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Offline Mmmph

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Johnny's Clone
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:09:27 PM »
My GF and I were in New York a couple of months ago to see NPH in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". We arrived early in the day, dropped off our bags, and immediately hopped a train to Mount Vernon to eat at Johnny's Pizzeria. I can understand why Jeff Varasano rates it as his number one pizza. Thin, light...Just the right amount of cheese and sauce with a balanced flavor that still crosses my mind regularly. I highly recommend Johnny's as a true destination place for pizza.

I've been reading and studying, and finally attempted a Johnny's clone. Their pizza dough has a fermented note to it. Their tomatoes are bright and their chees is buttery, with a little funk

Toppings
They use Tomato Magic with olive oil added. I used Classico crushed tomatoes that I pushed through a coarse food mill plate and added 10% by weigh of Partanna olive oil.

I'm guessing they use Grande mozzarella. I used Polly-O deli sliced mozzarella, as it was the closest to the taste that I wanted. For one pizza, I lightly sprinkled grated sharp cheddar on the skin before I shingled the mozzarella.

My GF and I both were really happy with the results and we both agreed that this was an "A minus" effort. If only I had more heat!

The dough
I made a poolish of half the dough's total weight, using half the IDY for the recipe. Twelve hours later I combined the poolish with the remaining ingredients and mixed for 4-5 minutes.

I turned the dough out onto the counter, covered, and performed 3 stretch and folds over two hours. I balled the dough and placed the balls in my wine cooler at 64F for 36 hours.

I pulled out a ball, dusted it with flour and rolled (yes, rolled) it out to 11-12 inches, then knuckle stretched the dough to 15-16 inches.

I shingled thinly sliced mozzarella, ladled on the tomato, sprinkled a touch of black pepper, then dusted the pizza with Locatelli pecorino romano cheese.

Results
The flavor and texture was very close to Johnny's. Sadly, my oven cannot get to the temps needed to provide the char that is characteristic of a true Johnny's pizza


Total Formula:
Flour (100%):    749.84 g  |  26.45 oz | 1.65 lbs
Water (60%):    449.91 g  |  15.87 oz | 0.99 lbs
Salt (2%):    15 g | 0.53 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.69 tsp | 0.9 tbsp
IDY (.056%):    0.42 g | 0.01 oz | 0 lbs | 0.14 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
Oil (1.5%):    11.25 g | 0.4 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.5 tsp | 0.83 tbsp
Total (163.556%):   1226.41 g | 43.26 oz | 2.7 lbs | TF = 0.0816
Single Ball:   408.8 g | 14.42 oz | 0.9 lbs

Preferment:
Flour:    306.6 g | 10.81 oz | 0.68 lbs
Water:    306.6 g | 10.81 oz | 0.68 lbs
Total:    613.21 g | 21.63 oz | 1.35 lbs

Final Dough:
Flour:    443.24 g | 15.63 oz | 0.98 lbs
Water:    143.3 g | 5.05 oz | 0.32 lbs
Salt:    15 g | 0.53 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.69 tsp | 0.9 tbsp
IDY:    0.42 g | 0.01 oz | 0 lbs | 0.14 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
Preferment:    613.21 g | 21.63 oz | 1.35 lbs
Oil:    11.25 g | 0.4 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.5 tsp | 0.83 tbsp
Total:    1226.41 g | 43.26 oz | 2.7 lbs  | TF = 0.0816

Pics

1. Johnny's pizza
2. Again
3. Mine 1
4. Mine 2
5. Mine3
Practice makes pizza

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 04:22:31 PM »
Here is what scott r said about how it was made when he went there. It looks like your sauce might be a lot thicker than what they use?


The pizzas were baking for a long time at a lower temperature than we previously thought.  I didn't ask, but my guess is that the oven is no hotter than 600 degrees, and may have even been as low as 500.  The pizzas took roughly 7 minutes to bake and they are VERY THIN!  Unlike previous visits, the pizza was cooked perfectly. Just enough to get a bit of char and crisp without drying out the dough inside too much.

For the initial puck forming the pizzaiolos (both they very old and the young guy) used a rolling pin.  Once the dough was lightly flattened with the pin they moved on to knuckles for the final forming and shaping.

First down on the pizza were slices of what tasted to me like white cheddar.  If it's not white cheddar it is definitely one of those brands of mozzarella that is way more tangy than buttery.   With this cheese combined with the very well proofed dough and some citric acid tang from the tomatoes I can definitely see where it would seem like they are using a sourdough starter.

Next down on the pizza was a softer grated cheese that looked like grande whole milk mozzarella.  There is less of this cheese used than the sliced cheese, and they tend to use it to fill up the spaces left between the slices.

Next down on the pizza was crushed black pepper.

Next down on the pizza was a very thin and wet, yet incredibly flavorful sauce.   To me it tasted like a can of Alta Cucinas with added salt and a large amount of very high quality olive oil mixed in.  This sauce is almost the consistency of water, but somehow has much more flavor than you would think it should.  The sauce is spooned on to the whole pizza to form a thin coating.  It occurred to me that this sauce was about the same consistency and applied in the same amount that I saw in the pizzerias of Naples Italy.

Finally the pizza is sprinkled with a high quality hard grating cheese.   It tasted to me like romano, but I suppose it could have been a blend.


"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2014, 06:58:31 PM »
I can understand why you would want to clone that.  That Johnny's pie looks incredible.
-Jeff

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 07:27:59 PM »
I can understand why you would want to clone that.  That Johnny's pie looks incredible.
+1  ^^^
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 07:54:13 PM »
It looks like your sauce might be a lot thicker than what they use?

I needed to use grated cheese, rather than the thin slices. The cheese would have melded with the tomato to create the mottled orange coloration of the Johnny's, or many other NY pies.
I achieved  at least 90% of the flavor profile. Gimme  some Grande mozzarella and a 600F oven and I'll be there.
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 08:29:22 PM »
Do we know what kind of oven they are running?
-Jeff

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 01:25:58 PM »
Do we know what kind of oven they are running?

Baker's Pride
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 01:52:46 PM »
Thanks for that write-up,  Mmmph. Very interesting to read about Johnny's. Nice looking clone, too.   Bit of a hike to get up there from the theater district.  How did you like Hedwig?

Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 02:08:52 PM »
Nice job Mmmph!

 Johnny's pies sound intriguing. I noticed you didn't use any sugar. Maybe with a little sugar you'd be able to get better browning. Pdog came pretty close in his cloning effort, also: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=28941.msg314234#msg314234

I'm going to have to give this type of pie a try soon.
Il miglior fabbro

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 03:43:09 PM »
How did you like Hedwig?

It was a great show. The staging was original, the band was hot, and NPH was amazing. His ad-libs were spot on and he killed any hecklers.

I'd seen it four times before. Once off-Broadway (The original cast), twice in Raleigh, NC (great shows), and once in Wilmington NC (Meh).

The next Hedwig, Andrew Rannells, should be good.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 11:04:32 AM »
3. Mine 1
4. Mine 2
5. Mine3

What is the diameter of your pies?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 11:22:23 AM »
15" 
.08 TF

I'm making another batch this weekend.
Moving to .072 TF, 10% less dough.
I'm going to grate some of the cheese to go with the sliced, and thin the tomatoes with water by 10%.
Practice makes pizza

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 11:27:30 AM »
Do you think there is anything to the idea that the sliced cheese Johnny's uses is white cheddar?

When I make plain cheese pies, I use sliced WM dry mozz and sprinkle a LITTLE grated white cheddar. I like that combination.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 11:28:30 AM »
What sort of stone are you baking on?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2014, 11:44:14 AM »
The first pizza I made had some sharp cheddar sprinkled under the sliced mozzarella.

It was good but the other two I made used straight mozzarella, which had that buttery quality that I found most prevalent in Johnny's pizza.
I'm going to try Boar's Head whole milk deli mozzarella this week. I Wish I could get Grande.

I made the poolish this morning for the next batch to bake Saturday.


I use an 18x18x1 Axner kiln shelf, with a 16x20x5/8 cordierite stone on the shelf above the Axner
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 11:59:39 AM »
Were you able to get a bake time when you were there?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 12:22:47 PM »
6-7 minutes.

Looked like they were pulling pasta and sandwiches out of the deck, too.
Practice makes pizza

Offline jvp123

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 12:33:56 PM »
Thanks for starting this!  Looks very interesting and I'd like to try this at some point.  I realized I didn't understand the definition of a preferment until just now.  :-D
I thought it was more of a SD starter, but realize it can be made with bakers yeast as well.
Jeff

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 12:43:16 PM »
More Johnny's clone this weekend.

Changes:
- 10% less dough (TF=.072), same formulation= even thinner crust
- Some grated mozzarella on the shingled, sliced mozzarella
- Tomatoes through the medium plate in my food mill, thinned with 10% water. If still too thick on the first pizza, thin it again.
- Oven to run for two hours minimum before baking. It's gas and I'll set it to broil to burn constantly. Hopefully, it'll go above 500F.
Practice makes pizza

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Johnny's Clone
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 12:52:39 PM »
Is there a 'secret' or method to achieving the less red more orange-y color that we see in pic 1 of the Johnny's pizza? I've been trying to figure solve that for a while. Thanks in advance!
Cheers,
Don
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.

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