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Offline Papa T

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Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« on: January 04, 2021, 04:24:33 AM »
A few months ago I made a post https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=64537.0 about making a 1970s era Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy pizza and how to clone it. This post is a follow up to that, and adds a couple modification I made to that recipe to make it work better in a small batch, home kitchen environment, and here I also include a link to a video I made on how to do it.

I made two 10 inch pizzas from this batch of dough. In the how-to video link at the end, I show how I made the dough, and the end result. The video has no dialog, but commentary is in the closed captions, so turn it on. At the end you can hear some crunch, but thatís not dialog. Itís what crispy pizza heaven sounds like.

I worked at the hut during my senior year in high school and much of college in the 1970s. I made a lot of dough (real dough, not money). Thin was their original (like my paycheck). Scaling doesnít always translate well when going from commercial sizes to home use. The best that I recall, the PH Thin dough was 36% hydration, and 3% oil. Iíve bumped that hydration to about 40%, and oil to about 4%. All else uses the same percentages. Doing that, lets this small batch dough smell, look, and feel more like what I worked with back in the 70s making those large batches.

At the huts I worked, they used Blodgett stone bottom gas ovens, set to 550F degrees. I use a 14x16Ē cordierite stone in my home electric oven. Turned all the way up, it will max out at 525F. Close enough. I preheat the oven for at least one hour before baking. It takes the stone a good bit to come up to temperature.

Based on the cutter pan size and number of pizzas to make, figure the amount of dough needed from the guide below. Itís a guide, and calculated for a thickness factor of .08. I tend to roll my dough so it lands thinner, between .06 and 07. Back in the day, Pizza Hutís thin was around a thickness factor of .07.

Even at .07, this home small batch hangs in there well. I always up the dough batch size about 20% from the pan(s) total calculated, ensuring that there will be generous amount of overhang to trim. This dough is not like opening a typical pizza dough ball. Flour is cheap. Make more than you need so the pan doesnít come up short.

If you were making large batches of this dough for commercial use, youíd take the scrap and toss it back in a bucket so it will continue to ferment and rise so it can be reused. It will do that, and it actually becomes easier to roll and sheet as it gets near the 24 hour mark. For home use, youíre going to toss it, but better to have too much dough and roll it as thin desired, than not have enough and canít roll it any thinner to make it fit the pan.

This dough takes a while to rise, if you want to call it that. It does increase in volume, but not like conventional pizza doughs do. This dough puffs up a bit and becomes more pliable, but is still relatively stiff. It starts off like play-dough made for a super heroís kid. Itís tough. At room temperature, figure a 6 hour minimum for the dough to rise. If warmer, perhaps a bit less. This dough will stay usable if itís kept covered at room temperature for 24 hours or so. Make it, put it in a bowl, cover it, and let it get happy at room temperature for later use.

Any all purpose flour, bleached or unbleached will work. Iíve used store brands and name brands to make this thin crust pizza, and all have worked fine. Bread flour can be used, but it seems like a waste to me. This is a cracker dough. Chew, stretch, and high gluten development are not the goal. Cracker crunch is, like what you get with a saltine.

Once the dough is rolled, either dock it or be prepared to pop some dough bubbles. Cracker dough is prone to big bubbles. Thatís why crackers have holes in them. It reduces bubbles. I donít dock, but just check the pizza every 2-3 minutes and use a very pointy filet/boning knife to lance them. Bubbles usually happen in the first 3-5 minutes of the bake. Even if you dock the dough, still check for bubbles. They happen and nobody wants a tennis ball size bubble thatís been going for 5 minutes to kill the eye appeal of the pizza.

I have three cutter pans, two 10 inch and one 15 inch. I usually make the 10 inch, but on occasion, the 15 inch. Itís a bit of work to roll out the dough by hand for the 15 incher. I find rolling the dough by hand with a roller to be a bit more challenging, though doable, for a 15 inch pan. I find the 10 inch faster and easier to do. I need to put all my body weight into rolling the dough to my desired thinness. Itís more effective for me to put my weight into a smaller diameter pizza crust than the larger ones.

In my older post, I covered what I believe is a good match for the seasonings used in the original Pizza Hut thin sauce. I usually use my own sauce, or jarred pizza sauce when Iím lazy (a bit more lately), as many of them are on point, and itís a lot easier. Use any sauce you like, but remember, with a cracker style crust, donít over-sauce the pie so it wonít make it soggy, the antithesis of a crispy cracker style crust. I often thin-out my sauce with either water or tomato juice so that it will run as I tilt the pan. I didnít thin it enough in this video, but it was still fine. It just a took a bit more shaking and tilting to make it move about.

Regarding cheese, again, use what you like, but for thin pizza, I tend to go with the low moisture part skim mozzarella so as not to impact the crispy crust with too much moisture and fat. I have a couple go-to brands that I like and stick with those. Nobody has ever complained, and using a low moisture part skim moz allows extra to be used if desired, without much effect on the crust.

I strongly recommend that pre-shredded cheese of any kind not be used. Iíve never made a pizza with them where the pre-shredded cheese didnít burn. The starch or cellulose used to prevent the shreds from sticking in the package, will burn at high oven temperatures. Not an issue if you are melting cheese for inclusion where itís mixed in a recipe as a sauce, but it doesnít seem to land well for me as a pizza topping cheese.

Select the pan size youíre going to use, and use the dough weight below to determine how to measure the ingredients. If making two or more pizzas, then double, triple, etc., the dough weight.

Once I've determined the dough weight needed, I add 20% to it to give me some headroom. I can roll it as thin as I want and discard the extra, but I can't add more if I don't have enough. Flour is cheap.

Batch weighs for various size pans:
9" pan 64 sq/in requires 5 oz of dough
10" pan 79 sq/in requires 6.25 oz of dough
11" pan 95 sq/in requires 7.5 oz of dough
12" pan 113 sq/in requires 9 oz of dough
13" pan 133 sq/in requires 10.5 oz of dough
14" pan 154 sq/in requires 12.25 oz of dough
15" pan 177 sq/in requires 14 oz of dough
16" pan 201 sq/in requires 16 oz of dough

In my case, I was making two 10 inch pizzas, so that would be 12.5 ounces (6.25 * 2) of dough needed. Multiplying 12.5 by 1.2 (that adds 20% to the amount), gives me 15 ounces. I rounded it up to making a 16 ounce batch because I like that number better. Using 15 ounces would have been fine, but going with 16 ounces gives me the option to take this to my 15 inch pan if I decide later to do that instead of two 10Ē pans. Flour is cheap.

Once you have a dough weight, in my case I decided on 16 ounces, then multiply the dough weight by the decimal numbers below to get the amount of that ingredient you need to make the batch.

Flour AP,  .707 (70.7%)
Water at 105-115F,  .283 (28.3%)
Oil,  .029 (2.9%)
Yeast (IDY) .01 (1%)
Table Salt .0071 (0.71%)

That will yield this recipe for about 16 ounces of dough in bakerís percentages:

Flour, all purpose 11.3 ounces Ė 100%
Water, 4.5 ounces Ė 40%
Oil,  0.45 ounces Ė 4% (about 2.75 tsp)
IDY,  0.16 ounces Ė 1.5% (about 1.5 tsp, but not critical for this batch. Between 1 to 2 tsp is fine)
Table salt, 0.113 ounces Ė 1% (about 0.5 tsp)

When my batch was ready, I divided it in two to make the two 10 inch pizzas. Thatís about it. Follow the method in the video and you really canít go wrong. Bake it in a cutter pan, on a stone, in a 500F degree oven that is pre-heated at least one hour, and a thin cracker style pizza is within your grasp.

NOTE: You can totally mix this dough in a food processor with the regular chopping blade, if the bowl is large enough. No need to use the dough blade. This isnít that kind of dough. You will also make it in about two to three minutes. If using a food processor, Iíd mix it by hand first in a bowl to combine and let it rest covered for 20 minutes after it gets shaggy. Then after 20 minutes, put that shaggy mess in the food processor and whirl away. It will make a good crumb for the dough puck that you will pack and need to rise.

PHOTOS, are screen caps from the video, and listed in order displayed:
The dough crumb after mixing.
The dough after making a ball from the crumb.
The dough after its rise.
Rolling out the dough.
Dough in pan being trimmed after rolling.
Pizza ready for the oven.
Pizza from the oven.
Pizza ready to eat. Very crispy.

Link to the how-to video below on my Google Drive. There is no dialog in the video, just background sounds. Turn on the closed captions to read the commentary instructions. Pause and rewind as needed. Download if you wish. The video is about 15 minutes long:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MBvkb3TBrs--RxGSngeRz3yyQohF4QNB/view?usp=sharing
Instagram: lightfuzer

Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Offline HansB

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 06:08:56 PM »
Thanks for the update. I made this one today using the new formula. Just as good as the last!

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"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 Papa T

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 06:29:25 PM »
Thanks for the update. I made this one today using the new formula. Just as good as the last!

That looks fantastic!
Instagram: lightfuzer

Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Offline sodface

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 07:19:09 PM »
That looks fantastic!

 ^^^

Crikey, you should photoshop that into an old Pizza Hut ad and sell prints on ebay.

edit// sorry, Papa T, yours ain't no slouch either, and thanks again for the awesome write up!!!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 07:22:10 PM by sodface »
Carl

Offline foreplease

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 09:56:07 PM »
Great post, Papa T. I wish you and Nick57 could have known each other. Chasing this pie was part of his lifeís work. Unfortunately, he passed away about a year ago.
-Tony

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Offline Steve

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2021, 02:36:39 PM »
Great thread, now I'm hungry for cracker style!  :drool:

Offline flavorguy

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2021, 08:17:23 AM »
Hi All -

Great thread with terrific explanations.  I followed the recipe and make-up procedures and thought I'd comment on my experience.

1) Ordered 2 X 15" cutter pans from Lloyds.  They were on back order for 6 weeks, but showed up on my door step on Saturday morning at 11:00am.  I quickly made a 1000 gram batch of dough - enough for 2 pizzas - but only had 6 hours to whip everything up. Used the exact percentages above.

2) Used a KA mixer with paddle.  Incorporated everything and mixed for 1-2 minutes.  I  let dough autolaze for 20 minutes.  When I tried to reuse the paddle to knead, the entire mixer siezed up - this most likely is due to the large dough batch.  I grabbed my food processor, transfered everything to it, and with the steel blade pulsed - after 45-60 seconds I had dough that looked almost like couscous - very fine granules.  I compressed this into a ball and due to the short rise time, stuck it in a 100'F oven for 5 hours. 

3) The dough was as expected - it doesn't get sticky or tacky, but requires some effort to roll out thin with a rolling pin.  Placed skin into cutter pan, topped etc and baked at 550'F in pre-heated oven w/ baking steel on lowest rack.

4) End result - pretty darn good.  The first pie I baked for 12 minutes, and was a tad overdone on the undercarriage.  The second baked at 10 minutes was pretty good.  I didn't get quite the flakeyness I was expecting but this could be due to the down and dirty rise I forced upon the dough.

5) I would definitely advise looking at the food processor / blade make up procedure.  It was very quick and easy (and due to the dough being so dry, a breeze to clean).

« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 08:19:11 AM by flavorguy »

Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 05:17:13 PM »
Thank you for sharing! I am going to try this recipe this week. Can I use one of these pans to get the same results?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MQ3MDGW/?tag=pmak-20


Offline Papa T

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2021, 04:38:21 AM »
While the pizza would certainly bake in this pan, the pans used for Thin & Crispy by Pizza Hut back in the day were cutter pans, also known in some areas as crisper pans. They have short sides that have a lot of bevel in the side walls. They also are not a dark pan, but lighter in color. Darker pans bake different than lighter ones. The dough for this style is like a pie crust dough, that is rolled out using a dough sheeter, then placed in the pan, pressed into place, with the excess cut off by using a roller or wide enough rolling pin, to trim off the excess.

The only issue that I think would present itself would come from the high, vertical side walls of the pans. Even if you draped the sheeted dough over it and trimmed it, there's going to be a lot of unused dough going up the side wall. It's hard to say how that would bake and turn out. If I had those pans, I'd make one and see how it lands, and adjust accordingly on how to trim the dough sheet if it presents an issue. I'd also bake it a bit less time since it's a dark pan, which generally bake a bit faster all else being equal.

Thank you for sharing! I am going to try this recipe this week. Can I use one of these pans to get the same results?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MQ3MDGW/?tag=pmak-20
Instagram: lightfuzer

Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2021, 03:08:35 PM »
Thank you! I ordered the proper pans last night but Iím impatient and wNt to try the recipe! ;D

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Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2021, 07:57:01 PM »
Even though I didn't have the exact right pan, I forged ahead and made an attempt. My pan is a bit higher than the cutter pan mentioned, but it actually worked out ok. I was cautious with the bake time, and I stopped at 9 minutes as it looked pretty well done to me. I think I should have went another minute. Regardless, my results were way beyond my expectations! The crust tasted fantastic, although was a little softer than I wanted, but that's the bake time. I tried to utilize the sauce you referenced in another post by using celery salt. I liked it, but I think I put in too much, so I'll knock it down. I used Jersey Fresh crushed tomatoes for my sauce. For the cheese I went with 100% Grande East Coast Blend which was perfect for this. I had some nice cheese pull when I lifted up the first slice. I think the saltiness of the Grande may have been a little much with the celery salt though. Next time I will try my Sapuro or Polly-O.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have the other half of the dough ball in the fridge for lunch tomorrow and can't wait to experiment.

Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2021, 07:59:10 PM »
When I tried to reuse the paddle to knead, the entire mixer siezed up - this most likely is due to the large dough batch.


I had the same issue with my KA Mini-Artisan.

Offline Papa T

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 12:34:08 AM »
That looks fantastic.

When I first started making these, I wasn't rolling the crust thin enough and also thought the crust was too soft. This crust will bake fairly fast, so there isn't a lot of time to get the water to evaporate out of it so it gets crispy. I finally learned that if you are rolling this out by hand with a rolling pin like I was, you can't get the crust too thin to where it will break. I literally put all my body weight (and I have a lot of it) into each roll and when it finally won't get any thinner, then I place it without any tearing or breakage. It takes me about five minutes or so to manually roll it out. I roll north, south, east west, then rotate the sheet 90 degrees and repeat. I keep doing that until the sheet is as thin as I can get and further human rolling has no effect

I'm sure that a commercial dough sheeter can go thinner, but it's the best I can do by hand. Once I started doing that, the crust came out much more crispy. Flour is cheap, so experiment with sheeting it. Worst case is that you manage to roll it way to thin and it does tear. You could fix that by splicing it back to gather and rolling over it again, or simply balling it back up, and tossing it back in a covered bowl for a few hours for it to rise again. That's what we did with the cut scraps at The Hut back in the day. We didn't waste much dough except for what turned into cracker wine by the next day.

The crust tasted fantastic, although was a little softer than I wanted, but that's the bake time.
Instagram: lightfuzer

Everything sounds better in latin.
Omnis pizza 'est bonum.
Every pizza is good.

Making good pizza is not that hard, unless we choose to make it that way.

The best pizza you'll ever make for someone is making the one they ask for instead of making it the way we think it should be made.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 11:10:13 AM »
Papa T,

Several years ago, when I was playing around with the cracker style of pizza, I encountered the same problem as you described in rolling out the dough. But then I discovered that it was possible to warm the dough to make it easier to roll out. The principle involved came from one of our members, fazzari (John). You can see how I proceeded with the warming up of the dough, using a home-made proofing box, at Reply 16 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5762.msg49138#msg49138

Of course, there are other ways of warming up a dough. So you might find an easier or better way.

Peter

Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2021, 09:54:39 AM »
I put the other half of the dough ball in the fridge and made a pie the next day. I let it rest at room temp for about 2 hours before rolling. I topped this one with Saputo Mozzera and Boars Head pepperoni. This one turned out just as good as the first, although I prefer the Grande cheese.

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Offline Stavs

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2021, 10:55:49 AM »
I switched gears and made my next batch in the food processor. Much easier and a much finer grain. I used the dough blade for this.

Offline CookingFiend

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Re: Update to my older Pizza Hut Thin & Crispy Post
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2021, 06:40:05 PM »
Wow! This was my first attempt making any thin crust pizza. Your updated recipe is very good.  (Apologies that I don't have any pics this time.)  I'll definitely add some when I make this again.

Here's what I did:  I hand-mixed the dough ingredients, let it rest 20-minutes and then processed it in my food processor for about 2 minutes.  Made one big ball that was refrigerated covered for 48 hours in an un-oiled container.  It expanded just a bit, just like you said it would.  When I removed the dough from the refrigerator it was very very hard.  I divided it into two balls and let them rest a room temperature, in covered containers for about 3 hours.  The room temperature dough expanded and became soft and pliable.  Amazing.

I then rolled sections of the dough through my pasta machine. The dough rolled through my pasta machine with ease.  Made one pie with dough sheets that were rolled to the very thinnest pasta roller setting and did a second one rolled to one notch thicker.  The dough sheets were docked and then snuggly placed in the cutter pans overlapping the sections by about ľ-inch and pressing down on the seams.  A rolling pin was used to remove the excess dough from the cutter pan edges.  They were topped, pans were placed on a baking steel for about 10 minutes.  The crust was very thin and cracker-like and delicious (I think the 48-hour cold ferment helped a lot with that).

There was some extra dough which was rolled into two long sections, docked, topped and baked directly on the baking steel.

The only thing I'd do differently next time is to be sure to oil my cutter pans before adding the dough ::)
-mickey

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