the crust and wasn't too decadent, although it came close.

Overall I was really impressed, anyone have thoughts on how they get all of these aspects in such a great balance?

Offline scott r

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 10:34:11 AM »
It is fun for me that you are posting about my two favorite pizzerias lately (Razza and Mamas too). 

1) its just corto olive oil in the pans.  the extreme crunch comes from nailing the fermentation time exactly, the long bake, and then finishing the squares on the deck of the oven after the pizza has been taken out of the pan.

2) I think it is still direct dough and 70ish hydration.  I know that originally he was using quite a bit of olive oil in the dough, but last time I talked to him he said he had stopped using the oil in the dough because he puts so much on top of and under the pizza.  From what you are describing here he may have gone back to lots of oil in the dough (that would be the ultra soft characteristic you are talking about without lots of large voids). 

3) He has the best toppings around.  He is ALL ABOUT MAXIMUM FLAVOR... im glad you noticed.  It really is incredible.  HE goes above what most pizzerias will do.... wine in the mushrooms, smoked cheese in the vodka sauce etc.  At any chance he is bombarding his toppings with flavor.   One thing that helped me a lot to get the flavor of some of his pizzas is a healthy application of garlic oil on top of the curst before anything else goes on the pizza.

They are Stanislaus tomatoes and a typical aged mozzarella used by many others in the NYC area, so the secret is not in super expensive ingredients, it is what he does with them that matters.

Offline Samson

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2022, 02:00:31 PM »
Haha yea they are two amazing places. I used to live within walking distance to Razza so that one is always top of mind, and Mamas Too just offers something that I haven't seen anything close to anywhere else. I was in the city this weekend with a couple hours to spare and was debating which of the two to hit up, and Mamas Too just made more sense based on where we were and the ability to get a slice and not worry about reservations etc. But I want to get back to Razza soon as well. Both offer a very unique product.

Appreciate the feedback, I had forgotten about baking out of the pan that definitely makes sense as to how they get that crust. Is corto anything special? I've started to see their advertisements but never tried it. When you say quite a bit of olive oil does that mean above 5%?

I had a bruschetta pizza which I don't think is a regular menu item. I think it was a garlic oil base like you said, ricotta or whipped ricotta with marinated cherry (grape?) tomatoes on top and some whole basil leaves. Was really unbelievable how good it was. I'm not sure if there was another cheese as well.

Is the aged mozzarella you mentioned a low moisture mozz? I wonder if that was on this pie as well.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 06:37:13 PM by Samson »

Offline scott r

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 10:38:18 PM »
Frank mostly seems to use aged mozzarella, but his angry noona and pomodoro have fresh mozzarella.  It makes sense that he would have specials that use it.  Aged mozzarella can be (fairly) high moisture or low moisture.

Corto is an excellent medium priced olive oil, but not something so expensive that you would only use it to drizzle on vegetables.  Its definitely fancier than what most pizzerias buy, but it is a cooking grade oil.  California olive ranch from the grocery store would be similar I think, but I havent tried them side by side.  I do keep corto in my home kitchen, so I do like it a lot.     

Offline Samson

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2022, 09:27:39 AM »
Interesting thanks.

Is aged mozzarella a specific type of mozzarella, or you can just age any type of mozzarella you use? I looked it up but didn't get a clear answer.

I'll have to try Corto, I don't really have a pallet for different quality of olive oils yet. Not sure I'd be able to recognize a difference, will have to experiment.

Unfortunately they didn't have any "house slices" on the counters when I ordered, I would have really liked to try that one I've never had it. Have you found that comparable to other pizza's in the city or elsewhere? Obviously it's not what they are known for.

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Offline scott r

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2022, 10:51:38 AM »
I like the round pizza there, and its quite good.  Sort of a crispier and slightly dryer difaras, but I prefer l'industrie and a few other places in town for rounds.  There are many other great pizzerias for round in NY.   For me, the magic there is the square pizza, and when you get a good one (most of the time) I really do find it to be quite magical.  Maybe my favorite pizza ever, and I have been everywhere.

Aged mozzarella is just the term for normal pizza cheese used at every slice joint.  The other types of mozzarella would be fresh mozzarella, or buffalo mozzarella.  Be careful using the terms high moisture or low moisture, as that really doesnt mean anything.


Offline scott r

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2022, 11:48:25 AM »
I wouldn't worry too much about the corto oil.  A decent quality grocery store oil will be fine and you wont notice the difference in the dough or in the pan.

Offline HansB

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2022, 12:15:28 PM »
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline Samson

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Re: Mama's Too (Amazing) Crust Characteristics
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2022, 09:44:20 AM »
Thanks I'll have to try the oil.

One other thing I noticed was their reheating method. They seemed to reheat every slice even the ones that just came out of the oven. I couldn't really see what they were doing but they had a separate type of dedicated oven they used. It seemed like that was an important part of delivering consistent quality for each slice.

Any idea what they are doing there?

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